Author

Josh Lapid

FGN News: January 2017

Learn How to Advocate Effectively!

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

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

Inauguration of President Trump and Confirmation Hearings for Betsy DeVos

January 20 marks the official inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America. Also this month, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) will begin confirmation hearings for Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for secretary of education. Democrats on the HELP committee have expressed concern over DeVos’ support of school choice and charter policies in the past, fearing that they could harm public education. After the hearings conclude, a possible confirmation vote could come as soon as January 20.

Twitter Talk

@akarhuse RT @NASSP: Use our #ESSA Toolkit to encourage your state to use the Title II funds to better support principals: http://bit.ly/2eA04mj.
@dnchodak Principals on average work 60 hours a week. Check out this @educationweek daily timeline to see how this plays out: https://t.co/wQmHoR7cw7
@zachscott33 .@NASSP Great to have @JohnKingatED hear from principals on what they need to make their schools and students successful #PrincipalsatED
@nassp #ICYMI—how can states make a case for elevating #edleadership under #ESSA? Find out in new @RANDCorporation report: https://t.co/wb1u2Ozrzn

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

#PrincipalsatED Event

Last month, Secretary of Education John King hosted a group of principals at the Department of Education (ED) for a special “Principals at ED” event. This event allowed principals the opportunity to collaborate on finding solutions for school leaders’ problems. It concluded with a meeting with Secretary King himself, where he was able to hear how the federal government can help today’s principals.

Take Action

Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) grants new funding opportunities to support preparing, training, and recruiting high-quality teachers, principals, or other school leaders. However, these new opportunities have no chance to succeed if they’re not properly funded. NASSP has created a new action alert so members can ask the federal government to properly appropriate Title II funds at the levels authorized under ESSA.

In this Month’s Principal Leadership

Principal Leadership magazine cover

This month’s issue of Principal Leadership features an in-depth breakdown of the NASSP ESSA Toolkit for Principals. The toolkit provides members with detailed fact sheets on the law, a communication kit to assist with advocacy, and model legislation templates to help states adhere to the law.

All FGN members are invited to write a guest article for Principal Leadership or blog post for School of Thought—just email Manager of Advocacy Zachary Scott with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.

FGN News: December 2016

ESSA Toolkit

A new Congress and a new presidential administration could mean a shake-up in many of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) regulations that have guided your state’s efforts to implement the new law. Be sure your state leaders know the important role school leaders play in student success with the ESSA Toolkit. This custom-designed toolkit provides:

  • Guidance to influence your state’s plan for using federal funds to better support students, schools, and principals.
  • Draft legislation and policies for your state that highlight the importance of school leaders through the toolkit’s model legislation tool.
  • Messaging templates for use in traditional and social media channels. 

If policymakers don’t get their education information from you, they will get it somewhere else.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

Trump Nominates Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education

Donald Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos to serve as the next Secretary of Education. DeVos is a Michigan native and she formerly served as the chair of the American Federation for Children, an advocacy group that promotes school choice by pushing to expand charter schools and school voucher programs that provide families with public money to spend on private schools. By nominating DeVos, it appears that Trump is moving forward with his plan to enact spending $20 billion on block grants that will expand charter and private school options for children in low-income households. DeVos has long been a vocal supporter of school choice and has worked in the past to have a school choice ballot initiative introduced in Michigan. You can read NASSP’s statement on DeVos’ nomination here.

ED Releases Final State Accountability Regulations

On November 28, ED released its final regulations to implement the accountability, data reporting, and state plan provisions of ESSA. Some of the most important changes from the draft to the final rules include:

  • Providing more time for states to submit their accountability plans.
  • Lengthening the timeline for states to identify schools in need of comprehensive support and improvement under ESSA regulations.
  • Allowing for more flexibility in states developing their fifth academic indicator.

While these final rules do provide some much needed reforms, there are still some areas where NASSP would have liked to see ED make some changes. Read all about it here.

New NASSP Position Statement on School Facilities

NASSP is soliciting comments on a new position statement on school facilities. The statement expresses deep concern regarding the state of the nation’s school facilities and offers recommendations for modernizing all schools to provide safe and accessible 21st-century learning environments. Send your comments by Friday, December 16 to Amanda Karhuse, NASSP director of advocacy, at karhusea@nassp.org.

Twitter Talk

@akarhuse Have you read the proposed @NASSP position statement on School Facilities? Public comments are due 12/16! http://ow.ly/q523306nZ0i
@dnchodak Blog from @DrJeanPaulCadet on how states can use #ESSA #TitleIIA $ to better prepare, support, & retain educators: https://t.co/vYUemGMWsU
@zachscott33 It’s time to end corporal punishment in schools. Join .@NASSP in asking policy makers to end this outdated practice: https://t.co/kPDdFT9YKm
@nassp It’s important to reach out to your member of congress to advocate for more funding under #ESSA. For templates: http://bit.ly/2flha7T.

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

Collaborations

Federal Funding for Principal Development

Last month, NASSP worked with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), and over 40 state school leader organizations. They sent a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees asking them to support funding for Title II, Part A in ESSA. Title II, Part A grants principals these opportunities, as it provides formula funding to states for the purpose of preparing; training; recruiting; and retaining high-quality teachers, principals, assistant principals, and other school leaders.

Corporal Punishment

NASSP and over 80 other advocacy organizations sent a letter to all local, state, and federal policymakers asking them to condemn the use of corporal punishment in schools. More than 109,000 students were subjected to corporal punishment in public schools in the 2013-14 school year. While this may be a drop from the 163,333 that were affected in the 2011-12 school year, it is still extremely concerning that corporal punishment is a legal form of discipline in 19 states. Secretary of Education John King also sent his own letter asking that states and schools end the harmful practice as well.

