This article is a personal reflection of the 2020 Washington Week State Leaders Institute by attendee Tariq Akmal.
I was fortunate to attend the State Leaders Institute breakout session on State Government Advocacy with Three State Chapters. Attendees heard from Christine Carrino Gorowara of Delaware, Scott Hewitt of Florida, and Vanessa Anton and Robin Fuxa of Oklahoma. This session was a sharing of the different types of advocacy activities that were occurring in three states. The variation in state size/population was very evident in the scale of activities of each chapter. What did they hold in common? They are all active in advocacy work and are experiencing a teacher shortage in their states. Each panelist shared particular aspects of their association’s work with their state department of education, legislators, and other stakeholders within their states.
The Delaware Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (DACTE) had “flipped the script” on the traditional Day On the Hill approach and now brought specific Delaware legislators to their association for conversations regarding how DACTE could be a resource to legislators on educational issues and to build relationships so that DACTE would be invited to legislative initiatives on education. They invited members of the House and Senate Education Committee, in particular, which seems to be a highly effective strategy! Carrino Gorowara noted how they became collaborators in developing legislation that would be a help to Delaware teacher candidates in simplifying the background check process.
Last month, during the AACTE State Leadership Institute (SLI), I attended the session on the newly formed State Chapter Taskforce, which was moderated by AACTE President and CEO Lynn Gangone, AACTE president and CEO; Ann Larson, chair, AACTE Board of Directors; and Kate LaBoll-Lavoie, chair, Advisory Council of State Representatives (ACSR) and AACTE Board member. State Chapters, a network of AACTE member institutions that are organized collectively to advocate for and to address educator preparation issues in their state, helps provide direction to AACTE. This very important taskforce was formed to:
- Review the existing policy on the relationship between AACTE and the state chapters, the practices and experience of peer associations, and advice of legal counsel
- Consider the desired relationship between AACTE and state chapters. How do AACTE and the state chapters want to see the relationship evolve?
- Recommend revisions to state chapter policy to the AACTE Board of Directors
- Provide recommendations to the Board and National Office staff on how AACTE could best collaborate with the chapters, particularly with regard to state policy advocacy
Only one week is left to register for the 2020 State Leaders Institute, September 22-23! Register by 12:00 midnight on Friday, September 18 to experience AACTE’s inaugural, virtual event for state leaders.
During this signature event, centered around promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in education, state leaders will focus on capacity building and augmenting their chapter’s impact through leadership development. Attendees will learn effective skills to engage with their governor’s office, strengthen the advocacy capacity of their state chapter and its membership, and enjoy networking opportunities with peers.
Here’s what attendees from past events had to say about the value of the State Leaders Institute:
This year’s virtual AACTE State Leaders Institute will take place September 22-23, and will bring together state chapter leaders from AACTE and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) to enhance the presence of educator preparation at the state level. During this AACTE signature event, state leaders will focus on capacity building and augmenting their chapter’s impact through leadership development. Attendees will learn effective skills to engage with their governor’s office, receive the latest tips to strengthen the advocacy capacity of their state chapter and its membership, and enjoy networking opportunities with peers.
Take advantage of discounted rates for the virtual AACTE 2020 Washington Week! Join AACTE’s efforts to advocate for the funding and support colleges of education need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your voice matters now more than ever, and this year’s reduced rates allow your colleagues and students to participate in the political action as well.
Here’s what past attendees had to say about the value Washington Week offers:
“I’m excited that it’s time for Washington Week again! Last year was my first experience, and I loved every minute of it. [Activities included] learning the ins and outs of how to advocate, practicing advocacy skills, and visiting the House of Representatives [as well as] discussing mental health initiatives in schools, teacher shortages, and low wages for educators. It’s an awesome experience, one that I’ll never forget. Get excited for a great time you won’t regret!” − Danna Demezier, Florida Atlantic University
“In the past, I have attended three Washington Weeks. It was amazing! I had the opportunity to share my concerns as a former educator, teacher educator, and a constituent. Nothing compares to running around Washington with Deans and meeting staffers or legislators in Congress.” − Azaria Cunningham, Penn State University
“I attended the State Leaders Institute my first year as state chapter president. The networking and valuable information obtained from experts changed the way we did business in our state chapter. Our state chapter has grown because of SLI. It is the best professional development opportunity for state chapter leaders. It should not be missed.” − Mary Murray, Bowling Green State University
The theme of the Third Annual New Jersey Convening on Diversifying the Teacher Workforce is “Leadership for Diversity: Creating Culturally Responsive Recruitment, Instructional Practice and Retention Strategies.”
The New Jersey Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Convening, co-sponsored by Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, New Jersey Department of Education, and the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is intended to address the serious need to increase the diversity of the New Jersey teaching population and increase culturally responsive practices in the state. This meeting is designed to engage stakeholders and constituents in New Jersey in considering the barriers and supports to diversifying the teacher workforce to increase our numbers of culturally responsive practitioners and to develop culturally responsive practices among New Jersey’s educators. This convening will also provide opportunities for participants to learn about promising and successful efforts to increase teacher diversity in New Jersey and for growing and sustaining culturally responsive educators.
Registration is now open for AACTE’s virtual 2020 Washington Week! Connect with peers from across the country for the premier national advocacy event for educator preparation. Take advantage of the reduced event rates and encourage your colleagues and students to join policy leaders in impacting our profession.
