Where Do the 118th Congress and Student Debt Relief Stand?

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.

It has been a busy week in Washington with Members returning after the mid-term elections and the new freshman class of Members arriving on the Hill for orientation. Speaker Pelosi made the momentous decision to step down from Democratic leadership. Speaker Pelosi is a historic figure, having become, at the time, the most powerful elected woman in U.S. history when she assumed the Speakership in 2007. The decision to step back from leadership paves the way for a new generation of Democrats to rise in the ranks; Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Caucus Vice Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) are viewed as the heirs apparent to the “big three” — House Democratic Leader, House Democratic Whip, and Democratic Caucus Chair. In remarks to her colleagues on the House floor, Speaker Pelosi recalled the first time she saw the Capitol, saying “I will never forget the first time I saw the Capitol.[…]The Capitol is a temple of our Democracy, of our Constitution, of our highest ideals[…] Indeed, American Democracy is majestic — but it is fragile.” Thank you Madam Speaker, for your years of dedicated service to the Republic.

In the States: Halting the ‘Stope-Woke’ Act, Striking for Increased Academic Pay

The new “In the States” feature by Kaitlyn Brennan is a weekly update to keep members informed on state-level activities impacting the education and educator preparation community.

Florida Judge Blocks “Stop-WOKE” Act for Colleges

A federal judge on Thursday halted a key piece of the “Stop-WOKE” Act, blocking state officials from enforcing what U.S Chief District Judge Mark Walker called a “positively dystopian” policy that restricts how lessons on race and gender can be taught in colleges and universities.

MacKenzie Scott Donates $5M to Kansas City Teacher Residency

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has given away nearly $2 billion over the last 7 months, and a Kansas City nonprofit just became the latest recipient of her generosity. Kansas City Teacher Residency (KCTR) is pleased to announce the acceptance of a $5 million donation. This award will be utilized to support KCTR’s ongoing work and secure the organization’s future for the long term. These funds will allow KCTR to recruit, cultivate, and retain more diverse teachers in the communities we are serving and in turn provide equitable classrooms for all students.

CCC&TI Joins App State, Public Schools in Inaugural NC Educator Pipeline Collaborative Cohort

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute will participate along with seven other teacher preparation partnerships from across the state in the inaugural North Carolina Educator Pipeline Collaborative cohort. The initiative will identify innovative methods for recruiting and preparing educators for North Carolina’s public schools.

The collaborative was launched by The Public School Forum of North Carolina in partnership with the NC Office of the Governor and The Belk Foundation and includes school districts, universities and community colleges working to strengthen the educator pipeline. Together, the cohort will share, develop and implement policies and practices that enhance and extend efforts to recruit, prepare, support and retain a diverse and highly effective educator workforce.

2022 Elections: A Look at State Policy

With the 2022 election results continuing to trickle in, we are learning who will serve as the states’ chief executive officer next year. 

On November 8, Americans in 36 states cast ballots to elect their state governor, with approximately a quarter of them winning their first term. As the Education Commission of the States noted, “Governors play an important role in shaping education policy in states through their power to appoint members of their state boards of education, department of education heads and other key roles. Governors also use their authority and budget proposals to advocate for specific education policies and funding.”

UNI Awarded More Than $1M Grant for ESL Teacher Preparation Project

This article was originally published by Inside UNI.

The United States Department of Education has awarded two University of Northern Iowa professors a $1.48 million grant to launch a new project to improve English as a second language (ESL) instruction for both pre-service and in-service teachers.

Aliza Fones and Carmen Durham, both assistant professors of TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages)/applied linguistics, were awarded the grant to carry out Project UNITED (University of Northern Iowa Teacher Education for Diverse Learners). 

Project UNITED will provide research-based ESL teacher preparation and professional development to current and future teachers.

Using COVID Funds to Support Apprenticeships

The Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague letter to states and local educational agencies (LEAs) to remind them that they can continue to respond to the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by using funds Congress appropriated in response to the pandemic to, among other things, expand opportunities for high-quality work-based learning, often referred to as “apprenticeships.”

Complete a Survey on Internationalization of Teacher Education

Internationalizing teacher education is increasingly important as the world continues to grow interconnected.  You are invited to take part in a research study about the current state of internationalization across institutions of teacher education in the United States. This survey was created by researchers at the University of Missouri – St. Louis in partnership with the Longview Foundation and the AACTE Internationalizing Teacher Preparation Topical Action Group (TAG).

This is a follow-up to a survey conducted in 2017 asking deans/directors of teacher education programs to reflect on their efforts to internationalize and will investigate trends over time. 

UNM’s ‘POLLEN’ Program Fills Critical Principal Shortage in Indigenous Schools

This article was originally published by the University of New Mexico Newsroom

A large part of the next wave of Indigenous school principals will come from The University of New Mexico.

There’s a growing group of dedicated learners aiming for that goal, in the Promoting Our Leadership, Learning, and Empowering Nations (POLLEN) program housed in the College of Education and Human Sciences (COEHS).

This immersive, licensure program began in 2016 to put teachers on a direct pathway to higher leadership in Indigenous or Native-serving schools. It has since received roughly $750,000 in grant funding to secure the future of principals and learners.

Mid-Term Election Results: What This Could Mean for Education

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.

On Tuesday, voters across the nation headed to the polls to cast their ballot in the highly anticipated 2022 mid-term elections; with millions more participating in early voting or vote by mail. We will not have final results in the Senate until at least December 6t and House results continue to trickle in, but please take a read below for an analysis on where things stand today and what this could mean for education policy.

In the States: Ohio Stakeholders Address Critical Shortage of Educators, Update on Local Politics

The new “In the States” feature by Kaitlyn Brennan is a weekly update to keep members informed on state-level activities impacting the education and educator preparation community.

recent Enquirer analysis of state data found educator resignations in Ohio nearly quadruped from 2019 to 2021, in addition to there being five times as many retirements. State and local education leaders met to address the teacher shortage crisis late last month during a series of solutions-centered meetings.

The first event, hosted by Miami University, took place at the Voice of America Learning Center in West Chester Township. University leaders and officials from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education were in attendance along with 100 additional stakeholders in education, business, and government.

In One Giant classroom, Four Teachers Manage 135 Kids – and Love It

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

A teacher in training darted among students, tallying how many needed his help with a history unit on Islam. A veteran math teacher hovered near a cluster of desks, coaching some 50 freshmen on a geometry assignment. A science teacher checked students’ homework, while an English teacher spoke loudly into a microphone at the front of the classroom, giving instruction, to keep students on track.

One hundred thirty-five students, four teachers, one giant classroom: This is what ninth grade looks like at Westwood High School, in Mesa, Arizona’s largest school system. There, an innovative teaching model has taken hold, and is spreading to other schools in the district and beyond.

Lipscomb University to Launch New Teacher Preparation Program to Support Rural Communities

Lipscomb University is launching a new teacher preparation program designed for educators and leaders in rural school systems across Tennessee, President Candice McQueen announced today. 

Beginning next fall, Lipscomb University is making plans to offer a Rural Education and Coaching Certificate program designed to feature specific professional learning, coursework, and field experiences that focus on the challenges and opportunities unique to rural districts. Tennessee has the nation’s fifth-largest number of students attending rural schools, with more than 293,000 rural students — well over three times the roughly 86,000 students enrolled in Metro Nashville Public Schools. This new certificate program will provide valuable resources and training to support and equip highly effective teachers in these communities.

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