Too Young to Test, Better Deal Messaging, Brand-New Books and More

Posted on August 2, 2017

Too Young to Test Act: There is far too much reliance on standardized testing in public schools, hurting schoolchildren, teachers and administrators. Federal law requires testing in grades 3-8 and once in high school, but most school systems go beyond that mandate and test in grades K-2 as well. This is developmentally inappropriate—the Too Young to Test Act would stop it.

How to strengthen the “Better Deal” message: Last week, the Senate and House Minority Leaders published op-eds announcing their new messaging under the banner of “A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future.” While a lot of folks have scoffed at the effort, we should recognize that it rightly focuses on the economy and calls out the rich special interests. We can build from there. For a sharper version of the message, read the latest IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

Archive of past webinars: Since we will be exhibitors at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Boston next week, the next PLI webinar will be Wednesday, August 23 @3pm Eastern. In the meantime, you can watch 16 of our most recent webinars on our website by clicking here. If you will be attending the NCSL meeting, please come see us at Booth #943.

PLI’s two brand-new books: The 3rd Edition of Voicing Our Values explains why and how to frame messages and how to talk about progressive economics. Then it launches into 12 chapters explaining how to approach just about any domestic issue and ends with a new discussion about how our messaging fits together with progressive philosophy. Preparing to Win explains what needs to be done before you start lobbying for new legislation, how to build relationships with policymakers, the media, coalition partners and grassroots volunteers, and what’s the best way to track lawmakers, construct a persuasive letter, hold a meeting with policymakers, and testify at a hearing.

To reduce recidivism, states scrap barriers for ex-offenders: Many jurisdictions are starting to realize that “get tough” criminal justice policies don’t actually make us safer. A Pew Stateline article explains that even very conservative places are making it easier to expunge criminal records, enacting Ban-the-Box laws, and keeping low-level drug offenders out of the prison system.

Progress in the States and Localities Report: Once again, we have updated the PLI report on Progress in the States & Localities, which describes proactive progressive legislation that has passed at least one House in the 2017 sessions.