Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

Civics Secures Democracy Act Reintroduced in the Senate

A bipartisan group of senators and representatives have introduced the Civics Secures Democracy Act, which would authorize an historic investment to support K–12 civic education and American history. AACTE urges members to reach out to their Members of Congress to encourage them to support the Civics Secures Democracy Act through the Action Alert in the AACTE Advocacy Center.

Over the last several decades, civics education in American schools has seen a significant decline. Given the divisiveness in our politics and the lack of knowledge and understanding of democratic principles, norms, and institutions, a robust investment in civics education is needed.

AACTE Applauds Biden Administration’s Decision to Forgive Federal Student Loans

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) announced its support for the Biden Administration’s decision to forgive a portion of the federal student aid debt certain individuals have incurred to attend college.

“The federal government’s decision to forgive a portion of federal student debt is long overdue,” said  AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D. “Many students are overwhelmed with student debt, preventing them from beginning families, purchasing homes, or achieving other life milestones. This announcement is a significant step in helping these students. However, much more needs to be done to help students interested in pursuing a career in education finance their college degree. As a nation, we must address the high cost of a college degree and the low compensation of teachers, both of which have contributed to a nationwide shortage of profession-ready, fully licensed educators.”

Take Action: Support Loan Forgiveness for Educators Act

One of the barriers to a diverse and well-prepared educator workforce is the high cost of college and student loan debt. Research has found that higher debt burdens are associated with students avoiding public service jobs, particularly in the education field.  These barriers are more acute for people of color interested in entering the teaching profession and hinders their ability to stay in the profession.

Civics Secures Democracy Act Reintroduced in the Senate

 

A bipartisan group of senators has reintroduced the Civics Secures Democracy Act of 2021, which would authorize a historic investment to support K–12 civic education and American history.

Over the last several decades, civics education in American schools has seen a significant decline. Given the divisiveness in our politics and the lack of knowledge and understanding of democratic principles, norms, and institutions, a robust investment in civics education is needed.

AACTE Applauds Secretary Cardona’s Vision to Elevate the Teaching Profession

On June 9, Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona released a vision to support and elevate the teaching profession. AACTE applauds the vision to recruit, develop, and retain future educators in a time when extreme educator shortages are afflicting the country, and looks forward to working with the secretary to realize each strategy. The secretary’s vision, announced during a fireside chat at AACTE member institution, Bank Street College of New York, arrived on the heels of AACTE’s premier advocacy event, Washington Week, as AACTE members and its state affiliates met with their federal legislators to promote comprehensive educator preparation.

Statement from National Education Organizations on Gun Violence Prevention Package in Senate

The 17 organizations above representing the full breadth of the national K-12 education community, including school superintendents, administrators, educators, school mental health providers, school staff and parents, call on Congress to swiftly pass legislation that will address the senseless epidemic of gun violence in this country.  

Schools and educators alone cannot bear the full burden of addressing the public health crisis of gun violence. The answer to stopping gun violence in our schools is not to arm our educators or to focus solely on better addressing the mental health crisis. As a nation, we must take a hard look at the various societal factors that are contributing to our high rates of gun violence and suicide and commit to meaningful action.

An Energizing Launch to the Work Ahead

2022 Washington Week Attendee Recaps Her Experience

This year, AACTE’s Washington Week event (Educating the Future: Policy and Advocacy as Levers of Change) was held in person for the first time in three years. The energy in the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel was high as colleagues met and reunited with each other.

The week opened on Monday with a warm welcome by Lynn M. Gangone (AACTE’s president and CEO), followed by a plenary session on AACTE’s legislative priorities by Mike Rose (AACTE’s senior director of government relations) and members of AACTE’s Committee on Government Relations and Advocacy (including myself), who offered tips on having successful meetings with public officials.

AACTE Members Pledge their Support for Digital Equity at Signing Event

Today, representatives from several AACTE member institutions, along with AACTE staff, representatives from both the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), and colleagues from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), committed to leveraging their resources to support the adoption of the EPP Digital Equity and Transformation Pledge.

In a signing ceremony at the U.S. Department of Education with Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten, the following AACTE members, on behalf of their respective institutions, committed their educator preparation programs to expanding and scaling digital equity and transformation in learning:

Holmes Scholar Highlights Access to Government at 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 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.

Holmes Scholar Vivian Medina-Messner is passionate about having conversations that build community. Washington Week provides this opportunity, “[At] Washington Week educators can meet other educators and have great conversations about educational policies and about issues important to our communities and students.” Read below for the rest of AACTE’s conversation with Medina-Messner.

Last Call for Washington Week

We’re getting close to kick off for AACTE’s Washington Week, June 6 – 8! Join us in the nation’s capital for the first, in-person Washington Week since 2019.

We are excited to share our lineup of exemplary speakers, including DoE Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten. They will cover critical topics in education and teacher preparation, including censorship, teacher shortage, and educator diversity. View the full schedule here.

AACTE Urges Congress and Local Leaders to Protect Students and Educators in our Schools

On behalf of AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement after the most recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in which at least 19 students and two teachers were murdered.

“Our nation has experienced yet another senseless act of violence in our schools. By one estimate, since 1999, at least 554 children, educators, and school staff have been victims of school shootings and 311,000 children have been exposed to gun violence at school. This is simply unacceptable. It is long past time for policymakers to take action to protect our students, educators, and school staff from such violence. We can and must do more. 

What is clear is that no progress has been made toward keeping guns, especially semi-automatic  weapons, out of the hands of those that seek to cause devastation. As a result, more children and their teachers are murdered. This must stop. We implore Congress to pass sensible, life-saving, gun-reform legislation, which the vast majority of the American public overwhelmingly supports.

Ohio University Holmes Scholar Asks Policymakers ‘Hard Questions’ at 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.

Holmes Scholar and Ph.D. student from Ohio University, Shauna Torrington attends Washington Week because she loves how the training has helped her to find her voice, “I have been better able to articulate my views to support my stance on any subject.” Torrington shares the rest of her thoughts about Washington Week with AACTE.

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.

Follow Us