Writing for EdNote, Erin Whinnery recently shared four new education policy tools. Excerpts from the piece appear below:
How can education leaders better support students, families and teachers in these unprecedented times? What needs can be met with policy changes? Education Commission of the States supports education leaders with four unmatched state policy resources.
The State Education Policy Tracking database is a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive resource for education leaders looking for unique policy approaches to issues in their state. This interactive map includes enacted and vetoed legislation from 2019-22. ECS currently tracks 42 broad education policy issues, spanning from early learning to workforce development. In 2021, they tracked over 10,000 pieces of legislation, and over 1,700 bills were enacted or vetoed!
In addition to providing summary and analysis on thousands of pieces of legislation, the State Education Policy Tracking database is useful for spotting the latest policy trends. Using data from the 2021 policy tracking, there was a 245% increase in the number of enacted and vetoed bills related to postsecondary workforce development, as compared to 2019. State legislation continues to keep pace with virtual and online learning demands by increasing broadband access, supporting virtual classrooms and reimagining school accountability to account for virtual instruction.
ECS also observed a 158% increase in the number of enacted and vetoed student health bills between 2019 and 2021. Many of these bills focused on supporting student’s physical safety in classrooms, as well as their mental health and well-being. Use the new instructional video below to learn how to navigate the tool for your needs.
Sometimes, the best ideas aren’t acted on the first time around. ECS tracks a few key topics from introduction to final action to provide a nuanced view of what’s trending across the states with the State Education Policy Watchlist. Using this database, education policymakers can keep an eye on what other policymakers are focused on in their states and what legislation has been passed.
Elevating teachers and making college affordable are not new issues. To learn how education policy solutions have evolved over time, visit the state legislation archives. ECS has been tracking and summarizing enacted and vetoed legislation across the education spectrum since 1996.
The final and signature policy product is the Governors’ State of the State Addresses: Education-Related Proposals. Every year, in real time, ECS tracks and categorizes the education related proposals mentioned in governors’ State of the State addresses. The interactive map and analysis tool is accompanied by a report that identifies top education trends. Using data from the map and reports, ECS tracked the rise of top policy topics like dual enrollment, school choice, school safety and, most recently, student health.