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The Coronavirus, States and Educator Preparation Programs

AACTE Responds to COVID-19

A series of unprecedented events are forcing states across the country to close schools and universities.  As school leaders scramble to identify pathways and strategies to protect the health of students and staff, many of them must also attend to the unique challenges of their teaching students who are in limbo because of  the coronavirus crisis. 

Many states have not yet provided guidance to schools of education on how to lead and advise this special class of students. As a result, many teacher candidates are waiting to learn how, or even if, they will be able to fulfill the requirements of their programs and graduate. Given the unparalleled nature of events, it is understandable if some states are not fully prepared to address this specific concern, but there are a few notable exceptions. In the absence of legislative guidance, states like California, Kentucky, Iowa, and South Carolina have instructively addressed the most pressing concerns pertaining to teacher preparation in their states. 

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing maintains and up-to-date webpage where they attempt to answer  the most common questions from educators and employing agencies regarding credentialing requirements, policies, and application procedures. The Commission is particularly concerned about candidates’ ability to complete clinical practice and performance assessment requirements during this academic year, and is looking for ways to mitigate this situation. It has prepared a memo to help guide the decision-making by deans and directors of education on the subject.

Engage in Your Democracy with Ballotpedia

Election Policy on BallotpediaWhile many people are focused on the fact that 2020 is a presidential election year, it is important to note that much is happening at the state level. There are 11 gubernatorial races, all but 6 states have legislative elections, and there are many other measures that might require your vote. Where do you gather objective, non-partisan information about what will be on your ballot? Consider Ballotpedia, a digital encyclopedia of American politics.  It is run by a nonprofit that is dedicated to compiling thorough, non-partisan information regarding state by state election/ballot activity in the United States.

Ballotpedia gathers information to support you in engaging in your democracy including:

  • Databases of all upcoming elections, searchable by street address
  • Dates for all elections and candidates, including off-year and special elections
  • Times for Poll Openings and Closings organized by state
  • Bios and contact information for all elected officials by district, down to the judicial and school board level, searchable by zip-code
  • Databases of all upcoming state ballot measures, searchable by zip-code
  • Fact-Checking of political reporting regarding issues under deep debate in your state

State of the State Webinar Focuses on Girls and STEM

State of the State Webinar focuses on Girls and Stem

The subject of this month’s State of the States webinar is Girls and STEM. In 2009, four university researchers explored their suspicion that girls’ lagging behind boys in math achievement was substantially influenced by the math anxieties of their female elementary school teachers. The result of their research showed their suspicions to be correct and that some of the achievement gap was indeed a result of female teachers’ own apprehensions about math and their personal biases about the abilities of female students. The researchers found that female students can pick up on and even absorb negative thoughts from their teachers as early as kindergarten. Learn more.

Since that study was conducted, the achievement gap in math between boys and girls has narrowed, but still persists. The webinar will focus on what states are doing legislatively, with programs and with policy to eradicate the STEM achievement gap.

Register now for this members-only webinar:

State of the States: Girls and Stem
Wednesday, January 22
10:00 a.m. ET

Walk the integration walk, New York

Classroom of young white surents with a white teacher.

This article, written by AACTE Director of Government Relations K. Ward Cummings, originally appeared in the Daily News Opinion section and is reprinted with permission.

The civil rights leader Malcolm X once famously said that the most segregated hour in American life is high noon on Sunday. If he were alive today, he might also include those weekday hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. when our children are in school.

This past May was the 65th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. The occasion inspired numerous panel discussions, seminars and reports about how much or how little the state of education has changed in the last half-century. Sadly, considerable attention also was paid to the subject of how segregated American schools remain 65 years later.

Register now for the State of the States Webinar on School Safety

State of the States Webinar Series

Around the country, regulators and legislators are demonstrating that they understand the urgent need to promote school safety. The 2019 state legislative session was an active one on the subject. Hundreds of bills were introduced covering every aspect of the matter from prevention to response.  Join me as I present a wide-ranging overview and analysis of some of the most noteworthy school safety bills introduced over the year, with a particular focus on legislation impacting student and teacher mental health, in an upcoming State of the States webinar.

