Knowledge and Strategies to Address the Top Education Policy Issues in Your State

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    We’re less than two months away from the National Forum on Education Policy — (have you registered?) — and I want to share a little bit about what you can expect from the content this year.

    To provide you with the most relevant information and practical opportunities for discussion, we crafted sessions and invited speakers that can inform and provide additional context around the trending topics we identified in education policy earlier this year. Here’s a sample of what you can expect during the National Forum on Education Policy July 10-12:

    Early childhood education. Along with a plenary discussion on early childhood policies from a governor’s perspective, we planned a Concurrent Session focused on how states and districts are using a P-3 approach to address coordination and support along the early learning continuum and a State Spotlight session featuring Arizona’s approach to developing and implementing policy targeted at increasing third-grade reading proficiency.

    K-12 funding. We scheduled a Workshop, the longest of our breakout session formats (90 minutes), where you can join small discussion groups to share challenges and solutions for confronting education finance issues, and a Concurrent Session that looks at how states are dealing with new financial transparency requirements under ESSA. Additionally, two State Spotlights showcase work in states: One captures Idaho’s three-year process to develop a new K-12 school funding formula, and another features Colorado’s implementation of a new law that requires school districts to divvy up local tax revenue to charter schools.

    School climate and culture. We have a State Spotlight that is of interest, featuring Maryland’s implementation of alternative school discipline strategies, in addition to two Concurrent Sessions: One explores the factors of school quality that can positively impact student learning, and another explores new state policy approaches that blend the lines between social services and education.

    Teacher pay and career ladders. An issue that is top-of-mind for many of you, based on the number of State Information Requests we’ve received! We have a couple of options for you to engage and learn more: A State Spotlight looks at a pilot program for micro-credentialing teachers in Tennessee; a Workshop digs into teacher licensure systems that support development, advancement and retention among educators; and a Concurrent Session looks at how states across the country are elevating the teaching profession in a time of strikes and walkouts.

    Career and technical education. There’s been a lot of attention on CTE since the Perkins reauthorization last year, and a Concurrent Session explores how these programs can enhance the value of a high school diploma.

    College affordability. In Minnesota, leaders have been working on writing policy that defines what affordability means and how it can be measured. Hear more from them in a State Spotlight.

    Workforce readiness. Join a Workshop to develop strategies for growing the STEM workforce in your state. And visit one of two State Spotlights: One featuring Missouri’s efforts to align state agencies in postsecondary education and workforce development, and another highlights South Carolina’s exemplary apprenticeship programs.

    Data use and governance. We offer sessions that touch on these issues from early learning through workforce development, including a Concurrent Session that reviews education governance across the P-20 spectrum and how it impacts policymaking.

    But that’s not all, of course.

    The National Forum on Education Policy also has sessions on individualized learning, school choice, developmental education, STEAM education, high-school-to-college transitions, recent education litigation and more. (Full agenda here.) This is truly your convening — your chance to get together with 600 of your colleagues and friends from across the states and sectors to learn from best practices, strategize as we confront new challenges and connect to continue these shared experiences throughout the rest of the year.

    We look forward to seeing you in Denver! Register soon (especially if you’re hoping to stay in the conference hotel)!

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    President at Education Commission of the States | janderson@ecs.org

    As the eighth president of Education Commission of the States, Jeremy leads a team of more than 55 education policy experts that serve policymakers in all 50 states through research, reports, convenings and counsel. Prior, Jeremy served many elected officials in Congress, governors' offices and state legislatures across the country. When he is not racing from airport to airport to serve state education policymakers, Jeremy enjoys running, mountain biking, skiing and time with his wife, son and two daughters. Jeremy truly believes that the best education policy happens when policymakers are able to learn from each other.

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