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LegCon Update to Board Colleagues

Always a challenge - and an opportunity! - to re-cap and synthesize a national conference, especially a legislative conference as dense as NASBE's, for BESE colleagues. Here goes. 

Take-aways from NASBE's 2017 Legislative Conference: Leading in a Time of Change

This was my second NASBE LegCon (and fifth NASBE conference overall) since my appointment to BESE. The focus: federal education issues affecting states, with ESSA taking center stage. Each session offered insight into emerging issues under ESSA and strategies to connect policy with practice while advancing equity and excellence in education in times of change. As always, it's most gratifying to connect and learn from other State Board Members: the change that's happening in education is creating unprecedented opportunity for State leadership to shape education policy.
Following an orientation session for new board members, Sunday's Quarterly Board of Director's Meeting (the Board is charged with setting al…

Protect federal online privacy rules

Cross-posting the latest from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), because it's the best round of posts on this issue, plus a CTA, HERE. Ars Technica has also been covering this well, HERE.

Senator Markey was harshly critical of the GOP proposal to roll back protections on broadband privacy. New York Times News Services covered it when the vote was taken last Thursday and Boston.com picked it up HERE; TruthDig reported out Saturday, HERE.

The vote passed straight down party lines, 50-48 (2 GOP/MoCs absent) on a CRA resolution to repeal the FCC's privacy rules and the resolution is in the House, awaiting a scheduled vote tomorrow - Tuesday, March 28.

If the proposal passes in the House it will dismantle our legal rights to privacy - rights we haven't had to think about for more than twenty years. Upshot? We're one vote away from a world where "your ISP can track your every move online and sell that information to the highest bidder".

Don't let Congres…

Hill Visits with Congresswoman Clark's + Senator Warren's Legislative Staff

At the end of NASBE's Legislative Policy Conference, Student Representative Nathan Moore and I visited with legislative staff in Congresswoman Katherine Clark's and Senator Elizabeth Warren's DC offices. We were pleased to share concerns about the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (CTE), E-rate + Lifeline Programs, and FY17 and FY18 Budgets.

Perkins CTE Recent studies have shown that CTE dual enrollment programming may be a particularly effective high school and college completion strategy. The House reauthorized CTE last year, following on a bill introduced by Congresswoman Katherine Clark and Congressman Glenn Thompson.
There's broad, bi-partisan support for career and technical education and House and Senate education committees are working again this year to update the law.Although it's not expected Congress will change the law significantly, the reauthorization process offers an opportunity to address key State Board recommendations for improving the qu…

NASBE: General Session with Congressman Todd Rokita

NASBE President/CEO, Kris Amundson, welcomes members. NASBE New Member Representative on the Board of Directors, Byron Ernest introduces his Congressman, Todd Rokita (R-IN). Congressman Rokita is the Vice Chair of the House Budget Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education. As a member of the US House of Representatives, he co-authored ESSA.

Congressman Rokita: thanks SBEs for their honest feedback on ESSA, shares thoughts on ESSA. Says, "accountability is a good thing; it's up to states to decide what that looks like". Explains some of the disagreements over accountability rulemaking under ESSA; US/ED still has rulemaking authority. Focus will shift to Higher Education Act next (HEA).

Amundson: Concerned that the new template has now "unwound" some of the intent of ESSA on stakeholder engagement - further than the law allows - we will have some more to say about this.

Rokita: Says he will support NASBE on th…