For Immediate Release
Contact: Jerrica Thurman 202-478-4502 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Task force to examine clinical practice in special education teacher preparation

(November 7, 2017, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) has brought together a group of higher education and PK-12 leaders from across the country to examine emergent issues in the clinical preparation of special education teachers. The AACTE Special Education Task Force is an outgrowth of the AACTE Clinical Practice Commission (CPC) and has been charged with applying the CPC frameworks for clinical educator preparation to address key considerations and problems of practice encountered when preparing teacher candidates to meet the needs of students who require specialized supports.

“We’re thrilled with the commitment of this esteemed group of experts who willingly accepted the challenge put forth in our charge,” said AACTE Vice President Rodrick Lucero, who chairs the CPC. “This task force will ground its work within the context of the theoretical framework defined by the Clinical Practice Commission.”

This new AACTE effort, which is supported by a grant from the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, presents an opportunity for experts in special education teacher development to look deeply into the field’s needs and delivery.

During its inaugural meeting in October, the task force outlined a preliminary scope of work to examine areas such as dual licensure and dual preparation models, pipeline strategies around recruitment and retention, interdisciplinary collaboration and other factors pertinent to this specialized preparation. The group ultimately plans to identify models and develop recommendations to amplify promising practices, establish continuous improvement benchmarks and provide guidance for the field.

“The time has come to move boldly to ensure that all teachers are prepared to work with every child in their classroom so that we can move students with exceptionalities, and the educators who work with them, out of isolation in teaching and learning environments”, said Debbie Reed, Coordinator for Professional Development Schools at the University of North Florida, co-chair for the task force and member of the CPC.
Rene Roselle, Associate Clinical Professor at the University Connecticut, is also a task force co-chair and member of the CPC. “Special education services vulnerable populations who need well-prepared teachers to meet varying needs in classrooms,” she said. “We hope to provide a framework and recommendations for how to structure and maintain clinical experiences to best prepare the next generation of special educators.”

Members of the AACTE Special Education Task Force include selected members of the CPC along with representatives from CEEDAR states:

Debbie Reed (Co-chair), University of North Florida
Rene Roselle (Co-chair), University of Connecticut
Michael Alfano, Central Connecticut State University
Brian Barber, Kent State University (OH)
Cecilia Batolo, Virginia Commonwealth University
Amber Benedict, University of Florida
Valeisha Ellis, Spelman College (GA)
Tammy Ellis-Robinson, State University of New York at Albany
Kelly Jewell-Glasscock, Troy University
Karmen Kelly, Colorado State University/Parent
Cara Richards-Tudor, California State University, Long Beach
Cindy Stunkard, Kutztown University (PA)

The task force will be supported by AACTE staff including This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Learn more about the task force’s work in this article.

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AACTE: The Leading Voice on Educator Preparation
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession ready as they enter the classroom. The 800 member institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. AACTE leads the field in advocacy and capacity building by promoting innovation and effective practices as critical to reforming educator preparation. For more information, visit www.aacte.org.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jerrica Thurman 202-478-4502 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(October 30, 2017, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) congratulates Akil E. Ross, Sr., on his selection as 2018 National Principal of the Year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Ross, the principal at Chapin High School in Chapin, S.C., for the past seven years, holds a doctorate in education from the University of South Carolina, which is a member institution of AACTE.

“We commend Principal Ross on this distinction and for his dedication to the success of teachers and students in South Carolina,” said Rodrick S. Lucero, Vice President of AACTE. “We also congratulate the AACTE member institution that helped prepare Ross to become a change agent in education.”

Ross has served as a school administrator for 12 years and is known for building a school culture that promotes social justice while preparing students to lead productive lives. Under his leadership, the graduation rate at Chapin went from 82 percent to above 96 percent, and proficiency rates also continue to climb, including a recent 16-point spike in math proficiency among Black students.

In addition to the NASSP National Principal of the Year announcement, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) this month honored its 2017 Class of National Distinguished Principals. AACTE congratulates these honorees as well and is proud to announce that nearly all of them were also prepared at AACTE member institutions.

AACTE promotes high-quality principal development in partnership with member institutions and The Wallace Foundation through a variety of initiatives, including a multi-part webinar series themed “Principals as Transformation Leaders” running this fall. In addition, the new AACTE Principal Preparation Program Learning Community Topical Action Group provides members an ongoing opportunity to collaborate and explore issues and promising practices in principal preparation. AACTE will also host the popular Educational Leader Preconference again February 28, as part of the AACTE 2018 Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Md., to focus on improving the preparation of effective school leaders.

Learn more about AACTE’s ongoing efforts to support principal preparation at aacte.org.

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About AACTE: The Leading Voice on Educator Preparation

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. The 800 member institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Through advocacy and capacity building, AACTE promotes innovation and effective practices that strengthen educator preparation. Learn more at www.aacte.org.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jerrica Thurman 202-478-4502 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(August 14, 2017, Washington D.C.) – Lynn M. Gangone, President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), today issued the following statement regarding the racial violence that occurred two days ago in downtown Charlottesville:

“AACTE strongly condemns the acts of hate, bigotry and racial violence that took place during the “Unite the Right” rally on Saturday. This tumult has devastated the local community of our member institution University of Virginia (UVA) and has deeply impacted our nation and the world. We support UVA President Teresa Sullivan’s official statement that the acts “…of the many groups that have converged on Charlottesville this weekend contradict [American] values of diversity, inclusion, and mutual respect.” AACTE also considers an outbreak of insular behavior in the setting of a university paradoxical as institutions of higher education characterize enlightenment, progression, and democracy.

