Author Archive

Jacqueline Rodriguez

Jacqueline Rodriguez

Vice President, Research, Policy, and Advocacy, AACTE

Special Education Equity in the Era of COVID-19

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

Disabled pupil smiling at camera in classroom

With the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19), school districts, institutions of higher education, and educators are finding themselves in uncharted territory. As schools across the nation are forced to shut their doors, finding ways to best serve all students equitably has never been more urgent. This is especially true for our most vulnerable students—those with disabilities.

COVID-19 hit hard and fast. And with that, so did the shift from in-school instruction to online learning. We know that special education students receive, consume, and apply information differently in face-to-face settings versus online environments. However, the rapid onset of COVID-19 did not give educators, parents, or students time to adequately prepare for the transition.

Register for AACTE Webinar on Transitioning to Online Learning

How to Transition to an Online Learning Environment

At a time when the nation’s universities and colleges are moving to an online learning environment, AACTE is prepared to support the transition through webinars, resource sharing, and engagement. Next week, technology and online learning experts from the AACTE Innovation and Technology Committee are hosting a 90-minute webinar, Thursday, March 26 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. The webinar is open to all AACTE members.

The How to Transition to an Online Learning Environment webinar will address transitioning to online instruction for 30 minutes, followed by a 60-minute Q&A session for members to ask questions of AACTE resident experts. Much like virtual office hours, AACTE members can access our Innovation and Technology Committee members with questions specific to their local context.

The webinar will be recorded and hosted on our resource page for members to access at any time.

Register today.

New Webinar Prepares Educators for Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Classrooms

AACTE logo | EdPrepLab logo

AACTE and partner, Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab), an initiative of the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) and Bank Street College of Education, will host the second of a series of four webinars, Preparing educators for diverse, equitable, and inclusive classrooms, on January 30.

This collaborative webinar focuses on strategies to increase the preparation of both teachers and leaders. AACTE and EdPrepLab are excited to provide you with an opportunity to learn from and with our dynamic webinar leaders. Four dynamic experts who are advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their practice, research, and daily interactions with teachers, leaders, and community stakeholders will present during the webinar:

AACTE Supports Global CoSN Program to Drive K-12 Innovation

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, as a member of the advisory board. Recently, the international advisory board, 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.

The next generation of teachers and leaders are being prepared at AACTE 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. 

Together AACTE and CoSN are committed to advancing progressive practices in the field and addressing challenges and opportunities such as data privacy & ownership, social emotional learning, and tools for privacy & safety online.

CoSN will issue its insights and findings from the advisory board in two individual free briefs. These publications, along with an implementation toolkit, will be 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.

Lynn M. Gangone Explored How Ed Prep Can Advance Principal Pipelines

How teacher and leader preparation cangears work together to further principal pipelinesAACTE President and CEO Lynn Gangone addressed more than 150 education stakeholders at the recent collaborative meeting of the Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Pipeline Initiative (UPPI). Gangone’s address, How teacher and leader preparation can work together to further principal pipelines, is available to view online for those who were unable to attend the convening.

The UPPI focus is on inclusive principal preparation, and builds on 15 years of Wallace-supported research and experience about what makes for effective principals and their “pre-service” training at colleges and universities. AACTE maintains a strong commitment to these initiatives including principal and leader preparation in inclusive and clinical placements.

Learn more about AACTE’s principal preparation initiatives, supported through its Wallace Foundation partnership.

 

Join the Twitter Chat Conversation on Principal Preparation

Twitter Chat“Clinical learning experiences for candidates must include real-time work with real data and in real settings,” said Janis Carthon, an associate professor at Albany State University in response to AACTE’s Twitter chat question focused on the use of data to support principal preparation for 21st century learning. Carthon joined other experts in the area of principal and leader preparation during AACTE’s second Twitter Town Hall on December 5.

AACTE is hosting four Twitter Chat Town Halls in 2019 aligned with its Wallace Foundation Webinar Series. All AACTE members and education stakeholders are encouraged to follow the Twitter hashtags noted below to participate in the Twitter chats, where experts join the public in dialoguing about principal and leader recruitment, retention, support, and successful clinical experiences.

