Education Week - January 30, 2013 - (Page 10)

10 EDUCATION WEEK n JANUARY 30, 2013 n School Choice Advocate to Lead Private Schools’ Group Hiring decision stirs heated reaction from some NAIS members By Katie Ash The education scholar and school choice advocate John E. Chubb has been appointed the next president of the National Association of Independent Schools after a yearlong search by members of its board, a hiring decision that has stirred controversy among some nais members. Mr. Chubb, 59, who is now serving as the interim chief executive officer of Education Sector, a Washington think tank, will take over for outgoing nais President Patrick F. Bassett on July 1. The nais is a Washington-based nonprofit membership association made up of 1,700 schools and groups of schools in the United States, including about 1,400 independent schools serving students in K-12. An independent school is defined as a nonprofit “ private school governed by an independent board and funded through tuition, charUltimately, itable contributions, and enI have no doubt dowments. that I share the Mr. Chubb may be best same core values known as the co-author, with as all the members Terry M. Moe, of the 1990 of NAIS.” book Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools, one of the most influential works in the JOHN E. CHUBB movement for school choice. Incoming President, National Association Arguing that public educaof Independent Schools tion is deeply politicized and burdened by bureaucracy, it called for an open-market sys- the founder and chief executive tem in which existing private officer of Leeds Global Partners, schools and other groups that a New York City-based education met certain criteria could be services and advisory firm. recognized as public schools and Earlier in his career, he served receive public money to educate as the chief education officer for students. Edison Schools Inc., a company Mr. Chubb served as a mem- that provided charter school manber of Republican presidential agement and school district supnominee Mitt Romney’s educa- port services. The company is now tion advisory team for part of the known as EdisonLearning Inc. 2012 campaign before stepping away to “avoid any appearance Public vs. Private? of analytical bias,” according A political scientist by backto an article written by Mr. Chubb for EducationNext. ground, Mr. Chubb is a visiting Since 2010, Mr. Chubb has been fellow at the Hoover Institution at Education WEEk A Supplement to the October 24, 2012, Issue Vol. 32 • No. 9 A Special Report on E-Learning > PULLOUT SECTION: Education Week’s Calendar of Events & Professional Development Directory Education WEEk VOL. 32, NO. 1 • AUGUST 22, 2012 ▲ AM E R ICAN E DUCATION’S N EWS PAPE R OF R ECOR D • © 2012 Editorial Projects in Education • $4 BREAKING NEWS DAILY Split Erupts Over NAEP Exclusions At Issue Is How Many ELLs, Spec. Ed. Students to Test > A variety of models are emerging and generating lessons learned for K-12 schools By Nirvi Shah duced a range of sample test items to help those vendors get an idea of what the states want, and experts say they offer valuable insight into the tests that are expected to emerge in 2014-15. “What we are starting to see here are tests that really get at a deeper understanding on the part of students, not just superficial knowl- Despite a pending policy change aimed at including more students with disabilities and English-language learners in the “nation’s report card,” the federal agency that administers the national testing program appears to be softening the penalty for states that fail to improve inclusion rates. The disagreement underscores the uneasy relationship between the National Center for Education Statistics, the federal agency that administers the national tests, and the National Assessment Governing Board, the independent body that sets policy for the exams. And it reflects an intensifying debate about how to ensure that the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a congressionally mandated set of tests designed to take the national pulse on student achievement, accurately allows for state-by-state comparisons of student achievement. “These issues, as all issues with students with disabilities and English-language learners, are hot potatoes,” said Cornelia Orr, the governing board’s executive director. Two years ago, nagb adopted a policy that takes effect in January, during the next administration of naEp, to limit how many students with disabilities and English-learners states can be cut from the testing pool. The policy says, essentially, that only students with severe cognitive disabilities and English-language learners who have been in the country for less PAGE 18 > PAGE 28 > DRUMMING UP BUSINESS: Elementary Principal Joann Riemersma, left, talks with residents in Grand Rapids, Mich., as part of a door- to-door drive to persuade more families to enroll their children in the city’s regular public schools. Faced with