The Importance of Community
Involvement in Teaching
The quality of our future depends largely on the quality of today's education. Those who will solve the world's toughest challenges are likely studying, right now, in classrooms across the United States.
Teaching has never been more more vital to our future. Yet, our state and country face serious challenges that prevent teachers from thriving. Young teachers often land in distressed schools that test their resolve. Many leave the profession entirely, abandoning their gifts and cutting short their dedication to a better tomorrow.
At the beginning of this month, I gave a talk, Our Teachers, Our Future: Addressing the Teacher Labor Crunch in Southern Arizona, to the Yale Club of Southern Arizona. I outlined some of the initiatives the college is undertaking, including those listed below.
You are likely aware there is a serious shortage of teachers in the state. The shortage is the result of two factors: teachers leave the profession at a higher rate
than other fields, and it is increasingly challenging to recruit new teachers. At the College of Education, we have prepared and supplied great teachers for for many
decades, yet we are unable to satisfy the demand that exists today.
One of our initiatives is the Arizona Teaching Fellows program. We know that if we recruit and prepare teachers from the communities in which they will teach, they are far more likely to remain in the field.
In the fall, we will start the first round of the Arizona Teaching Fellows program in partnership with the Sahuarita Unified School District. Teachers in this first cohort will be known as
Sahuarita Teaching Fellows. Upon successful completion of this pilot project, the college will expand this work with additional school districts, including the Tucson Unified School District.
Our Teachers in Industry provides continuing education to Arizona teachers serving the hot-topic areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through immersion in private-sector companies. Instructors in these fields are thought to be in the class only three to five years before they leave.
Yet in the six years ourTeachers in Industry program has existed, only two participating Arizona teachers have left their profession. That translates into an impressive retention rate of 96 percent! Read more in this
Research clearly shows that no single action improves educational outcomes more than ensuring there is a great teacher in every classroom. USAF Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Ron Shoopman, president and CEO of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, serves on the executive committee of Tucson Values Teachers and is a member of the Arizona Board of Regents. Read the opinion piece he wrote on teacher retention for the
Arizona Daily Star
In the Navajo culture, teachers are revered as "wisdom keepers," entrusted with the young to help them grow and learn. This is how Tia Tsosie Begay approaches her work as a fourth-grade teacher at a small public school on the outskirts of Tucson. Begay, o
|Photo by Elissa Nadworny of NPR
ne of our elementary education graduates and a current grad student in our educational leadership program, was named one of National Public Radio's 50 Great Teachers.
Does your family have a burning desire to create?
Join us this Saturday for Fire-Science Boot Camp!
|This collage was created by artist Jennifer Gunlock during a previous boot camp.
Explore the "Fires of Change" exhibit at the UA Museum of Art with the whole family while taking part in our Fire-Science Boot Camp! Write a collaborative poem about fire and the environment, create a fiery work of art in the paint studio, use charcoal to draw your own work of art, or try your hand at weaving in our knitting circle. The College of Education and teacher partners designed the learning activities. Enjoy touring the galleries with a treasure hunt and more!
about the event on Tucson's Morning Blend TV talk show with our Director of Outreach Sara Chavarria.
Fire-Science Boot Camp
Saturday, February 13
The event is free with admission.
New Degree in Mild Moderate Special Education
We are now accepting applications for our new 38-unit master of arts degree designed to prepare graduates to teach students with mild to moderate disabilities. The program, which begins this summer, is accredited by the Arizona Department of Education. Students who successfully complete the master's degree and student teaching are eligible to apply for the Provisional Mild Moderate (K-12) Special Education Teaching Certificate in Arizona. Learn more
Controversial Mexican American Studies
Research Article Receives Award
In 2014, College of Education faculty members Jeffrey Milem, Nolan Cabrera, Ozan Jaquette, and Ron Marx published the article,
Missing the (Student Achievement) Forest for All the (Political) Trees: Empiricism and the Mexican American Studies Controversy in Tucson in the American Educational Research Journal. The research article was based on the results of HB 2281, which eliminated Tucson Unified School District's Mexican American Studies program, arguing the curriculum was too political. We just got word the research article will receive a Social Policy Award for Best Article from the Society for Research on Adolescence. The award ceremony is slated for March 31 in Baltimore.
