Education Week - January 30, 2013 - (Page 26)

26 EDUCATION WEEK n JANUARY 30, 2013 n PRESIDENT & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Virginia B. Edwards EXECUTIVE EDITOR Gregory Chronister MANAGING EDITORS Karen Diegmueller, Kathleen Kennedy Manzo DESIGN DIRECTOR Laura Baker ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITORS Mark W. Bomster, Kevin C. Bushweller, Debra Viadero ASSISTANT DESIGN DIRECTOR Vanessa Solis COMMENTARY EDITOR Elizabeth Rich DEPUTY COMMENTARY EDITOR Mary-Ellen Phelps Deily ASSISTANT EDITORS Sean Cavanagh, Catherine Gewertz, Michele McNeil, Erik W. Robelen, Stephen Sawchuk DEPUTY DESIGN DIRECTOR Gina Tomko DESIGNERS Sumita Bannerjee, Linda H. Jurkowitz DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Charles Borst PHOTO EDITOR Christopher Powers MANAGING EDITOR, ONLINE Kathleen Kennedy Manzo STAFF WRITERS Katie Ash, Alyson Klein, Lesli A. Maxwell, Christina A. Samuels, Nirvi Shah, Sarah D. Sparks, Andrew Ujifusa, Jaclyn Zubrzycki ONLINE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Cheri Hung CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Caralee Adams, Diette Courrégé Casey, Michelle R. Davis, Nora Fleming, Michele Molnar, Mark Walsh ONLINE NEWS PRODUCERS Ross Brenneman, Megan Garner, Bryan Toporek COMMENTARY ASSOCIATES Briana Boyington, Catherine A. Cardno EDITORIAL INTERN Mike Bock, Victoria O’Dea ONLINE NEWS PRODUCTION MANAGER Stacey Hollenbeck ONLINE INTERN Gina Cairney MANAGING EDITOR, Teacher Online Anthony Rebora ASSOCIATE EDITOR, Teacher Online Liana Heitin DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMING, LIVE AND VIRTUAL EVENTS Matthew Cibellis EVENTS PROGRAMMING ASSOCIATE Anne Verghese INTERN, Teacher Online Francesca Duffy CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER FOR DIGITAL OPERATIONS Paul Hyland WEB TECHNOLOGY INTERN Malcom Chitsa PUBLISHER & GENERAL MANAGER Michele J. Givens CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Jill N. Whitley ASSISTANT HR MANAGER Melissa McCurry ACCOUNTING MANAGER Haphen Muchapondwa ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE CLERK Lindsey Eggleston DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, Jeff Rupp MANAGER, ADVERTISING OPERATIONS Shane Steinfeld SITE LICENSE SALES MANAGER Jennifer Bagley DIRECTORY PRODUCTS MANAGER Karen Hasher DIRECTORY SALES MANAGER Judi Squire DIRECTOR OF AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Stefanie Hemmingson DIGITAL CONTENT SALES AND MARKETING MANAGER Ryan Lanier PRINT & ONLINE AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Jeson Jackson AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT INTERNS Lauren Williams, Dennis Zittier ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, SALES AND MARKETING Sean Herdman TOPSCHOOLJOBS INTERNS Stephanie Feldman, Anne Lyons, Sapna Virdy SENIOR REGIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER Sharon Makowka (828) 926-5033 REGIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGERS Guy Blumberg (917) 747-1351 Julie Fagan (301) 502-4300 Josh Ford (301) 280-3203 DIRECTOR, ADVERTISING Ben Delaney-Winn (781) 538-6076 ADVERTISING SALES ASSISTANT Rob Voigt ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER, RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING Shirlanda Y. Braxton (301) 280-3111 RECRUITMENT CLIENT SERVICE MANAGERS Ferzine Esmail, Marla Scher DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION Jo Arnone MANAGER, ADVERTISING OPERATIONS Casey Shellenberger ADVERTISING PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Kevin Kemp PRODUCTION INTERN Dana Gittings SYSTEMS MANAGER Hunter McCleary TOPSCHOOLJOBS PRODUCT MANAGER Jonathan Rogers ASSISTANT SYSTEMS MANAGER Bill Moyer MARKETING MANAGER Angela Morales EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Shaiy E. Knowles MARKETING ASSOCIATE Amanda Glenn RECEPTIONIST Naomi Cohen MARKETING INTERN Trey Owens ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Maria Shaffer VICE PRESIDENT FOR RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT Christopher B. Swanson DIRECTOR, EDITORIAL PROJECTS IN EDUCATION RESEARCH CENTER Amy M. Hightower RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE Amy Wickner SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE Sterling C. Lloyd RESEARCH ASSOCIATE Carrie A. Matthews LIBRARY DIRECTOR Kathryn Dorko RESEARCH ANALYST Hannah Rose Sacks LIBRARY INTERN Holly Peele RESEARCH INTERNS Layla Bonnot, Sean Chalk, Christine Crain DIRECTOR, KNOWLEDGE SERVICES Rachael Delgado PROGRAM ASSOCIATE Tim Ebner EDITORIAL & BUSINESS OFFICES: Back issues are available at $3.00 each, except the January 10, 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100 Bethesda, MD 20814-5233 (301) 280-3100 Editorial FAX: (301) 280-3200 Business FAX: (301) 280-3250 Print or online subscription customer service: (800) 445-8250 Product or print purchase orders: Fax to (215) 788-6887 2013 (Quality Counts) issue at $10.00 each, and the March 15, Article reprints: (877) 394-7350 Website: LETTERS to the EDITOR Researcher Questions Report’s Methodology To the Editor: As a senior evaluation specialist and research methodologist for a large Southeastern urban school district, I specialize in literacy, public policy, and school reform. I am writing to question the validity of the rankings in your annual Quality Counts report (Jan. 10, 2013). The equal weightings assigned to the dimensions of your state rankings render them invalid. Soft and attitudinal indicators are rated the same as measurable indicators. Standards-setting is often no more than wish fulfillment, and teacher-assessment systems are error-prone. Criterion-referenced tests are not comparable from state to state. Measurable indicators cannot be weighted the same as nonmeasurable indicators, and outcome-based indicators cannot be weighted the same as non-outcome-based indicators. “Opportunities to learn” are meaningless unless such opportunities translate into outcomes. Lofty “standards” and “accountability measures” are irrelevant unless mechanisms are put in place to ensure that such standards are met. “Teaching indicators” are also questionable when some states rate teachers with value-added models that are little more accurate than a coin toss. Education Week should not be an enabler of states that seek to dismantle their public education systems, using the rankings to camouflage their actions. The methodology should be revised by regressing composite achievement against selected state demographic and resource indicators and using the residual scores to rank the states. Then, the other pieces can be factor analyzed to come up with reasonable weights. When states with poor systems get high rankings, the politicians benefit while the students suffer. Steven M. Urdegar Director I/Evaluation Assessment, Research, and Data Analysis Miami-Dade County Public Schools Miami, Fla. The letter reflects the writer’s personal opinions and does not represent the Miami-Dade County schools. 