Highlights of the NASBE Board of Directors virtual meeting 1.1*

With Washington DC and the Mid-Atlantic bracing for an epic snowstorm, NASBE's first Board meeting of 2016 took place virtually, in lieu of the scheduled F2F meeting in Alexandria VA. This was my first meeting as newly elected Northeast Area Director (January 2016-December 2018). Taking the helm as NASBE's new President was Jim McNiece of Kansas City KS. Jim called the meeting to order at 11:00 AM. With a quorum present, Minutes and Agenda were quickly approved.

I. The Government Affairs Committee update was presented by Reg Leichty, Founding Partner at Foresight Law + Policy in Washington DC:
  • Relevant issues before Congress, including:
    • Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA);
    • Targeted changes to Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) - to align standards more closely with HEA;
  • Regulations for Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by the US Dept of Ed, which are due 12 months from now before a new administration takes office next January. NASBE is asking for clarity on process, guidance, and timeline.
  • Major breakthrough: This week, the new Child Nutrition Act passed with bi-partisan support by the US Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee .

II. Executive Director Kris Amundson updated: programs & member services, personnel, budget, membership, 2016 Legislative Conference, and publications & webinars. With respect to programs & member services:

  • With passage of ESSA, NASBE's 2016 work plan is very clearly to help state boards of education (SBEs) implement the law successfully.
  • Briefings are planned for SBEs in several states and districts.
  • To assist members with ESSA implementation, NASBE is planning at least one ESSA-themed webinar every month, covering both obstacles and opportunities for states under the new law, and as rulemaking becomes public, will dive deeper on the issues and specifics, as needed.
  • Staff has identified several key areas to drill into to present via Policy Update or webinar:
    • Designing an Accountability System
    • Assessment
    • Low Performing Schools
    • Teacher Evaluation

In this way, SBEs can plan for how they might wish to address topics most efficiently, according to their agenda/meeting schedules. NASBE will focus its guidance to address items that are needed: fairly quickly, during the 16-17 school year ("soft launch"), and in the 17-18 school year (full implementation).

With respect to the 2016 Legislative Conference (LegCon):

  • April 3-5 in Washington DC.
  • Because today's meeting had to be reconsidered as a virtual meeting, several items will be taken up during LegCon (more on that to come).
  • LegCon theme: "Now What - State Policy Under the Every Student Succeeds Act".

III. "Old Business": Jim and President-elect Jay Barth talked about realizing the goal of hosting at least two Regional Conference each year. Plans are already underway for a Southern Area Conference, perhaps as early as this spring in Jay's hometown of Little Rock AR. Further off on the horizon may be a Northeast Area Conference. (Stay tuned).

IV. "New Business": the Board voted to approve a resolution to honor Roseann Bentley. Roseann served on the Springfield (MO) School Board (1974-1983), Missouri State Board of Education (1983-1992), and as President of NASBE (1988-89). She was the first woman elected to the Missouri State Senate (1994-2002). Roseann is being honored in her hometown of Springfield by having a building named for her. This resolution expresses the Board's congratulations.

The meeting adjourned at 12:30 PM.

* This blog post (and future blog posts about NASBE Board meetings) is not an official NASBE record, but is intended as a relevant document to which members and the public may refer. ~ mas