Education Week - January 16, 2013 - (Page 18)

18 EDUCATION WEEK n JANUARY 16, 2013 n GOVERNMENT & POLITICS STATE OF THE STATES N.Y.’s Cuomo Moves Ahead On K-12 Ideas ‘Master teacher’ proposal, more learning time on tap Expanding the amount of learning time for students and creating a new class of higherpaid “master teachers” are among the major changes New York state needs to improve its K-12 system, says Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is also championing the idea of opening more community schools that would provide health care and family-counseling services. Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, is basing much of the education agenda unveiled in his State of the State speech last week on a report released at the start of the month by the New York Education Reform Commission, established by the governor last April to propose changes to public schools and the teaching profession. (Mr. Cuomo’s speech marked the official start of the 2013 legislative session in New York.) Several of the initiatives he proposed, including extended learning time and the “community schools” concept, would be funded by a competitive grant system. Longer Day, Longer Year Prefacing his education remarks by asserting that, “Our children are not being educated to the fullest,” the governor said that time was a crucial element. Countries that outperformed the United States on international assessments, as did Canada and South Korea on the Program for International Student Assessment, or pisa, have 10 or 20 more school days per year on average than the United States, Mr. Cuomo noted. Mike Groll/AP By Andrew Ujifusa Under his proposal, New York districts could choose to add school days, lengthen existing days, or combine those two ideas in some way to increase annual learning time by at least 25 percent, instead of continuing the status quo of providing education “as if we were an agrarian economy and an agrarian society,” he said. Also on the subject of school time, he devoted remarks to expanding prekindergarten, saying the state should begin the expansion of prekindergarten programs from 2½ hours to five hours per day, starting with high-needs students. For the teaching profession, Mr. Cuomo proposed a master-teacher system in which, based on student performance, teachers could earn that distinction and $15,000 in additional annual pay on top of their regular salaries for four years and serve as mentors for other teachers. “We must pay for performance and incentiv- ize high-performing teachers,” he said. The education reform commission also served as the basis for Mr. Cuomo’s proposal that teachers pass a test similar to a lawyer’s “bar exam” before being allowed to teach in classrooms, an idea the report credited to the American Federation of Teachers. Union Support Teachers’ unions around the state said the ideas Mr. Cuomo took from the report represented a “really solid” effort by commission members. For example, the community school proposal indicates that members rightly recognized that schools are not solely an academic setting, said Richard Iannuzzi, the president of New York State United Teachers. It represents more than 600,000 teachers and other educa- Crush of Ed. Laws Awaiting Renewal in Congress So far, that’s led to a serious legislative logjam on everything from The new, still-divided Congress a limited bill renewing education that took office this month faces a research programs to the budget of lengthy list of education policy leg- the entire U.S. government. islation that is either overdue for reAnd one education bill—the renewal or will be soon, in a political authorization of the Child Care landscape that remains consumed and Development Block Grant with fiscal issues. program, which governs some key But it’s tough to say whether early-child-care grants—hasn’t there will be much action on all gotten a makeover in more than a that outdated legislation—in- decade and half. It was last reaucluding the No Child Left Be- thorized in 1996, when President hind Act, which has awaited Bill Clinton was running for his reauthorization since 2007. The second term. (See chart, Page 20.) cast of characters in Washington is virtually unchanged since be- ‘Unprecedented’ Logjam fore the 2012 elections—which left President Barack Obama in Longtime Capitol Hill aides from the White House, Democrats in both sides of the political aisle control of the Senate, and Repub- can’t remember a time when Conlicans in control of the House of gress was this jammed up. Representatives. “This is unprecedented,” said By Alyson Klein Jack Jennings, who served as an aide for Democrats on the House Education committee from 1967 to 1994. Mr. Jennings said that when he worked on Capitol Hill nearly two decades ago, lawmakers kept to a schedule, tackling big reauthorizations, such as for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or the Higher Education Act, roughly every two years. That “discipline” is gone, he said. He blames both parties in Congress for the lack of movement. Republicans, he said, have been adamant about a limited federal role in education, making compromise difficult. And Democrats could have passed a renewal of the esea law—and other key education legislation—in 2009 and 2010 when they controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, he added. “Congress should be ashamed of itself,” said Mr. Jennings, who founded the Center on Education Policy, a research and advocacy organization, after leaving the Hill and is now retired. “The same people who neglect their legislative duties bewail the sad state of American education.” The appropriations committees— which control funding—typically continue to finance education programs, even after their authorizations have long expired, noted Mr. Jennings. The problem, he said, is that programs can become outdated, then viewed as ineffective, and finally, slashed, as Congress looks to trim spending. Without authorizing legislation, he said, “there is the potential for major disruption.” Vic Klatt, who worked for years as PAGE 20 > Gov. Andrew Cuomo arrives at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany last week to deliver his third State of the State address. He proposes increasing the school day or year by at least 25 percent. “ It becomes particularly challenging for practitioners to plan if you don’t know ... what your federal funding will look like.” PETER ZAMORA Council of Chief State School Officers

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