AACTE is in the final stages of launching the AACTE Connect360 online community. This week, Annual Meeting attendees will be among the first to preview and engage with colleagues in the new, members-only platform. As a registered attendee, members can create their profile, introduce themselves, and start or respond to a conversation during the 2021 virtual conference.
Attendees are invited to stop by the virtual Conference Community Center on Wednesday, February 24 or Thursday, February 25 for a tutorial on AACTE Connect360, where they can learn more about how to make and maintain professional connections during and after the annual conference. The AACTE team will be available to answer questions and guide members through the digital, collaborative tool. Plus, there will be plenty of opportunities to participate in online discussions with Annual Meeting colleagues over the next few days.
Findings show that in the public school system nationwide, only 7% of teachers, 11% of principals, and 3% of superintendents are Black. In the following Yahoo Finance Live video interview, AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick explores this topic. She discusses the impact desegregation of public schools has had on the decline of the Black teacher pipeline and what steps should be taken to reverse the trend.
Watch the video.
AACTE is excited to introduce AACTE Connect360, an engaging and interactive online community that will link individual educators from its 700 member institutions to bring educator preparation full circle. Attendees at the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting, February 24-26, will be among the first to preview the latest, members-only resource, designed for members to start discussions, share best practices, and ask and respond to questions of their colleagues on topics that impact educator preparation and the profession.
AACTE is the leading resource for the ed prep community, and with AACTE Connect360 members will facilitate more active discussions and fill a need for program-specific, peer-to-peer support within educator preparation. The digital, collaborative platform will also allow members on the AACTE Board of Directors, on committees, in Topical Action Groups, and in the Holmes Program to stay connected, share files, and store resources within their dedicated communities.
AACTE is pleased to announce that Michael Rose has joined its staff as senior director of federal relations and policy as part of the Research, Policy and Advocacy team.
Rose is an experienced government relations professional with over 20 years of experience. He started his career in Washington, DC, working for U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg from his home state of New Jersey. After the senator’s retirement, Rose worked for more than six years in the House of Representatives for Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Most recently, Rose was the director of government affairs for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. In this role, he was the association’s main contact for Members of Congress, congressional staff, and various federal agencies regarding its college access and student protections agendas, among other issues.
AACTE is joining its partner Learning First Alliance in celebrating Public Schools Week, February 22-26, 2021, to bring attention to the great accomplishments and great needs of public education. While schools are a place for nurture and learning, the global pandemic has created massive challenges for public schools. Still, public schools across the country have kept 50.7 million schoolchildren, 3.2 million teachers, and many other school staff and parents safe.
According to Learning First Alliance, public schools are emphasizing new goals this year:
- Keep children healthy by creating new educational practices, including cleaning, maintaining social distance, and screening those who need to be treated;
- Feed millions of students outside of school;
- Expand internet connectivity of students;
- Teach more effectively online by adapting existing curriculums; and,
- Increase awareness of racial justice and mental health and seek ways to connect to students who are grieving or traumatized.
In partnership with Learning First Alliance, AACTE supports a letter sent to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) committee on vaccine priorities requesting that school personnel are a priority group once the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine begins. Below is a reprint from our partner organization, AASA: The School Superintendent Association, outlining the request.
LFA Board to CDC Committee on Vaccine Priorities
As part of our work with the Learning First Alliance, this week, AASA sent a letter to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) committee on vaccine priorities requesting that school personnel – including teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, aides, food service and custodial workers, and principals – are a priority group once the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine begins. Specifically, the letter highlights the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and indicates that prioritizing school personnel for the initial distribution is critical for building public trust and reaching the vaccine target immunity goal.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, American Federation of Teachers, American School Counselor Association, Consortium for School Networking, Learning Forward, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, National PTA, National School Boards Association, and National School Public Relations Association joined AASA in this effort. If you want to check out the full letter, then click here!
In a recent interview with AACTE, Gaëtane Jean-Marie, dean and professor of educational leadership at the College of Education, Rowan University, discusses the importance of preparing teacher candidates to understand the cultural background of students in moving toward a more humanistic approach to see the learner as an individual.
Why is it important to prepare teacher candidates in culturally responsive classroom management?
It is to really realize the belief that all children can learn. A while back when I was teaching as a faculty member, I remember DuFour’s comment that stayed and resonates with me; it is that, “if we truly believe that all children can learn, what then do we do when they can’t, when they are not learning?” It makes me ask: What is our responsibility to help bridge the cultural gap between teachers and students? As we continue to help diversify the teaching profession, it is still predominantly white teachers who are the educators, so how do we prepare them? What’s the responsibility of ensuring that our teacher candidates can really meet the needs of all learners? Given the demographic shift, where more of our Black and Brown children are in schools and will be taught by teachers who are not of the same race. If we are recognizing that it starts with the belief that all children can learn, then our belief must also align with our practices as we continue to work hard to diversify the profession. We espouse the belief that all children can learn; now let’s realize that dream.
Facilitated by a panel of education deans, this open forum will examine and discuss the integral role educator preparation programs play in advancing scholarly work on Critical Race Theory, as well as ways to resist attacks on institutions’ efforts centered around this work. You are invited to join your colleagues and share challenges and success stories about your efforts to address race, equity, and social justice during these challenging times including the following topics:
- The challenges EPPs face in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives because of the federal ruling and COVID-19
- How EPPs can resist the recent attacks on institutions’ work and impact centered on Critical Race Theory
- Success stories of EPPs’ work in Critical Race Theory since the federal ruling and COVID-19
In a recent article, “To Tackle Critical Theory in the K–12 Classroom, Start with Colleges of Education,” the author shares the view of someone who opposes training teacher candidates in critical race theory. AACTE Board member John Henning, dean of the School of Education at Monmouth University, refutes these opposing views and explains the value of including CRT work in education preparation programs.
