Archive for 2024

U.S. Department of Education Releases Voter Toolkit

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) released a “Toolkit for the Promotion of Voter Participation for Students” to provide resources for educational institutions to help them identify and implement actions to assist eligible students with voter registration and voting. Recognizing that our nation’s schools, colleges, and universities have a critical role in promoting civic engagement, the toolkit will provide them with strategies to support their students. 

“Voting is fundamental to our democracy, and our schools and colleges play an important role in helping our students become active participants in our democratic society,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “From providing civic education during a student’s elementary and secondary school years to facilitating the voting process for all students during their postsecondary educational experience, our education system helps students engage in the electoral process. I’m proud that the resources we are releasing today will help reduce the barriers and obstacles many students—especially our underserved students—face in participating fully in our democracy.”  

Promoting Integrity and Social Responsibility in Teacher Education

An #AACTE24 Session Recap and Reflection

The AACTE panel session on “Promoting Integrity and Social Responsibility in Teacher Education” sponsored by The Kern Family Foundation was an enlightening experience, bringing together a diverse panel of educators to discuss innovative strategies and projects aimed at integrating character education and social responsibility into teacher preparation programs.

In this session, speakers from various universities shared their projects and insights on developing character, leadership, and social responsibility among educators and students. Panelists emphasized the importance of integrating character education into teaching practices, not as an additional task but as a foundational aspect (Berkowitz & Bier, 2005). The discussions highlighted successful strategies, such as collaborative partnerships with schools, embedding character into the curriculum, and fostering a learner-focused environment. The session also addressed the challenges educators face today, including the need for support in navigating complex issues and creating inclusive, respectful learning environments.

Central Michigan University: New NSF Grant For Core Teaching Practices Helps Prepare Student Teachers

A group of teacher educators from the College of Education and Human Services and College of Science and Engineering at Central Michigan University (CMU) received a grant from the National Science Foundation to help college students become familiar with the core teaching practices, which are ideas or actions teachers follow to support learning. Additionally, the core teaching practices are demonstrated to have the greatest impact on student learning and were adopted by the Michigan Department of Education several years ago.  

“We chose to focus on [the core practices of] building respectful relationships with students and modeling and explaining content. […] I would argue these are two of the more important teaching practices [because] if you’re going to teach students and have them learn effectively, you need to have a good relationship with them,” Kevin Cunningham, Ph.D, the lead principal investigator on the project said. “The ability to take what is challenging content and make that clear and intelligible to students [is important].”

Registration Now Open for AACTE’s 2024 Washington Week

The time has come to converge in the nation’s capital for an unparalleled opportunity to advocate for the future of teacher education. Get ready to amplify your voice and make a difference at AACTE’s Washington Week, June 3 to June 5 in Washington, DC. 

As members of AACTE, you have the unique chance to engage directly with legislators, policymakers, and thought leaders, shaping the discourse on vital issues impacting colleges of education nationwide. Whether it’s funding, policy reforms, or educational equity, your voice matters, and Washington Week provides the training and resources to ensure it is heard. 

Growing Our Work in Internationalization

An #AACTE24 Session Recap and Reflection

Within the field of education, internationalization has been a point of discussion for the better part of the past decade. However, it has risen in popularity following the global pandemic. The pandemic made it apparent to educators and students alike the gaping holes in the preparedness of K-12 educators.

Along with the ways our students struggled with online learning here in the United States, similar struggles were experienced by children across the globe. Internationalization aims to make us more aware of the challenges faced at schools outside of our country to uphold our commitment to social justice. The time is ripe for us as a field to learn more about internationalization and what it may look like to prioritize it at our respective institutions in the U.S. This conversation was opened up at the AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting by moderator, Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D. and the speakers Sarah K. Anderson, Ph.D., Margery McMahon, Pinky Jain, Ph.D., and Susan Ledger, Ph.D.

Virginia Department of Education Announces $1.52 Million in Grow Your Own Grants

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) awarded its second round of Grow Your Own Grants totaling $1.52 million to 24 school divisions to assist in creating registered teacher apprenticeship programs to help recruit and train well-prepared future teachers within their communities.  A focused approach to helping school divisions deal with teacher recruitment challenges, Grow Your Own programs help future teachers work towards their bachelor’s degrees and fulfill all licensure requirements so that upon completion of the program participants will be ready to accept a full-time teaching position in their communities. 

The VDOE has partnered with the National Center for Grow Your Own to become a national leader in helping develop effective registered apprenticeship programs to assist school divisions in recruiting teacher candidates from their local communities. Under this model, aspiring Virginia teacher candidates can include paraprofessionals and other staff already working in the schools, dual-enrolled graduating high school seniors, or career switchers with an interest in classroom teaching. Twenty-eight Virginia school divisions have launched Grow Your Own registered teacher apprenticeship programs during the 2023-2024 school year.  

U.S. Department of Education Opens Applications for Two K-12 Mental Health Programs to Increase the Number of Mental Health Providers in Schools

The U.S. Department of Education (Department) opened applications for the School-Based Mental Health and Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration grant competitions to help bolster the pipeline of mental health professionals serving in schools and expand student access to school-based mental health services and supports. 

President Biden named tackling the mental health crisis, particularly among youth, a key pillar in his Unity Agenda for the nation. And, in line with the Administration’s goals, these programs play a key role in doubling the supply of qualified mental health professionals in our nation’s schools. These newly opened applications build on the progress made through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to integrate mental health services into our schools as part of the President’s National Mental Health Strategy. 

AACTE Unveils Coaching Initiative

Invest in your Leadership Efficacy


In a dynamic era of higher education innovation, the importance of effective leadership within educator preparation programs (EPPs) cannot be overstated. Recognizing this imperative, AACTE unveils its new coaching program. AACTE Coaching is a visionary platform designed to foster professional growth among program leaders.  