One of the primary roles of educators is to prepare students to become participating citizens in a democratic society. AACTE members produce educators who can effectively help students address the complex ways in which our nation is grappling with its most fundamental principles. Our members are committed to advancing diversity, equity and educational opportunity as pillars of the democratic tenets of the teaching profession.

AACTE supports members’ efforts to grow a diverse teaching workforce reflective of the increasingly diverse student population through a variety of initiatives such as the AACTE Holmes Program and the Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teacher Initiative Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The AACTE Holmes Program exists to support students from historically underrepresented communities pursuing careers in education. The AACTE Black and Hispanic/Latino Male Teachers Initiative NIC helps institutions identify innovative strategies to increase the percentage of Black and Hispanic/Latino men receiving initial teaching certification through educator preparation programs. These are just two of the many ways in which AACTE actualizes its commitment to advocate for and celebrate diversity and inclusion. There is more to be done to advance civil discourse. Education is at the front lines to shape this narrative, and, along with our members, AACTE will address this challenge.”

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About AACTE: The Leading Voice on Educator Preparation
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. The over 800 institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. Through advocacy and capacity building, AACTE promotes innovation and effective practices that strengthen educator preparation. Learn more at www.aacte.org.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jerrica Thurman 202-478-4502 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(September 6, 2017, Washington D.C.) – Lynn M. Gangone, President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), today issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s ruling on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“The decision by President Trump yesterday to end the DACA policy leaves the plight of these individuals – who are integrated into our schools, our institutions of higher education, our workforce, and our communities – in the hands of the Congress.

DACA recipients deserve the assurance that the country that they call home wants them to stay and contribute to our society. Congress should act to move bipartisan legislation forward that gives these individuals and their families the security that they deserve. The clock is ticking, and time is short.”

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About AACTE: The Leading Voice on Educator Preparation
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. The over 800 institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. Through advocacy and capacity building, AACTE promotes innovation and effective practices that strengthen educator preparation. Learn more at www.aacte.org.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jerrica Thurman 202-478-4502 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(June 5, 2017, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is hosting its 2017 Washington Week through Wednesday, bringing teacher educators from across the nation to Capitol Hill and to the Renaissance Arlington Capital View hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The conference, themed “Diverse Perspectives, Deep Partnerships, One Profession,” offers attendees opportunities to showcase their programs, discuss important education policies and advocate for educator preparation in meetings with members of Congress.

“One of the best things about our democracy is the ability for individuals to meet with their representatives,” said Lynn M. Gangone, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. “I can think of no better way for us to elevate educator preparation than to have a week where AACTE members are able to interact with their elected officials in both the House and the Senate.”

Held each June, AACTE’s Washington Week features three key events:

  • State Leaders Institute (June 4-5): The heads of state chapters from AACTE and the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) meet to discuss state and national policy trends.
  • Holmes Summer Policy Institute (June 5): Participants in the AACTE Holmes Program, which supports students from underrepresented backgrounds entering the education profession, convene for an inside look into education policy.
  • Day on the Hill (June 6-7): AACTE members and partners advocate for educator preparation and unite their voices in meetings with elected officials on Capitol Hill.

At the State Leaders Institute, the keynote address was given today by Senator Brent Hill, President Pro Tempore of the Idaho Legislature. The Holmes Summer Policy Institute kicked off with keynote speaker Antoinette Rogers, director of the Office of Teaching Learning for the Virginia Education Association. Participants at both events are learning about the political landscape affecting education on federal and state levels and discussing implications for the future of their work.

“We look to elevate educator preparation and work as one profession,” said Gangone. “There is nothing more important in our country than to prepare our children as educated citizens. Certainly, the education community represented by AACTE will be in Washington this week to talk about the importance of preparation programs that bring teachers, principals, superintendents and guidance counselors into the classroom in partnership with our P-12 community.”

AACTE’s Day on the Hill, which takes place over the next two days, entails a full day of orientation followed by a trip to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of the profession. Presenters and panelists include congressional staff, AACTE state leaders and  representatives from the American Federation of Teachers and National Governors Association, providing policy updates and strategies to effectively advocate and build relationships with legislators.

Follow what’s happening at AACTE’s Washington Week on Twitter at #AACTEWW17.

Media interviews are available with select featured speakers, AACTE senior officials and member institutions in attendance. To register for media credentials, send your name, title, name of media organization or publication, address, phone number and e-mail address to Jerrica Thurman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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About AACTE
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. The over 800 member institutions include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. Through advocacy and capacity building, AACTE promotes innovation and effective practices that strengthen educator preparation. Learn more at www.aacte.org.

  • Dec
    18

    Teacher-Leader Network Seeks Proposals for 2018 National Conference

    The National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) requests proposals for workshops and other interactive sessions to be presented at its 2018 National Teacher Leadership Conference, July 8-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Proposals are due by February 5. The 4-day conference will convene state and national teachers of the year (and finalists from the states) to “engage with national education leaders, administrators, policy makers, the business community, and colleagues to dynamically...

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