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AACTE and MCEC Announce Partnership to Enhance Education and Support for Military-Connected Students

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(April 12, 2011, Washington, D.C., and Harker Heights, Texas) – Today, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched their new campaign to increase public support for U.S. service members and their families. In conjunction with the campaign’s kick-off, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) have announced "Operation Educate the Educators," a partnership to prepare educators and develop school cultures that are more supportive of children in military families.

AACTE is a national alliance of 800 higher-education-based educator preparation programs that aims to enhance PK-12 student learning through high quality professional development of teachers and all educators. MCEC is a non-profit organization that works to identify and increase awareness of challenges for military-connected children and implement programs to provide quality education opportunities for them. Together, the organizations will seek to enlist 100 colleges and universities to partner with PK-12 schools on the effort by the end of the 2011-2012 academic year. They will then work with those institutions to infuse into pre-service educator preparation tools that meet the needs of military-connected children.

"There are many obstacles that children of military families encounter, and those can affect their classroom performance," said Sharon P. Robinson, president and CEO of AACTE. "AACTE is committed to helping our members to incorporate the knowledge and tools into their programs that will produce educators who know how to reach and support these students effectively."

"This is a ground breaking partnership and we look forward to this collaboration that will deepen support for our nation’s military-connected children," said Dr. Mary Keller, president and CEO of MCEC.

In addition to PK-12 schools, Operation Educate the Educators will establish comprehensive partnerships between institutions of higher education and military academies or senior military service institutions. AACTE and MCEC will aim to develop a research agenda to increase knowledge of how schools, colleges and departments of education (SCDE) could best prepare school personnel to support children in military families. Other related associations and organizations will also be convened for engagement and potential to expand the program in future academic years.

Further information on Operation Educate the Educators is forthcoming. For the latest updates, visit www.aacte.org or www.militarychild.org.

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About AACTE
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE’s reach and influence fuels its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education. For more information on AACTE, visit www.aacte.org.

About MCEC
The Military Child Education Coalition was established in 1998 to help military-connected children meet the challenges that frequent transitions pose during their educational years. The MCEC provides transition services for students, parent workshops, information resources, and counseling resources to help military children and families thrive in challenging times. For more information, visit www.MilitaryChild.org.

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