Author Archive

Jacqueline Rodriguez

Jacqueline Rodriguez

Vice President, Research, Policy, and Advocacy, AACTE

Watch Recorded Discussion Addressing Teacher Shortages through Partnerships

U.S. Department of Education logo

The Department of Education hosted a national Roundtable addressing Teacher Shortages through collaborative partnerships on April 7, 2022.  The Strengthening Partnerships Between States, School Districts, and Higher Education to Increase the Number of Teacher Candidates Prepared to Enter the Classroom and Provide Immediate Support to Schools included Grow Your Own, Residency, and Apprenticeship Strategies to support pipelines into the education profession.

AACTE’s Jacqueline Rodriguez, vice president for research, policy, and advocacy, laid the context of the national educator shortage with data from AACTE’s recently released second edition of the National Portrait and Fall Member Survey. AACTE members Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Northern Colorado presented innovative programs that are supporting diverse candidates and para-professionals to enter the field. Gwen Perea Warniment, deputy secretary of teaching, learning and assessment for the state of New Mexico, shared the enormous financial investment New Mexico is contributing to state-wide residency programs. In addition to financial investments from the Department of Education, States, and local districts, Manny LaMarre, senior advisor to the Department of Labor, shared the newly established federal level apprenticeship program in teaching.

Combatting Shortages of Educators Serving Students with Disabilities

AACTE will facilitate a webinar, “Educator Preparation Innovation: Creating Pathways to Strengthen Recruitment,” on Tuesday, April 19. The virtual session is part of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the CEEDAR Center 12-part webinar series focused on evidence-based strategies to strengthen and diversify the special education workforce.

According to multiple research studies, fully prepared teachers in special education are more effective and are more likely to remain in the teaching profession than are teachers who are not fully prepared. It is clear that public schools need fully prepared and credentialed special education teachers.

Department of Education to Host Webinar on Strengthening Partnerships to Increase Teacher Candidates

The U.S. Department of Education invites you to join the Strengthening Partnerships Between States, School Districts, and Higher Education to Increase the Number of Teacher Candidates Prepared to Enter the Classroom and Provide Immediate Support to Schools Webinar. The webinar will be held Thursday, April 7 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT

As states, districts, and schools are working hard to address the impact of COVID-19 on students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs, many of them are facing significant challenges in attracting and retaining teachers. Preexisting teacher shortages in critical areas such as special education; bilingual education; science, technology, engineering, and math; career and technical education; and early childhood education have only been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic — directly impeding student access to educational opportunity. Research shows that shortages disproportionately impact students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, and, often, rural communities.

During this roundtable we will

  • Discuss the U.S. Department of Education’s call to action for states, institutions of higher education, and school districts to commit to using American Rescue Plan and other federal relief funds to help address teacher shortages.
  • Share how federal relief funds and opportunities through the U.S. Department of Labor can and are being used to address teacher shortages and provide support to schools by establishing or scaling up teaching residency and apprenticeship programs.
  • Hear from states increasing their investments in a diverse educator pipeline and from educator preparation programs at institutions of higher education that a re partnering with districts to scale up their programs and leveraging their residency and apprenticeship programs to provide immediate support to schools.

AACTE Participation

AACTE’s vice president for research, policy, and advocacy, Jacqueline Rodriguez, will present a national perspective on the ongoing educator shortages and promising practices to address them. Two of AACTE’s member institutions, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and University of Northern Colorado (UNCO), will present their work during the roundtable. Andrew Daire, dean of College of Education at VCU, and Corey Pierce, professor at UNCO, will discuss how they are increasing recruitment of diverse learners to their education programs.

