Education Week - April 1, 2015 - (Page 1)

Education WEEk AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 Editorial Projects in Education * $4 1965-2015 The ESEA at 50 K-12 Law's Legacy Blend of Idealism, Policy Tensions By Alyson Klein Fifty years ago this month, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act outside the former one-room schoolhouse in rural Texas he'd once attended. The new law dramatically ramped up Washington's investment in K-12 education, carving out a role for the federal government in educating the nation's poorest children. But shortly after that cinematic ceremony, administrators in the U.S. Office of Education-the predecessor of today's separate, Cabinet-level department-found themselves with a difficult task. They needed to write-and enforce-regulations that would ensure states and districts sent the federal dollars to communities with the highest concentrations of poverty and used the money appropriately. And while state and local governments were happy to cash the federal checks, many weren't nearly as receptive to federal direction. Five decades and more than half a dozen revisions of the EsEa later, calibrating the proper federal K-12 role remains an elusive goal. "It's a tough nut to crack," said Michael W. Kirst, who in 1965 served in the federal Office of Education-part of what was then the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare-and helped craft and carry out regulations for the new law. "This is a nation of states and a nation of local control. ... It's the nature of our federalism that makes this job so hard," he said. Mr. Kirst, who today is the president of the California state school board, now finds himself on the other side of the PAGE 18 > IN THIS PACKAGE TIMELINE 18 View a half-century of education policy history since 1965's passage of the ESEA. RESEARCH PUZZLE 19 The impact of Title I funding on student achievement has proved hard to quantify. UNDER THE HOOD 20 Review a handy guide to the 10 portions, or "titles," of the nation's main K-12 law. ACADEMIC INQUIRY 22 Key studies over several decades have delved into whether the law has moved the needle on performance. April 11, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson, seated with his childhood schoolteacher, Kate Deadrich Loney, delivers remarks after signing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act at the former Junction Elementary School near Stonewall, Texas. By Michele Molnar A New Jersey high school student who posted a tweet about a question on a common-core test last month has unintentionally sparked a controversy that is reverberating through the first wave of state assessments this year. The fallout from the tweet-discovered in a sweep of social media for cheating-has become a talking point for people concerned about student privacy, for those protesting the overuse of testing, and for others who want to protect the integrity of the new assessments, which are being administered in 28 states and the District of Columbia. The chain of events unfolded after Bob Braun, a New Jersey news blogger, posted an email written privately by Elizabeth C. Jewett, the superintendent of the 2,100-student Watchung Hills district in Warren, N.J., to colleagues expressing her surprise about how an alleged breach of testing security had been discovered. What she found surprising-and "a bit disPAGE 10 > VOL. 34, NO. 26 * APRIL 1, 2015 BREAKING NEWS DAILY Testing Security Prompts Scrutiny Of Social Media Companies Defend Practice Of Monitoring Student Accounts DIGITAL DIRECTIONS Virtual Spec. Ed. Is Evolving Option By Michelle R. Davis Turnover at Top Can Leave Funders Wary By Corey Mitchell When the Hillsborough County school board in Florida recently fired Superintendent MaryEllen Elia, questions immediately arose about the fate of the district's $100 million teacher-improvement initiative financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. To quell concerns, Irvin Scott, the deputy director of education at the foundation, traveled from the District of Columbia to the Tampa-based district to address the crowd at one of Ms. Elia's farewell receptions. His trip sent a clear signal, school officials said: The Gates Foundation remains committed to the work. "They know the strong leadership that we've had in Hillsborough," Ms. Elia said of the philanthropy. "They wanted to be there to show the appreciation for the work we've done." Districts such as Hillsborough County increasingly rely on hefty investments from private funders to pay for a variety of improvement efforts, from purchasing classroom technology to building stronger pipelines of prospective principals. But the potential for tumult in the leadership ranks is an issue that donors to K-12 must constantly wrestle with as they make decisions about which school districts they want to support with their money. When superintendents attract tens of millions of dollars from foundations and then depart abruptly, the ties between their districts and those funders can turn tenuous. "Turnover matters tremendously," said Andrés A. Alonso, a former superintendent of the Baltimore city schools, who is now a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. "It makes the national foundations gun-shy." So far, it appears the Gates Foundation isn't flinching in Hillsborough County. The 206,000-student school system is in its fifth year of Empowering Effective Teachers, a seven-year evaluation and mentoring program supported by Gates in Hillsborough and a handful of other districts and charter schools that the foundation selected. (The Gates Foundation also helps support Education Week's coverage of college- and careerready standards and assessments.) The Hillsborough school board fired Ms. Elia in January, the same month she became one of four finalists for the national superinPAGE 13 > As new technologies allow digital lessons to be tailored to various learning styles, a growing number of programs are evolving to enable students with disabilities to take online courses created with their needs in mind. While such options are still not readily available for most students in special education, virtual programs are being seen as a means to fill gaps in special education services in cost-effective ways. Some schools are offering online speech therapy classes that feature video interactivity, for instance, while others are turning to digital curricula designed specifically for special education students, rather than trying to adapt existing PAGE 10 > Megan Atkinson is taking a 10th grade special education algebra course at Ashbrook High School in Gastonia, N.C., that blends face-to-face and virtual teaching and learning. Frank Wolfe/The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library-File John W. Adkisson for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - April 1, 2015

K-12 Law’s Legacy Blend of Idealism, Policy Tensions
Testing Security Prompts Scrutiny Of Social Media
Virtual Spec. Ed. Is Evolving Option
Turnover at Top Can Leave Funders Wary
Education Week - April 1, 2015
News in Brief
Report Roundup
New Studies Affirm Impact of Board-Certified Teachers
Blogs of the Week
Honored Educator Decries Current Climate for Teaching
‘Opt-Out’ Push Sparks Queries For Guidance
Texas Lawmakers Wrangle A Herd of Education Measures
A View From the Top As the Policy Clock Ticks
Blogs of the Week
TYRONE HOWARD: Decriminalizing School Discipline: Why Black Males Matter
THE ESEA AT 50: Perspectives From the Archives
REBECCA GIVENS ROLLAND: The Ticking Clock of American Education
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
MARILYN BURNS: What Reading Instruction Can Teach Us About Math Instruction

Education Week - April 1, 2015