Employment is the most direct and cost-effective means to empower individuals to achieve independence, economic self-sufficiency, and a sense of dignity and self-worth. This FREE CSG eCademy webcast focuses on employer practices and state policies that address the hiring, retention and re-entry of people with disabilities in the workplace. This is the final webcast in a four-part series presented by the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy.

CSG Midwest
Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation System is having a positive impact on classroom instruction and educators’ professional climate, but it’...

WHEREAS, the foundation of our democratic system is an informed and engaged electorate; and

WHEREAS, public trust of all levels of government is on the decline, in part because people are inherently distrustful of anything that they do not understand; and

WHEREAS, disability is a natural part of the human experience that in no way diminishes one’s right to fully participate in all aspects of community life and disability can develop at any point during an individual’s life time and have varying impacts; and

WHEREAS, people with disabilities are underutilized in our workforce and frequently experience social and economic disadvantage; and

WHEREAS, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was enacted on December 10th, 2015, and reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA); and

WHEREAS, ESEA established a national commitment to offering equitable education opportunities to all elementary and secondary students, regardless of location, family income, or other factors; and

WHEREAS, The Council of State Governments, in partnership with the Presidents’ Forum, and under the direction of the four regional higher education compacts: the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), created the Model State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and oversaw its adoption and implementation at the state level; and

WHEREAS, SARA demonstrates a model effort among states to work together to improve and streamline state distance education approval processes; and

It has been 25 years since the passage of the first state law authorizing charter schools in Minnesota. On Saturday, Dec. 10 at the 2016 CSG National Conference, three panelists—state government leaders from Kentucky, Massachusetts and North Carolina—reflected on the history of charter schools and discussed visions for the future.

By Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, CSG senior fellows
The public’s sense that government isn’t serving them efficiently and effectively is particularly strong when it comes to their understanding of the federal government. But that’s little solace to those working in state governments, which are similarly targets of widespread mistrust. According to a September 2016 Gallup poll, some 37 percent of Americans surveyed had little trust or confidence in their states. Civic education serves an important role in helping young people gain the skills and knowledge they need to participate in civic activities and understand the way their government works. Civic Education: A Key to Trust in Government explores the state of civic education in the United States and potential solutions to the challenges involved in improving civic education in America's schools.

CSG Midwest
Struggling young readers in Michigan will get more instructional help to reach levels of proficiency under a new law that also could keep some of them from entering fourth grade. Signed this fall by Gov. Rick Snyder, HB 4822requires students to perform well enough on a standardized reading test in order to be promoted to fourth grade. However, the law does provide for some “good cause exemptions,” including if parents and school officials agree it is in the child’s best interests not to be held back.
CSG Midwest
Two years ago, Gov. Terry Branstad announced that he wants 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce to have education or training beyond high school by 2025. Since then, he and state legislators have taken a series of steps to meet that goal.