Education Week - March 16, 2016 - (Page 1)

1 Education Week VOL. 35, NO. 24 * MARCH 16, 2016 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2016 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 4  BRE AKING NEWS DAILY States Hit Accelerator On Accountability ESSA Adds New Fuel to Push for Retooled Systems By Daarel Burnette II After years of pent-up frustration among state officials over what they've considered to be a heavy and prescriptive federal role in education policy, some states are bolting to overhaul their accountability systems in ways that could have lasting impact on schools' priorities. Sparked by new flexibility promised under the Every Student Succeeds Act, they're rushing ahead of the U.S. Department of Education, which is still in the initial phases of interpreting the new law and figur- ing out how it will regulate under it, a process that could take months. The law doesn't go into full effect until the 2017-18 school year. Because of timing, political pressures, and unhappiness with existing school report cards, some states don't want to wait-setting up the prospect of conflicts down the road if retooled state systems don't meet what will be required in the way of ESSA-compliant accountability. For example, California state school board members, who last week discussed ways to revamp their system, PAGE 16> Researchers Flag Downside Of Moving to Better Schools By Sarah D. Sparks Swikar Patel/Education Week Washington District open-enrollment policies have gained traction in many urban areas as a way to give students more access to high-quality schools, but a new study suggests students who were "big fish" in their neighborhood schools can have a rough road in a new school, even if it is academically better. Researchers at the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research found that class rank affects Windy City students' grades and test scores and even their persistence in college, and that students of similar academic ability in 8th grade can nonetheless hold very different class ranks depending on the school they choose to attend. "Even if you are high-achieving, you are surrounded by other high-achieving kids, and somebody has to be the lower rank," said Lauren Sartain, a research analyst at the Chicago consortium, during a presentation of the forthcoming study at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness here. The study grew out of a puzzling finding, both in ongoing Chicago research and in other open-enrollment districts such as New York: While open enrollment often allowed students to move to more academically rigorous schools, there were surprisingly few academic benefits for students attending the most elite, selective public high schools. That spurred the researchers to dig into PAGE 12> Second grader Zeinab Ahmed watches her classmates play a game in gym class at Discovery Community School in St. Cloud, Minn. The school serves a growing number of Somali students. Immigrant Influxes Test U.S. Schools By Corey Mitchell St. Cloud, Minn. Bishar Hassan spends his days navigating the halls and classrooms of Talahi Elementary School, working to embrace and empower the dozens of Somali students who have arrived since the start of the year. Across town, his brother, Ahmed Hassan, fills a similar role at Discovery Community School, another campus that has experienced a recent surge in enrollment of Somali students. The Hassan brothers are part of a growing community of Somali residents in this central Minnesota city of 65,000. The recent influx of immigrant students is nothing new in the St. Cloud school district, where English-language-learner enrollment has spiked by 350 percent in the past 15 years. Today, roughly 20 percent of the district's 10,000 students are English-language learners, many of them with ties to the East African nation of Somalia. Similar situations are developing in districts around the country. The United States is now home to the largest number of foreign-born black people in its history-and many are K-12 students enrolled in public schools. The English-learners among them are overwhelmingly native Spanish, French, or Hatian Creole speakers, but districts have had to adjust on the fly to meet the needs of students who arrive communicating in less frequently spoken languages such as PAGE 10> Charles Mostoller for Education Week Minn. District Grapples With Somali Language, Cultural Differences PROGRAM SWEETENER: Mayor Jim Kenney visits Rising Stars APM Preschool in North Philadelphia. He is proposing a soft-drink tax to help fund early education. PAGE 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 16, 2016

Education Week - March 16, 2016
States Hit Accelerator On Accountability
Immigrant Influxes Test U.S. Schools
Researchers Flag Downside Of Moving to Better Schools
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Potential Use of ‘Blockchain’ Tech for K-12 Debated by Experts
Blogs of the Week
Early-Education Measures Percolating at State, Local Levels
Acting Ed. Secretary Urges Congress to Renew Career-Tech Law
ESSA Rulemaking: A Guide to Negotiations
Blogs of the Week
ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN: Keeping Schoolhouse Doors Open for Immigrant Children
GARRETT NEIMAN: For Disadvantaged Students, New SAT Is First Step
Q&A With Author David Denby: A Quest for ‘Serious’ Reading In the Digital Age
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
ARNOLD PACKER: Should Citizenship Be a Goal of Education?

Education Week - March 16, 2016