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

PL_Mar16_Cover

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.