Join AACTE government relations consultant Jane West and her insightful and politically astute guests to dissect the 2020 election results at the federal level on November 18. Barmak Nassirian, director of federal relations and policy analysis for the American Association of Colleges and Universities, will offer a perspective from the higher education sector while Danny Carlson, director of policy and advocacy for the National Association of Elementary School Principals, will cover the PK-12 perspective. Join us as we consider the following:
- Who is in the running for the next Secretary of Education?
- What will the education priorities be for the next four years?
- Will there EVER be another COVID relief bill? What will be in there for education?
- Who will chair the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in the Senate and what difference will it make?
- Who will take the helm of the all-important chair for the Appropriations Committee in the House and what difference will it make?
We will have a lively discussion about where the election results stand, what is possible with a new balance of power and how you can continue to make your voice heard! Remember, if you’re not at the table, you’re probably on the menu!
Register for our webinar Wednesday, November 18 from 3:00 -4:00 pm ET.
In early spring of 2020, AACTE joined ISTE’s LearningKeepsGoing Coalition. The Coalition subcommittees include Higher Education, of which I co-chair along with AACTE Innovation and Technology Committee Co-Chair David Slykhuis.
Each subcommittee developed resources that address the COVID19 pandemic in our nation’s public schools. The Coalition recently released two new resources for Institutions of Higher Education Educator Prep Programs and teacher candidates! The resources target different audiences. The student agency infographic is a resource for educator candidates and educator preparation faculty. As colleges and universities develop online course offerings, candidates are faced with learning how to access and benefit from online instruction. The infographic begins by amplifying five areas of student agency. Ten strategies guide students to advocate for online learning supports, use their own assets, and seek our mentors, to name a few. Students can also take an online learning readiness assessment to determine their preparedness for online instruction. Educator preparation faculty and staff are encouraged to disseminate this infographic to candidates who are learning online.
AACTE delivered its first virtual Day on the Hill advocacy event this past week. Over two days, attendees met with Congressional staff, AACTE Committee on Government Relations members, and panelists to develop their advocacy toolkit. This week, the attendees will host two days of Congressional visits with the senators and representatives from their states. AACTE state teams will be advocating for the AACTE 2020 Legislative Priorities, which describe the needs of educator preparation as we address twin pandemics: COVID-19 and racial injustice.
In preparation for their virtual Congressional Visits, attendees practiced how to communicate the priorities to legislative leaders, were briefed on current data related to educator shortages, the important to increase funding toward TEACH grants and Teacher Quality Partnership Grants within educator preparation programs, and the value of funding the Institute for Education Sciences, which is the principal research agency for education in the United States.
In addition, attendees received resources to support their learning. Each of these resources is available to all AACTE members!
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is hosting a monthly STEM webinar series. The September 15 event, 1:30-3:00 pm ET, will focus on STEM Teacher Preparation with an eye toward increasing diversity in the teacher corps and in student interest and agency in STEM. Speakers include ED and NSF grantees noted below. Register to receive a link to view the live broadcast and submit a question to the panel.
STEM Teacher Prep – September 15, 1:30-3:00 PM ET
AACTE has partnered with CoSN (The Consortium for School Networking) to provide school leaders with high-quality information on emerging issues and technology trends for K-12 innovation. Recently, the international advisory board of about 100 education leaders identified 15 key hurdles, accelerators, and tech enablers for schools to leverage in 2020 in order to drive innovation in K-12 education.
AACTE is proud to be a member of the advisory board for CoSN’s Driving K12 Innovation Project. The next generation of teachers and leaders are being prepared at our member institutions. In collaboration with our K-12 school district colleagues, educator preparation programs can leverage technology that supports the learning and social emotional growth of all our students.
CoSN and AACTE are committed to advancing progressive practices in the field and addressing challenges and opportunities such as data privacy and ownership, social emotional learning, and tools for privacy and safety online.
