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Articles in the Announcements category

NSBA mourns the loss of Oklahoma’s Dr. Jeffrey Mills

Dr. Jeffrey Mills

Dr. Jeffrey Mills

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is mourning the loss of Dr. Jeffrey Mills, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association (OSSBA), who passed away on Sept. 23, 2013.

“Dr. Jeffrey Mills was such a strong education leader in Oklahoma and very dedicated to advancing public education through local school board leadership,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel.

Mills had been the OSSBA Executive Director since October 2008. With 527 school districts in Oklahoma, Mills enjoyed the opportunity to train, represent, and serve the local school boards throughout the state.

Mills, who began his K-12 career as a teacher for Oklahoma’s Snyder Public Schools, also worked as a coach and as an elementary and high school principal. Mills was an experienced school administrator, previously serving as the superintendent for Oklahoma’s Woodward, El Reno, and Leedey Public Schools.
Memorials may be given to the El Reno School Foundation, Northwestern Oklahoma State Alumni Association, or the Oklahoma State School Board Association Public School Foundation.

Alexis Rice|September 25th, 2013|Categories: School Boards, Announcements|Tags: , , , |

NSBA mourns the passing of Gene Broderson

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is mourning the death of Gene Broderson, the Assistant Executive Director for State Association Partnership Programs, on Sept. 16.

Broderson_2013Broderson had been with NSBA since 2005, overseeing NSBA’s National Affiliate and Technology Leadership Network programs, which serve many of the nation’s leading school systems.  More recently, he was leading efforts to develop several new services in partnership with state school boards associations, including the BuyBoard National Purchasing Cooperative, and USBAflex, which provides cost-effective flexible spending account options for school systems.

“Gene had exceptional talents in a range of fields from business to digital media, and teaching,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “We will miss the energy and enthusiasm he brought to every project.”

Prior to his work at NSBA, Broderson was the Director of Education for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and was responsible for helping public television stations improve and enhance their educational offerings for children, teachers, and adult learners. He also worked for CALIBRE Systems, Inc., a government contractor that acquired Gene’s company, Training Media Incorporated, in 1999. Training Media produced award winning training material for associations. He also had worked as a teacher in Virginia and New York.

Memorial contributions to honor Broderson can be made to Save the Children, National Wildlife Federation or the American Cancer Society. The Washington Post also published an obituary from Broderson’s family.

Joetta Sack-Min|September 18th, 2013|Categories: Announcements|Tags: , |

NSBA mourns death of longtime colleague Gus Steinhilber

Gus Steinhilber

Gus Steinhilber

August W. Steinhilber Jr., NSBA’s former General Counsel, Associate Executive Director, and head of NSBA’s Office of Federal Relations, died on August 20 at age 81.

Steinhilber, who was known as “Gus,” helped build NSBA’s Federal Relations Network and greatly expanded the organization’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill during the Carter and Reagan administrations. He worked at NSBA from 1968 to 1998, and prior to NSBA, he served in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare as the deputy assistant commissioner of education for legislation.

“Over the 28 years we worked together he fought every day for cause of public education and loved every minute of it,” said Michael A. Resnick, NSBA’s Associate Executive Director for Federal Advocacy and Public Policy.

During his tenure as NSBA General Counsel, he filed over 50 amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court, advanced the organization’s legal advocacy efforts, and provided leadership for NSBA’s Council of School Attorneys (COSA).

After retiring from NSBA, Steinhilber continued to be involved in school law through NSBA’s Council of School Attorneys, and he also worked as a counsel for the Maryland law firm of Reese & Carney, LLP. In 2005, COSA honored Steinhilber with its Lifetime Achievement Award for exemplary leadership and distinguished service. He is remembered as a strong advocate for public education and the school law profession.

Joetta Sack-Min|August 23rd, 2013|Categories: School Law, Announcements, Council of School Attorneys, Federal Advocacy|Tags: , , |

ASBJ’s 2014 Magna Awards open for nominations

The American School Board Journal’s Magna Awards honors exceptional school programs created by school boards each year. The program, which is sponsored by Sodexo School Services, is now accepting nominations for its 2014 awards.

The deadline for submissions is October 31, and all applications must be submitted online. Categories are divided by district enrollment: Under 5,000, 5,000-20,000, and over 20,000 students. School districts in the United States and Virgin Islands that are members of their state school boards associations are eligible. Please also read the Magna information page for tips on making your nomination and  information about Magna and the judging process, nomination criteria, contacts, guidelines for backup materials, and answers to frequently asked questions.

The awards have been given since 1989, and are designed to showcase replicable programs that help improve student achievement and inspire healthy lifestyles and engagement in local schools.

You can also use the Magna Best Practices Database to search for winning programs  Learn more about the 2013 winners– Pennsylvania’s Derry Township School District, Virginia’s Albemarle County Public Schools, and California’s Fontana Unified School District–in this video or on the resource page.




