Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

Addressing P-20 Education Censorship Washington Week

As of May 2, PEN America has noted that 34% of Live Educational Gag Order bills affect Institutes of Higher Education, and 100% of the teachers in the 15 states that have signed gag orders into law feel the impact on their work. In addition to these laws and the more than 80 live gag-order bills, rampant illegal and legalized banning of books is restricting the rights of educators to serve diverse students and their equally diverse needs. It is necessary for educators to understand and address this coordinated attack to protect students’ quality of education, human rights and mental health.

This year, at AACTE’s 2022 Washington Week, AACTE has dedicated one of its three strands to education censorship. The strand was developed based on feedback from members and AACTE’s research report on education censorship. Highlights from the report will be released at Washington Week. Sessions will cover the following objectives:

  1. The scope, tactics, and themes within education censorship policies
  2. Which policies implicate IHE, and how faculty can organize to address them
  3. How these policies and the moral panic surrounding them affect the work of teachers, and therefore teacher educators

Perfecting Your Advocacy Skills at Washington Week

Advocacy for teacher preparation programs and the fundamental need to place highly diverse qualified teachers in the classroom across the nation is more dire than ever before. AACTE’s Washington Week is the precise opportunity to perfect one’s craft of advocacy through training, workshops, and immersive experiences by conducting congressional visits with Senators and Congressmen or Congresswomen on Capitol Hill.

Legislators may not be aware of the obstacles our teacher preparation programs are confronted with on a daily basis nor the negative impact it is having on school districts in surrounding communities, and someone else might be telling your story incorrectly. This is one of the times when universities aren’t competing against one another and can come together to advocate the need for teacher preparation to be an equitable education for all children. Institutions of higher education are able to cohesively express the barriers encountered by teacher preparation programs and share their stories as one collective unit to their designated state legislators. You are able to 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. More significantly, Washington Week has returned in person this year allowing you to better collaborate with colleagues in your field and even within your state.

National Urban League VP to Speak at Washington Week

AACTE’s upcoming Washington Week conference will feature speakers from national civil rights and advocacy organizations who have sought to empower and increase educational access and opportunities for disenfranchised communities. One of these organization is the National Urban League. Founded in 1910, the National Urban League, also known as The League, is a historic civil rights organization whose mission is to help African-Americans and underserved communities achieve their highest true social parity, economic self- reliance, power, and civil rights. The League promotes economic empowerment through education and job training, housing and community development, workforce development, entrepreneurship, health, and quality of life. Through their signature education programs, The League strives to ensure that every child is ready for college, career, and life. 

Representing The League at the upcoming Washington Week conference is Horatio Blackman, vice president of education policy, advocacy, and engagement. Blackman’s work has focused on educational improvement, access, and opportunity for marginalized communities, specifically Black youth, utilizing data and evidence to support change efforts at the local, state, and national levels. Central in his practice is engaging communities in education improvement efforts. In his role at the National Urban League, Blackman leads the Equity & Excellence Project and related education policy and advocacy work.

Blackman joined the League after serving as an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development and a research associate with the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy at the University of Delaware. Blackman is an expert in connecting evidence to policy, practice, all with a focus on supporting the needs of historically underserved communities. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.

Register today for AACTE’s Washington Week conference.

Holmes Scholar Takes on New Role as Campaign Manager After Attending Washington Week

For the first time in three years, AACTE will be hosting its 2022 Washington Week in-person in Washington DC, June 6 – 8. This annual educational policy and advocacy event draws together AACTE’s State Chapter Leadership, Holmes’ Scholars, deans, and faculty for an opportunity to learn and advocate for education and high quality educational preparation programs throughout the country.

This year, AACTE is combining the best programming from three separate events — State Leaders Institute, Holmes Policy Institute, and Day on the Hill — into one reimagined mini-conference for enhanced collaboration and networking. The 2022 Washington Week program includes shared keynotes and strand-based sessions on today’s most critical issues in education and teacher preparation: censorship, educator shortage, and educator diversity. Attendees can choose to align with a particular strand throughout the event or select sessions from among the three strands.

AACTE Holmes Scholar and Hofstra University adjunct instructor, Angeline Dean, successfully defended her dissertation recently. But Dean isn’t just a faculty and scholar, she is also an activist studying at Rowan University, eager to share her enthusiasm for Washington Week and how it served as the catalyst for her new role as campaign manager. “We [Candidate Armstrong and I] are working to dismantle the status quo in our communities, says Dean, “If you believe in all of this, you have to fight back.” Read below for the rest of Dean’s interview with AACTE.

