Now in our third year, the Emerging Issues Committee continues to identify, examine, and provide feedback on key issues and initiatives affecting mathematics teacher education. Our work is distributed across three areas: relaying, assessing, and reporting on emerging issues; working with the AMTE Board to consider and craft public responses to issues; and developing opportunities and tools for AMTE members to learn about and engage in advocacy.
For example, early in the year we helped draft a letter from AMTE to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan expressing our dismay and concern over the proposed Federal regulations regarding teacher preparation. (By the way, we posted an October update on the regulations on the AMTE Web page – find it at http://amte.net/emerging-issues.)
Over the summer, we focused our attention on the issue of declining teacher enrollments in teacher preparation programs. We investigated what is known about this issue and proposed to the Board that more information is needed from AMTE members to understand how it impacts our community. The EIC hopes to gather data about how this decline is affecting mathematics teacher educators later in the academic year. An excerpt from our findings:
“According to Education Week, the New York Times and data provided by the Title II Higher Education Act, the national decline in enrollment in teacher preparation programs since 2010 is approximately 30 percent, though some states (e.g., California, New York, and Texas) have experienced declines greater than 40 percent; and a small number of states (e.g., Arizona, Massachusetts, Utah, Washington) have seen their enrollments remain relatively stable or even increase.”
Did you know that we regularly post Emerging Issues on the AMTE Web site? These items come from within our own committee, from the AMTE Board and President, and from alert “friends of EIC.” When visiting the AMTE home page (or any page), scroll to the bottom to find an ongoing list of Emerging Issues!
The EIC is again presenting a session at the 20th Annual AMTE Conference in Irvine. EIC members will facilitate an interactive session based on real experiences and vignettes to help members build up their personal advocacy skills. We also expect to share the initial components of a more hands-on, membership-wide Advocacy Toolkit.
Finally, we invite you to attend the 2016 AMTE Advocacy Breakfast! This annual event highlights up-to-date initiatives and events related to policy in mathematics teacher education. Our invited panel of speakers will participate in an open discussion about how they approach advocacy in various contexts and will highlight important issues AMTE members need to consider related to research and practice in our field. Members of the invited panel include:
- Ken Krehbiel, Communications, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- Jim Lewis, Deputy Assistant Director, National Science Foundation
- Karen King, Program Director, National Science Foundation
After brief introductions, the panel will respond to questions prepared by the EIC and gathered from the AMTE membership. We will end with an open forum inviting questions from the audience and further discussion from the panel. Doors will open for breakfast at 6:45 a.m., with the panel beginning promptly at 7:00 a.m.
Thank you from the current Emerging Issues Committee: Jennie Luebeck and Sybilla Beckmann (3rd year); Kathryn Chval and Marilyn Strutchens (2nd year); Corey Drake and Paola Sztajn (1st year); and Board liaison Kathleen Lynch-Davis. Feel free to contact any EIC member with your questions, concerns, and emerging issues!