Competency-based education—also known as proficiency-based, performance-based and mastery-based education—is a personalized, student-centered approach to learning in which students demonstrate mastery of concepts and skills and move toward graduation at their own pace. This FREE CSG eCademy features experts in competency-based education at the K-12 level, and explores the role of state policy in supporting the use of competency-based education.

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. As states grapple with the upcoming changes to federal requirements, it is important to know about the increased flexibility for state and local policymakers. This FREE CSG eCademy webcast explores what the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act means for state leaders, with a focus on accountability systems and data policy.

CSG Midwest
Indiana legislators want more of their state’s “best and brightest” to enter the teaching profession, and they plan to spend $10 million on a plan to steer young people in that career direction. HB 1002, signed into law in March, establishes a Next Generation Hoosiers Education Scholarship.
CSG Midwest
Few issues related to American education policy have consistently stirred more controversy over as many years as has the question of how best to teach students whose first language is something other than English.
In a nation whose history is marked by waves of newcomers arriving from countries around the world, the appropriate language of public education has been debated since the first European settlers arrived in the 17th century, and the pendulum of public opinion on the subject has swung many times.
The debate over bilingual education and competing models for the instruction of non-English speaking students may be rooted in our colonial past, but it wasn’t until 1839 that Ohio became the nation’s first state to formally authorize bilingual teaching in public schools.

As of Feb. 2, 2016, scholarship tax credits were available in 18 states. Scholarship tax credit programs are used to provide a form of school choice, allowing individuals or corporations to receive a tax credit on state taxes for donations made to grant private school scholarships. Scholarship tax credit programs are also known as tuition tax credits and education tax credits. Some states provide parents the opportunity to deduct all or a portion of their child’s private school tuition from their state taxes. Others provide corporations the ability to donate to an approved non-profit scholarship funding organization and apply for a tax credit for the donation.

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.

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