AMI/USA and the American Montessori Society recently secured funding to move ahead vigorously on new initiatives of the Montessori Public Policy Initiative, thanks to a generous grant from the Walton Family Foundation. The MPPI is a collaboration of AMS and AMI/USA, with a mission to create a groundswell of activism through the establishment and support of grassroots advocacy.
Specifically, the grant will enable the MPPI to work with Bellwether Education Partners on a survey of approximately 30 states to determine each state’s “policy landscape” with respect to issues particular to the practice of Montessori. The scope will encompass Early Childhood and K – 12 and focus on issues such as teacher credential recognition, licensing challenges, and Quality Rating Improvement System instruments.
It is anticipated that the State Policy Landscape Analysis will yield a wealth of helpful information for Montessori state groups involved in affecting policy. Many representatives of these groups have expressed that having a clearinghouse of other states’ successes and obstacles would give them more informed strategies in their own efforts, and support collaborative efforts such as the sharing of resources, ideas, language, and lessons learned. The results will also provide MPPI with a clearer picture of where to focus the energy of the MPPI council and staff in providing support and guidance. This will be particularly useful as the transition to a new administration is sure to bring about significant shifts in federal policies.
We are grateful to the Walton Family Foundation for their support and look forward to working with them and with Bellwether Education Partners, and with all of our colleagues at the MPPI.