If you are interested in joining this roundtable, register and please submit any questions you would like to have answered during the conversation. After you register, you will receive a Zoom link to join the meeting on Thursday, April 7 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Learn to Address Censorship through Collective Action and Messaging

Workshop: Educators Addressing Censorship through Collective Action & MessagingAACTE continues its collaboration with AERA’s Division K: Teaching and Teacher Education to produce an in-depth, scaffolded, three-part series of professional learning opportunities addressing the recent uptick in education censorship across the nation. The first presentation of the series took place as a Deeper Dive session during AACTE’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans. On April 12, AACTE and AERA Division K will co-host a workshop: Educators Addressing Censorship through Collective Action & Messaging, which will include members of our P-20 education system. The third session in our series is a Town Hall taking place during the AERA Conference in late April where Lynn Gangone, AACTE CEO and president will be moderating alongside AERA Executive Director, Felice Levine, and Division K Chair, Dorothea Anagnostopoulos.

Introducing the AACTE Racial and Social Justice Resource Hub

AACTE Social and Racial Justice Hub screenshotAACTE is committed to tackling systematic censorship within our country’s education system, alongside our members and partners, and it does so through an intersectional lens.

As an organization whose mission is to revolutionize education for all learners, AACTE developed the Racial and Social Justice Resource Hub to be a place for members to learn, grow, inquire, and share resources with one another that address social injustices and advocate for the preparation of profession-ready educators.

The Hub includes three sections: Education Censorship, Combating Racism, and LGBTQ+ Rights. Each section offers resources created by AACTE and its members and strategic partners, including articles, webinars and workshops, curriculum tools, and calls for action. Considering the ongoing efforts underway that limit educators’ teaching and discussion of our nation’s history, and other so-called divisive topics, AACTE is encouraging members to engage with the Hub to support your own teaching and scholarship.

Strengthening the Early Childhood Profession: A New Report by NAEYC

Preparing a Profession: Perspectives of Higher Education Leaders on the Future of the Early Childhood Education WorkforceThe growing interest by policymakers to provide early childhood education to learners across the country has been met with celebration by parents and families, and support from education organizations, including AACTE. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recently released a groundbreaking report addressing the future of the early childhood profession, Preparing a Profession: Perspectives of Higher Education Leaders on the Future of the Early Childhood Education Workforce. The report synthesizes interviews with key education stakeholders, including AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, focused on two key areas: What is the status of the early childhood profession? and What can education institutions be doing to strengthen the preparation of early childhood educators?

Resource to Prepare, Retain High Quality Special and General Educators

A Framework for Change: Investing ESSER Funds to Prepare and Support Teachers of Students With Disabilities. AACTE joined the Educating All Learners Alliance (EALA) in 2020 as the pandemic gave rise to the growing challenges to teaching students with learning differences online. The Alliance steadfastly supports PK-20 students through resource development, including the newest resource: A Framework for Change: Investing ESSER Funds to Prepare and Support Teachers of Students With Disabilities

This resource was developed by EALA partners to give an overview of strategies for preparing and developing highly qualified general and special education teachers. It will show how states and districts can invest Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to address the current and growing need for educators to support students with disabilities and their peers. It shares data and research on both current challenges and recommended strategies and outlines recommended actions for states, districts, and educator preparation programs.

You’re Invited: Join Community Focused on Innovative Use Educational Technology

Various graphs and connectivity points  against boy using a virtual reality deviceThe Center for Innovation, Design, and Digital Learning (CIDDL) is inviting you to join a community of higher education faculty members focused on sharing tips and tricks, research-based practices, and strategies for innovative use of educational technology in educator or leadership preparation programs. CIDDL’s mission is to influence change that supports the appropriate use of educational technology in all early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE), related services, and K-12 learning environments to improve outcomes for all students, especially those with disabilities.

Fifty Percent of Teachers say, ‘Salary is Not Enough to Sustain Them Long-Term’

Nearly 1 in 5 teachers have to work second jobs.

The Teacher Salary Project surveyed 1100+ teachers nationally, with an oversample of recognized teachers (e.g., State Teachers of the Year -STOYs, Nationally Board Certified Teachers – NBCTs, Teach Plus Fellows, and others) and found:

  • Nearly half of the surveyed teachers say their salary was not sufficient to sustain them in teaching for the medium-to-long term (two-thirds when teachers who weren’t sure if they could continue teaching on their salary are included). 

