Education Week - April 20, 2016 - (Page 1)

Education Week VOL. 35, NO. 28 * APRIL 20, 2016 BRE AKING NEWS DAILY Swikar Patel/Education Week-File AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2016 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 4  Charters Help Alums Stick With College Many of the nation's charter schools set up shop in low-income urban areas hoping to propel students who may struggle to finish high school-let alone go to college-into higher education. But even among the students who make it to college, national statistics paint a grim picture of what happens after they get there: Just 11 percent of low-income, first-generation college-goers graduate in six years, according to the Pell Institute, a research group that focuses on access to higher education. Even though many charters name homerooms after universities and hang college pennants in the hallways, their alumni still face a range of challenges once they reach college, from cultural to academic. In recent years, however, charter schools-in particular, charter school PAGE 13 > Ryan Donnell for Education Week By Arianna Prothero J'Remi Barnes, a first-generation college student from New Orleans, walks across campus at Grinnell College in Iowa. He graduated from a charter school that helps prepare students for college. Education Week profiled Barnes, also seen at top left in New Orleans, last year. National Count of Special Education Students Shows Uptick By Christina A. Samuels After years of steady decline, the nationwide count of school-age students covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act has shown an upswing since the 2011-12 school year based on the most recently available federal data, driven by rapid growth in such disability categories as autism. In 2014-15-the most current year-a third of the nationwide increase came from one state, New York. The reasons for the sharp increase in the state are not clear. These numbers-gathered from reports that every state is required to file yearly with the U.S. Department of Education and analyzed by Education Week and its Research Center- cannot be used to demonstrate that there is an actual increase or decrease of young people with disabilities in the country. Child-count data are sensitive to policies that encourage, or discourage, special education identification. And, as noted, a change in just one large state can have nationwide impact. But the numbers have real implications for states and localities, which pay by far the largest share of costs for special education students. Virginia is among the states that have seen a large increase in the population of students with autism. At one time, autism was considered a "low incidence" disability in Virginia, said John Eisenberg, the state's director of special education. Now, those students make up the fourthlargest disability category in the state. "What we're seeing is that about half of that population are kids with pretty severe disabilities, major behavior issues, medical issues; they're probably some of the most complicated issues that school divisions face," said Eisenberg, Cruz's K-12 Agenda: Pro-School Choice, Anti-Common Core By Andrew Ujifusa of non-academic factors on student success, and as states are poised to broaden their accountability systems under a new federal education law. "If you're not a Cleveland or if you're not a Los Angeles or a Chicago, before it was cost-prohibitive in many cases to engage in this kind of survey, analysis, and reporting," said Sandy Wil- When Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is on the campaign trail talking about education, the Republican presidential candidate is perhaps best known for two promises: He'll have the U.S. Department of Education end the Common Core State Standards-and he'll abolish the federal N TIO Education Department ELEC itself. The first of those would seem to be a nonstarter-the common core is a statedriven initiative, not a federal mandate, and the Education Department has no authority to roll it back. The second harks back to President Ronald Reagan, whose 1980 campaign platform included ending the then-new department, a push that has never gained traction. That leaves Cruz's other major K-12 theme: support for charter schools and vouchers, which the first-term U.S. senator has put at the top of his legislative PAGE 11 > PAGE 17 > PAGE 12 > 2016 New Online Tool Expands Access to School Climate Measurements By Evie Blad Monitoring facets of school climate-like how safe, supported, and welcome students feel in their schools-has, until recently, been off limits to some districts that lack the resources or knowhow to accurately measure those perceptions. Tracking those factors is necessary to ensure that efforts to im- prove the learning environment are effective and that schools don't overlook the needs of students from some populations, like those from racial minority groups, researchers say. That's why the U.S. Department of Education released a free, online survey tool this month that will allow schools, districts, and states to administer regular, anonymous school climate surveys. The survey, developed by a panel of school climate experts, uses questions from existing surveys that were tested with panels of students to ensure their validity. The site creates an instant analysis of a school's results, and administrators can save the data in existing local data systems so they can track results over time. Its release comes as schools are increasingly exploring the effects

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - April 20, 2016

Education Week - April 20, 2016
Charters Help Alums Stick With College
Cruz’s K-12 Agenda: Pro-School Choice, Anti-Common Core
National Count of Special Education Students Shows Uptick
New Online Tool Expands Access To School Climate Measurements
Table of Contents
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Caution Urged on Measuring Social-Emotional Skills
Studies Affirm Role of Emotions In Students’ Transitions
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Needs for ‘Resourcefulness,’ Equity Probed in Maker Ed.
Digital Divide Evolves in Fla. Schools, Study Finds
Ind. Scholarship Law Aims to Entice Top Students Into Teaching
Blogs of the Week
Testing Issues Generate Heat in Legislatures
Sparks Fly as Congress Reviews ESSA Rulemaking Process
MATT GANDAL: Are We Serious About the Goal Of College and Career Readiness for All?
ADAM LAATS & HARVEY SIEGEL: Teaching Evolution Is Not About Changing Beliefs
Q&A With StoryCorps’ Dave Isay
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
CHARLOTTE DANIELSON: It’s Time to Rethink Teacher Evaluation

Education Week - April 20, 2016