This initiative represents a pioneering endeavor, connecting educators with invaluable opportunities to glean insights, strategies, and mentorship aimed at elevating their leadership experiences. Through this program, AACTE reaffirms its commitment to advancing excellence in educator preparation, empowering leaders to navigate the complexities of their roles with confidence and efficacy. 

How Howard University Spotlights Black History in Teacher Preparation

2024 Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Perspectives Winner

Receiving the Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Perspectives at the AACTE 2024 Annual Meeting was a complete honor. It was not lost on us, a historically black college and university (HBCU), that we received this acknowledgment for a program that celebrates and studies the lifestyles, cultures, histories, and lived experiences of those from the African diaspora during Black History Month.  

At Howard University, the study of Black history is not confined to one month, but Black History is woven throughout the programming, curricula, and the practices in our teacher education programs throughout the year. Our Elementary Education program ends with a culminating international experience where teacher candidates get to participate in a weeklong cultural immersion experience engaging in a breadth of activities and experiences that fully immerse them in the culture of the country. Our travel thus far has been to Cuba and Colombia (Cartagena, Cali, and Palenque). Palenque, the first free town in the Americas founded by those who fled slavery during Colonia times, always seems to be a favorite learning experience for the teacher candidates. The locations chosen have large populations of those with shared African heritage and where English is not their first language. While this international experience takes place in the Elementary Education program’s final semester, much of the learning and activities that happen throughout the time in the program have led to this final initiative.  

Looking Back and Moving Forward: Journey through AACTE’s History

This month, AACTE begins its 76th year by looking back and moving forward. In February 1948, AACTE held its founding meeting in Atlantic City, NJ, and adopted its constitution and bylaws. AACTE invites you to take a journey from then until now, with the “75 Years Leading a Profession” digital timeline.

Over the course of the last three-quarters of a century, the Association experienced “The Start of Something Big” and through the decades, it reshaped teacher preparation, became a driving influence in the field, navigated turbulence and shifts in the landscape, and so much more. These key moments —critical decisions, collaborations, and initiatives — are documented in the timeline with historical photos, notable quotes, significant publications, and important “did you know?” facts.

AACTE Celebrates Public Schools Week 2024 

AACTE is joining with the Learning First Alliance and partners nationwide to celebrate educators, students, and school communities during Public Schools Week 2024.  

This year’s week of events takes place from February 26 to March 1, 2024. Throughout the week — families, educators, and community members are encouraged to highlight the amazing things happening in their local public schools while expressing their support and advocacy for public education and all the benefits it provides children and families alike.  

“Public schools not only educate the minds of our future leaders but nurture the values of community, citizenship, and democracy that cultivate a society where every individual has the chance to thrive and contribute,” said AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D. “AACTE extends a happy Public Schools Week to our educator workforce that stands as pillars for the students who will one day become exemplary American citizens.” 

New Data Available in AACTE Research, Reports, and Briefs

Data Shows Positive Trends in Teacher Preparation

Since 2018, I have documented key trends in educator preparation in a series of reports for AACTE. Members can access these reports at

In these reports, I’ve shared a lot of negative information about declining participation in educator preparation during the 2010s.  So, when the U.S. Department released new data on the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years — the height of the COVID pandemic — I held my breath. 

I am so pleased to report that — in two new data updates released at the AACTE Annual Meeting last week — I have good news to share about several key indicators including the following: 

  • Enrollment in IHE-based teacher preparation programs leading to initial licensure 
  • Completions of these teacher preparation programs  
  • Degrees and certificates awarded in the field of education 

University of Arkansas College of Ed and Health Professions Students Gain Clinical Experience

Nursing, speech-language pathology, and occupational therapy students in the College of Education and Health Professions recently had the unique opportunity to work with children who have hearing loss at SPARK Day. 

The college collaborated with the non-profit Arkansas Hands and Voices, which supports parents and professionals who work with children with hearing loss regardless of their communication approach. 

SPARK — an acronym for Student Preparation to Care for ARkansas Kids — was partially funded through a WE CARE grant. The college’s future caring professionals gained clinical experience with this specialty population, a requirement of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for professional certification. The day also provided clinical training opportunities for those studying to be occupational therapists and nurses. 

Mississippi Ed Department Releases 2023-24 Educator Shortage Survey Results 

Results from the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) 2023-24 Educator Shortage survey show there are 5,012 vacancies among teachers, administrators, and school support staff across the state, an increase of 24 compared to the 2022-23 school year. 

The survey was conducted by MDE’s Office of Teaching and Leading from August 4 – November 15, 2023 and had 100% voluntary participation from school districts. There were 5,503 vacancies reported in 2021-22 and 4,988 in 2022-23. 

Compared to last year, vacancies increased by 182 among teachers, by nine among K-12 licensed educators (library/media, counselors, and speech-language positions), and by 25 among administrators (principals and assistant principals). However, vacancies decreased by 192 among K-12 support staff such as teacher assistants, nurses, custodians, bus drivers, food service staff, and administrative assistants. 

U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights Releases New Resources on Students with Disabilities 

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released four new resources today with information for students, parents and families, and schools addressing the civil rights of students with disabilities, as well as a data snapshot about education access for students with disabilities drawn from OCR’s 2020-21 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). 

OCR issued these new resources to inform students with disabilities, and their families and schools, about their legal rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 prohibits discrimination against students with disabilities by institutions that accept federal financial assistance, which includes almost all public schools and public and private institutions of higher education. 

“We issued these new resources to give students, including those with asthma, diabetes, food allergies, and GERD, as well as their families and schools, important tools to understand when and how they are protected by federal disability rights laws,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon.