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UToledo Educator Leads $2.3M Initiative to Keep High-Quality Science Teachers in Classrooms

Education can be a challenging vocation.

School districts often struggle to recruit and retain high-quality teachers, who cite job satisfaction and burnout as key reasons they leave the classroom.

Natasha Johnson, Ph.D., can relate to the challenges facing today’s teachers, with roughly two decades of classroom experience in metro Atlanta preceding her transition to The University of Toledo’s Judith Herb College of Education in 2020.

It is why she’s passionate about a $2.3 million initiative she’s heading to support sixth through 12th-grade science teachers in high-need districts in Ohio and Kentucky, funded by the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Scholarship Program.

Iowa Department of Education Awards Nearly $6 Million in Learning Beyond the Bell Grants To 67 Schools

The Iowa Department of Education today awarded nearly $6 million in competitive grants to 67 Iowa schools to create, expand, and sustain high-quality before-and-after school programs that support families and advance student achievement in partnership with community organizations.

“By expanding access to before- and after-school programs grounded in evidence-based best practices, Learning Beyond the Bell grants will support improved student achievement, strong attendance, and positive behaviors,” said Iowa Department of Education Director McKenzie Snow. “The Department is leveraging additional federal funds to increase support for Learning Beyond the Bell grants from $3.5 million to nearly $6 million, encouraged by the tremendous response of schools and community organizations to this opportunity. We commend all of the awardees for their leadership in realizing our shared vision to bridge and close learning gaps through engaging students in dynamic learning and supporting working families beyond the school day.”

U. S. Department of Education Announces New Actions to Increase Access to School-Based Mental Health Services

The Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions to increase access to school-based mental health services, including (1) nearly doubling investments in the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department’s) School-Based Mental Health Services (SBMH) and Mental Health Service Professionals (MHSP) grant programs in the current Fiscal Year; (2) making additional investments through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students and educators; and (3) offering new mental health and wellbeing trainings and resources for schools and educators.  

“Today’s announcements affirm the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued commitment to tackling our youth mental health crisis,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “We know students are more likely to access mental health support if it’s offered in schools. By nearly doubling funds this year for school-based mental health professionals, releasing additional funds to help advance a variety of mental health strategies, and providing additional training and resources, we are raising the bar for student wellbeing across the country.”  

Join AACTE’s Educator Preparation in Partnership with Families and Communities TAG

The AACTE Topical Action Group (TAG) on Community-Engaged Teacher Preparation has rebranded and is seeking new members. The new TAG on Educator Preparation in Partnership with Families and Communities is intended to be more inclusive of family-school partnerships and seeks to build and sustain a collaborative network of educators who are committed to redefining systems of educator preparation wherein the principles of reflection, connection, collaboration, and co-leadership alongside families and communities are elevated as essential to a field which seeks an equitable experience for all learners.  The TAG will create a space for the sharing of innovative and best practices and will foster opportunities for members to collaborate on research, curate resources, and work toward the promotion of policies and strategies to improve programs of educator preparation within the universal contexts of love and justice.   

Oregon Expands Career Readiness with $7.6 Million Investment in Hands-On Learning for 74 Schools

Seventy-four Oregon high schools — serving more than 36,000 students — have secured career readiness grants totaling $7.629 million, Oregon Department of Education Director Charlene Williams and Labor Commissioner Christina Stephenson announced today.    

The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Revitalization Grant funds from the State of Oregon will serve diverse communities around the state, with programs focused on advanced manufacturing, agricultural science, business, computer science, construction, cosmetology, engineering, firefighting, health sciences, hospitality, media, and natural resources. 

University of New Mexico and Albuquerque Public Schools Partnership Boosts Restorative Practices for Students of All Ages 

If you ever needed a perfect example of how the University of New Mexico directly feeds into the community, you don’t need to look further than the College of Education and Human Sciences (COEHS).

The new Restorative Practice Partnership between COEHS, the District Teacher Residency Program (DTRP), and Garfield Middle School is creating a fundamental pipeline of restorative practices from children, to future teachers, and to the classroom. 

“Our partnership with Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) is underscored by experiences like this for our Teacher Residents,” DTRP Director and COEHS Professor Marjori Krebs said. “By providing opportunities for our future teachers and future principals to learn the power of Restorative Practices from the Garfield Middle School students and teachers provides them with an excellent foundation for leading their own classrooms and schools.”  

Innovations to Support How Educators are Prepared to Partner with Families to Promote Student Learning

AACTE is pleased to offer Lunch & Learns: professional development opportunities for members. These 30-minute sessions are designed to provide you with an immediate tool or strategy to apply to your work. Can’t make it virtually? All Lunch & Learns will be available on-demand for AACTE members. Watch them during your lunch break or whenever it is convenient for you. 

On Wednesday, January 24, from 1:00 – 1:30 p.m. ET, join the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) directors, Margaret Caspe, Ph.D., and Reyna Hernandez, J.D., as they discuss an ongoing partnership between the NAFSCE and AACTE designed to reimagine how educators are prepared to connect, collaborate, and lead alongside families. 

Clemson to Use $2.39 Million from Department of Education to Expand Teacher Residency Across the State

The Clemson University College of Education’s teacher residency program will expand to school districts in the Pee Dee region thanks to a $2.39 million award from the U.S. Department of Education. The project will place 16 teacher residents in participating districts in the region each year for four years, paying each a $25,000 living stipend during their residency year when the students are placed with mentor teachers.

College leaders expect that most of the educators taking advantage of this stipend will be those pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) online from Clemson. These students — often career changers coming into education with a bachelor’s degree in another field — will be afforded the same opportunity as undergraduate students in the residency program and enjoy additional support to spend a year with a mentor teacher while earning their MAT degree.

