Education Week - May 22, 2013 - (Page 15)

EDUCATION WEEK OPEN AND SHUT BLOGS of the WEEK | NEWS | Politics K-12 No Staff Furloughs For Ed. Department Employees at the U.S. Department of Education won’t face furloughs because of the cuts from sequestration, according to a memo sent to staff members May 10. In an email to his staff, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said furloughs would make it tough to get grants to school districts, states, and universities. Overall, the department is facing $2.5 billion in sequestration cuts. The cuts will affect Title I, special education, career and technical education, and just about everything else. And the reductions do not change rules when it comes to maintenance of effort, time periods for using funds, supplementnot-supplant rules, or required set-asides of funds. Districts and states had been asking for flexibility on those provisions. When it comes to competitive grants, the department will try to scale back new competitions. But reducing continuation grants might also be necessary. That could have an impact on programs such as Promise Neighborhoods, the Teacher Incentive Fund, and trio (a college-access program), all of which are funded through continuation grants. The department has cut back on hiring. It is also planning to cut back on salaries, travel, contracts, conferences, and other administrative expenses, trimming about $85 million from those areas —ALYSON KLEIN overall.  | NEWS | Curriculum Matters Math Is New Weapon Against Violence An initiative that blends intensive math tutoring with a group-counseling intervention to keep students from getting involved in violent activity will soon be offered to up to 1,000 adolescent boys in a dozen Chicago public schools, the school district announced last week. The tutoring component is based on a program developed in 2004 at the Match public charter schools in Boston, where math tutoring is incorporated as a period in the school day. Several districts in Massachusetts and beyond have since started to replicate that program, including Houston and Denver. In Chicago, a news release says, the math tutoring will be offered alongside the Becoming a Man program, a school-based counseling and mentoring initiative that focuses on violence prevention and educational enrichment for urban youths. The schools targeted for the initiative are located in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago, according to district officials. The idea of combining the two programs was piloted this school year at Harper High School in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. The University of Chicago will conduct an evaluation to gauge the joint program’s impact on student achievement and involvement in violent crimes. The new initiative is a collaborative effort of the University of Chicago and Match Education and is receiving financial support from the Chicago-based MacArthur —ERIK W. ROBELEN Foundation.  | NEWS | If two Republican lawmakers in Michigan get their way, the state’s civil rights department could soon be out $3 million for raising concerns about the use of Native American mascots in K-12 schools. Two bills introduced in the Michigan House would require the state’s department of civil rights to cover any expenses for schools forced to change their American Indian mascots. The department initially filed a complaint in February with the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights asking for a ban on the use of American Indian mascots and imagery in K-12 schools that receive federal funds. It charges that the use of such imagery denies equal rights to American Indian students. The legislation introduced May 15 by Reps. Bob Genetski and Dan Lauwers would create a $3 million “school mascot reimbursement fund” that would cover the cost of changes to mascots, uniforms, billboards, gym resurfacing, and other expenses generated if the ocr approves the complaint. The money would be paid from the Michigan civil rights department’s budget. “The civil rights department filed its complaint independently, without input from local citizens, so it can pay for any necessary changes it may have caused,” said Mr. Genetski in a statement. Vicki Levengood, a spokeswoman for the state civil rights department, told the Detroit FreePress that it would model its policy after Oregon, whose state board of education voted in 2012 to bar K-12 public schools from using Native American mascots. Any school affected by the new policy has five years to make the change. The legislation from Mr. Genetski and Mr. Lauwers was referred to the House committee on —BRYAN TOPOREK appropriations.  >> n MT OR Permits disclosure of individual evaluation results only to parents. NH ME VT ND MN ID WY UT CO CA AZ WI SD PA IL KS MO OK NM IN OH WV VA KY MS AL NJ DE MD DC RI CT NC TN AR MA NY MI IA NE NV 15 WA SC GA LA TX FL AK HI Exempt from disclosure Offers disclosure only in cases of “compelling public interest” in which the evaluation leads to suspension or termination. As of 2011-12, requires notification to parents of students taught by a teacher with a series of low evaluation ratings. Released only with the consent of the teacher Released at the discretion of a third party (records custodian, school district official, or state official) Release permissible States Tighten Disclosure Of Teacher Evaluations In the wake of several newsmedia projects disclosing how teachers fared under studentachievement measures, Education Week produced a story and chart early last year outlining each state’s laws regarding access to teacherevaluation ratings. At least five states subsequently altered their education codes or open-records laws in 2012.    • March: A new law in UTAH strengthens existing prohibitions on the release of personnel evaluations.    • April: TENNESSEE, previously a state in which evaluation results were open, passes legislation closing evaluations off from public disclosure.    • June: NEW YORK legislators >> To see all Education Week blogs, go to MAY 22, 2013 Beginning 2015-16, requires notification to parents of students taught by a teacher with two successive poor ratings. Twenty-three states exempt individual teacher-evaluation ratings from disclosure under open-records laws. The others permit disclosure, though often under specific conditions. Schooled in Sports Bill Would Force State To Pay for New Mascots n craft a law narrowing eligibility for accessing these records. The measure specifies that, on request, parents can view the final effectiveness rating for each teacher in the building to which their child is assigned.    • June: Though case law in MASSACHUSETTS already tilted in this direction, a new law explicitly puts teacher evaluations under the definition of “personnel information” exempt from disclosure under open-records laws.    • August: NEW JERSEY’s new teacher-evaluation measure specifically states that teachers’ evaluation results are confidential and not subject to public disclosure.  —STEPHEN SAWCHUK & AMY WICKNER The TEACHER BEAT blog tracks news and trends on this issue.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - May 22, 2013

Education Week - May 22, 2013
District Bets Big on Standards
FOCUS ON: EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: States Stepping Up Mandates for School Safety Drills
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: Schools Facing the Expiration of Windows XP
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Debates Roil Over Control of Schools in Baton Rouge
Study: Teenagers’ Brains Are Wired for Peer Approval
Analysis Calls for Dual-Language Pre-K for Young ELLs
PROFILE: Brian Pick
PROFILE: Dowan Mcnair-Lee
PROFILE: Mikel Robinson
States Tighten Disclosure of Teacher Evaluations
Blogs of the Week
NRC Framework Seen as Valued Resource for Educators
A Spec. Ed. Twist on Common-Core Testing
K-12 Colors Campaigns in Virginia, New Jersey
Policy Brief
CYNTHIA G. BROWN: The ‘How’ of Equitable School Funding
JIM CHILDRESS: Designing Learning Spaces for A New Age of Discovery
JEANNE ZAINO: Teaching the Metric System: A Cautionary Tale for the Common Core
Topschooljobs Recruitment Marketplace
LISA HANSEL: The Common Core Needs a Common Curriculum

Education Week - May 22, 2013