Education Week - January 14, 2015 - (Page 14)

STATE of the STATES Here are summaries of recent annual addresses by governors around the country. CALIFORNIA GOV. JERRY BROWN (D) * JAN. 5 In his inaugural address and annual report to the state legislature, Gov. Brown lauded the state's recent changes to how, and by how much, schools are funded and highlighted the need to recruit and train "tens of thousands" of teachers. Gov. Brown said that the state's Local Control Funding Formula, which he signed into law in 2013, has helped foster "a much fairer system of school funding" that also gives districts more power over how they spend money on needy students, such as those from low-income families. While stressing the importance of the teaching profession, he also cautioned against overaggressive policy regarding teachers' classroom work. "Teachers need to be held accountable but never forget: They have a tough job to do. They need our encouragement, not endless regulations and micromanagement from afar," the governor told lawmakers. -ANDREW UJIFUSA CONNECTICUT GOV. DANNEL P. MALLOY (D) * JAN. 7 The governor alluded only briefly to education in his transportation-focused state address, saying that over the past four years, his administration has "built better schools, raised test scores, made college more affordable, and put Connecticut on a path toward universal prekindergarten." But Connecticut has received some good news recently on the education front. Last BLOGS Growing Roster of 'Senior Advisers' Recruited to Back Up Arne Duncan | POLITICS K-12 | "Senior adviser" to the U.S. Department of Education-get used to that title. It's becoming very popular these days. Robert Gordon, who played key roles at the Office of Management and Budget from 2009 to 2013, was nominated as assistant secretary for planning, evaluation, and policy in May. But the U.S. Senate hasn't given him the OK, so Mr. Gordon has been working as a "senior adviser" at the department since September. He's been doing many of the same things he'd be doing if he had been confirmed, in terms of helping steer the policy ship, sources say. John King left his role as the state chief in New York Jan. 3 to take over what's essentially the No. 2 position at the department, the deputy secretary, again as a senior advisor- without being nominated by President Barack Obama. And Ericka Miller-who has been nominated as assistant secretary for the office of postsecondary education and was most recently a vice president at the Education Trust-joins the department in an "acting" capacity and as a "senior adviser" for policy and programs. So is this some new strategy at 400 Maryland Ave. for filling top positions without having to deal with the difficult process of getting nominees through Congress? (Asked about that, the Education Department referred the question to the White House, which never responded.) But the more important question may be: Is just "acting" in a role, or serving as an adviser, without the fancy, official title going to be a problem when it comes to getting things done? It shouldn't be, said Mike Smith, who served as undersecretary during the Clinton administration, but also essentially (and unofficially) performed the deputy 14 | EDUCATION WEEK | January 14, 2015 | role at times because Congress never confirmed his nomination. "It didn't hurt me at all," Mr. Smith said. "I sat in that big office with my own bathroom and looked out at the Holiday Inn" across the street from the department. "[You're] the deputy when [you're] there." Jeb Bush, Eyeing Presidential Run, Steps Away From Advocacy Group | STATE EDWATCH | Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush- who says he is "actively exploring" a run for president in 2016-has now announced that he's ending his relationships with several corporations and nonprofit organizations, including his own K-12 advocacy group, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the Washington Post reported Jan. 1. Mr. Bush's aides told the Post in an email that he was leaving these groups in order to focus more time on politics. With Mr. Bush as its founder and chairman, the Foundation for Excellence in Education has supported an A-F accountability system, school choice, digital education, and teacher evaluations based on test scores, among other policies. It grew out of the Republican's work during his time as Florida governor from 1999 to 2007, when he oversaw the creation of the state's A-F system and other major changes to public school policy. The organization has lobbied and otherwise worked closely with officials in Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and elsewhere to adopt and implement those policies, and has actively supported the Common Core State Standards in several states. Mr. Bush also announced he was ending his relationship with Academic Partnerships, a company that has converted more than 4,000 courses to online formats in over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, according to the company's website. He earned $60,000 a year as a paid adviser, according to the Post, and also owned a small share of the company's stock. -ANDREW UJIFUSA -ALYSON KLEIN Proposed Teacher-Prep. Regulations Too