Tier II States’ Advocacy

Added in March 2013

Arizona (Ann Velasco)

Steps toward progress include:

  • Looking at key areas where Montessori activities can be supported and have a larger presence in the community
  • Narrow advocacy focus from previous meeting with 40 administrators
  • Create agenda for subsequent meeting to finalize area of focus

Florida (Martyna Baginska-Varol and Kim Bednarek)

  • Planning the coalition meeting
       – Requested whether administrators were interested in receiving further communication regarding advocacy participation
  • Organizing and scheduling first coalition meeting in November
  • Outreach to Christine Lowery regarding QRIS.  In Florida, currently QRIS participation is voluntary, but schools anticipate it will become mandatory and are taking steps to learn more about it.

Michigan (Kay Neff and Susie Hyatt)

Initiatives focused on the following:

  • Met in October to review QRIS webinar information and to discuss how to define Montessori Schools for the state of MI.  Once the definition is finalized, the coalition will bring it before the Great Start Group for review.
  • The coalition will also be present at the upcoming Michigan Montessori Society Conference to explain what the group is working on and their position with the Quality Rating Information System (QRIS).
  • A survey via email and mail will be distributed by the end of October to determine the number of schools, students and staff in Michigan.
  • Beginning a project to align Montessori with the Michigan Early Childhood Education Standards of Quality.

New York (Claudine Campanelli and Christine Casalini)

Initiatives focused on the following:

  • Lifting restrictions in DOH 2- 6-year-olds (NYC only)
  • Addressing the NYS Common Core Standards and jargon
  • Reviewing the NYS Early Learning Guidelines
  • Reviewing the Board of Education restrictions

North Carolina (Anna Moraglia and Judith Faggart)

  • The Montessori Advocacy Council has been focused on gaining support and momentum before launching a statewide initiative. The council has met several times throughout the school year with diverse representation from the community, however, other schools have been slow to join

Ohio (Paula Leigh-Doyle and Laureen Golden)

Initiatives focused on the following:

  • Addressing birth through six restrictions
  • Inviting regional representatives and senators to visit the Hershey Montessori School, and within the Ohio Montessori Association, they are creating a Legislative Networking Kit to assist other schools around the state
  • The Ohio Montessori Alliance is planning an Annual Meeting (October 26-27th) which will layer in Dynamic Governance training.
       – Meeting goals include clarification of our aims and roles, and building capacity to work together (as well as the capacity of schools and even a couple of student councils!).
       – Promotion of this event will be used as an opportunity to strengthen outreach efforts and update school databases for the census project.
       – The Board of the Ohio Montessori Alliance helped to reach out to schools.

Oregon (Cathryn Kasper and Mercedes Castle)

Initiatives being considered:

  • Encouraging diplomas from MACTE accredited Montessori training centers plus a masters in education to be recognized as equal to public school teaching credentials issued by state universities
  • Working with the state Department of Education to get Montessori schools recognized as a school to allow for a full Montessori experience (taking them out of the regulation for daycare facilities under the Department of Public Health)
  • Working to find a way to join efforts with MINW and Oregon Montessori Association, so the groups can benefit from the work done in the past by OMA and the new energy brought to Oregon by the MAPI.
  • Leaders at MINW and OMA are now organizing meetings to discuss the transition, keeping the dual AMI & AMS co-chairs intact, re-configuring the core working group, and setting new goals for the 2013-14 year.
  • Accreditation and Professional Development Credits
  • MINW has articulated its curriculum into the Oregon Registry for its graduates.  Next steps include working with the state to ensure that prior graduates will also have this credit.
  • Work on encouraging MACTE to work with coalition and our state to articulate their accreditation requirements into the Oregon Registry so that AMS credential holders also get credit for their training.
  • Advocacy groups (or training centers) in each individual state will have to contact their state licensing organization, and find out that state’s process for recognizing “conferences, workshops, and seminars” such as the AMI/USA Refresher. Then, individual states can send their link to AMI/USA, and someone in the AMI/USA office can verify the course content, the CV of the presenter, course title, and hours of instruction.
  • Georgia has been doing for the past few years using Bright From the Start as their linking agency.

Tennessee (Jaime Yeager and Brooks Gerber)

Steps toward progress include:

  • Generating support for existing Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages
  • The coalition had its first state-wide conference on September 14th, offering sessions for toddler, primary and elementary teachers in the morning and a panel discussion in the afternoon.
  • Over 75 participants completed a survey about their level of involvement in the Alliance.
  • The database was updated to include close to 200 participants.
  • The next planning meeting on November 2. The focus of this meeting will be to delineate and prioritize the work load of the four areas of concentration that MAT has established, as well as explore ways that individuals can be involved in four areas:
    • Having an online presence
    • Advancing public awareness of Montessori
    • Advocacy for “Montessori friendly” policies and regulations at the state level
    • Nurturing professional development