declining enrollment and competition from charter schools, many urban districts are undertaking similar marketing campaigns. PAGE 7 Districts Abandon Consortia Provide Preview of Common Tests Grants Targeting Those consortia have recently begun work with By Catherine Gewertz private vendors to develop items—questions and Teacher Quality As teachers begin shaping lessons for the com- tasks—for the tests. But each group has pro- PAGE 20 > One of the most vexing questions about charter schools— when low-performing ones should be shut down—is receiving new attention, amid concerns that lax and inconsistent standards for closing them will undermine the public’s confidence in the sector. Over the past few years, a growing number of researchers, policymakers, and charter school backers have called for removing obstacles to closing academically struggling schools, though many barriers remain. Numerous states have approved laws in recent years that have raised or clarified standards for charter school performance, while also establishing policies to make it easier for charters to open and to secure facilities and public funding. Even so, state and local policies vary greatly in their expectations for charter schools, and in the standards they set for authorizers—the state, local, or independent entities typically charged with approving charters PAGE 22 > BLENDED LEARNING Education WEEk VOL. 32, NO. 10 • OCTOBER 31, 2012 AM E R ICAN E DUCATION’S N EWS PAPE R OF R ECOR D • © 2012 Editorial Projects in Education • $4 Debate Revs Up Around Closing Low-Achieving Charter Schools By Sean Cavanagh EVALUATING WHAT WORKS IN ▲ Three big-city districts—Chicago, Milwaukee, and New York—have terminated federal grants aimed at promoting performance-based compensation plans and professional development for teachers and principals. Overall, the 2010 Teacher Incentive Fund grants to the three districts would have provided an $88 million payout over five years—nearly 20 percent of the federal program’s fiveyear budget of $442 million. All three districts aimed to secure union support while meeting grant requirements during the yearlong planning period permitted by the grant, but none was ultimately able to accomplish that task. In a time of fiscal austerity and attacks on teachers’ unions, getting districts and unions to work together and agree on teacher compensation and evaluation is a challenging task. Recognizing that challenge, the U.S. Department of Education has adjusted its mon standards, many are wondering how to prepare their students for tests that won’t be ready for at least two years. But sample items being drafted for those exams offer early ideas of what lies ahead. Two large groups of states are using federal Race to the Top money to create new suites of exams for the Common Core State Standards. Seeking Discussions BREAKING NEWS DAILY ‘i3’ Grantees Face Hurdles On Aid Match FISCAL FOCUS: Presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns with Rep. Paul Ryan in Waukesha, Wis. The choice of Mr. Ryan for the GOP ticket has elevated education spending as an issue. PAGE 24 Private Donor Commitments Falling Short in Some Cases By Jason Tomassini Two years after the U.S. Department of Education awarded $650 million in Investing in Innovation grants and set off a mad dash for grantees to raise more than $100 million in matching private funds in five weeks, some of the i3 winners are still facing financial uncertainty stemming from initial fundraising struggles. A businessman who pledged $400,000 to an Oregon school district’s arts program did not make his most recent payment, potentially putting the program’s future in jeopardy. Other grantees have also encountered problems with matching funds coming through, and some nonprofit grantees have been forced to contribute their own money to match the initial amount. For its part, the Education Department has lessened the matching-fund requirements, but is less clear on possible outcomes for the grantees that have run into financial problems. Those developments have raised questions about the competition’s structure, including calls by some observers for the awards to be opened up to the for-profit sector. “Part of the challenge for i3 is there was so much cheerleading on the front end, and there was a lack of attention to how you execute and implement,” said Frederick M. Hess, the director of education policy studies for the WashPAGE 15 > Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP By Jaclyn Zubrzycki Jeffrey Phelps/AP U.S. Education Department Revises TIF Requirements VOTER’S GUIDE OR PUT A girl waits behind the barricades before a campaign event for President Barack Obama in Dayton, Ohio, last week. He and his rival, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have criss-crossed the country in the last, intense weeks of the race. FOCUS ON: 2012 ELECTIONS VOTER’S GUIDE Read about the issues and contests to watch Nov. 6 and the election-night stakes for state