This article originally appeared on the Texas Christian University News site and is reprinted with permission.
Leslie Ekpe, a Texas Christian University doctoral candidate in higher educational leadership and Holmes Scholar, was named a fellow at the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Center for Leadership and Social Justice. Ekpe was motivated to apply after learning that the fellowship’s foundation was social justice, something that aligns with her current research work.
JMU College of Education program will empower first-generation college and at-risk local students to unlock potential
James Madison University’s College of Education will receive $1.4 million over the next five years to help eligible high school students in the Shenandoah Valley overcome social, emotional, and academic barriers to achieve success in education beyond high school.
JMU will receive a total of $1,437,685 to create a JMU Upward Bound Program. The funds will support two programs, one at Harrisonburg High School in Harrisonburg City Public Schools and one at Spotswood High School in Rockingham County Public Schools, supporting a total of approximately 30-35 high school students at each school.
Every student deserves to learn and thrive in a school environment that supports student identities, equips them for the future, and teaches the truth. Unfortunately, across the country, we have seen attempts to surveil and gag educators and whitewash the history of the United States by attacking culturally responsive curriculum, respect for LGBTQ+ students, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. We need to teach students the truth of our history to enable them to learn from the wisdom and mistakes of our past to help create a more just and equitable future. We must ensure students have an honest and accurate education that helps them develop critical thinking skills.
On Tuesday, May 24, The Leadership Conference Education Fund will host the second webinar in its Teaching Truth series in collaboration with AACTE, Ed Trust, GLSEN, IDRA, and National Black Justice Coalition. In this webinar, we will hear from messaging experts on how to break through the noise and make a proactive, compelling, and mobilizing case for the importance of teaching the truth in our schools. Additionally, we will hear from advocates who are taking messaging research and putting it into action to fight against the attacks on honest teaching in our schools.
- Victoria Kirby York, National Black Justice Coalition
- Anthony Torres, ASO Communications
- Thomas Marshall, IDRA
- Sumi Cho, African American Policy Forum
RSVP for the webinar today.
AACTE’s upcoming Washington Week conference will feature speakers from national civil rights and advocacy organizations who have sought to empower and increase educational access and opportunities for disenfranchised communities. One of these organization is the National Urban League. Founded in 1910, the National Urban League, also known as The League, is a historic civil rights organization whose mission is to help African-Americans and underserved communities achieve their highest true social parity, economic self- reliance, power, and civil rights. The League promotes economic empowerment through education and job training, housing and community development, workforce development, entrepreneurship, health, and quality of life. Through their signature education programs, The League strives to ensure that every child is ready for college, career, and life.
Representing The League at the upcoming Washington Week conference is Horatio Blackman, vice president of education policy, advocacy, and engagement. Blackman’s work has focused on educational improvement, access, and opportunity for marginalized communities, specifically Black youth, utilizing data and evidence to support change efforts at the local, state, and national levels. Central in his practice is engaging communities in education improvement efforts. In his role at the National Urban League, Blackman leads the Equity & Excellence Project and related education policy and advocacy work.
Blackman joined the League after serving as an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development and a research associate with the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy at the University of Delaware. Blackman is an expert in connecting evidence to policy, practice, all with a focus on supporting the needs of historically underserved communities. He is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
Register today for AACTE’s Washington Week conference.
The 100Kin10 Project Team is seeking applicants to serve as faculty interested in implementing a re-imagined Intro to Education Course through a racial equity and social justice lens.
The Project Team is interested in exploring how the course can be used as a recruitment tool to diversify the teacher workforce by centering racial equity and social justice in the course content. With support through 100Kin10, the Redesigning Introduction to Education Project Team is looking to work with five faculty who can teach this course during the Fall 2022 semester and participate in a community of practice to inform the work and foster discourse around its impact on students. Faculty participants will receive $5,000 as compensation for their efforts.
For more information, visit RedesigningIntrotoEd. The application deadline is June 1, 2022.
