November 2016 State Policy Recap
Ed Prep Matters is pleased to bring you this special feature on state policy and AACTE state chapter activity. For similar recap articles from earlier months, browse the “State Directions” section of the blog.
Overview of State Policy Activity
During November, many state legislatures continued preparing for the 2017 legislative sessions. Over the past month, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Texas, and Wyoming prefiled bills for 2017 – providing a general preview of legislators’ priorities. Some of the prefiled bills relate to adopting a performance funding system for institutions of higher education, modifying the governance structure of a state’s professional standards commission, requiring the collection of additional information on teachers and paraprofessionals for accountability purposes, and modifying eligibility criteria for a teacher loan program geared to address the teacher shortage.
A number of states also focused on regulations pertaining to educator preparation. Thirteen regulations were adopted in November in eight states – Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and Oregon. A common theme of these regulations was the modification of certification standards for certain subject areas that are considered high-need or a shortage area.
State Advocacy Activities
Recently, as part of the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, several states – Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma, and Washington – have released draft versions of their state consolidated plans. AACTE encourages you to submit feedback on your state’s consolidated plan or inquire about its status with your appropriate state education agency.
Your engagement in state advocacy activities is supported by a new report A New Philosophy on Education Decision-Making released by the Learning First Alliance, a coalition of national education groups that includes AACTE. The report and accompanying letter to the nation’s governors urge them to use their State of the State addresses to sustain stakeholder engagement “from all those with a stake in the educational outcomes of students – particularly those with the expertise needed to transform teaching and learning.” This message of stakeholder engagement is closely aligned with the Advisory Council of State Representatives’ State Policy Statements that recommend that teacher educators be at the table for all policy decisions impacting educator preparation.
Remember to consult the new AACTE Advocacy Center for resources to support your advocacy activities at both the federal and state level. If your institution or state chapter is participating in any type of advocacy activities or if AACTE can support your state advocacy work, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.