On November 19, AACTE held its inaugural virtual Town Hall featuring an interactive discussion on Critical Race Theory (CRT) in education with six leading educators: Marvin Lynn, Ph.D., dean and professor, College of Education, Portland State University; Kimberly White-Smith, Ed.D., dean, La Fetra College of Education and Professor, University of La Verne; Lisa Norton, Ed.D., dean, College of Education and Health Sciences, Touro University, California; Jesse Perez Mendez, Ph.D., dean, College of Education, Texas Tech University; John Henning, Ph.D., dean, School of Education, Monmouth University; and Jacob Easley II, Ph.D., dean, Graduate School of Education, Touro College. During the session, the panelists addressed the integral role educator preparation programs play in advancing scholarly work on CRT as well as questions posed by the audience.
As the moderator, Mendez guided the conversation beginning with an explanation of CRT. “Please define Critical Race Theory and explain its tenets and brief history in education,” he said. Lynn responded, “Critical Race Theory is defined as a historical analysis and critique of racism and white supremacy. It’s an analysis of racism and white supremacy in the law and society that really uses relevant examples of case law, public policy, popular culture and critical historical events that are designed to draw attention to the way in which the law is racially constituted.” Lynn said, “And then we can think about critical race theory as an interdisciplinary critical theoretical method that’s taken up again chiefly by legal scholars. It draws on fields of sociology, anthropology, ethnic studies, and women’s studies to put forward a critique, a broad, systemic critique of race and racism as a key axis of power in the United States and around the world.”
AACTE is proud to partner with the CEEDAR (Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform) Center to bring you a webinar focused on a special issue brief, Leading and Engaging Faculty in Teacher Preparation Reform: The Role of Deans, on December 16, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. ET.
The issue brief summarizes the experiences in leadership of six current and former deans who have been identified as engaging in successful collaborative reform efforts within their colleges. AACTE and CEEDAR look to their experiences to support leaders, like you, in understanding the actions they took and the strategies they employed that may be useful to other leaders of educator preparation programs (EPPs) who are committed to restructuring curricula and programs in their own settings.
Facilitated by a panel of education deans, this open forum will examine and discuss the integral role educator preparation programs play in advancing scholarly work on Critical Race Theory, as well as ways to resist attacks on institutions’ efforts centered around this work. You are invited to join your colleagues and share challenges and success stories about your efforts to address race, equity, and social justice during these challenging times including the following topics:
- The challenges EPPs face in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives because of the federal ruling and COVID-19
- How EPPs can resist the recent attacks on institutions’ work and impact centered on Critical Race Theory
- Success stories of EPPs’ work in Critical Race Theory since the federal ruling and COVID-19
If there is one thing we can all agree on, 2020 has been a year like no other. To learn how COVID-19 and the racial injustice crisis have impacted educator preparation—and the steps EPPs are taking in response—AACTE conducted a survey this fall of its members. Here are a just a few of the findings:
- More than half of the respondents are using instructional designers to help faculty create online courses, and 75% have made new tools available such as simulations and video libraries.
- Only have of respondents reported that their state had modified or waived performance assessment requirements due to COVID-19.
- 60% of respondents reported declines in undergraduate enrollment.
- 70% of respondents have recently increased their investment in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
How are education leaders responding to the twin crises of the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice? What can we learn from each other and how can AACTE best support its members as they navigate these unprecedented times? A webinar on Wednesday, November 18 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET will feature the results of AACTE’s recent member survey and reactions from leaders in the field of educator preparation.
Join colleagues in tackling the current challenges impacting educator preparation and advocate for the future of education at AACTE’s virtual 2021 Annual Meeting, February 24-26. Education leaders from across the country will convene to address the national teacher shortage and how to effectively recruit and retain educators of color through topics featured in the conference Strand III: Establishing a Sustainable and Diverse Profession. Content from this strand includes these concurrent sessions:
- Enhancing Partnerships with University Departments to Increase Teacher Numbers
- Planting Seeds of Hope through a University-High School Pre-Educator Partnership Program
- Strategies for Prioritizing the Social and Emotional Health of New Teachers: Tools for Administrators and Preparation Programs
- Recruiting, Retaining, and Supporting Teachers of Color through Alternative Pathways to Licensure
- Creating a Collaborative and Sustainable Teacher Induction Program: A University and Multi-District Partnership
- A Pipeline of Promise: Leveraging Culture, Assessment and Data to Bridge the Teacher of Color Pipeline
- Cultivating Culturally Responsive Teaching Contexts
As the November 3 election nears, AACTE is committed to uplifting and advancing America’s democratic values. During the virtual 2021 Annual Meeting, February 24-26, educators from across the nation will unite in advocating for the future of education through topics featured in the conference strand Activism for Renewing Democracy. Content from this strand includes these concurrent sessions:
- Teaching Culturally Responsive Dispositions, Informed Advocacy, and Activism through a Framework of Children’s Rights and Professional Ethics
- Teacher Education as a Factor in Failed Citizenship
- Pre-service Teachers Acts of Courage and Resistance: Wading Gently into Dissent
- University and State Agency Partnerships for Equity: From Regulation to Collaboration
- Networking Voices for Public School Advocacy: A Focus on Equity and Innovation
- Courageous Actions in Vulnerable Spaces: First-Year Teachers Meeting Students’ Needs in Challenging Contexts
- Preparing Doctoral Students to be Research to Policy Advocates
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:
AACTE’s virtual 2021 Annual Meeting, February 24-26, will offer over 180 concurrent sessions, providing you a full menu of options for enhancing your professional development during these challenging times. Covering four different strands, sessions will feature such tools as case studies, scenario planning, and roundtable discussions to impact educator preparation.
