We learned so much from our education deans during the 2021 Annual Meeting that we are hosting a webinar on April 29 to dive deeper into leaning in and leading through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of systemic racism on campus and within their communities.
Educator preparation leaders, specifically, are managing the twin crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice within and across the nation’s institutions. We can all agree that the shift we experienced in our personal and professional lives as we witnessed horrific tragedies grounded in racism and discrimination continues to rock our schools and communities. As equity-minded leaders, three deans addressed faculty and student needs by starting with empathy and ending with action.
Calling all educators! Your review and your voice is requested. AACTE is proud to work collaboratively with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) in the Learning First Alliance coalition. Our colleagues at NASSP, alongside their Board of Directors recently stated its intent to adopt two new position statements on LGBTQ+ Students and Educators and Supporting Principals as Leaders of Special Education—and your feedback is critical. Public comments are open now through March 31.
You won’t want to miss AACTE’s next webinar. Join education deans as they discuss how to lean in and lead through the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of systemic racism on campus and within their communities. Tune into the Leaning in and Leading Through Crisis discussion on March 18 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
CoSN, the national association of school district technology leaders, recently released two reports, Driving K-12 Innovation: 2021 Hurdles + Accelerators and Driving K-12 Innovation: 2021 Tech Enablers. The Driving K-12 Innovation reports capture the top nine topics (challenges, mega-trends, and tools), according to an advisory board of approximately 100 school leaders, technologists, educators, and changemakers. AACTE was proud to serve on the advisory board that supported the development of the report for the second year in a row.
Through the Driving K-12 Innovation series, CoSN continues its commitment to sharing high-quality trend reports that support the use of emerging technology in K-12 education to transform learning. In this initiative, a global advisory board of K-12 leaders, practitioners, and changemakers engages in discourse about the major themes driving, hindering, and enabling teaching and learning innovation at schools. Their work is divided into three steps: an initial survey to select the topics for discussion; discussion; and a concluding survey to capture the final thoughts from advisory board members and discern the top topics to feature in each publication. (Learn more at cosn.org/k12innovation.)
Educator preparation programs have experienced a tumult of change in the last 12 months. Many of our members have experienced decreased enrollment in initial licensure teacher education programs, all during a nationwide teacher shortage. Now, more than ever before, it is our responsibility to consider what may be creating barriers for candidates to enter our programs and our profession. AACTE plans to support member institutions’ examination of assessments used for entry into preparation programs and the barriers they create for potential candidates, especially candidates of color.
AACTE is pleased to announce the College of Education and Human Development at the Texas A&M University, as the next home to the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. The editors were selected through a rigorous peer-review process and approved for a 3-year term, beginning in 2021, which can be extended for an additional 3 years.
The current editorial team at Michigan State University, which has served the JTE since 2015, will continue work on the journal through June 2021 to complete Volume 72.
“AACTE celebrates Texas A&M in their selection as the next editorial team for our flagship Journal of Teacher Education. Their team of scholars has the demonstrated experience, respect, and vision to lead the journal into its next chapter,” said Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE president and CEO of AACTE. “JTE is steadily increased its impact on the field under the tenure of the current editorial team at Michigan State University. AACTE owes a debt of gratitude to the tremendous editors at MSU, including incoming Board Chair, Dean Robert Floden, Dr. Gail Richmond, Dr. Dorinda Carter, and Dr. Tonya Bartell.”
The nation’s transition to the 46th presidential administration are underway. AACTE provided the Biden-Harris Administration’s Education Transition Team with its policy priorities for the coming year. Much of AACTE’s priorities stem from its advocacy throughout the year to increase the federal investment in education in PK-20, with a specific focus on recruiting and sustaining candidates in its education preparation programs.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, educator preparation stands at a dangerous crossroad. The college and university programs that prepare our teachers, principals, school counselors, and other essential education professionals are experiencing a debilitating wave of closures and faculty layoffs.
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.