Education Week - June 10, 2015 - (Page 18)
In N.C. Schools
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17
the new devices-which are leased
and may or may not be around
when the grant ends-while managing a turnaround and a still-inquestion transition to the common
core is a lot for teachers to juggle,
"It's hard to talk about what
we're going to do for the curriculum when we don't know what
standards we're going to use to
drive the curriculum," she said.
"We don't really need that uncertainty, when we're trying to deal
with what else is going on."
John King, who is filling the
role of the deputy secretary of
education, said the Obama administration's competitive grants
have brought about "large-scale
systemic" change, including more
rigorous standards in more than
"Those are upfront investments
that will continue to pay dividends
over time even after the initial
federal investment ends," said Mr.
King, who previously was the state
schools chief in New York.
When districts like Guilford and
Iredell-Statesville test-drive new approaches to improving instruction,
everyone can benefit, he said.
"We also hope that lessons
learned from these grantees will
influence how other districts use
their formula dollars," Mr. King
said, such as Title I aid for disadvantaged students.
But Paul Manna, an associate
professor of government at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Va., who has studied the
administration's competitive initiatives, said that "there's no doubt
that some of these activities will
just shut down" when the money
runs out, despite the best efforts of
districts and states.
"It's not that places will just drop
this stuff, drop it cold-they'll think
about how to sustain things; it becomes this search for other sources
of funding," he said.
With North Carolina aiding K-12
at lower levels per pupil than it did
before the recession hit in 2008-09,
the Guilford and Iredell-Statesville
districts are planning to continue to
go after federal dollars.
But even if the Obama administration ends up having more
competitive-grant money to spread
around, there are no guarantees
that either of those districts will
outshine hundreds of other applicants to win again. So, both North
Carolina districts are looking for
alternative sources of funding.
"We've kind of had this rising
tide of poverty mapped against this
rapidly shrinking resource base,"
Guilford County's Ms. Carr said.
"It's two runaway trains headed
for a collision. So sustainability is
more in question than it was."
Nevada Adopts Sweeping Public School Choice Law
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
dents in the state will be eligible for
the new program, according to the
Indianapolis-based Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.
"Nevada really did just win the
space race for education reform--this
is so much of an advance," said Robert Enlow, the president and ceo of
the Friedman Foundation. The foundation, along with the Arizona-based
Goldwater Institute and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, was
involved in crafting the bill.
In many respects, a universal esa
program is the fullest realization of
the school choice idea: promoting customization and competition that supporters argue will improve education.
States have been nibbling around
the edges of the concept with various types of tuition-voucher plans
since the early 1990s, including programs in Milwaukee and Cleveland
targeted to low-income students.
And in 2002, the U.S. Supreme
Court ruled that the Cleveland program, which gives vouchers that
help pay for students in failing public schools to attend private schools,
including religious ones, did not violate the U.S. Constitution.
But, while Nevada's program is
much broader in scope than other
private school choice plans, some
critics doubt it will truly be accessible to all students.
"Being from Las Vegas, I'm a betting man, and I'm going to bet a
lot of these private schools are not
in inner cities," said Ruben Murillo
Jr., the president of the Nevada State
Teachers Association, an affiliate of
the National Education Association.
How It Works
Under the Nevada program, which
takes effect in January, students
with disabilities and those from lowincome families will get 100 percent
of the state's annual per-pupil funding, now about $5,700, according to
the Friedman Foundation. Everyone
else will receive 90 percent of that
The money will be deposited into
individual accounts. Parents can
use the money toward expenses
approved by the state treasurer's
office, such as tuition, textbooks, tutors, transportation, and therapy for
students with special needs.
Money left unspent will roll over
and can be saved for college tuition.
To provide oversight, the state treasurer's office will audit the accounts,
and participating students will take
a nationally norm-referenced test
in math and English/language arts
every year and submit the results to
the Nevada Department of Education.
Nevada is the fifth state to offer
a program of K-12 esas-Arizona,
Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee
are the others-and is the first to
create a "universal" esa.
It's hard to overstate the importance of the new law to champions
of private school choice.
"I think because education savings
accounts are really only limited by
what we can imagine for a child, then
the future of education should certainly look like this," said Jonathan
2016 Entrants Join
Former R.I. Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D)
Lincoln Chafee, who served as a U.S. senator from
Rhode Island and later as the state's governor, announced June 3 that he would seek the Democratic
Party's 2016 presidential nomination
Mr. Chafee was a Republican when he served
in the U.S. Senate, from 1999
until 2007, the year he left the
party. He took office as governor of Rhode Island in 2011 as
an Independent, and switched
affiliation to become a Democrat in 2013. He did not seek reelection to that office, and his
term ended this past January.
As governor, Mr. Chafee oversaw the rollout
of the state's $75 million federal Race to the Top
grant and a $50 million grant specifically for
early-learning programs. He has been supportive
of the Obama administration's education agenda.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R)
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who
last week joined the race for the 2016 Republican
presidential nomination, has pushed for a scaledback federal role in education over the course two
decades in Congress, most recently with a legislative proposal that takes aim at the Obama administration's involvement with the Common Core
18 | EDUCATION WEEK | June 10, 2015 | www.edweek.org
Butcher, the education policy director
at the Goldwater Institute.
"This is historic," said Patricia
Levesque, the ceo of the Foundation
for Excellence in Education. "Depending upon how they implement the program, you're going to see a lot of other
states follow in Nevada's footsteps."
