Posts Tagged ‘Washington Week’

Why I Keep Coming Back to Day on the Hill

Larry G DanielDay on the Hill is AACTE’s signature event for involving its members in direct advocacy for the profession. I have attended Day on the Hill for 20 years. Why do I enjoy it and keep coming back? The answer has to do with involvement, camaraderie, and results.


Day on the Hill allows us as teacher education leaders to be involved with a national effort much bigger than ourselves and our own institutions. Our unified presence in congressional offices for one day every year makes us part of something special that has the potential to make a difference for our teacher candidates, our programs, and our communities. It is also a great way to involve our education candidates in the work. Each year, I select several undergraduate or graduate students to join my colleagues and me at Day on the Hill. Helping them learn about advocacy and being exposed to others in the profession opens them to a whole new side of the profession they are entering.

A Scholar’s Reflection: Everybody is an Advocate

Girl standing by stairsWashington Week 2020 sessions helped me, a Holmes Scholar and second-year doctoral student in special education, gain an understanding of how to advocate for equitable educational opportunities for marginalized students including students with disabilities by participating in interactive policy discussions and briefings with prominent speakers and participants. I mainly learned that everybody could advocate for promoting educational improvement and success in different ways. This advocacy work becomes a crucial duty especially in this unprecedented time where COVID-19 has exacerbated educational inequities and hit students of color disproportionally.

The amazing Jane West presented and discussed the 4 Ps of Policy Advocacy (People, Policy, Process, and Politics) and their use in planning an advocacy strategy. As an international doctoral student who is not familiar with the American legal system, I found that the session equipped me with the knowledge about the legislative and executive policy cycle with all its players as well as the process and skills needed for effective policy change advocacy.

Washington Week Viewpoint: A Day on the Hill

In a recent Q&A with AACTE, Lisa Bisogno, associate dean, College of Education, Associate professor of special education Northeastern State University, shares her viewpoint as a 2020 AACTE Washington Week Day on the Hill participant.

Why do you believe it is important for AACTE members to actively advocate for education?

It is greatly beneficial for higher education institutions from their designated states to express the barriers encountered by teacher preparation programs as one collective unit to their elected officials. More often than not, legislators may not be aware of the obstacles our teacher preparation programs are confronting and their impact on school districts in surrounding communities. You can learn how to advocate for the importance of the Higher Education Act, Teacher Quality Grants, and other fiscal appropriations that pertain to teacher preparation in the hopes that legislators will move it to the forefront of their agenda. This is a time when universities can come together to advocate the need for teacher preparation to be an equitable education for all children.

Does the virtual session have the same value as the in-person meetings with representatives/senators?

Considering this was my first Day on the Hill, I do not have the comparison to in-person meetings other than legislation visits within my state. However, I would emphasize that the virtual sessions aided in easing my nerves during our virtual congressional visit and provided adequate practice for when the opportunity presents itself for in-person congressional visits. Another wonderful aspect of the virtual annual meeting is the cost efficiency by saving on travel and the ability to access the sessions following the conference.

State Leaders Institute Kicks off 2021 State Affiliate Award Application Season

2021 Washington WeekThe 2021 State Leaders Institute (SLI) marks the beginning of the 2021 State Affiliate Award application process. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn how to apply for a State Affiliate Award and discuss how the funds can be used. To that end, day-one of SLI will begin with a panel discussion led by the leaders of the Kentucky, California, and Nebraska AACTE State affiliates, who will describe and take questions regarding the projects for which they were awarded 2020 State Affiliate Awards. All applicants for Affiliate Awards are required to submit a State Affiliate Report (formally, “State Chapter Report”) as a part of the application process. Attendees of SLI will be informed about the requirements and timelines associate with the Affiliate Report.

SLI is being held virtually this year, September 30 and October 1 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET. As with previous years, the schedule of events is designed to give AACTE members ample opportunities to catch up with old friends, engage in professional development activities and strategize about the future of the teaching profession.

