“Building Capacity, Community, and Inclusive Leadership” was the theme of the ACSR Business meeting held this year at the AACTE Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Chapter leaders from around the country gathered to connect and to discuss the pressing issues impacting the education profession in their state.
John Blackwell, in his last official act as chair of ACSR, led a discussion about the ways AACTE state affiliates have sought to build leadership capacity and the resources that have aided their efforts. Afterwards, Robin Fuxa of Oklahoma State University and incoming ACSR chair-elect, continued the conversation with a panel discussion, which included the participation of Tara Haskins of Eastern Washington University, Adria Hoffman of Virginia Commonwealth University, Beth Kubitskey of University of Michigan (Flint), and Stacy Leftwich of Rowan University.
AACTE worked with Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) to craft the EDUCATORS for America Act, a bill to update Title II of the Higher Education Act. The bill will help state and local communities address educator pipeline challenges by channeling national resources to states and localities so local leaders can build a diverse, profession-ready army of teachers, principals, librarians, counselors, and specialized instructors. Nearly 50 national organizations have endorsed the EDUCATORS for America Act.
Having played a leadership role in drafting the bill, AACTE looks forward to its passage. AACTE encourage you to join in advocating for the bill. The investments called for in the measure are long overdue and AACTE needs your help to ensure that students are taught by well-prepared, diverse educators. Please follow this link, to fill out an advocacy form to send emails to your members of Congress urging the passage of the EDUCATORS for America Act.
AACTE congratulates the newly elected officers for the 2022 Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR): ACSR chair elect, Robin Fuxa of Oklahoma State University, and ACSR Midwest Region Representative, Brian Yusko of Cleveland State University.
AACTE recently launched its year-long collaboration with the Teacher Licensure Collaborative (TLC), a partnership with the Learning Policy Institute, Education Commission of the States, and additional national partners. TLC is a gathering of national organizations and interested state education institutions working to advance revisions of state licensure and certification standards in order to incorporate whole child practices and to ensure alignment with the science of learning and development.
The partnership meeting began with a welcome from Linda Darling-Hammond, Ed.D., who explained the various motivations that inspired the creation of TLC. The kickoff was an opportunity for all of the state team members to gather and learn about the collaborative’s goals and structure. A few AACTE affiliate members were among the states participating in the TLC including Ohio, Massachusetts, and North Dakota.
Last year, the AACTE Board of Directors created a State Chapter Taskforce to study the relationship between the national office and its state affiliates. After a year-long, wide-ranging set of discussions with state leaders to determine how the relationship between AACTE and state associations could be strengthened, the State Chapter Taskforce released its recommendations.
Over the summer, the Taskforce delivered the recommendations related to communication, advocacy, and governance that were endorsed by the AACTE Board of Directors. One of the recommendations was to implement new state association agreements that affirm the benefits of collaboration between AACTE and state associations; provide maximum flexibility and autonomy for state associations; protect the interests of AACTE and its members; and update and standardize agreements across all states.
AACTE continues to work with its national coalition partners toward enhancing and improving the state of education and the educator preparator profession in the United States. To that end, the Association added its voice this month to the chorus of supporters of the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better education agenda.
In a letter to congressional leaders who are currently engaged in negotiating the elements of the president’s budget package, AACTE expressed its specific support for a key higher education component of the Building Back Better agenda: America’s College Promise. Contained within America’s College Promise is a historic, first-of-its-kind tuition-free community college program; an increase to the Pell Grant; and a retention and completion grant program.
AACTE recently joined the Learning Policy Institute to announce the formation of the Teacher Licensure Collaborative (TLC), a partnership of interested states building on the work of the Whole Child Policy Table, to advance revisions of state licensure and certification standards to incorporate whole child practices and ensure alignment with the science of learning and development.
Led by the Learning Policy Institute, with support of AACTE, the TLC will help advance revisions of state licensure and certification standards, incorporate whole child practices—including social and emotional learning (SEL)—and ensure alignment with the science of learning and development.
The Ohio Department of Education recently announced the Diversifying the Education Profession Grant Awardees, 20 school districts that will work over two and a half years to implement strategies to address the diversity needs within their faculty and staff.
According to the Ohio Department of Education, the state has significantly more minority students than minority teachers in its public schools. Ample research shows that teachers of color help students of color perform better academically, socially, and emotionally, and the benefits translate into higher test scores, increased likeliness of staying in school, and lower likeliness of chronic absences and discipline incidents.