Joetta Sack-Min|August 16th, 2013|Categories: Announcements, Board governance, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |

State school board leaders to attend NSBA retreat on leadership

This week dozens of state school board leaders will meet in Memphis, Tenn., to discuss school governance trends and hone their leadership skills at the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) annual Presidents’ Retreat.

NSBA President David A. Pickler, a member of the Shelby County, Tenn., school board, is hosting the retreat in his hometown from August 15 to 18 for more than 80 state school boards association presidents, past presidents, and staff directors.

The retreat is focusing on transformational leadership, Pickler’s theme for his one-year term as president.

“We are living in a world of exponential change, where technology is reshaping the way we work and communicate,” Pickler noted. “As school board leaders, we will oversee the transformation of public education to ensure that every child is prepared for the 21st century and beyond. This event will give us the opportunity to learn as well as explore ideas with our peers.”

The school board members also will participate in a highly interactive training event with staff from the Crew Training International, a Memphis-based company that offers training to develop the skills used by U.S. military aviators to accomplish complex missions. The facilitated training will explore several scenarios and allow participants to use CTI’s specialized hands-on, computerized training.

Representatives from the National Governors Association, Northern Kentucky University, and several state school boards leaders will speak about current topics in leadership and K-12 education policy.

And in a Sunday morning address, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. Patrick Henry Brady will speak about leadership and his experiences in the Vietnam War and longtime career with the U.S. Army.

“Each year this retreat gives our state association leaders a chance to reflect on the fast-changing landscape and learn from their colleagues,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “We look forward to organizing a fantastic and productive event for our state leaders.”



Joetta Sack-Min|August 15th, 2013|Categories: Governance, Announcements, Board governance, Leadership, Key Work of School Boards|Tags: , , , , , |

NSBA and Kennedy Center seeking school boards for arts education award

Nominations are now open for the annual arts education award for school boards given by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network (KCAAN). The award, which comes with a $10,000 check, honors a school board that has provided high-quality arts education in its school district.

The KCAAN and NSBA Award recognizes districts that have included all four major artistic disciplines—visual arts, music, theater, and dance—in their programs.

The program accepts only one nomination per U.S. state, which must be coordinated with the local state school boards association, state alliance for arts education, or both organizations jointly. (School boards in every U.S. state are eligible for nomination regardless of whether their state has a state alliance.) Final selection is made by a national panel of arts educators and arts administrators including representatives of the KCAAEN and NSBA.

The national award is presented at NSBA’s Annual Conference, which will be held April 5 to 7, 2014, in New Orleans.

The Austin, Texas school board received the 2013 award for strategic planning that incorporated arts education into Austin schools’ core curriculum. The district set measurable goals and standards to ensure the program’s success and then uses that data to guide its budget and strategic planning. More information about past winners is available on the KCAAN website.


Joetta Sack-Min|August 14th, 2013|Categories: Announcements, Arts Education, NSBA Annual Conference 2014|Tags: , , |

Register today for 2013 COSA conference in Nashville

The National School Boards Association’s Council of School Attorneys (COSA) will host its 2013 School Law Practice Seminar Oct. 10 to 12 in Nashville, Tenn. Join other school attorneys from across the U.S. and Canada for the premier school law event, where participants will drill down to the meaty issues, discuss shared challenges, and grow as school attorneys and colleagues.

Highlights of the event will include early bird sessions, which feature specialized and timely discussions on special education and autism, and employment law. The seminar’s opening general session, “From Desegregation to Diversity,” will be presented Thursday morning by John W. Borkowski, Hogan Lovells, Jesse Register, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and Leonard Stevens, Leonard Stevens Consulting. Friday morning kicks off with “Evaluating Mental Health Needs in Light of Safety and Security Concerns;” NSBA’s Legal Advocacy Agenda with NSBA’s General Counsel, Francisco M. Negrón, Jr.; and Student Privacy Concerns in the Cloud Computing Era.

Other sessions will discuss ACA health insurance shared responsibility penalties, intellectual property and fair use, and defining equal opportunity in school-sponsored extracurricular activities; and school law trial practice.

The conference concludes on Saturday with two dynamic presentations, titled, “Armed Guards in Schools,” and “Adventures in Ethics: Will You End Your Career with Integrity or Will You be Eaten by a Bear?”

Attendees can earn up to 11.5 hours of CLE credit in the process.  Check out the program and register at the seminar website!



Joetta Sack-Min|August 7th, 2013|Categories: School Law, Conferences and Events, Announcements, School Security, Council of School Attorneys|Tags: |

DOJ official joins NSBA panel to discuss school diversity ruling

The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) legal department announced that Anurima Barghava, Chief of the Educational Opportunities Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), will join its webinar to discuss the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Fisher v. Univ. of Texas. The webinar will be held Tuesday, July 16 at 1 p.m. EDT.