Take Action

Learn the issues. Develop your stories to illustrate the issues. Deliver your message to members of Congress. That is the essence of the 2017 NASSP Advocacy Conference.

We will gather state association leaders, state lobbyists, and members of the Federal Grassroots Network April 24–26 in Washington, DC, to deliver a powerful message with a unified voice to federal legislators: That great school leaders are vital to the success of each student.

There is no registration fee to attend the conference. Contact Zachary Scott for more information.

The Importance of Advocacy

Michigan principal Steve Carlson shares that his advocacy experience “gave me some amazing opportunities to engage with lawmakers and others who influence decisions about education. The truth is, though, that anyone can get into the arena to be heard.” Read more about Steve’s experience on the School of Thought blog.

2017 National Principals Conference

In July 2017, NASSP and NAESP will co-host the first-ever National Principals Conference in Philadelphia, PA, to bring all K–12 principals together with their peers to not only gain a better understanding of the problems other school leaders encounter, but to work with them on inventive solutions that can benefit students of all ages. Register today!

In this Month’s Principal Leadership

Principal Leadership magazine cover

This month’s issue of Principal Leadership features an article by NASSP Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse on ways to properly ensure the safety of transgender students in schools. The piece examines NASSP’s transgender students position statement, provides recommendations for school leaders on promoting a positive school culture for all students, and breaks down the current federal policy regarding transgender students.

All FGN members are invited to write a guest article for Principal Leadership or blog post for School of Thought—just email Manager of Advocacy Zachary Scott with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.

FGN News: November 2016

ESSA Toolkit

The implementation of ESSA has provided educators with a special opportunity to influence education policy. That is why it is important that school leaders make sure this opportunity isn’t squandered. To help ensure that these school leaders have all the information they need to effectively influence officials, NASSP recently introduced its ESSA Toolkit. This toolkit provides principals with crucial information and tips to help in pushing legislators to effectively implement ESSA. It is now more important than ever to advocate, and this toolkit can help you do that by helping you:

  • Engage in direct discussions with your district about the recruitment, professional development, quality, and access of all students to effective teachers and school leaders.
  • Collaborate and work with other principals in your state and district to influence your states’ plan for using federal funds to better support students, schools, and principals.
  • Draft legislation and policies for your state that highlight the importance of school leaders through the toolkit’s model legislation tool.
  • Effectively utilize the power of your message through regular and social media channels with the Communication Kit.

If you don’t make your voice heard to your state and federal representatives, you can be rest assured that other groups will. Make sure that you advocate ensuring you’re helping students, schools, and principals.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

Election Breakdown

In one of the most unexpected outcomes in presidential election history, Donald Trump emerged victoriously. He was able to break Hillary Clinton’s “firewall” in the Midwest by winning Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. He was also able to carry the battleground states of Ohio and Florida to help him secure the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency.

Those working in education are now left to wonder what the future Trump Administration’s education goals will be. While Trump did not go into vivid detail on how he feels about certain education policies, he did provide some information on how the future may look. He is a vocal supporter of school choice, and mentioned in his first 100 days that he plans to establish a new school choice bill to Congress. He also stated that this bill would also end Common Core. However, these are standards that states choose voluntarily, so he may not have the complete ability to eliminate them.

Trump has also mentioned his disdain for the Department of Education during the campaign. He has come out saying he will either eliminate the department as a whole, or scale back its powers greatly. As of right now, the rest of his policies are somewhat up in the air. A telling signal of how the Trump administration will handle education policy will be when Trump names his secretary of education. A number of names have been thrown out lately as being in consideration for the job, including Gerard Robinson, a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who served as Florida education commissioner. Other possible names include Betsy DeVos and Kevin Chavous, both with the American Federation for Children. The American Federation for Children is an advocacy organization that works to support school choice, and has been advising Trump on K–12 policy.

One thing is certain for future president Trump, and that is that he will have a Republican Congress to help support him for at least the next two years. Republicans retained control of the Senate, 51-48, and the House of Representatives, 239-192. Congress will be holding elections this week to determine leadership positions, chairmanships and breakdowns of House and Senate Committees. NASSP will continue to monitor this situation as it develops, so stay tuned to future Advocacy Updates for more information.

Teacher Preparation Programs

On October 12, ED released its final regulations on teacher preparation programs. ED states that these new regulations “help ensure that new teachers are ready to succeed in the classroom and that every student is taught by a great educator.” However, the regulations have proven to be controversial as many teachers’ unions are opposing them. The most contentious provision in the regulation is that student learning outcomes and at least one state-determined measure relevant to student outcomes, including academic performance, must be measured to gauge a program’s effectiveness. Many are arguing that it is unfair to judge teacher preparation programs based on the performance of the students taught by a program’s graduates. NASSP also recently signed a letter to ED voicing some concerns that these regulations could create teacher shortages in areas where the student populations are already struggling, such as those with a low-income population. You can find the full text of the regulation here.

