AACTE amplifies member voices in policy matters impacting education and educator preparation, and our collective voice is being heard. President Biden recently proposed the American Families Plan, which directly targets investments into educator preparation programs. AACTE supports the proposal and encourages Congress to act. Please take a few minutes to watch this video and learn more about how you can get involved.
Visit the AACTE Advocacy Center for the latest updates at aacte.org. Be sure to renew your AACTE membership by the extended May 31 deadline.
Lynn M. Gangone
Stay tuned to the AACTE Advocacy Center for updates at aacte.org. Be sure to renew your AACTE membership by the extended May 31 deadline.
Stay connected with AACTE for the latest resources, tools, and information to address the issues facing our profession today. Visit aacte.org to access these benefits and renew your AACTE membership by the extended deadline.
AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone and Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, authored this article that originally appeared in the District Administration and is reprinted with permission.
Our nation’s education ecosystem is complex and multifaceted. When one component of the ecosystem is impacted, it creates a ripple effect that is felt throughout the entire system. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic created a tidal wave of uncertainties, resulting in budget cuts, teacher shortages, and remote learning challenges.
An ongoing concern for school districts, teacher shortages have now become more severe. Teachers are leaving the profession at an accelerated rate, due primarily to health concerns and budget furloughs, and forcing superintendents to close schools not because of infection, but due to a lack of personnel to keep them open. The shortage also expands beyond teachers. It includes bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, and essential support staff. Such reductions, caused by budget cuts resulting from the pandemic, are having a crippling effect upon school districts, and increased operational costs are eroding critical funds necessary to hire the staff desperately needed for in-school instruction.
On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today responding to recent hate crimes toward the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community:
“AACTE believes that to educate is to enlighten. As such, our Association remains committed to educating all learners in PK-12 and higher education institutions to enlighten and empower the next generation of citizens. As an educational association of colleges and universities that values the diversity of students, their families, and educators, AACTE condemns the escalation of violence and harassment toward our AAPI colleagues, students, and friends.
Greetings! This new year brings new opportunities, as AACTE has moved its National Office to a new address. In this video, I share updates about our new location and how you can stay connected with our Association.
Please take a moment to watch the video message above and discover more about the relocation. Stay tuned for more updates about what is happening at AACTE next month. Meanwhile, please join me at the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting, February 24-26.
“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.”
– G.K. Chesterton
Happy New Year!
The year 2020 was a tumultuous one for educators. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought educator preparation to a dangerous crossroad, with teachers, principals, school counselors, and other essential education professionals experiencing a debilitating spate of closures and faculty layoffs. The public education workforce lost more than 600,000 jobs last year, with university-based educator preparation programs also encountering reduced enrollment and program closures. Our members have experienced declines in undergraduate enrollment, budget cuts, and reduced staffing. Rising demand for new teachers and shrinking capacity in colleges and universities threatens the high-quality education our populace needs to ensure a rich quality of life and global competitiveness for generations. But as we begin the new year, we look toward 2021 with a renewed sense of hope and optimism for the future.
President and CEO
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
AACTE’s Strategic Plan holds forth a vision to Revolutionize education for all learners. A bold statement for sure, and our strategic priorities of diversity, equity, and inclusion; high quality preparation; and inquiry and innovation exist to move us toward our vision.
As AACTE surveys the work of its member institutions looking for revolutionary ideas and practices, I have been intrigued by the work of member institution Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College (MLFTC) and its Next Education Workforce initiative. I invite our college of education deans to join me in adding to the conversation and the work of this initiative at a virtual convening next month.
We have talked for years about declining enrollments, the perception of lack of innovation, and the myriad challenges facing teacher education and colleges of education—as well as the challenges of our K-12 partners in staffing and retaining a classroom-ready teacher workforce. What better time to consider different approaches to our collective work? MLFTC, in partnership with its local school districts, is implementing what it calls the Next Education Workforce models in its service area.
These are indeed difficult times for all levels of education, yet AACTE member institutions remain dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are ready to teach all learners. AACTE continues to advocate for and support schools and colleges of education in their efforts to navigate the teacher shortage and COVID-19 related financial challenges, and their work to identify viable solutions to the multiple challenges that currently impact education.
