While many people are focused on the fact that 2020 is a presidential election year, it is important to note that much is happening at the state level. There are 11 gubernatorial races, all but 6 states have legislative elections, and there are many other measures that might require your vote. Where do you gather objective, non-partisan information about what will be on your ballot? Consider Ballotpedia, a digital encyclopedia of American politics. It is run by a nonprofit that is dedicated to compiling thorough, non-partisan information regarding state by state election/ballot activity in the United States.
Ballotpedia gathers information to support you in engaging in your democracy including:
- Databases of all upcoming elections, searchable by street address
- Dates for all elections and candidates, including off-year and special elections
- Times for Poll Openings and Closings organized by state
- Bios and contact information for all elected officials by district, down to the judicial and school board level, searchable by zip-code
- Databases of all upcoming state ballot measures, searchable by zip-code
- Fact-Checking of political reporting regarding issues under deep debate in your state
The subject of this month’s State of the States webinar is Girls and STEM. In 2009, four university researchers explored their suspicion that girls’ lagging behind boys in math achievement was substantially influenced by the math anxieties of their female elementary school teachers. The result of their research showed their suspicions to be correct and that some of the achievement gap was indeed a result of female teachers’ own apprehensions about math and their personal biases about the abilities of female students. The researchers found that female students can pick up on and even absorb negative thoughts from their teachers as early as kindergarten. Learn more.
Since that study was conducted, the achievement gap in math between boys and girls has narrowed, but still persists. The webinar will focus on what states are doing legislatively, with programs and with policy to eradicate the STEM achievement gap.
Register now for this members-only webinar:
State of the States: Girls and Stem
Wednesday, January 22
10:00 a.m. ET
Since 2013, over 130 new student privacy laws have passed in 41 states, with more bills and regulations being rolled out each year that include many new requirements for educators and administrators to implement. Some state laws include the threat of jail or large fines when school staff even unintentionally violate student privacy. Unfortunately, few states have received funding or support in implementing these new laws.
This massive shift in the legal landscape makes it hard for schools and districts to keep up. This isn’t only a legal problem. As technology changes and the amount of information schools collect and maintain increases, ensuring that new educators and administrators come into their schools with the skills needed to adequately protect student privacy in their day-to-day work is extremely challenging.
This article originally appeared in the Chatanoogan.com and is reprinted with permission.
As educators, we are concerned about the quality and quantity of applicants entering the field of education. Our members have often been catalysts for innovative solutions to the many challenges facing education. This is why we take an interest in the next generation of educators and why we strive to improve their experience and support as they transition from teacher candidate to classroom teacher.
In 1986, education school deans from the top universities developed a critical report that attributed much of the blame for struggling public schools on the training teachers were receiving in college.
Research reminds us that although we spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours on teacher preparation courses, we do not have much evidence justifying some of those requirements in Colleges of Education. Nor do policymakers really know how to measure and define a successful teacher training program.
This article, written by AACTE Director of Government Relations K. Ward Cummings, originally appeared in the Daily News Opinion section and is reprinted with permission.
The civil rights leader Malcolm X once famously said that the most segregated hour in American life is high noon on Sunday. If he were alive today, he might also include those weekday hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. when our children are in school.
This past May was the 65th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education. The occasion inspired numerous panel discussions, seminars and reports about how much or how little the state of education has changed in the last half-century. Sadly, considerable attention also was paid to the subject of how segregated American schools remain 65 years later.
This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide update information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Funding Bills Move in the Senate, but Not for Education
November 21, less than a month away, is the date the government runs out of money. The ball is in the Senate court, as they have yet to pass any appropriations bills on the floor. Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) has teed up passage of the first package of funding bills, which Democrats have said they will support. But that package does not include education spending, which is in the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill.
Around the country, regulators and legislators are demonstrating that they understand the urgent need to promote school safety. The 2019 state legislative session was an active one on the subject. Hundreds of bills were introduced covering every aspect of the matter from prevention to response. Join me as I present a wide-ranging overview and analysis of some of the most noteworthy school safety bills introduced over the year, with a particular focus on legislation impacting student and teacher mental health, in an upcoming State of the States webinar.
We encourage you to register in advance for the member-exclusive State of the States webinar, which will take place Thursday, October 31 from 11 a.m. to noon ET.
There will be time at the end of the webinar for questions and answers. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the website for future viewing.
For questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to learn more about the resources AACTE has pulled together to support its members in their state level legislative research? AACTE Government Relations Committee member Allen Clarkson will host a webinar describing the features of AACTE’s new state legislative resource page on Thursday, October 3, from 11am to Noon EDT.
Attend this webinar to learn how to use the three legislative search engines and other resources found on this new page to pursue your legislative research and advocacy goals. There will be time at the end of the webinar to get your questions answered. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the website as well.
Register now for the Introducing AACTE’s New Legislative Resource Webpage webinar.
In recent years, the Minnesota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) has been working to engage our members throughout the legislative process so that our ideas, issues, and knowledge can help inform the development and enactment of policies in the state. Whenever possible, we tap their expertise in shaping legislative priorities; responding to legislative, agency, and executive branch requests; attending and, when possible, testifying at legislative hearings; collaborating with other educational organizations on issues of mutual interest and concern; and interacting directly with legislators and their staff.
As states work to allocate funding for school districts, they must take into account the various needs and populations of the students they serve. The Education Commission of the States (ECS) has developed a resource, “50-State Comparison: K-12 Funding” that helps clarify and compare each state’s school funding mechanisms, organized by method and category.
Visit the ECS webpage to review data describing the funding mechanisms of the states as well as the specific funding allocations for a list of funding priorities, including special education, English language learning and at-risk and low-income students.
As elementary and secondary teachers head back into their classrooms, conversations on teacher shortages, teacher salaries, and teacher strikes continue. Having an understanding of how your state funds its K-12 schools can help you support the schools in which your graduates will teach and engage in democracy on this critical issue.