Twitter Talk

@ChrisCoons33 So grateful for the amazing principals in Delaware & across country for the amazing work they do! #ThankAPrincipal!
@akarhuse We’re urging Congress to allocate no less than $2.295 B for Title II in #ESSA! http://ow.ly/IqAH3059zeD #ThankAPrincipal #PD4Principals
@dnchodak With National Principals Month ending soon, @NASSP invites school leaders to use NEW #ESSA toolkit! http://bit.ly/2fxXlhr #thankaprincipal
@zackscott33 Make sure your federal reps and SEAs hear your voice! Use the @NASSP #ESSA toolkit to help advocate for your cause! http://bit.ly/2fxXlhr
@nassp #TBT to a full house at our Capitol Hill Event last week on #ESSA in honor of National Principals Month! #ThankAPrincipal

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

Collaborations

One of the highlights of National Principals Month was the Capitol Hill event titled Revolutionizing School Leadership Under ESSA. The event was co-hosted by NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA). The widely attended event allowed congressional staff the opportunity to hear directly from teachers and principals from all levels of K-12 education about how ESSA should be implemented to best support students, teachers, and principals. To watch a recording of the event, please visit the National Principals Month website.

Looking Back on National Principals Month

NASSP wants to thank all its members for helping to make October the most successful National Principals Month yet. Although the official National Principals Month is now over, rest assured that everyone will still have access to all of the great materials that were created or occurred during it. The website is still active and will continue to be so that everyone can still examine the 30 state and local resolutions that were passed, the recording of the Capitol Hill event, a variety of webinars and many other important resources. With budget talks reigniting in Washington, D.C. it is extremely important for school leaders to have their voices heard, so please continue to utilize these resources to make your representatives listen!

YouTube

Take Action

As members return to Washington, D.C. from their congressional races, there is just one thing on their mind as we move towards December. Passing legislation that funds the government and prevents a shutdown. Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) in September that funded the government through December 9. With December 9 quickly approaching, though, budget talks between members have already begun.

Make sure that your voice is heard during these talks so your representatives know you’re watching their votes. NASSP currently has two Action Alerts that will allow you to quickly and easily reach out to your members of congress. Both alerts focus on areas of ESSA that provide funds that can be extremely beneficial for students and school leaders. Make your voice heard and let Congress know that you support a well-rounded education for all students, safe schools, and more funding to aid in the professional development of school leaders.

National Principal of the Year

On October 17, NASSP announced that Dr. Thomas J. Dodd of Lesher Middle School is the 2017 National Principal of the Year. Dodd has served at Lesher Middle School for 11 years. Upon becoming principal at Lesher Middle School, Dodd personalized the school’s environment by instituting student and staff recognition, while also promoting student participation in academic contests. His hard work and determination has led to Lesher Middle School increasing enrollment from 500 to 770 students, the maximum capacity of the school. NASSP congratulates Dodd on representing all of the qualities that NASSP and principals everywhere stand for. You can learn more about the NASSP Principal of the year program here.

2017 National Principals Conference

In July 2017, NASSP and NAESP will be cohosting the National Principals Conference in Philadelphia, PA. This will be the first ever National Principals Conference that will be jointly hosted by both NASSP and the NAESP, and it grants all principals a chance to come together with their peers to not only gain a better understanding of the problems other school leaders encounter but to work with them on inventive solutions that can benefit students of all ages. This unique opportunity is truly an event unlike any other for principals.

Registration to attend the National Principals Conference is now open. Also, there is still room available for those looking to sponsor or exhibit at the conference as well. For more information on exhibiting or sponsoring the conference, please visit our online guide.

In this Month’s Principal Leadership

Principal Leadership magazine cover

This month’s issue of Principal Leadership features an article by David Chodak, associate director of Advocacy, on how the November election may shape future education policy. It includes a breakdown of the republican and democrat party platforms on education, as well as an inside look at some potential names who could be the next secretary of education.

All FGN members are invited to write a guest article for Principal Leadership or blog post for School of Thought—just email Manager of Advocacy Zachary Scott with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.


Missed an issue of the Federal Grassroots Network newsletter?
Read archived issues online at www.nassp.org/fgn.

FGN News: October 2016

October is finally here and with it comes National Principals Month! It is the time where principals are given special recognition for the roles they play in making schools great. More than ever before we have begun to see principals start to receive the acknowledgement that they deserve. The Senate has already passed a bipartisan resolution officially recognizing National Principals Month by unanimous consent, and the House of Representatives has introduced a similar resolution. Not only is the federal government doing its part, but a number of states are passing their own resolutions or proclamations as well. For more information on these state resolutions, as well as information on the number of exciting webinars and events that are coming up, please visit the official National Principals Month website.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

Title II Funding in ESSA

Discussions over Title II funding in ESSA have ramped up lately with NASSP, NAESP, AFSA, and others sending a letter to Chairman Roy Blunt and Ranking Member Patty Murray of the Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as Chairman Tom Cole and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro of the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. This letter details the importance of Title II funding for recruiting and retaining effective school leaders. Also, at the end of September, the Department of Education released new guidance detailing how state and local education agencies should go about allocating their Title II, Part A funds. While the guidance itself is very much appreciated, it is somewhat of a mixed bag for principals. It specifically points out the importance of principal development and the principal pipeline, while also recommending that state education agencies reserve an additional 3 percent of Title II funding for state activities that support principals or other school leaders. However, it also provides a loose definition of “school leaders,” which would allow part of the 3 percent set aside for principals to be spent on principal supervisors as well.

Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants

If we really want to see ESSA improve in areas where No Child Left Behind failed, the federal government will have to provide districts, principals, and teachers the resources necessary to effectively educate students. That is why NASSP and a number of other state, national, and regional organizations recently sent a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Committee advocating for more robust funding in fiscal year 2017 for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG). These grants allow districts to choose where to spend the dollars they receive in order to help students develop the skills essential for academic success. It is time the federal government stops expecting teachers and principals do more with less and provides them with the funding necessary to truly see all students succeed. The week of October 24 will be one of action with more information released shortly. To get involved use #MoreTitleIV on social media.

