Advocacy Update

Take Action on ESEA

Congress may be on recess, but NASSP is working hard to ensure principals have a voice in ESEA reauthorization. Working with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the American Federation of School Administrators, NASSP sent a detailed letter to lawmakers on Capitol Hill outlining our concerns and priorities going forward with the ESEA conference report. Make a difference today and tell your members of Congress to do what’s right for school leaders and students!

National Principals Month Resolutions

Resolutions celebrating National Principals Month recently passed in the House and Senate. Thanks to Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) for sponsoring their respective resolution. The Senate resolution was also co-sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL). In the House, the resolution was co-sponsored by Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH). If your Senators or Representatives were co-sponsors, be sure to call or email them today to thank them for their support of principals.

Inside the Beltway

With no clear successor to Speaker Boehner for his announced October 30 departure and the clock ticking on a number of authorizing bills and funding streams set to expire in the next couple of months, the next two weeks promise to be busy. ESEA reauthorization has been pushed further down the list of priorities—decreasing the likelihood of reauthorization with this Congress.

In an effort to leave a smoother path for the next Speaker of the House, Speaker Boehner has made one of his goals before leaving to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. The Congressional Budget Office has said the debt limit needs to be raised by November 5 for the government to have enough cash to meet its obligations like interest payments, Medicare payments, and social security. Without agreement in Congress over how to handle the government’s budget, government shutdown becomes increasingly more likely and would have devastating consequences for education funding.

In the Press

How Common Core Quietly Won the War, Politico

NASSP’s 2015 and 2016 National Principals of the Year discuss how Common Core implementation has gone in their own schools. 2015 National Principal of the Year Jayne Ellspermann describes the improvements she is already seeing in students’ writing and analytical abilities. 2016 National Principal of the Year Alan Tenreiro describes how he has been explaining the Common Core to parents to get them on board.

Parents Loud and Clear on Tests: Put Focus on Helping My Child, Not Just ‘System,’ Real Clear Education

This commentary explores what parents are saying about standardized tests as the new Common Core-aligned tests roll out in the states. When polled, parents said overwhelmingly that they want the focus of tests to be on how their kids are doing and less on how the ‘system’ is doing.

Mapping the Early Attendance Gap, Attendance Works

This recent study found that chronic school absence is a problem in every state with both teens and kindergartners. Excused absences contribute to many of the missed days, with students missing 14 million days a year to asthma and another 2 million for dental problems. These excused absences contribute to the 7.5 million students who are considered chronically absent each school year.

Creating Birds of Similar Feathers, Journal of Educational Psychology

In this recently published study, a team of researchers looked at how to leverage similarities between teachers and students to improve their relationships and academic achievement. Teachers and students took tests at the beginning of the year, answering questions about things from sports to what they value most. About half the students were told they had a lot in common with their teachers, and those students showed gains in their class grades at the end of the school year.

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