Education Week - June 3, 2015 - (Page 1)

1 Education WEEk With Common Core, Algebra Course Undergoes a Face-Lift VOL. 34, NO. 32 * JUNE 3, 2015 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 EDITORIAL PROJECTS IN EDUCATION * $4 BREAKING NEWS DAILY Standards could challenge trend to put 8th graders in Algebra 1 By Liana Heitin Under the Common Core State Standards, Algebra 1 is a much tougher course than what was taught previously in most states, teachers and standards experts say, in part because many of the concepts that historically were covered in that high school class have been bumped down into middle school math. Some say those changes could complicate efforts around the country to put 8th graders in Algebra 1-a still-debated trend that's grown over the past two decades. In fact, at least a few districts are already reconsidering their stances on Algebra 1 in middle school. The San Francisco school system, for instance, went from requiring all 8th graders to take Algebra 1 to just the opposite policy under the common core-as of this year, all students must take Algebra 1 in 9th grade. And while that kind of move can disappoint some parents, educators point out it doesn't mean 8th graders aren't learning algebra. "There's big confusion between the Algebra 1 course with a capital A and algebra, the mathematical subject," said William G. McCallum, a mathematics education professor at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, and one of the lead writers of the common standards. "If you follow common core, there's now tons of algebra content in the 8th grade." "Traditionally in Algebra 1, a lot of time was spent looking at linear functions," said Diane J. Briars, the president of the Reston, Va.-based National Council PAGE 17 > New S.C. Standards Ease Political Pushback By Andrew Ujifusa South Carolina was one of three states last year-along with Indiana and Oklahoma-to require a replacement for the Common Core State Standards, amid a volatile political climate and challenges states have faced in implementing the standards. The transition is about to be complete for South Carolina: Its new math and English/language arts standards, developed by a team of in-state educators and adopted by the state school board in March, go into effect in the 2015-16 school year. That shift has led to what state officials say is a calmer political climate for South Carolina's public schools, support from a broad spectrum of K-12 and higher education leaders, and new standards that the state itself says are very closely aligned to the common core. The state did have to craft and approve new standards on PAGE 25 > Brihanna Thompson, 22, fills orders at Mark's Feed Store, a restaurant in Louisville, Ky. Ms. Thompson, now in culinary school, is a graduate of a city program that places youths in summer jobs, an experience she credits with putting her on a career path. Summer-Job Demand Outstrips Opportunities Cities Work to Provide Employment for Low-Income Youths By Denisa R. Superville While job prospects for youths have been on the uptick recently, the employment opportunities for many young people in low-income urban communities are expected to remain slim this summer. The summer teen-employment rate, which collapsed during the Great Recession and has been slow to recover ever Charters Look Anew At Teacher Retention By Stephen Sawchuk After developing a strategic plan earlier this year in part to address a dip in scores at her school, Brittany Wagner-Friel faced a challenge. The principal of the elementary campus of the pre-K-12 E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington knew that teaching talent was crucial since, is expected to rise slightly this year, but remain well below the average employment rate of 52 percent for the summer months in 1999 and 2000. The projection of a "modestly higher" employment rate of nearly 30 percent this summer for those between 16 and 19, up from 27 percent last summer, comes from the Center for Labor Markets and Policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Districts Use Student Insights To Guide Policy, Practice By Evie Blad When leaders of the 63,000-student Washoe County which tracks youth-employment trends nationally. But it's hardly a cause for celebration among advocates who have long complained that cuts in federal financial support for summer jobs and changes in the job market leave many youths, particularly those in urban centers, on the sidelines. And concerns over a dearth of job opportunities for urban youths have taken on greater urgency this summer PAGE 18 > school district in Reno, Nev., sought to bring down a high dropout rate, they found limits in relying solely on research and strategies used in other school systems. What was missing, they determined, were real, unvarnished insights of their own students who'd faced challenges with finishing high school. So they went straight to the source for answers, and what they got was an honest, student-produced video that featured a series of interviews with students who had dropped out and later returned to school. "I think you should try to understand your students more than trying to control them," a sophomore girl PAGE 20 > to realizing the plan, but one of her star teachers was on the fence about returning in the fall. The key to getting the instructor to commit to coming back, Ms. Wagner-Friel said, was promising her more opportunities to hone and share her expertise on project-based learning, one of the main teaching methods in use at E.L Haynes. It's a single example, but one that hints at a rising theme of the charter school sector: making the schools places where teachers want to stay beyond a few years. "Sometimes I think teachers need to be reinPAGE 16 > Inside the New E-Rate An overhaul of the federal program will shift funds to supporting high-speed broadband and Wi-Fi in schools and libraries-and away from other services. Education Week Staff Writer Benjamin Herold guides readers through data that break down the changes. See Page 13. REQUESTS FOR WIRELESS SUPPORT ñ92% Applicants for E-rate 'Category 2' funds, FY2014 to FY2015 Philip Scott Andrews for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - June 3, 2015

Education Week - June 3, 2015
New S.C. Standards Ease Political Pushback
Summer-Job Demand Outstrips Opportunities
Districts Use Student Insights To Guide Policy, Practice
Charters Look Anew At Teacher Retention
With Common Core, Algebra Course Undergoes a Face-Lift
News in Brief
Report Roundup
PARCC Shortens Testing Time, Shifts to Later in the School Year
Ties Deepening Between Schools, After-School Providers
Parent Engagement on Rise As Priority for Schools, Districts
Charter Sector Challenged by Caliber of School Boards
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: The E-Rate Overhaul in 4 Easy Charts
Studies Probe How Students Can Apply Math More Widely
NAEP to Gather Data on Grit, Mindset
Blogs of the Week
Teacher-Retention Data For Charters Still Murky
Stakes High for Bureau of Indian Education’s Overhaul
California Seeks Waiver on Use of Federal Title I Tutoring Money
Blogs of the Week
FRANCESCA STERNFELD: Necessary Lessons, Schools’ Critical Role in Reducing Family Violence
BENJAMIN RILEY: Can Teacher-Educators Learn From Medical-School Reform?
RANDI WEINGARTEN: States Should Ditch ‘Cut Scores’ on New Tests
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
TERRY B. GRIER: Creating a College-Bound Culture in an Urban School District

Education Week - June 3, 2015