Advocacy Update

Professional Standards for Education Leaders Released

The Council of Chief State School Officers released the new Professional Standards for Educational Leaders after approval by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) last month. NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti, who serves as chair of NPBEA, was quoted in an Education Week article about the release.

The 10 standards describe what effective school leaders should be able to know and do to lead high-achieving staff, schools, and students in the 21st century. They are forward-looking and connect the school leader with student learning in a direct way. We hope to see them used to design development opportunities and support for new and experienced principals alike.

Inside the Beltway

What is going on in Washington?

The much-anticipated text of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization was released Monday, November 30. This text is the result of the framework approved by the conference committee before the Thanksgiving recess in a 39-1 vote. The bill now needs the approval of both the House and the Senate before it can be signed into law by the president. NASSP is reviewing the bill and expects to have details available shortly.

Why should principals care?

With the House expected to take up the bill this week and the Senate to vote in the next couple weeks, we could have a new version of ESEA before the holiday break! This ESEA reauthorization is a significant departure from the most recent version of ESEA, No Child Left Behind, and will result in more flexibility with budgeting and more decisions being made at the state level. NASSP members will need to be ready to fight for principal priorities in their states!

In the Press

Urban Charter Schools Often Succeed. Suburban Ones Often Don’t., The New York Times

As the charter school sector continues to grow, researchers are looking closer into what makes some charter schools successful. While the effect of individual charter schools on specific students is hard to measure, some overall trends have emerged. In general, urban charter schools serving primarily low-income and minority students have done better than suburban charter schools serving higher income students. The exact reasons are hard to pinpoint, but researchers cite the more rigorous approval process in urban districts of charter schools, the relatively equal funding of charters in those districts, and the very low quality of the district alternatives as potential reasons for the divide.

State of the States: A Report on the State of Broadband Connectivity in America’s K–12 Public Schools, Education Super Highway

Tremendous progress has been made in schools to meet the Federal Communication Commissions’ (FCC) minimum Internet access goal of 100 kbps per student. Seventy-seven percent of school districts now meet this goal compared to 30 percent in 2013. The report identifies three main roadblocks to other schools meeting this goal, including access to fiber, the affordability of broadband, and insufficient school district budgets. Thirty-eight governors have committed to taking action to upgrade their schools.

From Crawling to Walking: Ranking States on Birth–3rd Grade Policies that Build Strong Readers, New America

This report ranks all 50 states and Washington, D.C., on their policies for developing literacy in children from birth to third grade. Based on a broad set of indicators, New York, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Wisconsin fared the best—although no state was given high marks. The report found many states have good policies in some districts but do not require them to offer full-day kindergarten or universal preK. Funding for lower income districts was also lacking, creating unequal access.

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