The original idea for education savings accounts came out of the Goldwater Institute, and Arizona was the
first testing ground, with a program
created in 2011 after school choice
advocates lost a protracted legal
battle over the state's traditional
voucher program in 2009.
Florida followed suit, launching
its esa program at the beginning of
the 2014-15 school year, while this
spring Mississippi and Tennessee
passed laws creating their own esas,
all for students with disabilities.
Although that was originally the
case with Arizona, esas there have
since been expanded to allow participation by other groups, including students attending failing schools, students in foster care, and those from
active-duty military families.
This most recent legislative session, a bill sponsored by Democrats
extended eligibility in Arizona to
students living on American Indian
Among the potential challenges
for Nevada's new program: Will
there be enough private schools to
Mr. Graham, who was elected to the U.S.
Senate in 2002, joined the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995 and was on the education
committee that tried to dismantle the federal
Department of Education or merge it with the
Department of Labor.
In the House, Mr. Graham
was a key player among a
group of gop members of Congress that helped delay a proposed national testing plan
being pushed by President Bill
Clinton's administration. In
addition, Mr. Graham was involved in the negotiations on a final version of the
No Child Left Behind Act.
Former Md. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D)
Former Gov. Martin O'Malley, who tossed his hat
into the ring for the 2016 Democratic presidential
nomination May 30, spent time on a range of education issues as Maryland's chief executive from
2007 to 2015, and before that as Baltimore's mayor,
starting in 1999.
As mayor, Mr. O'Malley led
a campaign to make hiring
youths a priority. He led Baltimore at a time when the city's
system was undergoing radical
restructuring that included a
$42 million loan to avert a financial meltdown. And in 2010, the National Education Association gave him its annual America's
Greatest Education Governor Award for his increases in K-12 education spending and school construction funds, and the creation of an independent
labor board to handle bargaining disputes.
meet demand? How will the state
manage such an expansive program right off the bat? And what
will be the impact on local school
Mr. Murillo, of the state teachers'
union, is worried, for instance, that
public schools will be left with the
most-disadvantaged and toughestto-teach students.
Some students, in addition to facing selective admissions policies at
some private schools, may find them
too hard to get to-especially if their
parents work multiple jobs or don't
have their own cars, he said.
Finally, the legality of the esa
program will likely be challenged
in state-and potentially federal-
court, according to Josh Cunningham, a senior policy analyst with
the National Conference of State
Legislatures. Amendments in some
state constitutions, including Nevada's, place stricter rules on public dollars going to private institutions, Mr. Cunningham said. He
cited legal scholars who have said
the program is so broad that the
Supreme Court's ruling on the Ohio
voucher case may not apply to it.
Mr. Cunningham also pointed to
another kind of test for the new program: Does competition created by
school choice actually improve academic outcomes?
"Most evidence shows that there
isn't really any measurable impact,"
he said. "But a lot of the school
choice proponents say, 'We haven't
really had a program large enough
to show the effect of competition.'
Well, this is their chance."
But the early years of his governorship were
largely overshadowed by policy battles with thenstate Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick. In Maryland, the education chief is appointed
by the state board of education.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R)
Former Gov. Rick Perry, who touted the Lone
Star State's graduation rate during his tenure and
opposed the Common Core State Standards, announced June 4 that he will seek the gop nomination for president in 2016.
Mr. Perry, who served as governor of Texas from
2000 to 2015, also sought the gop nomination in
2012. He has opposed various elements of federal education policy-including the No Child Left Behind
Act and the Race to the Top
for applying, in his view, too
many conditions to funding.
In 2010, he fought Democrats
in Congress over the use of the
$10 billion Education Jobs
Fund, and has called for the U.S. Department of
Education to be eliminated.
At some points during his tenure, Mr. Perry supported increased education funding; in 2007, for
example, he supported a $80 million hike for the
state's pre-K program, as well as an $11.9 billion
increase for public schools over the 2007-08 twoyear budget cycle. However, the state cut school
funding by $5.4 billion in 2011 in the wake of the
recession. Those budget reductions have since been
the subject of a lawsuit that is now before the Texas
Mr. Perry is also a supporter of charter schools
and private school choice.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - June 10, 2015
Education Week - June 10, 2015
Cleveland Embraces Social- Emotional Learning
Challenge of Co-Teaching A Special Education Issue
As Federal Grants Taper Off, Two N.C. Districts Tally Impact
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: N.Y. ‘Open’ Content Going Nationwide
School Choice Supercharged In Nev. Statute
News in Brief
Debate Persists Around Kindergarten Reading Standards
New York Expanding Dual Language to Help Its English- Learners
Schools, Students Hit Hard by California’s Historic Drought
Blogs of the Week
Massachusetts School Transforms Renovation Into Teachable Moment
Magnet Schools Found to Boost Diversity—But Only a Bit
Survey: Students Need More Than Academic Prowess
Education Policy Issues In Arizona Crossfire
Congress Appears Poised to Tackle Higher Education Issues
SIG Money Gives Principal Tools For Turnaround
Federal Aid Fuels Multi-Tiered Instruction
Additional Entrants Join Presidential Race
High Court Rules in Online Threat, Religious Rights Cases
A Movement Gains Momentum
What Teachers Are Saying
Parents Have a Civil Right To Question Testing’s Goal
Parents See Testing’s ‘Distorting Impact’
What Are the Policy Implications of the Opt-Out Movement?
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
An Early Opt-Out
Education Week - June 10, 2015