Posts Tagged ‘equity’

Litigating Education

Sixty-six years have passed since Brown v. Board of Education. The Brown decision came down in 1954; however, in the 16 dual system states, white resistance stalled school desegregation until the late1960s and early1970s. Since Brown, state and federal courts have steadily engaged litigation about education access, school funding, education equity, and opportunity to learn. In recent years, litigation has challenged school reform schemes such as vouchers, charters, the definition of highly qualified teachers, and the practice of disproportionately placing uncertified teachers-in-training as teachers-of-record in schools and classrooms serving urban poor students of color. These schemes—which are often viewed as new and innovative—have old roots in resistance to Brown[1].

Nearly 70 years of litigation about education access, school funding, education equity, and opportunity to learn has yielded two findings: Money matters. And judicial involvement is critical for ensuring that school funding is equitable. In fact, research has shown that court ordered school finance reform tends to increase state spending in lower-income school districts and decrease expenditure gaps between low and high income districts. A National Bureau of Economic Research study (2015)[2] found:

For children from low income families, increasing per-pupil spending yields large improvements in educational attainment, wages, family income, and reductions in the annual incidence of adult poverty. All of these effects are statistically significant … (p.39).

COVID-19 Raises Multiple Education Policy Questions

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.

How Will the Senate Respond to the House Passed $3 Trillion HEROES Act?

Last week the House passed its follow up to the $2 trillion CARES Act by adopting the HEROES Act— the next COVID-19 relief bill. The Senate does not appear to be in a hurry to act and has clearly articulated different priorities from those in the HEROES Act.

Educators and their congressional allies are weighing in for a strong infusion of cash for education in the next bill.  In the House, Reps. Tlaib (D-MI), Hayes (D-CT) and Pressley (D-MA) are circulating a letter to their colleagues that requests $305 billion be targeted to K-12 education in the next COVID-19 bill.  In comparison, the HEROES Act targets $58 billion to K-12 education. Many education organizations are supporting their request, including the National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, and AASA: The School Superintendents Association.

On the higher education side, almost 80 education organizations have requested that the maximum for the Pell Grant be doubled, anticipating that students will be facing unprecedented struggles when starting the new academic year and beyond.

Home/School: Research Imperatives, Learning Settings and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has made home settings an essential and, in many cases, the only place of formal learning for students. This shift has pulled parents, caretakers, and other family members even closer to the education of young people as they assume the work of schooling that has been substantially reconfigured by both the pandemic and online platforms. However, in faculties of education, homeschooling is often marginalized with limited funded research (Howell, 2013). Additionally, as Kennedy and Archambault (2012) argue, teacher education programs should have been taking a more proactive role in terms of K-12 online learning with a focus not simply on the technology (Ko & Rossen, 2017), but on the unique aspects of the pedagogy associated with this mode of instruction. Teachers may be ill-prepared to deliver online content, and many families are overwhelmed by the shift in the learning environment. The long-term impacts of this shift are unknown. Yet this uncertainty reasserts opportunities to both (1) leverage home and community settings as reservoirs of knowledge deserving greater attention for teachers and teacher educators and (2) consider how educational technology can be used to support pedagogies that are more centered on students’ interests, assets, and needs (Means et al, 2013).

How the Center for Urban Education in Denver is Reimagining Teacher Preparation Programs

Revolutionizing Education

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers proposed a bill that would task their state’s Department of Education and Department of Higher Education with devising strategies for recruiting more teachers of color. Almost half of Colorado students are students of color, while teachers of color comprise about 10 % of all teachers. This mismatch is even wider in Denver Public Schools, the largest district in the state, where 75 % of students are students of color but the share of teachers of color is a mere 27%.

Worse still, enrollment data from Colorado’s teacher preparation programs suggests these numbers are unlikely to inch up anytime soon: The state has not seen growth in the number of Black candidates enrolling in teacher programs in almost a decade, and its seen only a modest increase in the number of Latinx candidates. In the 2017–18 school year, only about 28 % of those enrolled in teacher preparation programs identified as people of color.

Research shows that teachers of color can boost the achievement of students of color—a needed skill in a state where these students face wide gaps in academic performance. However, it is increasingly clear that preparation programs will need to be more forward-thinking if they are going to usher more aspiring teachers of color into the profession.

Revolutionizing Education

AACTE DEI Video: Promoting Equal Access to Quality Teachers

AACTE DEI Video: Promoting Equal Access to Quality Teachers

Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and Impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.

In celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8, AACTE spotlights “Promoting Equal Access to Quality Teachers,” as the next segment in its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion video series, In this video, AACTE leaders discuss the important role effective teachers have in student learning and achievement, and advocate for poor communities to be given equal access to high quality educators. With the recent disruption in education caused by the coronavirus, several inequities regarding equal access to quality instruction has come to light as well as the important role teachers have in student learning. AACTE members are committed to producing high quality educators for the 21st century learner and strongly believe all students should have access to excellent teachers.