Richard Ruiz Memorial Scholar/Artist in Residence Named
UA Worlds of Words and Resplandor International invite you to meet Alba Nora Martinez, the first recipient of the Richard Ruiz Memorial Scholar/Artist in Residence,
named after our beloved colleague who passed away last year.
Come to the February 20 celebration and learn more about this international educational initiative that promotes the love of reading and literacy development in the greater community of Guanajuato,
Mexico, celebrate with music and art, and participate in a raffle and auction to raise money to support the residency.
We will raffle off the beautiful hand-painted sculpture, African Egg (right).
Other silent auction items also are on display in the UA College of Education Worlds of Words (room 453). Raffle tickets are $25. For more information, please call 621-7822.
Saturday, February 20
UA College of Education Worlds of Words (room 453)
Make an IMPACT!
Project FOCUS Crowdfunding a Success
Launching its first-ever crowdfunding effort, Project FOCUS -- a post-high school option for students who have intellectual disabilities -- had a goal of raising $29,055, which would be used to pay student mentors. When the last day arrived, the crowdfunding effort had raised more than $34,000!
Congress Extends the Charitable IRA Rollover Act
This act allows donors to exclude from taxable income transfers of IRA assets made directly to charities, such as the College of Education via the University of Arizona Foundation. Charitable rollover amounts could count toward the required annual minimum distribution. Donors who are 70 1/2 or older can use this option to support causes at the Foundation, such as student scholarships and faculty programs, with gifts to a maximum of $100,000 annually. Before this act passed, all withdrawals from IRAs were taxed as income, even if they were immediately directed to a charity. The donor received a tax deduction but sometimes the tax rules prevented this deduction from fully offsetting the taxable income amount withdrawn. The Charitable Rollover Act eliminates this problem.
If you are considering making a gift to the College of Education via the Foundation because you have significant assets in an IRA, or have so few deductions that you choose to not itemize on your tax return, then funding your charitable intent via a distribution from your IRA is a fabulous option.
For more information, contact College of Education Development Office staff at 520-621-3413 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cats @ the Capitol and Alumni News
Message from Alumni Council President David Overstreet
The UA Alumni Association, in partnership with the UA Office of Government and Community Relations, hosted the 2016
Cats @ the Capitol in January in Phoenix. Six College of Education alumni and staff joined more than 60 members of AdvoCats to meet with state government officials to discuss issues affecting the UA and to advocate for the legislative agenda developed by the Arizona Board of Regents and the presidents of the three state universities. Attendees participated in a panel discussion with state legislators and a member of Governor Ducey's staff.
UA President Ann Weaver Hart met with the AdvoCats and explained the priorities she will present in her address to the Senate in February. Her priorities include adopting the ABOR higher education funding model based on the state, eventually covering 50 percent of the cost of instruction for every Arizona resident student and asking the state to provide $32 million in recurring funds to be allocated according to the new model.
The UA Alumni Association will schedule visits for Tucson and Phoenix alumni to visit the Capitol on Wednesdays while the Legislature is in session. It is very important that the legislators hear from alumni, in person, or by
In other alumni news, the College of Education Alumni Council will begin our Speakers Series this spring, which will serve both alumni and current students, along with the greater Tucson education community. Be on the lookout for information in the near future.
We are constantly looking for ideas to bring alumni together here in Tucson, as well as across the country and worldwide. We hope to have multiple programs and social activities this semester to advance your journey to being a Wildcat for Life so keep an eye open for announcements! We also are planning get-togethers in other areas of the country. If you are interested in helping promote alumni activities in your area, please e-mail us at
Education & Nonprofit Career Day
Wednesday, February 17
Student Union Ballroom
For graduating students and alumni seeking permanent positions in education and nonprofits. Check out the opportunities!