You’re Invited: Virtual Release of New Early Childhood Education Higher Education Report

Preparing A ProfessionHigher education is a critical part of the early childhood education (ECE) profession as it serves as the primary pipeline for the early childhood education workforce. And, like early childhood educators, most ECE higher education programs find themselves under-resourced and under-valued. As such, the Unifying Framework for the Early Childhood Education Profession calls for a significant investment in ECE higher education programs to shore up the ECE workforce pipeline and to ensure that practitioners are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively support the development and education of young children.

Workshop Recording Available: How to Use ESSER Funds for Ed Prep

In case you missed it, there is another opportunity to learn about how to use ESSER funding to recruit into Educator Preparation Programs (EPP).

As you know, in the past year, Congress has set aside billions for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. To help educator preparation programs effectively allocate those funds, AACTE created an Advocacy Toolkit with examples from EPPs across the nation who are expanding their recruitment using federal dollars.  In this workshop, GoReact and AACTE put together a panel of national, state, and university teacher preparation professionals. We explored one state—Tennessee—which used ESSER funds to support a statewide Grow Your Own Program to address teacher shortages and diversify the profession.

AACTE and GoReact Offer Free Workshop: How to Use ESSER Funds for Ed Prep

How to Use ESSER Funds for Ed PrepIn the past year, Congress set aside billions for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.

To help educator preparation programs effectively allocate those funds, GoReact and AACTE put together a panel of national, state, and university teacher prep professionals. They’ll dig into one state—Tennessee—that has used ESSER funds to support a statewide Grow Your Own Program to address teacher shortages and diversify the profession.

In this free workshop, our panelists will

  • Analyze one particular state’s strategy for ESSER funds
  • Share how ALL teacher prep programs can effectively use emergency relief funds
  • Provide a resource AACTE has developed to support EPPs and Local Education Agencies to create a pathway into teaching
  • Answer participant questions

How to Try Out PlanWise™ to Deliver Formative Assessment Practices

Planwise logoThis fall, AACTE is excited to continue supporting an opportunity for members to try out the PlanWise tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, including providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and pre-service teachers while they are lesson planning in Google Docs.

Five AACTE member institutions have participated in introductory sessions and have determined that they are interested in trying out the PlanWise™ tool with their pre-service teachers. We are welcoming an additional five institutions to try out the tool this fall.

Pilot the PlanWise™ Tool That Delivers Formative Assessment Strategies

Planwise logoDon’t miss your opportunity to pilot test PlanWise tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies.

AACTE, in collaboration with ETS, is excited to provide all of its members with this exciting opportunity. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, such as providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and teacher candidates while they are lesson planning in Google Docs. After an initial pilot with K-12 teachers, novice teachers noted the value and the utility of the tool in identifying a variety of new formative assessment strategies and indicated that the strategies increased their use of formative assessment with students.

Diversity in the Classroom: Why Representation Matters

This article originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.

Teacher diversity is invaluable for all students. Having a teacher of color at the helm of a classroom benefits all learners, both academically and through deep and enriching social emotional connections. However, according to The White House’s fact sheet for The American Families Plan, while teachers of color can have a particularly strong impact on students of color, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only one in five teachers are people of color, compared to more than half of K-12 public school students. That is why President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $9 billion in American teachers, addressing shortages, improving training and supports for teachers, and boosting teacher diversity.

Why teacher diversity matters

Representation in the classroom matters. Having a diverse teacher workforce connects cultures, sets high expectations, and reduces implicit bias. Far too often, students of color feel isolated, underrepresented or mistreated, which leads to lower graduation and higher dropout rates. Decades of research has demonstrated that teachers of color can help close access and opportunity gaps for students of color while being vital to the well-being of students of all races. With a teacher of color leading a classroom, students of color see themselves represented and identify with them as role models. A diverse teacher workforce not only supports a student’s academic and social and emotional outcomes, it can lead classroom students to consider becoming educators themselves.

AACTE Tools

Follow Us