Operation Educate the Educators

Operation Educate the Educators PartnershipIn April 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden announced Joining Forces, an initiative to better support members of the U.S. military and their families. Answering their call for support, the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) and AACTE jointly developed Operation Educate the Educators, an effort to better prepare school personnel to meet the needs of military-connected children. The partners agreed to undertake the following work:

  • Produce and share an awareness campaign about the unique school-related needs of military-connected students (PK-12) and their families.
  • Enlist at least 100 colleges and universities in the effort to
    • Partner with PK-12 schools to develop school cultures that are supportive of students in military families.
    • Develop a network of faculty contacts at AACTE institutions for purposes of collecting and disseminating information regarding institutions' involvement in preparing teachers to support military-connected children.
    • Develop and/or recommend training and tools to preparation programs so that 10,000 preservice and graduate-level professionals are better equipped to support military-connected children.
  • Establish a minimum of six comprehensive partnerships between institutions of higher education and military academies and/or senior military service institutions.

Why It Matters

  • There are currently 2 million military-connected children in America; of those:
    • 1.4 million are 4-18 years old.
    • Over 80% of these children—1.1 million students—attend PK-12 public schools.
    • Every school district in the country has military-connected students.
    • Approximately 10-12% of military-connected students are served in special education programs.
  • Military-connected children often have difficulty adjusting to curriculum and instructional methods or school climate/culture that may differ from school to school.
  • Active duty families move every 2 to 3 years. This is approximately three times more often than the civilian population.

Download the one-page overview


Staff Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Learn More!

If your institution is currently preparing teachers to serve military-connected students, please let us know. We may feature your work on this page! To learn more about the partnership or to add your institution to the list of supporters, contact Zachary VanHouten.

Interested in hearing updates about this program?

Join our mailing list