A November Roundup from ASCD’s Education Policy Pros

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Policy RoundupAs the school year marches on, the education policy front continues to evolve. ASCD’s policy team shares the latest policy news with you here on Inservice.

  • Join education policy guru Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute and author of ASCD’s Education Unbound at ASCD’s Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA). LILA is the premier forum for educators in a variety of roles to learn about federal education issues and advocate for policies that support successful learning and teaching. Hess will share his unfiltered perspective on school improvement, the Common Core State Standards, teacher leadership, educational technology, and more. Register online today.
  • New legislation introduced in both the House and Senate seeks to help states provide high-quality preschool to low- and moderate-income families. The bipartisan measure, which aligns with President Obama’s Preschool for All initiative, would also increase the quality of infant and toddler care in center-based and family child care settings and encourage continued support for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program.
  • ASCD’s latest Policy Priorities publication explores the many roles that the next generation of Common Core-aligned assessments are expected to fill and interviews educators about the effect the assessments will have in their schools and communities. Read the issue for more on the assessments’ costs, the technology infrastructure needed to administer them, and the varying local opinions throughout the country.
  • The scores from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card, show that the shares of students deemed proficient in reading and math have continued to increase. Yet there is still improvement to be made—42 percent of 4th grade students are proficient in math and 35 percent are proficient in reading; 36 percent of 8th graders are proficient in reading and math. The percentages of black and Hispanic students reaching proficiency are also increasing, but the gains have not been enough to close achievement gaps.
  • Federal, state, and local school funding continues to shrink, leaving schools and districts scrambling to find professional development dollars for teachers and school leaders. But, despite shrinking education budgets, funding resources do exist. The latest issue of ASCD Policy Points (PDF), “Funding Sources for Educator Professional Development,” highlights more than a dozen federal programs that school and district administrators can use to support educator professional development. The issue provides links and information on these available resources.

For more news and information on ASCD’s policy and advocacy activities, please visit www.ascd.org/public-policy.aspx.

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