School of Education Dean Wanda J. Blanchett and Associate Dean Monika Shealey brought UMKC’s vision and expertise in urban education to the nation’s capital last month.
They met one-one-one with congressional representatives to advocate for federal policy and funding that supports educator preparation, as part of the annual American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) “Day on the Hill” June 21-22.
Blanchett and Shealey visited the offices of both Missouri Senators, Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, as well as Representatives Emanuel Cleaver, Sam Graves and Vicky Hartzler.
“We shared with them AACTE and its 1,000-plus members’ thoughts regarding the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind), and the need to revise the law’s definition of ‘Highly Qualified’ to be used only in reference to candidates who have completed all of the requirements for licensure and not those still in their preparation programs,” Blanchett said. “Most importantly, we used our time with them to highlight the mission and vision of the SOE, our priorities and the outstanding accomplishments of our SOE faculty and staff over the last year.
“Additionally, we provided them an update on the status and success of our federally funded grants such as our Teacher Quality Partnership Grant (Project CAUSE) and our Noyce Grant supporting math and science teachers,” the Dean added. “We used our visits to illustrate the many ways in which our programs and students, faculty, and staff are making a difference in the lives of Missourians, especially those in diverse urban contexts, and asked them to continue to support these and other key education initiatives.”
The UMKC educators also informed each office of the many resources that exist in the SOE and asked them to call upon the school for information to serve as the basis for legislative decision-making.