CoSN’s Driving K-12 Innovation
CoSN will issue its insights and findings from the advisory board in two individual free briefs. These publications, along with an implementation toolkit, are being released throughout 2020 to spur ongoing discussions and visibility that analyze the top hurdles, accelerators and technology enablers in K-12 education. This project is part of CoSN’s EdTechNext initiative, extending their long-standing work surrounding emerging technologies. The Driving K-12 Innovation initiative is supported by AACTE.
At Day on the Hill, AACTE’s premiere advocacy event during Washington Week, education leaders and students from around the country convene to advocate for teacher preparation. With the recent impact of the coronavirus and other societal trends on education, congressional leaders need to hear and learn about your successful strategies to advance the profession and ways to best address the challenges you face at your institution. Join the AACTE community for this year’s virtual event offered over a two-week period, and take advantage of the opportunity to build your advocacy skills and toolkit. Advocacy training sessions will take place September 9-10, and virtual congressional visits will be held September 15-16.
Day on the Hill: September 9-10
The first week of Day on the Hill offers attendees two tracks to choose from for part of the day that support differing advocacy skill levels. During these lively breakout sessions, you will develop and augment your skills, and learn from peers, colleagues, and government relations professionals. You will also learn about key legislations impacting education today and how to advocate for the profession with congressional leaders in a virtual environment. Congressional staff will provide special presentations on how policy is shaped and effective ways to advocate during AACTE’s virtual Hill visits that will take place the second week.
Virtual Congressional Visits: September 15-16
During the second week of Day on the Hill, attendees will join colleagues within their local state for virtual meetings with congressional leaders. Participants will be prepared with talking points, strategies to hold a congressional meeting, and key messages about how COVID-19 has impacted educator preparation programs to present to legislators. You will hear riveting greetings from invited guest politicians who will encourage your efforts in advocating for meaningful and equitable education policies.
Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues, learn of national trends in education, share or discover best practices on common challenges, or develop your advocacy skills! Register now for AACTE’s Day on the Hill.
Visit aacte.org for more details about the AACTE 2020 Washington Week.
Inclusive leadership is better for schools, teachers, and all students. Every student deserves to attend a school led by a principal with the skills, knowledge, and training to promote equity for all students, including students with disabilities. Yet, general education teachers and school principals report being underprepared to effectively serve students with disabilities. Only 12 percent of a nationally representative sample of school principals and only 17 percent of general education teachers report feeling well prepared to serve and teach students with disabilities.
Support for Preparing Inclusive School Leaders During COVID-19
While the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted education for all students, students with disabilities face unique challenges in transitioning to remote learning and in their eventual transition back to the classroom. Like the pandemic and the systemic racism plaguing our nation, inequitable access to effective school leadership is more prevalent for underserved populations, including students with disabilities. A recently released brief from CCSSO, the CEEDAR Center, and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders highlights key recommendations, examples, and resources to support educator preparation programs (EPPs) and Deans of Education in addressing the pressing challenges for school leaders posed by the COVID-19 crises.
This year’s Capital Hill visits during Washington Week will feature AACTE’s DEI Handbook, which will include your strategies to elevate diversity, equity, and inclusion within your institutions.
What might those strategies look like? We are glad you asked! While DEI may be a broad concept, we are most interested in learning about how you are supporting the recruitment and retention of students and faculty of color on your campus. We also want to know how you are supporting your faculty and staff to become culturally competent in their teaching, research, and in their community engagement.
Why should you submit your strategies? You are shaping the field! Your practices matter to your colleagues, to your peer institutions, and importantly to your Congressional leaders:
- AACTE members want to learn from you.
- Your peers want to develop their own strategies and build off of your models.
- Your Congressional leaders need the evidence of your strategies to advocate for increased funding.
AACTE wants to celebrate your successful strategies to diversify the profession and professionally develop your faculty and staff. We plan to share members’ strategies in a handbook focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This handbook will be distributed to congressional leaders and their staff during Washington Week 2020. The handbook will also be located on the AACTE website for our members to share their successes with one another.
Now that you’ve read about the Handbook, you’re likely planning your submission. We want to support you every step of the way. Below are a few tips for a successful submission to the DEI Handbook.
