Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

National Principals Month

We are already into the third week of National Principals Month and time is flying by. Twenty states have already helped honor principals by passing their own resolutions formally recognizing National Principals Month. NASSP wants to thank the governors, legislators, and NASSP members in those states who helped make these resolutions possible.

To see if your state has passed a resolution or to see other states’ resolutions, please visit the National Principals Month website and scroll down to the interactive map. Here you can also view a sample resolution template and sample press release for those who are looking for ideas to help pass a resolution in their own state.

Also, because Congress passed another short-term continuing resolution (CR), cuts were made across the board to a number of crucial education programs. NASSP asks its members to contact their congressional representatives by participating in the latest action alert that calls for members to appropriate no less than $2.295 billion for Title II, Part A funding in FY 2017. Keep fighting so Congress gives principals the funding they deserve!

National Principals Month Hill Event

Last week, NASSP, NAESP, and AFSA held a joint event on Capitol Hill titled “Revolutionizing School Leadership Under ESSA.” The widely attended event allowed congressional staff the opportunity to hear directly from teachers and principals about how ESSA should be implemented to best support students, teachers, and principals. To watch a recording of the event, click here. NASSP wants to give a special thank you to all of the panelists who participated: Carol Hahn, principal at Bellows Spring Elementary, MD; Robert Motley, principal of Glenwood Middle School, MD; Ernest Logan, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, NY; and Lee-Ann Stephens, teacher and equity coach on special assignment with the St. Louis Park School District, MN.

Inside the Beltway

What’s going on in Washington?

On October 12, the Department of Education (ED) released its final regulations for teacher preparation programs. These new regulations come almost two years after ED released its controversial draft regulations on the same subject. ED believes that these new regulations will “help ensure that new teachers are ready to succeed in the classroom and that every student is taught by a great educator.”

Why Should Principals Care?

These regulations have a number of key provisions that will require states to annually report findings at a program level. This includes the placement and retention rates of teacher-preparation program graduates in their first three years of teaching, as well as gathering feedback from those graduates and their employers on the value of the preparation program. The most contentious provision in the regulations is that student learning outcomes and at least one state-determined measure relevant to student outcomes, including academic performance, must be measured to gauge a program’s effectiveness. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education both expressed concern over the regulations, with AFT President Randi Weingarten saying it is “ludicrous to propose evaluating teacher preparation programs based on the performance of the students taught by a program’s graduates.” You can find the full document of regulations here.

In the Press

Transforming High Schools with ESSA, Alliance for Excellent Education

In this piece, Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, breaks down the importance of transforming high schools for a modern age to reflect new ways to help today’s students progress. He emphasizes that ESSA will provide new opportunities for all school districts to reform their teaching methods in innovative and exciting new ways. For those looking for fresh ideas on how to go about reforming a high school, feel free to visit the Alliance for Excellent Education’s toolkits as well.

Using Data to Help Students Under ESSA, Data Quality Campaign

Data Quality Campaign’s new report lays out the data collecting requirements in ESSA, and then offers ways that this required data can be used to benefit students and schools. It also provides helpful real-life applications by sharing success stories from other states on how they have effectively used this data in the past.

Improving Student Achievement Improves the Economy, Bush Center

This article examines how student achievement can play a vital role in improving the economy, and how that talking point can be used to influence legislators. It explains that we must begin to look at education in a way that can truly benefit the workforce by producing higher trained and more knowledgeable individuals, thus driving the economy. To further this point, it refers to a paper that found that the value of a reform that would lift each state to the currently top-performing state in student achievement levels would amount to an aggregate $76 trillion for the economy.

Comparing the Candidates, Education Week

With the election being just over 20 days away, we have yet to hear either candidate speak in-depth regarding education issues. Education Week has come up with a tool to help break down and compare what each candidate has said about a number of education issues, including college access, bullying, testing, and many more.

Where Do New K–12 Teachers Come From? National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

A new report from the NCES found that new K–12 teachers typically come from four main sources. Teachers who left a different career, are starting at a new school after receiving their degree, transferred from another school or at a different position in a school, or are returning from taking a break from teaching. The report makes a number of interesting claims, including that the number of public school teachers has continued increasing since the 1987–88 school year, while the number of private school teachers has been declining since the 2007–08 school year.

$47 Million to be Used for University Principal Preparation Initiative, Wallace Foundation

Seven different universities and their state and district partners have been selected by The Wallace Foundation to participate in an initiative working on developing methods to improve university principal preparation programs. This $47 million initiative will focus on three key areas: putting in place strong university-district partnerships; developing and implementing superior courses of study with practical, firsthand experiences; and developing state policies about program accreditation, principal licensure or certification, and other matters that promote more effective training statewide.

A New Guide for Work-Based Learning, Advance CTE

College and career readiness have become increasingly important for high schools and students. A new report aims to help states develop and implement a state-wide vision for work-based learning. The guide provides real-life examples from states to show firsthand what methods can be effective to help promote work-based learning.

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