Student Assessments, Long-Term Advocacy, Women’s Agenda and More

Posted on March 2, 2017

Student Assessments for Deeper Learning Resolution: The federal Every Student Succeeds Act, enacted in 2016, empowers states to develop their own accountability systems. In order to give teachers the freedom to encourage deeper learning and critical thinking in their students, there needs to be a major deemphasis in one-size-fits-all standardized testing. The Student Assessments for Deeper Learning Resolution calls on the state Department of Education to work with a study group of legislators and experts to begin the process of creating a new, more flexible system for assessments.

A long-term advocacy strategy that works: It is nearly impossible to enact ambitious progressive policies without a multi-year organizing plan. And yet, advocates don’t usually write down and execute such a program. There is a particular six-part strategy that has worked repeatedly but is little known outside the State of Maryland. It’s described in Michael Pertschuk’s book The DeMarco Factor: Transforming Public Will Into Political Power and summarized on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

How to advocate for a women’s agenda: Thursday, March 9 at 3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. The National Women’s Law Center—champions for policies that help women and girls achieve their potential—will present a women’s agenda that can be adapted to both the state and local levels. Let’s all work to stop the war on women! To register, click here.

The State of the World’s Human Rights: Until now, we have never recommended an international resource because we’re tightly focused on states and localities. But Amnesty International’s new 2016-17 Report is sadly relevant to your work. “Politicians wielding a toxic, dehumanizing ‘us vs them’ rhetoric are creating a more dangerous world…. More and more politicians calling themselves anti-establishment are wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people.” It’s happening in your jurisdiction as well.

Protect consumers from automatic renewals: Pew’s Stateline has a great story about the variety of state laws that protect consumers from automatic contract renewals. At least 22 states have some protections but most are very limited and need to be strengthened.

PLI’s Progress in the States and Localities: Our new Progress in the States & Localities Report describes and hyperlinks to dozens of progressive bills, covering a wide range of topics, that are currently moving in legislatures. This is a great resource for finding bills to introduce in your own state, city or county.