Washington, D.C. (March 27, 2007) On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 Dr. Julie Underwood, dean of the School of Education at The University of Wisconsin ? Madison, will represent the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) as she testifies before the U.S. House Committee on Appropriation´s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. The public hearing will take place at 2 p.m. in 2359 Rayburn House Office Building.

Dr. Underwood will address the critical need for teachers prepared to generate high student achievement from the diverse learners in our classrooms. She will also discuss the federal role in strengthening and expanding partnerships between K-12 schools and higher education.

"Here in Washington, the rhetoric surrounding high-quality teachers has never been louder; the federal mandates regarding teacher quality have never been greater. Yet, year-after-year, the federal government makes less and less of an investment in preparing and retaining high-quality teachers. We are putting ourselves in an untenable position," says Dean Underwood.

Underwood taught at Madison from 1986 to 1995 on the faculty of the Department of Educational Administration (now Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis). She returned to Madison after serving as dean of Miami University´s School of Education and Allied Professions from 1995 to 1998 and as associate executive director and general counsel for the National School Boards Association in Washington, D.C. from 1998 to 2005.

During her tenure at The University of Wisconsin ? Madison, U.S. News and World Report ranked the School of Education ninth nationally among graduate schools and colleges of education; and six of the School´s graduate programs were rated among the top three in their fields nationally, with Curriculum and Instruction ranked #1 in the nation.

Dr. Sharon Robinson, president and CEO of AACTE, will accompany Dr. Underwood to this public hearing, which is viewable online at http://appropriations.house.gov/

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Jade Floyd at jfloyd@aacte.org or by phone at 202.478.4596. To view Dr. Underwood´s testimony, please visit http://www.aacte.org/Governmental_Relations/default.aspx

AACTE: Serving Learners

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is a national, voluntary association of higher education institutions and other organizations and is dedicated to ensuring the highest quality preparation and continuing professional development for teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The almost 800 institutions holding AACTE membership include private, state and municipal colleges and universities large and small located 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.

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