Ms. Barghava and other national experts, including NSBA General Counsel Francisco M. Negrón, Jr., will offer unique insights on the Supreme Court’s June 24 Fisher decision, which addressed the University of Texas’ use of race or ethnicity in its evaluation of candidates for admission. NSBA joined The College Board in an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the Court should avoid any dilution of the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger ruling that would undermine efforts to achieve diversity currently used throughout the spectrum of our public education system from kindergarten through post-secondary levels.

Now that the Court has weighed in, leaving Grutter undisturbed for now, will Fisher change the way public schools admit and assign students? Does this decision signal the Court’s likely direction in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, where it will address a Michigan voter initiative that banned racial preferences in admissions to the state’s public universities? Will Fisher affect K-12 assignment policies designed to promote diverse public school enrollment? Is this decision consistent with the DOJ and Office of Civil Right’s interpretation of PICS?

Other panelists include Teresa E. Taylor, Policy and Legal Advisor, EducationCounsel LLC and co-author of the amicus brief filed by The College Board and NSBA; and John Borkowski, Partner, Hogan Lovells, who advises school districts across the country on constitutional issues including race and diversity.

Register Now to Reserve Your Seat!



Joetta Sack-Min|July 15th, 2013|Categories: School Law, Announcements, Diversity, Council of School Attorneys, Federal Advocacy|Tags: , , , , , |

Arizona School Boards Association builds fund to help children of fallen firefighters

The Arizona School Boards Association and other state education organizations have launched a long-term, statewide, community-giving effort aimed at providing the financial assistance necessary to meet the full-range of education needs of the children and families of the 19 hotshot crew members who died on June 30 fighting the Yarnell Hill wildfire.

The Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Education Fund will provide the 13 children, three unborn children, and the spouses and fiancées of the crew members all reasonable assistance with education-related expenses throughout the children’s school-age years. The goal is to raise $5 million.

A fund has been established with Wells Fargo and the public is invited to make tax-deductible donations at any Wells Fargo branch using account number 8008516158. In addition, checks to the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Education Fund, with account number 8008516158 noted in the memo line, may also be sent to the fund’s fiscal agent, the Arizona School Boards Association, at 2100 N. Central Ave., Ste, 200, Phoenix, AZ 85004, for deposit into the account.

Assistance to families, which will be provided until the youngest of the children turns 22, could include funds for early childhood education opportunities like preschool, K-12 needs such as school clothes and supplies, activity fees for extracurricular activities, and college admissions testing, and post-secondary needs such as college textbooks and tuition, or vocational training programs.

“This fund was established to provide a way for all Arizonans, and compassionate people everywhere, to honor the brave men who were lost and stand by the families of the Yarnell 19 over time as they lay educational foundations for the future,” said Tim Carter, Yavapai County Superintendent of Schools, who has worked as liaison between the statewide organizations spearheading the effort and Prescott-area groups, including the family services branch of the local firefighters’ union.

The groups pledging their assistance to help build the fund and support the families over time through regional, state and national efforts are the Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona Association of School Business Officials, Arizona School Administrators, Arizona Education Association, Arizona Association of County School Superintendents and Yavapai College Foundation.

“Nothing can replace what these families have lost, but we can build awareness for their needs, and leverage our state and national networks to support them as they move forward – growing, learning, and pursuing successful and fulfilling futures in the ways education makes possible,” said Dr. Tim Ogle, executive director of the Arizona School Boards Association.

A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, ASBA’s services as fiscal agent for the Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Education Fund will be provided pro bono.

In addition to the comprehensive Prescott Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Education Fund, a complementary scholarship endowment fund for the children of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and other fallen firefighters was recently established by the Arizona Community Foundation and the Yavapai County Community Foundation.

Staff|July 9th, 2013|Categories: Announcements, Featured, State School Boards Associations|Tags: , , |

CPE discusses resurgence of “Ability Grouping” in video chat

The Center for Public Education’s (CPE) Director Patte Barth joined the Huffington Post today for a video chat on “’Ability Grouping’ in Schools.”

The segment discussed the classroom practice of “ability grouping,” often known as clustering, of students by their strengths and abilities. The practice declined in the 1980s and 1990s because of concerns over inequalities, according to a recent article in Salon magazine, “The Return of Ability Grouping,” that inspired the video chat. The online chat asked, “Why are we revisiting a teaching method that we abandoned back in the 1990’s?”

Barth noted that two decades ago, students usually stayed in the same “track” that they started from first grade through high school, and the track became “a self-fulfilling prophecy.” However, the standards-based reform movement and mindset that all children need to achieve at high levels changed the landscape, she said, adding that teachers now know that they cannot let struggling students falls behind.

“All of these children are able, but the grouping needs to be dynamic” so that the structure does not become too rigid, Barth said.


Watch the archived chat at HUFFPOST Live.


Joetta Sack-Min|June 12th, 2013|Categories: Curriculum, Teachers, Announcements, Center for Public Education, Educational Research, Data Driven Decision Making, Mathematics Education, Policy Formation, Assessment|Tags: , , , , , , |
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