NASBE Update

The Chair asked that I provide an update to the Board about the NASBE Annual Conference at our meeting yesterday. Here's what I provided:

Delegates Assembly:

  • Three Proposed Bylaws Changes were approved:
    • Article X, Section 4, Public Education Positions Committee be amended to model the Government Affairs Committee membership, and thus be open to any member who wishes to serve and has their board approval. Additionally, that this section also be amended to permit a board to appoint a NCOSEA and NCSBEE representative to serve on this committee if no board member is available to serve, with the proviso that membership on this committee is limited to one person per state. These proposed revisions were requested by the current chair of this committee.
    • Article X, Section 6, Governmental Affairs Committee be amended to permit a board to appoint a NCOSEA and NCSBEE representative to serve on this committee if no board member is available to serve. This proposed revision expands the pool of available membership and allows interested states an opportunity to have representation if no board member is available. This proposal has been discussed with the chair of this committee and has his approval.
    • That the titles of the President and President-elect of the Board be changed to Chair and Chair-elect, and that the title of the Executive Director be changed to President (an amendment changed this to "President/CEO" and was adopted by the Delegate Assembly). This proposal was recommended so that NASBE's nomenclature for these positions reflects that which is generally used in the business world, and is regarded as a change that will facilitate better communication with NASBE's business partners.
  • Elections
    • NASBE Chair-electJohn Kelly, Member, Mississippi State Board of Education, was elected as the next Chair-elect of NASBE; his Term begins January 1, 2017. Jay Barth, Vice Chair, Arkansas State Board of Education, will assume position of Chair of NASBE when current Chair, Jim McNiece, Chair, Kansas State Board of Education, completes his term.
    • Northeast Area Representative: Martha Harris, Chair, Maine State Board of Education, was elected to a two-year term on NASBE's Board of Directors as the second of two Northeast Area Reps. Allan Taylor, Chair, Connecticut State Board of Education and former NASBE President (Chair), completes his two years on the NASBE Board as Northeast Area Rep; yours truly continues in this capacity for one more year.
Take-Aways from #NASBE16
  1. NASBE President/CEO Kris Amundson captured passage of ESSA in a quote from Spiderman: "With great power comes great responsibility". Now, she's quoting from the musical Hamilton: "Winning was easy, governing is harder". Point being, with the devolution of power having moved to States, we are living in the midst of the biggest shift in educational transformation in decades. State Boards of Education (SBEs) need to decide if we will manage the change or lead the change. I hope we choose to lead. (I was please to see DESE has announced the dates for "ESSA Community Forums" across Massachusetts, copy of flier at right).
  2. The mission of State Boards of Education is expanding within the context of complex diversities not limited to race. Kids need to be awash in language. There are opportunities within ESSA for improvements in early childhood and more.
  3. States are structured very differently with regard to their governance, but all confront similar education issues: equity, privacy, student health, culture & climate, etc. NASBE is the connective tissue.
  4. Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock 9, and Manny Scott, an original Freedom Writer featured in 2007 film of same name, remind us of the importance of keeping the question, "What is good for kids?" as our North Star.
  5. David Von Drehle, an Editor-at-large at Time magazine, addressed aspects of the upcoming national election. One of his themes addressed the impact of social media (in the presidential campaign and in congress) and how easy it is to organize around "no". It's the SBE's job to "get to yes" and model continuous improvement and public service for the right reasons.
  6. NASBE is doing remarkable work, showcased by this conference. Like our own DESE, several retiring grants led to a reduction in budget and a reorganization in staff. NASBE's websitepublications and member services illustrate key priorities.
  7. This is the second annual conference I've attended. While it's an honor to represent Massachusetts and the Northeast Area States on the NASBE Board, conferences like this make it a challenge for one person to attend all of the interesting sessions. I hope colleagues will consider the possibility of attending in the future.
  8. NASBE's mobile conference app kept me organized and many session materials are now loaded onto it.
  9. ESSA Stakeholder Engagement Regional Meetings locations and dates were announced. These meetings are an opportunity for State Teams (Board members, Legislative Committee members, DESE & EOE staffs) to meet regionally to discuss: 
    • Sustaining Engagement: How do we keep the conversation going through ESSA plan implementation?
    • Fidelity to Equity: How can stakeholder engagement ensure fidelity to equity in ESSA plan implementation?
    • Goals:
      • Build long-term action plans to sustain engagement through ESSA implementation
      • Explore promising practices around meaningful & authentic engagement
      • Brainstorm ways to track and measure the success of engageent work
      • Explore resources from national partners Opportunities for state teams (Board members, Legislative Committee members, DESE and EOE staffs) to meet regionally and share ESSA experiences and best practices were announced:
    • Washington DC: December 6, 2016: 9:30 AM-4:30 PM
    • Atlanta, GA: January 17, 2017: 9:30 AM-4:30 PM
    • Denver, CO: February 2, 2017: 9:30 AM-4:30 PM
 10. Other NASBE dates announced:
    • New Member Institute, Arlington Virginia, June 8-10, 2017, for new SBE members in their first 18 months of service.
    • Legislative Conference, Washington, DC: March 19-21, 2017.
    • Annual Conference 2017, Atlanta GA, October 31-November 4, 2017.