The students will spend a full academic year of residency with an experienced mentor teacher who continuously gathers data about a resident’s progress to provide targeted support and feedback. Teacher residents in the Pee Dee districts will receive the $25,000 stipend and move from a collaborative, co-teaching role in the classroom to an increasingly responsible, lead-teaching role.

AACTE Celebrates Public Schools Week, February 27 – March 3

AACTE joins the Learning First Alliance (LFA) in celebrating Public Schools Week 2023 — a time for administrators, teachers, specialists, teacher educators, parents, and school board members to participate in events and discuss the importance of public education. AACTE supports Public Schools Week and thanks our public school teachers and educators who work tirelessly every day to educate our nation’s students. Learn about its importance and how to participate.

As a partnering organization, AACTE recognizes that teachers, principals, and staff who serve in U.S. public schools are key to helping students succeed, especially in these extraordinary times and circumstances. With a focus on what educators have learned and what they are currently experiencing to rethink teaching and learning, this year’s Public Schools Week honors a commitment to family, school, and community engagement. AACTE members are invited to take part in the week’s activities from February 27 to March 3.

Educators, We Must Defend AP African American Studies

This article was originally published by Education Week and is reprinted with permission.

Dear Florida Educators,

When I was growing up in Florida and I would hear church folks describe a troubling event that ran afoul of their moral compass, they would say, “it’s just not sitting right with my spirit.” That’s how I’ve been feeling lately when I hear about recent efforts in my home state of Florida to limit academic freedom in higher education; stifle intellectual curiosity in schools; ban books; obliterate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in higher education; and silence the questions of pre-K-12 learners who may be struggling with their gender identity and sexuality.

I was educated in public pre-K-12 schools and graduated from three major Florida universities with my undergraduate and graduate degrees in the area of special education. I’m a former special education teacher who worked in Pinellas, Seminole, and Miami-Dade counties and was a tenure-track faculty member at Florida International University. Yet today, when I think about the education landscape in my home state, I’m grieved that instead of being lauded as a leader in innovation and delivering high-quality, equitable educational opportunities to all learners, Florida is applauded by its governor as “the place where woke goes to die.”

AACTE Helps Launch ‘Here for the Kids’ Campaign

There has never been a more critical time to work together to support public education and students’ success. AACTE is joining forces with Learning First Alliance and partners across the country to support a critical effort to help ensure a bright future for our children.

The Here for the Kids campaign brings together families, educators, and community members to shine a light on local public schools and tell the stories of the amazingly positive things happening in classrooms and school buildings nationwide.

AACTE Celebrates Public Schools Week, February 21 – 25

Girl in mask heading into schoolAACTE joins the Learning First Alliance (LFA) in celebrating Public Schools Week 2022, February 21 – 25, a time for administrators, teachers, specialists, teacher educators, parents, and school board members to participate in events and discuss the importance of public education.

As a partnering organization, AACTE recognizes that teachers, principals, and staff who serve in U.S. public schools are key to helping students succeed, especially in these extraordinary times and circumstances. With a focus on what educators have learned and what they are currently experiencing to rethink teaching and learning, this year’s Public Schools Week honors a commitment to school safety, equity, and engagement. AACTE invites members to take part in the week’s activities.

New LFA Initiative Targets Students Missing Critical Vaccines as Schools Reopen

Pediatrics female doctor giving a young girl a vaccine shot in the armDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children—at least one in five—have missed critical vaccinations that keep them healthy and our communities free from disease.

Students without these vaccinations may not be eligible to return to in-person learning in the fall. Even worse, losing herd immunity could put millions of unvaccinated children and adults at risk for deadly or debilitating diseases such as measles, whooping cough and polio.

Join LFA for Public Schools Week 2020

Public Schools are Building Our Future Graphic

AACTE joins the Learning First Alliance (LFA) and other national education groups in planning for Public Schools Week 2020, February 24 – 28. Next year will mark the third annual LFA Public Schools Week, designated for administrators, teachers, specialists, teacher educators, parents and school board members to host events for their communities and reach out to lawmakers, businesses, and other community members to discuss the importance of public education.

As a partnering organization, AACTE recognizes that teachers, principals, and support staff who serve in public schools are key to helping students succeed and our nation thrive, and invites members to 

Marist’s Education Department is Investing in the Future

Students in classroom in NY
This article and photo originally appeared on the
Marist website and are reprinted with permission.

Marist’s Education Department is well known for preparing students to become effective teachers and leaders in their schools and communities. Its programs emphasize the role of research and technology and the importance of critical thinking, creative problem solving, and multicultural and global perspectives. Consistent with Marist’s commitment to being actively engaged in the community, the Department recently hosted two groups of local schoolchildren in an effort to advance two worthy goals: exposing students from underrepresented groups to a college campus and encouraging them to consider teaching as a career.

On May 20, Marist welcomed a group of 20 English as a New Language (ENL) students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades at Balmville Elementary School, a public school in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. The visit, the third in three years for students from Balmville, stems from the work of Professional Lecturer of Education Christina Wright Fields to promote the ideas of pursuing a college education and becoming a teacher. During their half-day visit to the College, the students toured the Marist campus, ate lunch, and participated in a session led by Fields and Assistant Professor of Education Mary Kelly in which they developed a storyboard from children’s literature; in past years, these faculty-led sessions have included tree identification and STEM educational hands-on activities. Notes Associate Dean for Teacher Education Edward Sullivan, “Essentially, we like to expose the Balmville grade-schoolers to various academic departments on campus to expand their knowledge base and present them with different educational possibilities. We also involve Marist education students in these visits to help the schoolchildren visualize themselves as future college students engaged in helping others to learn.”