While serving on this year’s (Phi Delta Kappan) PDK Poll Advisory Board, I listened and collaborated with scores of thought leaders in the education ecosystem—The National Education Association, The Learning Policy Institute, The Learning First Alliance, The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, among others. We determined what approaches to take to quantify, understand, and disseminate the vast amount of information and data garnered from this extremely worthwhile and useful poll. We discussed the results and how they could be utilized to advance 21st century classrooms, its students, and those who lead them.
What is the importance of the PDK Poll?
This year’s PDK Poll was entitled, “Frustration in The Schools: Teachers Speak Out on Pay, Funding, and Feeling Valued.” The new release is one of several polls PDK has conducted to examine opinions on public education for more than 50 years. The poll, according to PDK, is “a steady reflection of U.S. opinion about public education.” Its results are meaningful because they offer an annual review of one of the most important parts of our society—public schools, and focuses on of some our nation’s most crucial people—teachers. The poll measures opinions on the value of a public-school education and its teachers while giving us a sense of how our schools are supported, or more importantly, how they are not supported. It gives us a hypothetical picture of what the future of the educational world might hold and enlightens us about current issues from the perspective of the public. It informs and helps us contemplate how students are changing and what we, as educators, need to do to support and foster
Educators and students are facing unprecedented times. The challenges both students and their teachers confront today vastly affects the efficacy of even the best educator’s efforts to create and foster students’ zeal for learning and to contribute to the society they will one day shape. Yet, educators must stay committed to fulfilling their social responsibility now more than ever before.
What Should Social Responsibility Look Like in the Teaching Profession?
This varies from educator to educator, so the answer to this question is complicated and multi-faceted.
Education is about opening minds, creating new knowledge. It is an expansive endeavor. In theory, education should provide us with the understanding and capacity of what it means to be a citizen of this nation and the world. Our nation’s founders understood the importance of an educated citizenry. Today, I believe that we need educators to support both a students’ academic development and citizen development.
As today’s leaders in educator preparation, we must address the persistent problems and inequities of access, discrimination, and bias that plague our schools and communities. It has long been the work of educators to embrace their social responsibility and instill in children the importance of making a difference in the world. We must continue to tackle social justice issues, including the underrepresentation of culturally and linguistically diverse populations among educators. Please take a few minutes to watch the video below (or read the transcript) to learn how you can engage with AACTE to promote the social responsibility of educators.
I am excited to welcome Leslie T. Fenwick, Ph.D. who will serve as the first AACTE dean in residence at the National Office beginning this month. I invite you to join me in welcoming her to the AACTE team as we enhance our services to meet the current needs of deans leading colleges of education. Leslie is dean emeritus of the Howard University School of Education and a tenured professor of educational policy and leadership. In a short interview, she took time to share her perspectives about her new role by providing responses to the following questions.
What is your vision for the new role as the AACTE dean in residence?
I’m so invigorated by AACTE’s new vision statement to collaborate with its members and partners to revolutionize education for all learners. What a gift to be part of AACTE as it launches in this direction at this particular time, when our PK-12 public schools are the most diverse the nation has ever seen. What will it take to revolutionize education for this new generation of students who are more likely to be bilingual, kids of color, and from families experiencing
I am excited to report that the AACTE Board of Directors approved a new Strategic Plan framework during their meeting in Washington, DC last month. Our Board adopted new vision and mission statements that are bold, innovative, and will facilitate building the Association’s overall strategic plan. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above (or read the transcript) to learn more about your Association’s new direction.
AACTE is committed to elevating education and educator preparation through research, professional practice, advocacy, and collaboration. Be a part of our exciting work by actively engaging in our efforts. Learn more about AACTE’s initiatives and how to get involved by visiting aacte.org.
This month, AACTE members, colleagues, and students converged on our nation’s capital and made their voices heard during AACTE’s Washington Week events. From increasing teacher diversity to a renewed respect for the profession, attendees promoted educator preparation and pushed for their representatives’ support in making education the center of American values. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above (or read the transcript) to receive an update on AACTE’s advocacy efforts on your behalf.
Rest assured, AACTE tackles policy issues not only during our annual advocacy week but also throughout the year to continually move forward our legislative agenda. Stay connected to AACTE for up-to-the-minute information on policies and legislation by visiting aacte.org.
AACTE is committed to being your go-to-resource for the latest information, news, and trends in educator preparation. Being an AACTE member connects you to a vibrant community of educators and a strong network of support. Discover how to maximize your benefits and stay connected with AACTE in this month’s member update. Please take a few minutes to watch the video above (or read the transcript).
AACTE also wants to hear from you. Let us know the greatest challenge you face in educator preparation by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contacting me directly at email@example.com.
