At Understood and the National Center for Learning Disabilities, we have been working to understand the challenges that distance learning has presented to students who learn differently.
In response, we have developed a practical resource to help educators more effectively support students with learning differences, and in turn all learners, during distance learning. Today, we are eager to share that resource with you and the world at large in our new “Distance learning toolkit: Key practices to support students who learn differently.”
In October 2020, AACTE invited the chief representatives of its member institutions to complete a survey on how the twin crises of COVID-19 and racial injustice had affected their educator preparation programs and how they have responded to these crises. AACTE conducted a similar survey in April 2020, asking members about the immediate impact of COVID-19 on their educator preparation programs. A new report, released during the 2021 Annual Meeting, summarizes results from both surveys, tracking the evolving response of EPPs to these twin crises.
Key findings include the following:
AACTE recognizes the challenges that many of our members are facing because of the recent winter storms. We believe that your safety and well-being are most important. As such, we are extending the application deadline for the Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA). The new deadline to apply is March 5 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
We appreciate the overwhelming interest that have been expressed to join the Consortium and hope that this extension will provide much needed respite to those impacted by widespread power and utility outages, and other challenges to their everyday needs. Given the new deadline, all applicants will be notified of their application decision on March 22, 2021.
Please direct any questions about the Call for Applications to me at email@example.com.
Alfredo Artiles of Stanford Graduate School of Education, Khiara Bridges, UC Berkley School of Law and Sonya Ramsey of University of North Carolina at Charlotte will join moderator John Blackwell of Virginia State University in presenting the 2021 Annual Meeting Deeper Dive session, “Critical-Race Theory and Countering Political Culture,” Thursday, February 25, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. In this article, Artiles discusses the power of disability through its longstanding historical links with race, and outlines the transformations needed in teacher education so that future teachers are prepared to understand and engage thoughtfully with the complexities of disability and its intersections.
Disability touches the lives of all human beings in one way or another during their lifetime. It is not surprising, therefore, that most societies deploy protections and supports for people with disabilities. But just as disability constitutes an object of protection, it is necessary to remember that disability can also be used as a tool of stratification. This is most clearly observed in contexts in which disability intersects with other markers of difference, such as race. The dual nature of disability is a neglected consideration in the analysis and responses to this condition, particularly in the context of teacher education. Indeed, most preservice teachers are rarely exposed to the complexities of this duality and its implications.
Educator preparation programs have experienced a tumult of change in the last 12 months. Many of our members have experienced decreased enrollment in initial licensure teacher education programs, all during a nationwide teacher shortage. Now, more than ever before, it is our responsibility to consider what may be creating barriers for candidates to enter our programs and our profession. AACTE plans to support member institutions’ examination of assessments used for entry into preparation programs and the barriers they create for potential candidates, especially candidates of color.
During the virtual AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting, attendees are invited to join their peers at the Learning Lab session, Disrupting Inequities: Local and Global initiatives for Shared Responsibility in Diversity, Equity, and Social Justice on Friday, February 26, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. AACTE member
Michael W. Apple of the University of Wisconsin addresses this topic in the following thought leadership article.
Schools, particularly public schools, are under a great threat right now. And as education leaders, it’s imperative that we understand the current environment. There is a growing anger towards our educational system that is visible statewide and at a national level. Fueled by restorative politics, many of those who have lost their faith in public schools believe that educators place too much emphasis on equitable education. Yet, while much more needs to be done, the simple fact that some people are criticizing schools must mean that we must be doing something right already. If we weren’t working at interrupting racial injustice many people, especially those who are ultra-rightists, wouldn’t be so angry at schools and teachers.
AACTE is pleased to announce the Call for Applications for the Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA). Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the purpose of the Consortium is to convene stakeholders across various states to (1) examine how cut scores for entrance into educator preparation programs are currently set, (2) identify guidelines and recommendations for setting equitable cut scores for Praxis I and similar assessments, and (3) develop model state policies that seek to attract and prepare diverse teacher candidates for the profession.
The Consortium of state teams shall be comprised of educator preparation programs and representatives from state and local education agencies. Participants must commit to one full year of participation, which will include quarterly meetings and pre-work between meetings to accomplish the goals of the Consortium.
This article originally appeared on the Learning Policy Institute website an is reprinted with permission. The article was written by Maria E. Hyler, Desiree Carver-Thomas, Marjorie Wechsler, and Larkin Willis.
Decades of reforms have proven insufficient to address persistent racial disparities in educational opportunities. In school systems across the United States, meaningful efforts to ensure access to strong educational opportunities require a bold and significant shift. Policies and practice must not only prevent discrimination; they must move beyond simple notions of equality—in which every student gets the same—to equity—in which all students get what they need to develop academically, socially, emotionally, and physically.
School leaders who have been committed to racial equity understand the historical legacy of structural racism that reaches to our present context and that results in the educational opportunity gaps that students still experience. District staff who have focused on racial equity recognize that students’ individualized experiences, opportunities, and successes in school are deeply contextualized in the social reality of institutionalized racism across the United States. They seek to educate the individuals and ameliorate the systems that perpetuate inequitable opportunities and resulting outcomes for students.
This article originally appeared in VCU News and is reprinted with permission.
Andrew P. Daire, Ph.D., dean of the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, was appointed Wednesday as a co-chair of Virginia’s new advisory committee charged with making recommendations on culturally relevant and inclusive education practices in Virginia’s public schools.
The Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education Practices Advisory Committee, which was established by the General Assembly during the 2020 session, held its inaugural virtual meeting Wednesday and Gov. Ralph Northam announced its leadership and members.
“Inclusive and culturally relevant learning environments are vital to creating equitable pathways to success for all Virginians,” Northam said in a news release. “The work of this committee will advance our ongoing efforts to tell the complete and accurate story of Virginia’s complex past, improve our history standards, and give educators opportunities to engage in important conversations and lessons with their students.”
This article is part of a series that originally appeared on the Education First Blog and is reprinted with permission.
Here in the College of Education at California State University Sacramento, we’ve been in the business of preparing teachers for 73 years, and in the past few years have prepared approximately 380 teachers annually across 12 certification areas. A central aspect of our offerings across these programs is a focus on helping candidates understand the relationship between societal inequities and student learning, with special focus on race, class, gender, and other socially constructed categories. We knew that these understandings were key to our candidates’ success in developing equitable, healthy relationships with their K-12 students.
But we found that this wasn’t enough. The mentor teachers who support our candidates in their clinical experiences started asking us faculty some tough questions about whether these aspects of our preparation really prepared our candidates to be ready to teach all children on day one. Was the preparation coherent and clear for candidates? Were candidates provided opportunities to practice the ways in which teachers cultivate equitable, culturally responsive anti-racist classroom environments?
AACTE has launched a new initiative to examine state-level teacher certification assessment scores, with the goal to improve equitable and inclusive practices for promoting a diverse educator workforce. The initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will enable AACTE to develop national guidelines and recommendations for state education leaders in establishing criteria for equitable evaluations for teacher candidates seeking state licensure.
“Left uninterrogated, standardized tests of any sort tend to spur inequalities, rather than resolve them,” said Leslie T. Fenwick, AACTE dean in residence. “If entrance exams are decimating the ranks of prospective pre-service teachers of color, we have a moral and practical obligation to correct the outsized impact of these tests on the future of our profession.”
Increase Focus on Technology and Commitment to Equity and Diversity
The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Board of Directors has approved changes to the 2013 CAEP Standards for educator preparation. The CAEP Standards guide the nation’s top schools of education, those that are CAEP accredited, in preparing future K-12 teachers. The changes the Board approved include streamlining language, strengthening emphasis on technology, equity, and diversity. The revised standards are in effect for providers with visits in spring 2022.
“The changes to the standards maintain our commitment to continuous improvement for our organization and our providers. The CAEP Standards were developed in 2013 to unify the profession under a single set of standards, with a commitment to ensure they remain rigorous. The enhancement to the standards is based on research to ensure rigor and relevance,” said CAEP President Christopher A. Koch. “CAEP providers are committed to preparing graduates that are ready to teach all students on the first day they enter a classroom.”
Did you know that over 1,000 traditionally underrepresented doctoral students have benefitted from the AACTE Holmes Scholars Program? Through networking, collaboration, mentoring, leadership opportunities, and research activities, the program provides high-achieving minority students with rich professional development. In fact, you probably know a former scholar, as many are now in tenured faculty and leadership positions at institutions across the United States.
Educator preparation programs (EPPs) are keenly focused on developing strategies to advance the field of education, close the equity gap, and make a more diverse teacher workforce a reality, and the Holmes Scholar Program is an essential component to achieving those goals. To promote diversity of the education profession and to prepare educators who can serve diverse learners, the program provides EEPs with the opportunity to attract students from historically underrepresented communities, increase the retention and graduation rates of doctoral students of color, and strengthen the institution’s role as a leader in supporting diversity.
AACTE and CEEDAR (Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform) Center are partnering together to present a webinar centered on a special issue brief, Leading and Engaging Faculty in Teacher Preparation Reform: The Role of Deans. 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.
During the one-hour event, Mary Brownwell will talk with Marquita Grenot-Scheyer and Kandi Hill-Clarke about the issue brief and their experiences of cultivating collaboration and supporting innovation among general and special education faculty who share responsibility to support students in diverse and inclusive classrooms. Since few resources exist to support deans in their efforts to work with faculty to engage in this work, AACTE and CEEDAR believe the experiences of these leaders will be useful to other deans as they work toward similar outcomes.
Register for the webinar, which will take place December 16 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (ET). Learn more about the panelists:
This article originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.
The 1787 U.S. Constitution was ratified to establish justice, liberty, and prosperity, but not for all Americans. Like the Constitution, early American educational practices were based on a system of whiteness and elitism. Justice and prosperity for those who comprise marginalized groups have remained largely unfulfilled. We know for certain that we are a pluralistic society. No one group has singularly built this nation, secured its borders, nor defended its values. The plurality of our nation is our strength. As educators, particularly who prepare America’s future teachers, we must double down, now more than ever, on what Horace Mann said, “Education, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance wheel of the social machinery.”
America has yet to become an equal society, and these societal ills create the need for scholar activism embedded in Critical Race Theory (CRT), which historically documents and names the atrocities carried out in this country in the name of freedom, liberty, and democracy. America’s struggle to uphold the Constitution for all its citizens makes it necessary to examine the structural oppression that encumbers the United State from fully living up to its democratic ideals. Through CRT, scholars across higher education have researched racial inequality that emerged from the social, economic, and legal differences created between races to maintain elite, white interests in this country. If our national laws and practices are to ensure justice and equity, then educators have a great deal of work to do in ensuring the American ideals we teach youth to value in school are a reality for all.