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Washington D.C.

The Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI) is a collaborative effort of Association Montessori International/USA (AMI/USA) and the American Montessori Society (AMS).

MPPI brought together leaders and state representatives from 26 states to Washington, DC, in the MPPI Retreat to learn about and discuss current public policy trends and issues in early childhood and K-12 education.

Mary Ellen Kordas, MPPI Council Member & CA State resident, Dr. Pamela Rigg, MCC Executive Director, and Yogi Patel, MCC School Member attended the three-day retreat from October 25 – 27, 2015.

The purpose of positioning states to effectively and pro-actively affect public policy was the focus.  “Montessori is probably the best-kept secret in terms of effective methods for reaching all our students. Policy makers need to know about it and craft legislation that allows it to flourish. This gathering has connected and empowered Montessori advocates across the U.S. to make significant changes in how we work together to make that happen,” said Bonnie Beste, Executive Director of AMI/USA and MPPI Council Member.

Montessori impact and influence on current public policy issues:

     -  Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS)

     -  Montessori teacher credential recognition by State Credentialing Agencies

     - MACTE accreditation of Teacher Education Programs by State Credentialing

     - Access to Montessori public, private, and charter schools

     - Child Care Licensing 

The MPPI Retreat included sessions with educational policy leaders:

     - Libby Doggett, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning, U.S. Department of Education

     - Rebecca Pelton, Executive Director, Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education (MACTE)

     - Jim Cultrara, Co-Chair, New York Council for American Private Education

     - Richard Ungerer, Executive Director of the American Montessori Society (AMS)

The retreat was made possible by the Trust for Learning, and supported by the Transparent Classroom, Montessori Services, and Maitri Learning.

MPPI Council Members:

            Bonnie Beste, Executive Director, AMI/USA

            Richard Ungerer, Executive Director, AMS

            Patrice Britz, Montessori Educator and Advocate

            Sharon Damore, Executive Director, Association of Illinois Montessori Schools

            Mary Ellen Kordas, Montessori Consultant

            Josh Oboler, Chairman, Montessori Schools of Maryland

            Charis Sharp, Head of School, Cedar River Montessori

            Wendy Shenk-Evans, Head of School

MPPI Staff:

            Anna Lovejoy, MPPI State Liaison

            Alyssa Schwartz