NSBA joins 8 national groups in call to action to make our schools’ values known

NSBA joins 8 national groups in call to action to make our schools’ values known

All students deserve a high-quality education and a learning environment that is safe and supportive. NSBA and school board members across the country are committed to ensuring this is the case in public schools in every town and community.

In light of the recent increase of bias incidents and violence in schools, NSBA joined with eight other leading education organizations in a call to action to affirm this important principle and to support the work school board members do every day to ensure that all children are safe and treated equally.

A National Call to Action to Make Our Schools’ Values Known

We come together as national education organizations in the wake of the troubling rash of reports of bias incidents and violence occurring in schools across the nation in recent days.

As learning communities, schools and school systems are responsible for providing all students with a physically and emotionally safe learning environment. This principle is the foundation of academic achievement, healthy individual development, and civic engagement. Violence, intimidation, and purposefully harmful expressions of bias undercut the core mission of schools and have no place in our school communities. We applaud the many schools and school districts that have already taken meaningful steps to develop and support positive school climate in their communities.

At a time when specific groups of students are being targeted, we must ensure that those students specifically know that their schools welcome them and that they will be safe. We urge all education stakeholders, including district leaders, heads of schools, principals, teachers, parents and guardians, and other educators to take action immediately within their school communities to support all students, especially those who face bias incidents in their schools. These actions should specifically affirm the right of all students, regardless of race, color, national origin, immigration status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or religion to be educated in an environment free from fear, violence, and intimidation.

We call upon our constituents and all education leaders to:

  • Publicly reaffirm the inclusive values that are the foundation of healthy learning cultures,
  • Lead a conversation with their school community on the core values of respect and inclusion at the heart of all learning; and
  • Consider posting a statement regarding these core values throughout their schools and/or all the schools within their district.

AASA: The School Superintendents Association
American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP)
National School Boards Association (NSBA)
National PTA

– See more at: https://www.nsba.org/newsroom/nsba-joins-8-national-groups-call-action-make-our-schools-values-known#sthash.OvWTzZOU.dpuf

NSBA issues comments on U.S. Dept. of Ed Proposed SNS rule

NSBA issues comments on U.S. Dept. of Ed Proposed SNS rule

On November 2, 2016, the National School Boards Association submitted public comment in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) implementing provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) relating to the Title I fiscal compliance test, supplement not supplant. NSBA members believe that  “public schools should provide equitable access and ensure that all students have the knowledge and skills to succeed as contributing members of a rapidly changing, global society, regardless of factors such as race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, English proficiency, immigration status, socioeconomic status, or disability.”  With these equity goals in mind, and on behalf of its membership, NSBA expressed several concerns with the proposed regulation, including that provisions of the rule conflict with ESSA in a way that undermines local governance.  The full text of NSBA’s public comment can be accessed below.

– See more at: http://www.nsba.org/nsba-comments-us-dept-education-supplement-not-supplant-proposed-rule#sthash.PPBuY8A0.dpuf

PDK poll finds Americans continue trend, giving their local schools good marks

PDK poll finds Americans continue trend, giving their local schools good marks

-Joshua P. Starr, CEO of PDK

Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) released its 48th Annual poll results on the public’s views toward the nation’s public schools. And while the American public does not agree on a single purpose for public education according to Joshua P. Starr, the chief executive officer of PDK International, it is continuing its decades long trend and giving good marks to its local schools. Forty-eight percent of the public gave their own local schools a grade of “A” or “B.”

Where the public disagrees is in what they view as the main focus of public education. PDK found 45 percent of respondents believe the goal should be preparing students academically, and 51 percent said that the focus should be either on preparing students for work (25 percent) or preparing them to be good citizens (26 percent).  Given a choice, 68 percent of poll respondents said having their local public schools focus more on career technical or skills-based classes is better than focusing on more honors or advanced classes.

“There’s a real question today about education’s return on investment.” Starr notes in the report. “While we know that a college degree is essential in today’s economy, parents and the public want to see a clearer connection between the public school system and the world of work. According to Starr, preparing students academically, for work, and for good citizenship don’t need to be mutually exclusive with the right curriculum and pedagogy.

Not a surprise, PDK found communication to be key for parents who give A’s and B’s to their local schools, reporting that their schools communicate more effectively with them, give them frequent opportunities to visit and offer input, and are interested in what they have to say.

When it comes to failing schools, the poll found the public prefers keeping them open and trying to improve them rather than simply closing them down, 84 percent vs. 14 percent respectively. On the question of whether schools should use more traditional teaching and less technology, respondents split evenly 43 percent to 43 percent.

For more findings and information on PDK’s methodology, visit www.pdkpoll.org

U.S. Dept. of Education collecting input on regional educational needs

U.S. Dept. of Education collecting input on regional educational needs

Between now and August 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education is collecting input on the educational and technical assistance needs of states and school districts. The input the Department receives is intended to inform priorities for the next grant cycle of Regional Educational Laboratories as part of the Comprehensive Centers program; the program that provides technical assistance to state education agencies.

Who is the Department looking to collect input from? Students, parents, teachers, principals and school administrators, superintendents, school board members, state and local education agency staff, and all others who are interested in affecting the future of public education and learning opportunities in their community, state, or region.

To provide input, just go to the Regional Advisory Committee portal before August 18th and respond to the 5-question Needs Sensing Survey.

The short survey asks that you indicate your state; primary role (student, parent, teacher, etc.); highest priorities for education in your region (choice of items); top three educational needs in your region (fill-ins); and your recommendations for how the Comprehensive Assistance Centers can address the educational needs you indicated.

If your primary role category isn’t listed in Question #2, we recommend using the “Other” option to identify yourself. For example, to identify yourself as a local school board member in Question #2, use the “Other” option and write in school board member.

NSBA’s Legislative Priorities for the implementation of the new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, are available for reference as you complete your survey, in addition to a handout specifically for school board members.

More information about the Comprehensive Centers Program and the Centers’ current priorities, is available on the Department’s website.

National education groups draft guidelines on stakeholder engagement in ESSA

National education groups draft guidelines on stakeholder engagement in ESSA

The Learning First Alliance (LFA) a partnership of leading education organizations with more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America’s public schools recently released principles to guide stakeholder engagement under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

ESSA recognizes the expertise that educators can bring to the policymaking process and calls for collaboration by practitioners and policymakers but it gives few details on how those groups should work together. To facilitate that process, LFA proposes principles to guide stakeholder engagement.  The principles are available on LFA’s webpage and more information is available in LFA’s press release.

In addition to NSBA, LFA members include: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; AASA:The School Superintendents Association; American Federation of Teachers; American School Counselor Association; Consortium for School Networking; International Society for Technology in Education; Learning Forward; National Association of Elementary School Principals; National Association of Secondary School Principals; National Education, Association; National PTA; National School Public Relations Association; and Phi Delta Kappa International.

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