Education Week - May 15, 2013 - (Page 21)

EDUCATION WEEK “ Santrac very first year. And that’s eight times the national average, according to the College Board. Finally, the initiative is expanding the University of Texas’ UTeach teacher-preparation program, which has recruited more than 6,000 highachieving math and science college students into the teaching field at 35 universities across the country. And a new $21.25 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will make it possible to expand the UTeach program into 10 major research universities at the start of 2014. The individual success stories behind these numbers are also encouraging: • Alejandra Munoz spoke no English when she arrived in Connecticut from Chile. She mastered eight ap courses and was accepted to the biomedical engineering program at the University of Connecticut. • Hannah Barber grew up loving horses and math in Oklahoma. When she’s not tackling stats and calculus in nmsi’s ap program in Oklahoma, you can find her volunteering in a wildlife refuge and a therapeuticriding program. Her dream is to earn an engineering degree to improve the environment. • Rudy Davis came from a single-parent home in Alabama and worried that college might be out of reach because of his socioeconomic circumstances. As a result of the support from the initiative’s ap program, he succeeded in 10 ap courses, raised his grades from the 68th to 97th percentile, and earned enough scholarships to major in biomedical science at Auburn University. There are millions more like Alejandra, Hannah, and Rudy who deserve a realistic shot at success. Our collective goal should be to reach them by taking these and other programs like them to the next level of expansion, to inspire more students, train more teachers, and transform more schools. We must work together now to regain our competitive edge and ensure that all students have the opportunity to prosper in a global economy. n SARA MARTINEZ TUCKER is the president and CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative, which is based in Dallas. She served as the undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education from 2006 to 2008, during the George W. Bush administration. She was the CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for nine years and an executive at AT&T for 16 years. MAY 15, 2013 n 21 An Apology to Secretary Duncan By Jennifer Jennings I agree with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on just about nothing. I think Race to the Top is an evidence-free mess. I think the idea of a test worth teaching to is a willful misunderstanding of the science of testing. And I can’t agree with Duncan’s insistence that the cheating scandals that have garnered widespread attention in recent months are a parable about “rotten” school cultures and not a reflection on the incentives that we’ve forced upon teachers. But as I sat on the floor of a packed ballroom in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association last month, I was embarrassed—no, humiliated—when some of my colleagues booed the secretary of education as he approached the microphone for his keynote speech. It is one thing to disagree with some of the Obama administration’s policies, to bring countervailing data to the table, and to engage in reasoned—and, one would hope, enlightened—conversation. It is another thing entirely to abdicate our most sacred responsibility as researchers—a commitment to ideas, to data, to truth, to real debate—at the altar of one-upmanship. What saddens me is that the educational policy debate has become an overwhelming chorus of boos, of shoutdowns, and of bitter personal insults, rather than a real debate about ideas and data and first principles. Unfortunately, this mirrors the direction that most American political debates have leaned in recent years. It is toxic. It is unnecessary. And it is not befitting of a community of researchers who stand in front of students on most days of the week and call ourselves educators. I have no senior standing, official office, or public mandate with which to “ I was embarrassed— no, humiliated—when some of my colleagues booed the secretary of education as he approached the microphone for his keynote speech.” offer this apology, but nonetheless: I’m sorry. I’m sorry that a faceless minority of the educational research community lacked the courage to meet you with ideas rather than with the heckling that is so easy to deploy when you are sitting among hundreds of others, none of whom will ever be called personally to account for their actions. You had the grace, the guts, and the patience not to reciprocate. If there is one lesson from this conference, Secretary Duncan, you showed America’s educational researchers that we can have a different debate—one in which we rely on ideas and open disagreement and reason, and not on schoolyard bravado. n JENNIFER JENNINGS is an assistant professor of sociology at New York University. She is the former author of’s opinion blog eduwonkette. Elizabeth Rich/Education Week As state attorneys general, we know the evidence shows that mental- and behavioral-health treatments and efforts to foster safe school climates go hand in hand.” n U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan addresses the AERA on April 30.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - May 15, 2013

Education Week - May 15, 2013
Standards Supporters Firing Back
FOCUS ON: SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS: Wanted: Schools Chiefs for Big-Name Districts
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: E-Rate Programs Seen as Too Lean for a Digital Era
SCIENCE IN PRACTICE: Capacity Issues Confront Implementation Of Standards
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Bar for Teacher Exams Set Low In All States, Federal Data Show
Mobile Apps Aim to Deepen Lessons From Field Trips
Studies Link Early Spatial Skills To Math Achievement
Blogs of the Week
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: MOOCs Provider Targets Teacher Education
SCIENCE IN PRACTICE: Informal Sector Seen as Ally in Science Initiative
Head Start Centers Feel Sequestration Pain
Arizona ELL Battle Carries On, Despite Ruling
Policy Brief
Impact Mulled on Waivers, Grants
LISA MADIGAN & JOHN SUTHERS: Moving Beyond Punishment: Treatment Is Key to Keeping Schools Safe
SARA MARTINEZ TUCKER: We Must Create Opportunities for STEM Learning
JENNIFER JENNINGS: An Apology To Secretary Duncan
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
RONALD J. BONNSTETTER & BILL J. BONNSTETTER: We Need a New Approach to Principal Selection

Education Week - May 15, 2013