Each year NASBE gives new state board members the opportunity to gather with experienced board members and staff at the New State Board Member Institute. NASBE helps support these new members by covering the costs of two members from each state. Held every summer in Arlington, Virginia, the Institute is designed to equip new board members with skills, knowledge, and insider tips that will enable them to be more effective board members.
Always one of NASBE’s most popular conferences, the program includes case studies in policy development, “how to” sessions on dealing with the media and handling state board business; special current issues sessions; information on how NASBE can assist state boards and individual members; and many opportunities for questions and answers and group participation. This year’s conference will be at the Ritz Carlton in Arlington on July 25-27, 2014. Please contact Kristie Jones for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NASBE continues to be a leader in the education community because of its role in convening people and organizations to explore the national issues and problems facing our children. NASBE uses study groups, task forces, commissions and networks to investigate the issues and make reports and policy recommendations which are published by NASBE. Two study groups are meeting in 2014, focusing on rural education and student engagement.
The rural education study group focuses on learning about new trends in rural education in the U.S. and what best practices and models can be implemented at state level to make more children successful in rural areas. The problems of rural education persist; however aspects of the educational systems and polices have changed in the last 10 years making solutions today different than in the past. The Rural Education Study Group will examine these issues and connect them to state board policies, authorities and practices. To develop recommendations the study group will focus on several areas. The first focus area is partnerships, which covers the topics of how to connect rural communities to develop capacity building strategies by partnering and how to establish regional support centers to provide assistance to local schools. The second focus area is teacher recruitment, preparation and retention. State board members will use this study group opportunity to learn about current incentive policies for the recruitment, preparation and retention of qualified teachers specifically able to meet the needs of rural schools. The third focus area is the utilization of digital learning and technology within and across rural schools. The study group will better understand the aspects that make up rural education today for the purpose of making recommendations for state level polices and guidance.
The second study group for 2014 focuses on student engagement. Student engagement is one of the central issues behind student, teacher, school, and district wide success and failure: the concept relates directly to key outcomes including academic achievement, positive behavior and belonging, and other key measures related to college, career, and civic readiness. Given its’ importance, there is a need for boards to better understand the different dimensions of student engagement, their measures, and policies that can help promote student engagement. For example, while there are areas of overlap, emotional engagement is different from cognitive engagement—different measures and response strategies are associated with each. The student engagement study group will explore these and other issues and work to address policies that create more engaging educational experiences that can ensure every student is prepared with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college, career, and civic life.
In March 2014, the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) held our annual Legislative Conference. Conference participants had the opportunity to engage a full roster of illustrious speakers, including Keynote Speaker Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenwarcel. Topics addressed at the conference included strengthening special education, delivering broadband to schools, early learning, student data privacy, digital learning, and establishing positive conditions for learning. Check out the highlights from some of the sessions here. Participants also scheduled “Hill visits” to meet personally with their Congressional delegation to discuss state-specific education issues.
NASBE’s Annual Conference focuses sessions on the latest thinking across a wide range of education topics, on the professional development of board members and on the formulation of state education policy. The Annual Conference brings the challenges of shaping the future of education to board members through a multitude of means, including small group discussions, live and video presentations, seminars, and large group interactions. Held every October, the Annual Conference also features the release of important reports, presentation of awards (including Policy Leader of the Year, Friend of Education, and the Distinguished Service Awards), the annual business meeting which includes the election for President-elect, and ample opportunity to meet with colleagues in both formal and informal settings. 2014’s conference will be held October 16-18 in Westminster, Colorado. Please contact Kristie Jones for more information at email@example.com.
NASBE is using technology to bring state board members together through webinars, conference calls, and social media. Recent webinars have included The Role of State Boards in Advancing Deeper Learning, PARCC and SmarterBalanced Field Tests webinars, Keys to Understanding State Level School Health Policies, and Next Generation Science Standards and Professional Development. Webinars are held throughout the year by various NASBE projects and as part of the work of our study groups. See our upcoming webinars here or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.