Education Week - January 23, 2013 - (Page 18)

18 EDUCATION WEEK n JANUARY 23, 2013 n STATE OF THE STATES Vt. Governor Launches Four-Point Education Initiative By Nirvi Shah Saying an investment in schooling is the best tool to grow the state’s prosperity, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin used his second inaugural address to outline a fourpoint plan for improving his state’s education system. He said that while 62 percent of job openings in the state will require postsecondary education, only 45 percent of Vermont students continue their schooling beyond high school, despite a vast invest- STATE of the STATES Here are summaries of recent annual addresses by governors around the country. ALASKA GOV. SEAN PARNELL (R) • JAN. 16 In his annual address to lawmakers, Gov. Parnell set a new goal of raising the high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020, up from the current 70 percent. He said meeting that goal will require improved reading instruction in grades K-3 and an “unwavering” focus on the lowestperforming schools. Innovation is also needed, he said, including further work on the state’s 1-to-1 digital learning initiative which aims to provide a laptop for every student and teacher. Gov. Parnell also praised lawmakers for fully funding the Alaska Performance Scholarships, which have helped fund higher education for more than 4,600 students in the state.  —KATIE ASH ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE BEEBE (D) • JAN. 15 Gov. Beebe listed improving education and economic development as his top priorities in his State of the State address, but outlined no major new K-12 initiatives in what is likely to be a challenging budget year. He noted that the budget he is proposing will help address a current structural shortfall in education, but that otherwise he is proposing “few increases” in spending. Mr. Beebe also noted that Arkansas ranked fifth for the second year in a row among all states in Education Week’s annual Quality Counts, which he cited as a key achievement. But he added that the state still ranks too low in an important indicator—its students’ raw test scores as compared with their peers across the country. ment in education by the state. “Keep in mind that we spend more money per pupil than all other states in the country except for two. We spend more than 50 percent above the national average, and K-12 spending in Vermont has grown faster over the last decade than in any other state in America,” the Democratic governor said. In his Jan. 10 speech, Gov. Shumlin called for an additional investment in early-childhood education, saying he will redirect $17 million from the state’s earned-income-tax credit to make high-quality child care affordable to lower-income families across the state. The shift would nearly double the state’s contribution to child care for poor fami- lies. He would also like to provide start-up costs for communities that create preschool programs where they don’t now exist. School Meal Assistance He also wants the state to pay for school meals for students from low-income families who are eligible only for reduced-price meals now and will ask for the policy to be covered by the state’s 2014 budget Third, he said he would like the state to double funding for dual-enrollment courses for high school students to allow them to get a head start on earning college credits. Only about 40 students a year—which the governor called a “paltry number”—have taken part in the program at Vermont Tech, where they concentrate on science and technology with great success. Finally, he wants to create the Vermont Strong Scholars Program for students who graduate with a degree in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics field. “We will give you a helping hand to stay and work in Vermont by paying you back, over the course of five years, for your final year of tuition. Or if you graduate with an associate degree in a stem field, we will pay you back over three years for your final semester of tuition,” he said. He also proposed that Vermont schools create “Personal Learning Plans” that would travel with each student from elementary school through senior year. The plan is intended to guide students’ academic choices and tie educational goals to career opportunities, he said, aiming “to increase our students’ individual options while fostering a connection between school and career.” In response to 68 percent of students in 3rd through 8th grades being proficient in math on the New England Common Assessment Program—a percentage that drops to 36 percent in 11th grade— Gov. Shumlin reiterated a request to require that all 9th graders take algebra and all 10th graders take geometry. “We’ve made progress, but not nearly enough,” Mr. Beebe said. “If we can bring that up, we can go from fifth ultimately to first, and we can tell the governor of Maryland he can get out of the way,” he added, referring to the top-ranked state.  –ALYSON KLEIN COLORADO GOV. JOHN HICKENLOOPER (D) • JAN. 10 Invoking the shooting rampage last summer in a Colorado movie theater, as well as the slayings at Columbine High School in the state’s Jefferson County district in 1999, Gov. Hickenlooper called on lawmakers to enact universal background checks for gun sales. “After Columbine, Colorado voters insisted that gun-show sales be regulated, and launched an aggressive effort to prevent school bullying,” he said in his third State of the State address. “We have shown that in Colorado that we can learn from tragedy and make changes.” The governor also pointed to recent measures in his state to gauge teacher effectiveness and to intervene with struggling readers by the end of 3rd grade. And he highlighted the $30 million federal Race to the Top grant Colorado was awarded in December to support early-childhood education and enhance early literacy. “Early-childhood education is one of the best investments we can make,” he said, and urged the legislature to support further steps. “With your support, we will serve up to 6,500 new kindergartners and preschoolers.” —ERIK W. ROBELEN DELAWARE GOV. JACK A. MARKELL (D) • JAN. 17 Gov. Markell called for higher pay for new teachers and teachers in highneeds schools in his address, saying, “Teaching is a demanding profession, and our admissions requirements for teacher-preparation programs should reflect this.” Mr. Markell also called for a common application to the state’s public schools of choice, describing Charlie Neibergall/AP Proposals run gamut from pre-K to college Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad delivers his annual Condition of the State address to a joint session of the state legislature in Des Moines. The governor is seeking to create a $160 million teacher-quality initiatiive, aimed at recruiting top educators and keeping them in the state, as well as rewarding effective teachers. the current system as “burdensome and complicated.” He highlighted the state’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards and a world-language immersion program that he said will serve 10,000 Delaware students by the end of the decade.  –JACLYN ZUBRZYCKI IDAHO GOV. C.L. “BUTCH” OTTER (R) • JAN. 7 After a year in which voters rejected the technology-centered Students Come First initiative, Gov. Otter opened his State of the State speech by saying that his “highest priority remains public schools,” but that he will be taking a more cautious approach to improving them in 2013. “I’m convinced that acting too quickly or without due deliberation will generate needless distraction from our goals of improving efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, and accountability in our education system,” he said. Mr. Otter said he has asked the state board of education to pull together “a broad cross-section of stakeholders” to identify the school reforms that are the most popular—or at least the most palatable—among the public.  —SARAH D. SPARKS IOWA GOV. TERRY E. BRANDSTAD (R) • JAN. 15 Gov. Brandstad wants the Hawkeye State to create a $160 million teacherquality initiative that would help recruit top educators, keep them in the state, and reward effective teachers. The plan, announced on Jan. 14, and reiterated in Mr. Brandstad’s State of State address the following day, would raise the starting salary for teachers from $28,000 to $35,000. It would also give novice teachers a reduced courseload so that they have more time for professional development. The existing Teach Iowa program would be expanded to provide a total of up to $20,000 in tuition reimbursement to top students who agree to work in the state for five years. Veteran teachers would be given more opportunity for career advancement, including the chance to serve as mentors, as co-teachers, and in other leadership roles. Under a separate proposal, Iowa students could choose to take a test before high school graduation to determine their readiness for college or the workforce. Those who met the bar would get a seal affixed to their diplomas. —A.K. KANSAS GOV. SAM BROWNBACK (R) • JAN. 15 In what he said would be a strategy to combat childhood poverty in his state, Gov. Brownback proposed a new reading initiative. The Kansas Reads to Succeed Initiative would require 3rd graders to demonstrate their reading abilities before being promoted to 4th grade, provide incentives to elementary schools that are the best at increasing 4th grade reading scores, and allocate $12 million to support innovative programs to help struggling readers. Mr. Brownback noted that 29 percent of Kansas 4th graders cannot read at a basic level. “Passing children up the grade ladder when we know they can’t read is irresponsible—and cruel,” the governor said. “We will do better.” —NIRVI SHAH MICHIGAN GOV. RICK SNYDER (R) • JAN. 16 About 29,000 low-income 4-year-olds are eligible for preschool in Michigan but can’t get into a program because of limited funding. Gov. Snyder urged the state legislature during his address to find money to increase the number of state-funded preschool spots. Michigan’s Great Start School

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