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AACTE Endorses Educators for America Act

On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement in support of the Educators for America Act, which would update and modernize Title II of the Higher Education Act:

“AACTE enthusiastically supports the Educators for America Act and thanks Sen. Reed and Rep. Adams for their unwavering leadership in support of educator preparation. This comprehensive bill will make robust investments in teacher and other educator preparation programs while alleviating our nation’s educator shortage, diversifying the profession, and providing critical support to our member institutions and their community partners.” 

You’re Invited: Join Community Focused on Innovative Use Educational Technology

Various graphs and connectivity points  against boy using a virtual reality deviceThe Center for Innovation, Design, and Digital Learning (CIDDL) is inviting you to join a community of higher education faculty members focused on sharing tips and tricks, research-based practices, and strategies for innovative use of educational technology in educator or leadership preparation programs. CIDDL’s mission is to influence change that supports the appropriate use of educational technology in all early intervention/early childhood special education (EI/ECSE), related services, and K-12 learning environments to improve outcomes for all students, especially those with disabilities.

President Biden Releases Build Back Better Package

Build Back Better

AACTE expressed its strong support and appreciation for the historic funding for educator preparation programs included in President Joseph Biden’s Build Back Better framework, which was released today.  This funding will help ensure that our nation’s classrooms are led by profession-ready and diverse educators.  AACTE strongly urges Congress to pass this legislation as quickly as possible to help address the shortage of educators our nation has been experiencing and that has gotten worse in recent years.

AACTE Supports President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda for Higher Ed

education, high school, university, learning and people concept - student girl writing to notebook in lecture hallAACTE continues to work with its national coalition partners toward enhancing and improving the state of education and the educator preparator profession in the United States. To that end, the Association added its voice this month to the chorus of supporters of the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better education agenda.

In a letter to congressional leaders who are currently engaged in negotiating the elements of the president’s budget package, AACTE expressed its specific support for a key higher education component of the Building Back Better agenda: America’s College Promise. Contained within America’s College Promise is a historic, first-of-its-kind tuition-free community college program; an increase to the Pell Grant; and a retention and completion grant program.

Books or Bombs?

This article originally appeared in Inside Higher Education and is reprinted with permission from the op-ed author. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

September 2 marked the anniversary of the National Defense Education Act, the law signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1958 to vastly expand funding for colleges and universities. The country has been the better for it ever since. Eisenhower famously warned about the military-industrial complex and how every dollar spent on a bomber could have been spent on a school.

Today, Americans realize the futility of spending $2 trillion over 20 years fighting a lost war in Afghanistan. What would the world look like if that money had been spent on education in that country and in ours? Now is the time for every college in the country to fight hard for the next massive investment in higher education. Quite simply, they should lobby for our future.

Unfortunately, higher education institutions have historically played defense when it comes to advocating for their own interests. For the past four years, colleges have spent lots of time and money responding to chaotic Trump-era proposals on immigration, free speech on campus, graduate student taxes, Title IX changes and restrictions on research. In most states, funding to higher education is much lower today than it was 20 years ago.

Washington Update: Education Spending Bill and Changes to TEACH Grants

Graduation hat, dollar banknotes and coins on dark table. Pocket money concept

House Appropriations Committee Set to Move on Education Spending Bill

While many Members of the Senate traveled home this week for a scheduled state work period, Members of the House of Representatives kept things moving on Capitol Hill setting funding levels for the FY2022 appropriations bills.

The House Appropriations Committee voted on allocations for each of the FY2022 appropriations measures which are moving through the House with hopes of meeting the September 30 deadline. Referred to as 302(b) allocations—these numbers reflect how much money is available for each of the 12 appropriations bills. Essentially, this is the House Democrats’ opening offer for proposed funding levels for FY2022. The Senate has not yet taken a position on 302(b) allocations for their versions of the bills and that could delay movement down the road.

AACTE Leads Task Force on Teacher Preparation in Higher Ed

Earlier this year, AACTE reconstituted the Higher Education Task Force.  The task force, which was previously led by AACTE, will share information about the policy work underway in the teacher preparation world with our higher education colleagues and inform Congress and other key officials about important developments related to the field.  Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the change of administrations and other factors, the task force was dormant for a short time. But AACTE’s colleagues eagerly accepted our invitation to rejoin.

Task force participants are from the major associations of higher education, whose members are presidents of institutions of higher education. Members include the American Council on Education (ACE), American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and UNCF. 

Collaborate with Colleagues via Topical Action Groups in AACTE Connect360

Initatiate. Collaborate. DiscussAre you interested in connecting with colleagues that share your interests and have similar areas of expertise?  If so, AACTE encourages you to join one of its  Topical Action Groups (TAGs).

TAGs are AACTE action-oriented working groups that focus on areas such as accreditation, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), elementary education, research in teacher preparation, international education, and women in leadership—just to name a few. In addition to collaborating with your peers, AACTE provides TAGs with operational funds, marketing and staff support, and complimentary meeting space at the AACTE Annual Meeting.

Biden Budget Proposal is Historic High-Water Mark for Education Funding

Medal for achievement in education with diploma, hat and books standing on stack of coins on gray backgroundThis 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. 

Biden- Harris Administration Unveils Massive Budget with Historic Investments in Education

On the Friday before the long-awaited Memorial Day holiday, just as Members of Congress were headed home and the rest of us were finalizing our plans for the long weekend, the White House unveiled the complete version of the Biden-Harris Administration’s full budget proposal for FY 2022.

The budget proposal calls for $102.8 billion for the Department of Education—a $29.8 billion or 41% increase to the Department’s current spending levels. This increase in funding would be the largest increase the Department has seen since its inception in 1979.

MU Enrollment Rates for Higher Education Teaching Programs Stay Steady, Despite Pandemic

This article originally appeared on KOMU 8 and is reprinted with permission.

Education programs across the country were presented with unforeseen challenges during the pandemic, in a career field that is already difficult to recruit for.

Despite these challenges, the University of Missouri’s program has not seen any impact on their enrollment numbers from the pandemic.

A survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education found that 19% of undergraduate-level and 11% of graduate-level teaching programs saw a significant drop in enrollment this year, according to the New York Times. 

Associate Dean for Student Success and Academic Affairs and Professor John Lannin said this is because of intentional outreach to prospective students.

Ohio’s Work to Support Children from Marginalized Groups

Ohio Deans CompactThe Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children has a mission to act collectively in support of improved learning and results for all children, but especially those from marginalized groups. Compact serves as a forum for shared learning and collective action. Due to its efforts, critical connections have been made within and outside the state through representation from key stakeholder groups, including the members of Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and AACTE.

The 30-member organization meets quarterly and is comprised of leaders from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). Compact members participate on one of four standing committees (Dissemination, Impact Evaluation, Low Incidence, Policy). Institutions that are awarded incentive grants through the Compact participate in a facilitated community of practice (CoP), which serves as a peer-to-peer network for representatives from public and private institutions.

Standardized Tests are Overused, Misused, and Should Be Eliminated for College Admission

This article originally appeared in the Opinion section of The Columbus Dispatch and is reprinted with permission.

Photo of students taking standardized tests.

I applaud Ohio University—together with more than half of four-year colleges nationwide—in adopting a test-optional pathway for admission for first-year applicants.

All institutions of higher education should lead the efforts to reverse structural roadblocks to potential students and provide access to the promise of an enriched life that education can provide.

For too long, standardized testing has been overused and misused in ways that either knowingly or inadvertently set up structures akin to institutional and structural inequities. Structural inequities consist of laws, rules or official policies in a society that result in and support a continued unfair advantage to some people—deep patterns of socioeconomic inequalities and disadvantage due to socioeconomic class or racism.

Though institutions of higher education should have standards for admission, they have an obligation to eliminate barriers for students and expand access to higher education. Newly proposed standards—such as those by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation—will succeed in this mission without negatively impacting academic quality or student

Six Minority Serving Institutions Transform Teacher Preparation by Explicitly Infusing Equity into Programming

Branch Alliance Institutions

Educator preparation providers (EPPs) at six minority serving institutions (MSIs) across the United States selected to participate in Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity’s (BranchED) National Teacher Preparation Transformation Center will undergo an immersion process aimed at producing highly effective and diverse teachers.

 

Institutions comprising BranchED’s National Teacher Preparation Transformation Center’s Cohort 2 include Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, AL, Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, CA, Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas, University of La Verne in La Verne, CA., Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA, and West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. The pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade (PK-12) school district partners for these respective institutions also participate in the Transformation Center.

Congress Advances COVID Relief and Secretary of Education Confirmation

U.S. Capitol

Biden’s COVID Relief Proposal Moves Forward in the House

As per the requirements of the Budget Resolution that passed earlier this month, the shift was made this week to committees of jurisdiction. Eleven committees are involved in the House and each must draft an individual bill in compliance with the instructions in the Budget Resolution. Then the Committees submit those bills back to the Budget Committee, which creates the overall $1.9 trillion package to be considered by the full House. The same process is supposed to occur in the Senate—all with the deadline of March 14 when current COVID unemployment supplements expire.

Three Committees include important provisions related to education. The first—the Committee on Education and Labor—finalized their $170 billion proposal for education, over twice the annual budget for the Department of Education.  The Committee approved the measure, 27-21, along party lines after considering more than 30 amendments, several of which were intended to require schools to reopen for in-person instruction. The $170 billion is comprised of $130 billion for K-12 schools and $40 billion for higher education. Led by Chair Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the Committee package also includes an increase of the minimum wage to $15 per hour, which Republicans oppose.

Celebrating HBCU Icons of Teacher Education

The members of AACTE’s HBCU Teacher Education Topical Action Group (TAG) are very proud of the contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ (HBCU) educators and researchers and the work that they have done within and beyond academia. More importantly, we commend the contributions made through the discourse and praxis on equity in education. We want to celebrate these contributions and promote the excellence that emanates from HBCU educator preparation programs. We look forward to your participation at our annual business virtual meeting on February 23, 2021 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

In keeping with this year’s theme, Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Action, The HBCU Teacher Education TAG will engage in a discussion on how we are instrumental in this purpose by using our unique positionally to provide leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion. We hope you will consider joining us.

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