Policy Academy for Newly Elected Legislators: Orlando, Florida: December 7-9, 2011

On December 8-9, 30 newly elected legislators attended the Policy Academy for Newly Elected Legislators (PANEL) series in Orlando, Florida.  The series offers training and information that provides valuable, timely and objective policy insights on critical education issues facing states. Through this effort, legislators elected in 2010 or 2011 who were appointed to legislative education committees received critical policy information on education issues they either face now or are likely to face in the future.  

POLICY ACADEMY FOR NEWLY ELECTED LEGISLATORS

World Center Marriott Hotel
Orlando, FL
December 8-9, 2011

Press Release: "Newly Elected Legislators Schooled on Education Issues"

Thursday, December 8

What are the Common Core State Standards and Why are they Important for My State?

Presenters discussed the development of the Common Core State Standards, adoption and implementation efforts, the process for associated rulemaking as well as the vital role state legislatures will play to ensure strategies are put into practice with fidelity.


Developing Student Assessment Systems Aligned with the Common Core State Standards – SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) & Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)

In a discussion with representatives from SBAC and PARCC, officials discussed the efforts underway to develop student assessment systems aligned to the common core state standards as well as discuss the potential impact on current, interim and future state assessment results.  Participants will also hear about the relationship between K-12 state assessments and higher education as states move to align undergraduate admission requirements with the common core.


State Progress on Implementation (Anaheim-Atlanta-Boston)

Many progressive states are moving forward with implementation of the common core and setting timelines for interim assessments prior to 2014/15 when common assessments are formally in place.  Speakers discussed efforts underway in local school districts as well as options for leveraging state budget dollars and support for full implementation.   

Mississippi Representatives Miles Patrick Nelson and Gene Alday and David Harris (IL) were among approximately 30 legislators attending an education policy academy for first-term legislators CSG conducted in Orlando, December 8-9.


Clear and Consistent Standards to Improve College and Career Readiness:  How to Align Key State Policies

State policymakers heard from their colleague as he shared his experiences on assessment, curriculum, teacher effectiveness, professional development and other policies through the eyes of a state legislator, governor and school superintendent.

  • Roy Romer, Senior Advisor, The College Board

Newly Adopted Academic Standards:  What Impact will we see on Teachers?

Implementation of the common core will rest with a variety of education stakeholders, but primarily with the classroom teacher.  Participants heard from education representatives regarding their participation in the development process and how the new standards are impacting front-line instruction through development of effective and high-quality strategies for success.  


Friday, December 9

State Accountability Systems:  Policymakers’ Role in Building School Capacity for Student Success           

As a follow-up to the prior day’s session, policymakers continued the discussion of state assessment results and their impact on accountability measures.  The discussion also included recommendations for transition strategies as well as thoughts on timeline necessities.  Finally, speakers addressed the ESEA flexibility package and ways in which states can better focus on improving student learning and increasing the quality of instruction.


Newly Adopted Academic Standards:  What Impact will we see on Teachers?

Implementation of the common core will rest with a variety of education stakeholders, but primarily with the classroom teacher.  Participants heard from education representatives regarding their participation in the development process and how the new standards are impacting front-line instruction through development of effective and high-quality strategies for success.  

  • Alice Gill, Senior Associate Director, Educational Issues, American Federation of Teachers

  • Sandy Russell, Volusia  County Schools, Florida
  • Amy Spies, Volusia County Schools,  Florida
  • Jeanne Wright, Volusia County Schools, Florida

School Visit in Orlando – Orlando Science Schools

Participants had an opportunity to see progressive and innovative educational strategies being implemented in a local education setting.  Attendees saw first-hand how students are engaging in 21st Century Learning as well as learned how this middle/high school is partnering with Florida’s postsecondary education to prepare students for college and careers.

Attendees touring the Orlando Public Charter Science School included: (front row, l to r)
Sen. Phil Murphy (ND) and Rep. Shannon McMillan (ID); (middle row, l to r) Rep. Amy Volk (ME), Rep. Dan Pabon (CO), Rep. Cherie Buckner-Webb (ID), Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (CT), Rep. Marcario Saldate (AZ), Rep. Raymond Hull (RI), Rep. Kathleen Conti (CO), Rep. Joanne Blyton (MT), Linda Costello (representing Rep. Fred Costello (FL), Yalcin Akin (principal/executive director of Orlando Science Schools), and Sen. Dan Hall (MN); (back row l to r) Rep. Vito Barbieri (ID), Rep. David Harris (IL), Rep. Paul Farrow (WI), Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (NY), Rep. James Lockhart (OK), Sen. Allen Schmidt (KS), Sen. Irene Aguilar (CO), Rep. Joseph Scapa (KS), and 
Rep. Donnie Condit (OK)

      Rep. Dan Pabon (CO) spoke with a group of students at the Orlando Public Charter Science School about their science fair project. The school tour provided legislators an opportunity to observe how states can create innovative schools giving students rigorous learning opportunities focusing on critical math and science skills.                  

Rep. Dan Pabon (CO) spoke with a group of students at the Orlando Public Charter Science School about their science fair project. The school tour provided legislators an opportunity to observe how states can create innovative schools giving students rigorous learning opportunities focusing on critical math and science skills.

Minnesota Sen. Dan Hall observed a student’s project during a science fair, which was held during the attendees’ tour of the Orlando Public Charter Science School.

Dr. Yalcin Akin, left, principal and executive director of the Orlando Public Charter Science Schools welcomed attendees for a tour of his school. It is a University of Central Florida-affiliated public charter school, providing middle and high school students a tuition-free education focusing on mathematics and science.

 

Tags: