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Education Leaders Address Preparation of Future Teachers at ‘Day on the Hill’

They Focused on Importance of Serving Students in High-Needs Settings

Members of Duquesne University’s School of Education recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to address the importance of preparing teachers to effectively serve students in high-needs settings.

Dr. Susan Munson, associate dean, Dr. Karen Levitt, director of the Leading Teacher Program, and Dr. Gretchen Givens Generett, associate professor, represented Duquesne University at the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) “Day on the Hill” event June 21-22. The event provides nearly 800 AACTE members with the opportunity to meet one-on-one with congressional leaders to advocate for federal policy and funding that supports effective teacher education programs.

The Duquesne contingent focused on the AACTE’s recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Title II of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, including a requirement for full preparation programs for teachers with accountability provisions and expanding the funding for program development initiatives for effective educators.

Meeting with staff of Congressmen Jason Altmire, Mike Doyle, Mike Kelly and Tim Murphy in Senator Bob Casey’s office, Munson, Levitt and Generett shared their support for policies and programs that reflect Duquesne’s commitment to preparing educational leaders in the Spiritan tradition of caring.

“We specifically focused on the right of every student to have access to a fully-prepared and effective teacher, particularly those students in under-resourced urban schools,” Munson said. “We provided evidence of the School of Education’s commitment to this goal through the Barbara A. Sizemore Urban Initiative, including the Leading Teacher Program in Urban Education and the Langley Pipeline Program.”

Generett, who directs the University Council for Educational Administration Center for Educational Leadership and Social Justice, emphasized the “DU Difference” in teacher preparation programs. “We prepare our teachers to become more knowledgeable about social justice issues and the impact of inequities on children in urban communities,” Generett said. “These ideas are specifically taught in the class Social Justice in Educational Settings.”

Munson said that each year the meetings allow colleges and universities to convey the importance of their role in preparing highly effective teachers and the need for funding initiatives that meet the goal of every student in the nation having access to those teachers.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.