Education Week - February 26, 2014 - (Page 1)

EDUCATIONWEEK VOL. 33, NO. 22 * FEBRUARY 26, 2014 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2014 Editorial Projects in Education * $4 INDUSTRY & INNOVATION Grad Rates Seen as Fuel For Startups Education Proves Stronger Influence Than Money By Michele Molnar Pearlie Harris, the director of the Royal Castle Child Development Center, watches over children at the school in New Orleans. In order to stay in business, the center must find ways to retain families who might be drawn to Louisiana's publicly funded preschool program. Public Pre-K Can Put Squeeze on Private Providers Competition From Free Preschool Can Siphon Off Coveted Clients By Christina A. Samuels Every year, Pearlie Harris hustles to keep 4-year-olds enrolled in the child-care center she runs in the Hollygrove neighborhood of New Orleans. Louisiana regulations require one caregiver for every five children under 12 months old in center-based care, such as Ms. Harris' Royal Castle Child Development Center. For 4-year-olds, regulations allow one teacher for every 16 children. Ms. Harris' center uses a more labor-intensive formula: one caregiver for four infants and one teacher for 10 4-year-olds. The tuition for the 4-year-olds subsidizes the more expensive care for the younger children. But Royal Castle, which charges $165 a week for infants through 4-year-olds, is in competition with Louisiana's publicly funded preschool program for at-risk children, which is free to qualified families. And the center, which is certified by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and highly ranked under the state's rating system for child-care programs, sometimes finds itself on the losing end of such competition. The pressure on private child-care providers can be an unintended consequence of the expansion of publicly funded preschool programs Startup and entrepreneurial growth in small to large cities is fueled more by high school diplomas and college degrees than by venture capital, government funding, or the presence of research universities, a study concludes. The study, conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, examined business activity in 356 U.S. metropolitan areas. Researchers found that investment levels of financial organizations, primarily venture capitalists, did not correlate with high startup activity, and that billions of dollars in federal government research expenditures and the presence of research universities were not associated with higher rates of entrepreneurship. Instead, the authors say, education is the most significant factor correlated with entrepreneurial growth. "A substantial high school completion rate will further increase the area's PAGE 10> for 4-year-olds. Centers rarely earn much money on infant care, because the caregiverto-child ratios have to be kept low. But when 4-year-olds, with their more favorable ratios, leave for a publicly funded program, some private programs falter. Research into this situation is nuanced. A study of universal-preschool programs in Georgia and Oklahoma has found that so-called preschool "crowdout" isn't always a given. But some early-education advocates have seen evidence of the strain, and they say it puts them in a quandary. None of them wants to discourage public funding for early-childhood programs, but when private providers disappear, fewer high-quality slots are available for PAGE 11> BREAKING NEWS DAILY Minnesota Pushes To Ratchet Down Achievement Gap By Michele McNeil Computer Science Education: Not Just an Elective Anymore By Liana Heitin tive measure awaiting final action. At least eight more states are in the process Computer science education is getting some- thing of a fresh look from state and local policymakers, with many starting to push new measures to broaden K-12 students' access to the subject. Seventeen states and the District of Colum- bia now have policies in place that allow computer science to count as a mathematics or science credit, rather than as an elective, in high schools-and that number is on the rise. Wisconsin, Alabama, and Maryland have adopted such policies since December, and Idaho has a legisla- of reviewing proposals for similar legislative or regulatory changes. "The amazing thing is not only the level to which policy changes are increasing, but the diversity, both regional and political," of where it's happening, said Cameron Wilson, the chief operating officer for the computer science advocacy group "These are red states and blue states, and they're all embracing this." In January, Texas lawmakers approved legis- lation that would allow students to take a computer science course to satisfy a foreign-language requirement-a move that alarmed some computing advocates, who say it denies computer science's deep roots in math and science. Several other states, including Kentucky and New Mexico, are considering a similar approach. In addition, some large urban districts are getting in on the action. The Chicago and Broward County, Fla., systems are finding ways to bring computer science courses to more students and schools in the next academic year. There's widespread agreement that the recent surge in public interest around computer science education was partly triggered by a hip, well-fiPAGE 12> As some states use their No Child Left Behind Act waivers to try to move far away from certain aspects of the law, Minnesota is doing the opposite when it comes to accountability-and with early, promising results. The state is eschewing popular education policy trends such as A-F grading systems, state-takeover districts, and "supersubgroups" of at-risk students in favor of policies that embrace the spirit of the 12-year-old accountability law. Minnesota is elevating the importance of small subgroups of at-risk students, issuing progress reports to districts on achievement gaps, and relying on regional centers to help struggling schools. The payoff for such unflashy work? Early data show that about threequarters of districts are on track to cut their achievement gaps in half by 2017 for nearly all of their subgroups-a key goal of the NCLB waivers offered by the U.S. Department of Education. GraduaPAGE 19> Ted Jackson for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - February 26, 2014

Education Week - February 26, 2014
Public Pre-K Can Put Squeeze on Private Providers
Minnesota Pushes to Ratchet Down Achievement Gap
Computer Science Education: Not Just An Elective Anymore
Grad Rates Seen as Fuel for Startups
News in Brief
Report Roundup
ETS Wades Into Market for Teacher- Performance Exams
Charter Network Finds New Teachers Among Its Graduates
New E-Rate Funding to Address K-12 Technology Needs
Blogs of the Week
Some in Congress Adding Fuel To Common-Core Debate
State Lawmakers Aim to Rejigger Local School Board Elections
States Found to Lag in Their Data- Linking on Youngest Children
Blogs of the Week
CHARLES TAYLOR KERCHNER: California: The Great Exception
V. SCOTT SOLBERG & CURTIS RICHARDS: Making ‘Individualized’ Plans for a Postsecondary Future
DEBBIE RHEA: More Play, Better Focus
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
DONALD G. NICOLAS: Why We Need More Black Men in Teaching

Education Week - February 26, 2014