State Board Report

April 2012

When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as President in 1933, in the midst of a great depression, he pioneered the concept of “the first 100 days.” As he moved to implement change, he set the 100-day threshold as the benchmark for measuring his administration’s success. He ultimately was able to pass 15 major pieces of legislation that established many of the social programs which exist today. Every President since Roosevelt has been “measured” as to the accomplishments of his first 100 days. Being a lover of history, as I considered topics for this month’s President’s Memo, it occurred to me that by the time you read this piece, I will have been President and CEO of NASBA for 100 days, so I thought it would be interesting to reflect on some of what has happened in “the first 100 days.”

A cornerstone of this period was the announcement and implementation of the “back to our roots initiative.” Several components of that initiative have taken place, including: At the recent Executive Directors and State Board Staff Conference, NASBA Chair Mark Harris and I announced the new strategic planning process for the upcoming year, wherein participants will include State Board members, executive directors, NASBA Board of Directors and designated staff. The inclusion of stakeholders, to what has been a staff-driven process, will bring a new perspective and fresh ideas to the process. Dan Dustin joined the NASBA staff as Vice President of State Board Relations in January, and he has been busy providing a communications conduit that has already built bridges between NASBA and State Boards who had drifted away from participation in NASBA. Our Communications Department has rolled out its new program to help State Boards create and produce high quality newsletters, social media videos and other educational materials without charge.

NASBA is also ramping up our legislative support capabilities. In the first 100 days, NASBA, through staff and volunteers, provided resources that successfully supported or opposed legislative initiatives in Maine, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Tennessee and Georgia. We are currently working with several states across the nation on legislative matters, and expect the number to rise as states face threatening proposals that could weaken or damage their capability to protect the public. NASBA volunteers and staff have participated in hearings, forums and roundtables, and written letters and responses, to insure that State Boards’ perspectives and positions are represented. The recent adoption of the “NASBA Position Policy” for developing responses enhances this capability and our representative voice. We are continuing to create a legislative office within NASBA, including the addition of legislative support staff, to augment our capability to support State Boards.

Finally, we have made significant internal changes and improvements in the first 100 days. Through reorganization we have moved and changed staff positions, and made structural changes in our Nashville and New York offices to improve efficiency and effectiveness. We have ramped up our data management capabilities, including developing a membership database that provides a better understanding of our stakeholders, which will be invaluable for incoming chairs as they make committee and task force appointments.

We (the staff of NASBA) are enjoying the opportunities that change brings and are excited about the opportunities ahead of us. There are more plans and projects in the works that will occur in the next 100 days. Who knows? Maybe I will introduce the “fireside chat” — so keep your radios warm!

Semper ad meliora. (Always toward better things.)

— Ken L. Bishop
President and CEO

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