Twitter Talk

@akarhuse LBJ had intended Title I to be a $20 B program funding most K-12 schools in the 1960s – not true today! #CEFGala #edfunding #ESSA
@dnchodak Thanks @usedgov for including information about National Principals Month in the Teacher’s Edition! http://www.principalsmonth.org #ThankAPrincipal
@zackscott33 It’s almost National Principals Month, so don’t forget to join @NASSP and @NAESP as we honor principals everywhere. #ThankAPrincipal
@nassp With @NAESP & @AFSAUnion we’re preparing to celebrate National Principals Month all October long! http://bit.ly/2cCYEsZ #ThankAPrincipal

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

Collaborations

The Full-Service Community Schools Program provides students, their family members, and community members with academic, social, and health services through a number of local partnerships. This program provides much needed support for students and their families, which ultimately leads to improved educational outcomes for children. The Institute for Educational Leadership, along with the NASSP, recently sent a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to provide the program with $10 million more in fiscal year 2017 than it received in 2016. These additional funds would help increase the number of full-service community schools to meet the high demand for these schools across the nation.

Take Action

Urge Congress to negotiate a budget deal that fully funds ESSA’s professional development program. Send a message to your members of Congress today and encourage them to put students and educators first.

Help spread the word about National Principals Month by use the social media toolkit to encourage your neighbors and friends to celebrate their local principals! Also, reach out to your state legislature and ask them to support a resolution or proclamation officially recognizing National Principals Month. Thank you to the 17 states who have already done their part.

In this Month’s Principal Leadership

Principal Leadership magazine cover

This month’s issue of Principal Leadership features an article by Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse on how to get students’ voices heard regarding ESSA implementation. The piece notes how important it is for principals to be active and engaged in order for their students to be as well.

All FGN members are invited to write a guest article for Principal Leadership or blog post for School of Thought—just email Manager of Advocacy Zachary Scott with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.

Comparing Presidential Candidates’ Education Policies

With the presidential election heating up, and not much attention being paid by either candidate to education policies, NPR Education recently came out with a quick education breakdown for both candidates. The pieces cover a wide scope of education topics from Common Core to higher education funding. Hillary Clinton’s policies can be found here, while Donald Trump’s policies can be found here.

FGN News: September 2016

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced on August 18 the three principals who will serve as Principal Ambassador Fellows during the 2016–17 school year. The Principal Ambassador Fellowship (PAF) program was launched in 2013 at the suggestion of an NASSP member who had been shadowed by an ED official during National Principals Month. Its purpose is to highlight the voice of the principal within the education community and the country at large. We are thrilled that two of this year’s fellows are NASSP members: Jean-Paul Cadet from Oxon Hill, MD, who will serve full time at ED, and Monifa McKnight from Gaithersburg, MD, who was honored by NASSP as the 2015 Maryland Principal of the Year. The third fellow, Dana Leigh Nerenberg, is an elementary school principal in Portland, OR.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

ESSA Implementation

On August 31, ED released proposed regulations on the supplement, not supplant provisions of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as recently revised by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Public comments will be submitted until November 7, and the final regulations are expected to be issued before President Obama ends his term in office in January 2017. As reported on the School of Thought blog, the proposed regulation could provide as much as $2 billion in additional state and district funding for high poverty schools.

Education Appropriations

Congress returned to Washington after Labor Day with a long list of legislative priorities and a small window to complete these tasks ahead of the November elections. One of the biggest questions is: How will Congress tackle the FY 2017 budget? Will there be a short-term continuing resolution until after the election? Will Congress negotiate a bipartisan omnibus appropriations bill? Or could we be looking at another government shutdown? As these decisions are being made, many of NASSP’s top appropriations priorities stand in the balance, including funding for Title I, IDEA, principal professional development, and career and technical education programs. Congress must act before the next fiscal year begins on October 1, so stay tuned to the School of Thought blog for further developments.

Twitter Talk

@akarhuse State legislators, please don’t scrimp on quality when addressing teaching shortages in your state! http://ow.ly/fAZV3034w5B #NCSLSummit
@dnchodak National Principals Month is 1 month away. For ways to celebrate, check: http://principalsmonth.org #ThankAPrincipal @NASSP @NAESP @AFSAUnion
@nassp Great leaders inspire their teams. Here are 15 easy ways to inspire yours: http://on.inc.com/2bCZghY.

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

Collaborations

While the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provided strong authorization levels for many key education programs, the House and Senate Labor HHS Education Appropriations Committees have been less generous with funding of Title II and Title IV among other important programs in ESSA. As a result, the Title IV, Part A Coalition, for which NASSP has been actively engaged, has been working to ensure funding for this new flexible block grant is as close to the $1.65 billion authorization as possible. In response to the release of the 48th annual Phi Delta Kappa International Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, the coalition issued a strong press release urging appropriators to meet the demands of the public and increase funding for key education programs.

ESSA & Consultation: Formula for Success?

In a special section in the September 2016 issue of Principal Leadership, a group of experts discusses the new provision in ESSA that requires states to consult with principals and other stakeholders in the development of their new state-designed accountability plans. The panel includes Peyton Chapman, principal of Lincoln High School in Portland, OR; Richard Long, executive director of the Learning First Alliance, which recently released principles on stakeholder engagement; and Jessah Foulk, senior federal relations associate with the Council of Chief State School Officers, which also developed a stakeholder engagement guide for state departments of education in June.

