This article originally appeared on the Learning Policy Institute blog and is reprinted with permission.
When Congress passed the mammoth $2.3 trillion federal funding legislation—the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021—last December, most of the press focused on the package’s much-needed COVID-19 relief funds and the narrowly averted government shutdown. But nested within the legislation is game-changing language that removes a long-standing obstacle to states and school districts fulfilling Brown v. Board of Education’s promise of eliminating separate and unequal schools. Effective January 1, 2021, there is no longer a prohibition on the use of federal school transportation funds to support school integration.
This article originally appeared in Arizona State University News and is reprinted with permission.
For two days in January, more than 270 educators and education experts from around the country gathered virtually at the invitation of Arizona State University’s (ASU’s) Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College to address a big question: What should the next education workforce look like so that schools can provide better educational experiences to learners and better professional experiences to educators?
The event, Next Education Workforce: Building the Next Normal, was the outgrowth of work that Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College has been pursuing for four years. The goal, says Carole Basile, dean of the college, “is to shift thought, conversation and action about education challenges from discrete programs and initiatives to systemic and structural approaches.”
AACTE is delighted to introduce the newest additions to its national staff: Ana-Maria Gutierrez, manager, digital content and IT, and interns Ann Marie Wernick and Gaëlle Gilbert.
Ana-Maria Gutierrez has 20 years of experience working in strategic communications, technology applications, graphic design and social media. In her last position, she worked in the Disabilities Studies and Services Center at Family Health International (formerly the Academy for Educational Development) serving as deputy director for several national projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Health and Human Services. Her career has been focused in the special education field, working primarily to promote the use of assistive technology (AT) to serve the needs of children and youth with disabilities. As the technical lead for a national AT information and training series of more than 100 webinars, she had contact with hundreds of special education teachers, pre-service teachers and post-secondary educators which has provided her a unique perspective on the needs of educators as well as students.
In keeping with the 2021 Annual Meeting theme of Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Action, this year’s ACSR Business meeting will focus on the subject of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the teaching profession. The meeting will take place on March 19, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET.
During last year’s State Leadership Institute (SLI), Michael Dantley, AACTE board member and former dean of the College of Education at Miami University, led a spirited discussion and workshop based on the anti-racism work of Robin DiAngelo, 2020 AACTE Conference keynote speaker. Her book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism has played a prominent role in the national conversation regarding the history and influence of race and racism in America since its publication in 2018. Dantley’s SLI session entitled, “White Fragility” Combating Racism Together,” was an energetic and engaging exploration of the concepts in the book, from the perspective of educators. The session was followed by a panel led by Penny McPherson-Myers of Rowan University, entitled “Structures and Strategies for Addressing Racial Matters on College Campuses.” This year’s ACSR Business Meeting will continue this important discussion with a focus on the DEI work of our members.
At Understood and the National Center for Learning Disabilities, we have been working to understand the challenges that distance learning has presented to students who learn differently.
In response, we have developed a practical resource to help educators more effectively support students with learning differences, and in turn all learners, during distance learning. Today, we are eager to share that resource with you and the world at large in our new “Distance learning toolkit: Key practices to support students who learn differently”.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) congratulates Dr. Miguel Cardona as the new U.S. Secretary of Education, sworn in today by Vice President Kamala Harris. AACTE recognizes Secretary Cardona as a lifelong educator who understands the importance of professional, high-quality educator preparation programs. AACTE and its members stand ready to work with the head of the U.S. Department of Education for ensuring that our nation’s educators are profession-ready and have the necessary resources to help students effectively achieve academic success.
“Secretary Cardona has a strong record on education and has served our nation’s elementary and secondary students at nearly every level,” said Dr. Lynn M. Gangone, AACTE’s president and CEO. “We are deeply concerned about the shrinking pipeline of candidates in educator preparation programs as well as the learning loss and growing deficits of children’s socio-emotional needs exacerbated by the pandemic. We look forward to working with Secretary Cardona to address these challenges as well as diversifying the teaching field so that it better reflects the nation’s student population.”
There are several great reasons for starting an online community, like the continuous learning it offers participants and the sense of pride in being part of a group. For members of AACTE, the new online community it is about connecting members, building meaningful relationships, and engaging in critical conversations with each other, Board members and staff. That is why the virtual AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting was a perfect initial launching point for AACTE Connect360.
Through the online community, attendees responded to different threads in the “73rd Annual Meeting” community group. The “Introduce Yourself” thread was a popular choice for new users, allowing others on the platform to learn a little bit more about them and sharing the best piece of advice they received from a mentor or colleague.
