- May 31, 2023
- May 31, 2023
On May 31, 2023, the Aspen Institute Germany and the American Council on Germany hosted the eighth discussion in the virtual event series State-to-State: German-American State Legislator Dialogue with German and U.S. state legislators. While global challenges are traditionally addressed by national governments, increasingly subnational actors such as states, communities, and cities have stepped up to take action when nation-states have been unable to make progress due to political polarization and partisan gridlock. This trend has also characterized transatlantic relations and the German-American partnership. In both Germany and the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges facing the education field. Teacher shortages, which were already apparent before the pandemic, have become an overwhelming challenge for educational systems. Extended school closures, hybrid learning arrangements, student disengagement, and mental health challenges have contributed to historic learning loss. These challenges are closely interlinked and require urgent action. What approaches have state legislators in Germany and the United States taken to support, train and retain educators? How might subnational governments identify innovative solutions to mitigate learning loss? How might effective policies on one side of the Atlantic be implemented or mirrored on the other? In this conversation, state legislators on both sides of the Atlantic discussed the impact of the pandemic on education and opportunities for ensuring that all students have access to quality education in the wake of COVID-19. We discussed these issues with Senator Raumesh Akbari (Democrat), Member of the Tennessee State Senate, Representative Edward DeLaney (Democrat), Member of the Indiana House of Representatives, Jochen Ott MdL (SPD), Member of the State Parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia, Andreas Sturm MdL (CDU), Member of the State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg, and Representative Steven Ultrino (Democrat), Member of the Massachusetts General Court.
This event was part of the State-to-State: German-American State Legislator Dialogue which the Aspen Institute Germany and the American Council on Germany have launched to provide a platform for subnational exchange amongst German and American state legislators and a broader audience on common transatlantic challenges. The project builds on Aspen Germany’s Laboratories of Democracy Initiative, a transatlantic exchange program for German and American state legislators.