Principals are leading schools through significant challenges and uncertainties and, in the process, some aspects of teaching, learning, and leadership may be indelibly changed. The Evolution of the Principalship learning series is an invitation to join with national experts in considering how principals’ work has changed and how our understanding of school leadership has evolved. Throughout this learning series, which is supported by the Wallace Foundation and organized by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and the University Council of Education Administration (UCEA), we will talk with principals, researchers, and other experts about the following:
- What have the disruptions in schooling taught us, as principals and education leaders?
- How have principals’ priorities and daily work changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Which changes are temporary, and which are indelible?
- How can leadership and learning capitalize on community social and cultural histories to deepen engagement, achievement and equity?
- What do the changes to school leadership mean for principal pipeline supports, including principal preparation and professional learning?
As you participate in these free online sessions, you can expect national experts to share their research and tools, and to engage you in dialogue about the evolution of school leadership.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, there were significant teacher shortages in many communities. Since the pandemic began, teacher retirements and other departures from the profession have accelerated. Can the nation’s higher education institutions meet the demand for new teachers, particularly in high-demand fields such as special education, STEM, and foreign language? What do trends over the last decade portend for the future of educator preparation?
An upcoming webinar will review the findings from two new AACTE issue briefs that address these questions:
- Institutions Offering Degrees in Education: 2009-10 to 2018-19
- Degree Trends in High-Demand Teaching Specialties: 2009-10 to 2018-19
AACTE invites you to participate in a webinar hosted by the Wallace Foundation and RAND to discuss insights from The Partnerships for Social Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI).
PSELI is a comprehensive, multiyear initiative funded by The Wallace Foundation to explore whether and how students can benefit from intentional partnerships between schools and afterschool/out-of-school time programs focused on building social-emotional skills—and what it takes to do this work.
This free webinar, will share important insights from a new RAND report, Early Lessons From Schools and Out-of-School Time Programs Implementing Social and Emotional Learning, that examines 38 sites in six communities during the first two years of the PSELI initiative. AACTE encourages members not to miss this event at a time when interest in SEL is outstripping empirical guidance about how to implement these programs and practices.
Researchers from RAND will focus on topics such as developing adults’ capacity to promote SEL, improving climate and delivering SEL instruction to students, executing system-level activities to launch and coordinate SEL work across multiple sites, and developing partnerships between schools and afterschool/out-of-school time programs.
As students and teachers continue to navigate remote and hybrid learning environments, many are feeling overwhelmed. Parents and teachers are worried about the learning loss that has already and continues to occur during the pandemic. District staff are trying to address budget and service delivery uncertainty posed by the COVID-19 crisis. All of these factors may minimize important opportunities for collaboration between educator preparation programs and school districts. However, the repeated pandemic theme of getting through this together may be the key to addressing some of these challenges. Through collaboration with P-12 teachers, teacher candidates can assist in remote and hybrid learning in several ways to include co-teaching and one-on-one student support.
To discuss these opportunities for collaboration and to share examples of how teacher candidates are supporting teachers during this crisis, CCSSO is hosting a webisode on Mitigating Learning Loss: Leveraging Teacher Candidates as Assets During COVID-19. This webisode will feature key recommendations and discussion around the joint issue brief from CEEDAR, the Center for Great Teachers and Leaders at AIR, and AACTE released this summer: Addressing Shortages of Educators in an Uncertain COVID-19 Landscape: Viewing Teacher Candidates as Assets.
This article is a personal reflection of the 2020 Washington Week State Leaders Institute by attendee Tariq Akmal.
I was fortunate to attend the State Leaders Institute breakout session on State Government Advocacy with Three State Chapters. Attendees heard from Christine Carrino Gorowara of Delaware, Scott Hewitt of Florida, and Vanessa Anton and Robin Fuxa of Oklahoma. This session was a sharing of the different types of advocacy activities that were occurring in three states. The variation in state size/population was very evident in the scale of activities of each chapter. What did they hold in common? They are all active in advocacy work and are experiencing a teacher shortage in their states. Each panelist shared particular aspects of their association’s work with their state department of education, legislators, and other stakeholders within their states.
The Delaware Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (DACTE) had “flipped the script” on the traditional Day On the Hill approach and now brought specific Delaware legislators to their association for conversations regarding how DACTE could be a resource to legislators on educational issues and to build relationships so that DACTE would be invited to legislative initiatives on education. They invited members of the House and Senate Education Committee, in particular, which seems to be a highly effective strategy! Carrino Gorowara noted how they became collaborators in developing legislation that would be a help to Delaware teacher candidates in simplifying the background check process.
There is a growing body of research suggesting that concerns about compensation generally—and about being able to repay student loans in particular—are dissuading college students from choosing teaching as a career. These financial concerns have only been exacerbated by COVID-19 and its attendant financial crisis.
To help members better understand the financial pressures impacting education students, AACTE has released the new How Do Education Students Pay for College? issue brief that takes a detailed look at how students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education pay for college, including the costs they face and the financial sources they tap to meet those expenses.
On Wednesday, October 21 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET, AACTE will host a webinar on this important topic. As the issue brief’s author, I will review the research findings, and I’ll be joined by AACTE consultant Jane West for a discussion of the implications of these findings for campus practice and federal policy. West will also share AACTE’s priorities for strengthening aid to future educators in federal appropriations bills as well as the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
The one-hour session will feature time for questions and discussion.