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.
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.
(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.”
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.
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 Responds to COVID-19
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.
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.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) announced today Ann Larson, Ph.D., of the University of Louisville (UofL) (KY) as the new chair of its Board of Directors. During her one-year term, Larson will support AACTE and its President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone in implementing the Association’s new strategic plan, addressing challenges of recruiting qualified teacher candidates representing underrepresented and diverse backgrounds into the teaching profession and growing the Association’s membership.
“AACTE is resolute to represent and increase its membership of postsecondary institutions with educator preparation programs, and is dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready,” said Larson. “AACTE and its Board of Directors are committed to a set of shared beliefs, values, attitudes and professional behaviors that characterize revolutionizing education, including shaping education policy and practices that advance learning for all students.”
AACTE Conference Addresses How to Disrupt Inequities in Education
Nearly 2,000 teacher educators kicked off the 72nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis yesterday. The conference, themed “Disrupting Inequities: Educating for Change,” is being held February 28 – March 1. Attendees include deans, faculty, students, and administrators from undergraduate and graduate education programs, community colleges, and K-12 schools, as well as representatives from state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and foundations.
America’s educator preparation community is keenly aware of and uniquely positioned to change the systemic challenges occurring in PK-16 environments that serve the nation’s most vulnerable populations—students of color, students with disabilities, students from immigrant families, students from low-income families, and LGBTQ students. Under its 2020 theme, the AACTE conference offers attendees hundreds of concurrent sessions that explore how to redefine the meaning of success for all students and encourage them to become active learners, productive citizens, critical thinkers, and leaders in their communities and across the globe.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) publicly announced today their new strategic plan effective through 2023. The plan reflects the Association’s ongoing commitment to high-quality educator preparation while leveraging opportunities to be forward thinking in addressing challenges that come from an ever-changing educational landscape.
“It positions AACTE to truly revolutionize educator preparation,” said Kim Metcalf, chair of the AACTE Board of Directors and dean of the college of education at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “It provides AACTE members support and encouragement to be innovative in ways that address not just today’s needs in our local communities, but the needs that those communities will have in years to come.”