Exactly two months to the day after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 with $125 billion carved out for education, Mursion will host Jacqueline Rodriguez, vice president for research, policy, & advocacy at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), for a candid discussion on the challenges and opportunities ahead. From her unique perspective, Rodriguez will share AACTE’s continuing important work for addressing learning loss, critical societal matters that affect education, and the shortage of teachers that has not abated.
Data Quality Campaign (DQC) released an updated version of it Education Data 101: A Briefing Book for Policymakers. With information on everything from student growth data to state longitudinal data systems to teacher data literacy, our resource brings policymakers up to speed on the major data topics they need to know about. As policymakers make decisions to aid students, families, teachers, schools and districts in recovery, Education Data 101 offers the background information they need to make informed decisions.
During the Washington Post Live’s webinar, “U.S. Higher Education: Rethinking the Possibilities,” AACTE’s Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick, dean emeritus of Howard University School of Education, was interviewed by Eugene Scott as the first of the two guests. The interview was comprised of questions covering different facets of the education space including policy, diversity, student loans, and the pandemic.
The first question addressed President Joe Biden and what Fenwick believed should be his top priority in regard to education policy. Fenwick response focused on embracing a new and more diverse student population both in the workforce and higher education. She delved into specifics of the increasing majority of non-White students in public schools beginning in 2018 and continuing on an upward trajectory.
AACTE is pleased to announce that Michael Rose has joined its staff as senior director of federal relations and policy as part of the Research, Policy and Advocacy team.
Rose is an experienced government relations professional with over 20 years of experience. He started his career in Washington, DC, working for U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg from his home state of New Jersey. After the senator’s retirement, Rose worked for more than six years in the House of Representatives for Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Most recently, Rose was the director of government affairs for the National Association for College Admission Counseling. In this role, he was the association’s main contact for Members of Congress, congressional staff, and various federal agencies regarding its college access and student protections agendas, among other issues.
This podcast interview features insights from the article “Education Policy and Black Teachers: Perspectives on Race, Policy, and Teacher Diversity” by Terrenda White, Brian Woodward, DaVonna Graham, H. Richard Milner, and Tyrone C. Howard. The article is published in the September/October 2020 of the Journal of Teacher Education. AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—log in with your AACTE profile.
As first and third time AACTE Day on the Hill participants, we eagerly participated in this inaugural virtual event to prepare for congressional visits. Although we were not physically together, Lynn M. Gangone, president and CEO, made us feel welcomed and valued members of AACTE during her opening greeting to attendees.
Why Day on the Hill?
Beth: As a newbie, I wondered about the lay of the land. Then Jane West, AACTE government relations consultant, shared, “The Big Picture: Current Policy & Political Landscape,” providing a framework for what we need to do and why.
Anne: After three years of attending the event, I was inspired by Jane West’s quote: “If your voice isn’t heard, someone else’s is,” which provided us meaning.
What and how?
AACTE’s legislative priorities provided the framework. Having the specific agenda items gave us the focus we needed.
Jacqueline Rodriguez, AACTE vice president of research, policy and advocacy, joined West in stressing the importance of building a rapport. Rodriguez supported planning with spreadsheets and materials. AACTE gave the legislative framework and a foundation. We’re ready to work!
State and regional colleagues collaborated to plan for advocacy. Presenters joined the meetings, to support the planning process. The virtual format allowed people to “travel” amongst groups. We’re ready to plan!
This article is a personal reflection of the 2020 Washington Week Day on the Hill virtual conference and congressional visits by Holmes Scholar Eleanor Su-Keene.
When I attended the AACTE Annual Meeting in February of this year, I did not know that would be the last time I flew on a plane or attended any large gathering for the foreseeable future. Needless to say, the past seven months have been a surreal experience. As I try to navigate life as a mother of two young children, a homeschool teacher, and a doctoral student, I find myself not only working from home, but working with home. As such, I came to the computer skeptical of an experience that lived up to that which my fellow Holmes Scholars experienced in pre-COVID years.
As educators, we know how incredibly important it is to be cognizant of both the lesson at hand and what exactly students will be doing during that lesson. In this respect, it should come as no surprise that the conference was extremely well planned and thoroughly thought out from beginning to end. The 2020 AACTE Washington Week Virtual Day on the Hill conference was incredibly well organized from the platform that was chosen to the ease of use from getting to and from the main “stage” to breakout sessions. As a Holmes Scholar, I had more intimate meetings with leading scholars and advocates in socially just educational reform, but I was surprised to find even in the main conference, it felt just as personal. The real time engagement of the speakers with the chat box function allowed for an exchange that would be impossible during an in-person format.
