This article originally appeared in University Business and is reprinted with permission.
Photo by Nikolas Noonan on Unsplash
At the onset of the 2020-21 academic year, the educational system is in a coronavirus maze, wherein the turns are constantly changing, and the end seems out of sight. While state education departments, school districts and educator preparation programs (EPPs) are prepared—whether in class, online, or a hybrid of both—the pandemic reminds us how unpredictable the road ahead may be. Recently, some schools in the United States that reopened for in-class instruction have reversed their plans due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
Last month, during the AACTE State Leadership Institute (SLI), I attended the session on the newly formed State Chapter Taskforce, which was moderated by AACTE President and CEO Lynn Gangone, AACTE president and CEO; Ann Larson, chair, AACTE Board of Directors; and Kate LaBoll-Lavoie, chair, Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) and AACTE Board member. State Chapters, a network of AACTE member institutions that are organized collectively to advocate for and to address educator preparation issues in their state, helps provide direction to AACTE. This very important taskforce was formed to:
- Review the existing policy on the relationship between AACTE and the state chapters, the practices and experience of peer associations, and advice of legal counsel
- Consider the desired relationship between AACTE and state chapters. How do AACTE and the state chapters want to see the relationship evolve?
- Recommend revisions to state chapter policy to the AACTE Board of Directors
- Provide recommendations to the Board and National Office staff on how AACTE could best collaborate with the chapters, particularly with regard to state policy advocacy
As the school year gets underway and state chapter fall meetings start up, remember it’s also election season. Now is the time to nominate yourself or a colleague to serve on the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) Executive Committee. If you are an immediate past-president, president, or current ACSR liaison and want to expand your service to the national level, this is an opportunity for you. We are seeking nominations for three open positions: The chair-elect, South Region representative, and Midwest Region representative.
The chair-elect fulfills a 3-year commitment, transitioning from chair-elect, to chair, to past-chair. During this 3-year period, the chair-elect also serves on the AACTE Board of Directors with all the associated requirements and duties, representing
Ohio recently proved that collaboration across education stakeholders can increase communication and partnerships, as well as shape state legislation.
In fall 2017, a superintendent group representing the Western Ohio Advocacy Network (WOAN) worked with Ohio Senator Matthew Huffman to craft the Ohio School Deregulation Act (SB216), intended to increase local control of education. The initial bill proposed reverting back to having only two general education licensure bands: Grades 1-8 and 7-12, a radical departure from Ohio’s existing licensure bands: PK- 3, 4-9, and 7-12. SB 216 also proposed moving teacher licensure bands from Ohio’s Administrative Code (controlled by the Ohio Department of Education) to Ohio’s Revised Code (with legislative oversight), which meant that any future changes would require legislative action.