Education Week - January 16, 2013 - (Page 1)

Education Week VOL. 32, NO. 17 • JANUARY 16, 2013 ▲ AM E R ICAN E DUCATION’S N EWS PAPE R OF R ECOR D • © 2013 Editorial Projects in Education • $4 BREAKING NEWS DAILY Multiple Gauges Best for Teachers INDUSTRY & INNOVATION Study Probes Scores, Observations, Surveys Stephen Voss for Education Week By Stephen Sawchuk Karim Kai Ani, who founded the educational technology startup Mathalicious, takes notes while working on a project that uses toppings and prices of pizza to explain the fundamentals of linear functions to students. Is Education Facing a ‘Tech Bubble’? By Michelle R. Davis Educational technology companies and entrepreneurs may face the risk of a “tech bubble,” similar to the massive boom-and-bust that rocked the technology market in the late 1990s, according to market analysts and a recently released paper. A relatively new focus on K-12 educational technology as an investment vehicle, a surge of investors looking to cash in on the latest innovations, and fewer barriers to developing an ed-tech business have merged in ways that have some market observers wary of what’s ahead. The flurry of activity is prompting comparisons to the dot-com crash of the late 1990s, which brought the failure of many technology-related businesses that had drawn huge sums of money from investors. Analysts say it is vital for today’s money to flow to smart companies and ideas that can have a significant impact on improving schools—otherwise, the prospect of an ed-tech bubble bursting will loom larger, leaving schools with fewer high-quality products to choose from. Frank Catalano, a principal consultant and analyst at Intrinsic Strategy, a Seattle-based consulting firm that specializes in educational technology, said he’s pleased to see more startup activity in the K-12 arena, but has concerns about how the market is evolving. “I worry the pendulum has swung too far,” said Mr. Catalano, who addressed the issue in a paper last month for the mit Enterprise Forum of the Northwest, based in Mountlake Terrace, Wash. The organization is a chapter of the mit Enterprise Forum, a global nonprofit organization that seeks to support educational technology entrepreneurs, and is affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “People say this is different [from the dot-com boom],” Mr. Catalano said, “but it’s not that different.” In “Obstacles and Opportunities for Entrepreneurs in Education,” the paper Mr. Catalano co-wrote with Shirley Lunde of Seattle-based Bader Martin, an accounting and business-advising company, the auPAGE 17 > Gun Concerns Personal for Duncan By Michele McNeil As U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan works with other Obama administration officials on policy responses to the shootings at a Connecticut elementary school, he brings a personal and professional history that has acquainted him with the impact of gun violence. As schools chief in Chicago from 2001 to 2008, he was affected by the gun deaths of a 10-year-old on the eve of her first day of 4th grade, a 16-year-old boy shot in a city bus on his way home from school, and an 18-year-old honor student killed outside his high school, among others. And growing up, he was surrounded by violence on Chicago’s South Side. Those experiences have helped turn Mr. Duncan into an outspoken advocate of gun control who has drawn sharp criticism from the National Rifle Association. He’s now among those tasked by President Barack Obama with crafting and selling a package of legislative and executive actions in the wake of the shootings that killed 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “This is very personal for Arne,” said PAGE 21 > PAGE 16 > Model Common-Core Unit Piloted for ELL Teachers By Lesli A. Maxwell Seventh and 8th grade English-learners in selected urban schools will soon dive into some of the most celebrated speeches in U.S. history. They’ll dissect, for example, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream,” and Robert F. Kennedy’s “On the Death of Martin Luther King.” Though their Englishlanguage skills are still developing, the students will read the original texts, not watered-down versions. This brand-new English/ language arts unit on the use of persuasion was designed to show how reading complex, informational texts and writing arguments—a key requirement in the new common-core standards—can be used with English-learners to deepen their learning of content and concepts as well as language. Called “Persuasion Across Time and Space,” the fivelesson unit is the first major PAGE 15 > FOCUS ON: PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS LIFTING HOPES: Fourth John W. Adkisson for Education Week Rush of Investment, Products Mirrors 1990s, Some Warn Student feedback, testscore-growth calculations, and observations of practice appear to pick up different but complementary information that, combined, can provide a balanced and accurate picture of teacher performance, according to recently released research from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. A composite indicator of teacher effectiveness drawing on all three of those measures, and tested through a random-assignment experiment, closely predicted how much a high-performing group of teachers would boost their students’ standardized-test scores, con- cludes the series of new papers, part of the massive Measures of Effective Teaching study launched more than three years ago. “If you select the right measures, you can provide teachers with an honest assessment of where they stand in their practice that, hopefully, will serve as the launching point for their development,” said Thomas J. Kane, a professor of education and economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, who headed the study. Basing more than half a teacher’s evaluation on test-score-based measures of student achievement seemed to compromise it, graders, from left, E’Mari Walker, Trinity Demby, and Stephanie Torres, use new laptops at Ashley Park Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C. The computers, which students will eventually be able to take home, are financed through Project LIFT, an unusual public-private partnership that is drawing national attention. PAGE 12

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 16, 2013

Education Week - January 16, 2013
Is Education Facing a ‘Tech Bubble’?
Multiple Gauges Best for Teachers
Model Common-Core Unit Piloted for ELL Teachers
Gun Concerns Personal for Duncan
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Fla. Data Link Suspension To Lower Graduation Rates
Anti-Poverty Program Found To Fall Short In Studies
New Science-Standards Draft Incorporates Feedback
With Common Core in Mind, Schools Turn to E-Rate
Survey Tool Aims for Fresh Eye On Parents
Study Dissects Gender Effects In Math Teaching
Funders and N.C. District Team Up To Run Schools
Blogs of the Week
State of the States
N.Y.’s Cuomo Moves Ahead On K-12 Ideas
Crush of Ed. Laws Awaiting Renewal In Congress
Fiscal Realities Dog States
Policy Brief
R. BARKER BAUSELL: Putting Value-Added Evaluation To the (Scientific) Test
GARY HUGGINS: It’s Time for Summer Learning
JEFF CAMP: Let’s Remove Self-Righteousness From the K-12 Debate
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
MIKE ROSE: Giving Cognition a Bad Name

Education Week - January 16, 2013