Take Action

National Principals Month is coming up in October! Check out our website to see how schools are celebrating across the country and find out if your state has recognized National Principals Month with a resolution or proclamation. Reach out to David Chodak, NASSP associate director of advocacy, at chodakd@nassp.org if you would like to invite a member of Congress to shadow you in your school.

In this Month’s Principal Leadership

Principal Leadership magazine cover

Elizabeth Meola Aaron, principal of Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ, discusses the importance of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to help principals deal with burgeoning concerns such as student mental health and drug abuse. She shared her experience of forming a principals’ network earlier this year at a Principals@ED event at the U.S. Department of Education where principals across the country discussed policy issues with ED officials. “One key takeaway from my day at Principals@ED is that there is, perhaps now more than ever, a key role for state and local leaders to be a voice for what they know works best for their own students and schools.”

All FGN members are invited to write a guest article for Principal Leadership or blog post for School of Thought—just email Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.

FGN News: August 2016

In June, NASSP welcomed more than 90 middle and high school principals from across the country to the first-ever NASSP Advocacy Conference. The principals visited Capitol Hill where they conducted more than 160 meetings with their members of Congress to discuss ESSA implementation and advocate in support of increased funding for education in FY 2017, loan forgiveness for principals, and NASSP’s policy recommendations on career and technical education.

Any member of the Federal Grassroots Network (FGN) is invited to attend the NASSP Advocacy Conference, so mark your calendars for next year’s conference, April 24–26, 2017!

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

ESSA Implementation

On August 1, NASSP coordinated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and 58 of our state affiliates to submit joint comments to the U.S. Department of Education in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the draft regulations for Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act on behalf of the nation’s preK–12 elementary, middle level, and high school principals.

In our comments, we express opposition to the proposal that states require a summative rating for all schools, and encourage the Department to provide guidance to states on how to factor student growth into the accountability system. We also urge for a flexible implementation timeline that will allow states to consult with principals and other education stakeholders in the development of their state plans. Our letter also asks the Department to provide guidance to states on the definitions of “inexperienced principal” and “school leader.”

Education Appropriations

On July 14, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) marked up their FY 2017 appropriations bill, which passed 31–19 with the votes splitting along party lines. The Senate approved their version of the LHHS in June by a vote of 29–1. The House bill contains a number of divisive policy riders related to the gainful employment rule, the forthcoming teacher preparation rules, and the federal definition of a credit hour.

The House bill provides $15.36 billion for Title I, $1.95 billion for Title II, and $1 billion for the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment block grant in Title IV. Comparatively, the Senate bill provides $15.4 billion for Title I, $2.05 billion for Title II, and $300 million for Title IV. A full chart of the House and Senate allocations can be viewed here. When Congress returns from summer recess in September, House and Senate leaders will try to negotiate an omnibus, though a short-term continuing resolution is more likely.

Perkins Career and Technical Education

The House Education and the Workforce Committee approved a bipartisan bill in July to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which has long been overdue for reauthorization. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587) was introduced by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and enjoys the support of eight Republican cosponsors and seven Democratic cosponsors.

There has been no official word on whether the Senate will take action on Perkins this year, but Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) have been vocal on the critical need to update Perkins. You can read more about the committee markup in a recent School of Thought blog post by Amanda Karhuse, NASSP’s director of advocacy. Stay tuned for more updates as this legislation moves through the legislative process.

Twitter Talk

@akarhuse The average HS graduation rate for #CTE students is 93% – Rep. @MarkTakano
@dnchodak Thanks @SenShelby for a great meeting w/Morgan Carter & AL secondary principal assoc. leaders. #nasspdc @NASSP
@NASSP “Research shows that effective leaders in a school building makes such a big difference.” – @PatrickSandos #NASSPdc

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

Collaborations

As a member of the Learning First Alliance (LFA), NASSP provided feedback on the recently published Principles on Stakeholder Engagement as Required in ESSA. LFA is a coalition of the nation’s leading education organizations. The document outlines the actions and processes that state leaders should be following to ensure that the expertise of principals, teachers, parents, and other education stakeholders inform the development of state and local policies and practices.

Advocacy Updates on School of Thought

On the blog recently is a post by William Parker, the NASSP state coordinator for Oklahoma and an avid blogger on his own site, discussing his experience at the NASSP Advocacy Conference Hill Day. Mr. Parker highlights the legislation principals discussed with their members of Congress, as well as his own work to help his students be advocates for legislation that affects them. He closes with what all principals can do to be advocates. Thank you, Mr. Parker, for sharing your experience with us and for all you do to advocate for principals and the schools they serve!

All FGN members are invited to write a guest blog post for School of Thought—just email Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.

FGN News: July 2016

In June, NASSP welcomed more than 90 middle and high school principals from across the country to the first-ever NASSP Advocacy Conference. The principals visited Capitol Hill where they conducted more than 160 meetings with their members of Congress to discuss ESSA implementation and advocate in support of increased funding for education in FY 2017, loan forgiveness for principals, and NASSP’s policy recommendations on career and technical education.

Any member of the Federal Grassroots Network (FGN) is invited to attend the NASSP Advocacy Conference, so mark your calendars for next year’s conference, April 24–26, 2017!

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

ESSA Implementation

On August 1, NASSP coordinated with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and 58 of our state affiliates to submit joint comments to the U.S. Department of Education in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the draft regulations for Title I of the Every Student Succeeds Act on behalf of the nation’s preK–12 elementary, middle level, and high school principals.

