AACTE recently published an article in the Success in High Need Schools Journal to amplify promising practices for recruiting and retaining teacher candidates. In this article, titled “The Use of Networked Improvement Communities in Educator Preparation Programs to Improve Teacher Shortage and Diversity”, Jacqueline Rodriguez , AACTE vice president, research, policy, & advocacy, and I highlight the contributing factors to the teacher shortage and diversity crises in our nation.
These factors include but are not limited to the declining enrollment and degrees awarded in education, financial barriers to pursuing a teaching credential, and the lack of culturally-relevant strategies to attract and retain diverse candidates. Research show that these factors are more prevalent for minorities, thus contributing to the dismal representation of minority teachers in the profession compared to their White counterparts (80%).
AACTE continues to expand the Holmes Program to provide relevant mentorship, support, and professional development to graduate students of color pursuing a degree in education. Holmes scholars represent the next generation of diverse faculty and leaders who will advance the field and address the equity and opportunity gaps in our nation’s educational system. We are thrilled to welcome five new scholars from Texas Christian University (TCU) and Austin Peay State University: Leslie Ekpe, Cara Jones, DeAndrew Rainey, Ebony Love, and Ariela Martinez.
The Ohio State University’s College of Education and Human Ecology will host a webinar series this fall on anti-racism in educational research for its alumni and the general public. This series, titled “Unapologetic Educational Research: Addressing Anti-Blackness, Racism and White Supremacy,” will examine how to conduct research on race that moves beyond the standardized approach to educational research. Participants will learn strategies to ensure that their research practices are equitable to inform findings that do not perpetuate the marginalization of people of color.
The series will launch on October 1, and feature sessions on a variety of topics, including engaging “diversity” in qualitative research, interrogating whiteness, and conducting research with indigenous methodologies. The webinar will feature guest alumni: D-L Stewart of Colorado State University, Rich Milner of Vanderbilt University, and April Peters-Hawkins of the University of Houston.
Learn more about the events and how to register.
AACTE’s Washington Week virtual conference is quickly approaching. This year’s event will feature the Holmes Advanced Policy Short Course, Holmes Policy Institute, AACTE’s Day on the Hill, and the State Leader’s Institute.
Joining the Holmes Policy Institute this year is Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. Congressman Scott will deliver the closing keynote address at this year’s Holmes Policy Institute on Thursday, September 10.
Throughout his 14 terms representing Virginia’s third congressional district, Congressman Scott has been a champion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. He has advanced policies to address the equity gaps in education, employment, and healthcare. In 1993, Chairman Scott became the first African American elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Virginia since Reconstruction and only the second African American elected to Congress in the history of Virginia. Congressman Scott continues to break barriers and create opportunities for future generations of African American and minority leaders.
Following his keynote remarks, the Congressman will engage in an interactive discussion with the Holmes Scholars about the state of public education, educator preparation, and the importance of diversifying the educator workforce.
To learn more about the AACTE Holmes Program, contact me at email@example.com.
The Abolitionist Teaching Network recently released a Guide for Racial Justice and Abolitionist Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Founded by educators and activists, the Network’s mission is to develop and support educators to fight injustice in their schools and communities.
The Guide for Racial Justice and Abolitionist SEL seeks to engage teachers and administrators in critical reflection and action to address the injustices that impact Black, Brown, and Indigenous students and families. It also challenges educators to abandon the Eurocentric approach of SEL that promotes the use of school resource officers and exclusionary discipline practices. Instead, educators are encouraged to adopt abolitionist practices of SEL that are culturally responsive, reciprocal in nature, transformative and centered on healing.
The guide also accentuates the important role of educator preparation programs to prepare more Black, Brown, and Indigenous teachers, school counselors and administrators. Research consistently suggest that all students benefit from having diverse educators, including increased academic and social emotional outcomes. Diverse educators also have unique attributes that can break down racial stereotypes, and an innate ability to affirm Black, Brown, and Indigenous students’ sense of belonging.
Read more about the guide and resources to promote anti-racist teaching and learning.
The AACTE 2020 Washington Week will feature two virtual Holmes Program events: the Holmes Advanced Policy Course, September 2-3, and the Holmes Policy Institute, September 8-10.
Holmes Advanced Policy Course: September 2-3
The Holmes Program Advanced Policy Course will engage Holmes Scholars in “Moving Towards Equity Through Advocacy and Policy,” the theme of this year’s event. Participants in the Course will explore policy and advocacy principles and address current events that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in education. The sessions include a deep dive into the 4 P’s of Policy and Advocacy, led by Jane West, AACTE Consultant for Government Relations, and will conclude with an engaging Q&A forum. Scholars will also hear from congressional staffers from Capitol Hill, who will address current issues and trends in education that align with DEI policies and practices.
AACTE in collaboration with the Holmes Scholars Council is offering a Virtual Writing Session to help provide a community of support for students’ personal and professional writing and publishing endeavors. Participants of the event will learn about strategies and tools for effective writing from guest speakers Andrew Daire, dean of the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Diandra Prescod, associate professor of counselor education and counseling psychology at University of Connecticut.
Along with a designated space for both collaborative and individual writing, participants will also have the opportunity to work with writing coaches in pre-scheduled one-on-one coaching sessions to enhance research and scholarly productivity. Students will receive constructive writing feedback from faculty members at Boston University, University of Central Florida, DePaul University, and Florida Atlantic University. The goal for this event is to ensure that Holmes Scholars have a supportive space to focus on their writing goals and academic endeavors during this unprecedented and difficult period.
Events will occur on Saturday, August 15 and 22 from 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (EST). Interested scholars are encouraged to register and sign-up for a one-on-one coaching session in advance.
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, higher education institutions and its students are facing significant challenges and uncertainties. Graduate students enrolled in colleges and schools of education, in particular, have had to respond to the current circumstances and find solutions to continue their academic pursuit and scholarly productivity. AACTE recently interviewed three graduate students from our member institutions about how the current crisis has affected them. The following themes emerged from these interviews.
Challenges with Adapting to Distance Learning
As a result of campus closures, graduate students have found themselves having to engage in distance learning fully. Although some have had experience in taking and teaching online courses, there are still unique challenges when all learning occurs virtually. These challenges are more common for students who are parents and have to oversee instruction for children in PK-12 schools during daytime hours. Additionally, students who are in a household with multiple adults teleworking or engaging in distance learning places a strain on their ability to focus and on resources like Wifi connectivity. Graduate students have expressed having to complete their studies during abnormal hours due to these distractions in their home environments.
AACTE is excited to announce and welcome the newly elected 2020-21 Holmes Council. The Council, selected by members of the AACTE Holmes Program, is comprised of current Holmes students and serves as the student voice of the program for AACTE. In my role as the AACTE director of development and research and an alumna of the Holmes Program, I look forward to collaborating with the new Holmes Council to implement initiatives that align with the organization’s strategic priorities.