Education Week - March 6, 2013 - (Page 1)

Education Week VOL. 32, NO. 23 • MARCH 6, 2013 ▲ AM E R ICAN E DUCATION’S N EWS PAPE R OF R ECOR D • © 2013 Editorial Projects in Education • $4 BREAKING NEWS DAILY Feds, States Dicker Over Evaluations Teacher Plans Prove Hurdle Mark Graham for Education Week By Michele McNeil Principal Appraisals Get a Remake More and More Districts Are Factoring Student Test Scores Into Personnel Reviews By Jaclyn Zubrzycki A growing number of school districts—including large ones like those in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Hawaii—have become recent converts to new principalevaluation systems that tie school leaders’ appraisals to student test scores. As of this school year, student achievement accounts for 40 percent to 50 percent of principals’ evaluations in each of those school systems, while district leaders in a number of other places are preparing to make similar changes in coming school years. The switch to the new-breed evaluation systems comes on the heels of efforts nationwide to incorporate studentachievement measures into teachers’ evaluations. For principals, the move is being prompted by U.S. Department of Education grant programs such as Race to the Top, which requires states or districts to tie principal effectiveness “in significant part” to growth in student achievement, and by No Child Left Behind waivers, which allow states flexibility on some requirements of the federal law in exchange for adopting certain policies, including revamped educatorevaluation procedures. Test scores are generally one of several measures of student achievement used in new principal evaluations, which also look at school climate surveys and improvements in teachers’ effectiveness, among other gauges. “There’s this collective realization that it’s more complex than just a single test score,” said Dick Flanary, the deputy executive director of programs and services at the National Association of Secondary School Principals, a Nikki Hudson, left, the academic coordinator at Lida Hooe Elementary School in Dallas, compares notes with Principal Linda Saenz during a principalevaluation session. The price tag to win a seat in this week’s primary election for the Los Angeles school board climbed to unprecedented levels, as a massive influx of outside cash turned a local campaign into a national showdown pitting the long-standing influence of teachers’ unions against the expanding imprint of deep-pocketed education activists. In the days leading up to the March 5 primary, total spending in three races for the Los Angeles board of education surpassed $4 million, roughly the same amount that Tom Torlakson, California’s schools chief, spent to win his statewide election in 2010. More than 80 percent of that spending on the Los Angeles races came through independent expenditures in behalf of candidates. Three seats are up for grabs on the seven-member board. Much of the money poured into the Coalition for School Reform, a Los Angeles group that had been spending the cash on behalf of three candidates who back district Superintendent John E. Deasy and his agenda of revamping teacher evaluations to include student outcomes, speeding the process for firing underperforming teachers and principals, and supporting charter schools. The coalition is closely aligned with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, who helped coax New York City PAGE 24> Governors Take Varied Routes In Boosting Aid By Andrew Ujifusa Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to give $1 million. Former District of Columbia Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee’s Sacramentobased StudentsFirst organization kicked in $250,000; Eli Broad, the billionaire education philanthropist, also contributed $250,000. Mr. Broad, who lives in Los Angeles, has previously contributed to school board candidates he favored. United Teachers of Los Angeles mounted a major effort, too, spending more than $600,000 and organizing in behalf of its preferred candidates, as well as opposing the re-election bid of Mónica García, the current board president and one of Mr. As states consider increases to K-12 spending amid better economic conditions, governors on opposite sides of the partisan divide are proposing significantly different plans and arguments for the best ways to use new education aid. Two prime examples: Minnesota and Ohio, a pair of Midwestern states with chief executives intent on pumping more money into education—and sharply contrasting visions of how to do it. In Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton, a member of the Democratic-FarmerLabor Party, is urging an expansion of early-education services such as allday kindergarten, as well as a $118 million hike in the standard per-pupil funding system. The total price tag for his plan: $344 million over two years. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, is proposing $1.3 billion in new education spending, a new approach PAGE 18> PAGE 23> PAGE 16> Los Angeles School Board Race Shatters Spending Records By Lesli A. Maxwell Even though 34 states and the District of Columbia have No Child Left Behind Act waivers in hand, many of them are still negotiating with the U.S. Department of Education over their teacher-evaluation systems— a crucial component if they want to keep their newfound flexibility. More than six months after waiver recipients turned in their guidelines to the department, only 12 waiver states have gotten the green light for their evaluation systems. Education Department officials expect to start sending more approval letters soon, along with notices on which plans need more work. The slow approval process comes as states continue to pilot their evaluation systems, grapple with issues such as evaluating teachers in nontested subjects, and figure out how to make student growth a significant factor in teacher ratings—all on a tight timeline dictated for the most part by the federal department. In fact, 11 states had to change their planned teacher-evaluation systems, or create them anew, to qualify for a

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 6, 2013

Education Week - March 6, 2013
Los Angeles School Board Race Shatters Spending Records
Feds, States Dicker Over Evaluations
Governors Take Varied Routes in Boosting Aid
Principal Appraisals Get a Remake
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Study: Best and Worst Teachers Can Be Flagged Early
FOCUS ON: PRESCHOOL: Obama Preschool Proposal Stirs Debate Over Training
Principals Lack Training in Shaping School Climate
KIPP Outpacing Regular Public Schools, Study Finds
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: Wisconsin Data-Contract Fight Goes Public With Ad Campaign
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Pew Survey Gauges Teachers’ Attitudes About Tech., Equity
Blogs of the Week
Voting Rights Act Case Has Stakes for Districts
Back Home, Top Lawmaker Gets Earful on K-12 Policy
Policy Brief
Sequestration and Education: Frequently Asked Questions
9 California Districts Seek Own NCLB Waiver
House Panel Weighs School Safety Concerns
MATTHEW LYNCH: Tracing Technology’s Unintended K-12 Consequences
ANITA KRISHNAMURTHI: Recognizing the Impact of After-School STEM
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JD CHESLOFF: Why STEM Education Must Start In Early Childhood

Education Week - March 6, 2013