Join AACTE at this year’s virtual State Leaders Institute, September 30 – October 1, as we address current trends impacting the profession. Hear from AACTE leaders and experts on effective ways to advocate for policies and funding within your state. Interactive sessions will cover topics such as:
- Working with Coalitions to Do Advocacy Work
- ARPA State Funding Initiatives
- Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments
- State Affiliates Access to AACTE’s Connect360
The 2021 State Leaders Institute (SLI) marks the beginning of the 2021 State Affiliate Award application process. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn how to apply for a State Affiliate Award and discuss how the funds can be used. To that end, day-one of SLI will begin with a panel discussion led by the leaders of the Kentucky, California, and Nebraska AACTE State affiliates, who will describe and take questions regarding the projects for which they were awarded 2020 State Affiliate Awards. All applicants for Affiliate Awards are required to submit a State Affiliate Report (formally, “State Chapter Report”) as a part of the application process. Attendees of SLI will be informed about the requirements and timelines associate with the Affiliate Report.
SLI is being held virtually this year, September 30 and October 1 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET. As with previous years, the schedule of events is designed to give AACTE members ample opportunities to catch up with old friends, engage in professional development activities and strategize about the future of the teaching profession.
The 2021 State Leaders Institute will be held virtually this year on September 30 and October 1 from 1:00 – 5:00p.m. ET. As with previous years, the schedule of events is designed to give AACTE members ample opportunity to catch up with peers, engage in professional development activities and strategize about the future of educator preparation.
The two-day series of activities will begin with a panel discussion led by the leaders of the Kentucky, California, and Nebraska AACTE State affiliates, who will be describing the projects for which they were awarded 2020 State Affiliate Awards and responding to questions from attendees. Mike Rose, AACTE senior director for federal relations and policy, will follow with a report on the creative and instructive ways states are using American Rescue Plan funding. Day one activities will also include a panel discussion featuring AACTE members describing the advocacy work they have been engaged in this year as part of state education coalitions and will end with a breakout session for members to discuss action plans and related regional issues.
AACTE is happy to announce the release of the newly updated State Affiliate Leaders Manual. As with previous versions of this important resource, the purpose of the manual is to advise AACTE state officeholders on how best to use their leadership roles to support and guide their state affiliates, as well as to help them channel their efforts toward improving teacher quality and the education profession in their state, in their region, and nationally.
Assuming the leadership of an AACTE state affiliate can be a daunting experience for any newly elected president. Not only must new leaders attend to all the sundry responsibilities associated with the proper functioning of a state chapter, they must also attend to regional duties—such as the responsibility to participate in AACTE regional meetings and activities and the national AACTE State Leaders Institute. As a guide on how to perform these and other functions, this updated manual is a resource not just for newly elected state leaders, but also for long serving ones.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), a law providing $122 billion for the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER), was established to help state educational agencies and school districts address safety and sustainability concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. Among other things, the funding provided by the measure is being used by state education systems to accelerate and sustain a safe return to in-person instruction, to expand access to vaccination for staff and students, to fund summer school and to help students cope with the loss of classroom time.
In June of 2021, the U.S. Department of Education made public an online resource detailing how states plan to use the ARP ESSER funding. The online resource describes, for example, how New Jersey will use the funds to provide state-level support for school nurses and how New Mexico is setting up a $6 million joint program with local municipalities to provide summer internships for middle and high school students. Massachusetts will use the funds to offer summer school matching grants for school districts, and Oklahoma will use approximately $35 million to hire new school counselors, licensed mental health professionals and licensed recreational therapists.
On behalf of AACTE and the Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR), I am happy to announce the winners of the 2020-21 State Chapter Support Award: The three recipients are Nebraska, California and Kentucky.
It is the mission of AACTE to elevate education and educator preparation through high-quality research, professional practice, and advocacy for all learners in ways that are collaborative and that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Each year, AACTE awards funding to a handful of projects organized by state chapters in these areas.
The Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children has a mission to act collectively in support of improved learning and results for all children, but especially those from marginalized groups. Compact serves as a forum for shared learning and collective action. Due to its efforts, critical connections have been made within and outside the state through representation from key stakeholder groups, including the members of Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and AACTE.
The 30-member organization meets quarterly and is comprised of leaders from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). Compact members participate on one of four standing committees (Dissemination, Impact Evaluation, Low Incidence, Policy). Institutions that are awarded incentive grants through the Compact participate in a facilitated community of practice (CoP), which serves as a peer-to-peer network for representatives from public and private institutions.