Spring Alumni Council Meetings
Mondays, February 15, March 21, April 18
College of Education, Room 312
Monday, May 16
David Overstreet '80, '86
President, Alumni Council
$24,000 James Madison Fellowship Available
Study the U.S. Constitution and earn a master's degree in history, political science, or education. The James Madison Fellowship, a federal program, offers pre-service and in-service teachers of government and history up to $24,000 to complete a master's degree in fields related to the U.S. Constitution. Attend an all-expenses paid, four-week summer institute in Washington, D.C. Fellowship applicants compete only against applicants from their state of residence. Applications are due March 1.
For more details or to apply, visit
National Endowment for the Humanities
Seminar for K-12 Teachers
San Diego State University Professor Emerita of Women's Studies Kathleen B. Jones is directing a seminar on the political theory of Hannah Arendt. The seminar will be held at UC-Davis in Davis, California, for five weeks, and will focus on three key works by this twentieth-century political theorist.
The seminar is open to full-time and part-time classroom teachers and librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously affiliated schools, as well as home-schooling parents.
The Political Theory of Hannah Arendt: The Problem of Evil and the Origins of Totalitarianism
June 26-July 29
University of California, Davis
Information and guidelines
Disability & Psychoeducational Studies
Professor June Maker
will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from Western Kentucky University. She notes, "
This is a special honor for me because it is the local university where most of my high school classmates who decided to go to college earned their degrees. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1970.
Perhaps more importantly, my mother, sister, and oldest nephew earned their bachelor degrees from WKU and my oldest nephew also earned a master's degree from there. When I
was a child, my mother was completing her degree during the summer and Saturdays, so I would go to the library and read while she was in class. For a child who loved to read, this was heaven for me!"
Assistant Professor Michael Sulkowski wrote an opinion piece for Inside Higher Education about common barriers that keep people from reporting threats of violence.
Educational Policy Studies & Practice
Professor Kris Bosworth
was interviewed on KJZZ Radio about anti-bullying resources for teachers.
Assistant Professor Ozan Jaquette's research was cited in
a series of articles in
The Washington Post
about out-of-state students at public universities.
Associate Professor Francesca Lopez'
research on factors that have proven to be important to the success of public schools was recently cited in
this political blog
, Blog for Arizona, and in
on People for the American Way.
Shelly C. Lowe
(Diné), a doctoral candidate in our Center for the Study of Higher Education, is one of three new National Council on the Humanities appointees named by President Barack Obama. Read more
Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies
Three TLS graduates, Cathy Amanti (Ph.D.
(Ph.D. 2014), and
(Ph.D. 2014), along with
Jose Aldemar Alvarez
(SLAT Ph.D. 2014), published a book,
Critical Views on Teaching and Learning English Around the Globe -- Qualitative Research Approaches.
In addition to editing the book, they each have chapters based on their doctoral research. Writes Amanti, "We are all passionate about language rights and bringing to light the voices and experiences of students and teachers who are too often left out of scholarship."
Professor Emeritus Kenneth Goodman's
"In Defense of Good Teaching" Award went to Peggy Robertson, the national voice for United Opt Out, which seeks to end corporate education reform.
Alumna Monica Quiroz
teaches math at Rio Rico High School (which also happens to be her alma mater), in addition to operating the scoreboard at all home games for volleyball, basketball, and wrestling. As if that weren't enough, she also sings the National Anthem before each game! Read more in the
Literacy, Learning & Leadership student
Austin Thomas, who interns at our Cooper Center for Environmental Learning and Borton Magnet School in its after-school gardening program, will be serving in the Peace Corps upon graduation.
Sahuarita Unified School District
Superintendent Manny Valenzuela, a native Tucsonan and one of our alumni, was named Arizona
Superintendent of the Year. This recognition simply underscores what many of us already know about Manny: He is exemplary in every way and a lighthouse leader for education in
Until next time,
1430 E. Second Street, Tucson, Arizona 520.621.1462