Allen Mori: Provost Appointed to National Teachers' Education Board
Provost Allen Mori has been appointed to the American Association of Colleges for
Teacher Education’s (AACTE) board of directors for a three-year term beginning in
March. The vice president for Academic Affairs was chosen for the only seat designated
for a president or provost on the AACTE board and joins a team of deans, professors,
authors, and educators.
After nearly 30 years as a faculty member or dean of education, Mori’s experience is steeped in the challenges faced by educational institutions that may have the same goals, but differ greatly in their approach to those goals.
“One of the great challenges AACTE always has had is trying to balance the needs and concerns of a very disparate group of institutions,” he says. “Their needs are all different in many respects, since they serve different students. But at the end of the day, they are all in the business of preparing teachers.”
As an AACTE board member, Mori will further the organization’s mission of ensuring the highest quality preparation and continuing professional development for teachers and school leaders in PK-12 student learning. He describes the challenges of taking that charge, while working in an educational system that is heavily regulated.
“Teacher education is always under siege,” he says. “It’s probably the most regulated profession. It puts colleges and schools of education in a difficult spot. It’s more difficult to be a dean of a college of education than of any other college on campus, because of the external demands, the accountability, the regulations, and the politics.”
Mori says that improving high schools is one of the greatest opportunities in teacher education today.
“High schools are the biggest challenge today in the profession,” he notes. “Some high schools are enormous, with 5,000 students, so they’re not a good learning environment. The Los Angeles Unified School District is beginning to build smaller high schools, which is really good. Specialty schools, magnet schools, and charter schools are in a better position to meet students’ learning needs than larger, comprehensive high schools.”
Looking at the profession after many years as a teacher and as one who prepared teachers, Mori thinks that, “Teachers are better prepared today than they ever have been. I believe we’re attracting really terrific people to the field. But teaching is not well-compensated as a career, and we’re entrusting the members of that profession with our most precious asset, our children.”
Approximately 800 institutions hold AACTE membership including private, state and municipal colleges and universities of all sizes in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. In addition, AACTE has a growing number of affiliate members, including state departments of education, community colleges, educational laboratories and centers, and foreign institutions and organizations. Collectively, the AACTE membership prepares more than two-thirds of the new teachers entering schools each year in the United States.
- Joanie Harmon-Whetmore