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Current Projects

Blended Learning

NASBE and Hume Foundation Partner on Blended Learning Policy Development

Arlington, VA – The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is leading a one-year initiative to help state board of education members nationwide better understand the concepts and policymaking associated with blended learning. The work is supported with a grant from the Jaquelin Hume Foundation.

When computers were first introduced into classrooms, it was done with little more intent than to make sure they were there, perhaps utilized on occasion for educational purposes. Today, students use everything from desktop computers to handheld devices in classrooms, but developing policies that strike a balance between in-person instruction by educators and virtual learning is still a work in progress.

The initiative includes creating a resource hub on the NASBE web site for state board members and others in the education community, multiple electronic and print publications-including a discussion guide to aid state boards as they deliberate policy changes, and a live session about policy and blended learning at NASBE’s 2014 annual conference.

NASBE Resources

NEW! Blended Learning: Bringing Personalized Learning to Scale (NASBE Discussion Guide, July 2014) explains the various elements of blended learning — what it is, and what it is not — and outlines specific of action steps policymakers can take to advance blended learning policies in their states. The guide is structured to facilitate discussion and decision-making around state policymaking.

NEW! Blended Learning in the Classroom (NASBE From Practice to Policy, July 2014) provide a first-hand look at how blended learning is being implemented in a small, urban school District outside of New York City classroom, with lessons-learned.

NEW! Rhode Island’s Blended Approach to Blended Learning (NASBE State Innovations, July 2014) explores how Rhode Island’s State Board of Education, in partnership with the state department of education, has implemented blended learning statewide. It is perhaps the only state in the nation to be “fully blended.”

Blended Learning Presentations from NASBE’s 2013 Annual Conference by Hall Davidson, Sarah Hall, and Evan Marwell are available for download.

A full podcast of the conference session on blended learning may be heard here.

Upgrading the Internet Infrastructure of America’s Schools (NASBE Commentary) Evan Marwell, founder and CEO of the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, explains the crucial role of bandwidth in successfully implementing blended learning and other digital education initiatives, and offers state boards of education recommendations for how they can ensure their state’s schools are ready for digital learning.

Online Learning: New Policies Needed for New Educational Environments (NASBE Policy Update) calls attention to six new policy issues education leaders need to consider as they develop comprehensive plans for digital learning in their states.

Born in Another Time: Ensuring Educational Technology Meets the Needs of Students Today – and Tomorrow This report from NASBE’s Study Group on the Role of Technology in Schools and Communities focuses on three major areas of concern around schools and technology: 1) addressing the voice and needs of  today’s students; 2) ensuring educators can use technology in meeting the needs of today’s students; and 3) educational technology infrastructure—preparing for the technology of the future. The Study Group’s recommendations for state policymakers are included. (Executive Summary)

No Time to Wait: Creating Contemporary School Structures for All Students Today and Tomorrow The report from NASBE’s Study Group on “The Structure of Schools: Time and Technology in 21st Century Learning” concludes that, among other recommendations, education systems must 1) eliminate barriers for student learning based on the agrarian calendar, seat time, and fixed physical boundaries; 2) create an environment that actively promotes and supports innovation within and beyond the school walls (e.g., in the school community, students’ homes, and school building); and 3) Allow technology to facilitate student learning that transcends the traditional building and school day.

Other Resources

Organizations

The Learning Accelerator is a nonprofit whose mission is to accelerate the implementation of high-quality blended learning in school districts across America. The organization is partnering with a select group of innovative school districts and assisting them with a full implementation of blended learning in their schools. Over time, these implementation strategies will be refined and scaled and made available to school districts nationwide.

International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. It focuses on research; developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access; developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education; and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, district and state leaders for new learning models.

The Khan Academy provides a variety of online tutorials and support for teachers, parents, students, and others looking to master academic content. Learners are provided instantaneous feedback, progress is monitored through a rich data system, and learners receive badges that highlight their understanding of topic areas.

Project 24, an initiative of the Alliance for Excellent Education, is a one-stop shop of comprehensive district-level planning tools, expert advice, creative ideas, and tangible suggestions from experienced education experts and nonprofit education membership organizations.

