Education Week - March 30, 2016 - (Page 1)

1 Education Week VOL. 35, NO. 26 * MARCH 30, 2016 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2016 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 4  BRE AKING NEWS DAILY State Boards Feel New Need To Flex Muscles ESSA Seen Adding to Urgency As Others Eye Policy Leverage Ryan Henriksen for Education Week By Daarel Burnette II SCHOOLING STABILITY: From left, Justin Barreras, 10, Adam Barreras, 11, and Garrett Barreras, 8, complete science schoolwork with their mother, Mariel Barreras, before soccer practice in Omaha, Neb. Mariel Barreras, whose husband is in the U.S. Army, is one of a growing number of military parents home schooling their children, in part to bring stability amid frequent relocations and long deployments. PAGE 9 Can 'Micro-Credentialing' Salvage Teacher PD? By Stephen Sawchuk Last year, Kay Staley and Jessica Scherer, literacy coaches in the Kettle Moraine district in Wisconsin, led groups of teachers in a book study on close reading-a complex and important skill emphasized in the Common Core State Standards. Participants were paired with a coach and peers as they wrestled with how to teach kids to analyze details of an author's narrative technique. At the end of the school year, the teachers documented how they applied close-reading instruction in class and how it impacted student learning. A panel of educators reviewed the submissions, and the best earned those teachers salary increases worth several hundred dollars. Welcome to the brave new world of teacher "micro-credentialing," an effort to make professional development more personalized, engaging, and relevant to teachers. All in all, the two Wisconsin teachers say, it's a lot more focused and practical than the stereotypical continuing-education class. "You think back to, 'I took basket-weaving, and it moved me up on the salary scale,' and people are like, 'What the heck?' " said Sanders Gets Educators' Attention Despite Limited Specifics on K-12 By Andrew Ujifusa As he continues his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders keeps hammering away at concerns that N TIO resonate with many ELEC educators, including higher-education access and income inequality. But with a few exceptions, pre-K-12 issues have been left out of Sanders' speeches at rallies, town halls, and other high-profile political events. And 2016 his record on school issues in his combined 25 years in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives also hasn't been a big part of his campaign. To the extent he has focused on education, Sanders has spent much of his time pitching a proposal to raise taxes to provide free tuition to public colleges and universities-a more dramatic plan to increase college affordability than his rival, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has proposed. True, during a town hall event in Columbus, Ohio, broadcast by CNN PAGE 17 > Staley, who works at the district's middle school. "But with micro-credentials, you have to show that the learning applies right now. And that matters." A small but growing handful of advocates think that initiatives like Kettle Moraine's have the potential to move the moribund professional-development field forward. Among other things, they note, micro-credentials offer an opportunity to shift away from the credit-hour and continuing-education requirements that dominate the PD apparatus in most states, toward a system based NEW ROLES FOR A NEW ERA: Chief Academic Officers & Chief Technology Officers This special report profiles the growing interrelationships between school district CAOs and CTOs, and looks at how five very different school systems supervise technology and curriculum. See the pullout section opposite Page 14. PAGE 12 > State boards of education are seeking to reassert their influence in the advent of the Every Student Succeeds Act, as much of the decisionmaking around standards, assessments, and accountability devolves back from federal to state control. Yet those boards-many of them a blend of retired educators and business leaders who take office by appointment or election, depending on the state-often find themselves squeezed between local boards, state education departments, and legislatures over who's calling the policy shots. All those entities are expected to vie for a share of the flexibility under a newly revised federal K-12 law, which gives states greater authority to design school- and teacher-accountability systems as they see fit. It's a volatile moment for power sharing. This legislative session, state board members in a number of states have spent time stalking the capitol chambers to block or modify legislation that would drastically alter state standards or prescribe the details of statewide accountability systems. And this year alone, several states saw measures that would either strip or bolster boards' authority. In Kansas, for example, lawmakers proposed a bill that would have prevented its board from using any standards similar to the Common Core State Standards. (It was defeated last PAGE 19 > Distress Call Issued On K-12 Facilities By Denisa R. Superville American children spend about six hours a day in their schools, much of that time in buildings that are decades old, deteriorating, and in need of significant repairs. Those conditions are a direct result of the nation's underinvestment in public school facilities-a lack of support that falls short by $46 billion annually, according to a new report on the state of America's K-12 infrastructure. "It is totally unacceptable that there are millions of students across the country who are learning in dilapidated, obsolete, and unhealthy facilities that pose obstacles to their learning and overall well-being," said Rick Fedrizzi, the CEO and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Business Council, whose group co-authored the report with the 21st Century School Fund, and the National Council on School Facilities, groups that push for modernizing school buildings. "U.S. public school infrastructure is funded through a system that is inequitably affecting our nation's students, and this has to change," Fedrizzi said. While the physical conditions of schools-the PAGE 11 >

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 30, 2016

Education Week - March 30, 2016
State Boards Feel New Need To Flex Muscles
Distress Call Issued On K-12 Facilities
Can ‘Micro-Credentialing’ Salvage Teacher PD?
Sanders Gets Educators’ Attention Despite Limited Specifics on K-12
Table of Contents
DAVID GAMBERG: What Makes a School?
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Common Core: Is Its Achievement Impact Starting To Dissipate?
ACT’s New 10th Grade Test Provides Competition for PSAT
N.C. Law Restricts Transgender Student Restroom Access
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Group Probes Ed-Tech Pricing, Buying
Home Schooling Gains Popularity With Military Families
Blogs of the Week
‘Teach to Lead’ Projects Face Uphill Climb at State Level
Hearing Weighs Student-Data Privacy Concerns
High Court Weighing Birth-Control Mandate
ESSA Rule Negotiators Grapple With Issues of Flexibility, Equity
ROBERT EVANS: Principals, Get Your Irish On
PATRICK O’CONNOR: Why Good Teachers Don’t Have to ‘Like’ Teaching
JONATHAN ECKERT: Finding Joy in Teaching
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace

Education Week - March 30, 2016