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URI’s Feinstein College is Lead Institution in AACTE Consortium to Address Barriers to a Diversified Teaching Workforce

The University of Rhode Island’s Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies will represent the state as a lead institution in the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments, an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that engages 14 states in a study of state-level tests and qualifying scores for entry into educator preparation programs.

URI will collaborate with the Rhode Island Department of Education, Rhode Island College, Central Falls School District, and Pawtucket School Department to examine state data and practices, as well as engage in quarterly convenings to inform guidelines and recommendations for setting qualifying cores for educator preparation program entry and exit.

Congress Passes Legislation to Improve TEACH Grants

An elementary art teacher instructs second-grade students attending in person and remotely at Wesley Elementary School.

Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

This week, the House of Representatives passed the Consider Teachers Act, which would make certain improvements to the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants program.  The TEACH Grant program is intended to encourage individuals to enter the teaching profession by providing recipients with grants of up to $4,000 per year to pursue coursework that leads to a certification in teaching. AACTE has long supported this program to help address the nation’s shortage of educators.

AACTE Contributes to the Committee for Education Funding’s Budget Book

Council for Education Funding - Education MattersOne of the important coalitions AACTE is a member of is the Committee for Education Funding (CEF), which is the oldest and largest coalition of education associations and calls for an increase in federal funding for education. CEF’s current campaign is “5 Cents Makes Sense,” which calls for 5 cents of every federal dollar to be spent on education. The campaign’s official hashtag is #5Cents4EdFunding. 

Each year, CEF publishes a Budget Book, which analyzes the President’s budget proposal and its impact on federal education programs.  AACTE contributed two articles to the Book.  One is on TEACH Grants, the federal program that supports the recruitment of high-quality teacher candidates for hard-to-staff fields and schools. The other article is on the Teacher Quality Partnership program, which is the only federal initiative designed to strengthen and reform educator preparation at institutions of higher education.

AACTE’s Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments Needs You

Marketing segmentation, target market, target audience, customers care, customer relationship management (CRM), human resources recruit and customer analysis concepts, bokeh in background.The Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) is seeking your help to recruit teacher candidates, teachers, and faculty for its upcoming focus groups. The Consortium, which is comprised of educator preparation programs (EPPs) and state and local education agency representatives across 14 states, is examining the processes and considerations that states use to determine cut scores for entrance (i.e., Praxis Core) and teacher licensure examinations.

Through data collection of key stakeholders, analysis of trends and policies, and shared learning, the Consortium will produce recommendations and guidelines to establish equitable criteria for setting qualifying scores and model state policies that promote equity and diversity in the profession.

UW College of Education Launches Competition to Spark Interest in Teaching

University of Wyoming - WY TeachThe University of Wyoming College of Education and UW Trustees Education Initiative (TEI) have partnered with Mursion, a company that develops virtual reality training simulations, to present the inaugural College WYTeach competition.

UW and Wyoming community college students who are freshmen or sophomores and interested in becoming teachers can participate in the contest. The top three participants will be awarded scholarship money to UW or a Wyoming community college.

In Wyoming and across the nation, schools are experiencing a shortage of teachers. The WYTeach competition was developed to get students interested in teaching careers and provide a stream of highly qualified teachers into classrooms. This exposure will provide students the opportunity to practice their professional skills and put their teaching abilities to the test by leading a class of students inside a virtual reality simulation.

Let’s Work Together to Solve a Growing Demand for Skilled Teachers

A first-grade teacher at Capital City Public Charter School leads a lesson about bee colonies with her students.This article originally appeared in The Hechinger Report.

Long before the pandemic, school districts across the nation struggled to staff classrooms with skilled teachers. The crisis did not create the teacher shortage, but it accelerated teacher retirements and other departures while contributing to declining enrollments in educator preparation programs.

Our nation’s education system spans national, state, district, classroom and community levels. Many rightly wonder if this ecosystem’s demand for qualified teachers can be met in the post-pandemic era.

To do so, we need deeper—and more active—collaborations to address the multiple layers of challenges inside the teaching profession so that we can effectively recruit, train and retain more teachers.

The College Program Attracting—and Retaining—Black Male Teachers

Graduates of Call Me MISTER: Photo by Patrick Wright, Clemson University, Photographic Services-University Relations.

This article originally appeared in EdSurge and is reprinted with permission.

When Alphonso Richard Jr. walked into his first teacher education course at Clemson University, he experienced a shock.

“Being in a class where you’re the only male, I didn’t know where to sit,” he says. “Girls were looking like, ‘Oh my goodness, is that a guy in here?’”

Compounding the confusion: Most women in the room were white, and Richard is Black. The dissonance was enough to send a shiver of doubt through the aspiring educator’s mind.

“It was a scared, hesitant feeling at first,” Richard says. “Am I meant to be here? Is this for me?”

It takes courage to enter a space where you’re not sure you belong. That’s the kind of threshold that Black men training to become educators have to cross many times. They make up only 2 percent of U.S. public school teachers (men overall compose 24 percent). They’re also underrepresented in college teacher-preparation programs, as education is “one of the least diverse major fields in higher education,” according to a 2019 report from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

Playbook Offers Strategies for Recruiting, Retaining Diverse Teaching Workforce

Last month, President Biden called for an unprecedented investment in his FY 22 budget proposal to begin to redress the chronic inequities in our nation’s education system. In a new playbook, the Partnership for the Future of Learning offers a set of high-impact strategies and examples for recruiting, preparing, developing, and retaining high-quality teachers and bringing greater racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity to the profession.

