School districts will play a major role in improving schools, according to the Every Student Succeeds Act plans submitted by 17 states. Plans also will rely more on needs assessments than interventions such as principal removal.
Four states -- Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, and New York -- recently received $14,000 grants from the National Association of State Boards of Education to study early-childhood workforce conditions. Plans in Michigan call for "a framework to strengthen the state's early-childhood education workforce," and New York state officials plan to support educator-preparation programs.
Some schools monitor students' social media activity, a practice that has drawn criticism from some as a potential violation of student privacy and free speech. Principal Amy Hartjen says student safety is the top priority, noting that school officials intervene when social media issues disrupt learning.
The Michigan State Board of Education has approved a new school report-card policy based on factors such as educator engagement, school climate and academics. The accountability system, expected to be online by the fall, will not include a grade because board members said such an approach did not capture a full picture of performance.
The fastest-growing age group in the nation is children born between 2001 through 2016, according to a report from the Census Bureau. The trend is expected to affect areas in education, including a need for more teacher diversity, because the majority of those students are nonwhite, said Robert Hull, executive vice president of the National Association of State Boards of Education.
The US may have some work to do to boost enrollment in early-childhood education programs, according to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Data show the US, with about 67% of 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in such programs, ranks lower than most other OECD countries.
NASBE Builds an Alliance of Network States to Strengthen Early Childhood Education Workforce
NASBE has awarded four states -- Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, and New York -- grants totaling $14,000 each over two years to investigate and improve early childhood education workforce conditions in their respective states. Funded through a grant from the Foundation for Child Development, this project reignites NASBE's early learning work and establishes a state network tasked with developing, revising and adopting early childhood education policies that other state boards can replicate. More information about the project and the grantees' upcoming early childhood education work is available on NASBE's website. Additionally, a new blog post by NASBE's Winona Hao discusses states' investments in the early childhood education workforce under ESSA.
NASBE webinar on state policies that support effective professional learning now available online
NASBE recently hosted a webinar that unpacked ESSA's new requirements for professional learning. Panelists, including Learning Forward's Melinda George and WestEd's Angela Minnici, discussed the practical application of professional learning in schools under ESSA and identified action steps for states transitioning to a more comprehensive system of educator development, with a focus on evaluation and licensure as key policy levers in this system. During the webinar, state education leaders from Delaware also explained how such policies are put into practice for effective professional learning. The full webinar is now available on demand.