New Tech Network (NTN) is a nonprofit organization that helps students gain the knowledge and deeper learning skills they need to succeed in life, college, and the careers of tomorrow. The organization works nationwide with schools, districts, and communities to provide services and support that enable schools to fundamentally re-imagine teaching and learning through strategies that emphasize project-based learning, technology integration, and a culture that promotes respect, trust and responsibility.

Project Tomorrow supports integrating technology into classrooms and annually conducts the Speak Up survey, which looks at student and teacher use and opinions about classroom technology.

Articles and Reports

Blended Learning Implementation Guide, ver. 2.0, co-authored by Digital Learning NOW, Getting Smart and The Learning Accelerator,  is a comprehensive handbook designed to help leaders create the conditions for success in planning, implementing, and evaluating their blended learning efforts.

Classifying K-12 Blended Learning, by Heather Staker and Michael Horn, describes blended learning and classifies four different models through which it is implemented.  Horn and Staker recently released an updated version of this paper, “Is K-12 Blended Learning Disruptive? An Introduction of the Theory of Hybrids.”

Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning: An Annual Review of Policy and Practice (2013) is the 10th in a series of annual reports that began in 2004 that examine the status of K-12 online education across the country. The report provides an overview of the latest policies, practices, and trends affecting online learning programs across all 50 states.

Social Media, Social Life: How Teens View Their Digital Lives This research report by Victoria Rideout (Common Sense Media, 2012) discusses the impact of social media use on teen’s social and emotional lives.

New York Times Coverage of Online Education – A series of pieces from the New York Times on how ineffective investments in technology could jeopardize student learning.

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Arts Education

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is collaborating with the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) to create an online arts education resource designed to help state boards of education develop evidence-based policy. The initiative is funded through the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

The project on Common Core Standards – funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – focuses on helping states move past adoption to developing comprehensive policies to implement those standards.

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Deeper Learning

NASBE’s Deeper Learning Initiative provides state policymakers the essential tools to make smart decisions on ways to prepare more students for college, career, and civic success. The deeper learning principles build on a larger body of work that includes “twenty- first century skills,” “habits of mind”, “college and career readiness,” and “student-centered learning.” Deeper learning competencies encompass the ability to master academic content; think critically and solve complex problems; work collaboratively; communicate effectively; and learn how to learn. The goal of NASBE’s project is to support states as they facilitate educational experiences that deliver on both the knowledge and skills students need to succeed. This project is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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Epinephrine

With the rise in reported food allergies among students in the last 15 years, it is crucial that policymakers understand how to best prepare school personnel to deal with related health emergencies. To help with those efforts, the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is launching a new initiative designed to help state boards of education as they develop student health policies regarding anaphylaxis and epinephrine access and use.

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HIV/STD Prevention

Housed within NASBE’s Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, the HIV, other STD, and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project is funded through a 5-year cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH).

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Next Generation Science Standards

Following the final release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), state boards of education are the entities that will be charged with examining them based on their merits and the needs of their states, as well as with implementing the standards following adoption through policy, practice, and communications. With twenty-six leadership states involved in the development of the NGSS and with nearly all state boards having authority over the adoption and implementation of standards for their respective states, NASBE’s support will be critical in helping states make informed, evidence-based decisions.

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Nutrition and Physical Activity

NASBE’s Nutrition and Physical Activity work provides research-based capacity-building assistance and information to education leaders to help schools establish, maintain, and evaluate healthy school nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention environments.

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Center for Safe and Healthy Schools

NASBE’s Center for Safe and Healthy Schools is the umbrella for our Increasing Healthy Eating project and the project to Strengthen Leadership and Governance for HIV Prevention funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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School Discipline

NASBE’s school discipline project, Examining and Reforming State Disciplinary Policies from a State-Level Perspective, focuses on strengthening state boards’ capacity to adopt and implement state education policies that limit the use of suspension, expulsion and criminalization of students and instead emphasize supportive climate-building practices and more positive disciplinary measures.

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School Leadership

Recognizing the importance of school leadership in education, NASBE and The Wallace Foundation are extending their partnership in the exploration of education leadership in 2012. NASBE work will continue to explore leadership through the lens of state policy.

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Summer Learning

Recognizing the importance of out-of-school time in education, NASBE and The Wallace Foundation are extending their partnership in the exploration of summer learning. The upcoming NASBE work will continue to explore summer learning through the lens of state policy.

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Teacher Induction

Recognizing the importance of comprehensive teacher induction, NASBE just released a discussion guide on supporting new teachers through policy.