The global pandemic has deepened the national teacher shortage crisis. 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. The rising demand for high-quality education in the 21st century and achieving a prosperous quality of life for themselves and their families. It is critical now more than ever to recruit diverse, talented people into the education profession, which requires our nation’s leaders allocating funds to aid colleges and universities in their recovery from the significant financial challenges caused by the pandemic. It is also critical for legislators to revamp policies and practices to support a diverse education workforce.
This past week, AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone sent a congratulatory letter to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris on behalf of AACTE members, congratulating the 46th presidential administration and encouraging collaboration between the Association and our elected leaders. Gangone states, “AACTE supports your education priorities, which will ensure that no child’s future is determined by their zip code, parents’ income, race, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, or immigration status.” The letter further describes AACTE’s interest in the selection of a Secretary of Education who has a proven track record in promoting social justice. “Choosing a leader who is deeply committed to advancing our nation’s public schools and our institutions of higher education, as well as investing in the teaching profession so that every student has a fully prepared teacher, is essential.”
AACTE will be providing the Biden-Harris Education Transition Team with our legislative and policy priorities in the coming weeks. As we move toward 2021, these priorities will be shared with our elected leader in Congress and policymakers across the nation within each state.
Dear President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris:
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) congratulates you on your election and looks forward to working with you and your administration as you lead our nation to “build back better.” AACTE members are schools and colleges of education that prepare the education workforce of the future. Members are in every state in the nation and include public and private colleges and universities, HBCUs and Hispanic-serving institutions, as well as community colleges. AACTE members ensure that all PK-12 students receive high quality instruction, especially critical during the current pandemic. Our educator candidates are salient assets to public schools with long-standing partnerships between our members and their local school districts.
Educator preparation sits at a crossroad of crises generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the public education workforce has already lost more than 600,000 jobs, university-based educator preparation programs are also experiencing significant reductions in enrollment and program closures. Rising demand for new teachers and shrinking production capacity in colleges and universities threatens the high-quality education our populace needs for a rich quality of life and to ensure our global competitiveness for generations. We look forward to working with you to address this national challenge and support the institutions preparing our educator workforce.
“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
As educators, we have confronted monumental challenges this year, and yet, have managed to still make great strides. In mid-March, while closing our classrooms due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we found ways to educate our students virtually. Amidst mounting challenges, educators united to ensure that our nation’s children were able to continue learning.
Then, just as we were discovering coping mechanisms to live amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we bore witness to incredible injustice and racial bias with the unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. Educators heeded the call for justice, uniting with the community at large, to show that racism will not be tolerated. But despite having met these challenges head on, we cannot rest upon our laurels. The battles that lie ahead are too important and necessary to protect the core of our democracy.
AACTE kicks off our inaugural, virtual Leadership Academy Series today, where participants will learn best practices for “Leading During Difficult Times.” Providing you timely and relevant professional development opportunities and resources to advance your institution, your programs, and your career is central to our mission at AACTE. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above and learn more about opportunities to engage with your Association.
AACTE released yesterday its latest issue brief on financial challenges facing future teachers. You may access the member-only resource at aacte.org. Your feedback on how AACTE can continue to support your work is valuable so be sure to complete the Fall Member Survey by November 6. And remember your voice truly matters; make your voice heard in the upcoming presidential election. Your voice, your vote!
In early spring, when the coronavirus (COVID-19) shut the doors to classrooms, there was an optimistic belief that by fall the obstacles of the pandemic would disappear and in-class instruction would return to normal. However, as states began to lift emergency orders and school districts prepared to reopen schools, it became evident that education leaders would still be grappling with the unpredictable public health crisis this fall.
With COVID-19 spreading more rapidly in some regions of the United States, each state must assess whether they can safely open schools. Recently, some school districts that deemed it safe to reopen have reverted to remote learning when students and/or teachers have tested positive for the coronavirus. Certainly, navigating the current crisis is complicated, and it is having a profound effect on educator preparation programs (EPPs).
Due to PK-12 school closures in the spring, many teacher candidates were unable to complete their clinical and field experiences in a classroom setting—typically a prerequisite for licensure. Acknowledging that a lack of new teachers entering the field would adversely impact the current teacher shortage crisis, EPPs responded with alternative learning opportunities to ensure that teacher candidates are prepared and competent to enter their own classrooms. As a result, many states have implemented emergency policy changes to licensure, thus enabling recent graduates to teach this fall.