Registration rates are as follows:
|Holmes Advanced Policy Course: September 2-3
|Holmes Policy Institute: September 8-10
|Day on the Hill: September 9-10 and 15-16
|State Leaders Institute: September 22-23
Register for AACTE’s Washington Week today! Learn more about the affordable rates and other event details at www.aacte.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation using #AACTEWW20.
Do you have questions or need assistance? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join AACTE at its inaugural, virtual 2020 Washington Week this September. You will be able to connect with peers from around the nation under the event’s theme Your Voice Matters. Whether you’re joining the State Leaders Institute, Holmes Policy Institute or Advanced Policy Course, and/or Day on the Hill, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn, work, and advocate together!
Here’s what past attendees had to say about the events:
AACTE is excited to offer its virtual 2020 Washington Week experience this September. The event dates have changed to offer you more opportunities to participate. Here’s the lineup:
Holmes Advanced Policy Course: September 2-3
On September 2, attendees will learn what to expect during the event and hear from a keynote speaker. The September 3 activities will include interactive breakout sessions and a congressional panel.
Holmes Policy Institute: September 8-10
On September 8, attendees will participate in a welcome session and engaging breakouts. Keynote speakers and panelists will show participants how to advocate for educator preparation through lively discussions and group activities. On September 10, participants will enjoy a virtual reception, including interactive games, to conclude the event.
Day on the Hill: September 9-10 and September 15-16
Organized collective voices can make a difference. Over the past four years, the Michigan Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) and other stakeholders have worked closely with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) in the development and implementation of dramatic changes to the licensure guidelines and standards for PK-12 teachers. The Michigan Department of Education has moved to narrow certification bands to a model more inclusive of students’ needs. This “students first” teacher certification system focuses on the whole child and moving our state forward to becoming a top 10 education state in the next 10 years. It was created with input from educators, schools, educator preparation programs, and parents.
The EPP applications for the new elementary programs were to be submitted in November 2020 or April 2021. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions were finding it hard to meet these deadlines with the limited resources and reached out to MACTE for help. Through the process of leading collaboration with other organizations, dialog with state partners, and creating cohesive arguments with a specific request, MACTE was able to not only advocate for its EPP members, but for the candidates completing their programs.
MACTE responded by composing a letter to the director of the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Educator Excellenc, requesting an extension of the application deadline to the next academic year as well as an extension of the sunset deadline for the elementary tests of the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification for the program that is being replaced. The Michigan Independent Educator Preparation Institution (MEIPI) and Michigan Public Education Deans (MPED) groups were also concerned with the impending timeline. MEIPI and MPED supported the MACTE’s proposal and joined us in signing this letter in support of this effort. As a collective we made the request to the Michigan Department of Education. The letter stressed the following.
AACTE is excited to introduce its short tutorial video on how to navigate the new State Policy Tracking Map recently added to the AACTE COVID-19 Resource Hub. The easy to use map provides an analysis of state-issued guidance impacting standards and practice, new teacher induction, clinical practice and licensure. The tutorial offers a walkthrough of how to access and use the information provided in three formats: short bullet points, short-form distillations, and links to the original source material.
AACTE is among the first education associations to track and publish this information, which was collected from multiple sources: news reports, state press releases, executive orders issued by state governors and statements issued by state departments of education. AACTE also included information from state chapter leaders who participated in the shaping of EPP guidance in their state. As state legislatures begin to convene and engage on this issue, we will update the map to reflect their work.
The AACTE National Office has begun to analyze the information collected for the map and is compiling its findings in a soon-to-be released report. Teaching in the Time of COVID: State Recommendations for Preparation and New Teachers will summarize changes by EPPs in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, seek opportunities for improvement, and propose recommendations to manage the pandemic successfully.
In the meantime, AACTE encourages you to visit the State Policy Tracking Map and invites you to share any questions, concerns, or updates you may have regarding the information presented on the map.
After careful consideration, AACTE has decided to transform the 2020 Washington Week conference into its inaugural virtual event. The in-person meeting has been canceled due to our concern about the health, well-being, and safety of our attendees and the coronavirus-related meeting and travel restrictions. We are excited to bring a virtual conference that will center on the same education and connections attendees experience at AACTE face-to-face meetings—from the comfort of your home. Take a moment to review the questions and answers we’ve prepared to acquaint you with this year’s Washington Week conference.
This article originally appeared on the Trine University News site and is reprinted with permission.
Three Trine University students from the Franks School of Education have been recognized as Outstanding Future Educators by the Indiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE).
Graduating seniors Cassi Wyse, an elementary education major from Archbold, Ohio, Mackenna Kelly, a mathematics education major from Angola, Indiana, and Connor Moore, a health and physical education major from Indianapolis, were scheduled to be honored with other students from across the state at the Outstanding Future Educators Banquet in Carmel, Indiana, on April 3. However, the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Though I’m heartbroken we were unable to join together to recognize these future educators in the way they deserved, the lack of a formal celebration in no way diminishes their accomplishments as teacher education students at Trine and the excellence they bring to their teaching careers,” said Anthony Kline, dean of the Franks School of Education. “We are proud of their effort here and look forward to their success as professional educators.”
Each teacher preparation program in the state recognized teacher candidates with the honor.
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.”
Registration is now open for AACTE’s 2020 Washington Week. This annual event, with participation from AACTE and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) state chapter leaders, Holmes Scholars, and AACTE members and non-members alike interested in advocating for the profession, will take place in the nation’s capital. This year’s Washington Week will be held May 31 – June 3 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, VA, and on Capitol Hill.