and federal education policy. CAMPAIGN 2012 PAGE 10 PAGES 12-13 PAGE 28 DRUMBEAT: From the battle for the White House to ballot initiatives, education has been a steady theme this election year. Congressional Seats COMMENTARY Gubernatorial Contests REDEFINING THE FEDERAL ROLE IN EDUCATION State Ballot Measures PAGES 10-11 SQUARING OFF: The presidential nominees part ways on key issues. For complete Campaign 2012 coverage Third of a four-part series Heading Off Trouble Before It Starts Good Management Strategies Can Pre-Empt Suspensions, Teachers Say By Nirvi Shah When students file into Shira Fishman’s geometry and Algebra 2 classes at McKinley Technology High in the District of Columbia, there’s already a question written on the board, inviting students to get settled and get to work right away. Whatever topics students may have been bantering about in the hallways must be traded for a discussion of the math problem, said Ms. Fishman, who is in her ninth year of teaching. “It can’t be silent in the room, but they’re not allowed to be gossiping and talking about parties.” The technique is simple but deliberate: By engaging students in an activity the minute they arrive, Ms. Fishman reasons, they will instead have an energizing experience that lasts for the rest State Schools Chiefs State School Boards Educators offer advice for next week’s presidential victor. RETHINKING DISCIPLINE of class and keeps them too occupied to trigger a bout of defiance or disruption that could result in a visit to the principal’s office, or worse, suspension from school. Improving or overhauling classroom-management training is one of many ways states, districts, and teacher education programs are attacking the problem of too many out-of-school suspensions and office referrals, actions that disproportionately affect African-American, Latino, and male students and those who have disabilities. Insubordination, defiance, and disobedience—whatever those may mean to a particular school—are among the top reasons students are suspended from school. “You can have a Ph.D. in math. If you don’t PAGE 16 > Teacher-Leader Degree Designed as a Vehicle For Career Fulfillment By Anthony Rebora Four years ago, Donald Chouinard, a veteran English teacher at Fort Kent Community High School in Maine, was promoted to his district’s curriculum-coordinator position. He appreciated the rise in status the administrative job conferred, but he soon felt that something was lacking. “I really, really missed the classroom,” he recalled. The following year, Mr. Chouinard returned to teaching. But, to continue working toward broader professional goals, he also decided to enroll in a master’s degree program in teacher leadership offered by the University of Southern Maine, in Portland. The program, offering a professional educator degree, featured courses in advanced teaching practice and included both online and face-to-face components. In addition, his 997-student district provided tuition assistance for teachers to pursue advanced degrees. Mr. Chouinard presents a near-perfect example of the type of educator for whom teacher-leadership degree programs are designed. Such programs, observers say, have emerged in recent years in response to an increasing number of teachers who are looking to advance in their careers and expand their instructional knowledge but who also want to stay in the classroom. “There are more and more educators who come into M.A. programs but don’t want to be administrators,” said Lynne Miller, a professor of educational leadership at the University of PAGE 17 > REGISTER FREE Access selected articles, e-newsletters, and more! Sign up now >> Stanford University and a member of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, which focuses on education policy related to school choice. “I am deeply honored that the board has selected me as the next president,” Mr. Chubb said in a telephone interview last week. “It was an extremely open, wide-ranging search process with quite a diversity of candidates.” But his appointment to the top executive post at the nais has sparked dissent among some independent-school educators. Critics have particularly cited what they say is Mr. Chubb’s negative view of public schools, a perspective they see as counterproductive for improving both public and private K-12 schools. In an open letter directed to the organization’s board of trustees, Chris Thinnes, the head of the upper elementary school and the academic dean at the private K-6 Curtis School, in Los Angeles, also expressed concerns about Mr. Chubb’s defense of the federal No Child Left Behind Act and his criticism of public school teachers and teacher-training programs. Mr. Thinnes pointed to what he sees as stark differences in educational philosophy between Mr. Chubb and the current president, Mr. Bassett, who has led the organization for 12 years. “Bassett explored assessment in the 21st century as an opportunity for more individualized and deeper