The national teacher shortage has required all stakeholders to take action. What do we know and what can we do? The Annual Meeting “Addressing the Teacher Shortage” Deeper Dive session brought together a panel of experts to discuss the alarming data on and present strategies to combat this epidemic. The panel consisted of AACTE consultants Jacqueline King and Jane West; Zeke Perez, policy analyst, Education Commission of the States; and AACTE board member Marquita Grenot-Scheyer from the Office of the Chancellor at the California State University System.
Jacqueline Rodriguez, vice president, program and professional learning at AACTE, served as the moderator. She began the session by providing a national overview as it relates to the teacher shortage by highlighting, “As a Nation, we have …
- A decline in enrollment in teacher preparation programs;
- Significant lack of diversity in our educators: race, ethnicity, gender, identity, disability;
- High poverty schools which experience disproportionate teacher shortages;
- Schools with high enrollment of students of color more likely to employ uncertified teachers; and
- Teacher turnover at a significant high financial cost.
Julie Conner, a teacher at the Virginia School for the Visually Impaired, works with a female student with vision impairment.
This article originally appeared on the George Mason University website and is reprinted with permission.
The United States is in desperate need of educators who can read and teach braille, according to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Less than 10% of the 1.3 million people who are legally blind in the U.S. are able to read braille, according to a 2009 report by the NFB.
But few U.S. colleges offer programs that prepare teachers to educate students who are visually impaired, according to Kimberly Avila, professor-in-charge of the teacher preparation program in blindness and vision impairment within the College of Education and Human Development. Avila is also the coordinator for the Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment.
Will provide scholarships up to $4,800 to help teacher assistants earn teaching degrees
WGU North Carolina, an affiliate of the national online Western Governors University, has signed an agreement with Rowan-Salisbury School System (RSS) to help classified staff, such as teacher assistants, advance their careers by earning bachelor’s degrees and teacher certifications.
Any Rowan-Salisbury School System teacher assistant who enrolls in one of WGU North Carolina’s teacher-preparation programs will receive up to $800 in tuition credit per six-month term, after any Pell Grants have been exhausted, for up to three years. RSS employees will also receive an application-fee waiver code.
Additionally, WGU North Carolina will create a unique URL for RSS employees and promote this opportunity through printed materials, social media, on-site presentations and other channels. Employees will also have access to WGU career services resources and events, and WGU NC staff will be available to participate in any education/benefits fairs, seminars, and “lunch and learn” presentations offered by Rowan-Salisbury Schools.
Throughout the United States, schools are facing a critical shortage of special education teachers. This crisis is growing due to an emerging demand for special education teachers, coupled with a diminishing number of qualified candidates, recruitment challenges, and a high turnover rate. Reversing this crisis requires a multiprong approach that includes short- and long-term strategies to prepare and support teachers. Special education is complex, and one common type of instruction does not support all disabilities. To promote equity in education, we must ensure students with disabilities have access to proper assessment, resources, and qualified educators that correspond with their needs.
This article originally appeared in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and the excerpt below is reprinted with permission.
A recent three-year drop in the number of people enrolled in Arkansas teacher preparation programs appears to have bottomed out, and the number is on the upswing, preliminary data from the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education show.
The number of enrollees in the state’s teacher preparation programs for 2018-19 was 4,443.
This article originally appeared in Bowling Green Daily News and is reprinted with permission.
A federal grant award topping $1 million to Western Kentucky University will help address a shortage of special education professionals seen regionally and across Kentucky.
“The shortages are felt nationally, but definitely in an acute manner in our rural communities,” said WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Dean Corinne Murphy, whose college is heading up the effort called Project PREP, or Preparing Rural Educators and Professionals for Students with High-Intensity Needs.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education said there’s a shortage and a lack of diversity of fully prepared and credentialed special education teachers in public schools across the country.
In an article that originally appeared in Special Ed Connection, author Kara Arundel spotlights AACTE’s collaboration with the CEEDAR Center in launching the Reducing the Shortage of Special Education Teachers Networked Improvement Community (NIC). As part of the NIC initiative, 10 preparation programs in higher education have been selected to participate in this NIC and implement a range of strategies that will positively impact the special education teacher shortage by the Fall of 2022.
Cleveland State University (CSU) is one of the universities featured in the article, along with its Associate Dean for Faculty and External Affairs Tachelle Banks. AACTE’s Caitlin Wilson commented on how CSU and the nine other institutions will help find solutions to the nationwide teacher shortage. “By better understanding what works in particular context and comparing how it is similar or different at another university helps us to learn and share with the filed how that particular strategy or promising practice might be adapted depending on local conditions,” said Wilson, the director of program improvement and practice.
Read the full article, “Network of Universities Collaborate to Solve Special Educator Shortages.“
This 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.
Funding Agreement on the Horizon! No Shutdown Anticipated
December 20, a week from today, is the deadline for Congress to pass funding bills to keep the government in business and avoid a government shutdown. After weeks of handwringing, a bipartisan $1.3 trillion deal seems to have been brokered whereby all appropriations bills will be passed in the House and the Senate next week. While no details of the bills are yet available, it appears that one of the breakthroughs was an agreement to keep the amount of funding for the border wall (President Trump’s priority) at the current level of $1.375 billion.
Education advocates are eager to see if any of the significant increases in the House bill will be retained in the final package. All fingers are crossed in anticipation of next week. Learn more.
Augusta University on a Mission to Recruit More African American Male Teachers
Ed Prep Matters features the “Revolutionizing Education” column to spotlight the many ways AACTE, member institutions, and partners are pioneering leading-edge research, models, strategies and programs that focus on the three core values outlined in the current AACTE strategic plan: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Quality and Impact; and Inquiry and Innovation.
This article originally appeared in JagWire and is reprinted with permission.
Growing up in Elberton, Georgia, Marcus Allen had a lot of incredible teachers who inspired him to be the man he is today.
They were thoughtful, patient and caring, but Allen, who is now the principal of Grovetown Middle School in Columbia County, admits there was one major component missing throughout his childhood education.
“Back then, I didn’t see people who looked like me teaching,” Allen said. “I didn’t have any African American male teachers at my school. And I think it’s important for students to be able to see someone who they can relate to in the classroom. Somebody who they can say, ‘He really might be able to advocate for me.’”
Faculty from 10 of AACTE’s member institutions convened in Washington, DC on November 22-23 for the first in-person meeting of the Networked Improvement Community (NIC) focused on reducing the shortage of the special education teachers. During the 2-day convening, nearly 40 NIC members came together to share and discuss the work happening at their institutions and their goals for recruiting more teacher candidates into their special education programs in the next 6 months.
Following the NIC model of the Carnegie Foundation’s for Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the institutions set individual targets connected to the network’s collective aim statement and driver diagram, which serves as the NIC’s working theory of action. Over the summer, faculty from each institution were invited to participate in a book club lead by AACTE staff: Learning to Improve: How America’s Schools Can Get Better at Getting Better. This book serves as a foundational text for the NIC members in understanding improvement science and how to apply it to their work at their institutions.