Education Week - January 8, 2014 - (Page 5)

Ed-Tech Revenue Grows In P-12 Market Educational software and digital content sold in the P-12 market accounted for $7.97 billion in company revenues in 2011-12, according to survey results released by the Software and Information Industry Association's education division. That amount represents a 2.7 per- cent increase from the $7.76 billion reported in 2010-11, according to Consulting Services for Education Inc., the Newton, Mass.-based firm that conducted the study on behalf of the SIIA. Sectors that are growing dramatically are instructional support and assessments, which increased more than 30 percent year over year, and pre-K, which jumped from zero in reported revenues to $14 million. At the same time, sellers of administrative tools, such as human resources and IT platforms for schools, reported revenues that indicated a one-third decline. -MICHELE MOLNAR Undocumented Immigrants Sought as Recruits for TFA Teach For America will seek out undocumented college graduates who meet its criteria to become teachers in some of the nation's most challenged public schools. The organization announced last month that it would open up its recruitment efforts to include undocumented candidates who were brought to the United States as children by their parents and had received "deferred action" status: temporary work authorization and relief from deportation from federal immigration officials. Known as DREAMers, the beneficiaries of deferred action must meet the same eligibility requirements of other potential candidates: a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA and a bachelor's degree. TFA accepted three DREAMers into its 2013 corps. -L.A.M. Most Wis. School Unions Survive Recertification Scores of school worker unions in Wisconsin mustered enough member votes in recertification elections to go on representing employees in wage negotiations, state data show. Collective-bargaining restrictions championed by Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, prohibit publicemployee unions from negotiating with managers over anything but base-wage increases based on inflation. The restrictions also require unions to hold annual elections to see whether members want them to continue their representation. Elections for 400 unions repre- senting teachers, school support staff, and school office workers got underway at the end of November and concluded last month. Eighty to 90 percent of the unions collected enough votes to continue wage negotiations. -ASSOCIATED PRESS Chicago Adds Black History To Its Core Curriculum More than two decades after Illinois enacted a law that requires public schools to teach African-American studies, the 404,000-student Chicago district has announced a new guide for incorporating the subject into core classes. Until now, African-American history "has been taught sporadically in Chicago, often coming up only during Black History Month or to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday," the Chicago Tribune reported. The district also will add computer science as a core subject, rather than an elective, for high school students. -L.H. N.C. Teachers' Group Sues Over Private School Grants Public school advocates have sued North Carolina in a bid to block a new law that would let taxpayer money be used by low-income students wishing to attend private or religious schools. Lawyers for the North Carolina Association of Educators and the North Carolina Justice Center filed the lawsuit in Wake County Superior Court last month on behalf of some two dozen parents, teachers, and others. They contend the law violates a section of the state constitution that creates a school fund and requires that the money be "used exclusively for establishing and maintaining a uniform system | TRANSITION | Nebraska Names New Chief Matthew Blomstedt was chosen as Nebraska's new education commissioner, effective Jan. 2. He previously served as the executive director of the Nebraska Educational Service Unit Coordinating Council and the head of the Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association. He also worked for the state legislature's education committee. Mr. Blomstedt replaces Roger Breed, who retired last year. of free public schools." The law taking effect for the next academic year, would give annual grants of $4,200 each. Students are eligible if they qualify for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program, were assigned to a public school during the 2014 spring semester, and want to attend a private or religious school. -AP Fla. Court Backs Gun Search Based on Anonymous Tip A recent state court ruling backs the ability of school administrators and security personnel to rely on anonymous tips to thwart potential school violence. Citing the nationwide record of deadly mass school shootings over the last 15 years, the majority on a Florida appellate court said that "protecting students from gun violence is entitled to substantial weight" when judging the reasonableness of school searches. The 3rd District Court of Appeal last month upheld the search of a student's backpack for a gun based on a tip to the "gun bounty" program of the Miami-Dade County police department. CORRECTIONS The Dec. 11, 2013, issue of Educa- tion Week mistakenly reprinted Pages 3-5 of the preceding week's issue. A mailer with the correct pages (containing the Table of Contents, News in Brief, and Report Roundup) has been sent to print subscribers; the pages may also be viewed online at A Dec. 11 news brief misstated the amounts being donated to EducationSuperHighway in support of broadband connectivity. Mark Zuckerberg's group Startup:Education gave $3 million; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave $2 million; and others gave $4 million. The photo at the top of Page 24 in the same issue was misidentified; it shows 6th grader Zaine Bedsaul in the Kau District on the Big Island in