The University of Washington today announced a $6 million anonymous gift earmarked to bolster diversity in the education workforce, a key driver in ultimate K-12 student success, especially for students of color.
The gift will expand financial support for and recruitment of teacher candidates from diverse backgrounds, including candidates of color and those who are multilingual. In addition, the gift provides professional learning and supports to enhance retention in the teaching workforce, and evaluation and dissemination of the key learnings to aid efforts across the nation to boost the racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity of teachers entering the profession.
“This extraordinary and generous donation will help to develop a more diverse and representative educational workforce,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “We are deeply grateful for this forward-looking gift that will do so much to benefit students, especially multilingual students and students of color, as well as the students they go on to teach and mentor as educators.”
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement today regarding the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s guidance that forces colleges and universities to reopen with in-person classes:
“AACTE is appalled by efforts to deny international students from attending U.S. colleges and universities on the basis of enrollment in online versus in-person classes. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s position prohibits new or initial students on foreign visas after March 9 from entering the country and enrolling in fully online courses, thus forcing them to take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction this fall. This policy is both harmful to the health, safety, and overall well-being of the students and detrimental to their educational trajectories. Additionally, this action exacerbates the complex challenges institutions of higher education already face during this unprecedented time.
AACTE wants to celebrate your successful strategies to diversify the profession and professionally develop your faculty and staff. We plan to share members’ strategies in a handbook focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This handbook will be distributed to congressional leaders and their staff during Washington Week 2020. The handbook will also be located on the AACTE website for our members to share their successes with one another.
Now that you’ve read about the Handbook, you’re likely planning your submission. We want to support you every step of the way. Below are a few tips for a successful submission to the DEI Handbook.
This article by Nathan Jones, associate professor of special education at Boston University, is Part 1 of a two-part series.
Questions of health and safety of students and school personnel have dominated summer debates about how to open schools this fall. The collective focus on safety is certainly appropriate, considering concerns voiced by parents and educators. In most all cases, states have asked school districts to prepare for multiple possible scenarios, ranging from fully in-person to fully virtual. To plan well for any of these scenarios would take a tremendous amount of collective will and resources. To plan for all options simultaneously means that schools have simply not had the opportunity to wrestle with the deep teaching and learning challenges in front of them. If we were to wave a magic wand, and all schools were able to operate fully in person with no threat to students or staff this fall, schools would still face an uphill battle to address the learning losses that have been disproportionately felt by critical student sub-populations. Nowhere is this issue clearer than in the education of students with disabilities.
Although formal data are not yet available, we should anticipate that many students with disabilities have regressed considerably since the transition to distance learning. Data from NAEP assessments show that, for the past several years, students with disabilities have lagged behind their peers in reading, writing, and math. These gaps have likely widened further during distance learning, where students with disabilities have likely not received the additional instructional time they need to make progress. In a May 2020 survey conducted by Parents Together, 40% of parents of students with disabilities reported receiving no services at all since the transition to remote learning, and only 20% reported receiving the services they were entitled to.
More than ever, AACTE members are focused on disrupting inequities and advancing racial justice. AACTE is offering two great new opportunities for members to engage in this work with colleagues from across the country. The AACTE Board of Directors recently created two new committee:
- Advisory Committee on Educator Diversity
- Holmes Program Advisory Committee
These committees will advise AACTE on how it can best help members attract and retain diverse future teachers and other educators and on AACTE’s signature program for future scholars and leaders of color, the Holmes Program.
If you are interested in serving on one of these important new committee—or if you would like to nominate a colleague—please act now! Nominations close on August 7. Learn more and submit your nomination.
AACTE’s annual Washington Week is going virtual and we are excited to expand the advocacy campaign from a week to a month! This September will be filled with advocacy events that are sure to engage Members of Congress and their staff. Given the national climate, AACTE would like to elevate your invaluable work in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the midst of the many challenges we are all facing in 2020.
