Shawntaye Hopkins

Author Articles

Change is commonplace and expected in the auto industry. In recent years, however, talk has been not only about body styles but also about whether or not a body is needed at all—a human body, that is.

Product stewardship laws have a goal of reducing the environmental, safety and health impacts of consumer products. These laws typically focus on the end-of-life management of these products and generally require the manufacturers to take responsibility for recycling or safely disposing of these products when consumers cease using them. This FREE eCademy webcast featured Chaz Miller, director of policy and advocacy for the National Association of Waste and Recycling, who discussed emerging issues and trends in product stewardship laws in the states.

On a luminous August afternoon, civic leaders from across the country gathered before the longstanding canopy of brick arches at The Council of State Governments’ home in Lexington, Ky., to observe a milestone in the organization’s history. Casting shadows on the pavement, the group watched as David Adkins, the council’s ninth executive director, joined CSG national leaders on Aug. 31, 2015, for a rededication of the headquarters after an extensive, $5.5 million renovation to the building where CSG got its start in Kentucky nearly 50 years ago. The council’s history, however, dates back even further

Civic leaders across the country have organized Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations—from marches to musical performances—to recognize the civil rights activist today, the third Monday in January. Each celebration is different. Similarly, each state can tell a different story about the origins of the holiday. Some states, in fact, even call the holiday by a slightly different name, recognizing Confederate leader Robert E. Lee on the same day or honoring all individuals who have fought for justice.

State leaders must evaluate risks and invest in protecting state government against cyberattacks. That’s according to experts who discussed cybersecurity at the 2015 CSG National Conference in Nashville, Tenn., in an attempt to prepare state leaders for the inevitable.

Best-selling author Hampton Sides called the 1879 voyage of the USS Jeannette, and the hardships of the men who aspired to reach the North Pole, one of the greatest survival stories of all time. Yet the story—now detailed in his most recent book, In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeanette—fell through the cracks of history and was forgotten.

However, there is much to be learned from the USS Jeannette’s two-year drift through ice and the 92-day trek by 33 men and their dogs toward the coast of Siberia after the ship’s demise.

Postsecondary education representatives, business leaders and policymakers continued a conversation about workforce development Dec. 10 spurred by the August release of The Council of State Governments’ report, “A Framework for State Policymakers: Developing Pathways to Ensure a Skilled Workforce for State Prosperity.” The report outlines recommendations for state-level policies that help ensure students are prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce.

During a recent CSG eCademy webcast, two judicial experts described how the U.S. state and federal court systems work and how court decisions impact state governments. “Federalism and the U.S. Judicial Branch” was the third and final presentation in a series of webcasts about federalism’s impact across the branches.

As federal standardized tests fall out of favor, many states are exploring alternative measures on which to base their school accountability systems. In this free CSG eCademy webcast, presenters reviewed alternative measures for school accountability, charter schools, teacher assessments and student assessments.

The importance of ensuring effective teacher preparation programs, or TPPs, continues to be an issue of significant interest to state policymakers. As the focus of teacher education increasingly shifts from training to preparing, several states are undertaking new approaches to identifying and promoting successful TPPs. Louisiana and Tennessee have developed statewide systems that track the academic growth of a teacher’s P-12 students back to the preparation program from which that teacher graduated. This webinar focused on strategies by Southern states to ensure teachers are well-prepared for the classroom.

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