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Current Study Groups

Technology Study Group (2012)

Technology in the 21st century is a foundational tool for the current generation of school-aged children. The innovative technologies, such as smart phones, iPads, and now Leap Pads for younger children, have launched our children into a digital age where they no longer function on a daily basis…

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Teacher Study Group (2011)

Teachers have lately fallen under the national microscope far more than any other aspect of public schooling. The convergence of sluggish growth in student achievement, high turnover in the ranks of teachers, continuing achievement gaps, and state and federal actions that have zeroed in on the capacity…

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Learner and Learning: 2013 and Beyond

State and federal education policy over the past 20 years has been developed within a standards-based reform framework which has emphasized a systemic approach to education reform. Through a sequence of developmental steps…

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Student Engagement

Most students start school with a strong desire to learn. But over the years, that desire seems to wane. One study of 1,500 classrooms found that in 85 percent, fewer than half of all students were “engaged” in learning. In other words, only 15 percent of these classrooms had most of their students focused on learning.

The lack of student engagement manifests itself in many ways. A recent analysis published by the Center for American Progress (CAP), based on student surveys from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, found that students are general not engaged in what they are learning. Large percentages say their schoolwork is “too easy.” Many say they are rarely engaged in deep or rigorous learning activities—and students from disadvantaged backgrounds are even less likely to say they are challenged in class. So it should not be surprising that more than one in four students leaves school before graduating.

Yet in a world where US students must compete not only with their peers from neighboring states, but also from students around the world, it is critical that students are engaged in what they are learning. The authors of the CAP study suggested that students may be doing poorly on tests like the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) assessment “because they’re not challenged in school.” So a failure to engage students is not only a personal imperative . . . it is an economic necessity.

Student engagement is also an equity and diversity issue. Four conditions that create engaged people as adapted from Glasser’s choice theory are: 1) some component of fun, 2) the ability for the participants to choose and exercise an appropriate amount of personal power, 3) the sense of belonging to something greater than themselves, and 4) a sense that, although not yet able, they have a fighting chance at gaining competence at a given task. Disadvantaged students, students who do not fit the standard mold, students with learning disabilities, and all of those who are perceived and treated as such are much more likely to suffer a lack of all four. To advance equity and inclusion in our nation’s education system demands that we attend to student engagement and the components that foster it.

In order to create a deeper understanding of these issues, the NASBE Student Engagement Study Group will meet on three occasions to discuss different dimensions of student engagement and what state boards can do to further student engagement in their states:

First Meeting: January 24-25, 2014

Second Meeting: March 14-15, 2014

Third Meeting: Methods of Engagement, June 20-21, 2014

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Rural Education

NASBE Rural Education Study Group (2014)

The number of rural students enrolled in public schools is increasing both as an absolute number and a percentage of the total population – more than 1 million students. According to the 2013 Condition of Education report by the U.S. Department of Education roughly one third (32,000) of the approximately 100,000 public school in the United States on 2010-11 were located in rural areas. This is greater than the number of schools in the suburbs (27,000).  The enrollment in these schools is growing due to an influx of young parents, immigrants and minorities who have been attracted by jobs in agriculture and energy.

There is evidence that student in rural schools can thrive as they are likely to have smaller classes with high levels of community support. There are many examples of successful rural schools. At the same time the high numbers of low-income rural students tend to have lower student achievement.

It is within this context, this NASBE study group will investigate rural education. This includes convening three in-person, two day meetings of state board members, panelists and experts, writing and disseminating a report with policy implications about rural education in this country at the NASBE Annual Meeting in October 2014 and to all state board members in the United States.

Meeting One: Jan 24-25, 2014 at Marriott Crystal City, Arlington, VA

Please find the agenda here.

Presenters: Robert Klein, Andy Smarick, Jenelle Leonard and Susan Headden. Please find presenters’ bio here.

In the first meeting, state board members had chosen the most concerning issues in rural education that they want to discuss in the study group. NASBE summarized those issues into a map, which you can find here.

Meeting Two: March 14-15, 2014 at Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City, Arlington, VA

Please find the agenda here.

Presenters: Ron Daley, Rick Gaisford, Robert Mahaffey, Jane E. West. Please find presenters’ bio here.