AACTE is collaborating with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) to present the free webinar, An Intentional Focus on Mitigating Risks Across the Continuum. The webinar will take place on Thursday, January 24, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST. Advanced registration is required to participate.
The profession of education is highly complex, with educators having to make multiple decisions in their daily work. Competing tensions and greatly nuanced variables that are inherent in this field can add to the vulnerabilities and risks that educators must navigate, especially when it comes to professional decision making.
These letters to the editor, Don’t Blame Admissions Standards and Ed. Colleges Provide Value first appeared in Education Week on November 13, 2018. Reprinted with permission from the authors.
Don’t Blame Admissions Standards
To the Editor:
Marc Tucker has helped us better understand education systems around the world. Unfortunately, in his recent opinion blog post (“Teachers Colleges: The Weakest Link,” November 1, 2018), he demonstrates less understanding of America’s teacher-preparation programs than he has about programs abroad.
AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone recently traveled to Indiana where she met with deans of colleges and schools of education throughout the state, and representatives from the State Department of Education and national foundations to discuss educator preparation from a national perspective. Gangone also was invited to be the lead speaker at the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s (INACTE’s) first statewide summit, and presented data from the Colleges of Education: A National Portrait report.
Ena Shelley, an AACTE board member and INACTE member, shared how important it was to hear the trend data. “When you are working within state borders, you think it is just your state, but when you see the trend data—how long teachers are staying or not staying, the demographics—it makes it real,” Shelley said. “I think the report was so important because we really haven’t had a succinct, cohesive report like the National Portrait, which gives us real data to look at … [and ask ourselves] now what can we do about it?”
I am thrilled to announce a series of hires within the National Office. I invite you to join me in welcoming these new AACTE team members as they join us in our goal to exceed expectations for distinctive, member-centered work that continues to move our profession forward in a multitude of ways.
Jacqueline (Jackie) Rodriguez is the AACTE assistant vice president, programs and professional learning. She has a Ph.D. in education with a focus on exceptional education from the University of Central Florida and an M.A. in special education with a learning disabilities specialization from American University. She earned her B.A. in international affairs from The George Washington University. Prior to joining AACTE, Jackie served the College of William & Mary in many capacities, including as assistant professor in the School of Education (areas of teaching and research: inclusive education, culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional learners, teacher preparation, special education, education policy, and education policy to practice). A Holmes Scholars alumna, Jackie established the Holmes Scholars Program during her tenure at the college. Jackie began her career as a special education teacher. She is the secretary to the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education and active in the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children. She serves on several editorial boards and was a McKnight Doctoral Fellow.
Members of the Education Deans for Justice and Equity Steering Committee
This week, AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone will meet with deans from across the country at the Education Deans for Justice and Equity (EDJE) meeting hosted by AACTE member institution University of Colorado Boulder, August 8-9.
EDJE is a nationwide alliance of education deans that advances equity and justice in education by speaking and acting collectively and in solidarity with communities regarding policies, reform proposals, and public debates. Participants come from public and independent colleges of education around the country, most of which are AACTE member institutions.
On July 16, AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone met with Richard Long, executive director of the Learning First Alliance (LFA), for an interview about the challenges facing the teaching profession and where the field needs to go moving forward. Their conversation aired on Facebook Live and can be viewed at this link.
AACTE is a member of LFA, a partnership of leading education organizations dedicated to improving learning outcomes in America’s public schools. A recent report with contributions from LFA members, Elements of Success: 10 Million Speak on Schools That Work, outlines six elements that are vital for success in the classroom and provided the springboard for last week’s interview.
On June 6, while AACTE members and partners were on Capitol Hill advocating for educator preparation as part of AACTE’s Day on the Hill, Association President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone was testifying before the Federal School Safety Commission at a listening session at the U.S. Department of Education.
The Commission, tasked with quickly providing meaningful and actionable recommendations to keep students safe at school and headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is composed of the leadership of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Last week’s meeting was the fourth since the Commission’s inception in March of this year and the first public listening session.
As the school year nears its end, teachers everywhere are contending with mounting time pressures, waning resources and energy reserves, maybe even an epidemic of spring fever. For some teachers, though, the frenzy and frustrations seem to last all year–and they may feel isolated, underappreciated, and powerless to change the situation. AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone has this message to encourage them to strengthen their capacity to both support students and thrive as successful members of the professional community.
As a teacher, you’re focused on helping students. You draw from your content knowledge, determine appropriate pedagogy for the particular child and context, and forge connections with resources to support each learner’s growth. What’s more, these practices benefit more than just the young people in your care–teachers, too, thrive with a rich support network in their community and tailored opportunities to learn and grow as professionals.