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AACTE Advocates for Educator Preparation with Biden Administration

Open book and american flag. Open book on wooden surface. Value your independence. Freedom for every man.

This past week, AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone sent a congratulatory letter to President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris on behalf of AACTE members, congratulating the 46th presidential administration and encouraging collaboration between the Association and our elected leaders. Gangone states, “AACTE supports your education priorities, which will ensure that no child’s future is determined by their zip code, parents’ income, race, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, or immigration status.” The letter further describes AACTE’s interest in the selection of a Secretary of Education who has a proven track record in promoting social justice. “Choosing a leader who is deeply committed to advancing our nation’s public schools and our institutions of higher education, as well as investing in the teaching profession so that every student has a fully prepared teacher, is essential.” 

AACTE will be providing the Biden-Harris Education Transition Team with our legislative and policy priorities in the coming weeks. As we move toward 2021, these priorities will be shared with our elected leader in Congress and policymakers across the nation within each state.

Dear President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris:

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) congratulates you on your election and looks forward to working with you and your administration as you lead our nation to “build back better.” AACTE members are schools and colleges of education that prepare the education workforce of the future. Members are in every state in the nation and include public and private colleges and universities, HBCUs and Hispanic-serving institutions, as well as community colleges. AACTE members ensure that all PK-12 students receive high quality instruction, especially critical during the current pandemic. Our educator candidates are salient assets to public schools with long-standing partnerships between our members and their local school districts.

Educator preparation sits at a crossroad of crises generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the public education workforce has already lost more than 600,000 jobs, university-based educator preparation programs are also experiencing significant reductions in enrollment and program closures. Rising demand for new teachers and shrinking production capacity in colleges and universities threatens the high-quality education our populace needs for a rich quality of life and to ensure our global competitiveness for generations. We look forward to working with you to address this national challenge and support the institutions preparing our educator workforce.

Board of Directors Approves New Committee Appointments

Programmatic Advisory Committees

At its September meeting, the AACTE Board of Directors appointed new members to the programmatic advisory committees, including two new committees on Educator Diversity and the Holmes Program. Congratulations to these AACTE members, who will assume these positions on March 1, 2021, and a special thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for these important volunteer leadership roles.

Did you vote? AACTE Board of Directors Election

AACTE 2020 Board Election

Does it seem like elections never end these days?  Well, at AACTE democracy is working. AACTE has a convenient online voting system, and it will only take a moment to cast your vote for new leaders of your Association.

The 2020 election for the AACTE Board of Directors is underway through Friday, December 4. Two seats will be decided via online voting:

  • One seat represents the Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADREI)
  • One seat represents the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities (TECSCU)

All AACTE All AACTE Institutional and Chief Representatives are eligible to vote for both positions, regardless of whether you work at a CADREI, TECSU, or other type of institution.  The slate is as follows:

AACTE Board of Directors Election Underway Through December 4

AACTE 2020 Board Election

You may have thought that you were done voting for 2020, but there is one more important election this year. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about in-person or mail-in ballots. AACTE has a convenient online voting system, and it will only take a moment to cast your vote for new leaders of your Association.

The 2020 election for the AACTE Board of Directors is underway through Friday, December 4. Two seats will be decided via online voting:

  • One seat representing the Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions (CADREI)
  • One seat representing the Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities (TECSCU)

All AACTE Institutional and Chief Representatives are eligible to vote for both positions, regardless of whether you work at a CADREI, TECSU, or other type of institution. The slate is as follows:

SLI Attendees Provide Input into New State Chapters Taskforce

State Chapter Taskforce

Last month, during the AACTE State Leadership Institute (SLI), I attended the session on the newly formed State Chapter Taskforce, which  was moderated by AACTE President and CEO Lynn Gangone, AACTE president and CEO; Ann Larson, chair, AACTE Board of Directors; and Kate LaBoll-Lavoie, chair, Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) and AACTE Board member. State Chapters, a network of AACTE member institutions that are organized collectively to advocate for and to address educator preparation issues in their state, helps provide direction to AACTE. This very important taskforce was formed to:

