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Policy Analyst at Education Commission of the States | arafa@ecs.org

As a policy analyst, Alyssa focuses on various policy topics, including school climate and discipline, accountability and school improvement, and student health. Prior to joining Education Commission of the States, Alyssa earned a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Denver and worked in public health policy. When Alyssa is not researching education policy trends, she can be found traveling, visiting her family or enjoying the Colorado mountains.

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How Did State Policies Change Under Former Federal Guidance on School Discipline?

After much speculation, the U.S. Department of Education officially rescinded Obama-era guidance on school discipline in December. Prior to...

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Suicide Prevention in Schools: What Are States Doing to Prevent Youth Suicide?

Too often, we hear stories of young people taking their own lives and we find ourselves asking what could have been done to prevent these...

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2 Chiefs on What It Takes to Improve Schools

Since the Every Student Succeeds Act passed in December 2015, we have been convening national experts and education policy leaders to...

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How Is the Opioid Epidemic Affecting Schools and Students?

The opioid crisis facing our nation is both significant and complex. In 2016 alone, approximately 11.5 million Americans misused...

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Understanding the Nuances of the School Discipline Debate

There is a heated debate going on about school discipline reform around the country, and lines of argument generally fall into one of two...

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How Are States Shifting School Discipline Policies?

It is perhaps an understatement to say that school discipline is a hot topic these days. State policymakers, educators and parents across...

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Want to Improve Student Success? Prioritize Movement!

In 1983, the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition designated May as National Physical Fitness and Sports month to draw...

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Not Just School Lunch – Federal Initiatives to Improve Student Nutrition

Learning does not occur in a vacuum. Most, if not all, students carry outside influences with them when they come to school. For students...

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State of the States: A look back

Education Commission of the States has tracked governor’s State of the State addresses for more than a decade, highlighting education...

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