In our comments, we express opposition to the proposal that states require a summative rating for all schools, and encourage the Department to provide guidance to states on how to factor student growth into the accountability system. We also urge for a flexible implementation timeline that will allow states to consult with principals and other education stakeholders in the development of their state plans. Our letter also asks the Department to provide guidance to states on the definitions of “inexperienced principal” and “school leader.”

Education Appropriations

On July 14, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) marked up their FY 2017 appropriations bill, which passed 31–19 with the votes splitting along party lines. The Senate approved their version of the LHHS in June by a vote of 29–1. The House bill contains a number of divisive policy riders related to the gainful employment rule, the forthcoming teacher preparation rules, and the federal definition of a credit hour.

The House bill provides $15.36 billion for Title I, $1.95 billion for Title II, and $1 billion for the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment block grant in Title IV. Comparatively, the Senate bill provides $15.4 billion for Title I, $2.05 billion for Title II, and $300 million for Title IV. A full chart of the House and Senate allocations can be viewed here. When Congress returns from summer recess in September, House and Senate leaders will try to negotiate an omnibus, though a short-term continuing resolution is more likely.

Perkins Career and Technical Education

The House Education and the Workforce Committee approved a bipartisan bill in July to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which has long been overdue for reauthorization. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 5587) was introduced by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) and enjoys the support of eight Republican cosponsors and seven Democratic cosponsors.

There has been no official word on whether the Senate will take action on Perkins this year, but Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) have been vocal on the critical need to update Perkins. You can read more about the committee markup in a recent School of Thought blog post by Amanda Karhuse, NASSP’s director of advocacy. Stay tuned for more updates as this legislation moves through the legislative process.

Twitter Talk

@akarhuse The average HS graduation rate for #CTE students is 93% – Rep. @MarkTakano
@dnchodak Thanks @SenShelby for a great meeting w/Morgan Carter & AL secondary principal assoc. leaders. #nasspdc @NASSP
@NASSP “Research shows that effective leaders in a school building makes such a big difference.” – @PatrickSandos #NASSPdc

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

Collaborations

As a member of the Learning First Alliance (LFA), NASSP provided feedback on the recently published Principles on Stakeholder Engagement as Required in ESSA. LFA is a coalition of the nation’s leading education organizations. The document outlines the actions and processes that state leaders should be following to ensure that the expertise of principals, teachers, parents, and other education stakeholders inform the development of state and local policies and practices.

Advocacy Updates on School of Thought

On the blog recently is a post by William Parker, the NASSP state coordinator for Oklahoma and an avid blogger on his own site, discussing his experience at the NASSP Advocacy Conference Hill Day. Mr. Parker highlights the legislation principals discussed with their members of Congress, as well as his own work to help his students be advocates for legislation that affects them. He closes with what all principals can do to be advocates. Thank you, Mr. Parker, for sharing your experience with us and for all you do to advocate for principals and the schools they serve!

All FGN members are invited to write a guest blog post for School of Thought—just email Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.

FGN News: May 2016

Across the country, states are getting started on implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and NASSP wants principals to be a part of the decision-making process! We have been hosting conference calls for state leaders to share information and visiting states to work with leaders as they advocate at the state level. Please reach out if you have any updates on how ESSA implementation is going in your state.

We have also been hosting a three-part webinar series on ESSA to equip principals with the knowledge they need on the implementation process. The first was on the Title I provisions covering assessments and accountability, and the second discussed Title II provisions to support school leadership preparation and training. Archived recordings of these webinars are available for free viewing online. Our final ESSA webinar on May 12 will discuss Title IV provisions (which covers funding for digital learning, socioemotional learning, and more) as well as literacy. Register for the webinar today!

And finally, registration is still open for FGN members to attend the NASSP Advocacy Conference in the Washington, D.C., metro area, June 20–22! Not sure if you should attend? Check out our post “3 Reasons to Attend the NASSP Advocacy Conference This Summer” on the School of Thought blog. Registration closes next Friday, May 13.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

ESSA Implementation

Negotiated rulemaking on Title I has wrapped up at the U.S. Department of Education. The rulemaking committee was able to reach a consensus on assessments, and the resulting proposed regulations are now available on the ED website for public comment. They were not able to reach a consensus on “supplement not supplant,” and we expect to see the Department’s regulations on that issue by the end of the spring. ED has now started seeking public comments on the guidance that should be issued for the remaining titles of the law. They have already stated they will only be regulating Title I, but will issue guidance and technical assistance as needed on the other parts.

Child Nutrition Reauthorization

The House Education and the Workforce Committee released a child nutrition bill, The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 (H.R. 5003), including a bill summary document that would significantly walk back some of the improvements made to the child nutrition programs, including making it harder for schools to qualify for the Community Eligibility Program, and would call for nutrition standards for sodium and whole grains to be less stringent. Unlike the Senate bill, which was the result of months of bipartisan compromise, the House bill only has Republican support and is opposed by many major education and child nutrition groups.

Perkins Career and Technical Education

One of the few education-related bills that might see movement in Congress this year is the reauthorization of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. NASSP sent a letter to Congress back in October outlining principals’ priorities as efforts to reauthorize move forward. The Fordham Institute also recently published a study outlining the benefits of CTE education in high school for improving student outcomes like graduation rates, adult income, and completion of post-graduate studies. NASSP is following Perkins closely and will keep you up to date on the School of Thought blog.

