Press Releases & Statements

Rep. Judy Chu and Sen. Bernie Sanders Honored for Outstanding Support of Educator Preparation

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(June 14, 2012, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) today named Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) the recipients of its Congressional Leadership Awards. The awards recognize Rep. Chu's and Sen. Sanders' longstanding commitment to teacher quality and exemplary support of educator preparation through bills each has recently introduced.

Energized by the passion that AACTE members brought to the 2011 Day on the Hill, AACTE's signature advocacy event, Rep. Chu was inspired to introduce H.R. 2902, the “Equal Access to Quality Education Act” just months later. The bill, which is continuing to gain widespread support, would support close partnerships between higher education and local education agencies to develop educator pipelines that would serve high-need schools.

Sen. Sanders introduced S. 1716, the “Assuring Successful Students through Effective Teaching Act.” The bill aims to ensure that every child is taught by a qualified teacher from Day One. The bill seeks to strengthen the definition of a highly qualified teacher and includes provisions to end the practice of congregating the least prepared teachers in the highest-need schools and classrooms. It also requires that untrained teachers hired to fill shortages be adequately supervised and that parents be notified when such a teacher is instructing their child.

“AACTE is inspired by Representative Judy Chu's and Senator Bernie Sanders' dedication to teacher quality and educator effectiveness through these two valuable pieces of legislation,” said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. “It is heartening to see such prominent members of congress take the lead on important education issues by promoting promising reforms and strategies. We are pleased to honor them with AACTE's Congressional Leadership Awards and join together in our shared goal to drive educator preparation towards greater learning outcomes for all students.”

The Congressional Leadership Awards were presented in Washington, D.C., as part of AACTE's annual Day on the Hill. This year's events also featured a keynote address by 2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki.

For more information on AACTE's Day on the Hill and advocacy efforts, visit


AACTE: Serving Learners
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 fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education.