Education Week - January 23, 2013 - (Page 1)

Education Week VOL. 32, NO. 18 • JANUARY 23, 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 Nation, Districts Step Up Safety Some Schools Arming Volunteers, Staff President Barack Obama’s announcement last week of a wide-ranging anti-violence plan in response to the Newtown, Conn., school shootings comes as many districts are adopting new and sometimes dramatic measures—including arming teachers and volunteers—intended to prevent similar tragedies in their own schools. School safety experts warn against making major changes to security procedures without thinking those changes through. But in many communities, people say not taking action after the deadliest K-12 shootings in American history is just not an option. “We started thinking about it right away,” said Angela Bono-Severy, the president of the pta at Tanglewood Elementary School in Lumberton, N.C. “The weekend of the shootings, I received phone calls and text messages from at least a dozen different parents asking, ‘What is Tanglewood doing?’ ” In Tanglewood’s case, the pta quickly switched gears from its usual fundraisers for school technology items to raising money to enhance school security. Other school systems, municipalities, and law-enforcement agencies around the country are hiring more school resource officers, organizing armed volunteers to patrol schools, or ratcheting up training for educators and PAGE 13 > Michael S. Williamson/Washington Post/Getty By Nirvi Shah Retired state trooper Les Strawbridge patrols the halls at Butler Intermediate High School in Butler, Pa. The district accelerated efforts to arm school resource officers within days of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings. Colleges Overproducing Elementary-Level Teachers By Stephen Sawchuk Though universities’ economics departments preach the gospel of supply and demand, that principle is not always followed when it comes to their education departments. Data, while imprecise, suggest that some states are producing far more new teachers at the elementary level than will be able to find jobs in their respective states—even as districts struggle to find enough recruits in other certification fields. For some observers, the imbalances reflect a failure of teacher colleges—by far, the largest source of new teachers—and their regulatory agencies to cap the number of entrants. “If you increase the number of elemen- TEACHING THE TEACHERS An occasional series tary teachers beyond what the market will bear, you are going to be forcing far too many trainees into an overburdened K-12 system,” said Arthur McKee, the managing director of teacher-preparation studies at of the Washington-based National Council on Teacher INDUSTRY & INNOVATION Calif. Districts Link to Push Shared Goals Quality. “We need to have some equilibrium so we can set up strong clinical programs. And everybody wants to do that.” But scholars who study the issue acknowledge that, even if a net oversupply of elementary teachers exists in some states, remedies are difficult. They are complicated, such scholars say, by a lack of comparable, crossstate data and by the complex and variable nature of the education labor market. And at a more conceptual level, agreement in the field is limited about whether—and how much—individual preparation programs Group Seeks NCLB Waiver By Lesli A. Maxwell PAGE 14 > By Sarah D. Sparks San Diego Boosting early retirement in cashstrapped districts doesn’t hurt students’ math and reading scores, according to new studies released at the American Economic Association meeting here, but pension-incentive programs may cost schools some of their most effective teachers. Separate studies of teachers in California, Illinois, and North Carolina paint a complex picture of the choice increasingly faced by education leaders: Keep your most experienced—and expensive—teachers, or encourage them to retire to ease budget woes. Cornell University researchers Maria D. Fitzpatrick and Michael F. Lovenheim, both assistant professors of policy analysis and management, tracked 54,550 Illinois teachers in grades 3, 6, and 8 before and after the state’s “5+5” pensionincentive program, which took place in the early 1990s. The 5+5 program allowed any teacher age 50 or older, and with at least five years of experience, to qualify for pension benefits immediately if he or she retired at the PAGE 16 > Dustin Franz for Education Week Loss of Veterans Doesn’t Hurt Scores CHARTERS EYE STANDARDS: Daniel Morgan, 11, works on math at the Intergenerational School in Cleveland. The common core is driving charter schools to examine their curricula. PAGE 6 Frustrated by their own state’s pace and direction of school improvement, eight California districts have banded together to move ahead on rolling out the Common Core State Standards and designing new teacher evaluations based in part on student performance. The districts, which include the Los Angeles and San Francisco school systems and enroll more than 1 million students altogether, are also mounting a major breakaway from California in seeking their own waiver from mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The U.S. Department of Education has already issued similar reprieves to 34 states and the District of Columbia, but last month rejected California’s waiver bid, which ignored one of the department’s key criteria: teacher evaluations that include student outcomes. If approved by U.S. SecPAGE 11 >

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 23, 2013

Education Week - January 23, 2013
Nation, Districts Step Up Safety
Colleges Overproducing Elementary-Level Teachers
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: Calif. Districts Link To Push Shared Goals
Loss of Veterans Doesn’t Hurt Scores
News in Brief
Report Roundup
FOCUS ON: CHARTER SCHOOLS: Charters Prepare for the Challenges Of Common Core
Civil Rights Groups: Discipline Excessive In Miss. Schools
Children Still Prefer Print Books to E-Books
Mainstream Video Games Move Into Ed.
Blogs of the Week
Obama Presses School Safety, Mental-Health Efforts
State Data: Use With Caution
State Finance Lawsuits Still Roiling Landscape
Stretched Schools Push to Extend Lifespan Of Books
Policy Brief
STATE OF THE STATES: Vt. Governor Launches Four-Point Education Initiative
State of the States
MARTIN CARNOY & RICHARD ROTHSTEIN: International Tests Reveal Surprises at Home and Abroad
DAVID T. CONLEY: What’s in a Name
ALAN C. JONES: Schools for Other People’s Children
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
PETER GIBBON: A Timeless View of Education From 1899

Education Week - January 23, 2013