learning; Chubb advocates for one-size-fits-all standards and trumpets the virtues of ‘achievement,’ ” Mr. Thinnes wrote in the letter. “Bassett understood the value of great public school models, and promoted respectful collaboration with their constituents; Chubb explicitly articulates his contempt and disdain [for public schools].” Bill Ivey, the middle school dean at the Stoneleigh-Burnham School, an all-girls school in Greenfield, Mass., that serves students in grades 7-12, also said he had some concerns about Mr. Chubb’s views about public education. “I think the discussion ultimately needs to be about strengthening all aspects of education,” said Mr. Ivey. “I want my school to be stronger, and I want public education to be strong, too. And some of the policies [that Mr. Chubb has advocated] don’t always work as well in practice as one might think.” Mr. Ivey added that he hoped to have “honest discussions” with Mr. Chubb about “the best way to benefit education for our country as a whole.” In fact, the nais recently set up a website that could facilitate such an exchange, Mr. Ivey pointed out, directing members to submit questions to the nais to be answered by Mr. Chubb. For his part, Mr. Chubb said that he did not feel his educa- tional philosophy conflicted with the ideals championed by the nais or its members. “Ultimately, I have no doubt that I share the same core values as all the members of nais, and I think that will become clear,” he said. “I think that when anybody new is selected, there will naturally be questions about who this person is and what they’re going to do. In due course, I am anxious to meet as many people in the organization as I can and share with people who I am and what my ideas are.” After he has made the transition into his new role, he will first focus on meeting nais members and listening to their most pressing needs and concerns, said Mr. Chubb. After Mr. Bassett informed the nais board of trustees in January 2012 of his intent to leave the organization at the end of his contract, which expires June 30, the association assembled a nineperson search committee made up of members of the board. The committee then hired the executive-search firm Spencer Stuart, which has a U.S. office in Chicago as well as offices in Amsterdam and Dublin, to help with the process. ‘Creative Thinker’ “They started by surveying our members and asking what characteristics and experience the new president of nais should have, and what the person should focus on during his or her first year of tenure,” said Myra McGovern, the senior director of public information for the nais. After soliciting suggestions from members and the search committee, Spencer Stuart also tracked down potential candidates. After several rounds of interviews, the board of trustees announced its appointment of Mr. Chubb on Jan. 15, almost exactly a year after the search began. “What the board really found in John was this creative thinker and strong leader who believes in the mission of nais and who could advocate for independent schools and help support schools as they look to the future,” said Ms. McGovern. She pointed to Mr. Chubb’s “innovative spirit” and “desire to develop innovative solutions to complex problems” as skills that he can bring to his leadership position at the nais. And despite some members’ concerns about Mr. Chubb’s educational experience and views, Ms. McGovern said the board had thoroughly weighed its decision. “The board has really vetted all of John’s past experiences and views and really strongly believes that he is the right fit for this job,” she said. “That being said, we are really open to listening and having a dialogue with members about their concerns. “He doesn’t have an agenda of making nais anything that it’s not,” she said.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 30, 2013

Education Week - January 30, 2013
Grad Rate At Highest Since 1970
Teachers Differ Over Meeting Nonfiction Rule
States Soon to Weigh Science Standards
News in Brief
Report Roundup
New Scrutiny as Head Start Centers Recompete for Aid
Flu-Related Absenteeism Prompts School Closures
FOCUS ON: CAREER READINESS: Internships Help Students Prepare for The Workplace
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Competitions Connect Tech. Startups With Educators
School Choice Advocate to Lead Private Schools’ Group
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: Digital Technologies Fuel Continued K-12 Acquisitions
Blogs of the Week
‘i3’ Raises Ante in Evidence, Research Push
GOP Players in Congress Step Forward On K-12
Policy Brief
Inauguration 2013
State of the States
LAURA C. MURRAY: Mental Health Is Part of the School Safety Equation
HELEN BRUNNER: Why Equal Internet Access Is an Education Essential
VICKY SCHIPPERS: Let’s Overhaul How We Teach History
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
CHARLES J. RUSSO: Armed Teachers And Guards Won’t Make Schools Safer

Education Week - January 30, 2013