Doing Advocacy Work to Affect Coverage


I used to be in Washington, D.C., final week for the American Affiliation of Schools for Trainer Schooling’s Washington Week. This yr’s theme was Educating the Future: Coverage and Advocacy as Levers of Change. A bunch of upper ed college and directors from educator preparation applications (EPPs) throughout the nation got here collectively in D.C. to learn to advocate for schooling and instructor preparation.

The periods targeted on a few of as we speak’s most crucial points in schooling and instructor preparation:

  • Censorship
  • Educator scarcity
  • Educator range

AACTE identifies itself as “the main voice on educator preparation” and represents greater than 800 postsecondary establishments with EPPs. I’ve been working with AACTE since we launched Wheelock Faculty at Boston College in June 2018, and I’m a co-PI on our participation within the Lowering the Scarcity of Particular Schooling Academics Networked Enchancment Neighborhood, however this was the primary time I had attended AACTE’s annual Washington Week—principally as a result of, because of the pandemic, it was the primary time Washington Week had occurred in a number of years.

I’ve discovered that AACTE is that this very nice skilled affiliation house that sits on the intersection of upper ed and PK-12, the place faculty instructor education schemes are situated.

The core legislative priorities for AACTE this yr are:

  • Investing in and strengthening the career of instructing
  • Holding PK-12 public funds in public schooling
  • Revolutionizing academic methods and practices to higher serve all learners, guaranteeing social justice and fairness for all college students, particularly college students of shade, these with disabilities, immigrant college students and LGBTQIA+ college students
  • Rising the federal funding in schooling from preschool by means of graduate college

So, what did AACTE’s Washington Week embrace?

We began with advocacy coaching.

There was a gap welcome from Lynn Gangone, AACTE president and CEO, thanking us and galvanizing us to do that work. That was adopted by a plenary session on legislative priorities led by Mike Rose, AACTE’s senior director of presidency relations. A part of his message was about serving to us take into consideration find out how to set up ourselves as sources for members of congress. Not surprisingly, AACTE was targeted on insurance policies associated to growing funding and lowering monetary burdens within the educator preparation applications.

We got suggestions for having profitable conferences with our legislators, and the highest suggestions included:

  • Thank the staffer for assembly with you
  • Introduce your self, your establishment and division
  • Inform them in regards to the challenges that educator preparation is dealing with
  • Ask them about their schooling priorities
  • Provide to be a useful resource for his or her workplace
  • Comply with up with an electronic mail thank-you and a short abstract of what was mentioned
  • Invite them to campus to see you in motion.

Like lots of our skilled associations, AACTE has a slew of sources out there, together with their Advocacy Center and Advocacy Toolkit.

Within the afternoon, I attended a session on strategic coalition constructing. This session targeted on connecting together with your state companions, particularly the state-level division of schooling, state instructor and administrator organizations, state home and senate schooling leaders, and the state secretary of schooling. The message was comparable: know the important thing gamers, be ready, observe up on any requests, present a one-pager outlining key parts of your advocacy problem and your contact particulars.

On the second day, a gaggle of us headed to the Division of Schooling for a signing of the Educator Preparation Programs for Digital Equity and Transformation Pledge. It was thrilling to be there and, due to the pandemic, it was one of many first in-person ED occasions in a few years. We labored with members of the International Society for Technology in Education and the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education in breakout periods to share a few of the challenges we had confronted in our districts. I shared the work of Boston’s Human Rights Fee on the lack of equitable broadband access in Boston and its affect during times of distant studying.

The pledge is fairly simple and consists of the next:

  • Put together lecturers to thrive in digital studying environments.
  • Put together lecturers to make use of know-how to pursue ongoing skilled studying.
  • Put together lecturers to use frameworks to speed up transformative digital studying.
  • Equip all college to repeatedly enhance experience in know-how for studying.
  • Collaborate with college leaders to establish shared digital instructing competencies.

Clearly COVID and the need of using distant/hybrid/digital studying has made the parts of this pledge much more pressing.

After the signing, we headed again to the resort for extra coaching, together with studying about methods for direct advocacy with coverage makers and organizing efficient in-person advocacy campaigns. The occasion closed with a heartwarming and affirming keynote from Cindy Marten, deputy secretary of schooling and former superintendent of the San Diego Unified Faculty District and classroom instructor.

The following day, my colleague and I headed to BU’s federal relations workplace in D.C. to satisfy employees, get a tour of the house and brainstorm concepts for advocacy coaching for college, employees and college students in our faculty.

Towards the tip of the day, I used to be in a position to run over to the Hirshhorn with a pal to expertise the Laurie Anderson exhibit earlier than I needed to head again to the resort after which on to the airport for my late flight again to Boston. It was implausible, and I like to recommend it for an incredible ’80s nostalgia journey.

I left impressed, reminded of a time once I beloved going to D.C. and with a to-do listing that included so most of the potential methods for growing advocacy work in our faculty. Readers—I’m curious, do you’re employed with college and college students to get them prepared for testifying on the native, state or federal stage? In case you are a college member or scholar, do you do that work your self? Had been you educated? When did it start? In graduate college? By means of your skilled affiliation?

Mary Churchill is the previous chief of coverage and planning for Mayor Kim Janey within the metropolis of Boston and present affiliate dean for strategic initiatives and group engagement and director of the upper schooling administration program at Wheelock Faculty of Schooling and Human Improvement at Boston College. She is co-author of When Schools Shut: Main in a Time of Disaster. She is on Twitter @mary_churchill and could be reached by electronic mail at [email protected].


Our names are Fareedah and Kamilah Amoo. We are seven and five year’s old sisters and live in Ontario, Canada, with our parents and little brother, Awad. We love writing stories, painting on canva, coding, reading books, and enjoying arts and crafts. Our goal is to motivate every child worldwide to read more books.

Related Posts



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Recent Stories