Twitter Talk

@drbelakor Tech companies and education groups urge full funding of #ESSA Title IVA block grant: http://bit.ly/1QyCXD3 #MoreTitleIV @NASSP
@akarhuse #ESSA allows states to reserve up to 3% of Title II $ for principal training & professional development. #PD4Principals #UWCollegeandCareer
@NASSP #ESSA provides an opportunity for states to ensure principals are well-prepared and profession-ready #nasspwebinar

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

Collaborations

In ESSA, a number of programs previously administered by ED were consolidated into a single block grant, and states were given control over that money within parameters. The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, found in Title IV, Part A, provide funding for a wide range of activities that fall into three buckets: well-rounded education, safe and healthy schools, or effective use of technology. NASSP is a member of the Title IV, Part A, coalition, which seeks to increase the overall funding for this block grant and funding for the critically important programs and services it supports.

Take Action

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is seeking input as it seeks to issue guidance to clarify parts of ESSA. Guidance provides clarification of the law and examples of best practices; unlike regulations, it is nonbinding. Of particular interest to principals: ED is looking for strategies to recruit, develop, and retain teachers and leaders, as discussed in Title II. The Department is accepting input until May 25 at ESSA.guidance@ed.gov. More information can be found on ED’s ESSA website.

In this Month’s
Principal Leadership

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The Advocacy Agenda column in the May issue of Principal Leadership magazine features an article by Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse on A–F school rating systems. The NASSP Board of Directors will vote to approve a position statement on the school rating systems this month. You can read the full statement on our website.

Advocacy Updates on School of Thought

On the blog this month is a post from Felix Yerace, a teacher and student council advisor who serves on the NASSP Student Leadership Advisory Committee. In his post, he talks about his time in Washington, D.C., and the importance of student voice in education reform. The student leadership committee is a new committee of NASSP, formed to advance student voice across our student programs and in our advocacy.

All FGN members are invited to write a guest blog post for School of Thought—just email Advocacy Coordinator Sophie Papavizas with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.

FGN News: April 2016

For the first time ever, this month NASSP brought student leaders to Capitol Hill to raise their own voices! The newly founded NASSP Student Leadership Advisory Committee held its first public event April 5 on Capitol Hill. Two student members, a teacher, and a principal were featured at the briefing titled “Technology in Schools: Student, Teacher, and Principal Perspectives.” Check out the Storify produced from the event, featuring many tweets and photos taken by committee members. Stay tuned to the School of Thought blog for more perspectives on the event from committee members.

This month we are also excited to announce that registration has opened for all members of the Federal Grassroots Network to attend the 2016 NASSP Advocacy Conference, June 20–22 in Washington D.C.! See more in the Take Action section to the right.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Implementation

The ESSA negotiated rulemaking committee began meeting this past month. Principals have three representatives on the committee as they tackle a variety of issues, including using nationally recognized tests in high school and testing for students with cognitive disabilities. Not everything has proved smooth sailing, as we have documented in our weekly Advocacy Update blog posts. There is a possibility that the committee will not come to consensus.

Meanwhile, the NASSP advocacy team hosted the first webinar in our series on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which covered the provisions in Title I. You can now view the archived webinar online. Our next webinar is on April 27 at 3:30 p.m. (ET) and will cover Title II provisions, including professional development for principals. Register today!

FY 2017 Appropriations

As the FY 2017 appropriations process gears up, NASSP has been actively advocating for principals and the schools they lead. NASSP, along with more than 150 national, state, and local organizations, sent a letter asking Congress to fund the School Leader Recruitment and Support program at the level requested by President Obama. NASSP has also been involved in advocating for robust funding for Title IV, Part A, of ESSA and has been meeting with congressional offices this week. In Title IV, Part A, the new education law created a formula-funded flexible block grant for local education agencies, which consolidated more than 20 programs from No Child Left Behind. The funding can be used for activities that promote safe and healthy schools, a well-rounded education, or effective use of technology. NASSP and several state and national organizations signed a letter calling for Congress to adequately fund this critical grant program.

Lifeline Program Update

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently voted to make the changes necessary to modernize and reform the Lifeline program, helping low-income consumers afford broadband Internet access in their homes. The Lifeline program began in 1985 and focused on telephone service, but today, Internet access is a necessity for American families. As part of the Education and Libraries Network Coalition (EdLiNC), NASSP submitted a letter to the FCC asking for modernization of the Lifeline program. Education groups and libraries recognize the need for Americans, and particularly students, to have Internet access in their homes to complete job searches, access information and services, and complete homework assignments. Low-income students’ lack of access to high-speed Internet is often referred to as the “homework gap.” NASSP has written previously about this topic on the School of Thought blog.

Twitter Talk

@drbelakor #NASSPStudentVoice Digital Citizenship MUST be taught. Both students & teachers must know-Anonymity does not really exist in cyberspace.
@akarhuse States should take advantage of the 3% reservation in Title II of #ESSA & provide more #PD4Principals! #NASSPStudentVoice #edtech
@NASSP Our Student Leadership Advisory Committee on Capitol Hill this morning! #NASSPStudentVoice

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

Collaborations

NASSP partnered with the Center for American Progress and other education organizations this week for the launch of the Testing Bill of Rights, which aligns with our recently approved position statement on opt-out policies. NASSP member Paul Fanuele, the principal of Arlington High School in Pleasant Valley, New York, spoke on the press call launching the initiative. As states develop new testing plans in accordance with ESSA, the Testing Bill of Rights can serve as a way to ensure tests are in service of instruction and not vice versa. To get more information or find resources on how states and districts can improve testing, visit www.testbetter.org and sign the Testing Bill of Rights to make testing better, fairer, and fewer.