Congress Moves on COVID Relief Bill
This week Congress moved closer to the enactment of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan— the COVID-relief reconciliation bill with hundreds of billions of dollars for education, child care, and other education-related needs. The bill is expected to pass in the House this evening. All Democrats are likely to vote for the bill, and possibly some Republicans.
The bill will move to the Senate next week for consideration where the goal is to finalize the bill by March 14, when the current expanded unemployment insurance expires. Several education groups have come forward in support of the bill. Republicans appear likely to oppose the bill holding that it is too much money and that the process has not been bipartisan. However, since the Senate requires only 51 votes to pass the bill, even with all Republicans opposing it, it will pass.
During AACTE’s 73rd Annual Meeting last week, Pricella Morris, Phllandra Smith, and Moe Green were announced as recipients of the 2021 Holmes Program Dissertation Funding Competition (DFC).
Over the last four years, AACTE has held an annual Holmes Program DFC to support Holmes scholars’ dissertation research related expenses. This annual event is sponsored by AACTE and its partners, including the Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADREI), Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities (TECSCU), the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges of Teacher Education (AILACTE), and the National the National Association of Holmes Scholars Association (NAHSA).
At the conclusion of the 2021 Annual Meeting, AACTE Board of Directors Chair Ann E. Larson (University of Louisville) passed a “virtual gavel” to incoming Chair Robert E. Floden (Michigan State University) and became the Immediate past chair of the Association. Larson and Floden will be joined on the AACTE Executive Committee by the following:
- Chair-elect Michael Dantley
(Miami University of Ohio)
- Secretary Monika Williams-Shealey
- At-large Member Patricia Alvarez-McHatton (Arizona State University)
- At-Large Member Kimberly White-Smith (University of La Verne)
AACTE announced today Robert E. Floden, Ph.D. of Michigan State University as the new chair of its Board of Directors. In a short interview with AACTE, Floden shared his vision for the Association during his one-year term. Here’s what he had to say:
What do you look forward to achieving during your time as AACTE Board Chair?
“I look forward to completing the AACTE strategic planning process we have been working on during the last many months. We have made a lot of progress on our general goals. I think the next step that we can complete during my time as the board chair is to move forward on deciding the strategies by which we are going to achieve the goals for the organization.”
What do you think are the key priorities for the AACTE community?
“One of our key priorities now is clearly recovering from the pandemic. Face-to-face instruction is an important part of education. We can draw upon what we have learned about the ways in which we make good use of remote instruction and other important lessons. I think teacher education programs in general made the pivot well, although it was challenging in the first months. But we learned how to continue to provide solid preparation for educators, and I think we can harvest what we have learned and use that as we move forward in the fall of 2021.”
In what ways do you think AACTE is poised to lead the educator preparation profession forward during these challenging times?
AACTE is the national organization of education institutions that prepare future educators, teachers, education leaders, administrators, and more. The people who work in our member institutions have tremendous capacity for advancing educator preparation policy, practice, and research that helps us both learn how to do things better and to document the effects of the things that we are doing. The capacity of our members, those involved with AACTE programs, is an important way in which we are poised to lead.
Watch the full interview with AACTE Board Chair Robert Floden in this video
AACTE announced today Robert E. Floden, Ph.D., of Michigan State University (MI) as the new chair of its Board of Directors. During his one-year term, Floden will support AACTE and its President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone in implementing the Association’s strategic goals, incorporating lessons learned from the pandemic to advance educator preparation and policies, and growing AACTE’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
“Our key priority now is clearly recovering from the pandemic. Face-to-face instruction is an important part of education. We can draw upon what we have learned about the ways in which we make good use of remote instruction and other important lessons,” said Floden. “I think teacher education programs in general made the pivot well, although it was challenging in the first months. But we learned how to continue to provide solid preparation for educators, and I think we can harvest what we have learned and use that as we move forward in the fall of 2021.”
In October 2020, AACTE invited the chief representatives of its member institutions to complete a survey on how the twin crises of COVID-19 and racial injustice had affected their educator preparation programs and how they have responded to these crises. AACTE conducted a similar survey in April 2020, asking members about the immediate impact of COVID-19 on their educator preparation programs. A new report, released during the 2021 Annual Meeting, summarizes results from both surveys, tracking the evolving response of EPPs to these twin crises.
Key findings include the following:
You won’t want to miss AACTE’s next webinar. Join education deans as they discuss how to lean in and lead through the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of systemic racism on campus and within their communities. Tune into the Leaning in and Leading Through Crisis discussion on March 18 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
AACTE is pleased to announce the 2021 recipients of its annual awards for innovative research, best practice, and exemplary leadership in educator preparation. The following member institutions and individuals will be honored at the virtual AACTE 73rd Annual Meeting Awards Forum today, 2:45-3:30 p.m.