Education Week - May 13, 2015 - (Page 1)
VOL. 34, NO. 30 * MAY 13, 2015
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 EDITORIAL PROJECTS IN EDUCATION * $4
In Aid Fight
Special Session Bares Rifts
On K-12 Funding Strategy
By Andrew Ujifusa
Washington state lawmakers are
struggling in a special session to agree
on a strategy to pay for basic education.
But as they try to build a system that
bridges deep partisan divides over tax
policy, they must also resolve to what extent
greater state aid for K-12 will lead
to reduced financial and political clout
for local districts and union leaders.
Looming over the process that began
April 28 is the state supreme court,
which held the state in contempt last
year over its failure to satisfy a 2012 decision
that ordered legislators to reform
and increase K-12 spending by 2018.
Lawmakers must make significant
strides toward meeting that mandate
this year, or face court sanctions.
As states like Washington look at how
to overhaul their funding formulas to
smooth out inequities, there's a corresponding
tension between state officials
and local K-12 leaders about the strings
that come along with greater support for
"What the districts really want is
the increased commitment without increased
control. But that's not going to
happen," said Michael Griffith, the senior
school finance analyst for the Denver-based
Education Commission of the
States. "Now I hear it constantly [from
state lawmakers]: We're willing to spend
more money, but we want to know what
we're going to get for our money."
Broader debates about the proper relationship
between the sources of school
funding and authority over K-12 have
PAGE 20 >
edweek.org: BREAKING NEWS DAILY
Debbie Cruger-Hansen, a 4th grade teacher at Mira Vista School in Richmond, Calif., integrates the teaching of technical skills such as keyboarding and
online searching into regular lessons. One recent lesson had students use their tablet computers to find a document on disappearing honeybees.
Online Testing Drives 'Tech Prep' Priorities
Schools Move to Fill Technical-Skills Gap in Response to Common Core
By Catherine Gewertz
As most states shift their required tests onto
computers, teachers are discovering that their
students are stumbling over an unexpected weakness:
the keyboarding skills necessary to show
what they know.
To close that skills gap, schools are increasingly
making time in their days for old-fashioned
typing instruction-translated to a computer
keyboard-and other skills such as scrolling,
mouse-clicking, and dragging-and-dropping.
But spending time on those computer skills
has ignited a debate: Is it just another form of
"test prep" that siphons away precious classroom
time, or is it a wise investment in the digital
fluency students need to thrive in all aspects
of their lives?
In interviews with teachers and administrators
across the country, Education Week learned
that some feel "tech prep" is a waste of time, but
far more view it as a crucial set of skills that
does double duty. It helps students show their
knowledge on computer-based assessments, and
ensures they can be functional, tech-savvy adults.
"I don't really look at it as test prep. I look at
it as life skills they're learning," said Sommer
Iamele, a 4th grade teacher at Stone Ranch Elementary
School in San Diego. "We'd be doing them
a disservice if we didn't teach them those skills."
Many schools have stepped up their work on
computer skills because their states' paper-andPAGE
On Twitter, 'EduColor' Group
Puts Race in Policy Discussions
By Stephen Sawchuk
The Ferguson protests. Eric Garner.
Trayvon Martin. Freddie Gray. The
50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in
The past two years have provided
numerous reminders of the painful
collision of racial tensions and law enforcement.
But today's policymakers
and educators have largely been skittish
about exploring the problems of
racial inequity and division in another
public institution: K-12 education.
Now, a grassroots effort is seeking
to change that dynamic by elevating
the perspectives of parents and comBuilding
Rules for Home Schooling
munities of color on education policy
through an unexpectedly powerful and
timely method: a Twitter hashtag.
That's the idea behind EduColor, a
collective of teachers, advocates, and
scholars best known by the hashtag
Not content with social-media influence,
the group this month also
launched a website, educolor.org, that
offers such features as teaching resources,
links, and a newsletter.
Education inequity tied to race and
class is the source of some familiar yet
still disturbing statistics about public
schools. Students of color are taught
PAGE 14 >
This special report-"Building
Literacy Skills: The State of Reading
Instruction in Grades K-3"-takes
look at new efforts
to address the
challenges of earlygrades
instruction. It dives
and the 3rd grade
See the pullout
By Arianna Prothero
A Michigan lawmaker's push to regulate home
schooling in the wake of a horrific case of child
abuse is stoking anew a broader debate over the
rights of parents to educate their children at home
with little oversight from school and government
The bodies of 9-year-old Stephen Gage Berry
and 13-year-old Stoni Ann Blair were found in late
March in a Detroit freezer in what authorities believe
was the result of abuse that had gone unnoticed
for years, in part because their mother, Mitchelle
Blair, had pulled them out of school and claimed to
be teaching them in their home.
Like Michigan, few states obligate homeschooled
students to meet regularly with manPAGE
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - May 13, 2015
Education Week - May 13, 2015
On Twitter, ‘EduColor’ Group Puts Race in Policy Discussions
Rules for Home Schooling Rekindle Controversies
Online Testing Drives ‘Tech Prep’ Priorities
Wash. State Lawmakers in Aid Fight
News in Brief
Minn. Lawsuit Tackles Portability Of Teacher Certifications
School Restart Seen Crucial To Nepal Earthquake Recovery
Blogs of the Week
New Leader Standards Kick Up Controversy
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: School Librarians Push To Create ‘Maker Spaces'
Unions Back Bill to Scrap Tax On High-Cost Health-Care Plans
Cabinet Officials Offer Assurances After Baltimore Unrest
New Candidates Join Field of GOP White House Hopefuls
Blogs of the Week
Why Not a National Digital-Library Endowment?
Giftedness Is More Than a Function of Education
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
The ESEA: A Civil Rights Milestone
Education Week - May 13, 2015
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