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AACTE Urges Educators to Resist Attacks on Critical Race Theory in Education

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today urging educators to resist the Trump administration’s attack on critical race theory and other anti-racism work in education:

“In its June 4 statement, the AACTE Board of Directors called educators to take courageous action on race matters in America to address not only recent racial injustices across the nation but also structural racism that has deep, historic roots in our society. Critical race theory represents the scholarly work of educators who provide research evidence and expertise on how the legacy of slavery and inequality in America has unequivocally influenced our American way of life, including our system of education, and on effective ways to dismantle structural racism in American society. It has long been the focus of scholars across many disciplines, which has contributed to the great strides institutions have made in advancing human and civil rights for all Americans.

Banning federal funds to be used for professional development that addresses topics like white privilege, implicit bias, and structural racism, which are examined within critical race theory, is a denial of the historic realities of our country, and is an assault on the strategic gains institutions of higher education and educator preparation programs have made to enlighten students and affect change that promotes racial and social justice for all. Educators must resist any setbacks to the many years of research and activism scholars have made to progress our nation into a society that values the lives of all human beings.

AACTE and its member institutions are committed to revolutionizing education by upholding high standards in the preparation of future teachers through inclusive curriculum and evidence-based instructional strategies, modeling, and advocacy that dismantle racial oppression. AACTE members are actively working to diversify the teaching profession, address the teacher shortage, redesign curricula that reflects the needs of 21st century learners, advocate for policies that fund student teachers of color, and build social justice partnerships for strengthening the education community—all in a concerted effort to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in PK-20 education. Critical race theory is at the foundation of this vital work. AACTE calls on educators and the educator preparation community to stay the course and to actively support the work of critical race theorists and other anti-racism efforts for building a more racially just society.

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AACTE: The Leading Voice on Educator Preparation

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs and partners dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. The 700 member institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Through advocacy and capacity building, AACTE promotes innovation and effective practices that strengthen educator preparation. Learn more at aacte.org.

 

AACTE Issue Briefs Examine Education Degrees Trends and Future Implications for Teacher Workforce

Degree Trends in High-Demand Teaching Specialties: 2009-10 to 2018-19Institutions Offering Degrees in Education: 2009-10 to 2018-1

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) released today two new issue briefs, Institutions Offering Degrees in Education: 2009-10 to 2018-19 and Degree Trends in High-Demand Teaching Specialties: 2009-10 to 2018-19. The reports examine education trends through an analysis of the number of institutions awarding degrees in education and the imminent threat of increased teacher shortages , particularly in high-demand areas. The findings raise significant concerns about the nation’s future capacity to produce new teachers and other education professionals to meet the diverse needs of students, families, and communities.

The Institutions Offering Degrees in Education report describes the number of institutions awarding degrees in education from 2009-10 to 2018-19, and offers a table listing of institutions awarding any degree in education by state and institution type during this period. It reveals that, while the number of institutions offering degrees in education has been stable, the number of institutions with small programs, defined as awarding 30 or fewer degrees and certificates annually, rose by 21%. These institutions currently make up one-third of all colleges and universities awarding education degrees. Of critical importance is that the average number of education graduates across all institution types fell by 24% from 2009-10 to 2018-19.

AACTE Issue Brief Explores Financial Challenges Facing Future Teachers

How Do Education Students Pay for College?The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) released today its latest issue brief, How Do Education Students Pay for College? The report provides colleges of education a closer look at the financial pressures impacting education students, by type of institution attended and by student race and ethnicity, through a detailed examination of the costs they face and the financial sources they use to pay those expenses. The findings reveal the financial challenges future educators will face and the financial disincentives to pursuing a teaching career, especially for students of color. It also supports the necessity of compensating educators fairly, in particular novice teachers who may be most burdened by student loan debt.

“The global pandemic has deepened the national teacher shortage crisis. It is critical now more than ever to recruit diverse, talented people into the teaching profession, which requires our nation’s leaders to revamp policies and practices that make college affordable and increase teacher compensation,” said Lynn M. Gangone, president and CEO of AACTE.

AACTE Issues 10 State Recommendations for Educator Preparation Programs and New Teachers During Global Crisis

Teamwork Team Collaboration Connection Togetherness Unity Concept

Today AACTE released its new report, Teaching in the Time of COVID-19: State Recommendations for Educator Preparation Programs and New Teachers. The 10 recommendations address critical state policy changes necessary to support innovative improvement in education during the global pandemic and beyond. Increased barriers to developing the educator workforce during the health crisis, coupled with the national teacher shortage, create demands for acute collaboration between educator preparation programs (EPPs), state education agencies, and PK-12 schools to reinvent systems for producing high-quality teachers to meet the growing needs of diverse learners.

