Education Week - January 30, 2013 - (Page 12)

12 EDUCATION WEEK n JANUARY 30, 2013 BLOGS of the WEEK | NEWS | Curriculum Matters Seattle Teachers Boycott Tests The Seattle teachers’ test boycott is attracting growing support and attention. But where it’s going is an open question. In a nutshell, teachers at Garfield High School have essentially gone on strike n against the district’s Measures of Academic Progress tests, a computer-adaptive tool used to size up how students are learning and adjust instruction. The boycott has spread to nearby Orca K-8 school, and other schools have signed statements of support. FairTest, a national group opposed to standardized testing, is circulating a petition in support of the Garfield teachers. A clutch of well-known commentators, including education historian Diane Ravitch and urbanschools author Jonathan Kozol, joined in a statement of support as well. Then came the two national teachers’ unions. American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten posted a letter of support on the union’s Facebook page. Now the National Education Association is cheering the Garfield teachers, too. How far the ripples will spread from Seattle remains to be seen. The Garfield teachers are not boycotting the state tests for accountability. District officials warned last week that teachers will be disciplined if they refuse to give districtrequired tests, the Associated Press reported. One can only guess that this would pale in comparison to the repercussions from any mass movement to boycott state accountability tests. The teachers have been quoted as saying the map takes too much time away from instruction, produces erratic outcomes, and is not aligned to what they’re teaching. —CATHERINE GEWERTZ | NEWS | District Dossier Principals to Be Rated On Student Progress Starting this school year, student-achievement gains will count toward principal OUR FUNDERS Editorial Projects in Education wishes to thank the following foundations for their generous support. EPE retains sole editorial control over the content of articles and other work underwritten by our donors. The Atlantic Philanthropies supports coverage of school climate and student behavior and engagement in Education Week and on edweek. org. The Atlantic Philanthropies is dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. A limited life foundation, Atlantic is focused on four critical social issues: aging, children and youth, population health, and reconciliation and human rights. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports coverage of the education industry and K-12 innovation in Education Week and on, and provides capacity-building support for Editorial Projects in Education, Education Week’s nonprofit parent company. The Gates Foundation is dedicated to the principle that every human life is equally valuable. Its commitment to education centers on ensuring greater opportunity for all Americans through the attainment of secondary and postsecondary education with genuine economic value. The California Endowment supports coverage of school climate and student behavior and engagement in Education Week and on The California Endowment’s mission is to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The GE Foundation supports coverage of implementation of common standards and assessments in Education Week and on The GE Foundation provides grants and invests in initiatives that work to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems in the areas of U.S. and international education, global health, the environment, public policy, human rights, disaster relief, and community success around the globe. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation supports coverage of deeper learning in Education Week and on The Hewlett Foundation makes grants to address the most serious social and environmental problems facing society. The Joyce Foundation supports coverage in Education Week and on of policy efforts to improve the teaching profession. Joyce works to close the achievement gap by improving teacher quality in schools that serve low-income and minority children, expanding earlychildhood education, and promoting innovations such as charter schools. Education The Lumina Foundation supports coverage in Education Week and of the alignment between K-12 schools and postsecondary education. The Lumina Foundation strives to help people achieve their potential by expanding access to and success in education beyond high school. The MetLife Foundation supports the development of’s online Teacher channel and its capacity to engage teachers interactively as a professional community. Established in 1976, the foundation funds educational, health, civic, and cultural organizations and draws on findings from the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher to inform its support of education. The Raikes Foundation supports coverage of school climate and student behavior and engagement in Education Week and on The foundation provides opportunities and support during adolescence to help young people become healthy, contributing adults. evaluations in the Chicago public schools, the district announced this month. The evaluations will be based half on “student growth measures”—including graduation rates, attendance, and “some assessments”—and half on principal practice, according to a press release. Illinois requires student growth to constitute at least 25 percent of a principal’s evaluation starting this school year and at least 30 percent in 2014 and beyond. The emphasis on student achievement is in line with the district’s teacher-evaluation system, said ceo Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a press release. Teacher evaluation was one point of contention in the teachers’ strike in Chicago earlier this school year. The online education news site Catalyst Chicago reported mixed responses to the new evaluation systems. Some principals say the system is late to be unveiled and that 50 percent seems a high figure; others say they are pleased that the student-growth component is not dependent on a single assessment. National leaders have also expressed some concern. “Fifty percent is in my mind not supported by any research, any place,” said Richard A. Flanary, a deputy executive director at the National Association of Secondary School Principals. —JACLYN ZUBRZYCKI | NEWS | The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation provides partial support for Diplomas Count, Education Week’s annual report on the state of high school graduation and reform efforts. The foundation’s mission is to support efforts that promote a just, equitable, and sustainable society. The NoVo Foundation supports coverage of school climate and student behavior and engagement in Education Week and on edweek. org. NoVo is dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society by supporting the development of capacities in people — individually and collectively — to help create a caring and balanced world that operates on the principles of mutual respect, collaboration, and civic participation. The Noyce Foundation supports coverage of STEM learning — as part of the traditional school day and in informal settings — in Education Week and on Launched in 1990, the Noyce Foundation is dedicated to improving math, science, and reading instruction in public schools, promoting school leadership and education research, and expanding opportunities for informal, hands-on science learning for students. The Wallace Foundation supports coverage in Education Week and on of public school leadership, extended and expanded learning time, and arts learning. The foundation seeks to create widespread change by sharing lessons that public and private institutions can use to promote benefits for the people they serve. The Walton Family Foundation supports coverage of parent empowerment in Education Week and on The foundation promotes initiatives to expand parental choice and equal opportunity in education to help spur the bold transformation of the national K-12 system of public education. An anonymous funder helps to support coverage of the early years of a child’s development — birth through 3rd grade — in Education Week and on Beyond School High School Credit Anytime, Anywhere High school students in Providence, R.I., may be eligible to receive school credit for learning experiences outside the classroom through a new initiative that will award “digital badges” for a range of extracurricular activities. The Providence After School Alliance launched the project with support from the Mozilla Foundation. Digital badges are virtual commemorative patches that recognize work, activities, or tasks, much like Girl and Boy Scout badges, only digitized. The idea is to encourage connections between in- and out-of-school learning and get students more engaged in school by recognizing how their interests and pastimes can be academically enriching. The initiative, called the Hub, will award students digital badges for out-of-school academic work that can then be considered for credit by the local school system. The alliance won funding through a grant competition sponsored by Mozilla, a nonprofit that supports open-source Web content and the Firefox Web browser, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur —NORA FLEMING Foundation. >> To see all Education Week blogs, go to

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