AACTE today expressed its appreciation to Congress for passing the American Rescue Plan Act. The legislation was passed to help the nation recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our nation and the world. The Act includes funding to support schools and colleges in creating safe learning environments to enable P-12 students and teachers to successfully return to face-to-face instruction as soon as possible. President Biden is expected to sign the Act into law.
While there are calls to immediately open schools and colleges, teachers and others are hesitant to return unless their safety can be assured. AACTE believes this legislation is critical to helping the nation’s schools to do just that—reopen safely.
Now through May 28, AACTE is accepting session proposals for the 74th Annual Meeting, to be held in New Orleans, LA, March 4-6, 2022. We also invite applications by May 14 from AACTE member faculty to review proposals.
The conference theme is “Rethink, Reshape, Reimagine, Revolutionize: Growing the Profession Post Pandemic,” conceptualized as follows in the call for proposals:
The events of 2020 challenged the field of education in dramatic and unprecedented ways. The advent of the pandemic thrust educators into uncharted territory and created a dramatically different, virtual context for teaching and learning. As the COVID‐19 crisis unfolded, teachers and teacher candidates quickly adapted their instruction to incorporate multiple modes of delivery, including virtual, hybrid, and in‐person instruction constrained by masks, plexiglass, and social distancing. The enormous investment of energy required to make the sudden shift, the isolation imposed by the threat of the pandemic, and the separation from colleagues tested the intellect, energy, and emotional resilience of educators. In the midst of this unforeseen and uncharted environment, a pressing challenge arose: addressing the striking inequities of access to technology and learning, clearly delineated along socioeconomic lines, which stood to further expand the achievement gap between white students and their classmates of color.
Learner-centered design (LCD) has become a key component of digital products and platforms; curriculum and lesson planning; and non-didactic pedagogical approaches. This paradigm foregrounds the needs of learners by meeting learners where they are. LCD proposes that all designed environments should be built around the goals, needs, activities and educational contexts of users. In essence, LCDs allow for the incorporation of the whole learner by using their preferences, strengths, weaknesses, and interests as assets that can be leveraged to strengthen learning experiences.
This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Biden Administration Forges Ahead on School Reopening/Vaccines for Teachers as Secretary of Education Cardona Takes Office
On Tuesday evening Miguel Cardona was sworn in as the nation’s new Secretary of Education. The Senate voted 64-33 to confirm Cardona, a former public school teacher, principal and state superintendent. Cardona assumes the Education Department’s top job as the debate around how to safely reopen schools has grown increasingly bitter. President Biden in response is now walking a political tightrope, reassuring teachers they should be prioritized for the vaccine while recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that vaccinations should not be a prerequisite for reopening schools. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last month that vaccinating all teachers against COVID-19 before reopening schools is “non-workable,” Cardona wasted no time, diving into the debate over school reopening—with a USA Today op-ed posting as his swearing-in ceremony concluded. In the article, Cardona reaffirmed his commitment to safely reopening schools, announcing that he will convene a “national summit on safe school reopening” later this month.
AACTE is pleased to introduce the 2021-22 Holmes Council, an elected body comprised of current Holmes Program doctoral and master’s students. The Council serves as a student voice to AACTE on the programmatic needs of the Holmes Program. All newly elected officers will serve a one-year term, with exception of the president and vice president who will each serve for two consecutive years.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is among the top universities to produce the largest number of teachers in Texas, and has among the highest retention rates, according to the 2020 Performance Analysis for Colleges of Education (PACE) study.
The study’s results are from research generated at the University of Houston’s Center for Research, Evaluation, & Advancement of Teacher Education (CREATE).
“Retention of novice teachers in the profession is a very important measure of success for teacher preparation programs given the huge numbers of teachers that leave the profession every year contributing to the tremendous teacher shortage in the state,” said Alma Rodriguez, dean of the UTRGV College of Education and P-16 Integration.
The PACE report also shows that graduates from the UTRGV teacher preparation program have a 91%, 5-year retention rate in the teaching profession. The rate was calculated through a five-year study (from 2015 to 2019) of first-year teachers who graduated from the different educator preparation programs in the state of Texas.
Listen to the recent JTE Insider podcast by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.
This podcast interview features insights from the article “What Do Surveys of Program Completers Tell Us About Teacher Preparation Quality?,” by Kevin Bastion, Min Sun, and Heather Flynn. The article was published in the January/February issue of the Journal of Teacher Education.
Calling all educators! Your review and your voice is requested. AACTE is proud to work collaboratively with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) in the Learning First Alliance coalition. Our colleagues at NASSP, alongside their Board of Directors recently stated its intent to adopt two new position statements on LGBTQ+ Students and Educators and Supporting Principals as Leaders of Special Education—and your feedback is critical. Public comments are open now through March 31.
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.
The American Association of Colleges Teacher Education (AACTE) has launched a new initiative to advance the use of simulation in science educator preparation. AACTE recently received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Discovery Research PreK-12 convening grant to address the critical need for well-qualified science educators who can teach effectively in a variety of face-to-face and virtual school settings and meet the needs of diverse learners.
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.”
AACTE congratulates 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 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.”