AACTE reviewed and analyzed COVID-related state guidance to EPPs in pursuit of three goals: (1) to understand what states are doing to help prepare teachers for the classroom during this crisis, (2) to understand any extant trends in state guidance and (3), to identify recommendations for state leaders to enhance the support of new teachers impacted by program and policy disturbances stemming from the coronavirus crisis. From the analysis emerged recommendations that address changes to licensure and certification requirements, clinical experience pathways, and induction supports for novice teachers.

“Navigating the current crisis is complicated, to say the least, and the pandemic’s impact has a profound effect on many, including colleges of education and educator preparation programs,” said Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., AACTE president and CEO. “The circumstances of the pandemic open a window to think differently about our collective work. AACTE released this report at its State Leaders Institute today to provide our state chapter leaders with the latest research to inform their collaborations and conversations with state officials, PK-12 partners, and legislators.”

The report’s 10 recommendations are:

  1. In making licensure and certification waivers for teachers, states should make changes that are directly necessary because of the pandemic temporary, with a timeline for an ending that is clearly delineated, and transparent in that those who are granted certification as a result of waived requirements must be so classified, (e.g., “waiver-certification”).
  2. States should seek innovative opportunities to address ongoing challenges—such as lack of diversity in the profession and the need to modernize the processes of licensure and certification—as they consider licensure and certification revisions.
  3. Ensure candidates continue gaining experience teaching in a clinical setting with a mentor teacher, university supervisor, and continuous feedback.
  4. Encourage flexibility and collaboration between EPPs and school districts that ensure teacher candidates participate in clinical experiences online or in distance settings if PK-12 schools are not physically back in brick and mortar buildings.
  5. Encourage innovative approaches to clinical experiences including distributed learning models that employ team teaching in PK-12 settings, simulated classroom environments that allow candidates to approximate teaching, and financially supporting candidates through employment with the local school.
  6. Assess the needs of new teachers impacted by COVID-19 and identify areas for additional support.
  7. Require an induction action plan for new teachers describing the activities that must be completed or acquired for successful induction.
  8. Establish a mentorship program to equip new teachers with strategies to deliver high-quality instruction to diverse learners.
  9. Implement co-teaching for new teachers whose clinical experiences were fully or partially waived and teachers who have not passed exams for licensure and certification due to COVID-19.
  10. Partner with EPPs to provide professional development to ensure that new teachers possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to teach diverse students.

View the full report at AACTE’s website.

AACTE’s Inaugural Virtual Conference Convenes Teacher Educators and Students From Across the Nation to Advocate for Educator Preparation

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is convening its inaugural, virtual conference—the AACTE 2020 Washington Week—throughout the month of September. Today kicks off the Association’s signature advocacy event, Day on the Hill, themed “Your Voice Matters.” The annual event brings together education leaders and students from across the country to advocate for teacher preparation. Advocacy training sessions will take place September 9-10, and virtual congressional visits will be held September 15-16.

“AACTE embraces the important and essential role that advocacy and activism play in shaping the education system, not just in our society, but across the globe. AACTE members influence the trajectory of change in education,” said Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. “We gather to advocate for education, for children, for those who have no voice, and for those who have grown weary and lost hope. There is tremendous power in our collective voice.”

With the recent impact of the coronavirus and other societal issues on education, attendees will make their voice heard to congressional leaders about successful strategies to advance educator preparation and address the new challenges that schools and colleges of education face. Attendees will also advocate for effective policies that dismantle systemic racism in education; fund aid for colleges and universities in their recovery from the pandemic, and equip institutions with tools to reduce the spread of coronavirus on their campuses; as well as bipartisan efforts to strengthen school safety and liability protection.

In addition to AACTE’s Day on the Hill, other key events taking place during this year’s AACTE Washington Week include:

Holmes Policy Institute: September 8-10

AACTE’s Holmes Program brings together Scholars, coordinators, and leaders to discuss current issues such as civil rights in education, social justice, policing in schools, community-based participatory research, and mobilizing for change. 

State Leaders Institute: September 22-23
AACTE’s State Leaders Institute (SLI) convenes state chapter leaders from AACTE and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) to enhance educator preparation at the state level, with a focus on ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in education.

“Washington Week covers current issues and trends impacting our classrooms, our society, and our world,” said Ann Elisabeth Larson, Ph.D., chair of the AACTE Board of Directors. “During these challenging times, it is imperative for congressional leaders to hear AACTE members’ voices about the support, funding, and policies needed to advance the work at our institutions and to move the profession forward.”

To learn more about the AACTE 2020 Washington Week, visit aacte.org, and follow what’s happening on Twitter at #AACTEWW20.

