A Post-Recess Washington Update: New bills, Initiatives, Reports and Resources

This weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Congress may have been on recess for the month of August, but it certainly did not feel like a break. Behind the scenes staffers maintained diligent in their work as Members spent time both in Washington, D.C. and their home states and districts for the opportunity to hear directly from constituents. In mid-August, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act. The Inflation Reduction Act is the legislation we have formerly referred to as the “reconciliation bill” or “Build Back Better.” That said, the Inflation Reduction Act is much different than any of the previously proposed “reconciliation bills” — including no investments in the educator workforce. Read more about what is included in the Inflation Reduction Act.

LFA Member Organizations React to NAEP Results

On September 1st, 2022, the Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics released the mathematics and reading results of 9-year-olds from the 2022 NAEP long-term trend assessment. The following summary is from NAEP’s Highlights report:

In 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) conducted a special administration of the NAEP long-term trend (LTT) reading and mathematics assessments for age 9 students to examine student achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Average scores for age 9 students in 2022 declined 5 points in reading and 7 points in mathematics compared to 2020. This is the largest average score decline in reading since 1990, and the first ever score decline in mathematics.

Daniqua Williams Named Holmes Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to Daniqua Williams, named Holmes Scholar of the month to kick off the 2022-2023 academic year! In June of 2022,  Williams successfully defended her dissertation study titled “Assessing Multicultural Counseling Competency Training with College Counselors who Serve International Students.”

Call for Reviewers: AACTE’s 75th Annual Meeting

AACTE is seeking peer reviewers from a wide spectrum of backgrounds to serve in selecting learning opportunities of the highest quality for its 75th Annual Meeting, themed, “Innovation through Inspiration: Remembering the Past to Revolutionize the Future.”

This is an opportunity to volunteer your time and expertise to select session topics from this year’s proposal submissions that will shape the conversation at our 75th anniversary meeting, focused on revolutionizing and elevating educator preparation and the teaching profession. To apply, visit Call for Reviewers.

2022-23 AACTE State Affiliate Awardees Selected

Congratulations to the AACTE state affiliate organizations from Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, and Montana which were selected from among numerous excellent applicants for a 2022-23 State Affiliate Support Award. AACTE uses these awards to support state affiliate organizations in advancing the following priorities:

  • Advocacy and Policy Leadership
  • Enhancing Program Quality
  • Partnership and Communication

Can Apprenticeships Help Alleviate Teacher Shortages?

This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education.

As much as she wanted to, Karol Harper hadn’t planned to go back to school to get her teaching license. With a full-time job and a family — she couldn’t afford it. It would have meant a loss of income and benefits.

Harper, a teacher’s aide in the special education department at Farragut Intermediate School in Knoxville, Tennessee, was interviewing a candidate for a position at her school when she learned about her state’s new teacher apprenticeship program.

The program enables participants to get licensed as teachers through an apprenticeship, instead of paying out of pocket for the degree. Many apprentices work in a school, gradually taking on more teaching responsibilities, while studying for an education degree at night. Other students, like high schoolers and college students, work as student teachers in their local districts, while taking working toward their bachelor’s degree. The tuition and fees are paid for through the program, but in addition student apprentices get tutoring and coaching.

What Kids Need in the Classroom

This article originally appeared on MSU Denver RED.

With the psychological and economic pressures of Covid-19, increased gun violence, systemic racism, political polarization and, most recently, the financial stresses of inflation, many adults are struggling with their mental and emotional health. It’s no wonder that children, too, are experiencing more trauma than ever.

Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Children’s Hospital Association jointly declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health due to “soaring rates of depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness and suicidality” caused by Covid-19 and other factors. Trauma such as physical abuse, bullying and witnessing violence will often contribute to higher anxiety and negatively impact attention, memory, cognition, problem solving, reading ability and academic performance, according to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Teacher Education Programs Desperately Seek Students

This article originally appeared on Inside Higher Ed.

As the school year gets underway, a national teacher shortage has K-12 districts scrambling and job boards lengthening. The president of the National Education Association called the lack of classroom teachers a “five-alarm crisis.” Some students are returning to full-time in-person learning only to find their instructors teaching through screens, often from hundreds of miles away. Many teachers are overburdened by large classes, and in some cases, they are teaching without a degree. Some districts will start the school year with a four-day week to accommodate a lack of staff.

The flow of new teachers through the pipeline has slowed to a trickle, in part due to years of declining enrollment in education programs. Now higher education institutions are looking for ways to reverse what has become an alarming national trend.

AACTE Participates in White House Discussion on School Staffing Shortage

Strengthening the Teaching Profession Through Public and Private Sector Actions

AACTE met with the Biden-Harris Administration today to discuss the nationwide school staffing shortages.

“It was an honor to have AACTE at the table with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and other key decision makers, such as the Secretaries of Education and Labor,” said AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D. “There are solutions to this crisis, and I am confident that in working together we will accelerate our work to recruit and retain highly-qualified and diverse teachers. Education is an exciting and worthwhile profession, and I believe that today’s conversations, alongside members of the talent industry, will take us far as we lead collaborative and solutions-based work. To have this spotlight today on the education profession from the White House elevates the importance of teachers and education in the U.S.”

Call for Proposals Open: AACTE 75th Annual Meeting

Be a part of AACTE as we celebrate 75 years at the 2023 Annual Meeting! Submit a proposal for AACTE’s 75th Annual Meeting February 24 – 26 in Indianapolis, IN. Help create innovation through inspiration, as we turn to our past successes to revolutionize the future of education. The deadline to submit is October 1.

Share the Power of Us Workforce Survey

In announcing the National Partnership for Student Success, a bright spotlight has been put on the adults who serve young people in communities nationwide. This is a clarion call for more adults to step up and lean in to address students’ academic, emotional, social, and mental health needs. 

In 2022, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and a constellation of partner organizations launched the Power of Us Workforce Survey, a first-of-its-kind comprehensive workforce survey to get to know the people who are already working and volunteering with youth in afterschool and summer programs, in libraries, in affordable housing, in community centers, in schools, and anywhere young people need support.

Civics Secures Democracy Act Reintroduced in the Senate

A bipartisan group of senators and representatives have introduced the Civics Secures Democracy Act, which would authorize an historic investment to support K–12 civic education and American history. AACTE urges members to reach out to their Members of Congress to encourage them to support the Civics Secures Democracy Act through the Action Alert in the AACTE Advocacy Center.

Over the last several decades, civics education in American schools has seen a significant decline. Given the divisiveness in our politics and the lack of knowledge and understanding of democratic principles, norms, and institutions, a robust investment in civics education is needed.

AACTE Applauds Biden Administration’s Decision to Forgive Federal Student Loans

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) announced its support for the Biden Administration’s decision to forgive a portion of the federal student aid debt certain individuals have incurred to attend college.

“The federal government’s decision to forgive a portion of federal student debt is long overdue,” said  AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D. “Many students are overwhelmed with student debt, preventing them from beginning families, purchasing homes, or achieving other life milestones. This announcement is a significant step in helping these students. However, much more needs to be done to help students interested in pursuing a career in education finance their college degree. As a nation, we must address the high cost of a college degree and the low compensation of teachers, both of which have contributed to a nationwide shortage of profession-ready, fully licensed educators.”

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