Education Week - January 22, 2014 - (Page 4)

NEWSINBRIEF Testing, Graduation Rates Top Accountability Factors Graduation rates top the list of school accountability measures states have undertaken since passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, according to an analysis by the Education Commission of the States. Forty-four states now use that as a factor, in school accountability compared with only eight in 2002, the Denver-based organization that tracts state policy found. But another factor that's arguably closely related, "education or employment after high school," has become a little less popular, with the number of states using it dropping from four to three. Other measures of school account- ability that have gained in popularity over the past decade include test scores and student-achievement growth. -ANDREW UJIFUSA College Credentials Elusive For 2002 Sophomores Students who were high school sophomores in 2002-at the start of the No Child Left Behind Act's accountability wave-ended up in dramatically different places 10 years later, depending on whether they continued their education. New federal longitudinal data find that 48 percent of students who started 10th grade in 2002 had not earned any kind of college degree or certification in the decade since. And 27 percent who did not go on to college were unemployed or otherwise out of the labor force a decade later, compared with 6 percent of those who earned at least a bachelor's degree. The data come from the federal Ed- ucation Longitudinal Study of 2002, which has tracked more than 13,000 students who started 10th grade in 2002 for 10 years so far. -SARAH D. SPARKS Ed. Department Falling Short In ELL Support, Report Says The Obama administration has not paid adequate attention to the needs of English-language learners, the Law-enforcement personnel set up a perimeter following a shooting at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell, N.M., last week. A 12-year-old boy has been charged in connection with the shooting, in which two students were seriously wounded. fastest-growing group of students in the nation's public schools, concludes a new report. Published by the BUENO National Policy Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the report paints a picture of a U.S. Department of Education that has been indifferent to the unique educational needs of English-learners. Lack of federal resources, a lag in naming the head of the office of Eng- lish-language acquisition, a shortage of qualified teachers, and waivers to No Child Left Behind requirements are among the chief criticisms. The department did not respond to a request for comment. -LESLI A. MAXWELL New Group to Examine Corporate Ties to Education A new advocacy group, Integrity in Education, was launched last week to expose connections between K-12 public education and for-profit education companies and to counter arguments laid out by groups promoting free-market reforms for education, such as StudentsFirst and Chiefs for Change. The group is headed by Sabrina Stevens, a former teacher and Amer- Florida Officials Propose Changes to Common Core Embroiled in uncertainty about the common core, the Florida education department is proposing dozens of changes to the standards for its schools, including adding more than 50 in math focused on calculus. Although some states have enacted legislation putting limits, or "pauses," on the new expectations or on tests designed for them, Florida appears to be the first to dive into a deep review of the standards and to come up with proposed revisions. Among the proposed changes in mathematics are the addition of 52 calculus standards, noteworthy in a state that recently backed away from requiring Algebra 2 for all students. In English/language arts, among the changes are standards that introduce cursive writing and develop it during elementary school. The department also seems to have concluded that several of the expectations for the youngest students were too much of a stretch. Proposed changes ask that kindergartners, for instance, name the author and illustrators of a text and explain how each helps present ideas "with prompting and support" from their teacher, rather than independently. Members of the public also sought changes to the standards during public hearings. An analysis of the public comments shows that about half of those expressing views didn't take positions for or against the standards; the other half was roughly divided between those who supported the standards and those who opposed them. The standards review was undertaken in part to quell concerns in some quarters that embrace of the standards meant that Florida was capitulating to the priorities of the federal government, which has made no secret of its hope that states use them as their educational north stars. But according to the Miami Herald, the proposed changes to the standards haven't done much to change the worry about federal overreach. -CATHERINE GEWERTZ ican Federation of Teachers staffer. It has received start-up funding from Deborah Sagner, the chairwoman of its board of directors and a philanthropist who heads up the Sagner Family Foundation. -KATIE ASH Districts Cited for 'Scrubbing' Student-Attendance Data Seven Ohio districts improperly reported student-attendance data, which may have led to inflated school report cards, a state investigation has found. The Ohio education department announced that employees in the districts "scrubbed" attendance data and test results for more than 4,000 students in the 2010-11 school year. All licensed employees in those districts will be investigated. According to the education department, Cleveland improperly withdrew more than 3,500 students, about 8 percent of its enrollment. Cincinnati removed 130, a tiny percentage of its students, while Toledo removed 425 students, some 2 percent of its enrollment. The four other districts found to have reported bad data are Canton, Campbell, Northridge, and Winton Woods. -L.A.M. Katrina School Employees Fired Improperly, Court Rules A state appeals court has affirmed a lower-court ruling that thousands of New Orleans teachers and school employees fired after Hurricane Katrina were denied the constitutional right of due process. It was not a total victory for the employees. The panel of judges for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals adjusted the lower-court's damage award, saying employees who meet 4 | EDUCATION WEEK | January 22, 2014 | certain requirements will be entitled to two years of back pay and benefits, instead of five. A state judge had awarded more than $1 million to seven lead plaintiffs in the case. And, in testimony before the appeals court, a school board lawyer had said upholding the initial ruling would put as many as 7,500 school workers in line to receive nearly $1.5 billion in damage payments. -ASSOCIATED PRESS Teachers Found to Avoid Social Media in Classroom Many teachers are using social networking in their personal lives to connect and communicate with friends and colleagues, but have not incorporated the technology into their interactions with students and parents because of concerns about negative repercussions, according to a survey released last week by the University of Phoenix. The survey asked 1,005 full-time teachers in grades K-12 about their social-networking usage. Eighty percent said they use social media for personal or professional use, but only 18 percent said they had integrated it into their own classrooms. Eighty percent of teachers sur- veyed worried about negative outcomes arising from the use of social networking, and 34 percent of teachers who use social media said they had experienced those types of repercussions. -MICHELLE R. DAVIS Mich. Appeals Court Upholds Teacher-Benefits Law Public school employees will have to pay more for their pensions and contribute some of their Mark Wilson/Roswell Daily Record/AP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 22, 2014

Education Week - January 22, 2014
50 Years Later, Verdicts Are Mixed On the Nation’s War on Poverty
A K-12 Titan in Congress to Move On
Fla. Pushes Longer Day With More Reading In Struggling Schools
Personal Danger of Data Breaches Prompts Action
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Funds to End For Little Rock Desegregation
Union, District Clash in Pittsburgh Over Teacher Evaluation
Revised GED Ushers in New Era With More Testing Competition
In Five States, Districts Bail Out on Race to the Top Grants
K-12 Publishing, Ed-Tech Markets Experiencing Rising Revenues
Blogs of the Week
Still Segregated After 50 Years: A Visit To Cincinnati’s West End
Among States, Spending Gaps Have Widened
Spending Plan Aims to Relieve Some K-12 ‘Sequester’ Pain
Calif. Transgender Law Takes Effect In Schools, Amid Efforts to Repeal It
State of the States
Wash. Governor Pledges School Aid Boost
BRUCE FULLER: Is Small Beautiful? New York’s tiny high schools lift kids, harden segregation
RUFINA HERNÁNDEZ: A Common Cause for the Common Core
JEFFREY D. WILHELM & MICHAEL W. SMITH: Don’t Underestimate the Power of Pleasure Reading
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
XU ZHAO, HELEN HASTE, & ROBERT L. SELMAN: Questionable Lessons From China’s Recent History of Education Reform

Education Week - January 22, 2014