Advocacy Update

Apply for a School Ambassador Fellowship

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) offers a unique opportunity for educators to participate in the School Ambassador Fellowship Program. The School Ambassador Fellowship is a paid position that supports ED’s mission by employing educators to contribute their classroom and school expertise to the national education dialogue and in turn facilitate discussions with educators across the country. For those who are selected, the program grants greater knowledge of educational policy and leadership, allowing them to further contribute to their schools and students.

If you would like to learn more, ED will be hosting a webinar with information on the School Ambassador Fellowship tonight (Monday, January 9) from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. (ET). All interested applicants can apply here before the January 23 deadline. Don’t miss out on the chance to better yourself and the education system for students everywhere!

The 2017 NASSP Advocacy Conference

Would you like a chance to speak with those in the federal government about what is important to you and your school? Then join us April 24–26, 2017, for the 2017 NASSP Advocacy Conference. This conference brings together state leaders to advocate on behalf of the nation’s school principals. Having these leaders converge on Congress and speak in a unified voice delivers a powerful message to legislators that effective principals are vital to student success.

The program consists of panel discussions with representatives from other national education associations, congressional staff, and officials from ED or the White House; a briefing on the latest news in Congress and NASSP’s legislative agenda; and a day on Capitol Hill attending meetings with principals’ respective members of Congress and their staff.

There is no registration fee to attend the conference, but travel and lodging expenses may be required. Please contact Zachary Scott with any questions.

 

Inside the Beltway

What’s Happening in Washington?

Last week marked the beginning of the 115th Congress, as members of both the House and Senate were sworn in on January 3. Both parties in the Senate formally announced their final rosters for all committees as well. In its final roster, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) received new members from both parties. Senators Todd Young (R-IN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Tim Kaine (D-VA) have all been added to the committee.

Last week it was also announced that the confirmation hearing for Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos would be held on January 11. Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) met with DeVos last week, but announced that she still has “serious concerns” over DeVos’ work in education.

Why Should Principals Care?

With DeVos’ confirmation hearing set for this week, it appears that Democrats are no closer to supporting her nomination. The hearing is gearing up to be quite contentious, as DeVos has been listed as one of the confirmations Democrats are hoping to target the most. However, stalling any nomination could prove difficult, as they would need a majority of the votes in the Senate to reject the nomination. With the Senate breakdown being 52 Republicans to 48 Democrats, the rejection of DeVos’ nomination seems unlikely.

Should DeVos’ nomination be confirmed, she will have the inside track to guiding federal education policy for years to come. This includes the chance to formulate new guidance and regulations that could affect the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), as well as a number of other education laws.

 

 In the Press

Education in the Trump Administration: Five Things to Watch, Education Week

The direction the Trump administration will take when it comes to education in 2017 is still largely unknown. This article points out five key things to watch that will provide a better guide of how the new administration plans to influence education policy, including ESSA implementation and the DeVos confirmation process.

What Priorities Can Best Aid Students in 2017?, New America

In 2016, we found that many achievement gaps are still affecting our public education system, and that not all students are receiving the same opportunities to succeed. A new report examines different priorities—at all levels of government—that should be enacted in 2017 to help give all students the chance to succeed.

How to Turn ESSA into Positive Change, Education Week

When No Child Left Behind (NCLB) passed, it was originally greeted with support from large portions of the nation. However, after enacting NCLB, it proved to be an ineffective and burdensome law for states, districts, and schools. This piece notes that with full implementation of ESSA drawing closer, it is important that federal and state governments understand how important certain areas of implementation are if there is to be positive growth in student success.

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