Washington Week Reflection: Finding a Seat at the Table

Anthony WebsterHave you ever felt like you were in the right place at the right time? Attending Washington Week during the early stages of a global pandemic was an experience I will never forget. It honestly helped solidify my why and purpose.

As a first-year Ph.D. student, I was looking forward to the learning experiences that laid ahead. However, I did not expect them to come so soon. During my first week in the Ph.D. program, I attended the 2020 Holmes Program Washington Week sessions. Between work and school, I was “Zoomed” out. So, I was skeptical of the impact this would have since it was virtual. As a natural extrovert, I was unsure how I would connect with others. So, you can see why I had my doubts.

Weade James and Jane West could not have hosted a better virtual Washington Week. Since my time as an admissions recruiter at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, I have always been interested in policies, particularly educational policies that impact historically marginalized populations. From the achievement gap to the allocation of resources, I have witnessed first-hand how this hinders the success of students and educators within urban school districts. Attending Washington Week provided me with some fundamental tools to make a difference in my corner of the world.

During Washington Week, I learned how to connect with state senators and representatives regarding policies and ideas to move education forward. West insisted that Twitter was a great platform to connect with government officials because, believe it or not, someone is always watching. I had an opportunity to engage with dynamic leaders from across the world who are doing great work on behalf of students and educators. Everyone that spoke during Washington Week mentioned that there is much work to be done. The participants also talked about knowing that they make a difference motivates them to do their job. Despite the politics that come with policymaking and seemingly seeks to undo the impact educators and policymakers strive to have, they have no choice but to show up because people need them.

During our discussion, I heard that if you don’t have a seat at the table, you might end up on the menu. This phrase may sound a bit cliché’, but during Washington Week 2020, I found my voice. This statement will stick with me for the rest of my life. From this experience, I am looking forward to claiming my seat at the table and making a difference.

Anthony Webster is a Holmes Scholar and Ph.D. educational leadership and policy studies candidate at Wayne State University.

Bring Your Passion to AACTE’s Day on the Hill

Day on the Hill grqaphic

AACTE’s virtual Day on the Hill is scheduled for September 21-23. As we prepare for AACTE’s premiere advocacy event, some may wonder, “What legislation should we prioritize?” The simplest answer is whatever you are most passionate about.

The nation is facing a teacher shortage. We are all familiar with the statistics: there were an estimated 100,000 classrooms in 2018 staffed by instructors who did not complete some type of educator preparation program; despite increased need for PK-12 teachers—and growing enrollment in higher education—the number of students completing bachelor’s degrees in education has been declining over the last two decades; in a recent survey, 27% of teachers said they were considering leaving their jobs, retiring early, or taking a leave of absence due to COVID-19.

However, there are legislative proposals that seek to address these issues and more.

Make Your Voice Heard at AACTE Washington Week

2021 Washington Week

AACTE is committed to making your voice heard at the state and federal levels. Augment your advocacy skills while advancing educator preparation at AACTE’s premiere advocacy event, Day on the Hill, September 21-23.

AACTE’s virtual Day on the Hill is the prime opportunity to meet with your elected officials, advocate for the current Administration’s historic investment in education, and highlight the importance of teacher preparation programs. Engage with colleagues from across the nation while learning how to advocate for the profession and share your successes on Capitol Hill.

This year’s event offers breakout sessions to prepare you for engaging with Members of Congress and their staff. When you register, select a track that best meets your skill level:

  • Track A for those new to Day on the Hill or who want to polish up their advocacy skills  
  • Track B for those with extensive experience in advocacy

AACTE’s Day on the Hill: An Opportunity to Advocate for Ed Prep Programs

The past year and a half have been a challenge. Everyone’s lives have been disrupted and we have had to adapt, adjust, and endure like never before, especially within the educator preparation community. However, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

There is good news. For example, President Biden proposed the biggest increase in funding for the Department of Education and teacher preparation programs in history. Specifically, he called for increasing the Department’s budget by more than $29 billion, or 41%, including an increase of $9 billion for teacher preparation programs.