The next Twitter Chat Town Hall will take place December 10, and will addresses the From Teacher to Principal: Educational Leadership Tracking Systems that AACTE partner the Wallace Foundation developed in collaboration with their University Principal Pipeline Initiative. Follow @AACTE  and use #principalpipeline to join the conversation from 5:00 – 6 p.m.

Engage in Twitter Chats on Inclusive Principal Preparation

Twitter Chat

In collaboration with the Wallace Foundation, AACTE is launching a Twitter Chat Series in December dedicated to elevating Inclusive Principal Preparation. The four Twitter chats align with our ongoing Inclusive Principal Preparation Webinar Series. The Twitter chats will provide ample space to continue discussing principal preparation with you—our leaders in the field of principal and leader preparation.

Twitter allows participants to engage in conversations, follow exchanges, and locate chats through a dedicated hashtag. To participate, use the hashtags below to locate and participate in the Twitter Chat Series.

The dates for the upcoming Inclusive Principal Preparation Twitter Chat Series are also below. Each Twitter chat will take place from 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. The associated webinars are accessible via the provided links. Remember, the fourth webinar is still open for registration!

  1. Tuesday, December 3 – The Challenges and Successes of Principal Recruitment and Retention
    #principalrecruitmentandretention
  1. Thursday, December 5 – Successful University and District Partnerships for Preparing Principals #principalpartnerships
  1. Wednesday, December 11 – From Teacher to Principal: Educational Leadership Tracking Systems  
    #principalpipeline
  1. Wednesday, December 18 – What Should High-Quality Principal Preparation Look Like?* (*Link to register for the final webinar.) 
    #principalprep

Join Livestream Featuring Lynn M. Gangone Talk on Principal Pipelines

Lynn M. Gangone

You are invited to join The Wallace Foundation’s ESSA Leadership Learning Community (ELLC) and University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) Professional Learning Community (UPPI PLC) livestream event on December 2, 2019, where AACTE’s President and CEO Lynn Gangone will present the Plenary address.

The livestream event begins at 1:45 p.m. ET. Gangone’s address will focus on how schools of education help further principal pipelines. The ELLC-UPPI professional learning community meeting will bring together representatives from 17 states to discuss principal pipeline policies and engage together in team planning.

AACTE is proud to partner with the Wallace Foundation to support the UPPI’s robust, clinically oriented principal preparation.

Watch the livestream event: How teacher and leader preparation can work together to further principal pipelines
Featuring AACTE CEO and President Lynn M. Gangone
Monday, December 2, 1:45 – 2:15 p.m. ​​ET

AACTE and University of Central Florida Illustrate Classroom Simulation to Education Grantmakers

Jacqueline Rodriguez demonstrating TeachLivEAACTE President and CEO Lynn Gangone and I had the privilege of demonstrating the Association’s commitment to Inquiry and Innovation during a recent visit to New Orleans.

AACTE collaborated with member institution, the University of Central Florida, to present the TeachLivE™ Lab (TLE Lab) to members of Grantmakers for Education during their recent conference in Louisiana. Grantmakers for Education is the nation’s largest and most diverse network of education grantmakers dedicated to improving educational outcomes and increasing opportunities for all learners.

AACTE Partners with EdPrepLab on Webinar Series

AACTE and EdPrepLab logos

AACTE is excited to partner with the Educator Preparation Laboratory (EdPrepLab), an initiative of the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) and Bank Street College of Education, to bring a series of webinars to members. Educator preparation programs across the country can access AACTE and EdPrepLab resources to support their teaching, research, and policy in higher education.

In this series of webinars, our members will hear from member institutions, stakeholders, scholars, practitioners, and policymakers as presenters dive into topics that will include addressing social emotional learning, cultural competence, creating inclusive classroom and school environments, and teacher residency models.

We hope you will register for our first webinar on Social and Emotional Learning, Cultural Competence, and Equity in Teacher Preparation that will take place on November 14 at 3:00 p.m ET. The panel of experts include:

Tips From PSU on Navigating an Inclusive Educator Prep Program

Representatives from PSUAs the student population has diversified so has our understanding of the general education classroom, specifically who we serve in an inclusive setting. Our students with special education services are learning the majority of their grade level curriculum in general education classrooms. This paradigm shift requires effective collaboration between service providers and teachers as well as a deep understanding and application of differentiation to meet the needs of all students.