Take Action

Bring your voice directly to Capitol Hill this June by joining us at the annual NASSP Advocacy Conference! All FGN members are invited to join principals from across the United States for networking, learning about education policy, and training to be an advocate, before a day of meetings with legislators on Capitol Hill. No experience with advocacy is necessary, and the NASSP staff will provide everything you need to be successful. Learn more and register today.

In this Month’s Principal Leadership

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The Advocacy Agenda column in the April issue of Principal Leadership magazine is authored by Jessica Rosenworcel, a commissioner at the FCC and a leading voice for the expansion of the E-Rate program. She discusses the significance of expanding broadband access in schools.

Advocacy Updates on School of Thought

This month on the School of Thought blog, we discuss a new bipartisan bill called the CTE Excellence and Equity Act, which seeks to support innovative approaches to CTE (career/technical education) and efforts to redesign high schools to be more integrated with their CTE curriculums. NASSP continues to follow the Perkins CTE Act on Capitol Hill, which has been overdue for reauthorization.

All FGN members are invited to write a guest blog post for School of Thought. Just email Advocacy Coordinator Sophie Papavizas with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.

FGN News: March 2016

NASSP staff has returned from Ignite ‘16 and is ready for a busy spring! Advocacy is in the trenches with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation and funding for principals in the next budget cycle. See more about our work below and learn how you can get involved right now. ESSA implementation will be an ongoing process with different opportunities for principal involvement. Keep reading the School of Thought blog and your NASSP emails to stay informed and find out when to take action to support principals and schools!

And don’t forget: The NASSP Board of Directors has stated its intent to adopt position statements on A-F School Grading Systems and Online Learning. Following a 30-day public comment period, the board will vote to approve the position statements at its next meeting in May. If you have any comments or suggestions, please submit them to Amanda Karhuse, director of advocacy, at karhusea@nassp.org by Thursday, March 24.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

ESSA Implementation

NASSP advocacy staff has been busy deciphering ESSA, the new federal education law, and working to make sure principals’ voices are heard at every step and level in the implementation process. One important step was working with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) to urge the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to issue guidance and technical assistance on Title II, which mainly covers professional development for school employees, including teachers and principals. In a major win for principals, ESSA allows states to reserve up to 3 percent of their Title II funds for statewide principal activities.

In the coming weeks, NASSP will begin hosting a webinar series on ESSA. The first webinar is Wednesday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m. (ET) and will discuss Title I provisions (register here). In the meantime, check out our presentation from the Ignite ‘16 session “Goodbye NCLB, Hello ESSA” for an overview of the new law and opportunities for principals to take action.

ED has also published an FAQ document on ESSA and more information on their ESSA webpage, including materials for the upcoming negotiated rulemaking for Title I.

FY 2017 Appropriations

President Obama released his budget request last month, kickstarting the budget and appropriations process for FY 2017. Associate Director of Advocacy David Chodak wrote an article for the School of Thought blog about the budget request’s impact on principals. Unusual this year is that the topline budget cap has already been negotiated between Republicans and Democrats in Congress as part of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015. NASSP and other leading principal organizations are advocating in Congress for the School Leader Recruitment and Support program, the only federal program completely dedicated to school leaders. Send a message to your Congressmen today asking for their support of this program.

National Assistant Principals Week

We’re celebrating the hard work of assistant principals during the week of April 11–15, and we need your help to properly thank them. To help promote the important role they play in our school communities, we’re looking for stories of around 200 words and photos of APs working in their school buildings. Please send any questions or contributions to Advocacy Coordinator Sophie Papavizas at papavizass@nassp.org. Make sure to include the assistant principal’s name, title, school, city, and state. We are also looking for a principal or two to draft a post for the School of Thought blog about a time when an assistant principal saved the day. Please reach out to David Chodak, associate director of advocacy, at chodakd@nassp.org if this is something you are interested in doing.

Twitter Talk

@jfcastro2 #ESSA allows states to reserve 3% of Title II $ for school leader activities; could include induction & mentoring for principals. #NTCPolicy
@dnchodak Happy Middle Level Education Month! Find resources to celebrate at your school here: http://bit.ly/1VkiQwN #MLEM16
@akarhuse Thanks @RepSusanDavis for encouraging guidance on recruiting & retaining principals in Title II of #ESSA: http://bit.ly/1VHjp3T #NASSP16

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

Collaborations

NASSP, along with other leading national education organizations of the State and Local ESSA Implementation Network, signed a letter sent to Acting Secretary of Education John King asking the U.S. Department of Education to honor the law’s intent to leave the decision making to state and local education agencies with support from the federal level. NASSP staff also attended the National Governors Association (NGA) winter meeting where Network representatives met with the governors who serve on the NGA Education and the Workforce Committee and discussed the possible creation of similar coalitions at the state level.

In this Month’s Principal Leadership

PL_Mar16_Cover

The March issue of Principal Leadership magazine features an article on ESSA titled “The Every Student Succeeds Act: What Principals Need to Know.” Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse offers detailed commentary on ESSA, highlighting the changes to the law that are particularly relevant for principals.

Advocacy Updates on School of Thought

This month on NASSP’s School of Thought blog, we have a post covering Acting Secretary John King’s appearances on the Hill to discuss the Department’s budget and the ESSA implementation process. We also have a blog post on the president’s FY 2017 budget request.

All FGN members are invited to write a guest blog post for School of Thought. Just email Advocacy Coordinator Sophie Papavizas with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.