Students of Color Advocate for Educator Preparation during AACTE’s Washington Week

Rep. Bobby Scott to Deliver Keynote

Today the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) launches its inaugural virtual Washington Week by hosting the Holmes Policy Institute, an event that amplifies the voice of masters- and doctoral-level students of color on policies affecting educator preparation. Themed “Moving towards Equity through Advocacy and Policy,” this year’s Institute takes place September 8-10.

“We are thrilled to support AACTE Holmes Program students in addressing critical issues in educator preparation, such as increasing teacher diversity and equity,” said Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., AACTE president and CEO. “This signature event offers our future teacher educators of color the tools to navigate national, state and local policies that directly impact those most-often marginalized in education systems.”

Over the course of three days, Holmes students, coordinators, and leaders throughout the country will explore best practices in education advocacy by participating in presentations and small group discussions. In response to the recent, racial unrest in the United States, several sessions will examine these issues as they relate to equity in educator preparation, including:

  • Civil Rights in Education: History, Resistance and Opportunities
  • Policing in Schools and Efforts to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline
  • Community-Based Participatory Research to Achieve Social Justice

The Holmes Policy Institute will culminate with a closing keynote address by Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. Throughout his 14 terms representing Virginia’s third congressional district, the congressman has been a champion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and has advanced policies addressing the equity gaps in education. Following his keynote remarks, Rep. Scott will engage in an interactive discussion with the Holmes students about the state of public education, educator preparation, and the importance of diversifying the educator workforce.

Next week, a number of Holmes students will apply what they learn and put their advocacy skills into practice during AACTE’s Day on the Hill event, joining the Association’s state leaders in virtual meetings with Congressional representatives.

 

 

AACTE Statement on ICE Guidance for International Students at U.S. Colleges and Universities

Students doing homework and preparing exam at university, closeup of young man writing in college library

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today regarding the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s guidance that forces colleges and universities to reopen with in-person classes:

“AACTE is appalled by efforts to deny international students from attending U.S. colleges and universities on the basis of enrollment in online versus in-person classes. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s position prohibits new or initial students on foreign visas after March 9 from entering the country and enrolling in fully online courses, thus forcing them to take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction this fall. This policy is both harmful to the health, safety, and overall well-being of the students and detrimental to their educational trajectories. Additionally, this action exacerbates the complex challenges institutions of higher education already face during this unprecedented time.

AACTE Statement on Federal Government Push to Reopen Schools Prematurely

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today regarding the Trump administration’s intent to withhold federal funds to force schools and universities to reopen with in-person education this fall:

“AACTE strongly opposes President Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s efforts to force schools and universities to reopen prematurely. Preserving the health and safety of students and educators during COVID-19 is essential to effective teaching and learning. The Trump administration has directed state and local governments to bear the responsibility for developing and implementing policies and practices to protect their citizens during the pandemic. As such, institutions must be allowed to implement feasible and practical measures for reopening tailored to the needs of their local communities.

Federal funds should not be used as leverage to force schools and universities to provide in-person classes amidst the current surge of the coronavirus. Instead, federal funds must be allocated to aid colleges and universities in their recovery from the significant, financial challenges caused by the pandemic, to equip institutions with the proper tools to reduce the spread of coronavirus on their campuses, and to provide liability protection.

AACTE calls upon our nation to protect the health and well-being of those most vulnerable in our education communities and to implement bipartisan efforts that will strengthen school safety plans.”

AACTE Celebrates SCOTUS Decisions Supporting Diversified Educator Workforce

DACA LGBTQ concept

AACTE celebrates the recent rulings of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in support of the LGBTQ community and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. AACTE commends the two decisions and their significant impact for growing a diversified educator workforce prepared by AACTE member institutions to meet the needs of diverse learners.

For the first time in American schools, LGBTQ teachers will not fear the loss of employment when self-identifying thanks to the SCOTUS June 15 ruling. It affirms the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. AACTE believes representation of LGBTQ educators in schools is vital to the mental and physical health of LGBTQ students, particularly Black transgender youth. The SCOTUS decision will increase the visibility of gender diverse teachers on all levels of the education system and will help students gain a deeper understanding about the LGBTQ community.