We encourage you to register in advance for the member-exclusive State of the States webinar, which will take place Thursday, October 31 from 11 a.m. to noon ET.

There will be time at the end of the webinar for questions and answers. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the website for future viewing.

For questions, please contact me at wcummings@aacte.org.

State of the States September Webinar

State of the States Webinar Series 
Most of the state legislatures around the country have adjourned for the year.  During the session, legislators introduced more than one hundred thousand individual pieces of legislation, of which hundreds focused on the teaching profession and the preparation of teachers.  In the September 2019 State of the States Legislative Roundup webinar, AACTE offered an overview of education-related bills introduced over the year.

Each month, these state-focused policy and legislation webinars will examine a particular theme; October’s theme is school safety. If you or your colleagues are doing specific work around school safety—including campus safety, social-emotional learning, integrating trauma-informed instruction into your curriculum, or other related work— we encourage you to submit a blog. Learn more about the submission guidelines.  

We hope you view the recording of September’s webinar and stay tuned for a blog when October’s registration opens. This webinar series is designed to help AACTE members stay abreast of the actions of state legislatures around the country that impact the profession, and we encourage you to attend.  

Introducing AACTE’s New State Legislative Resource Webpage

New State Legislative page

Would you like to learn more about the resources AACTE has pulled together to support its members in their state level legislative research? AACTE Government Relations Committee member Allen Clarkson will host a webinar describing the features of AACTE’s new state legislative resource page on Thursday, October 3, from 11am to Noon EDT.

Attend this webinar to learn how to use the three legislative search engines and other resources found on this new page to pursue your legislative research and advocacy goals. There will be time at the end of the webinar to get your questions answered. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the website as well.

Register now for the Introducing AACTE’s New Legislative Resource Webpage webinar.

ECS Profiles the School Funding Allocations of States

Apple, ruler and pencil on a desk with a backdrop of money

As states work to allocate funding for school districts, they must take into account the various needs and populations of the students they serve. The Education Commission of the States (ECS) has developed a resource, “50-State Comparison: K-12 Funding” that helps clarify and compare each state’s school funding mechanisms, organized by method and category. 

Visit the ECS webpage to review data describing the funding mechanisms of the states as well as the specific funding allocations for a list of funding priorities, including special education, English language learning and at-risk and low-income students. 

As elementary and secondary teachers head back into their classrooms, conversations on teacher shortages, teacher salaries, and teacher strikes continue. Having an understanding of how your state funds its K-12 schools can help you support the schools in which your graduates will teach and engage in democracy on this critical issue. 

Register for September’s Legislative Webinars

Legislative Webinars BannerState of the States Legislative Roundup

As AACTE director of government relations, I will guide attendees through this members only webinar, a brief overview of the recent legislative trends in education policymaking emerging around the country.  The 2018-19 legislative session was active and productive, with many states introducing and passing bills on a range of issues that directly impact the education profession.  Please join us for a rundown of some of the more noteworthy legislative proposals advanced by state legislatures over the past year. 

Register now for the AACTE members only webinar, taking place Wednesday, September 18 from 11am to Noon, EST.

Introducing AACTE’s New Legislative Resource Webpage

Join Allen Clarkson, Western Governors University government relations manager and AACTE Government Relations Committee member, as he leads a webinar describing the features of AACTE’s new legislative resource webpage.  The new webpage will include links to three legislative search engines as well as other useful resources that AACTE members can use to pursue their research and advocacy goals. Clarkson will guide participants through the features of the new webpage and invite you to ask questions afterward. The webinar is open to all and will be recorded and posted on the AACTE Advocacy Center state page.

Please join us on Thursday, September 26 from 11am to Noon, EST.  Register now.

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