Leaders are grappling with the unprecedented challenge of working to understand and address the impact of the pandemic on students and communities. To support recovery, decisionmakers at all levels, from state policymakers to parents, must have access to data and use it to effectively address the challenges schools and districts face. But DQC’s 2021 public opinion polling of parents and principals uncovered considerable disconnects that could threaten efforts to use data to address the current moment and beyond.
As leaders turn their attention to the upcoming school year, data continues to be a critical tool for informing recovery efforts. State and local leaders are working together and using data to tackle the most pressing issues, which include:
In a recent Q&A with AACTE, Christine Carrino Gorowara, past president of the Delaware Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, shares her perspective as a frequent attendee of the Washington Week State Leaders Institute.
Why do you believe it is important for AACTE members to actively advocate for education? Why do you recommend AACTE members attend the State Leaders Institute?
AACTE members have specialized knowledge about education issues and provide an invaluable perspective to lawmakers. Additionally, part of our role in preparing educators is doing what we can to create an environment where educators can thrive, including ensuring funding, promoting culturally responsive policies, and expanding opportunity. The State Leaders Institute helps us hone our knowledge of issues relevant to educator preparation and how those issues are connected to pending legislation and develop the skills needed to advocate effectively.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s State Leaders Institute?
As informative as the speakers always are, I most look forward to the opportunity to learn from other state chapters. I love learning about what kinds of events they hold, what resources and services they provide their members, how they work with partner organizations, and their innovative ideas for moving the profession forward.
Whether you are shopping for yourself or a student in college, a great set of school supplies can help anyone feel prepared and eager to learn. Buying school supplies can prove costly, and savvy consumers are often on the hunt for good deals. As a member of AACTE, you have access to discounted Office Depot pricing. Your discount never expires and can be used for personal, school, or business purchases such as ink, toner, paper, and cleaning and classroom supplies.
The AACTE Holmes Program continues to expand to support new scholars in their academic pursuit. We are pleased to welcome Ava Jackson, Holmes Post-doctoral Fellow at Boston University, and Elizabeth León Zaragoza, Holmes doctoral student at University of Nevada Las Vegas, to the Holmes community. Congratulations to these scholars and their institutions for their commitment to promoting excellence and success of diverse scholars.
Time is running out. Have you, or someone you know, received their doctorate since January 1, 2020 and are eligible to apply for the AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award? The deadline to submit an application is Friday, August 20.
This award recognizes excellence in research (or its equivalent) that contributes to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation.
The Outstanding Dissertation Award, overseen by AACTE’s Committee on Research and Dissemination, includes a $1,000 cash prize, as well as special recognition at AACTE’s 74th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, March 4-6, 2022.
The primary selection criterion is quality of scholarship. The narrative summary file should answer the following questions about the dissertation:
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
Before last year, a one-credit technology course for students pursuing master’s degrees in education at the University of Washington wasn’t seen as the program’s most relevant. Then COVID-19 hit, schools plunged into remote learning, and suddenly material from that course was being infused into others.
“It’s become so relevant, and it’s staying that way,” said Anne Beitlers, who directs Washington’s master’s program for secondary education. “And nobody’s going to question that now.”
Changes to standards and curricula happen slowly, but the pandemic is already leaving its fingerprints on the education of future teachers. Many U.S. educator preparation programs are incorporating more about digital tools, online instruction and mental and emotional wellness in their courses to reflect takeaways from the pandemic.
This article originally appeared on the UCF Today and is reprinted with permission.
Martha Lue Stewart, the first Black woman promoted to the rank of professor at UCF, retired on August 7. (Photo by Amy Floyd)
If one word could encapsulate the journey that Martha Lue Stewart has had at UCF, it’s grateful. As the professor submitted grades for her final course last week and packed up the books, photos and other mementos in her office, she reminisced on countless stories.
As the first Black woman promoted to the rank of professor at UCF, Stewart has been instrumental in helping build a diverse and inclusive campus. Early on, she served as chair of the Diversity Programming Committee that organizes events like Diversity Week. Stewart was also actively involved in the Black Faculty and Staff Association, where she served as president from 1998–99. Her first service project with the association involved launching the university’s first Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.
“I enjoyed having a place where I could meet other colleagues of color,” she says. “It felt like a family and that’s amazing.”
Graduates of Call Me MISTER: Photo by Patrick Wright, Clemson University, Photographic Services-University Relations.
This article originally appeared in EdSurge and is reprinted with permission.
When Alphonso Richard Jr. walked into his first teacher education course at Clemson University, he experienced a shock.
“Being in a class where you’re the only male, I didn’t know where to sit,” he says. “Girls were looking like, ‘Oh my goodness, is that a guy in here?’”
