K-12 Education

CSG Midwest
Each year, tens of thousands of incarcerated youths rely on state residential facilities to provide them with essential services during their time of commitment, including education. But according to a 2015 study by The Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, most of these youths lack access to many of the same educational opportunities as their peers in the community — such as credit recovery programs, GED preparation, and career and technical education courses.
The 50-state analysis (“Locked Out: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth”) has a number of recommendations to address this imbalance, including holding juvenile facility schools and educators accountable for providing services that adhere to state curricular standards.
In 2012, the Indiana Department of Correction’s Division of Youth Services had that goal in mind when it implemented a new model for evaluating its teachers. The model, known as RISE, is the same one used in Indiana’s public schools.
CSG South

This SLC Regional Resource examines the strategies taken by Southern states to increase school options for special education students through the implementation of state-funded school voucher programs, focusing on their many forms and variations, and addresses school voucher programs that provide direct payments or reimbursements to private alternative schools or parents and legal guardians, respectively.

State officials are closely watching as the U.S. Department of Education releases more information on what the new Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, changes in accountability system requirements and funding mechanisms. 

CSG Midwest
According to the U.S. Department of Education, a teacher shortage of some kind is happening in each of the 11 Midwestern states. These shortages can take different forms — an inadequate supply of teachers by subject area or grade level, or in a certain geographic area — but they all can adversely impact student learning.
“It’s when a local school does not have highly effective individuals prepared to meet the needs of children,” Nadene Davidson, chair elect of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, said during a December webinar hosted by the Midwestern Legislative Conference Education Committee.
CSG Midwest

For the fourth year in a row, U.S. high school graduation rates increased, and many states in the Midwest helped lead the way. Iowa (90.5 percent) and Nebraska (89.7 percent) have the highest rates in the nation, new federal data show. With the exception of Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio, states in the Midwest had higher graduation rates than the national average of 82.3 percent. States have been using a common metric to measure graduation rates since 2010.

CSG Midwest
Over the past two years, Iowa legislators have deepened the state's commitment to work-based learning, and thousands of young people are taking advantage of the opportunity. Through a bill passed in 2013 (HF 604), lawmakers laid the groundwork for the creation of 15 regional intermediary networks. The goal of these networks is to increase K-12 students' access to career fairs, internships and job-shadowing opportunities in their communities.

Transitioning to the Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, or NCLB, is the product of bipartisan efforts in Congress to give states greater control of accountability and academic standards. State officials are closely watching as the U.S. Department of Education releases more information on what the new act changes in...

During this webinar, Dr. Nadene Davidson, Associate Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Northern Iowa, and Chair-Elect of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education's Advisory Council of State Representatives, discussed the effect of teacher shortages on the educator pipeline in the Midwest. She also described actions being taken by educator preparation programs, their PK-12 partners, and state policymakers to address this and other issues impacting the education profession.

Top 5 Issues in Workforce Development

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Implementation

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, also known as WIOA, became effective on July 1, 2015. However, the act includes several provisions that become effective on other dates. On March 1, 2016, governors must submit a Unified or Combined State Plan pertaining to workforce...

As state leaders outline their goals for 2016, educators and policymakers will look for strategies that ensure America’s students receive a high-quality education while addressing workforce challenges that inhibit economic growth.  2016 promises to be another busy year in transformational strategies in education.  State leaders will likely address these top 5 issues facing states this year:

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