If you have been involved with AACTE for any length of time, you know how important it is to advocate on behalf of educator preparation. The Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy, one of AACTE’s standing committees, is offering a preconference at the AACTE 2020 Annual Meeting to help you improve your advocacy skills. Your Levers of Civic Power: Moving the Gears of Democracy is half-day interactive session designed to provide information and practice in three important areas of advocacy: participating in town halls, speaking before a committee or commission, and engaging candidates during a debate.
Town halls provide a forum to interact with your elected officials and candidates for office on a variety of topics that may or may not be announced in advance. Committees or commissions might also convene around your state or at the state capitol or legislative buildings. Debates, like town halls, can happen around the state, and give you an opportunity to engage with candidates on issues important to the profession.
AACTE’s Day on the Hill is always an exciting event for me. I love the energy of the group at orientation and the feeling of making a difference when I visit my elected officials and their staff during Washington Week. But anticipating these visits can also provoke some anxiety, which is why AACTE offers a full day of preparation before our Capitol Hill visits.
The orientation day has always prepared us well, but this year’s promises to be even better. The enhanced agenda offers a choice of two tracks with breakout sessions tailored to increase readiness based on your experience and comfort level with advocacy.
AACTE’s Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability would like to encourage AACTE members to respond to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Call for Service. The online application for the CAEP “Volunteer Corps” is open through March 20.
Volunteers may apply to serve as reviewers at different levels or on CAEP’s governance bodies. The call seeks a diverse population of volunteers, not only faculty from programs holding CAEP accreditation. But it is important for teacher educators to be represented in CAEP, and this can be achieved if you volunteer!
The state of Florida recently passed a new rule governing the implementation and evaluation of teacher preparation programs. The Florida Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (FACTE) was very active during the development and public comment periods for this new rule, and while we did not secure all the changes we’d hoped, we did make a difference in the process and in the outcomes.
FACTE implemented a detailed advocacy strategy during the public comment period. One of our greatest assets was our relationship with the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), which has always worked to be partners with our programs. I cannot speak enough of the importance of building relationships with those charged with program approval before you are in the process of rule development. We have focused our efforts on building on our shared vision of ensuring every child in the state is taught by a high-quality educator.