The Executive Board of NCACTE grieves with the nation and joins in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters during this tragic period in our nation’s history. Systemic racism stole the lives of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and many more that are not named here. As teacher educators, we believe Black Lives Matter and we see the impact of racism in both our K-12 schools, colleges and universities. As a body, we agree students in our schools need and deserve antiracist teachers as well as teachers who are mirrors for themselves. This statement is our initial commitment to action, which will begin months and years of work ahead. We are also committed to finding the right people to lead this work for and with us.
Each moment defines us, and this moment calls us to stand up and call for justice. As Dr. Pamela Senegal, President of Piedmont Community College states, “The fact of the matter is this in the United States—race still matters far too much in nearly every aspect of living. Housing. Credit. Education. Prison. Jail. Health.”
As educators, protecting and nurturing the health and well-being of our nation’s most precious investment—our youth—is always top of mind. Safeguarding their welfare and creating supportive learning ecosystems should be national priorities. Unfortunately, no one piece of legislation, no one initiative, no one activist, or caring teacher can bring that umbrella of safety to every student, everywhere, all the time. What we need to be talking about openly and often across the nation is prevention: training, learning, and preparing. This begins at the federal level with funding to equip our state and local leaders with the tools necessary to create and foster a safe and balanced learning environment for all students.
There are classrooms and schools in this country where teachers are armed with weapons. It is a dark reality, and one that AACTE does not support. Federal funds should not be used to arm teachers. Funds should instead be used to incentivize building learning communities through supportive training in social and emotional learning, and to prepare profession-ready teachers. Federal money
The AACTE Programs and Professional Learning team served on the committee to select the following inaugural Civic Engagement Champions with the National Association of State Boards of Education and the Frank Islam Institute.
Four middle school teachers have been named Civic Engagement Champions (CEC) for their work in promoting civics education and active citizenship.
In partnership with the Frank Islam Institute for 21st Century Citizenship (FII), the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) created the CEC award to highlight the critical role that middle school teachers play in helping students become active, responsible citizens. Teachers from four states representing each of NASBE’s regions—Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Washington—were eligible to apply.
The four winners are Jane Leyderman, Dever Elementary School in Chicago, IL; Michael Neagle, Pyne Arts Magnet School in Lowell, MA; Michelle St. Pierre, Loch Raven Technical Academy in Baltimore County, MD; and Don Jenkins, North Whidbey Middle School in Oak Harbor, WA.