Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

ESSA Toolkit

The implementation of ESSA has provided educators with a special opportunity to influence education policy. That is why it is important that school leaders make the most of this opportunity. To help ensure school leaders have all the information they need to effectively influence officials, NASSP recently introduced its ESSA Toolkit. This toolkit provides principals with crucial information and tips to help in pushing legislators to effectively implement ESSA. It is now more important than ever to advocate, and this toolkit can assist you by helping you:

  • Engage in direct discussions with your district about the recruitment, professional development, quality, and access of all students to effective teachers and school leaders
  • Collaborate and work with other principals in your state and district to influence your states’ plan for using federal funds to better support students, schools, and principals
  • Draft legislation and policies for your state that highlight the importance of school leaders through the toolkit’s model legislation tool
  • Effectively utilize the power of your message through regular and social media channels with the Communication Kit

If you don’t make your voice heard to your state and federal representatives, you can be rest assured that other groups will. Make sure that you advocate ensuring you’re helping students, schools, and principals!

Budget Negotiations

Congress returns to Washington, D.C. this week after an arduous campaign season. At the forefront of every legislator’s mind are how the budget negotiations to fund the government will play out. Time for a new deal is very limited as the Continuing Resolution (CR) passed in September is due to expire on December 9. That is why constituents must make their voices heard now, so that their congressional representatives can bring their concerns to the negotiating table.

NASSP currently has two Action Alerts that make it quick and easy to reach out to your representatives. Stand up and let your members of congress know that you support funding directed at advancing student growth, developing school leaders and keeping students safe.

Inside the Beltway

What’s going on in Washington?

In one of the most unexpected outcomes in presidential election history, Donald Trump emerged victorious. He was able to break Hillary Clinton’s “firewall” in the Midwest by winning Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. He was also able to carry the battleground states of Ohio and Florida to help him secure the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency.

Why Should Principals Care?

Donald Trump did not go into great detail on how plans to shape education policy as president, but we do have some idea on his future plans. Trump is a vocal supporter of school choice and in his first 100 days, he plans to establish a new school choice bill to Congress. He also stated that this bill would also end Common Core. However, these are standards that states choose to adopt voluntarily, so the procedure he plans on using to end it is still unknown.

Trump has also mentioned his disdain for the Department of Education during the campaign. He has come out saying he will either eliminate the department as a whole or scale back its powers greatly. As of right now, the rest of his policies are somewhat up in the air. A great signal of how the Trump administration will handle education policy will be when Trump names his secretary of education. One name being considered right now is Gerard Robinson, a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who served as Florida’s education commissioner.

NASSP wants to assure all of its members that we are closely monitoring this situation, and will continue to provide up-to-date information as the presidential transition continues to develop.

In the Press

New “School Leader Continuum” Helps Guide Principals Development, Illinois Principals Association

Helping school leaders develop throughout their careers is essential to improving student achievement. The new School Leader Continuum details the most important phases of a school leader’s development, as well as offers what competencies and attributes effective leaders need to possess. This guide was created by the Illinois Principals Association, in collaboration with Principals Associations in Indiana, Missouri, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Creating a Safe Learning Environment for Students, Alliance for Excellent Education

In order for students to learn effectively, they must feel that they’re in a safe and supportive environment. The Alliance for Excellent Education found that there are four common factors that promote a positive learning environment, safety, engagement, connectedness, and support. This piece studies all of these and explains their importance, while also providing ways that parents can help in creating positive learning environments for children as well.

North Carolina Looks to Increase Principal Compensation, WRAL.com

Lawmakers and the State School Board of North Carolina have begun talks to examine ways to increase compensation for principals and assistant principals throughout the state. A new study examined the base salaries of North Carolina’s Public School Administrators and found that many were earning far less than expected. North Carolina currently ranks 50th in the nation, including Washington, D.C., for principal pay.

Closing Educational Gaps for Low-Income Students, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Despite educator’s best efforts, low-income students are still facing large gaps in educational performance and attainment in schools. A new study examines the problems low-income students face, while also examining why current attempts to close these gaps have failed. It notes that two main factors have greatly hindered any attempt to reduce these inequalities. These factors are a lack of attention to details on the implementation of these attempts, and taking a piecemeal approach to change.

 

2 Comments

  • Andrea Brown says:

    Where does STUDENTS FIRST fit in the new order–also what about Michelle Rhee’s visit to the transition committee…also should we expect to see an increase and improvement in transparency….

    • Zachary Scott says:

      Andrea,

      Michelle Rhee actually stepped down from her post as CEO of StudentsFirst, and the group has now merged somewhat with the nonprofit education group 50CAN. While her visit to the transition committee was interesting, it ultimately did not land her the nomination for Secretary of Education. Betsy DeVos was picked by Donald Trump to serve as his Secretary of Education. DeVos is a supporter of school choice and vouchers, and is the chair of the American Federation for Children.

      We are not really sure what to expect yet in terms of transparency with the Trump Administration. Judging by Trump’s past conflicts with the media though, I find it hard to believe that they will have unfettered access to the White House.

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