For years, the two fields of general education and special education have been siloed. Persistence and partnership is how 

Respond to the Needs of Immediate Communities, Advises BGSU

Teacher in front of classroom of studentsThe key to developing the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) dual licensure program is reaching out to the local area to ensure the program is built with the local needs at the forefront. “The local data is how the university can drive change,” recalls a district leader. Faculty also believe collaboration with the district is central to their mission and their success with candidates. Making connections with the field office and the supervising teachers ensured faculty could relate what candidates were seeing in the field to what they were learning in their coursework.

University systems must also be taken into consideration, especially when working across colleges and across departments. Two questions drove the BGSU program leadership as they developed their dual licensure program: What is best for our students in this program? An what is best for this program? One significant concern was finding strong clinical placements for each teacher candidate. The success of a program with hundreds of teacher candidates rested with strong clinical partnerships.

Finally, serving all students that walk into the classroom was the priority when developing the dual licensure program at BGSU. “This wasn’t an experiment, this is the way BGSU does business,” reflected a faculty member. It was a choice to move away from single licensure that, over time, changes the makeup of the district teaching population, which is why district leaders were involved at every step in the program development.

To learn more, watch the Advice to Others video highlighting BGSU’s Models of Inclusive Clinical Teacher Preparation, part of AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series.

Students Discuss the Value of PSU’s Secondary Dual Education Program

PSU students reflecting on their experienceA number of students in Portland State University’s (PSU) Secondary Dual Education Program (SPED) recently reflected on advice they were given before entering the graduate program. “I always want more education than less,” one teacher candidate was advised by a mentor in the field of medicine. The candidate now looks back on her experience in the program with appreciation. “I was ready. I had the resources. I had been in the classroom for two years; it felt natural. I didn’t have the same level of trepidation as some of my first year friends.”

The students who complete the PSU program graduate with a dual endorsement in a secondary education content area and special education. Another candidate reflected on the importance of serving every student in the classroom. His decision to pursue a two-year graduate program in secondary English and special education was an obvious one; it ensured he would be prepared to meet the needs of all students with a range of abilities.

The benefit of being profession-ready is not only valued by the teacher candidates. High school students also note the tremendous advantage they have when a teacher who understands the unique needs of students with IEPs is leading the classroom. In particular, college access traditionally has been stymied for students with significant disabilities. However, one high school student reflected that she has a mentor in her teacher, someone who has guided her toward college-ready curriculum. Learning from their students is another area of mutual benefit expressed by the candidates. The necessity to meet the needs of each student in the classroom is universally acknowledged by candidates, students, and administrators.

To learn more, view the What’s in it for me? video highlighting PSU’s Secondary Dual Education program, part of AACTE’s Research-to-Practice Spotlight Series.

AACTE Participates in Next Educator Workforce: Asking the Right Questions


I recently represented AACTE at the Next Educator Workforce: Asking the right questions conference, joining educators from across the country at the Arizona State University (ASU) Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC).

The ASU conference organizers asked the question: Why convene around the idea of the next education Workforce? The response included the following:

  • Fewer people are entering the profession.
  • More educators are leaving the profession early.
  • Educators need more of the sustaining rewards of adult collaboration and efficacy.

Our challenge, according to ASU, is to build broad-based, multilateral partnerships that include colleges of education, schools, districts, and communities committed to designing and fielding new workforce models that make education work better for both educators and learners.

AACTE Selects 10 Institutions for Networked Improvement Community Around Special Education Teacher Shortage


AACTE received nearly 50 applications from preparation programs across the country to participate in the Reducing the Shortage of Special Education Teachers Networked Improvement Community supported by the CEEDAR Center! The AACTE Reducing the Shortage of Special Education Teachers Networked Improvement Community (NIC) aims to address the problem of the shortage and lack of diversity of fully prepared and credentialed special education teachers in public schools across the nation.

AACTE is proud to be partnering with the following member institutions in reducing the special education teacher shortage:

Cleveland State University
Eastern Michigan University
Texas State University
University of Central Florida
University of Nebraska at Omaha
University of Northern Colorado
University of Oregon
University of Wisconsin at Madison
Virginia State University
Western Kentucky University

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