Stacey Leftwich says Washington Week ‘Prepares You to be a Change Agent’ Advocates 

For the first time in three years, AACTE will be hosting its 2022 Washington Week in-person in Washington DC, June 6 – 8. This annual educational policy and advocacy event draws together AACTE’s State Chapter Leadership, Holmes’ Scholars, deans, and faculty for an opportunity to learn and advocate for education and for high quality educational preparation programs throughout the country.

This year, AACTE is combining the best programming from three separate events — State Leaders Institute, Holmes Policy Institute, and Day on the Hill — into one reimagined mini-conference for enhanced collaboration and networking. The 2022 Washington Week program includes shared keynotes and strand-based sessions on today’s most critical issues in education and teacher preparation: censorship, educator shortage, and educator diversity. Attendees can choose to align with a particular strand throughout the event or select sessions from among the three strands.

Executive Director of the Office of Educator Support and Partnerships at Rowan University, Stacey Leftwich, has only attended Washington Week once, and it was virtually. But, as the new president to her AACTE state affiliate, she found Washington Week’s State Leadership Institute (SLI) invaluable in preparing her for her state advocacy activities, stating “(SLI) was particularly helpful as we prepared for the Day on the Hill activities and for our meeting with our state senators and representatives.” Leftwich shares more during her chat with AACTE about her Washington Week experience.

Reducing Educator Debt

How Educators Can Better Manage their Federal Student LoansAACTE is sponsoring its second Public Policy in Action webinar on May 19 at 1:00 p.m. (EST) to help federal student loan borrowers new to the teaching profession manage their federal student loans and, eventually, to have them forgiven.  

Among the most significant reasons educators to leave the field is low pay and the significant debt they must take on to earn their degree. This is particularly acute for those just starting out, whether it be as a teacher in a K-12 classroom or as a faculty member at a school of education. 

The information in this webinar is critical to help keep profession-ready, highly motivated educators in our nation’s classrooms. AACTE encourages you to share the registration link with those who are on the verge or entering the profession via residency programs or new educators that may be interested. 

In response to COVID-19, Congress passed legislation in 2020 that authorized a “pause” on all Federal loan repayment plans, interest accumulation and suspended garnishment efforts.  This pause is scheduled to expire on August 31, 2022

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) is an underutilized program that forgives the federal student loan debts for borrowers that make 120 qualified payments while working in the public sector, including teaching and other education positions. While the program has been mismanaged over the past several years, the Biden Administration is working to make significant improvements to the PSLF, so that more beneficiaries will see their loans eliminated. This webinar will provide background on the program, explain the planned upgrades, and discuss how federal borrowers could benefit from the program. 

Panelists will include the following:

  • Michael Rose, Senior Director of Government Relations, AACTE
  • Rachel Gentry, Director of Government Relations at National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
  • Michael Yudin, Principal, The Raben Group

Register today
How Educators Can Better Manage their Federal Student Loans
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (EDT)

Register for AACTE Washington Week: In Person for Greater Impact

2022 Washington Week - Register Now

Join AACTE in Washington, DC, June 6 – 8, for this year’s annual signature event, 2022 Washington Week, “Educating the Future: Policy and Advocacy as Levers of Change.” AACTE and ACSR state affiliate leaders, Holmes Scholars, and deans and faculty will join together in the nation’s capital to advocate for education and teacher preparation.

With legislative and other critical challenges facing educators and students throughout the country, this is the year to get involved and make your voice heard.

What’s new and different?

This year, AACTE combines the best programming from three separate events—the State Leaders Institute, Holmes Policy Institute, and Day on the Hill—into one reimagined mini-conference.

Registration Opens Soon for AACTE’s Washington Week, June 6 – 8

2022 Washington Week

Join AACTE June 6 – 8 in the nation’s capital for 2022 Washington Week. This annual, signature event is back in person, with state affiliate leaders, Holmes Scholars, deans, and educators joining together to advocate for education and teacher preparation.

With legislative and other critical challenges facing educators and students throughout the country, this is the year to get involved and make your voice heard. Join us for a reimagined event featuring keynote speakers, strand sessions, constituency sessions, and networking opportunities. Targeted sessions will include the following activities:

AACTE Launches Public Policy in Action Briefings

AACTE is excited to announce that it is offering its members monthly public policy webinars to learn about critical policy updates impacting education preparation. The inaugural AACTE Public Policy in Action webinar will take place March 17 at 1:00 p.m. (EST). We hope that attendees will also share policy developments in from their states during the member-only briefings.  

