Education Week - January 28, 2015 - (Page 21)

BLOGS House Education Committee Outlines Head Start Overhaul Recommendations | POLITICS K-12 | The U.S. Senate education panel might be ready to rumble on a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act, and the House is expected to follow suit. But it's clear that K-12 isn't the only thing on lawmakers' minds: The House education committee kicked off the new Congress with some background proposals for revising the Head Start Act. The white paper was put forth by the committee last week, the day after President Barack Obama made a pitch for helping parents cover the cost of child care in his State of the Union Address. It outlines the panel's principles for revising the Head Start Act, which last got a face-lift in 2007. They include: reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens, encouraging local innovation, boosting coordination between Head Start and state and local programs, improving the quality of eligible providers, and enhancing parental engagement to support children's best interests. In making its recommendations, the committee cited a Government Accountability Office report showing that the feds currently operate 45 different programs aimed at early-childhood education. It also cited a 2012 federal study of the Head Start program that showed the program's impact largely dissipated by the 3rd grade. Critics, however, said the study didn't take into account factors that were likely to have a big impact on student results, such as how much time they spent in Head Start classrooms and the quality of those programs. -ALYSON KLEIN U.S. Supreme Court Case Highlights Link Between Housing and Education | THE SCHOOL LAW BLOG | The U.S. Supreme Court last week took up a case about lawsuits over racially discriminatory effects in housing, an issue that has important implications for education in two ways. The issue before the justices is whether plaintiffs may bring so-called disparate-impact claims under the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. Several groups filed briefs stressing the link between housing opportunities and racial diversity in schools, arguing that the unavailability of disparate-impact claims would worsen racial isolation in the nation's classrooms. The Supreme Court's ruling could also potentially limit the power year stipends to attract bilingual, special education, and math and science teachers. Ms. Martinez also wants to create a new teacher mentoring program that would aid struggling instructors. She also urged lawmakers to pass a bill that would require 3rd graders to be retained if they cannot read proficiently. "Let's acknowledge the devastating, negative ripple effects of socially promoting our youngest children. It impacts their ability to learn and succeed; it makes it harder for teachers in later grades to bring them up to speed," the governor said. Stressing the importance of students earning a high school diploma, Gov. Martinez said districts should hire dropout-prevention specialists to help guide youths through to graduation day. To that end, she said lawmakers should pass a bill that would not allow habitually truant students to keep or obtain their drivers' licenses. NEW YORK GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D) * JAN. 21 Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a broad package of proposals that would significantly alter teacher evaluations in the state, raise the cap on the number of charter schools by 100 to 560 schools, and allot $25 million in new funding for prekindergarten to serve 3-year-olds. If legislators approve his proposed policy changes, the governor said he would in turn NEW MEXICO: Gov. Susana Martinez kisses 8th grader Kendal Sanders during her Jan. 20 State of the State address in Santa Fe. Ms. Sanders and her classmate, Nathaniel Tavarez, right, were shot and injured at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell last year. claimed by the U.S. Department of Education to sue over racially disparate effects in schools. Texas, which is fighting a disparate-impact housing claim in the case before the justices, cites in its brief a "dear colleague" letter from the Education Department's assistant secretary for civil rights in October, claiming authority under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to enforce against, as the letter put it, "facially neutral policies that are not intended to discriminate based on race, color, or national origin, but do have an unjustified, adverse disparate impact on students based on race, color, or national origin." In Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project Inc., the high court is weighing whether a Dallas organization may press its claim that the state housing agency disproportionately allocated federal housing tax credits for projects in minority-populated areas. The Inclusive Communities Project favored spreading the projects around to wealthier neighborhoods around Dallas so that racial integration would improve in those areas. -COREY MITCHELL approve a $1.1 billion increase in state aid for public schools. In his speech, the governor, a Democrat, also indicated that overhauling K-12 education was the key issue facing lawmakers. "This is the area, my friends, where I think we need to do the most reform, and where reform is going to be the most difficult," he said. In a move that riled the state's teachers' unions, Gov. Cuomo said that the weight of state assessments in teacher evaluations should be increased from the current figure of 20 percent to 50 percent. He wants to extend the probationary period for teachers before they receive tenure from three to five years. And he said teachers who receive two poor evaluation ratings should be dismissed unless they can show their evaluations are flawed. Read online compilation & links to full speeches. A federal district court found that the suit failed to prove intentional discrimination by the Texas agency, but that the agency's actions had racially discriminatory effects. An appeals court ruled that such disparateimpact claims may be brought. -ANDREW UJIFUSA Condoleezza Rice Tapped to Lead K-12 Advocacy Group Founded by Jeb Bush | STATE EDWATCH | Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been picked to be the next leader of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the influential education advocacy organization founded by former Florida governor and potential presidential candidate Jeb Bush, the Associated Press reported. Rice has close ties to Bush's family, having served as secretary of state under Jeb Bush's brother, former President George W. Bush, from 2005 to 2009. She is currently a professor of politics and a senior fellow at Stanford University. The AP reported it had obtained a letter from Bush to the foundation's staff introducing Rice as the group's new leader. Jeb Bush, who started the Foundation for Excellence in Education in 2008 soon after his eight years as Florida governor ended, has turned the group into one of the most influential education organizations in the nation, lobbying states ranging from Maine to Oklahoma to adopt a broad suite of policies, including A-F accountability and online learning. But at the start of this year, he announced that he was leaving his role as chairman of the foundation in order to explore a run for the White House in 2016. -MARK WALSH -ANDREW UJIFUSA EDUCATION WEEK | January 28, 2015 | | 21 Eric Draper/AP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 28, 2015

Education Week - January 28, 2015
Activists Learn Art of ‘Test Refusal’
Ed. School Deans Join Forces To Bolster Teacher Preparation
N.C. District Rebounds From Ed-Tech Meltdown
Poverty Data Signal Urgency for Schools
Report Roundup
News in Brief
Chicago’s Closures Drove Most to Higher-Rated Schools
More Districts Expected to Follow Boston on Longer Days
International Study Ranks Schools on Social Stress, Equity
Blogs of the Week
No Firm Direction on Testing Set At Senate Panel’s ESEA Hearing
As Job Description Grows, So Does Churn for State Chiefs
K-12 Issues Given Short Shrift in State of the Union Address
State of the States
Blogs of the Week
SUSAN H. FUHRMAN: Measurement Alone Cannot Propel Improvement
SAMINA HADI-TABASSUM: Too Much Discipline Hurts Majority-Minority Schools
GARRISON WALTERS: Dump Management ‘Science,’ And Change Learning Attitudes
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment

Education Week - January 28, 2015