Inside the Beltway

What’s going on in Washington?

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania introduced the Educator Preparation Reform Act (S. 2419), aimed at better preparing teachers, principals, and other educators to be effective and profession-ready on day one. The bill is intended to be part of the conversation on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which is expected to come up this year. NASSP endorsed this legislation in the 113th Congress and offered recommendations to Sen. Reed’s staff for the current 114th Congress version.

Why should principals care?

Most of the bill’s changes to current law affect the Teacher Quality Partnership Grants and the TEACH Grants. Most importantly, the Teacher Quality Partnership Grants would be expanded to include grants for principal preparation and development programs. The TEACH Grants would be revised as well to be more flexible for new teachers who complete part of the required four years of service to a low-income school. Read more on the School of the Thought blog.

In the Press

Shift in Emphasis in New Standards for Educational Leaders, NASBE

This two-page document from the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) highlights the major shifts in the updated Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards, now called the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL). NASSP Executive Director JoAnn D. Bartoletti chairs the National Policy Board for Educational Administration, which developed the standards.

Business Gets Schooled, Fortune

This in-depth article published in Fortune describes how business interests became involved in the development and rollout of Common Core. In particular, it looks at the sponsorship of the Gates Foundation and how the standards went from having broad business support to experiencing opposition from one of their own—the wealthy and politically active Koch brothers.

What Are John King’s Edu-Predictions for 2016? Education Week

Similar to Arne Duncan’s predictions last year, Acting Secretary of Education John King laid out some predictions for what the New Year will bring to the education world. Among his predictions: more than 20 states increasing spending for high-quality preschool through the continuation of the Preschool Development Grant program; 10 million more students with high-speed Internet access; and 1 million more users of the College Scorecard.

Are Charter Schools the New Subprime Loans?, The Washington Post

A new research paper, highlighted in The Washington Post, seeks to draw comparisons between the growing charter school sector and the subprime mortgage crisis. The charter school sector has been growing at an exponential rate, and in some states, charter authorizers, like mortgage lenders in the subprime crisis, have no repercussions if schools they authorize fail, and parents have no place to take concerns. This is especially risky in places like New Orleans, where the entire school system is composed of charters, and there are no district schools.

Five Questions the Candidates Need to Be Asked, Immediately, Politico

Outgoing Secretary of Education Arne Duncan pens this piece for Politico, drawing attention to the fact that the presidential race has, thus far, ignored education. Both the Republican and Democrat debates have given little airtime to education, and the candidates have not been pushed on education issues during public appearances. Duncan has five questions he believes we should be asking the candidates. The questions cover preschool access, high school graduation rates, college readiness, and college graduation rates.

About the Author

Sophie Papavizas is the Advocacy Coordinator at NASSP.

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