This article originally appeared in Kentucky Teacher and is reprinted with permission.
Sharon Porter Robinson has spent almost five decades working in and for education and a lifetime doing civil rights work. On April 7, she was recognized for her efforts with the 2022 Lucy Harth Smith-Atwood S. Wilson Award for Civil and Human Rights in Education at the 50th Kentucky Education Association (KEA) Delegate Assembly.
“I come here today accepting this award in all humility and with a sense of urgency, that I guess has never left me … since the early days,” said Robinson. “It was a journey of learning that was driven by a sense of urgency to make matters right.”
The Smith-Wilson Award is given annually to a person or organization that has made notable contributions in any of the following areas: encouraging and supporting minorities to enter the teaching profession; advancing opportunities, especially educational opportunities, for youth of color; initiating or continuing impactful work in the areas of human and civil rights; or leading in the field of innovative, creative, and equitable education for all students.
The white folk of Altahama voted John a good boy, – fine plough-hand, good in the rice-fields, handy everywhere, and always good-natured and respectful. But they shook their heads when his mother wanted to send him off to school. “It’ll spoil him, – ruin him,” they said; and they talked as though they knew. (W. E. B. Du Bois, 1903/2015, p. 173)
This excerpt is a great representation of the fear fueling the push behind the call for censorship of critical race theory (CRT) and stages the focus of a Deeper Dive session at the AACTE 2022 Annual Meeting for educators to discuss how to address some of the challenges related to the threat that banning CRT has on American democracy. The “AACTE and AERA joint session: Youth, Censorship, and Academic Freedom” was moderated by Marvin Lynn (Portland State University), and the panelists were Michael Dantley, (Miami University) Kimberly White-Smith (University of La Verne), and Jacob Easley (Touro College). The discussion started with recapping the timeline of efforts to constrain teaching about race in higher education, followed by organizing faculty and staff, the role of education leaders in advancing social justice, and how to work with state and national organizations to address issues of education and censorship.
In this blog post, members of the Educating for American Democracy (EAD) pilot program outline how EAD can best work with educator preparation programs to address threats to schools’ ability to prepare civically engaged students, the topic of discussion at their 2022 Annual Meeting Learning Lab session.
In 2021, AACTE released a report, Revolutionizing Education for All Learners, that detailed its strategic plan for following the COVID-19 pandemic with a revolution in education intended to address long-standing and newly discovered educational inequities (AACTE, 2021). Among its strategic planning outcomes was a dedication and commitment to have democratic principles guide the education revolution, stating “democratic principles must guide what we revolutionize toward” (p.8). Democratic principles, coupled with inclusive pedagogies, specifically inquiry, encompass great potential in addressing stagnant educational gaps. AACTE’s recommitment to democratize teacher education pedagogy and principles culminated in a Pilot program, Educating for American Democracy, in which both authors were participants. Struck by the possibilities of enhanced democratic principles guiding teacher preparation and teaching and learning in K-12 schools, the authors share about the pilot experience. The authors also offer their view on the shift’s constraints and possibilities to enhance educator preparation and ultimately to address longstanding questions about equity and school outcomes in American public schools (Fuentes, 2022).
This month, AACTE launched its Racial and Social Justice Hub, a place to learn, grow, inquire, and share resources with one another that address social injustices and advocate for the preparation of profession-ready educators. To help ensure AACTE is meeting the needs of the educator preparation community in advancing racial and social justice work, you are invited to complete a 90-second survey to inform future content – it’s not for you, without you.
AACTE is committed to tackling systematic censorship within our country’s education system, alongside our members and partners, and it does so through an intersectional lens.
As an organization whose mission is to revolutionize education for all learners, AACTE developed the Racial and Social Justice Resource Hub to be a place for members to learn, grow, inquire, and share resources with one another that address social injustices and advocate for the preparation of profession-ready educators.
