Education Week - February 19, 2014 - (Page 1)

PULLOUT SECTION: Education Week's Calendar of Events & Professional Development Directory, Opposite Page 20 EDUCATIONWEEK VOL. 33, NO. 21 * FEBRUARY 19, 2014 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2014 Editorial Projects in Education * $4 1 BREAKING NEWS DAILY Placement Of Teachers Gets Scrutiny By Michele McNeil The U.S. Department of Education is developing a 50-state strategy that may finally put some teeth into a key part of the No Child Left Behind Act that has been largely ignored for the past 12 years: the inequitable distribution of the nation's best teachers. Central to the federal strategy will be a mix of enforcement and bureaucratic levers to prod states into making sure that poor and minority students are not taught by ineffective and unqualified teachers at higher rates than their peers. Among those levers, according to the PAGE 26 > Christasia Springs, right, 11, gets a hug from teacher Courtney Sowell in a class with fellow students Josiah Crudup, left, 10, and Zyonna Austin, 11, at Ashley Park Pre-K-8 School in Charlotte, N.C. The school is part of a district project to better deploy the best teachers. DIGITAL DIRECTIONS Pa. Approvals For E-Charters Getting Tougher Governance Is a Concern By Sean Cavanagh & Benjamin Herold In rejecting a recent group of applications to open cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania, state officials cited a litany of shortcomings, and one overriding concern: Who, ultimately, would be running the show? All six plans to open new online schools were denied, and, in five of those cases, the state raised concerns that the schools' governing boards would not act independently of the organizations they planned to hire to provide services to students. Those organizations in some cases were identified as for-profit companies. The issues raised by the Pennsylvania education department last month underscore a long-standing worry about charter schools, voiced most often by their strongest critics: that the nonprofit boards charged with overseeing them are often too quick to cede control over their finances and operations to third parties whose primary focus is profitability. In Pennsylvania, cyber charters have come under a wave of scrutiny, PAGE 20 > 'Platooning' on Rise in Early Grades By Catherine Gewertz At Sharpstein Elementary School, 2nd graders are getting used to a routine that most American children don't learn for four more years: Several times a day, they line up and switch classrooms and teachers by subject. They spend the morning with one teacher for reading and writing, breaking in the middle for music, library, or physical education classes. After lunch, they head to another room for math and science. Then students return to their original teacher for social studies. Sharpstein's 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders have similar schedules. The school in Walla Walla, Wash., is one of a small but growing number that are adapting for elementary schools a practice that has long defined middle and high schools: departmentalization. Also known as specializing or "platooning," the model has been used in limited ways in the lower grades for years, with children leaving their main classrooms for math or reading instruction. It grew in popularity after the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act increased pressure on schools to raise test scores. Now, as the Common Core State Standards require new kinds of skills from younger children, some schools are expanding the model by asking teachers to drop their traditional roles as generalists and serve instead as experts in one or two content areas. Most commonly, they're trying it in grades 3-5, but PAGE 16 > Common-Core Tensions Cause Union Heartburn By Andrew Ujifusa & Stephen Sawchuk From the early days of the Common Core State Stan- dards, the two national teachers' unions have been among the initiative's biggest boosters, helping to make the case to the nation's 3.5 million teachers for the tougher expectations and putting significant money into the development of aligned curricula and tools. But in some union quarters, that support is starting to waver-the product of flawed implementation in states, concerns about the fast timeline for new testing tied to the standards, and, in at least one instance, fallout from internal state-union politics. The unions' evolving positions raise new questions PAGE 29 > STEM Academy's Reach Spans Illinois By Liana Heitin Aurora, Ill. The prestigious Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a residential public high school here, serves a small slice of the state's students-650 carefully selected 10th through 12th graders who have demonstrated talent in math and science. However, the school's impact goes well beyond its contained, suburban campus. The state-funded academy runs a growing number of outreach initiatives, including after-school, summer, and professional-de- velopment programs, which school leaders say reach more than 10,000 students across the state every year. In fact, it now operates three field offices, in Chicago, Belleville, and Rock Island. The offices provide local support to schools administering the outreach programs, and hold workshops and summer programs themselves. One of IMSA's best-known initiatives is the FUSION after-school program, in which top-performing middle school students, mainly in underresourced areas, get a PAGE 18 > Sarah Leahy, a student at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, is poised to catch the lid from an exploding film can after mixing water and Alka-Seltzer inside. The students are participating in a training program that prepares them to lead inquirybased projects. Emile Wamsteker for Education Week Chris Keane for Education Week John Zich for Eduction Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - February 19, 2014

Education Week - February 19, 2014
Placement of Teachers Gets Scrutiny
‘Platooning’ on Rise in Early Grades
Common-Core Tensions Cause Union Heartburn
STEM Academy’s Reach Spans Illinois
Pa. Approvals For E-Charters Getting Tougher
News in Brief
Report Roundup
‘Transitional’ Classes Gain Ground In States as College-Prep Strategy
Utah Incident Revives Debate on Handling Unpaid Lunch Debts
More Districts Turn to 2.0 Versions Of ‘Innovation Zones’
President’s ConnectED Effort Garners Major Support From FCC, Companies
K-12 Leaders Critique Corporate Influence
Superintendents Push Vision for Next Version of ESEA
Principals’ Bosses Are Target of New Funding Initiative
Blogs of the Week
Minority-Group Lawmakers Slam NCLB Waivers’ Impact
Talks Swirl in Congress Over Early-Ed. Proposals
The Great Arm-Twist Debate
JARED POLIS & CHRIS GIBSON: Broadband Access Is Critical
MARIN GJAJA, J. PUCKETT, & MATT RYDER: When It Comes to School Funding, Equity Is the Key
KYLE E. BLANCHFIELD & PETER D. LADD: Recognizing Emotions: A Critical Leadership Role
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
MARC A. BRACKETT & SUSAN E. RIVERS: An Emotionally Intelligent Approach to Bullying Prevention
2014 Calendar of Events & Professional Development Directory

Education Week - February 19, 2014