The author of the article states that critical race theory (CRT) “amounts to an unremitting attack on all of America’s norms and traditions.” How would you respond to this statement?
The purpose of critical race theory is to examine the role of race and racism in society. And it is helpful for raising awareness so that we can identify the existence of structural racism. It is not part of the curriculum; its purpose is not to question American norms and traditions. However, because racism is widely acknowledged to still exist in the United States, it can cause us to reflect both on our past and current practices. But it should be remembered that it is a theory, and, like all theories, it can be accepted partially, mostly, or fully. It is appropriate for teacher preparation programs to discuss this theory as part of their coursework because of the increasing racial diversity in schools. Most teachers are White females (around 80%) and critical race theory provides teachers, whether they are White or another race, with perspectives that allow them to gain insights into their students.
Have you visited the AACTE online News Room lately? While the News Room is the primary tool used by AACTE to increase the visibility of the educator preparation community, this resource is not only for journalists. AACTE has designed its news hub as a virtual repository of articles, information, and trends in the field to help its members stay up to date on timely education and educator preparation topics.
As a member-based organization, AACTE is keenly positioned to be a collective voice for the educator preparation community. When you want to know how the Association leadership is responding on behalf of AACTE to national events and federal issues that directly impact education and educators nationwide, visit the Press Release & Statements section. Read AACTE’s public comment on actions that range from the push to reopen schools during the COVID-19 pandemic to the most recent statement on the Administration’s restriction of federal funding for critical race theory training in education. This section also houses news releases, offering you updates on the work your Association is generating to assure educators are profession-ready when they enter the classroom, such as research reports, partnerships with other educator preparation-based organizations, and AACTE professional development events (Annual Meetings, Leadership Academy and Washington Week).
The University of Michigan’s TeachingWorks is offering a series of free virtual mini-courses for English language arts teacher educators as part of its goal is to create a system for teacher preparation and establish support that will produce skillful beginning teachers who disrupt inequity.
The mini-courses will help build an understanding of critical content in ELA and develop practice-based approaches for teaching that content to novice teachers. This series will support ELA teacher educators to develop K-12 instruction and teacher education that fills immediate needs for children and contributes to building an education that dismantles injustice instead of perpetuating it.
The next course available for registration takes place on December 4, 2020:
The Patton College of Education at Ohio University has initiated an educational series with the goal of enhancing knowledge about racist and anti-racist behaviors among citizens of the university and global communities. The Black Live Matters Munch & Learn Series features educators and industry leaders from diverse backgrounds who share the same passion for improving the culture that threatens U.S. communities and nation.
To date, three panel discussion have taken place:
Advocacy & Allyship: Every Day, Not Just When it is Trending
This session, which challenges participants to recognize and speak up against racism, features the following speakers:
- Brandi Baker, co-founder, Athens Parents for Racial Equality
- Tyrone Carr, director, Alumni Diversity Initiatives/Racial Equity Coalition of Athens
- Winsome Chunnu, director, Diversity and Inclusion
- Sarah Garlington, assistant professor, Department of Social Work/Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
As many parents have questions about how to navigate the current school year with their children at home, ABC 10News anchor Lindsey Peña offered them an opportunity to talk with Reyes Quezada, chair of the Department of Learning and Teaching from University of San Diego USD, about their concerns. Reyes fields questions about distance learning, early childhood education, and bilingual education during the segment.
His advice includes tips that families can use to replicate what’s happening in schools to support their students at home. During the interactive session, Reyes also emphasizes the different ways teachers can communicate to meet the needs of the students during remote learning, including socio-emotional learning.
Watch the full interview on ABC10News Facebook page.
With the growing racial unrest in the country, higher education institutions are uniquely situated to promote anti-racism through education, create safe spaces for marginalized communities, engage in coalition building and ensure accountability in addressing bias, harassment and discrimination complaints. Colleges and universities across the country are responding to the current climate and the persistent issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion by appointing Chief Diversity Officers in record numbers. In an upcoming panel session hosted by Rowan University, Chief Diversity Officers at New Jersey higher education institutions will discuss promising gains in reimagining campuses that center the voices of diverse communities and leading institutional change that results in positive outcomes for students, faculty, and staff.
The session, “Dreams Will Not Be Deferred: A Conversation with Chief Diversity Officers on the Status Of Diversity, Equity And Inclusion In New Jersey Higher Education Institutions,” will take place Friday, September 25, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Join the conversation at GO.ROWAN.EDU/DEINJCDO.
Last week, scholars of color convened for the AACTE Holmes Policy Institute, a three-day training under this year’s theme, “Moving towards Equity through Advocacy and Policy.” The virtual conference, the first of the AACTE 2020 Washington Week events, offered students the opportunity to connect with peers, build their networks and engage in lively discussions on current trends. The advocacy and policy training focused on how the intersection of policy, education, and research can affect positive change for students of color.
Day 1 kicked off with AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick leading a session on civil rights in education and AACTE consultant Jane West presenting a policy briefing. Day 2 centered on presentations by guest speakers—faculty, national organization professionals, and congressional staffers—who covered topics such as efforts to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and community-based participatory research to achieve social justice. The final day of training began with social reform advocates Jael Kerandi and Amanda Wilkerson, and moderator Ann Charity Hudley sharing their experiences and guidance on how scholars of color can mobilize for change.