Every year, AACTE typically holds its Leadership Academy as an in-depth, face-to-face, hands-on training for those educators seeking to begin or enhance their roles in academic leadership. Given the current Covid-19 pandemic, AACTE wanted to bring a portion of that experience to its membership, and thus the 2020 Leadership Academy Series was created.
With the theme of Leadership During Difficult Times, the Leadership Academy Series explores topics that are more relevant than ever to our members. The first session of the series, held on October 14, explored how three institutions have risen to the challenge and taken strides to make lasting policy and programmatic changes related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Monika Williams Shealey, senior vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at Rowan University, was one of three distinguished panelists. She recently took time to answer some additional questions from attendees. Here is what she had to say:
Check out a recent JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.
This interview features insights on the article entitled, “Rethinking High-Leverage Practices in Justice-Oriented Ways” by Angela Calabrese Barton, Edna Tan, and Daniel J. Birmingham. The article was published in the September/October 2020 issue of the Journal of Teacher Education.
Article Abstract: Justice-oriented teaching must address how classroom-based disciplinary learning is shaped by interactions among local practice and systems of privilege and oppression. Our work advances current scholarship on high-leverage practices [HLPs] by emphasizing the need for teaching practices that restructure power relations in classrooms and their intersections with historicized injustice in local practice as a part of disciplinary learning. Drawing upon a critical justice stance, and long-term collaborative work with middle school teachers and youth, we report on empirically driven insights into patterns-in-practice in teaching which yield insight into both what justice-oriented high-leverage practices may be, and the cross-cutting ideals which undergird them. We discuss the patterns-in-practice and their implications for teaching and learning across subject areas: HLPs that work toward equitable and consequential ends need to be understood in terms of the practice itself and its individual and collective impact on classroom life.
Decades of research confirm the importance of families, schools, and community working together to launch students on successful trajectories. Yet, teachers attribute lack of preparation as one of their greatest barriers to building relationships with families and their greatest fear for failure. As a result, in January of 2020, the National Association for Family School and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) partnered with AACTE, CAEP, MAEC, the NEA, and selected faculty and state leaders to form the Pre-Service Family Engagement Consortium to enhance how educators are prepared to engage families and communities.
“We are more than test scores.” That was the refrain I heard from my social sciences colleagues in the teachers’ lounge protesting our school’s focus on standardized tests. The middle school was located in a poverty-impacted community with over 95% of students of color. In 2009, I was finishing my fifth-year teaching and recall asking myself, “Why are the standardized tests such an evil thing? Don’t we need assessments to measure what the students are learning?” (ChenFeng, 2009).
One of the signature education policies in my early career was the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2002. Teachers have different opinions of NCLB, but most educators and policy makers would agree that NCLB brought upon a culture of “over-testing and one size fits all mandates” (Duncan, 2015). During the 12 years I taught middle school math in Los Angeles, not once did I examine the intersection of white supremacy and education policy in my own classroom instruction. Overwhelmed by the high-stakes testing environment, and with a roster of 130 students, I was not aware of the impact of federal education policy on my teaching beliefs and instruction. In retrospect, I upheld color-evasive ideology and believed in a pedagogy that promoted the myth of meritocracy (Bonilla-Silva, 2017 as cited in Diem & Welton, 2020). In other words, I did not consider how race and racism shows up in the classroom or the ways I was complicit in perpetuating the false notion of pulling ourselves up by the bootstraps.
The following article is an excerpt from Inspire Magazine and is reprinted with permission.
After schools shut down in March due to COVID-19, teacher Sarah Thornburg and her team tackled remote teaching with gusto.
“We were like, ‘Let’s go.’ We found out, not only could we not teach the way that we wanted, but we shouldn’t,” the Columbus, Ohio, teacher said. “Everything had to slow down and focus not on content but on (students’) mental well-being.”
Some high-schoolers doubled work hours to pay bills. Some feared they would expose grandparents to the virus. Families lost businesses.
“That’s a burden that’s incredible for anybody to have, much less for a 15-year-old to deal with,” Thornburg said. “You can’t teach a child who’s completely freaking out about, ‘Are we going to lose our home?’ That was eye-opening.”
To better understand and meet the needs of its members, AACTE is launching a survey on how educator preparation programs are impacted by and reacting to the twin crises of the pandemic and racial violence and inequity in the United States. This survey follows up on a similar effort last spring to capture how the pandemic was impacting members’ ability to prepare future educators.
