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A Call for Civility in K-12 Education

Permission granted by Jeremiah Robinson, the Office of Mayor Martin J. Walsh, City of Boston

In this time of division and crisis, we, as school leaders, cannot sit quietly by. Volatile and violent debates threaten to erode our hallways and undermine our solemn promise to America’s students—to provide them with high-quality education in safe spaces. We are compelled to reaffirm what and who we stand for and to advocate for a collective recommitment to civility in our schools and in our communities.

AACTE Releases New Podcast Series: The University Principal Preparation Initiative

The University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI) Podcast logoAACTE has released a new podcast series that chronicles the multi-year principal program redesign initiative undertaken by the Wallace Foundation: The University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI). This podcast is designed to inspire learning opportunities and educational partnerships among AACTE members and stakeholders and to create highly trained and qualified principals who will influence and shape their learning communities. 

In the first episode, AACTE interviews Rochelle Herring, senior program officer at the Wallace Foundation, to introduce the initiative, though which seven principal preparation programs were selected to partner with district and state leaders in their redesign efforts, as well as investigate how state policy could be leveraged to improve the quality of principal preparation statewide. Throughout the conversation, Herring cites research proving that the principal is a multiplier of good teaching and therefore, improved learning.

You’re Invited: Virtual Release of New Early Childhood Education Higher Education Report

Preparing A ProfessionHigher education is a critical part of the early childhood education (ECE) profession as it serves as the primary pipeline for the early childhood education workforce. And, like early childhood educators, most ECE higher education programs find themselves under-resourced and under-valued. As such, the Unifying Framework for the Early Childhood Education Profession calls for a significant investment in ECE higher education programs to shore up the ECE workforce pipeline and to ensure that practitioners are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively support the development and education of young children.

Strengthening the Educator Workforce: The Importance of Pre-K–12 Partnerships

AACTE and EdPrepLab logosStrong pre-K–12 partnerships are vital to high quality educator preparation. To ensure a diverse, effective, and sustainable educator workforce, it is important that preparation programs and district partners develop and nurture authentic, reciprocal partnerships. These cross-institutional relationships are more important than ever in the wake of the isolation and disruption caused by the pandemic. Effective partnerships are complex and require intentional structures, dedicated resources, and shared goals and values.

AACTE Supports President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda for Higher Ed

education, high school, university, learning and people concept - student girl writing to notebook in lecture hallAACTE continues to work with its national coalition partners toward enhancing and improving the state of education and the educator preparator profession in the United States. To that end, the Association added its voice this month to the chorus of supporters of the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better education agenda.

In a letter to congressional leaders who are currently engaged in negotiating the elements of the president’s budget package, AACTE expressed its specific support for a key higher education component of the Building Back Better agenda: America’s College Promise. Contained within America’s College Promise is a historic, first-of-its-kind tuition-free community college program; an increase to the Pell Grant; and a retention and completion grant program.

NAEP 2021 Report Card Assesses 13- and 9-Year-Olds’ Reading and Math Scores

The reading and mathematics scores of 13-year-old students fell between 2012 and 2020—the first time in the almost 50-year history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) long-term trend (LTT) assessment—according to results released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The performance of 9-year-olds remained the same in both subjects compared to 2012.

In both age groups and subjects, the scores of lower-performing students declined since 2012, the previous assessment year, mirroring patterns observed in other subjects assessed by NAEP, also known as The Nation’s Report Card.

Education Funding Bills on the Move

School financing and education business concept as a group of children drawing a hopscotch game on a floor with dollar signs as a symbol of student loans and paying for schooling fees.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. 

As you will recall, in July the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill . The bill included historic increases for education from the FY 2021 level—a 41% increase for the Department of Education, which would bring the Department’s total budget to $102.8 billion. This week, a bit unexpectedly, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released drafts of the nine remaining fiscal year (FY) 2022 Senate appropriations bills, including the Labor-HHS-Education bill. This is an unusual move, as we usually don’t see bills until they have gone through the Subcommittee markup. These drafts have not been approved by either Subcommittees or the full committee. Rather, they are intended to be a marker to keep the process rolling.

Building a More Ethnoracially Diverse Teaching Force

Building a more ethnoracially diverse taching force - A Kappan Special ReportPhi Delta Kappan (PDK) recently released a special report about teacher workforce diversity, Building a more ethnoracially diverse teaching force: New directions in research, policy, and practice, guest edited by AACTE members Conra Gist (University of Houston) and Travis Bristol (University of California, Berkeley). The special report highlights the forthcoming Handbook of Research on Teachers of Color (AERA, 2022) by Gist and Bristol, featuring research by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) educators on developing a more diverse teacher workforce.

The Kappan report provides brief overviews of the 11 domains of inquiry that are explored in greater length in the handbook by Gist and Bristol, along with a wide range of contributors. To bring Teachers of Color, Indigenous Teachers, and other educators into the conversation about how best to diversify the teaching profession, each domain pairs research briefs with teacher-written testimonies. The domains of inquiry include the following:

Evaluating and Improving Teacher Preparation Programs Commissioned Papers

National Academy of EducationThe Evaluating and Improving Teacher Preparation Programs commissioned paper series is part of the Evaluating and Improving Teacher Preparation Programs project by the National Academy of Education (NAEd) that aims to identify best practices among existing models of evaluation tools and provide recommendations for the development of new models.

