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.