The chief representative for each AACTE member college and university will be invited to complete the survey. The survey will be open October 7 through November 6. Results will be released in November. Deans, directors, and chairs are asked to be on the lookout for this invitation and to complete the survey at their earliest convenience. AACTE will use member responses to
- Determine the support members need
- Inform the public and policy makers about how the coronavirus and racial inequity crises are affecting educator preparation and how members are leading during these crises
- Share aggregated information to help you benchmark your experience against your peers.
For more information and resources on COVID-19 and educator preparation, please visit AACTE’s COVID-19 Resource Page.
The Patton College of Education at Ohio University has initiated an educational series with the goal of enhancing knowledge about racist and anti-racist behaviors among citizens of the university and global communities. The Black Live Matters Munch & Learn Series features educators and industry leaders from diverse backgrounds who share the same passion for improving the culture that threatens U.S. communities and nation.
To date, three panel discussion have taken place:
Advocacy & Allyship: Every Day, Not Just When it is Trending
This session, which challenges participants to recognize and speak up against racism, features the following speakers:
- Brandi Baker, co-founder, Athens Parents for Racial Equality
- Tyrone Carr, director, Alumni Diversity Initiatives/Racial Equity Coalition of Athens
- Winsome Chunnu, director, Diversity and Inclusion
- Sarah Garlington, assistant professor, Department of Social Work/Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
Learn from top leaders in the field (and from your peers!) during AACTE’s virtual 2020 Leadership Academy Series, occurring in three sessions on October 14, October 27 and November 10. Engage in interactive discussions and strategic planning around issues facing your institutions during these challenging and unprecedented times.
In the first installment of the series on October 14, attendees will participate in a town hall style session, in which practices from three institutions will be shared. Entitled “It’s Time to Get Real: Deliberate Action in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” participants will hear how these institutions have risen to the challenge and taken strides to make lasting change in their programs and policies. Each will contextualize the work they have undertaken; share successes, challenges, and lessons learned; and provide suggestions for how leaders in the ed prep community can engage in furthering this work.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Haring Center for Inclusive Education at the University of Washington announced that they are expanding their Inclusionary Practice Project (IPP) to include preschools across the state. This work is part of a statewide effort to help more schools to adopt a culture of inclusion.
“When we meaningfully include students with disabilities in general education settings with their peers, all students see improved academic and social outcomes,” said Glenna Gallo, assistant superintendent of special education at OSPI.
In Washington, 49.7% of students with disabilities are participating in early childhood classes separate from their peers. Further, Washington is currently one of the least inclusive states, ranking 44th in the nation.
The Ohio State University’s College of Education and Human Ecology will host a webinar series this fall on anti-racism in educational research for its alumni and the general public. This series, titled “Unapologetic Educational Research: Addressing Anti-Blackness, Racism and White Supremacy,” will examine how to conduct research on race that moves beyond the standardized approach to educational research. Participants will learn strategies to ensure that their research practices are equitable to inform findings that do not perpetuate the marginalization of people of color.
The series will launch on October 1, and feature sessions on a variety of topics, including engaging “diversity” in qualitative research, interrogating whiteness, and conducting research with indigenous methodologies. The webinar will feature guest alumni: D-L Stewart of Colorado State University, Rich Milner of Vanderbilt University, and April Peters-Hawkins of the University of Houston.
Learn more about the events and how to register.
With the growing racial unrest in the country, higher education institutions are uniquely situated to promote anti-racism through education, create safe spaces for marginalized communities, engage in coalition building and ensure accountability in addressing bias, harassment and discrimination complaints. Colleges and universities across the country are responding to the current climate and the persistent issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion by appointing Chief Diversity Officers in record numbers. In an upcoming panel session hosted by Rowan University, Chief Diversity Officers at New Jersey higher education institutions will discuss promising gains in reimagining campuses that center the voices of diverse communities and leading institutional change that results in positive outcomes for students, faculty, and staff.
The session, “Dreams Will Not Be Deferred: A Conversation with Chief Diversity Officers on the Status Of Diversity, Equity And Inclusion In New Jersey Higher Education Institutions,” will take place Friday, September 25, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Join the conversation at GO.ROWAN.EDU/DEINJCDO.
This article is a personal reflection of the 2020 Washington Week Holmes Policy Institute by attendee Angeline Dean.
