25 Feb 2020

Harassment Training in Utah, Mobile Games and Teacher Training Funding

Lawmakers have approved a proposal that would require lobbyists to participate in annual anti-sexual harassment training in order to be licensed to lobby in the state Capital of Utah. On Tuesday the Utah House approved this proposal with a 58-11 vote, causing it to move on to the state senate for review. This act has been suggested due to the scandals and sexual harassment allegations that have surfaced in businesses and governments around the country.

Currently Utah lawmakers are already required to undergo harassment training that focuses on religion, sex, race or other factors with lobbyists being excluded. Since lobbyists are often in the Capitol and have private meetings with staff and lawmakers it would only make sense that they also have to undergo training. 

Utah legislative lawyers have made it clear that this proposal is not being called into action because of bad behavior but as a preventative measure to make sure that lawmakers are doing all they can to ensure a safe workplace. (Source: The Seattle Times

What does this mean for professional development?

Due to the continuous rise of harassment allegations around the country, preventive anti-harassment training is becoming the best plan of action in governments as well as private and public businesses and organizations. Waiting for scandals to arise to take action is not enough; stopping them before they occur through harassment training is the best option. Utah is leading by example and demonstrating the important measures that need to be taken to address this wide-scale issue. 

Mobile Games Paving the Way for Professional Development

The market for educations games is on rise with mobile learning games proving to be a dominant player. According to the Serious Play Conference's annual report, that showcases the big growth that is specific to the corporate and education training sector, it is predicted that the United States annual growth rate will be over 20% between 2017 and 2022.

Due to this, L&D professionals are beginning to notice the big role that a mobile learning games could play in the learning development of their companies and staff. (Source: Association for Talent Development)

What does this mean for professional development?

Since almost everyone these days has a smart phone, the presence of learning and development in the form of mobile games is continuing to grow. In the near future, professionals will start to see a rise in mobile learning opportunities to help support their professional growth. 

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Teacher Professional Development Funding on the Chopping Block

Once again, a number of federal programs that fund school-leader training, recruitment and professional development are on the chopping block. The items that are facing removal for the 2019 fiscal year in the Trump Administration budget are:

  • All $2 billion of the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grant program, or Title II, Part A. This grant is allocated to every state and is primarily used for teachers' professional development and class size reduction, but can also be used for school leaders and principals;
  • $65 million for the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant program;
  • And $14.5 million for the School Leader Recruitment and Support grant.

According to the Trump administration, these programs have been chosen for elimination because they had "achieved their original purpose, duplicate other programs, are narrowly focused, or are unable to demonstrate effectiveness." However, this is not something that school leadership agrees upon. 

In a joint statement, the NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the American Federation of School Administrators, New Leaders, ASCD, and Learning Forward said the administration's proposed budget puts the nation's students and future at risk.

"The Every Student Succeeds Act thoroughly revamped Title II's uses of funds and definition of professional development, and states developed plans that relied heavily on teacher and principal development within the new parameters," the statement said. "Those state plans recognize what the Trump administration fails to accept or fund: That high-quality education for all students can be achieved only with high-quality development for teachers and principals." (Source: Education Week)

What does this mean for professional development?

If these funds that pay for the professional development of educators around the country are cut, then school leaders will see less, if any, opportunity to develop professionally through proper training. 

Last updated: 25 Feb 2020

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