Education Week - January 23, 2013 - (Page 4)

4 EDUCATION WEEK n JANUARY 23, 2013 n NEWS IN BRIEF N.Y.C. Misses Deadline On Teacher Evaluations Input Sought on Test Accommodations The multistate consortium known as parcc is seeking input on part of the accommodation-policy manual for tests it is creating for the Common Core State Standards. The group is looking for guidance on policies that would govern the use of calculators on math tests and read-aloud supports for the English/language arts tests. Parcc, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, are charged with creating common-  —ASSOCIATED PRESS Growing Demand Seen For Digital Products Richard Dickin /Tri-City Herald/AP A state-imposed deadline for having a teacher-evaluation plan in place has come and gone, leaving New York City as one of a handful of districts not to meet the deadline—potentially imperiling some $250 million in state education aid. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, had made about $800 million in additional state aid contingent on districts and unions approving teacher-evaluation plans that would meet the requirements of new state laws and regulations, as well as the state’s $700 million Race to the Top grant. Negotiators worked up until the Jan. 17 deadline trying to secure a deal, but none was forthcoming. The United Federation of Teachers is blaming Mayor Michael Bloomberg for “torpedoing” an agreement it says district negotiators signed off on in the wee morning hours. But Mr. Bloomberg has disputed that, GothamSchools reported, saying that the uft wanted a “sunset clause” that would require the whole agreement to be renegotiated in two years—perhaps before any teachers were subject to adverse action based on the reviews.  —STEPHEN SAWCHUK Jan. 16 state Senate Education Committee hearing on the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Scott Schneider of Indianapolis. The state board of education in 2010 approved joining the multistate effort to set uniform math and reading benchmarks. Common-core opponents argue the state has lost control of its school standards. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce and other supporters say the state board should decide school standards. The Senate committee is expected to vote on the bill this week. A FISH TALE Rachel Little, a biologist with the Benton Conservation District, shows 5th grade students the teeth of a fall Chinook salmon during a dissection demonstration at Lewis & Clark Elementary School in Richland, Wash. The students learned about the anatomy, habitat, and life cycle of the male and female specimens examined during the lesson. core assessments, which will be administered for the first time in 2014-15. The groups were awarded $360 million from the U.S. Department of Education for this work. The comment period on the draft calculator and read-aloud policies ends Feb. 4. —CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS More Schools Offer Breakfast Programs In many school districts, more than 90 percent of the schools that serve lunch through the National School Lunch Program now serve breakfast at school, too, new data from the Food Research and Action Center show. In addition, the report out last week, which looks at how school breakfast programs were operating in 57 large urban and subur- ban school districts in the 2011-12 school year, found that more than half of all low-income students who ate lunch prepared at school also ate school breakfast. Since the Washington-based center launched its national school breakfast campaign in 1988, the share of schools participating has grown from less than half to more than 90 percent, and the number of children has grown from 31 percent to 50 percent. —NIRVI SHAH Anti-Standards Crowd Protests at Ind. Capitol Hundreds of people attended an Indiana Statehouse rally to support a legislator’s effort to pull the state from the Common Core State Standards national education initiative. The crowd gathered ahead of a The market for educational software and digital products in schools, driven partly by demands in testing and assessment, grew over the most recent year to $7.7 billion, a new analysis reveals. The overall estimated market increased by 3.5 percent from 2009-10 to 2010-11, according to new research from the Washington-based Software & Information Industry Association. The estimate is based on a survey of 581 educational companies selling in the p-12 market. Responses came from 105 companies, which reported $2.04 billion in revenues. The most fertile area was instructional support, which made up the largest share of the market—38 percent—at $892 million. Instructional content had the next-largest share of revenues, at 36 percent, or $795 million, followed by platforms and administration, at 26 percent, or $353 million.  —SEAN CAVANAGH Moody’s Negative On Higher Ed. Sector Moody’s Investors Service last week downgraded its outlook for SAFE Act addresses school safety and mental health By Andrew Ujifusa New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation placing several new restrictions on gun ownership that also address school security, almost exactly one month after 20 children were shot and killed at an elementary school in neighboring Connecticut. On Jan. 15, Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the ny safe Act, less than a week after proposing strict new gun-control policies in his State of the State speech. “The new law will limit gun violence through common sense, reasonable reforms that include addressing the risks posed by mentally ill people who have access to guns, and banning high-capacity magazines and lethal assault weapons,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement announcing he had signed the bill. The new law, Senate Bill 2230, creates “school safety improvement teams” that will work with districts in developing plans for schools that involve evacuations, community responses, and alerting family members and law-enforcement officers when violent or other emergency incidents occur. The penalty for possessing a firearm either on school grounds or on a school bus was also increased from a misdemeanor to a felony. Other new provisions include a sevenround limit on magazine capacity, a stricter assault-weapons ban that Mr. Cuomo said outlaws the specific rifle used in the Dec. 14 school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and broader background checks that close the “private sales” loophole between private parties, except for those gun sales between immediate family members. Mental-health workers will also be required to report situations where they believe a patient might cause “serious harm” to themselves or others, and to check a new gun-registration database to see if that patient owns a firearm. If the patient does, law enforcement will then be authorized to seize it and suspend the patient’s gun license. The National Rifle Association criticized the legislation in a statement: “These gun-control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime. Sadly, the New York legislature gave no consideration to that reality.” Mike Groll /AP New York Passes Tough New Restrictions on Gun Sales Legislative leaders applaud after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, creating the nation’s toughest gun restrictions, last week in Albany.

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