  • Review the existing policy on the relationship between AACTE and the state chapters, the practices and experience of peer associations, and advice of legal counsel
  • Consider the desired relationship between AACTE and state chapters. How do AACTE and the state chapters want to see the relationship evolve?
  • Recommend revisions to state chapter policy to the AACTE Board of Directors
  • Provide recommendations to the Board and National Office staff on how AACTE could best collaborate with the chapters, particularly with regard to state policy advocacy

Build on Campus Connections and Engage New Members with AACTE

Teresa ClarkI have learned firsthand that AACTE is passionately committed to the professional development of its members. From 2017 to 2020, I served on the AACTE Committee on Membership and Capacity Building and had the wonderful opportunity to meet and network with esteemed colleagues from around the country, as well as several fabulous AACTE staff. During my time on the committee, we delved into many thoughtful discussions about how to improve our engagement with our members and bolster their participation with the organization.

In addition to participating on the Membership Committee, I serve as an associate professor in the Doctor of Education in P-20 and Community Leadership at Murray State University (Murray, KY). Our College of Education and Human Services has a long, proud tradition of providing to faculty the opportunity to attend the AACTE Annual Meeting, and many of our faculty have served in leadership positions or  presented at the conference. Over the last several years, my program director and I have sought those opportunities for our Ed.D. students as well—to attend, engage, and network at the AACTE Annual Meeting. More recently, our program has also been an exhibitor at the annual conference, sharing information with graduate student and new faculty attendees interested in pursuing their doctoral degrees, as well as providing materials for the many experienced members to take back to their campuses to share.

AACTE Statement on ICE Guidance for International Students at U.S. Colleges and Universities

Students doing homework and preparing exam at university, closeup of young man writing in college library

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today regarding the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s guidance that forces colleges and universities to reopen with in-person classes:

“AACTE is appalled by efforts to deny international students from attending U.S. colleges and universities on the basis of enrollment in online versus in-person classes. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s position prohibits new or initial students on foreign visas after March 9 from entering the country and enrolling in fully online courses, thus forcing them to take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction this fall. This policy is both harmful to the health, safety, and overall well-being of the students and detrimental to their educational trajectories. Additionally, this action exacerbates the complex challenges institutions of higher education already face during this unprecedented time.

Act Now to Help AACTE Disrupt Inequity and Advance Racial Justice

Racial ethnic social issue and equality concept or cultural justice symbol as a black and white crumpled paper shaped as a human head on old rustic wood background with a puzzle piece as a metaphor for social race issues.More than ever, AACTE members are focused on disrupting inequities and advancing racial justice.  AACTE is offering two great new opportunities for members to engage in this work with colleagues from across the country. The AACTE Board of Directors recently created two new committee:

  • Advisory Committee on Educator Diversity
  • Holmes Program Advisory Committee

These committees will advise AACTE on how it can best help members attract and retain diverse future teachers and other educators and on AACTE’s signature program for future scholars and leaders of color, the Holmes Program.

If you are interested in serving on one of these important new committee—or if you would like to nominate a colleague—please act now!  Nominations close on August 7Learn more and submit your nomination.

AACTE Highlights New Programmatic Advisory Committees

AACTE New Programmatic Advisory Committees

As a nation, we are facing racially and ethnically grounded injustices, which disproportionately impact our BIPOC students and educators. In a recent letter to Holmes students, AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone noted “that generations of citizens are molded by their educators, and so the work of fighting for racial equity begins in our member institutions—on your campuses.”

Sadly, the nation’s P-20 educators have never reflected the rich diversity of the students they serve. Gangone notes that while “the work that needs to be done to sow seeds of racial justice in our curriculum and in our teaching practices should not and cannot be solely completed by our students and faculty of color, the invaluable teaching and scholarship contributions of our diverse educators and candidates are the underpinning for system of education each student in our country deserves.

AACTE Statement on Federal Government Push to Reopen Schools Prematurely

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today regarding the Trump administration’s intent to withhold federal funds to force schools and universities to reopen with in-person education this fall:

“AACTE strongly opposes President Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s efforts to force schools and universities to reopen prematurely. Preserving the health and safety of students and educators during COVID-19 is essential to effective teaching and learning. The Trump administration has directed state and local governments to bear the responsibility for developing and implementing policies and practices to protect their citizens during the pandemic. As such, institutions must be allowed to implement feasible and practical measures for reopening tailored to the needs of their local communities.