This article is a personal reflection of the 2020 Washington Week Holmes Policy Institute by attendee Angeline Dean.
“People, Policy, Politics, and Processes” – Jane West
The knowledge of this framework and its relation to analysis and advocacy spearheaded the Holmes Advanced Policy Course. This framework, along with homework given by AACTE staffers Jane West and Weade James was not only the necessary grounding to an understanding that truly “all politics are local” but also ripe for Luis Maldonado to address the navigating of politics and policies. Immediately following, Lakeisha Steele, professional staffer and policy team leader for Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), chair of the House, Education & Labor Committee, “ripped the runway” with her honesty, passion, and commitment to social and transformational change! She reminded us that “we are our ancestors wildest dreams!” Therefore, we like our ancestors and so many who have transitioned this year, must be prepared to live in “good trouble” spaces and we must Persevere.
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair” – Shirley Chisolm.
As we segued into the rest of the Holmes Policy Institute, we were gifted with the Power statement of “Miss Unbought and Unbossed” herself, Shirley Chisolm. How befitting as this statement resonated as an overarching theme for such a time as this. AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick challenged us to thwart the narratives that brand Black bodies in lies and deficits. She pushed us to exercise our Positionality as spaces of truth, resistance, power, and countered narratives that honor civil rights ancestors in the proper telling of history and data in education. With that, students posed questions that blended and asserted their politics, processes, power, and positionality as people such as: What exactly is the role of a dean in residence and how or does it relate to Holmes students and their needs? What systems are in place to protect (another p word) BIPOC students against whiteness and internalized racism in predominantly white institutions?
Last week, scholars of color convened for the AACTE Holmes Policy Institute, a three-day training under this year’s theme, “Moving towards Equity through Advocacy and Policy.” The virtual conference, the first of the AACTE 2020 Washington Week events, offered students the opportunity to connect with peers, build their networks and engage in lively discussions on current trends. The advocacy and policy training focused on how the intersection of policy, education, and research can affect positive change for students of color.
Day 1 kicked off with AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick leading a session on civil rights in education and AACTE consultant Jane West presenting a policy briefing. Day 2 centered on presentations by guest speakers—faculty, national organization professionals, and congressional staffers—who covered topics such as efforts to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and community-based participatory research to achieve social justice. The final day of training began with social reform advocates Jael Kerandi and Amanda Wilkerson, and moderator Ann Charity Hudley sharing their experiences and guidance on how scholars of color can mobilize for change.
Rep. Bobby Scott to Deliver Keynote
Today the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) launches its inaugural virtual Washington Week by hosting the Holmes Policy Institute, an event that amplifies the voice of masters- and doctoral-level students of color on policies affecting educator preparation. Themed “Moving towards Equity through Advocacy and Policy,” this year’s Institute takes place September 8-10.
“We are thrilled to support AACTE Holmes Program students in addressing critical issues in educator preparation, such as increasing teacher diversity and equity,” said Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., AACTE president and CEO. “This signature event offers our future teacher educators of color the tools to navigate national, state and local policies that directly impact those most-often marginalized in education systems.”
Over the course of three days, Holmes students, coordinators, and leaders throughout the country will explore best practices in education advocacy by participating in presentations and small group discussions. In response to the recent, racial unrest in the United States, several sessions will examine these issues as they relate to equity in educator preparation, including:
- Civil Rights in Education: History, Resistance and Opportunities
- Policing in Schools and Efforts to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline
- Community-Based Participatory Research to Achieve Social Justice
The Holmes Policy Institute will culminate with a closing keynote address by Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. Throughout his 14 terms representing Virginia’s third congressional district, the congressman has been a champion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and has advanced policies addressing the equity gaps in education. Following his keynote remarks, Rep. Scott will engage in an interactive discussion with the Holmes students about the state of public education, educator preparation, and the importance of diversifying the educator workforce.
Next week, a number of Holmes students will apply what they learn and put their advocacy skills into practice during AACTE’s Day on the Hill event, joining the Association’s state leaders in virtual meetings with Congressional representatives.
AACTE’s Washington Week virtual conference is quickly approaching. This year’s event will feature the Holmes Advanced Policy Short Course, Holmes Policy Institute, AACTE’s Day on the Hill, and the State Leader’s Institute.