The Hub includes three sections: Education Censorship, Combating Racism, and LGBTQ+ Rights. Each section offers resources created by AACTE and its members and strategic partners, including articles, webinars and workshops, curriculum tools, and calls for action. Considering the ongoing efforts underway that limit educators’ teaching and discussion of our nation’s history, and other so-called divisive topics, AACTE is encouraging members to engage with the Hub to support your own teaching and scholarship.
Since the historic SCOTUS ruling in 1982, Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District v. Pico, which ruled that school boards cannot remove books because they disagree with them, describing libraries as spaces of “voluntary inquiry,” book bans and challenges have continued. The education field is based upon the values of intellectual freedom that were upheld by this and other Supreme Court decisions; however, the executive director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom recently stated in an interview, “We’re seeing an unprecedented volume of challenges.” While there is a formal “challenge” process for censoring information in libraries and curriculum, the enormous increase in political pressure has prompted some school districts to abandon their policies and begin pulling the books without undergoing this review process. As a result of not abiding by this process, which is legally reserved for challenging content that is “obscene,” books that overwhelmingly depict LGBTQ+ and BIPOC stories are removed from shelves, having been deemed “obscene” by local opinion.
Historical tensions and the bipartisan polarization of many topics deemed essential to a well-rounded, inclusive civic education has made teachers, especially those just entering the classroom, hesitant to engage students in civics in their classrooms. However, civic inquiry should be introduced early and often, by incorporating these frameworks across subject areas.
AACTE has partnered with iCivics and Educating for American Democracy (EAD) as part of its efforts to ensure every educator is prepared to help students understand the pillars and principles of democratic society and be engaged citizens regardless of their background and discipline.
Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages
This article originally appeared in MSUToday and is reprinted with permission.
Students interested in becoming elementary teachers now have an exciting new pathway at Michigan State University.
Faculty in the nationally known MSU College of Education have redesigned the elementary Teacher Preparation Program to not only address changes in how Michigan certifies new teachers, but to ensure that Spartan educators are even better prepared to meet the challenges of today’s schools.
“It is important that we continue to evolve as a teacher preparation program to reflect changing times,” said Tonya Bartell, associate professor and associate director of elementary programs. “This means preparing high-quality beginning teachers ready to serve our nation’s diverse student population, including teaching English learners and students with disabilities, and serving as agents of change toward equity and social justice.”
This op-ed originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.
Kimberly White-Smith and Jacob Easley
I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. – James Baldwin
The momentum of social and racial justice fueled by recent events finds us at a significant crossroad with divergent paths—one path opening to opportunity and one leading to entropy. The approach we choose to follow will affect society and the lives of many for generations to come. Should we choose the way of opportunity, we must seriously grapple with the debates and our commitment to preserving a true democracy. Should we select the other, we accept the deterioration of hard-earned civil rights—choosing to abdicate to systems, laws, and politics that have historically disadvantaged those unable to make a living wage and people of color. As deans of educator preparation programs who work closely with the nation’s two largest school districts (New York City Department of Education and Los Angeles Unified School District), we understand the relevance of education. It is the core vehicle for liberatory practice and for championing American democracy. If education is the road to national mobility, and we believe it is, we must preserve the mechanisms and freedoms to critique and examine the governing structures of our society.
The New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NYACTE) is hosting its annual conference jointly with the New York State Association of Teacher Education. The 2021 conference is entitled Educational Innovation for Equity and Excellence. Progressively delivered in a virtual format September 30 through November 2, all events are free of charge. It is not too late to join us for an interactive member presentation that will take place on October 21 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. EST. In addition, asynchronous (pre-recorded) paper presentations are also available.
The conference highlights the ways in which New York educator preparation programs (EPPs) and PK-12 engage in partnerships and innovations for advancing educational equity. The conference addresses ways in which state level policy and local practices address programming for greater outcomes among diverse student populations and school communities. The conference concludes with our keynote speaker Elaine Gross, who will challenge the profession in its efforts for racial justice.