As we inch closer to the official half-way mark of 2017, advocates are wrapping up legislative sessions and looking ahead to implementation of hard-fought policies.
Advocates sharpen their strategy through experience, and as leaders debrief wins and losses so far, lessons learned in one state can lighten the lift for reformers in other states.
Here’s a collection of our most popular blogs and resources from 2017 so far, designed to help advocates as they start the long runway to next year’s legislative sessions and beyond.
ESSA accountability regulations were overturned. What now? We know reform advocates will continue their work to support ESSA engagement and implementation at the state level. At the same time, a complicated landscape just became even more murky for those on the front lines.
To help navigate through the complexities, we’re tapping the expertise of PIE Network federal-facing partners. We presented a scenario:
Imagine you are talking with an advocate focused on ensuring their state accountability structure is as strong as possible.
This leader is facing limited time and resources, and asks, “What is the one way you’d recommend we leverage the law, or one specific part of the law that provides the most opportunity?”
Signs of Teacher Appreciation Week can be found in teacher lounges across the country as well as peppered throughout your social media feed. While timely public and virtual gestures are important, often the most enduring actions to honor and support educators happen quietly in a conference room at a district office, at an evening teacher action team meeting, and in a teacher’s visit to her state legislator’s office.
In this post, advocates leading work on strengthening educator policy and amplifying educator voice share how their peers and policymakers can act to appreciate and partner with educators throughout their careers.
The organizations that work regularly together through the PIE Network are united by shared beliefs about the power of public education and how to improve it, including strong commitments to accountability, educator excellence, and quality charter schools. However, we’re far from like-minded on every issue; in fact, regular and respectful discussion of tough issues that span the ideological spectrum is one of the great strengths of the Network.
Sustaining Network connections across so many organizations and states requires shared goals
And it also means knowing where advocates agree to disagree, yet remain connected to work together where interests align.
Each year, state-level advocates make strategic decisions about what they plan to accomplish in the upcoming year. Based on conversations with our members, top areas of focus this year are accountability and transparency, charters and choice, teacher policy, and school finance. Below are more details about the trends and issues rising to the top of state level reformers’ agendas in 2017.
As the reform movement grows, there’s often more than one organization in most states advancing reform in their state capitol. That’s a positive trend:
The line at the microphone lobbying against the status quo is even longer.
Because that’s true, most advocates find themselves working in coalitions, or in partnership with other organizations, to advance shared goals. At the same time, working in coalition is fraught with occasion for fumbles and missteps, giving partners abundant opportunity to secure relationships with humble amends and gracious acknowledgement that even best of intentions can easily go awry.
The desire for more transparency at the school level is a major theme of the Every Student Succeeds Act, including the financial transparency requirement which will have a more direct impact on schools. For the first time ever, the law requires states to “include actual per-pupil spending by school on state, district, and school report cards.
While many organizations have issued recommendations and models on the design of state accountability systems under ESSA, fewer resources on the funding transparency requirement of ESSA are available. Here are six member-recommended resources for advocates who are working to increase funding transparency at the school level.
For more information about who else is working on a specific issue, check out the results from our 2017 Priority Survey or the Policy Map. If you would like to showcase a big win or campaign in your state, please reach out.