Compounding the confusion: Most women in the room were white, and Richard is Black. The dissonance was enough to send a shiver of doubt through the aspiring educator’s mind.
“It was a scared, hesitant feeling at first,” Richard says. “Am I meant to be here? Is this for me?”
It takes courage to enter a space where you’re not sure you belong. That’s the kind of threshold that Black men training to become educators have to cross many times. They make up only 2 percent of U.S. public school teachers (men overall compose 24 percent). They’re also underrepresented in college teacher-preparation programs, as education is “one of the least diverse major fields in higher education,” according to a 2019 report from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
I am excited to announce that AACTE is enhancing your member experience with easier access to information and greater customization capabilities. Our new membership database upgrade is now complete and fully communicates with AACTE’s website, tools, and online communities. This new technology provides seamless access to all tools and resources in a user-friendly format.
You must reset your password to access all AACTE resources, including the Profile Manager, Event Registration, Membership Directory, Resource Library, and Connect360. AACTE members can use this start guide to walk you step-by-step through navigating the new system. Topics to explore include:
Day on the Hill is AACTE’s signature event for involving its members in direct advocacy for the profession. I have attended Day on the Hill for 20 years. Why do I enjoy it and keep coming back? The answer has to do with involvement, camaraderie, and results.
Day on the Hill allows us as teacher education leaders to be involved with a national effort much bigger than ourselves and our own institutions. Our unified presence in congressional offices for one day every year makes us part of something special that has the potential to make a difference for our teacher candidates, our programs, and our communities. It is also a great way to involve our education candidates in the work. Each year, I select several undergraduate or graduate students to join my colleagues and me at Day on the Hill. Helping them learn about advocacy and being exposed to others in the profession opens them to a whole new side of the profession they are entering.
AACTE’s 2021 virtual Leadership Academy Series launched this month with its first of three sessions, When We all Get Together Again: Returning to Campus with New Opportunities. This session was facilitated by John Kuykendall dean of the School of Education at the University of Indianapolis and John Henning dean of the School of Education at Monmouth University.
Kuykendall opened the conversation seeking thoughts and concerns about returning to campuses from attendees. “There are varying policies across the institutions and communities and states; no one is really clear about what should happen on your campus site and how to handle what could potentially happen,” said Kuykendall before requesting feedback from attendees.
This fall, AACTE is excited to continue supporting an opportunity for members to try out the PlanWise™ tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, including providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and pre-service teachers while they are lesson planning in Google Docs.
Five AACTE member institutions have participated in introductory sessions and have determined that they are interested in trying out the PlanWise™ tool with their pre-service teachers. We are welcoming an additional five institutions to try out the tool this fall.
Washington Week 2020 sessions helped me, a Holmes Scholar and second-year doctoral student in special education, gain an understanding of how to advocate for equitable educational opportunities for marginalized students including students with disabilities by participating in interactive policy discussions and briefings with prominent speakers and participants. I mainly learned that everybody could advocate for promoting educational improvement and success in different ways. This advocacy work becomes a crucial duty especially in this unprecedented time where COVID-19 has exacerbated educational inequities and hit students of color disproportionally.
The amazing Jane West presented and discussed the 4 Ps of Policy Advocacy (People, Policy, Process, and Politics) and their use in planning an advocacy strategy. As an international doctoral student who is not familiar with the American legal system, I found that the session equipped me with the knowledge about the legislative and executive policy cycle with all its players as well as the process and skills needed for effective policy change advocacy.
In a recent Q&A with AACTE, Lisa Bisogno, associate dean, College of Education, Associate professor of special education Northeastern State University, shares her viewpoint as a 2020 AACTE Washington Week Day on the Hill participant.
Why do you believe it is important for AACTE members to actively advocate for education?
It is greatly beneficial for higher education institutions from their designated states to express the barriers encountered by teacher preparation programs as one collective unit to their elected officials. More often than not, legislators may not be aware of the obstacles our teacher preparation programs are confronting and their impact on school districts in surrounding communities. You can learn how to advocate for the importance of the Higher Education Act, Teacher Quality Grants, and other fiscal appropriations that pertain to teacher preparation in the hopes that legislators will move it to the forefront of their agenda. This is a time when universities can come together to advocate the need for teacher preparation to be an equitable education for all children.
Does the virtual session have the same value as the in-person meetings with representatives/senators?
Considering this was my first Day on the Hill, I do not have the comparison to in-person meetings other than legislation visits within my state. However, I would emphasize that the virtual sessions aided in easing my nerves during our virtual congressional visit and provided adequate practice for when the opportunity presents itself for in-person congressional visits. Another wonderful aspect of the virtual annual meeting is the cost efficiency by saving on travel and the ability to access the sessions following the conference.