The commissioned papers will be published on a rolling basis, and the first two papers are released now.

Download both papers.

AACTE Contributes to the Committee for Education Funding’s Budget Book

Council for Education Funding - Education MattersOne of the important coalitions AACTE is a member of is the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), which is the oldest and largest coalition of education associations and calls for an increase in federal funding for education. CEF’s current campaign is “5 Cents Makes Sense,” which calls for 5 cents of every federal dollar to be spent on education. The campaign’s official hashtag is #5Cents4EdFunding. 

Each year, CEF publishes a Budget Book, which analyzes the President’s budget proposal and its impact on federal education programs.  AACTE contributed two articles to the Book.  One is on TEACH Grants, the federal program that supports the recruitment of high-quality teacher candidates for hard-to-staff fields and schools. The other article is on the Teacher Quality Partnership program, which is the only federal initiative designed to strengthen and reform educator preparation at institutions of higher education.

NASSP Calls on Federal Officials to Protect School Leaders from Threats and Violence

NASSP logoThe National Association for Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is calling on federal officials to provide support for school leaders being threatened and undermined by those who disagree with school guidelines on COVID-19 best practices.

While the pandemic has impacted every one—school leaders are bearing the brunt of conflicts over masks, quarantines, vaccines, and other highly charged issues. They have been faced with hostile community members, threats to their own safety or safety of the school, and with non-compliance with rules that are meant to keep us all safe.

Teresa M. Hill, Principal at Walden Grove High School in Arizona and NASSP member, tells of her experience with threats at her school: “One month ago, seven people refused to leave our campus demanding a quarantined student attend class. After a lockdown of the front office for three hours, we were forced to arrest three of them. This has resulted in multiple threatening and intimidating voice messages, emails, and social media comments directly targeting me. Calling me a Nazi, a fascist, using profanity, and being told to ‘eat the end of a shotgun’ is beyond disturbing. Two weeks later, three men threatened and intimidated an elementary principal in my area by demanding a citizen’s arrest while holding zip ties in their hands.”

Workshop Recording Available: How to Use ESSER Funds for Ed Prep

In case you missed it, there is another opportunity to learn about how to use ESSER funding to recruit into Educator Preparation Programs (EPP).

As you know, in the past year, Congress has set aside billions for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. To help educator preparation programs effectively allocate those funds, AACTE created an Advocacy Toolkit with examples from EPPs across the nation who are expanding their recruitment using federal dollars.  In this workshop, GoReact and AACTE put together a panel of national, state, and university teacher preparation professionals. We explored one state—Tennessee—which used ESSER funds to support a statewide Grow Your Own Program to address teacher shortages and diversify the profession.

AACTE Joins Learning Policy Institute Teacher Licensure Collaborative

AACTE recently joined the Learning Policy Institute to announce the formation of the Teacher Licensure Collaborative (TLC), a partnership of  interested states building on the work of the Whole Child Policy Table, to advance revisions of state licensure and certification standards to incorporate whole child practices and ensure alignment with the science of learning and development.  

Led by the Learning Policy Institute, with support of AACTE, the TLC will help advance revisions of state licensure and certification standards, incorporate whole child practices—including social and emotional learning (SEL)—and ensure alignment with the science of learning and development.

CEEDAR Invites AACTE Members to New Affinity Group

PBLO-flyerThe Practice-Based Learning Opportunities Affinity Group will host its first meeting on September 29, 2021, 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET. This Affinity Group (AG) will explore practice-based learning opportunities (PLOs) as a model for supporting teacher educators’ use of high-leverage practices (HLPs) and evidence-based practices (EBPs). PLOs afford educators opportunities to apply content knowledge and pedagogy in coursework, professional development workshops, and authentic classroom situations. During interactive meetings, the AG will explore topics such as practice and the role it plays in teacher learning; practice-based learning opportunities, such as structured video analysis, simulated interactions, microteaching; strategies for connecting simulated practice opportunities with authentic practice opportunities; and strategies for developing prerequisite knowledge for candidates and teachers.

AACTE and GoReact Offer Free Workshop: How to Use ESSER Funds for Ed Prep

How to Use ESSER Funds for Ed PrepIn the past year, Congress set aside billions for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.

To help educator preparation programs effectively allocate those funds, GoReact and AACTE put together a panel of national, state, and university teacher prep professionals. They’ll dig into one state—Tennessee—that has used ESSER funds to support a statewide Grow Your Own Program to address teacher shortages and diversify the profession.

In this free workshop, our panelists will

  • Analyze one particular state’s strategy for ESSER funds
  • Share how ALL teacher prep programs can effectively use emergency relief funds
  • Provide a resource AACTE has developed to support EPPs and Local Education Agencies to create a pathway into teaching
  • Answer participant questions

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