NASBE compiled materials for the board members to better understand the issues discussed in the study group. Please find the materials below:

recruiting teachers1. Recruiting and Retaining High-Quality Teachers in Rural Areas (2003)

Attracting teachers to rural schools and keeping them there has long been a challenge for rural school districts. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) raises the stakes for recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers and presents unique challenges for rural school administrators. This Policy Brief examines the issue from a policy perspective and suggests strategies for addressing the problem.

 

Broadband Imperative Summary

2. Fox, C., Waters, J., Fletcher, G., & Levin, D. (2012). The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Education Infrastructure Needs. Washington, DC: State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA).

It is a simple fact that access to high-speed broadband is now as vital a component of K-12 school infrastructure as electricity, air conditioning, and heating. The same tools and resources that have transformed our personal,civic, and professional lives must be part of learning experiences intended to prepare today’s students for college and careers. College students rely on technology for academic success and to improve personal productivity. In the workplace, everyone from mechanics to accountants to physicians depends on technology to conduct their work, grow their businesses, and collaborate with their colleagues – both locally and globally.

incentives-case study in NC (1)3. Dorothy Hines and Kayla Mathis, 2007. North Carolina LEA Case Study: Regional Specific Incentives for Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Ensuring that every child receives a quality education is the goal of educators, parents, and community leaders throughout North Carolina. However, increasing nationwide teacher shortages has made meeting this goal a daunting task for low performing schools. In an effort to combat the repercussions of such shortages, State and local leaders are developing new teacher recruitment and retention initiatives aimed at attracting highly qualified teachers to their districts. Differential pay and teacher bonuses are methods that have been widely used by school districts to recruit teachers into low performing rural and urban schools; however, such plans are often unsuccessful on their own because they do not account for the differences between urban and rural school districts. We recommend that state and local leaders work together to develop recruitment and retention programs that incorporate the unique characteristics of the region they are targeting.

quality_teachers in NC4. Page McCullough and Jerry Johnson, Ed.D, 2007. QUALITY TEACHERS: Issues, Challenges, and Solutions for North Carolina’s Most Overlooked Rural Communities. A Publication of the Policy Program of the Rural School and Community Trust on behalf of the North Carolina Rural Education Working Group

This report describes, on a number of measures, the challenges facing low-wealth rural school districts in eastern North Carolina as they relate to issues of teacher quality and ensuring that their students have a good teacher in each classroom. It describes five strategies that are being used in rural areas throughout the country to respond to these challenges, and specifically what North Carolina is doing around each strategy, including: growing your own; targeting incentives; improving recruiting and hiring practices; improving school level support for teachers; and using technology. In the last part of the report, we recommend local and state level activities for each of the five strategies, and add three recommendations that, based on our experience in this state and in other rural states, would help address the pressing issue of providing all children in North Carolina the teachers they deserve.

Score5. Transforming the Rural South: A Roadmap to Improving Rural Education, 2011. State Collaborative on Reforming Education.

For our rural communities, the connection between a quality education and a vibrant, sustainable economy has never been clearer. Unemployment rates in rural communities continue to outpace state and national rates. To get the jobs of the future, even in fields like manufacturing and agriculture which have not traditionally required postsecondary education, businesses are requiring that their workers obtain higher levels of education than ever before. In the face of these challenges, it is clear that making investments in education must be part of any strategy to ensure that our region remains economically vibrant and globally competitive.

 Meeting Three: June 20-21, 2014 at Marriott Crystal City, Arlington, VA

Please find the agenda here.

Speakers’ bios.

Presentations: NASBE MartinezNASBE June 2014 Farrie

photo 3

From right to left: Dr. Z (MI), Tess Elshoff (OH), Thomas Campbell (WV), Dr. Luisa Iadeluca (NY), Nancy Perkins (ME), Mireya Reith(AR), Madhu Sidhu (MD), Francis Eberle, Acting Deputy Executive Director at NASBE, Maria Guitterez (GU), Winona Hao, Research Associate at NASBE

 

 

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Board Development

NASBE provides a number of services aimed at building capacity for boards and developing boardsmanship among its members.

Board Development

Government Affairs

Here you will find education-related information as it becomes available from Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and the U.S. Dept. of Education.

Government Affairs

Policymaking

Here you will find resources that relate to policymaking including theories, techniques and best practices. Click below to view our policymaking materials.

Policymaking

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