Federal funds should not be used as leverage to force schools and universities to provide in-person classes amidst the current surge of the coronavirus. Instead, federal funds must be allocated to aid colleges and universities in their recovery from the significant, financial challenges caused by the pandemic, to equip institutions with the proper tools to reduce the spread of coronavirus on their campuses, and to provide liability protection.

AACTE calls upon our nation to protect the health and well-being of those most vulnerable in our education communities and to implement bipartisan efforts that will strengthen school safety plans.”

Nominations Open for Two New AACTE Committees

Room full of hands raisedThe AACTE Board of Directors recently created two new advisory committees to promote diversity in the educator workforce and among future leaders and scholars in educator preparation. These committees will be an integral part of fulfilling the strategic priority of diversity, equity, and inclusion outlined in AACTE’s new strategic plan.

Nominations are open through August 7 for positions on the new Programmatic Advisory Committee on Educator Diversity and the Holmes Program Advisory Committee

AACTE Committee Members Honored with Prestigious Research Award

Current and former members of the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology (I&T) were recognized with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) 2020 Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education (JDLTE) Outstanding Research Paper Award for their case study research, “TPACK Leadership Diagnostic Tool: Adoption and Implementation by Teacher Education Leaders(Clausen, Finsness, Borthwick, Graziano, Carpenter, & Herring, 2019). Recipients of the award include: Jon Clausen, Ball State University; Elizabeth Finsness, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Arlene Borthwick, National Louis University; Kevin Graziano, Nevada State College; Jeffrey Carpenter, Elon University; and Mary Herring, University of Northern Iowa. The research award affirms the long-term work and impact of the AACTE I&T Committee.

The case study examined how the Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) leadership diagnostic tool was used by teacher education leaders who established and sustained organizational and learning environments for TPACK-based initiatives at three institutions. Participants indicated all components in the tool were relevant for planning and implementing their TPACK initiatives. Participants “used the diagnostic tool to engage with others about their initiatives, to consider how physical spaces and personnel could be repurposed in support of their initiatives, and to think critically about prioritizing competing political, financial, and contextual demands” (Clausen et al., 2019, p. 64).

AACTE Board of Directors Creates Two New Committees to Promote DEI

The AACTE Board of Directors recently created two new advisory committees to promote diversity in the educator workforce and among future leaders and scholars in educator preparation. These committees will be an integral part of fulfilling the strategic priority of diversity, equity, and inclusion outlined in AACTE’s strategic plan.

Advisory Committee on Educator Diversity

The purpose of this committee is to advise the AACTE staff and Board of Directors on current trends, issues, and programming needs related to advance diversity in educator preparation program faculty and candidates. The committee shall provide recommendations and feedback for program improvement that may pertain to the following:

Member Update: Engage in Courageous Action

Lynn M. Gangone

We are indeed living in profound times. Educators face extraordinary challenges navigating not only the global health crisis, but also the racial and systemic injustices occurring within our country. AACTE and its Board of Directors are taking bold actions to augment our leading role during this time of change. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above and learn more.

Educators must remain committed to teaching and modeling social responsibility now more than ever before. Stay connected with AACTE for the latest resources, tools, and information to address the issues facing our profession today. Visit aacte.org to access these benefits and renew your AACTE membership.

AACTE Board of Directors Calls Educators to Courageous Action on Race Matters in America

On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Board of Directors, Chair Ann Larson issued the following statement today on race matters in America:

“AACTE leaders are compelled to voice our dissent of the recent, tragic events that have resulted in the horrendous murders of Black Americans. The unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others represent incendiary racism that has deep, historic roots in our society. This profound moment in time has brought despair not only to the Black American community, but also to innumerable individuals, families, and communities representing legions of cultures and ethnicities throughout the country and the world. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’

It is imperative that educators embrace their responsibility as front line workers in dismantling structural racism within the American education system. Schools play a critical role in educating students about citizenship and societal values, which have long perpetuated the cycle of racial injustice. Educators must be change agents for reversing the miseducation of white people about black and brown people, and for promoting racial equity. There is a critical need for well-prepared, culturally responsive teachers who can educate and guide learners to value the lives of all human beings and hold others accountable in practicing justice, ensuring equitable access, promoting and assuring diversity, fostering inclusive policies and practices in all aspects of our society, and offering hope and optimism to all children.

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