Earlier last month, AACTE announced that its signature, Leadership Academy convening would be returning in 2022 with a new, in-person format. The reimagined programming allows academic leaders to customize their learning experience while minimizing time spent out of the office. And at a reduced price point, attendees can participate in essential professional development while saving money on registration and hotel costs.
But why should new and seasoned leaders attend the Academy? Here’s what a few of this year’s confirmed registrants had to say regarding their decision to attend in 2022, and what they hope to gain from the experience:
Over the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pace of change, and the time to respond to those changes, has seemingly accelerated. Today’s leaders are tasked with making informed decisions to solve new problems, but often with minimal information and without an opportunity for collaborative input. As a result, successful leaders are relying upon detailed, strategic plans as guides to ensure their decisions are in alignment with the goals and priorities of their institution and their constituents.
One benefit of strategic planning is that it creates a single, forward-focused vision. As a part of its strategic plan, AACTE aligns its ongoing commitment to high-quality educator preparation with its commitment to leveraging opportunities to address the future challenges that come from an ever-changing educational landscape. To that end, AACTE is working with deans, program chairs, and other academic leaders to ensure their strategic planning processes are forward-thinking and revolutionary, while also representative of the diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environments AACTE and its members want to create. To provide this support, AACTE is proud to offer the following session content in both the dean and chair strands of the 2022 Leadership Academy:
In today’s world, diversity, equity, and inclusion can sometimes feel like simply buzzwords. They are trendy to say, and deemed important to acknowledge strategically, but are the actions taken by academic leaders truly enhancing diversity amongst our faculty and candidates? Is there a collective, shared sense of what equitable practices look like? And most importantly, are the decisions of leaders today creating and cultivating spaces that are inclusive to all?
As a part of its strategic plan, AACTE and its members are committed to increasing the diversity of their faculty and the students they prepare, so that educators more accurately reflect the diversity within PK-12 schools. As such, AACTE firmly believes in the need to continually assist deans, program chairs, and other academic leaders in navigating and managing the ever-changing landscape of diversity, equity, and inclusion within educator preparation. To that end, AACTE is proud to provide session content in both the dean and chair strands of the Leadership Academy that will address the following key questions:
- Why is it important to foster and promote diversity, and develop inclusive environments?
- What cultural implications do I need to attend to in the areas of teaching, research, and service?
- What specific actions are necessary to address the cultural implications in the areas of teaching, research, and service?
Working within job-alike cohorts, attendees will engage in several activities designed to “disrupt” the normal thinking around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Participants will define their own characteristics of what makes an equitable environment, and then with outside collaboration from peers, dig deeper to see just what gaps may need to be filled to create more inclusive practices and spaces. In the end, attendees will leave the session with an action list of practices to implement, which can be customized for their institution.
Don’t miss your chance to participate in this engaging and interactive look at diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic leadership. Join us June 26-30, 2022, at the Renaissance International Plaza Hotel in Tampa, FL, where you can choose from one of three track options
- New Chairs and Academic Leaders – June 26-28
- New and Seasoned Deans – June 28-30
- Full Conference (All Sessions) – June 26-30
Be sure to check out the schedule of content to be offered this year and reserve your spot today for AACTE’s new and improved Leadership Academy experience.
School leadership is second only to teaching among school-related factors in its impact on student learning, and school leader preparation programs play a key role in facilitating that success. As the leading voice in educator preparation, AACTE has launched a new podcast series, “Revolutionizing School Leadership Through Research”. This new podcast series highlights three cutting-edge research reports from the Wallace Foundation’s Knowledge Center on School Leadership. The three-episode series defines the evolving role and expectations of the principalship, the corresponding preparation required to meet those expectations, and the state policy levers that can be pulled to increase the number of qualified, equitable leaders in that position.
The first episode takes a macro look into the connection between school leadership and school outcomes. AACTE speaks with the lead author, Jason Grissom, of the Wallace commissioned report, How Principals Affect Students and Schools, A Systematic Synthesis of Two Decades of Research”, Grissom walks through the major landscape shifts in the past 20 years, with key insights into how preparation programs can be effective, equitable leaders.
AACTE, in its efforts to revolutionize education, is partnering with Digital Promise to support their work in tackling systems-level transformation that directly address the challenges students face. Digital Promise wants to ensure that each student has equitable access to educators and learning experiences that affirm and honor their identities, expertise, and cultures. Through professional development and its free and open-source tool, the Learner Variability Project LVN), Digital Promise empowers educators to deepen their understanding of learner variability and embrace equitable and inclusive practices that support the whole child.
Diversifying the professoriate pipeline is fraught with both opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, while higher education continues to attract a diverse student body, fewer than 6% of professors teaching inside postsecondary institutions are minoritized. Nonetheless, organizations such as the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) have made a nearly three-decade commitment to reversing the aforementioned through its programming work of mentoring doctoral students, in particular, and future educators of color in general, to take on instructional and research roles within the field and the academy. As early-career professors within college level education programs, we are both good examples of the strong influence mentorship have on diversifying the education pipeline. Furthermore, we believe that the Holmes Scholar program is a case study for investigating the potential of mentoring as a beautiful instrument for reimagining how minoritized scholars can advance in the academy. As a result, ground-breaking work was publicly disseminated to share how students transition into scholars, which was aided by both formal and informal mentorship initiatives.
Curtis Cain, superintendent of Wentzville School District, in Wentzville, Mo., has been named the 2022 AASA National Superintendent of the Year®. He is also an alumnus of two AACTE member institutions: He completed his B.S. degree at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and his M.S. and Ph.D. at Iowa State University.