The 152-page Teaching Profession Playbook was developed by the Learning Policy Institute and the Public Leadership Institute in collaboration with 26 organizations and five individual experts. The digital playbook includes examples of legislation; a curated list of publications, by topic, for further reading; a guide to talking about teacher shortages and strengthening the profession; and examples of research-based policies.

School of Education Helps Increase Access to Teaching

Teacher sitting down working with students

This article originally appeared on the University of St. Thomas Newsroom and is reprinted with permission.

The School of Education at St. Thomas is making inroads to increase the number of people of color who choose to become teachers, and national organizations are recognizing its efforts. In March, the school received notice that the Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) accepted its proposal to be part of a consortium to increase equitable access to teaching. 

Only around 6% of licensed Minnesota teachers identified as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), while 38% of students in the state are nonwhite, according to state data. In efforts to help close that gap, the School of Education will join with other AACTE members to examine entrance requirements for teacher preparation programs. This collaboration exemplifies just one more way in which the school has been working to grow the number of diverse teachers through a variety of programs, including key partnerships.

Prepared to Teach and WestEd Release Three New Reports on Financially Sustainable Teacher Preparation

Prepared to Teach | WestEd logos

Prepared to Teach and WestEd have partnered on the Sustainability Project, a series of reports and interactive tools to support high-quality, financially sustainable teacher preparation. Three reports are being released this week through that project. Two are co-authored by Prepared to Teach and WestEd—Beyond Tuition, Costs of Teacher Preparation, and Going Further Together: Building Ownership and Engagement to Support High-Quality Teacher Preparation. The co-authored papers are being released simultaneously with a third piece authored by Prepared to TeachDollars and Sense: Federal Investments in Our Educator Workforce.

AACTE members know that aspiring teachers need high-quality, affordable options for teacher preparation—and research has shown that when candidates from diverse backgrounds have access to excellent programs, everyone benefits. Graduates of these programs stay in the classroom for longer and are more well-prepared than their peers who become teachers through faster, less rigorous pathways to the classroom.[1]

Ohio’s Work to Support Children from Marginalized Groups

Ohio Deans CompactThe Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children has a mission to act collectively in support of improved learning and results for all children, but especially those from marginalized groups. Compact serves as a forum for shared learning and collective action. Due to its efforts, critical connections have been made within and outside the state through representation from key stakeholder groups, including the members of Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and AACTE.

The 30-member organization meets quarterly and is comprised of leaders from the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). Compact members participate on one of four standing committees (Dissemination, Impact Evaluation, Low Incidence, Policy). Institutions that are awarded incentive grants through the Compact participate in a facilitated community of practice (CoP), which serves as a peer-to-peer network for representatives from public and private institutions.

AACTE Announces Members of Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments

Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments

AACTE is pleased to announce the selected states for the Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA), a new initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Consortium, comprised of 14 state teams that include educator preparation programs (EPPs) and their state and local education agencies, will evaluate cut scores for entrance into EPPs, and develop recommendations and model state policies to support state efforts to advance equity and recruit more diverse teacher candidates into the profession. 

The 14 selected states and institutions include the following:

Tennessee Grant Funding Available to EPPs in and around the State: Apply by May 7

Farm field - Grow Your Own Teacher Program

The Tennessee Department of Education is offering Grow Your Own grants to educator preparation programs (EPPs) who work with the state’s school districts. The $2 million grants are available to help remove barriers and increase access to the education field for prospective teachers in Tennessee. The May 7 application deadline is quickly approaching! Application requirements and additional information are available here.

The Grown Your Own initiative supports partnerships between EPPs and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to provide innovative, no-cost pathways to the teaching profession by increasing EPP enrollment and growing the supply of qualified teachers to serve the state’s diverse student population. It provides no-cost access to a pathway to teaching to meet the need for increased diversity as well as to address the state’s teacher shortage. The second round of grants will provide 20 EPPs with $100,000 for their programs.

The University of Tampa Partners with Pasco Schools to Produce Education Leaders for the Future

University of Tampa

The University of Tampa (UT) announced a partnership last month with Pasco County Schools that will provide Pasco educators interested in taking leadership roles a path to pursue either a certification in educational leadership or a master’s degree in educational leadership.

According to the agreement, the partnership is intended to “increase the supply of effective school leaders in public schools in Florida, and to produce school leaders who are prepared to lead the state’s diverse student population in meeting high standards for academic achievement.”

Building and Sustaining Recruitment Pathways for Black and Latino Male Teachers

In the following article, David A. Fuentes and Amy Ginsberg of the College of Education at William Paterson, a member of AACTE’s Network Improvement Community (NIC) Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teacher Initiative, take a deep dive into their efforts to increase dual enrollment opportunities as a preemptive recruitment strategy. They provide insight into how network improvement science can be used to identify levers within education preparation program systems that can improve recruitment and retention of diverse teacher candidates.  

To learn more about NIC members’ initiatives to recruit and retain Black and Latina males, watch the  Building Recruitment Pathways, a segment of AACTE’s new NIC video case studies series. 

Building and Sustaining Recruitment Pathways for Black and Latino Male Teachers 

Building Recruitment PathwaysIn 2014, our College of Education at William Paterson University, a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Minority Serving Institution (MSI), located in the greater New York City area, was selected as one of ten universities to participate in the AACTE Network Improvement Community (NIC), aimed at increasing the number of Black and Latino/Hispanic male teachers (BLMs). Since that time, we have been engaged in iterative cycles of plan-do-study-act (PDSA). This systematic research first led to our becoming NIC mindful and then to several structural changes in our College of Education that make our efforts aimed at teacher diversification more possible today in both theory and practice. We have uncovered, implemented, and tested the efficacy of several structural changes at our institution targeting key drivers, recruitment and retention, while implementing new structures based on network improvement science and our desire and commitment to diversify our teacher candidate pool.

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