Hawaii. The photo at the bottom of the page shows a school bus on Highway 11 in the Kau District. -MARK WALSH Washington-based coalition of business leaders promoting improved STEM education, concludes that American universities are not producing enough graduates-male or female-to fill the job demands in the computing field. It notes that women earned just 18 percent of all bachelor's degrees in computing in 2012, down from 27 percent about a decade earlier. The report also estimates that, while the U.S. mar- ket on average has 120,000 job openings in the computing field, universities only awarded about 70,000 degrees in 2012. -ALYSSA MORONES COMMON CORE "Leadership for the Common Core" America's school principals overwhelmingly have put the rollout of the Common Core State Standards at the top of their agenda, but the vast majority also say they are not adequately prepared to manage both the budgeting and the overall shift in instruction that is demanded by the new learning goals in English/language arts and mathematics. Those findings on the common core are captured in a new survey that polled some 1,000 principals in 14 states. The results were released last month by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, or NAESP. More than 80 percent of the principals queried by NAESP report that they are "prioritizing" the new standards both for school improvement and their own learning. That proportion was even higher among principals in urban districts, who also generally reported having received more professional development around the common core than their non-urban peers. Reports on college-completion rates may be giving up on students too soon: New data released by the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System show that a significant proportion of students do finish college degrees and professional certificates-but in double the traditional time allotted for those programs. IPEDS, a program by the National Center for Education Statistics, collected data about more than 21 million students at 7,400 public and private colleges and universities that participated in federal student financial aid programs in 2012-13. For 2013, the statistics agency added an expanded graduation rate, which measures the number of students who complete a degree program in twice the normal length of time. For example, to get an extended 2012 graduation rate, four-year colleges would look at the incoming class of 2004, while two-year programs would track students who entered in 2008. Using those calculations, graduation rates for full- time, first-time undergraduates increased from 38.1 percent to 60.9 for four-year programs and from 21 percent to 38 percent at two-year institutions. -SARAH D. SPARKS Among all principals who responded, more than 80 percent said the standards have the potential to provide students with deeper learning and more meaningful assessments of their knowledge and skills, but that percentage was slightly lower among urban principals. -LESLI A. MAXWELL COLLEGE COMPLETION "Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System: First Look Fall 2012" Study Finds Educator Training Lacking "Training Our Future Teachers: Classroom Management" Most teacher colleges appear to spend at least some instructional time on classroom-management techniques, but it's often incomplete, not based on research, or divorced from the student-teaching experience. That's the gist of a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based advocacy group. For the report, the NCTQ examined syllabi and other materials from 122 programs across 79 institutions in 33 states, mostly collected through open-records requests. Analysts reviewed the research on classroom management and arrived at five components that the council said should be taught in every program: *Rules for classroom behavior that are modeled and applied; *Routines on how to act when working in groups, turning in homework, and so forth; *Praise for students' good behavior; *Consequences for misbehavior; and *Student engagement through the use of interesting lessons with ample opportunities for participation. Overall, programs spent an average of about eight class periods-or 40 percent of a single course-on classroom management. Only 17 percent of the programs studied addressed all five of the components. The review also contends that while the programs included assignments on classroom management, they often didn't give students a chance to practice the techniques. NCTQ officials found few connections between coursework and what teacher-candidates were evaluated on during student-teaching. The group chalks the apparent mismatch up to a collision between academic freedom and a vague curriculum. Teacher-college officials faulted the project for relying on a small sample and a narrow definition of classroom management. -STEPHEN SAWCHUK EDUCATION WEEK | January 8, 2014 | | 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 8, 2014

Education Week - January 8, 2014
State Legislators Fire Up Engines
Inspections Piloted for Teacher Prep
Student Views Shifting on Risks Of Marijuana
L.A. School Bridges Home-School Gap
InBloom Sputters as Data Privacy Hits the Spotlight
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Fariña to Lead N.Y.C. Public Schools
Judge Censures District’s Use of ‘Hess Report’
Los Angeles, D.C. Outshine Urban Peers in NAEP Gains
Blogs of the Week
Cloud Computing Expands, Raising Data-Privacy Concerns
Congressional Appropriators Turn To K-12 Spending Details
Rural Districts Win Big in Race To Top Awards
States Split Latest Pot of Early-Learning Aid
Blogs of the Week
ERIC A. HANUSHEK: Why the U.S. Results on PISA Matter
ROBERT WEINTRAUB & DAVID WEINTRAUB: Why Arne Duncan’s PISA Comments Miss the Mark
JACK DALE: Learning From a Test
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
PETER W. COOKSON JR.: Looking for Equity on the Yellow School Bus

Education Week - January 8, 2014