Author Archive

In Michigan: Finding Solutions for SPED Teacher Shortage

As the teacher shortage in Michigan continues to affect the state, national shortages like the ones for special education teachers have led to new approaches to finding solutions for the issue.

According to Lansing City Pulse, in a survey of 46 out of the 56 intermediate school districts in Michigan, most districts selected special education teachers as one of their most critical shortages. 

Special education teacher pay differs by district in the United States, with 2022 median pay at $62,950 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earlier this school year, the city of Detroit began offering bonuses to attract more special education teachers to district programs, an initiative that has shown positive results in other states.

PEN America Publishes New Report on 2023 Censorship Efforts in PK-12 and University Classrooms

PEN America’s new report, America’s Censored Classrooms 2023: Lawmakers Shift Strategies as Resistance Rises, written by program director Jeremy C. Young and research consultant Jeffrey Adam Sachs has now been published, highlighting the progress of educational gag orders as a result of state legislative sessions in 2023.

The report finds that, while the threat of gag orders has not diminished this year, the form and structure of such laws have changed dramatically. According to the report, more gag orders became law this year than in 2022, though fewer were introduced.

In PK-12, there was a major shift away from critical race theory (CRT) bans toward “Don’t Say Gay” bills, many of them as a result of Florida’s law last year. These bills attempted to censor any mention of gender, sexuality, or identity in the classroom, including extending some bans all the way through grade 12. In higher education, there was a shift away from classroom restrictions and toward limits on university governance processes that protect academic freedom. Diversity and inclusion bans, curricula, general education courses, accreditation agencies, and even university mission statements were censored, particularly in Florida, and Texas, and a bill still under consideration in Ohio.

Promoting AI Safety in Education

InnovateEDU is reviving the EdSAFE AI Alliance to promote the responsible use of AI in education on a global scale. As a founding steering committee member, AACTE joins the EdSAFE AI Alliance alongside fellow education and learning partners to foster AI policy, collaboration, and best practices for PK-12 education.

Originally convened in 2020 and operative through September 2023,  the newly revived alliance will continue its mission based on its core philosophy, the SAFE Framework:

  • Safety: data privacy and security and a “do no harm” approach;
  • Accountability: clear stakeholder responsibilities;
  • Fairness: bias-free equity and ethics; and
  • Efficacy: demonstrable learning outcomes from the use of AI technology.

The working goals of the EdSAFE AI Alliance’s mission include guiding responsible policy development, crafting initiatives to bring such policy to fruition, publishing white papers, supporting district and state policy labs, and creating special fellowship programs.

More information is available at EdSAFE’s new website.

Fenwick Delivers 20th Annual Brown Lecture in D.C.

AACTE’s Dean in Residence Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D., recently delivered the 20th Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research in Washington D.C.

According to the American Educational Research Association, which hosted the event, the Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research illuminates the important role of research in advancing the understanding of equality and equity in education.

Fenwick’s lecture, “Otherwise Qualified: The Untold Story of Brown and Black Educators,” offered a newly excavated history of implementing the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. It also advances her theory of “cultural elision” to explain how Brown is still misdefined.

Education and Workforce Data Review Shows Promising State-Level Trends in Legislation

A new report by Data Quality Campaign (DQC) shows data legislation in various states that have passed into law could positively affect student performance.

In 2023, state legislators introduced 269 bills in 44 states and Washington D.C. that address data across education and the workforce, 72 of which became laws. The Education and Workforce Data Legislation Review by DQC spotlights the bills introduced and laws enacted in 2023 addressing data governance, as well as other recommendations for states to support data access through improved statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs).

Registration Open for AACTE’s Leslie Fenwick’s 2023 Brown Lecture at AERA

AACTE invites members to attend the 2023 American Educational Research Association’s (AERA) Brown Lecture, “Otherwise Qualified: The Untold Story of Brown and Black Educators” presented by AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D., on Thursday, October 19 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. ET at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington D.C.

Fenwick will deliver the lecture to an in-person audience and offer a newly excavated history of the implementation of Brown v. Board of Education. The lecture will also broadcast live.

Southeast Missouri State University Again Named Apple Distinguished School

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) 2022 Best Practice Award for Innovative Use of Technology winner Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO)’s College of Education, Health, and Human Studies was recently designated as an Apple Distinguished School.

A designation the college has held since 2014, SEMO’s College of Education, Health, and Human Studies holds this distinction through 2025. The college received this honor for its integration of technology through the university’s EDvolution Center, a space on campus dedicated to innovation and emerging technology.

At the EDvolution Center, students can experience the Virtual Reality Room, utilize the podcasting booth, and collaborate with others using mediascapes, so they may use and share these and other technological tools with their students in their own classrooms. Through their work in assisting students in solving contextual problems in meaningful ways utilizing technology, the EDvolution Center and the EDvolution Model, a research-based model focusing on effective and appropriate technology integration received the AACTE 2022 Best Practice Award for the Innovative Use of Technology.

“We are extremely proud to earn this prestigious distinction for an additional three years,” said Joe Pujol, dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Studies. “The selection of Southeast as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success as an innovator and a compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic achievement.”