Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

NASSP Board of Directors Considers Statement on Transgender Students

The NASSP Board of Directors has stated its intent to adopt a position statement on transgender students. It will be open for a public comment period until Friday, June 10, and the Board will give final approval at its next meeting in July. Please send feedback to NASSP Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse at karhusea@nassp.org.

In the position statement, NASSP called on the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to issue guidance to schools on transgender students. On Friday, ED released guidance on the subject and mentioned NASSP’s position statement in their blog post and press release. ED also released a best practices guide on their website.

Inside the Beltway

What is going on in Washington?

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a memo concerning the proposed regulations from ED on the “supplement, not supplant” provision of Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In the memo, CRS states that the proposed regulation seems to conflict with language in the law and “appears to go beyond what would be required under a plain language reading of the statute.”

Why should principals care?

The “supplement, not supplant” regulations will have a significant impact on the budgets and administrative burden for any district or school receiving Title I funding. Sen. Lamar Alexander, one of the chief architects of the new education law and chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP), has taken particular issue with ED’s regulations and accused them of overstepping. These disagreements could become a major stumbling block in the implementation of ESSA. NASSP will be following closely, including attending the Senate HELP committee’s upcoming hearing on ESSA implementation.

In the Press

Varsity Blues: Are High School Students Being Left Behind? Urban Institute

While achievement has risen among elementary and middle school students, a relative lack of attention to secondary schools has coincided with disappointing national student achievement results for high schools. Researchers examining the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores found that the stagnant achievement among high school students was a real phenomenon and doesn’t appear to result from changes in the student population or declining student effort. The report recommends requiring state participation in the 12th grade NAEP exam, currently optional, and to focus policy on high school achievement. Particularly, researchers suggest high school students should have more frequent course-specific tests as required in earlier grades.

Education Insider: Assessment Trends, Higher Education, and the Presidential Campaigns Whiteboard Advisors

Education insiders, including current and former Hill staffers and Department of Education employees, share their predictions on national assessment consortia, higher education policy, and whether education will get any airtime this presidential campaign season. Of note, 52 percent believe that fewer states will participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) in the next two years than the number today. Most insiders also agree that education is not a major priority for the media and won’t get much mention in the presidential race other than soundbites on testing, the high cost of higher education, and perhaps, early childhood education or Common Core.

What Was Behind the Rise (and Subsequent Fall) in Teacher Turnover? TeacherPensions.org

While many writers have tried to attribute the rise of teacher turnover to the era of No Child Left Behind policies and to declining “respect” for the teaching profession, most of the turnover actually predates these policies. And in very recent years, teacher turnover has actually been declining. Teacher turnover, like turnover in all professions, can mostly be linked to the economy and changes in demographics. A “greener” and “grayer” workforce, as the teaching force has become, tends to generate higher levels of turnover as newer workers leave for other industries and older workers retire.

 

 

2 Comments

  • Brian Begley says:

    I am deeply grateful to the Obama administration and NASSP for taking such a firm and caring stand to support transgender students in our nation’s public schools!

  • Patricia Tobin says:

    Students need to have an opportunity to learn no matters what they may look like . The adults who are hiding their own personal biases need to get a life. One day, their own child may come to them and say “I’m no longer Mary call me Matthew or in the review”. Then what will be their response? Kick Mary out into the street where some of the worst things can happen to her or love her as HE is and push as a parent should? Not only for his child but for every child in this country. Stop the political games and allow each and every child the opportunity to learn.

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