AACTE’s annual Washington Week is going virtual and we are excited to expand the advocacy campaign from a week to a month! This September will be filled with advocacy events that are sure to engage Members of Congress and their staff. Given the national climate, AACTE would like to elevate your invaluable work in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the midst of the many challenges we are all facing in 2020.
At this year’s Day on the Hill event, we will provide our Members of Congress with a “handbook” comprised of collected strategies by our members, describing their successes at their educator preparation programs (EPPs) in pursuit of diversity, equity and inclusion.
As a nation, we are facing racially and ethnically grounded injustices, which disproportionately impact our BIPOC students and educators. In a recent letter to Holmes students, AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone noted “that generations of citizens are molded by their educators, and so the work of fighting for racial equity begins in our member institutions—on your campuses.”
Sadly, the nation’s P-20 educators have never reflected the rich diversity of the students they serve. Gangone notes that while “the work that needs to be done to sow seeds of racial justice in our curriculum and in our teaching practices should not and cannot be solely completed by our students and faculty of color, the invaluable teaching and scholarship contributions of our diverse educators and candidates are the underpinning for system of education each student in our country deserves.
In collaboration with national experts including AACTE, Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) has released a Blueprint to Establishing a Place-Based Grow Your Own Program to support growth in the teaching profession. According to PDK, “Grow your own programs recruit students from their current high school population to enter educator pathway programs. Districts and states then partner with local educator preparation programs to offer enrollment incentives to students, keeping them close to home so that they will return as teachers to the classrooms where they currently learn.”
As our nation’s schools are increasingly diverse, our teaching workforce must reflect the communities in which they serve. This step-by-step Blueprint provides the context and the guiding principles to support local leaders who seek to grow their own teaching pool from within their diverse eco-system.
As we look toward fall 2020, it is clear that PK-12 schools will continue to use some blend of online and face-to-face learning as they deal with social distancing requirements and a possible resurge of COVID-19 cases. Teaching effectively with technology is now an essential competency for all educators.
This summer provides a window of opportunity to deepen teacher candidates’ ability to effectively use technology to support learning. But that shift will not happen through checklists or tool training alone. Educators need explicit strategies and peer support. They also need professional learning experiences that will count towards their ongoing career development and continuing education credits.
To address these issues, AACTE is proud to team up with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to launch a Summer Learning Academy designed to prepare K-12 educators and teacher candidates for teaching in online and blended learning settings this fall.
This fun 3-week summer learning experience will provide the online teaching support educators have been asking for in a flexible format that meets their needs. Educators who successfully complete the program earn continuing education units (CEUs) and graduate-level credit.
Learners of all ages are being impacted by COVID-19 through school closures, the transition to online learning, and the shortage of teachers and faculty across the nation. AACTE continues its long tradition of addressing the educator career continuum and supporting PK-12 learners in America’s public schools by joining the Educating All Learners Alliance (EALA), an alliance dedicated to equity for complex learners.
EALA is specifically designed to help ensure the continuity of special education services during remote instruction and to spotlight best practice approaches for schools and educators. It represents a dynamic alliance of non-partisan groups deeply committed to the success of students with disabilities.
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
As every educator in the country can attest, effectively leveraging technology in our classrooms, both in the virtual and brick and mortar environment, is paramount. To support our members, earlier this spring AACTE joined more than 70 education organizations in the COVID-19 Education Coalition formed by the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE). The Coalition’s purpose is curate, create, and deliver high-quality tools and support for educators as they keep the learning going during extended school closures caused by the global pandemic. ISTE and coalition members have launched LearningKeepsGoing.org, a free, online portal with resources for educators and a help desk with experts from across the country to provide real-time support to educators. LearningKeepsGoing.org will also list weekly webinars, offering educators and administrators direct access to national experts.
As AACTE’s assistant vice president of programs and professional learning, I am co-leading the Higher Education subcommittee of the Coalition with David Sykhuis, assistant dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences, AACTE Innovation and Technology co-chair, and chair of the National Technology Leadership Summit. Members of the subcommittee include: