This article originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.
Teacher diversity is invaluable for all students. Having a teacher of color at the helm of a classroom benefits all learners, both academically and through deep and enriching social emotional connections. However, according to The White House’s fact sheet for The American Families Plan, while teachers of color can have a particularly strong impact on students of color, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that only one in five teachers are people of color, compared to more than half of K-12 public school students. That is why President Biden is calling on Congress to invest $9 billion in American teachers, addressing shortages, improving training and supports for teachers, and boosting teacher diversity.
Why teacher diversity matters
Representation in the classroom matters. Having a diverse teacher workforce connects cultures, sets high expectations, and reduces implicit bias. Far too often, students of color feel isolated, underrepresented or mistreated, which leads to lower graduation and higher dropout rates. Decades of research has demonstrated that teachers of color can help close access and opportunity gaps for students of color while being vital to the well-being of students of all races. With a teacher of color leading a classroom, students of color see themselves represented and identify with them as role models. A diverse teacher workforce not only supports a student’s academic and social and emotional outcomes, it can lead classroom students to consider becoming educators themselves.
Why wait to submit your application for the 2022 AACTE Awards? Avoid the stress of a last-minute rush and submit your entry early. AACTE Awards can be either self-nominated or nominated by a third party. To submit your nomination, visit AACTE’s online submission site.
Winning entries will be selected by AACTE’s Programmatic Advisory Committees and recognized formally at the 2022 Annual Meeting, March 4-6, in New Orleans, LA.
This is the 26th year AACTE’s awards program has been recognizing member institutions’ exemplary programs as well as individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to education preparation. For an overview of the 2021 award winners, see this press release.
Last month, President Biden called for an unprecedented investment in his FY 22 budget proposal to begin to redress the chronic inequities in our nation’s education system. In a new playbook, the Partnership for the Future of Learning offers a set of high-impact strategies and examples for recruiting, preparing, developing, and retaining high-quality teachers and bringing greater racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity to the profession.
The 152-page Teaching Profession Playbook was developed by the Learning Policy Institute and the Public Leadership Institute in collaboration with 26 organizations and five individual experts. The digital playbook includes examples of legislation; a curated list of publications, by topic, for further reading; a guide to talking about teacher shortages and strengthening the profession; and examples of research-based policies.
This article originally appeared on the University of St. Thomas Newsroom and is reprinted with permission.
The School of Education at St. Thomas is making inroads to increase the number of people of color who choose to become teachers, and national organizations are recognizing its efforts. In March, the school received notice that the Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) accepted its proposal to be part of a consortium to increase equitable access to teaching.
Only around 6% of licensed Minnesota teachers identified as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), while 38% of students in the state are nonwhite, according to state data. In efforts to help close that gap, the School of Education will join with other AACTE members to examine entrance requirements for teacher preparation programs. This collaboration exemplifies just one more way in which the school has been working to grow the number of diverse teachers through a variety of programs, including key partnerships.
The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards is an anti-racist and inclusive organization. We believe that educators must help students consider their role in a diverse world, value individual differences, and—especially in times such as these—we believe in the power of the teaching profession to defend what is good and right for all people.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is seeking applicants from the educator preparation community to serve on the committee that will develop standards in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These Board certification standards for practicing teachers also impact teacher preparation programs and assessments, professional learning programs, and state licensure systems across the country. The 10-12 committee members will receive an honorarium and will be representative of the diversity among teaching professionals and the students and communities they serve.
AACTE partners with organizations that share its view that an intersectional lens is critical when educators are examining structures and practices that increase student discrimination and disadvantages. As Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month comes to an end and Pride Month begins, one of AACTE’s partners, Human Rights Campaign’s Project THRIVE, is hosting a webinar with panelists that represent the intersection of these communities on May 27, 2:00 p.m. ET.
AACTE is honored to share that it has joined the leaders from the nation’s largest health, education, child welfare, legal, and juvenile justice organizations in support of the Human Rights Campaign’s Project THRIVE, a multi-year national campaign to create more equitable, inclusive support systems and communities for LGBTQ youth. The initiative will build the skills and capacities of all youth-serving professionals to better meet the needs of LGBTQ young people.
Every organization that is part of Project THRIVE has a unique role to play in strengthening family permanence and support, improving health and well-being, increasing school connection, and building a foundation of resilience so that all LGBTQ youth can thrive. Project THRIVE is committed to an intersectional approach in this work, and to ensuring that LGBTQ youth of color and those who are system-involved or have a history of homelessness are a priority focus.
The 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.
AACTE is pleased to announce the selected states for the Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA), a new initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Consortium, comprised of 14 state teams that include educator preparation programs (EPPs) and their state and local education agencies, will evaluate cut scores for entrance into EPPs, and develop recommendations and model state policies to support state efforts to advance equity and recruit more diverse teacher candidates into the profession.
The 14 selected states and institutions include the following:
It is the time of year when AACTE puts out a call for nominations to its programmatic advisory committees. These committees serve the association by providing expert member advice on a wide range of topics related to AACTE’s programs and services. Whatever your professional interests, there is likely a committee that would benefit from your participation.
Have you thought about nominating yourself, but wondered whether serving on one of these committees would be right for you? I can assure you that serving on a programmatic advisory committee is enjoyable, rewarding, and a great professional networking and learning experience. By serving on a committee, you will:
- Ensure that AACTE’s programs and services meet your needs and the needs of your colleagues and institution
- Broaden your professional network to include colleagues from a wide range of institutions around the country
- Deepen your understanding of educator preparation
- Have fun interacting with smart and committed AACTE members and staff
This article originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.
The COVID-19 pandemic shed a harsh light on the systemic inequities in schools and communities. If we believe schools are the epicenter to dismantle racism and inequities, then we must examine our role as teacher educators to address these issues of inequality. How can we use this inflection point to positively and substantively change educator preparation?
Both at the system level and on individual campuses, colleges of education must ensure that programs prepare graduates to enter the teaching profession ready to advocate for and implement racial and social justice and advance the transformation of inequitable structures in schools. The pandemic has opened a window into the complexities of the teaching and learning process, which has resulted in greater collaboration among educators and families. As we move forward, we must ensure that candidates’ dispositions reflect and respect the importance of collaboration with students, families, and educational colleagues.
Asian American educator Elizath Kleinrock described her mindset after the reading about the anti-Asian hate crimes in Atlanta last March as, “[un]able to express my sadness, frustration and rage … how could I face my students in class when my body and voice are noticeably shaking?” With anti-Asian hate crimes up 149% in major cities due to increased negative stereotyping amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the educator preparation community must increase its awareness and efforts by teaching true allyship in U.S. schools and communities.
In AACTE’s next Combating Racism in Educator Prep series webinar, a distinguished panel will guide a conversation that addresses the often-omitted civil rights history of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) here in the United States and resources for teaching that history and why it’s essential in our collective fight to combat systemic racial oppression in our education system. AACTE is ready to seize this present moment to respond to Anti-AAPI racism as an association and hopes you join in these efforts.
Register today to attend the webinar on April 29, 3:30 p.m. EST.
AACTE is honored to welcome three panelists from member institution Rowan University to lead its next webinar in the Combating Racism in Educator Preparation Series. For this installment, Monika Shealey, Shelley Zion, and Beatrice Carey, who are among those leading the creation and implementation of Rowan’s DEI certificate program, will teach participants to tune into their critical consciousness to sustain a lifelong commitment to addressing structural oppression.
The Critical Consciousness in Educator Preparation webinar will take place on Monday, March 22, 1:00-2:15pm EST. In this interactive webinar, attendees will learn and practice several foundational strategies based on the certificate program modules. Whatever your role and wherever you are on the lifelong path of being a genuinely antiracist, abolitionist, and intersectional educator, you will benefit from this webinar as either a starting or reflective framework for the individual educator to live and promulgate these values through the field.
This article originally appeared in Ampersand, the UCLA Ed & IS online magazine, and is reprinted with permission.
The Center for the Transformation of Schools at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies is launching a new research initiative to inform and strengthen efforts to increase the racial, cultural and linguistic diversity of educators in California.
The project will bring together expert researchers and K-12 and higher education representatives from a variety of backgrounds to examine and identify the factors that fuel the gap in the racial identity of California’s educators and the students they serve. The research will produce an evidence-based landscape study of the challenge, as well as additional research and policy briefs that build public awareness and set forth strategies and models for state and local efforts to increase the diversity of the education workforce. The project is funded by a grant from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of a national effort to increase educator diversity.
Learner-centered design (LCD) has become a key component of digital products and platforms; curriculum and lesson planning; and non-didactic pedagogical approaches. This paradigm foregrounds the needs of learners by meeting learners where they are. LCD proposes that all designed environments should be built around the goals, needs, activities and educational contexts of users. In essence, LCDs allow for the incorporation of the whole learner by using their preferences, strengths, weaknesses, and interests as assets that can be leveraged to strengthen learning experiences.