2012 (Technology Counts) and June 7, 2012 (Diplomas Count) issues at $6.00 each. Price includes postage and handling via the US Postal Service. Order online: backissues, or call 1-800-445-8250, or fax 215-788-6887. You may also send orders to: Education Week Back Issues, P.O. Box 3005, Langhorne, PA 19047-9105. Copies of the newspaper on microfilm can be ordered from National Archive Publishing Company, 300 N. Zeeb Road, P.O. Box 998, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-0998. Phone: 1-800-420-6272. Graduation Rates Skew Analysis of Data To the Editor: I just read an article on, a news and opinion website, about America’s worst schools, which was based on information from Education Week’s Quality Counts (Jan. 10, 2013). I must tell you your data are askew because part of your analysis is based on graduation rates. In my opinion as a taxpayer and a parent, Virginia has undoubtedly the worst public schools in the country. The only way you can’t graduate is to drop out, thanks to the No Child Left Behind Act. Virginia will pass you even if you don’t do anything in class. Virginia uses the state Standards of Learning, or sols, to determine a person’s knowledge. Therefore, rather than “teach,” the teachers focus only on helping students to pass the sols. Anyone can be taught to pass a test and still be dumb as a box of rocks. Damon Hill Martinsville, Va. Change Now Under Way In Language Programs To the Editor: U.S. students absolutely need a strong language education they can use to be active citizens in our global community. Thanks to David Young and J.B. Buxton (“Language Education We Can Use,” Commentary, Jan. 9, 2013) for their message that language learning must emphasize reallife relevance and authentic connections to language and culture. I completely agree that talking about language and grammar does not develop critical secondlanguage proficiency. I also stand 100 percent behind the many dual-language-immersion programs that are powerful models for developing strong language proficiency. But language learning is on a path of growth and change. Most world-language teachers are unified around a strong set of national standards (which are also the same standards of most states) that focus on developing skills of meaningful communication by preparing language-learners to comprehend, analyze, and evaluate what they read, hear, or view, as well as to exchange opinions, express ideas, and persuade others via speaking and writing. These are real-life applications students will need to use in other languages to collaborate in our world. As a veteran teacher of French, I have witnessed many changes throughout my career. The way I teach and the way students learn now is totally different from when I started. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with many worldlanguage teachers who design meaningful learning experiences around language use in realworld culturally embedded contexts. Skyping to other countries, interacting with native-speaker mentors in the community, volunteering abroad, or teaching computer skills to senior citizens in their language are just some ways students are expanding their language learning anytime, anyplace. Change is happening— although not yet transforming all language programs in the United States—but we need to build capacity for this change. Parents, educators, and administrators have the will; they need support for the “how to.” Toni Theisen French Teacher Loveland High School Loveland, Colo. The writer is the president of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages for 2013. On Hazelwood Ruling And Student Journalism To the Editor: Thank you for reporting on the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier case, 25 years after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed itself on free-speech protection for secondary school students (“Student-Press Ruling Resonates From 1988,” Jan. 9, 2013). Included in the article were references to the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District case of 1969. While Hazelwood concerned school administrators’ censoring of articles in school newspapers, Tinker dealt with the right of students to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War. The Supreme Court ruled in Tinker that neither “students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Hazelwood allowed school administrators to limit those rights if they were worried such freedom might disrupt learning or discipline. Thus Hazelwood, Mo., administrators could remove stories about divorce, teen pregnancy, and other sensitive issues prior to the school newspaper’s publication. At a time when children surf the Internet and engage in instant messaging and Facebook friending, it seems odd that young journalists can be prevented from reporting on “sensitive issues” when care is taken to protect the identities of students. Landmark Supreme Court cases might make interesting special reports for school newspapers. Unfortunately such landmark cases, from Plessy v. Ferguson, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, and Korematsu v. United States to Griswold v. Connecticut, Loving v. Virginia, Tinker v. Des Moines, and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission are not taught in many high school history classes. Betty R. Kazmin Medford, Ore. The writer is a retired Los Angeles teacher.

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