#AACTE20 Closing Keynote Speaker Rodney Robinson Underscores Cultural Equity

Rodney Robinson

The AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting culminated with a Closing Session keynote address by 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson, a Richmond, Virginia, 18-year veteran educator who has developed programs to prevent students from entering the school-to-prison pipeline. Robinson shared how he uses culturally responsive curriculum and the whole child approach to learning in educating vulnerable students.

In talking about inequity, Robinson spoke about two different types: resource inequity and cultural inequity. During a tour of schools in Southwest Virginia, he noted the differences in resources. “It’s mind boggling. We went to some schools with 21st century buildings, state-of-the-art high-speed internet. Kids were using STEM boxes to plant agriculture, kids were using drones to to study space. And then we would go 30 miles down the road and buildings don’t even have AC, no high-speed internet; one school district didn’t even have text books.” He was challenged to advocate for these types of inequities between rural and urban schools.

Helping Teacher Educators Take a Stand Against Hate

Panelists - “Combating Discrimination and Hatred Through Education

On Feb. 29, my colleagues and I had the honor of delivering the Deeper Dive presentation, “Combating Discrimination and Hatred Through Education,” at AACTE’s 72nd Annual Meeting in Atlanta. This experience was a wonderful opportunity to help deans of education and other educational leaders understand the important role that they play—not only in shaping curriculum, but also in making the world a better place.

Hate exists because people do not understand each other and want to “other-ize.” Well, the most effective way to eliminate hate is through education, and I believe the Deeper Dive presentation underscored that message.

I, along with Rick Ginsberg (University of Kansas), Marvin Lynn (Portland State University), Margaret Grogan (Chapman University), and David Machlis (Adelphi University). presented about the Holocaust—how it happened, why it happened, and how educators should approach this type of subject matter in schools. Connecting the past to the present is not always easy, but it is imperative to prepare students to be active and informed citizens.

Revolutionizing Education

AACTE DEI Video: The Importance of Equitable Disciplinary Actions in Schools

AACTE DEI Video: The Importance of Equitable Disciplinary Actions in Schools

Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and Impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.

In this segment of the AACTE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion video series, AACTE members promote equitable disciplinary practices for teachers to use as restorative measures to build positive relationships with students. The video segment, The Importance of Equitable Disciplinary Actions in Schools, addresses the importance of eliminating prejudgments so educators can better understand students’ contexts and backgrounds and develop a new lens for addressing disruptive behaviors in schools.

A Recap and Reflection: Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges of Immigration for Teachers and Teacher Education Programs

As presenters at the AACTE 2020 Annual Meeting Deeper Dive: Challenges of Immigration and Teacher Education, the authors offer a recap and reflection of the session.

 “Quisieron enterrarnos, pero no sabían que éramos semillas” is a Mexican proverb translated as “They wanted to bury us, but they did not know that we were seeds.” This proverb captures the current experience of many immigrants and their children in U.S. society. Immigrants in the United States and around the world are being “buried” under policies and practices that violate their human rights, yet immigrant students and families remain incredibly resilient. Immigrant families draw on sociocultural assets to persevere through setbacks. These conditions have direct implications for teacher education in the U.S. and abroad.

Given the large numbers of immigrants of Latinx descent in the United States, we focus our commentary on Mexican and Mexican American communities. Two-thirds of the U.S. Latinx community is of Mexican origin, and one in seven of all U.S. students in elementary and secondary schools has a Mexican-born parent or grandparent (Jensen & Sawyer, 2013; Passel, 2011). The United States shares many of these immigrant children and youth with its neighbor to the south, México. Indeed, the fastest-growing group of “students we share” between our two countries are U.S.-born students of Mexican heritage living in Mexico and struggling to integrate into Mexican schools (Gándara, 2020).

Four Deans, four disrupters, four different challenges

Deans lead a panel at #AACTE20

During the AACTE 2020 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, I had the pleasure of serving on the panel of the “Disruptive Deans” Deeper Dive Session along with three fellow deans. Our challenges are disrupting the one-teacher one-classroom model, closing the uneven admissions pathways between community colleges and 4-year institutions, breaking the traditional mindsets of hiring practices, and questioning the biases of traditional learning environments. These are no small tasks.

During the Disruptive Deans Deeper Dive session, the panel covered the following topics:

  • “Building the next education workforce”—(I presented this topic.)
  • “Designing a clear transfer model in the state of Oregon for community college transfer and increasing the number of teachers of color and bilingual students,” presented by Cecilia Monto, dean, Education and Humanities, Chemeketa Community College.
  • “Hiring and retaining faculty of color,” presented by Don Pope-Davis, dean, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
  • “Promoting understanding of the social justice imperative of educating teachers to educate all learners including those who are neuro-divergent,” presented by Kimberly White-Smith, dean, LaFetra College of Education, University of La Verne

Our moderator, (also a disruptor) Wanda J. Blanchett, dean, Rutgers University, has led a distinguished career promoting equity and inclusion for all.

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