This article appeared in the “Regional Roundup” newsletter of the Council of State Governments West and is reprinted with permission. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Utah is grappling with many of the same education challenges plaguing other states: high teacher turnover; persistent staffing shortages in key fields, demographic areas, and districts; inadequate access to performance data; and the list goes on. As legislators work to address these challenges, they stand the best chance of success if they develop solutions in collaboration with professional educators. Without the benefit of educator perspectives, well-meaning legislators risk developing and implementing policy that will not adequately address these challenges, and may even contribute to them.
To quote Valerie Strauss in the May 28 edition of The Washington Post, “What the heck is going on with Wisconsin public education?” Efforts in the Wisconsin State Legislature to reform education without the transparency of public debate, or the consultation of educators, resulted in proposed legislation that may erode the basic foundation of Wisconsin’s public school system. Do politicians realize they are proposing a licensure policy that, if approved, would require barbers (yes, you read that right) to have more training at their craft than teachers?
Seriously, what the heck IS going on?
This year, the Wisconsin Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (WACTE) received an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant to continue building its advocacy efforts and presence at the state level and to further develop its relationship with AACTE. In addition to utilizing funds to send its members to AACTE’s Annual Meeting and State Leaders Institute, WACTE will host its second Day on the Hill in Madison in conjunction with its 2014 spring conference, which will include an expanded symposium focusing on state and national education issues.