Connect with AACTE Holmes Scholars at Washington Week

This year’s Washington Week virtual conference is quickly approaching, and we have exciting events planned for AACTE members – including participants of the Holmes Program. Holmes Scholars are encouraged to participate in the Holmes Policy Institute (September 8 – 9) and Holmes Advanced Policy Short Course (September 14-15) during Washington Week. These events will focus on policy solutions to address systemic barriers that impede on the academic achievement of diverse students.

Some confirmed speakers include Jessica Cardichon, assistant deputy secretary, office of planning, evaluation, and policy development at the U.S. Department of Education; Erica McCray, co-Ddrector of the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center; Michael Brady, professor and chair at Florida Atlantic University; Amanda Lewis, director for research on race and public policy at the University of Illinois – Chicago; Amy Wells, professor at Columbia Teacher’s College, and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Register Now for AACTE’s Upcoming Events

AACTE’s upcoming slate of events offers professional development and networking opportunities at a significant discount for our valued members. This year’s Leadership Academy and Washington Week will be held virtually, with AACTE’s 2022 Annual Meeting occurring in person in New Orleans. Registration for all three events is open now, so secure your spot today!
2021 Virtual Leadership Academy
Leadership Academy Series: August and October 2021 and January 2022
This year’s Leadership Academy will occur as a three-part series. The first session takes place August 11, with the second session occuring October 20 and the final session transpiring in January 2022. Join your colleagues at the first session, “When We All Get to Together: Returning to Campus with New Opportunities,” for a dynamic, interactive discussion on developing a positive transition to in-person learning and creating new opportunities in the post-COVID environment. Members can attend all three sessions for just $99.

Registration for AACTE’s Day on the Hill Now Open

2021 Washington Week

Registration for AACTE’s second virtual Day on the Hill is now open.  Day on the Hill is the Association’s premiere advocacy event and provides AACTE members with the opportunity to engage directly with their Members of Congress about the importance of teacher preparation and related legislation.  Advocacy training sessions will take place September 21-22, and virtual congressional visits will be held September 23.

Register Early for 2021 Washington Week

Registration for AACTE’s 2021 Washington Week is now open. Take advantage of the virtual rates and join AACTE’s efforts to advocate for educator preparation programs in a post-pandemic world. Each session will take place during the month of September. 

Holmes Policy Institute – September 8-9

AACTE Holmes Scholars will learn how to advocate for their profession by participating in interactive policy discussions and briefings.

Holmes Scholar – $25

Holmes Program Advanced Policy Short Course – September 14-15

This short course is intended as an introduction to begin equipping you with the knowledge, desire, and skills to be an effective advocate and resource in the policy making process.

Holmes Scholar – $25

Registration is Open for Washington Week 2021

AACTE Virtual Washington Week 2021 banner

Registration is now open for the 2021 virtual Washington Week.  Register today to ensure your voice is heard advocating for education. Every year, this popular gathering of like-minded members of the education preparation community attracts hundreds from around the nation. Join your peers at this year’s virtual Washington Week, which will feature the following four events:

Washington Week 2021: Save the September Dates

Get ready to join AACTE at Washington Week 2021, which will be virtual again this year and scheduled throughout the month of September.  This year’s schedule includes the following:

  • Holmes Policy Institute – September 8-9
    AACTE Holmes Scholars will learn how to advocate for their profession by participating in interactive policy discussions and briefings.
  • Holmes Program Advanced Policy Short Course – September 14-15
    This short course is intended as an introduction to begin equipping you with the knowledge, desire, and skills to be an effective advocate and resource in the policy making process.
  • Day on the Hill – September 21-23
    AACTE members, nonmembers, students, Holmes Scholars, and PK-12 partners will engage in advocacy training and visit congressional offices.
  • State Leaders Institute – September 30-October 1
    AACTE state leaders will focus on capacity building and augmenting their chapters’ impact through leadership development.