You frequently hear AACTE champion the virtues of advocacy—of making your voice heard to help land you a place “at the table” rather than “on the menu.” AACTE staff are practiced at this habit, engaging in regular meetings with key officials at the U.S. Department of Education and elsewhere to share the work of the Association and our membership. I am pleased to share that some of these efforts have paid off with an invitation from the Department to collaborate on an upcoming teacher preparation summit.
The Department invited AACTE and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities to be partners on the summit, scheduled for November 3-4 in Washington, DC, as part of the “Teach to Lead” series focused on amplifying teachers’ voice and role in transforming education and related policy. This event will bring teams of educators together to discuss actionable ideas for collaborative, teacher-led improvements to teacher preparation. We are honored to represent you at the table on this critical issue.
Last week, I joined a small group of AACTE staff attending the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Legislative Summit with over 5,000 state legislators, legislative staff, and trade associations.
One key takeaway from our interactions with state legislators and staff is that they are eager to hear from educator preparation programs. Some of the topics that state legislators referenced as their priorities:
- Examining licensure requirements
- Offering more pathways into the teaching profession
- Boosting the rigor of educator preparation programs
- Aligning the educator pipeline with school districts’ needs and challenges
This month, I visited the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) to participate in a kick-off symposium for the new AACTE Holmes Cadets Program starting there. The participating high school students were a dynamic reminder of why AACTE is expanding the Holmes Program: to support historically underrepresented students pursuing careers in education in order to diversify the field, from PK-12 through the professoriate. I was honored to welcome these passionate Holmes Cadets, who are poised to bring a strong Hispanic/Latino contingent to the teaching profession.
As Americans, one of our most important duties is to participate in our democracy. Although it can be challenging to get out the vote on college campuses, engaged citizenship is one of the desired outcomes of postsecondary education, and we certainly want to nurture in our students a sense of responsibility to participate.
To help students navigate residency requirements, absentee ballots and their filing deadlines, and other voting rules and options, I encourage you to consult the resources compiled by the “Your Vote, Your Voice” campaign. This effort is spearheaded by the Washington Higher Education Secretariat, which includes AACTE and nearly 50 other national higher education organizations.
Are your teacher candidates prepared to work with LGBTQ students? We’d like to learn about your perspectives and practices in our joint survey with the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), which closes September 15.
In educator preparation, we continually strive to prepare teachers to be more inclusive of and responsive to the range of human diversity their students bring. To help inform this work, it’s useful to survey the field periodically to monitor trends in practice and define a course for moving forward.
In a new report issued August 10, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) calls for reorganizing schools to better cultivate deep learning for all students. The report, What Matters Now: A New Compact for Teaching and Learning, lays out an ambitious vision for educator-driven improvements buttressed by a coordinated system of policy and community supports.
Did you know that August and October are great times to meet with your U.S. Representative and Senators? During these months, Congress is in “recess,” meaning members are back home meeting with constituents like you.
Time is running out on the August recess, but it may still be possible to land a meeting with some members of Congress before they return to Washington, DC, after Labor Day weekend. If not, October is coming fast, and now is an excellent time to ask for a meeting—or even work with your institution’s government relations office to invite elected officials to an event you are hosting.
Congratulations to August Holmes Scholar of the Month Ileana Cortes-Santiago of Purdue University (IN)!
Cortes-Santiago’s research interests include Latino/a family literacies and engagement, English language learning, multicultural education, and community-based research. Her commitment to being a change agent in the field of education is evident not only by her scholarship, but in practical application.
The U.S. Department of Education released a proposed regulation last month dealing with institutional eligibility for Title IV funds (federal student financial aid). Comments on the proposal are due by August 24 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.
In an effort to address concerns over fraudulent practices, noncompliance with requirements of Title IV programs, and other challenges, the Department is offering this latest round of proposed regulations (the initial work on this began in 2012) on distance education programs with an eye to those that operate in more than one state.
On Wednesday, August 17, AACTE will present the first webinar in a new series called “Raising the Bar and Enhancing Partnerships for Principal and Supervisor Preparation.” This event will look at how colleges of education can engage with state legislators and agencies responsible for standards implementation, program approval, licensure, professional development, and school improvement.