Education Week - March 30, 2016 - (Page 10)

BLOGS tracks students into college and has found them returning for a second year at high rates. He became convinced that a more inclusive way of defining college readiness would tell a more complete story of what makes students successful in work or postsecondary education, he said, a belief shared by many other distict leaders. -CATHERINE GEWERTZ To Redefine 'College Ready,' District Shifts Measurements HIGH SCHOOL & BEYOND | A school district outside Chicago has become the first to showcase a new way of measuring students' readiness for the workplace and college. High School District 214 has adopted the Refining Ready! indicators announced last month at the national conference of AASA, the School Superintendents Association. The organization is urging districts all over the country to try it. But the group's current president, David R. Schuler, decided to use his own district for the project's maiden voyage. The new set of metrics is intended to capture a more complete and nuanced report on students' skills and knowledge by blending a variety of measurements. To be considered college-ready, for instance, a student must earn a grade point average of at least 2.8 out of 4.0, and then add one more factor, such as earning a C or better in an Advanced Placement course, a dual-credit class, or a remedial college English or math course. Students can choose other indicators. For example, they can combine the 2.8 GPA with a C or better in Algebra 2, or specified scores on an International Baccalaureate exam, or on the SAT or the ACT. To be considered career-ready, a student must have stated an interest in one of 26 nationally recognized career clusters and met two of the requirements on a list that includes attending school 90 percent of the time, completing 25 hours of community service, completing a dual-credit career-pathway course, and earning an industry credential. One of the things that led Schuler to put the new set of measures into practice in his district was the story that ACT exams told about his students. In high-performing District 214, only 47 percent of the class of 2015 met all four ACT college-readiness benchmarks (compared with 59 percent nationwide). That picture felt incomplete to Schuler, since his district | Strange Bedfellows: Pensions Of AFT Invested in Pearson TEACHER BEAT | The American Federation of Teachers and other teachers' unions, here and abroad, are pressuring Pearson, the oft-villainized global education company, to review how it does business so that it becomes more profitable. That's because the union has 27 affiliates whose pension funds are partly invested in the education behemoth. Say what? The AFT and its affiliates have relentlessly slammed Pearson for allegedly making poor-quality tests, for supposed "gag orders" on teachers, for its role in scoring a performance-based teacher-licensing test, and countless other things. But the AFT and its fellow unions aren't threatening to divest from the corporation. They are in essence telling Pearson that it needs to make more money, though they don't want it to be via standardized tests. Their shareholders' resolution, to be introduced in April, would require Pearson's board of directors to "immediately conduct a thorough business-strategy review of Pearson PLC, including education commercialization and its support of high-stakes testing and low-fee private schools, and to report to shareholders within six months." The National Education Association is joining the fight, although it isn't clear how many of its members' pension investments include Pearson holdings. Unions typically don't themselves make pensioninvestment decisions-that's done by the boards that | Print Ad oversee the pension systems. Still, union members have some say. Pearson, for its part, says it's already doing business differently. The situation underscores that, for all the talk of privatization and corporate influences in education, teachers' unions are more closely tied to businesses and Wall Street matters than they sometimes like to admit.  -STEPHEN SAWCHUK Parent-Trigger Movement Fizzles Outside California | K-12 PARENTS AND THE PUBLIC | With the recent rejection of a parent-trigger petition in Los Angeles, what other states are considering new laws to give parents a route to greater power over their children's schools? As it turns out, not many this year. Josh Cunningham, a senior education policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, found that lawmakers in four states-Iowa, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania-have introduced bills to create parenttrigger laws. But no action has been taken. Now, just six states have parent-trigger laws. It used to be seven. The parent-trigger concept was popular, initially. In 2010, California was the first state to pass a law that allows parents to collect signatures in a bid to transform lowperforming schools, such as by turning them into charter schools or changing the administration. In 2013, 20 states were considering such laws, but that dropped to 13 the following year. The number has declined since then, and no new laws have passed since 2012. California remains the only state where the law has been used, and parents in most schools where parent-trigger campaigns have been attempted have struggled to make changes. -SARAH TULLY '5 Steps to'Building an At-Risk' 'Student Model' Schools can develop early warning systems (EWS) that identify academically at-risk students. This webinar highlights the most predictive indicators for identifying at-risk students and shows how to set up an EWS in your district. GueSt * ChriS BaloW, director of professional development, illuminate Education ModeRAtoR * Jim Yang, senior director of marketing, illuminate Education fRee weBinAR WEdnESdaY, april 13, 2016 2 To 3 p.m. ET atriskStudents 10 | EDUCATION WEEK | March 30, 2016 | Content provided by

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