Education Week - May 11, 2016 - (Page 16)

BLOGS High Court Gives More Protection To Teachers, Other Public Workers | THE SCHOOL LAW BLOG | The U.S. Supreme Court has given greater protection to teachers, police officers, and other public employees from adverse job actions taken on the basis of their superiors' perceptions of the workers' First Amendment activities. The court ruled 6-2 that a New Jersey police officer who was demoted because of his bosses' misimpression that he was backing a political rival to the incumbent mayor may challenge the demotion as a violation of his rights of free speech and association. "When an employer demotes an employee out of a desire to prevent the employee from engaging in political activity that the First Amendment protects, the employee is entitled to challenge that unlawful action ... even if, as here, the employer makes a factual mistake about the employee's behavior," Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for the majority in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, N.J. (Case No. 14-1280). His April 26 opinion was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented. -MARK WALSH Coming Congressional Elections Could Affect Ed. Panels' Makeup POLITICS K-12 | The race for the White House isn't the only political contest in town-congressional elections are underway this year as well, and some of them could have a notable impact on the two committees that deal with K-12 policy. * Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee: Eight senators on the committee are seeking re| PRINT AD election this year: Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; Patty Murray, D-Wash.; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; and Tim Scott, R-S.C. Murray is the ranking member of the committee. Another member is retiring: Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. Probably the most-endangered member of the committee is Kirk, who is facing a general election fight against another member of the Illinois congressional delegation, Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth. The University of Virginia's Center for Politics currently says the Duckworth-Kirk race "leans Democratic." However, the Cook Political Report says the race is a tossup. Kirk is a fan of charter schools, although he wasn't particularly active publicly in debates about the Every Student Succeeds Act before it passed Congress. Bennet's seat is rated "likely" to stay Democratic, although a number of Republicans are interested in getting their party's nomination to oppose him. All the other seats held by HELP members are rated safe bets to stay with the party that currently holds them, according to the center. That includes the seat being vacated by Mikulski. * House Committee on Education and the Workforce: Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., is retiring this year. The Republican most often mentioned as his successor to lead the committee, assuming that the GOP continues its control of the House, is Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina. However, Kline's seat in Minnesota's 2nd U.S. Congressional District is rated as a tossup by the Center for Politics, as are the seats now held by committee members Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Rep. Joseph Heck, R-Nev. (Heck is running to replace Democratic Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, who's retiring.) In slightly safer territory for the GOP, the seat held by Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Minn., is rated as "leans" Republican. Meanwhile, the seats now held by committee members Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Mich., are rated "likely" to remain Republican. The Cook Report puts identical ratings on the six seats held by Bishop, Curbelo, Heck, Kline, Stefanik, and Walberg. In addition, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas, is retiring from Congress. -ANDREW UJIFUSA House Approves Reauthorization Of D.C. Tuition-Voucher Program | CHARTERS & CHOICE | The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill reauthorizing a private-school-tuition voucher program in the District of Columbia. House members voted to approve H.R. 4901, the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Reauthorization Act, by a vote of 224-181 on April 29. Earlier that month, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and sent it to the full House floor. The Opportunity Scholarships Program currently provides scholarships to about 1,250 lowincome students in the district to attend private schools. It's been around since the 2004-05 school year. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, and eight D.C. Council members had sent a letter to Congress supporting SOAR reauthorization because of the funding structure the program provides for the District's regular public schools and charter schools, as well as the Opportunity Scholarships Program. However, President Barack Obama's administration, which has consistently questioned whether the program leads to better academic results for students, has opposed Chaffetz's bill. Since its beginning, the voucher program has provided scholarships to about 6,400 students. -A.U. Unlocking the Mystery of PROJECT-BASED BLENDED LEARNING Discover a range of learning experiences for everyone interested in theoretical frameworks enacted in practice. Learn how to develop your own collaborative learning experiences leveraging educational technology tools to capture thought and creation in unexpected ways. SPEAKERS * MICHELLE ZIMMERMAN, educator and researcher, Renton Prep Christian School * Student presenters: NATHAN CRAIA, JASMINE FERNANDEZ, LEAH MATHEW MODERATOR * MARK SPARVELL, senior manager, education, Microsoft Content provided by FREE WEBINAR TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2016, 2 TO 3 P.M. ET 16 | EDUCATION WEEK | May 11, 2016 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - May 11, 2016

Education Week - May 11, 2016
Bungling Student Names: A Slight That Stings
Popularity of Ed Tech Often Not Linked to Products’ Impact
As ESSA Rolls Out, State Officials Vow To Hear Local Voices
Rich Districts Post Widest Racial Gaps
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Study Says Teachers Feel Stressed, Discounted
Amid Rocky Start, College-Access Coalition Hires First Director
Migrant Students Kept Out of Schools, AP Investigation Finds
Scores Decline for Low-Performers On 12th Grade NAEP
National Survey Shows Rise in Student Safety
Blogs of the Week
Education Funding a Key Factor In Illinois Budget Showdown
ESSA Paves Way for Deeper Access to Wealth of K-12 Data
Blogs of the Week
Relative Motion In Education
Education Policy Should Address Student Poverty
Quality Physical Education Is a Life Changer
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
‘People Support What They Create’: Stakeholder Engagement Is Key to ESSA’s Future

Education Week - May 11, 2016