During the March discussion, attendees will learn about a new and innovative way to address the nation’s teacher shortage by utilizing the Department of Labor’s apprenticeship program.  The U.S. Department of Labor recently approved Tennessee Department of Education’s application to include teacher residencies as a qualified apprenticeship program, opening the door to additional federal funds to help address the state’s teacher shortage. The program will provide candidates with high-quality, in-classroom experiences while learning from a mentor teacher as part of their clinical experience (known as student teaching in some states) and will increase the quantity and diversity of teachers in Tennessee’s classrooms; other states are expected to pursue this option to address teacher shortages in their classrooms.

Help Build Support for the EDUCATORS for America Act

Smiling teacher in her classroomAACTE worked with Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) to craft the EDUCATORS for America Act, a bill to update Title II of the Higher Education Act. The bill will help state and local communities address educator pipeline challenges by channeling national resources to states and localities so local leaders can build a diverse, profession-ready army of teachers, principals, librarians, counselors, and specialized instructors. Nearly 50 national organizations have endorsed the EDUCATORS for America Act.

Having played a leadership role in drafting the bill, AACTE looks forward to its passage. AACTE encourage you to join in advocating for the bill. The investments called for in the measure are long overdue and AACTE needs your help to ensure that students are taught by well-prepared, diverse educators. Please follow this link, to fill out an advocacy form to send emails to your members of Congress urging the passage of the EDUCATORS for America Act.

Congressional Leaders Reach Agreement on Funding Levels

Urge Your Members of Congress to Maintain the Historic Education Funding Levels

Funding and development concept as a human hand giving or taking investment from a business pie chart made of mechanical gears and cog wheels as a financial backing symbol of investing support or charity donation to help a struggling company or person.Congress is one step closer to passing an FY22 appropriations bill which includes historic increases for education funding. Now is the time to urge your Members of Congress to maintain the proposed levels in the House passed education funding bill in the final appropriations package. Voices from the field are imperative to garnering the momentum to get this historic legislation across the finish line.

The House Passes a Short-Term Spending Patch and Congressional Leadership Reaches Agreement on Funding Levels

This week Congress made significant strides towards passing an FY22 appropriations bill that will fund the government through the fall. On Tuesday evening the House voted 272-162 to pass a stopgap funding stopgap funding bill that will keep the government running when the Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on February 18.  The Senate is expected to take up the measure that will keep the government funded through March 11 in the coming week.

Honoring a Driving Force in Education Advocacy – Jane West Retires from AACTE

In commemoration of her retirement, AACTE sat down with Jane West, Ph.D., former AACTE senior vice president and current senior consultant, for a candid interview about her life, career, and the change she has inspired within education and educator preparation.

Jane West’s career illustrates her passion for education and her pursuit to ensure equitable access for all students. This commitment may be written into the very fabric of her DNA, as she was inspired early in her childhood through her mother’s example. An incredible advocate in her own right, her mother was the youngest of 10 children from a small town in North Carolina and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1936. Her mother’s principal belief that public education is an essential core aspect of our society had a profound impact on West. This belief sparked the beginning of her efforts in both advocacy and education.

How are You Using ESSER Funds to Address Educator Shortages in Your Community?

AACTE has heard about several educator preparation programs and local school districts partnering together to utilize Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds to help address the teacher shortage in their communities. Now, we want to hear from you. Please take a moment to complete this short survey to share how you are using ESSER funds to place teacher candidates in local classrooms to help with the transition back to in-person learning.

Opinion: How UNI and Others are Confronting the National Educator Workforce Crisis

Reversing the Trend of a Declining Educator Workforce is Going to Take a Bold National Strategy

Mark NookThis article originally appeared in the Des Moines Register and is reprinted with permission.

Our nation’s economic prosperity, global competitiveness, and civic vitality rely on a strong educational system. As the leading producer of educators in the state of Iowa, at the University of Northern Iowa we know a highly qualified and diverse educator workforce is critical for preparing each generation to lead their workplaces and communities while serving as role models at home.

Action Needed: Urge Your Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor the Educators for America Act

Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Representative Alma Adams (D-N.C.) recently introduced the Educators for America Act, which would modernize Title II of the Higher Education Act and help ensure that future teachers are profession-ready to enter the classroom. The Educators for America Act was introduced after more than a year of consultations with experts in the educator field and partner organizations.  
Action Needed Now we must use our voice to build support and momentum behind the bill. Urge your representative and senators to co-sponsor the Educators for America Act via AACTE’s Action Center.  

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