At this year’s Day on the Hill event, we will provide our Members of Congress with a “handbook” comprised of collected strategies by our members, describing their successes at their educator preparation programs (EPPs) in pursuit of diversity, equity and inclusion.
As a nation, we are facing racially and ethnically grounded injustices, which disproportionately impact our BIPOC students and educators. In a recent letter to Holmes students, AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone noted “that generations of citizens are molded by their educators, and so the work of fighting for racial equity begins in our member institutions—on your campuses.”
Sadly, the nation’s P-20 educators have never reflected the rich diversity of the students they serve. Gangone notes that while “the work that needs to be done to sow seeds of racial justice in our curriculum and in our teaching practices should not and cannot be solely completed by our students and faculty of color, the invaluable teaching and scholarship contributions of our diverse educators and candidates are the underpinning for system of education each student in our country deserves.
This article originally appeared on the University of Washington website and is reprinted with permission.
When Professor Geneva Gay began her career as a high school social studies teacher more than four decades ago, the concept of multicultural education was still in its infancy. No university had even started offering a doctoral program in the field.
This July, Gay will retire following a 29-year career at the University of Washington College of Education in which her internationally-recognized scholarship has advanced the field in profound ways — while making clear the essential role of multicultural education in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.
In Part 2 of this Q&A feature, AACTE consultant Jane West, a former teacher with a doctorate in special education and 30 years of policy experience in the nation’s capital, and Holmes Program Alumna Ashley L. White, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin and 2019-20 Joseph P. Kennedy Fellow, share their mentoring/mentee relationship and how it has evolved over time to address race. (Read Part 1.)
Q: Describe a good white ally.
White: This is not an all-encompassing definition and I am not the monolithic expert—I am speaking from my experiences in dealing with White people all my life, some who get it and many who do not. Allies of any kind have to accept the reality of system and practices that have put them in a position of privilege while disenfranchising others (e.g., the notion of heterosexuality or “able-bodies” as superior forms of existence). Allies must value the whole over the self. Allies must recognize that if one suffers, all suffer, even if not immediately. Allies must embrace their ignorance and lack of understanding in order to counteract these.
As it pertains to the subject of racism in society, racism in education, White allies have to accept the reality of racism in every system and they also have to accept that no matter the topic, particularly as it relates to education, issues of race cement long-standing inequities that cannot be resolved without centering the issues of race. In other words, White allies don’t avoid our country’s foundation, which is built upon individual and systematic racism for the gain of the dominant class. White allies must learn to be quiet when Black and Brown folks are speaking about their experiences and perspectives. White allies must learn not to interrupt and to question themselves, especially when they feel defensive, undermined, or fearful. White allies have to stop hiding behind rhetoric of equity and understanding when their actions demonstrate the very opposite. White allies have to be willing to ask questions, not to prove they are right, but because they know they are wrong.
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 final installment of the first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion video series, AACTE members discuss the importance of preparing high quality teachers to educate the growing population of English language learners in the U.S. Statistics show English language learners currently represent 25% of the student body and are expected to grow to 50% within the next five years.
In “Effectively Serving English Language Learners,” Jacqueline Rodriguez, AACTE Vice President, Research, Policy and Advocacy said, “according to the U.S. Department of Education, we’ve seen dramatic increases in English language learners across the country. Some states have increases of over 40% since 2010.” “It’s very important now that we see how our population of students is changing, and what our teacher candidates are facing in the future,” said Cathleen Skinner, director of world languages for Oklahoma State Department of Education. “[We need] to ensure that we are providing our candidates with a kind of content to meet the needs of today’s diverse students, and to make sure that they are comfortable and have had experiences working with families and communities that differ from their own,” said Wanda Blanchett, dean of the graduate school of education at Rutgers University New Brunswick. “That means the teachers are going to have to develop relationships with people outside the educational community,” said Brian Williams, director of the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence at Georgia State University.
Watch the full video.
View the complete first series of AACTE’s DEI videos on the Video Wall. Stay tuned for the second series of the DEI videos coming this fall. Help AACTE spread the word by sharing the videos with your social network!