Education Week - February 4, 2015 - (Page 1)

Education WEEk AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 Editorial Projects in Education * $4 By Liana Heitin The group that invented the Carnegie unit-also known as the credit hour-more than 100 years ago announced last week that it had re-examined the measurement's usefulness and found that, while imperfect, it still serves a vital administrative purpose and has not been a major obstacle to innovation in schools. The Carnegie unit initially was developed as a way to standardize the amount of instruction students received, in part to determine if high school students had been given enough preparation for college. American high schools typically award one Carnegie unit of course credit for 120 hours of instruction. (See box, Page 10.) In recent decades, critics of the measurement have said that, given the nation's shifting focus on achievement and advances in technology PAGE 10 > VOL. 34, NO. 20 * FEBRUARY 4, 2015 BREAKING NEWS DAILY Carnegie Unit Is Still Useful, Report Argues Laura Barr, left, founder and owner of e.Merging Educational Consulting in Denver, advises Liz and Justin Wasserman on the school choices available for their 4-year-old daughter. Ms. Barr's services are popular with middle-income parents in the high-choice city. Demand for Choice Consultants Grows As Public K-12 Options Expand, Parents Pay for Guidance By Arianna Prothero The rapid expansion of charter schools and other public school options is fueling growth in another industry: education consulting. Education consultants, once used primarily by families to help them select and get into elite private schools, are now being hired by parents in New York City, Denver, and Washington to help them navigate a plethora of public school options. Although business is booming for a few savvy entrepreneurs who have gotten a foothold in the public-education-consultant market early, others worry that consultants are a symptom of a system that's perhaps getting too complicated for parents, and could potentially put low-income families who can't afford such services at a competitive disadvantage. "I think middle-income families who wouldn't have paid for education consulting [before] are now because of the complexity of the options," said Elizabeth Perelstein, the founder of a White Plains, N.Y.-based consulting firm, School Choice International. "No parent wants their child to be at a disadvantage." To be successful, education consultants have to be in the know: They research curricula, visit schools, track achievementrelated data, and are wired into local parent networks. They help families identify schools that match their children's needs and demystify application and enrollment processes that can differ vastly from what has been the norm in the education system for decades. Traditionally, education consultants have focused on matching families to PAGE 11 > Study Faults Data On U.S. Teachers' Instruction Time By Sarah D. Sparks It's a statistic that has echoed for years in global policy discussions about education: U.S. teachers are in front of their classes 50 percent to 73 percent more than their peers in other countries, including nations-like Finland and Japan-whose students outperform Americans on international tests. That striking statistic has become common wisdom as part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's regular Education at a Glance reports, but a new study suggests it's significantly overblown. Teachers in the United States still lead the world in instructional time, but the analysis released last PAGE 12 > New Captain Aboard At Jeb Bush's Ed. Group By Andrew Ujifusa Jeb Bush's decision to turn over leadership of the prominent K-12 organization he founded to Condoleezza Rice as he mulls a White House bid could signal a new phase for the Foundation for Excellence in Education- and for a broader network of advocacy groups seeking to challenge what they view as the status quo in education. Observers say that although Mr. Bush and other like-minded advocates in the K-12 arena enjoy national stature, Ms. Rice, as a former U.S. secretary of state, adds international standing to the world of education policy and politics. Her new role recalls that of Colin L. Powell, her predecessor at the State Department, who served PAGE 14 > U.S. Teacher-Prep Rules Get Tough Criticism From Stakeholders A review of the comments submitted By Stephen Sawchuk A controversial federal proposal to improve monitoring of teacher-preparation programs had drawn more than 2,300 public comments by the end of January, with the overwhelmingly critical feedback reflecting coordinated opposition from higher education officials and assorted policy groups. "It's not just teacher prep that's concerned about this. It's the teaching profession. And it's higher education," said Deborah Koolbeck, the director of government relations for the Washington-based American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. "Is teacher prep the test run for the ratings of higher education overall?" The proposed rules, issued under the Higher Education Act, were released by the U.S. Department of Education in November, some two years after negotiations with representatives from various types of colleges broke down over the regulations' shape and scope. Among other provisions, the rules would require states to use measures such as surveys of school districts, teacher-employment data, and studentachievement results to classify each preparation program in one of four categories. Strong Opposition The lowest-rated would be barred from offering federal grants of up to $4,000 a year to help pay for teacher education under the teach program. The comment period on the proposal closed Feb. 2. through Jan. 29 showed several main themes among the complaints, including that the rules would: * Prioritize student test scores, potentially leading to deleterious effects on teacher-preparation coursework; * Apply punitive sanctions to programs rather than support them; * Expand federal meddling in state affairs; * Prescribe flawed measures that would yield biased results; and * Cost far more to implement than the PAGE 21 > ESEA HEARING: Lawmakers are shying away from including a teacher-evaluation mandate in a No Child Left Behind Act rewrite. PAGE 16 Nathan W. Armes for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - February 4, 2015

Education Week - February 4, 2015
Demand for Choice Consultants Grows
Study Faults Data on U.S. Teachers’ Instruction Time
New Captain Aboard At Jeb Bush’s Ed. Group
U.S. Teacher-Prep Rules Get Tough Criticism From Stakeholders
Carnegie Unit Is Still Useful, Report Argues
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Teach Like a Champion Update Lifts Focus on Technique
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Schools Test Impact of Blending Ed-Tech, Extended School Days
Blogs of the Week
Home-Visiting Program Aiding At-Risk Families Faces Renewal Deadline
Teacher-Evaluation Mandate Unlikely in ESEA Rewrite
Testing Burden on ELLs Needs Easing, Federal Officials Say
Concerns Raised on Plan to Let Title I Cash Follow Students
Blogs of the Week
State of the States
HUGH B. PRICE: What the Military Might Teach Schools
WADE HENDERSON: Low Standards Do a Disservice to All
NORMAN ENG: The Equity Problem for K-12 MOOCs
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
QUYEN DINH & BRENDA SHUM: Remember Southeast-Asian Students And Other ELLs

Education Week - February 4, 2015