CDC: Schools should prep for coronavirus outbreak | W.Va. bill would allow teaching of Bible in schools | Ala. to vote on governor-appointed school board
February 27, 2020
NASBE State Ed SmartBrief
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Top Story
States working to improve student testing
Current systems of student testing are geared toward measuring proficiency but do not adequately measure within-year academic growth, says NWEA CEO Chris Minnich. However, some states are transitioning to new approaches that evaluate both academic growth and year-end proficiency while also reducing classroom time spent on testing and providing feedback to teachers before the end of the school year, he writes.
Full Story: The 74 (2/24) 
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Districts to put money back into classrooms
New Mexico school districts become first in the state to operate emissions-reducing, low-carbon, cost-saving propane-fueled buses. These districts will get all the environmental benefits while also saving costs so that budgets can go to educating students and paying teachers. Learn more
Policy & Legislation
CDC: Schools should prep for coronavirus outbreak
(Gerard Julien/Getty Images)
A coronavirus outbreak is expected to affect the US, and schools should begin preparations if they have not already, said Nancy Messonnier, a CDC director. While other administration officials downplayed concerns, Messonnier said schools should consider virtual options to help prevent disruptions in learning and keep students well.
Full Story: Education Week (tiered subscription model) (2/25) 
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Delegates to the West Virginia House passed a bill that would allow elective classes on the Old and New Testaments. The bill, which moves to the Senate, has caused outcries from religious leaders who would like a more comprehensive curriculum of religions.
Full Story: KOMO-TV/KOMO-AM (Seattle) (2/25) 
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State Board News
Alabama voters will decide next week if state school board members will continue to be elected or if the state will switch to a governor-appointed board. If voters opt for an appointed board, appointees would need to be confirmed by the state senate before their appointment is finalized.
Full Story: WAFF-TV (Huntsville, Ala.) (2/26) 
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Trends & Research
Several states, including California, are seeking to improve training for school counselors so they can help students apply to college amid concerns that such training is often limited. The training is particularly important as school counselors may be the main support for first-generation students and students from lower-income families.
Full Story: The Hechinger Report (2/21) 
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SEL supported in Mich. schools
More states are taking steps to ensure schools support students' social and emotional needs, with 18 states adopting K-12 social and emotional learning standards. Michigan is included in the list and State Superintendent Michael Rice says the curriculum helps support development of "soft skills" that employers are looking for in future hires.
Full Story: The Detroit News (2/24) 
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Join us for Legislative Conference 2020!
Focused on national and state education policy, NASBE's Legislative Conference engages national experts and education leaders on topics that are front and center for state boards. Sessions this year will cover the 2019 NAEP results, with conversations on how state boards can move the needle on literacy and support great teachers in every classroom. With the 2020 presidential primary season in full swing, we will also get Washington insiders' predictions on who will come out on top and how it could impact education. Early registration ends Friday, Feb. 28. Register here.
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Getting Students Career Ready
By 2025, 68% of US jobs will require education and training beyond high school. As National CTE Month wraps up, be sure to read our recent issue of the State Education Standard that dives into the opportunities and challenges of realizing a vision for career education that ensures that every student has the academic and technical skills to embark on a path toward a good career during their K-12 years. This NASBE analysis offers five key questions every state board member should ask to advance college and career readiness in their state.
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An empty canvas is a living wonder -- far lovelier than certain pictures.
Wassily Kandinsky,
painter, art theorist, pioneer of abstract art
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