AACTE Board of Directors Calls Educators to Courageous Action on Race Matters in America

On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Board of Directors, Chair Ann Larson issued the following statement today on race matters in America:

“AACTE leaders are compelled to voice our dissent of the recent, tragic events that have resulted in the horrendous murders of Black Americans. The unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others represent incendiary racism that has deep, historic roots in our society. This profound moment in time has brought despair not only to the Black American community, but also to innumerable individuals, families, and communities representing legions of cultures and ethnicities throughout the country and the world. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’

It is imperative that educators embrace their responsibility as front line workers in dismantling structural racism within the American education system. Schools play a critical role in educating students about citizenship and societal values, which have long perpetuated the cycle of racial injustice. Educators must be change agents for reversing the miseducation of white people about black and brown people, and for promoting racial equity. There is a critical need for well-prepared, culturally responsive teachers who can educate and guide learners to value the lives of all human beings and hold others accountable in practicing justice, ensuring equitable access, promoting and assuring diversity, fostering inclusive policies and practices in all aspects of our society, and offering hope and optimism to all children.

Survey Shows Widening Gap in Supply of Teachers Coming in the Fall

(June 3, 2020, Washington, D.C.) – Education leaders’ outlook for the 2020-21 academic year anticipates a widening gap in the supply of new teachers, according to the April 2020 survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The findings show 23% of respondents expect a decline in continuing education student enrollment of more than 10%, and 40% expect such a decline among new students. The study on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting educator preparation programs was based on nearly 200 responses from individuals in leadership roles at colleges of education.

“Our survey examines the critical demands in teacher preparation as we continue to navigate the global health pandemic and prepare for the academic year beginning in the fall,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO. “The data generated in this report provide important benchmarks for building the teaching workforce. We view these findings as an important indicator of the increased challenges ahead and key factors for prioritizing our efforts to move our profession forward.”

AACTE President and CEO Speaks on the Killing of George Floyd and Systemic Racism

Black Lives Matter Protest

On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today responding to the killing of George Floyd and systemic racism:

“AACTE acknowledges an insidious threat to the foundation of American democracy—institutional and structural racism. The construct of racism in our country is rooted in the historical, systemic abuse of power, based upon white supremist ideologies, and resulting in white privilege. Racism has long been entrenched in American institutions and policies that reinforce an unjust and disparate allocation of rights and resources to white people, while disallowing them to Black and other people of color—including our institutions of learning.

AACTE is outraged over the recent videos of Amy Cooper weaponizing the police against Chris Cooper in New York City’s Central Park, George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer, and the hunting and killing of Ahmaud Aubery by men with ties to their local Georgia police department, as well as the murder of Breonna Taylor by police while sleeping in her home. The latter events represent only a few of the string of killings of Black citizens at the hands of white perpetrators and law enforcement. In each case, the victims were unarmed. In each case, the Black community was forced to mobilize, call out the racist crime, and demand justice that has yet to be realized.

AACTE and Mursion Collaborate to Support Teacher Preparation Through Coronavirus

New Partnership Offers Virtual Reality Classrooms to Advance Learning for Future Teachers

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the leading voice on educator preparation, and Mursion, the global leader in virtual reality (VR) training, are partnering to offer educators and students world-class experiential learning through simulations. The collaboration provides teacher candidates an opportunity to complete clinical field experiences remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The special offering is available to educator preparation programs (EPPs) across the nation.

During the coronavirus outbreak, EPPs can launch the VR classrooms in just a few days. Through virtual simulations, candidates can practice instructional techniques and access a platform of over 100 videos of classroom instruction. AACTE and Mursion will offer the VR classroom with simulated students at a special discount to support teacher candidates in these unprecedented times.

AACTE Recommendation to Support PK-12 Students with Disabilities During COVID-19

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

Disabled schoolboy on wheelchair using digital tablet in library

The following AACTE Statement was sent to the National Governors Association.

During the health emergency of COVID-19, AACTE is encouraging its members, as well as states and districts, to explore partnerships between district and educator preparation programs to address the increased workforce demands for special educators in our nation’s schools. In particular, we urge stakeholders to

Identify opportunities for special education teacher candidates to continue their contributions to educational opportunities for students with disabilities (e.g. clinical practice opportunities or paraprofessionals in temporary positions) for the duration of the impact of COVID-19 on our school system.

Combating Discrimination and Hatred Through Education

An excerpt from this article appeared in District Administration on March 11.

Today, we live in a society where truth is decaying, falsehoods are readily shared across social media, and hatred and discrimination are on the rise. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center the number of hate groups operating in the United States hit a record high in 2018. Hate speech creates an environment in which biases and discrimination thrive and can have a detrimental impact on a school’s culture and climate. Teaching and learning about the roots of hate are important elements in fostering an inclusive classroom environment.

Teachers play an essential role in creating a more humane and tolerant world. They are stewards of culture and are in a position to protect history, promote facts and prevent inhumanity. However, to provide students with the most effective instruction, educators must have the tools to understand the nature of hate crimes and how they impact the culture and climate of schools where they teach. Additionally, they must know how to address issues of bias and discrimination in the classroom.

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