“People, Policy, Politics, and Processes” – Jane West
The knowledge of this framework and its relation to analysis and advocacy spearheaded the Holmes Advanced Policy Course. This framework, along with homework given by AACTE staffers Jane West and Weade James was not only the necessary grounding to an understanding that truly “all politics are local” but also ripe for Luis Maldonado to address the navigating of politics and policies. Immediately following, Lakeisha Steele, professional staffer and policy team leader for Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), chair of the House, Education & Labor Committee, “ripped the runway” with her honesty, passion, and commitment to social and transformational change! She reminded us that “we are our ancestors wildest dreams!” Therefore, we like our ancestors and so many who have transitioned this year, must be prepared to live in “good trouble” spaces and we must Persevere.
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair” – Shirley Chisolm.
As we segued into the rest of the Holmes Policy Institute, we were gifted with the Power statement of “Miss Unbought and Unbossed” herself, Shirley Chisolm. How befitting as this statement resonated as an overarching theme for such a time as this. AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick challenged us to thwart the narratives that brand Black bodies in lies and deficits. She pushed us to exercise our Positionality as spaces of truth, resistance, power, and countered narratives that honor civil rights ancestors in the proper telling of history and data in education. With that, students posed questions that blended and asserted their politics, processes, power, and positionality as people such as: What exactly is the role of a dean in residence and how or does it relate to Holmes students and their needs? What systems are in place to protect (another p word) BIPOC students against whiteness and internalized racism in predominantly white institutions?
The following article by AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie T. Fenwick is reprinted with permission from Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, 2020.
Dear Generation Z Students,
You are digital natives. So, this letter would better reach you by video, Instagram, Snapchat, maybe Twitter or a hashtag. But I need more letter characters and time than these platforms allow.
Please bear with me as you read. I warn you: First, my history recitation may seem unrelated but stick with me. Second, you might be tempted to read my analysis of White male power as a screed against all White males. It is not.
Did you learn about Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg in your history class? I’d like you to consider this battle as a metaphor for what you’re witnessing now with the murders of George Floyd, a truck driver and bar bouncer laid off due to the COVID pandemic; Breonna Taylor, an EMT and emergency room tech; Ahmaud Arbery, an avid jogger; and, the assault of Christian Cooper, a Harvard grad and bird watcher victimized by a White woman who used an old, violent trick – call the police and lie about being attacked by a Black man .
General George Pickett (known as the Lost Cause General of the Confederate South) fought a losing battle on July 3, 1863. Pickett and his all White male brigade were fighting to maintain an apartheid south built on the brutalizing, free labor of enslaved African men, women, and children. Pickett moved well above the Mason-Dixon Line and took about 12,000 Confederate soldiers straight into the heart of Union territory, Pennsylvania.
For much of 2020, COVID-19 has forced AACTE and its members to “think outside the box” and reimagine programming. Just last week, AACTE conducted its inaugural virtual event, with educators coming together to receive advocacy training and learn effective techniques for effectively engaging with political leaders. And in keeping with innovating its professional development opportunities during the current pandemic, the association is pleased to announce the 2020 AACTE Leadership Academy Series.
In lieu of the traditional, in-person, four-day training, this years’ experience will offer a series of interactive sessions for attendees. The six-session experience will take place in two parts, with three sessions to be offered this fall, and the other three sessions to be offered during the 2021 Annual Meeting. Under the theme of “Leading During Difficult Times,” the three fall sessions will explore content in the following areas:
October 14 – Addressing Issues in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
October 27 – Collaborative Decision-Making During Crisis
November 10 – Re-Thinking Field Experience
AACTE delivered its first virtual Day on the Hill advocacy event this past week. Over two days, attendees met with Congressional staff, AACTE Committee on Government Relations members, and panelists to develop their advocacy toolkit. This week, the attendees will host two days of Congressional visits with the senators and representatives from their states. AACTE state teams will be advocating for the AACTE 2020 Legislative Priorities, which describe the needs of educator preparation as we address twin pandemics: COVID-19 and racial injustice.
In preparation for their virtual Congressional Visits, attendees practiced how to communicate the priorities to legislative leaders, were briefed on current data related to educator shortages, the important to increase funding toward TEACH grants and Teacher Quality Partnership Grants within educator preparation programs, and the value of funding the Institute for Education Sciences, which is the principal research agency for education in the United States.
In addition, attendees received resources to support their learning. Each of these resources is available to all AACTE members!