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Operation Educate the Educators
MCEC - AACTE Partnership
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Join Operation Educate the Educators

In conjunction with the advisory board members, AACTE and MCEC have developed a set of guiding principles to assist AACTE members in their efforts to better prepare their candidates to meet the needs of military-connected students. For more information on the partnership please read a letter from AACTE President and CEO Sharon Robinson and MCEC President and CEO Mary Keller that provides an overview of the initiative. We also invite you to view the principles and sign onto them.

About the Partnership

In April of 2011, Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announced the Administration's Joining Forces, an initiative to better support the U.S. military and their families. Answering this call, the Military Children Education Coalition (MCEC) and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) joined forces to develop Operation Educate the Educators, an effort to better prepare pre-service school personnel to meet the needs of military-connected children. The partnership will 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 SCDE involvement in preparing teachers to support military-connected children.
    • Develop and/or recommend training and tools to preparation programs so that 10,000 pre-service and graduate 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 (Fast Facts)

  • There are currently 2,000,000 military-connected children in America; of those:
    • 1,381,584 of the military-connected children are 4-18 years old
    • Over 80% of these children – 1,105,267 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 two to three years. This is approximately three times more often than the civilian population (R. Collins. Five things school leaders can do to promote academics. Retrieved from https://www.aasa.org/content.aspx?id=9012)
    • Children often experience six to nine moves during their PK-12 school career.
To learn more on military-connected children please see our one-page overview.

Resources for Your Programs

We've compiled a list of helpful resources regarding military-connected children including background information, guides for educators, and workshops that can be conducted in the classroom. If your institution is currently offering training to your students relating to military-connected students please let us know; we may feature it on this page to promote your program!

If you would like to know more about the partnership (or add your institution to a list of supporters) between MCEC and AACTE and ways your institution can become involved please contact Mary Harrill-McClellan ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Zachary VanHouten ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Advisor Series on Operation Educate the Educators