Costly, Some in Higher-Ed. Say | TEACHER BEAT | The Education Department significantly underestimated how much time and money it would cost states and colleges to put in place new rating systems for teacher preparation, a variety of higher education groups contend in comments to the White House's Office of Management and Budget. The department estimated that the proposed regulations, published in the Federal Register on Dec. 2, would cost some $42 million over 10 years. But that figure is "astoundingly low," and "artificially low," some higher education groups say in their letters, according to Inside Higher Ed. The rules would require states to review programs and providers using data from surveys and student achievement results, among other things. Poor-performing ones would eventually not be able to offer federal financial aid in the form of teach grants. The American Council on Education, an umbrella group for many higher education associations, said that even though the federal government has invested in data systems, only nine states can currently link K-12 student data to teacher-preparation programs. Inside Higher Ed also posted a submission from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which noted the costs associated with seeking legislative authority to link teachers, teacher education programs, and students. preparing children for kindergarten. Gov. Beshear called on lawmakers to support an early-childhood educator measure, known as all-stars, that he pushed last year that would increase monitoring of programs and provide teachers with continuing education and information regarding nutrition and ageappropriate curriculum for students. He also urged the legislature to move quickly to pass legislation that is designed to help students earn degrees more quickly and at less cost, a recommendation of a state higher education task force. NORTH DAKOTA GOV. JACK DALRYMPLE (R) * JAN. 6 California Gov. Jerry Brown and his wife, Anne Gust Brown, center right, are greeted by lawmakers before his inauguration at the state Capitol in Sacramento. month, the federal government awarded the state $12.5 million to expand its preschool program. Seventeen other states also received money through the Preschool Development Grant program. The federal early-education money is in addition to an $105 million state-funded initiative approved in April 2014 that will pay for public schools to renovate classrooms to serve 3- and 4-year-olds. -CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS KENTUCKY GOV. STEVE BESHEAR (D) * JAN. 7 In his final address to the state legislature, outgoing Gov. Beshear-who is term-limited and will leave office after the election later this year-highlighted the strides Kentucky is making in increasing student achievement and laid out a framework for how the state can continue on its upward trajectory. Noting that Kentucky was the first state to adopt the Common Core State Standards, Gov. Beshear cited an annual study that found that 62 percent of the state's 12th graders graduated collegeand career-ready in 2014, up from 38 percent in 2011. He also underscored the importance of his administration's efforts to provide better health care and preschool opportunities for children in low-income families, giving a shout-out to the state's new screening system that gauges whether early-education programs are properly The governor gave passing mention to education in his annual address to state lawmakers, citing the state's fast-growing K-12 population and the need for more school construction. He recommended adding $300 million to the state's school construction revolving-loan program to accommodate the growth. Since 2010, North Dakota has added 10,500 students, and 22 districts have used the loan program to build, expand, or improve facilities. Gov. Dalrymple cited a 2014 Gallup poll of residents in each of the 50 states, which found that North Dakotans had the highest rating on satisfaction with their education system. He also called for strategic investments in higher education, with a focus on making college more affordable in a state that has seen an economic boom in the past decade thanks to the oil and gas industry. Read online compilation & links to full speeches. -LAUREN CAMERA -MICHELE MOLNAR -STEPHEN SAWCHUK Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 14, 2015

Education Week - January 14, 2015
Mandatory State Testing on Thin Ice
Feds Confront Doubts in Plan To Fix Tribal Schools
TFA-Like Corps Places Advisers In High Schools
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Pittsburgh Collaboration Seen as Model
News in Brief
Report Roundup
With Common Core, More States Sharing Test Questions
New Study Plan Set on Down Syndrome
Blogs of the Week
Growth of Md. Advising Program Runs Into Familiar Controversy
N.Y. Governor Aims to Flex Muscles On Education Policy
Head Start Partnerships to Provide New Resources, Standards for Day Care
State of the States
Blogs of the Week
FREDERICK M. HESS: The 2015 Edu-Scholar Rankings
How Does an Edu-Scholar Influence K-12 Policy?
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
WILLIAMSON M. EVERS: Exit, Voice, Loyalty—and the Common Core

Education Week - January 14, 2015