Education Week - March 25, 2015 - (Page 1)

Education WEEk AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 Editorial Projects in Education * $4 Civics Tests For Diplomas Gain Traction By Andrew Ujifusa Amid long-standing national angst over the amount of knowledge that American public school students have of civics, one organization's push to make the test administered to prospective U.S. citizens a high school graduation requirement is finding early momentum in many states. It's also attracting critics concerned that the citizenship test-recently adopted as a diploma requirement in two states and the basis of legislation that's been considered in at least 17 others- won't do anything significant to improve students' understanding of and engagement with the subject. Arizona and North Dakota this past January became the first states to pass legislation requiring students to correctly answer a portion of the exam, administered by the federal Citizenship and Immigration Services to people seeking U.S. citizenship, in order to graduate from high school. The bill is the brainchild of the Joe Foss Institute, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based organization that traditionally has focused on sending military veterans into schools to discuss patriotism and American government. But under cEo and President Frank Riggs, who last year lost in the Republican primary for Arizona governor, the organization's Civics Education Initiative is having notable success, some advocates say, pressing an issue that has traditionally stagnated in statehouses. "It'll first give us clear data with a PAGE 20> BUDGET BACKLASH: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed changes in the 2015-16 New York state budget include new teacher evaluations and tenure requirements and a higher cap on charter schools. They have met vigorous resistance from some education advocates. PAGE 17 Employers Integral To Career Studies DIGITAL DIRECTIONS By Caralee J. Adams The rapidly changing job market and the new wave of career programs taking hold in schools are offering up a new challenge for educators: how to form deeper, longer-term relationships with employers in their communities. No longer called "voc ed" or considered an alternative pathway just for struggling students, today's career and technical education programs aim to prepare students of all academic levels for the option of entering the workforce or going to college. In keeping with a national standards framework for ctE, such programs increasingly are centered on broad career clusters, rather than training for specific jobs. As schools strive to keep up with the technology and make their curricular offerings relevant to workforce opportunities, many are looking to businesses and policymakers to take a bigger role than ever before in shaping and supporting PAGE 12> Elite Private Schools Tackle Ed Tech Digital Creation, Not Consumption, Fuels Classroom Approaches By Benjamin Herold Prestigious private schools across the country are grappling with how best to use educational technologies, exploring a wide range of strategies that diverge from the approaches taken by most of their public school counterparts. At one end of the spectrum is the $43,360-peryear Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Mass., which offers a supercharged version of the national push to marry new digital technologies with hands-on, inquiry-driven learning. At the other end is the Waldorf School of the Peninsula in Los Altos, Calif., where parents, many of whom are Silicon Valley tech-company executives, pay $21,500 per year in tuition for a school that allows no classroom technology at all before 6th grade. And perhaps most emblematic of the broad direction that high-end independent schools are taking with ed tech is the $38,000-per-year Phillips Academy Andover in Andover, Mass. Founded in 1778, the 1,100-student school has taken cautious steps to integrate iPads into its classrooms and make limited use of free online digital instructional materials. But Andover, as the academy is commonly known, is focusing most of its energy on engaging faculty in efforts to develop their own digital content and explore new strategies for sharing that information with the world. "Independent schools have a value proposition with our families: What we offer here, you can't get anywhere else," said John E. Chubb, the president of the Washington-based National Association of Independent Schools. As a result, Mr. Chubb said, "there is much less PAGE 14> By Stephen Sawchuk The notion that teachers improve over their first three or so years in the classroom and plateau thereafter is deeply ingrained in K-12 policy discussions, coming up in debate after debate about pay, professional development, and teacher seniority, among other topics. But findings from a handful of recently released studies are raising questions about that proposition. In fact, they suggest the average teacher's ability to boost student achievement increases for at least the first decade of his or her career-and likely longer. Moreover, teachers' deepening experience appears to translate into other student benefits as well. One of the new studies, for example, links years on the job to declining rates of student absenteeism. Although the studies raise numerous questions for follow-up, the researchers say it may be time to retire the received-and somewhat counterintuitive-wisdom that teachers can't or don't improve much after their first few years on the job. "For some reason, you hear this all the time, PAGE 10> VOL. 34, NO. 25 * MARCH 25, 2015 BREAKING NEWS DAILY Experience Seen as Boost For Teachers Studies Cite Gains by Veterans For Education Next, Views With An Edge By Mark Walsh Education Next, a crisply produced quarterly that straddles the worlds of newsstand magazines and academic journals, has claimed a prominent spot in K-12 debates that tilts toward support for higher standards, accountability, and school choice. That prominence was magnified by the glare of social media this month, when cover artwork depicting a black mother and a disappearing black father sparked sharply negative reaction-and differing responses to the controversy from two of the journal's own high-profile editors. The episode spotlights the emergence over the past decade of Education Next as a platform for opinion and research. The magazine was founded in 2001 out PAGE 16> Paul E. Peterson, the editor-in-chief, has faced criticism over the cover of the journal's spring issue. Mike Groll/AP Martha Stewart

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 25, 2015

Education Week - March 25, 2015
Civics Tests for Diplomas Gain Traction
For Education Next, Views With An Edge
Employers Integral To Career Studies
Experience Seen as Boost For Teachers
Elite Private Schools Tackle Ed Tech
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Eligibility Rules Fuel Growth Of Indiana’s Voucher Program
States Should Play Role in Fostering Engagement, Report Says
Teacher-Leadership Movement Gets Boost From Ed. Dept.
Blogs of the Week
Nonprofits Link Businesses To Career-Tech Programs
At Beaver Country Day, Investing In Innovation
Special Education Task Force Urges Overhaul for California
Gov. Cuomo’s Budget Sparks Backlash in N.Y.
Fight Looms on Kansas Plan To Fund K-12 Via Block Grants
Blogs of the Week
Why School Policies Need to Be Fine-Tuned
Which ‘Common Core’ Are We Talking About?
What Will Be the Impact of the Assessments?
More Educator Voices on Common-Core Implementation
Overcoming ‘Initiative Fatigue’
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Breaking the Code of the Common Core

Education Week - March 25, 2015