Joining the Holmes Policy Institute this year is Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. Congressman Scott will deliver the closing keynote address at this year’s Holmes Policy Institute on Thursday, September 10.
Throughout his 14 terms representing Virginia’s third congressional district, Congressman Scott has been a champion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. He has advanced policies to address the equity gaps in education, employment, and healthcare. In 1993, Chairman Scott became the first African American elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Virginia since Reconstruction and only the second African American elected to Congress in the history of Virginia. Congressman Scott continues to break barriers and create opportunities for future generations of African American and minority leaders.
Following his keynote remarks, the Congressman will engage in an interactive discussion with the Holmes Scholars about the state of public education, educator preparation, and the importance of diversifying the educator workforce.
To learn more about the AACTE Holmes Program, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Day on the Hill, AACTE’s premiere advocacy event during Washington Week, education leaders and students from around the country convene to advocate for teacher preparation. With the recent impact of the coronavirus and other societal trends on education, congressional leaders need to hear and learn about your successful strategies to advance the profession and ways to best address the challenges you face at your institution. Join the AACTE community for this year’s virtual event offered over a two-week period, and take advantage of the opportunity to build your advocacy skills and toolkit. Advocacy training sessions will take place September 9-10, and virtual congressional visits will be held September 15-16.
Day on the Hill: September 9-10
The first week of Day on the Hill offers attendees two tracks to choose from for part of the day that support differing advocacy skill levels. During these lively breakout sessions, you will develop and augment your skills, and learn from peers, colleagues, and government relations professionals. You will also learn about key legislations impacting education today and how to advocate for the profession with congressional leaders in a virtual environment. Congressional staff will provide special presentations on how policy is shaped and effective ways to advocate during AACTE’s virtual Hill visits that will take place the second week.
Virtual Congressional Visits: September 15-16
During the second week of Day on the Hill, attendees will join colleagues within their local state for virtual meetings with congressional leaders. Participants will be prepared with talking points, strategies to hold a congressional meeting, and key messages about how COVID-19 has impacted educator preparation programs to present to legislators. You will hear riveting greetings from invited guest politicians who will encourage your efforts in advocating for meaningful and equitable education policies.
Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues, learn of national trends in education, share or discover best practices on common challenges, or develop your advocacy skills! Register now for AACTE’s Day on the Hill.
Visit aacte.org for more details about the AACTE 2020 Washington Week.
Learning Policy Institute’s (LPI) new study, Measuring Student Socioeconomic Status: Toward a Comprehensive Approach, discusses the limitations of the popular measure and examines alternatives for state policymakers who are seeking to accurately count students from low-income families.
“Changing how we measure and address student poverty is more important than ever,” said LPI Senior Researcher Peter Cookson, who authored the study. “A shift away from the [federal Free and Reduced-Price Lunch] FRPL [program] measure was already long overdue and taking place in some states. This takes on deeper urgency now as learning for a generation of students has been upheaved by the COVID-19 pandemic. Accurately measuring family incomes is necessary if policymakers are to allocate school resources that meet the educational needs of students.”
This article originally appeared on the Learning Policy Institute Blog and is reprinted with permission.
The protests now enveloping our nation are, in one sense, long overdue. The recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade are not isolated incidents: Every year in the United States, more than 1,000 civilians are killed by police, and Black people are disproportionately harmed. These murders and the lack of justice that has routinely accompanied them are, in turn, part of a pattern of institutionalized racism that limits the opportunities of African Americans and other people of color in every aspect of society: employment, housing, health care, and, yes, education.
On May 6, 2020, the U.S Department of Education, under the leadership of Secretary Betsy DeVos, released the final rule for the Title IX regulations—also known as the final regulation. Built from the law that prohibits sexual discrimination at federally funded institutions, this update to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) has been contentious since the process started in November 2018. AACTE joined nearly 60 organizations on a letter led by the American Council on Education pointing out challenges and questions with the proposal during the public comment period in January 2019. Overall, the Department received over 124,000 public comments that were reviewed prior to the determination of the final rule.
The review and update of the regulations were initiated due to a response to guidance issued by the Obama Administration in 2011 leading to an increase in civil lawsuits, mostly from men who were accused of sexual misconduct alleging their rights were violated under the Title IX procedures. The updated regulations are purported to be fair to both the accuser and the accused.