Cain has served as superintendent of Wentzville Schools, a district with more than 17,300 students, since 2013. The school system’s performance on the state’s Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) is in the top 13% of the more than 520 school districts in the state. Prior to joining Wentzville Schools, he served as the associate superintendent for educational services in the Shawnee Mission (Kan.) School District. He has also served as the director of curriculum and professional development for the Park Hill (Mo.) School District. He’s about to seek a new adventure, having been named the next superintendent this summer of the Rockwood School District, also a St. Louis suburb.
AACTE joins the Learning First Alliance (LFA) in celebrating Public Schools Week 2022, February 21 – 25, a time for administrators, teachers, specialists, teacher educators, parents, and school board members to participate in events and discuss the importance of public education.
As a partnering organization, AACTE recognizes that teachers, principals, and staff who serve in U.S. public schools are key to helping students succeed, especially in these extraordinary times and circumstances. With a focus on what educators have learned and what they are currently experiencing to rethink teaching and learning, this year’s Public Schools Week honors a commitment to school safety, equity, and engagement. AACTE invites members to take part in the week’s activities.
Sponsored by Ohio University’s Patton College of Education, the Holmes Council, and AACTE, the Holmes Scholars Leadership series is a free, four-part series of conversations that will explore the leadership trajectories and experiences of various individuals connected to the field of education. The series will launch on January 31 and continues through April 25. The first session, “Leadership Lessons: A Conversation with Established Leaders,” features Renée A. Middleton and Lynn M. Gangone. Participation is free. Register at tinyurl.com/yheh3tkc
As the role of the principal evolves, so too does the extent to which they play the role of instructional leader. As a vital part of student outcomes and teacher retention in schools, it’s alarming that new principal often have skill gaps when providing instructional coaching. Teacher retention is due largely in part to the support of their principal, which is why AACTE continues to advocate for quality education leadership preparation programming.
In the sixth episode of AACTE’s podcast covering the University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI), AACTE talks to Jason Grissom, author of How Principals Affect Students and Schools, about what the research says regarding instructional leadership. The episode also dives into Albany State UPPI program’s efforts to address the gaps in preparing principal candidates to be effective instructional coaches with UPPI Project Director Janice Carthon, and Felisa McDavid, who is a graduate of Albany State’s principal prep program and principal of St. James Elementary in South Carolina.
Listen now to Episode 6: Redesigning Instructional Leadership Training
The National Association for Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is calling on federal officials to provide support for school leaders being threatened and undermined by those who disagree with school guidelines on COVID-19 best practices.
While the pandemic has impacted every one—school leaders are bearing the brunt of conflicts over masks, quarantines, vaccines, and other highly charged issues. They have been faced with hostile community members, threats to their own safety or safety of the school, and with non-compliance with rules that are meant to keep us all safe.
Teresa M. Hill, Principal at Walden Grove High School in Arizona and NASSP member, tells of her experience with threats at her school: “One month ago, seven people refused to leave our campus demanding a quarantined student attend class. After a lockdown of the front office for three hours, we were forced to arrest three of them. This has resulted in multiple threatening and intimidating voice messages, emails, and social media comments directly targeting me. Calling me a Nazi, a fascist, using profanity, and being told to ‘eat the end of a shotgun’ is beyond disturbing. Two weeks later, three men threatened and intimidated an elementary principal in my area by demanding a citizen’s arrest while holding zip ties in their hands.”
New Book Offers Latest Research on How to Avoid Issues Around Role Ambiguity
The initial call for chapters for the recently released Empowering Formal and Informal Leadership While Maintaining Teacher Identity was published in Ed Prep Matters in 2020. Several contributing author teams are AACTE members.
While national competencies continue to define dispositional and knowledge base for teacher leaders, Bryan Zug elder, associate dean for academic affairs and partnerships in the College of Education at James Madison University (USA), saw a need to expand the body of scholarship on this topic.
He has over 15 years of experience working in education and is also currently working as an associate professor in the Department of Learning, Technology, and Leadership Education, where he serves as faculty and program director for the Graduate Certificate and Master of Education with a Concentration in Teacher Leadership programs. He explains his motivations and discoveries for his latest publication, Empowering Formal and Informal Leadership While Maintaining Teacher Identity:
As advocates, we want data to be used for accountability and transparency, to tell stories, and to inform impactful, equitable policies. But without context, clarity, transparency, the stories data could tell about school, student, and teacher experiences can be lost to misinformation and distrust.
Last week, the Data Quality Campaign released a new resource that breaks down what it means to build trust in data for both those who share it and those who consume it—providing tips to make meaning from the numbers that you see so you can demand clarity, uncover biases, understand how to foster trust in data, and take action armed with full information.
This Consumer’s Guide to Data is an especially great resource for producers of data (such as state or district leaders) and consumers of data (parents, families, or interested community members), but it can also be valuable to advocates who are looking to support good decision making and storytelling at every level.
Download the guide.
Registration is open for the 2021 Leadership Academy Series designed for educational leaders navigating the challenges of the current global environment. This three-part series will augment your leadership skills during these unprecedented times. The first of these virtual series will take place August 11. The second will be held in October and the final session of the series is scheduled for January 2022.
Seats are still availability for the AACTE Leadership Academy introductory course, “Personal Wellness: Managing Your Stress and Time,” which will take place on Wednesday, June 9 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET. This will be an interactive session discussing the impact of COVID-19 on your professional and personal lives, the additional stresses, time demands, and overall wellness during these past 15 months.