CSG Director of Education Policy Pam Goins outlines the top five issues in education policy for 2014, including high quality early childhood education and funding, college- and career-readiness, K-12 assessment and accountability systems, the growing use of technology and digital learning, and degree attainment and college completion. 

During the 66th annual meeting of CSG West, the Education Committee held a session on pre-k education and rigorous academic standards and assessment systems, focusing on those practices in the western region. The session featured several representatives from national groups, including the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and Achieve, an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit education reform organization pushing for college- and career-readiness, as well as representatives from various state departments in the west.

Stateline Midwest ~ January 2013

In the most recent international assessment of students from 53 countries and other education jurisdictions, Minnesota and Indiana eighth-graders posted scores above most of their peers.

What was considered ‘proficient’ on standardized tests in Illinois last year might not quite make the grade on this year’s state assessments. The Illinois State Board of Education voted on Thursday to raise the benchmark for proficiency on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). The decision is an important step in preparing for more rigorous Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and Math and preparing for the higher expectations of a new assessment system that is set to debut in 2014-15.

CSG Director of Education Policy Pam Goins outlines the top five issues in education policy for 2013, including college- and career-readiness, assessment and accountability systems, teacher preparation, college completion, and funding for post-secondary education. 
 

Policymakers know America’s educational system must transform to significantly increase the academic achievement of all students. A high-quality education, including content mastery and real world application, is critical to prepare students for college and careers. In order to ensure student success, leaders must tackle these top 5 issues facing states this year.

The U.S. Department of Education has released its four-year high school graduation rates for the 2010-11 school year but this year something is different: this is the first time that all states have agreed to use a common, rigorous measure. Previously, states used different methods to calculate graduation rates, which meant comparing rates across states wasn’t very useful. The newly agreed upon common measure will allow more reliable comparisons across states, promote accountability and provide the data needed to develop more effective strategies to increase graduation rates.

New academic standards in Kentucky will bring with it a new way to measure whether students are learning what they’re supposed to learn. In Kentucky, which became the first of 46 states to adopt common core state standards, it’s a case of out with the old and in with the new. Until this year, the state used an end-of-year assessment known as the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System – or CATS – to measure academic proficiency in its 174 school districts. Beginning this month, however, a new assessment called Unbridled Learning will launch from the starting gate.

Educators and policymakers realize that all of America’s students need a high-quality education to prepare them for college and careers. 2012 promises to be another busy year in  transformational strategies in education. In order to ensure a world-class education, leaders will likely address these top five issues facing states and territories (“the states”) this year.

When the federal government set forth guidelines for state assessments to evaluate rigorous academic standards, it delineated many uses for the tests.  The U.S. Department of Education funded two consortia to develop state-of-the-art assessments that measure student achievement and increases in learning as well as evaluate the effectiveness of teachers, administrators and schools.

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