Education Week - August 20, 2014 - (Page 1)

PULLOUT SECTION: Education Week's Calendar of Events & Professional Development Directory, Opposite Page 16 EDUCATION WEEK VOL. 34, NO. 1 * AUGUST 20, 2014 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2014 Editorial Projects in Education * $4 BREAKING NEWS DAILY Sheen Fades as NCLB Waivers Near Three-Year Mark By Alyson Klein States still relish the flexibility, but critics grumble about a thicket of federal conditions and secondguessing Back in 2011, states chafing under the badly outdated No Child Left Behind Act leapt at the Obama administration's offer of relief from the mandates at the center of the law- and the chance to forge a new and innovative partnership with the federal government to bolster standards, pinpoint good teachers, and fix lowperforming schools. Three years later, much of the political sheen has come off the resulting NCLB waivers. The waiver initiative has been marked by policy backtracks, political pushback, and wildly divergent, complicated approaches to school accountability. The system also has generated its own set of bewildering buzzwords: "extension" vs. "renewal," for instance, and even a subcategory of "waiver-waivers." Waivers "gave states room to breathe," said Andy Smarick, who served as the deputy education commissioner in New Jersey in 2011 when that state applied for the flexibility, and who later urged Congress to let the new waivers take hold before tackling an NCLB renewal. "But what's left feels extremely messy," he said. "At this point, I couldn't even begin to define what federal K-12 policy is in the age of PAGE 22 > LONG ROAD: A timeline charts the twists and turns of No Child Left Behind Act waivers. PAGE 23 NEW FACES, NEW CHALLENGES: The Changing Demographics of America's Schools Common-Core Textbooks To Receive Online Ratings By Liana Heitin A new group billing itself as a "Consumer Reports for school materials" will soon begin posting free online reviews of major textbooks and curricula that purport to be aligned to the Common Core State Standards-an effort, some say, that has the potential to shake up the market. The nonprofit organization, called, has gathered a team of 19 educators, about half of whom are classroom teachers, to conduct extensive reviews of yearlong instructional series. The team will start with 21 series for K-8 mathematics and eventually move on to secondary math and K-12 English/language arts curricula. For the first round of reviews, likely to be published early next year, the group selected some of the most commonly used materials: print products that had at least 10 percent of the market share and print and digital materials that had been recPAGE 18 > Students chat in an 8th grade social studies class at Valley Point Middle School in Dalton, Ga. The school's enrollment shifted to a majority of nonwhite students last school year. U.S. Schools Become 'Majority Minority' By Lesli A. Maxwell America's public schools are on the cusp of a new demographic era. This fall, for the first time, the overall number of Latino, African-American, and Asian students in public K-12 classrooms is expected to surpass the number of non-Hispanic whites. The new collective majority of minority schoolchildren-projected to be 50.3 percent by the National Center for Education Statistics-is driven largely by dramatic growth in the Latino population and a decline in the white population, and, to a lesser degree, by a steady rise in the number of Asian-Americans. African-American growth has been mostly flat. That new majority will continue to grow, the same projections show. It's a shift that poses a plain imperative for public schools and society at large, demographers and educators say: The United States must vastly PAGE 12 > RELATED STORIES: Q&A: An Arkansas school leader discusses his district's transition to a new demographic era. PAGE 12 TIMELINE: Events and turning points in U.S. immigration. PAGE 13 OPINION: The OpEducation blog will consider educators' and policymakers' responses to the changing makeup of the American classroom. Go to States Create Independent Boards to Approve Charters By Arianna Prothero When First Place Scholars opens in Seattle this school year, it will not only be the first charter school in the state, it will also be chartered and overseen by Washington's new independent statewide authorizing board. To win the the Washington State Charter School Commission's approval-and the right to operate-the school, which will serve homeless students, had to undergo a rigorous process, including submitting an application of several hundred pages, sketching out a five-year budget plan, and passing the scrutiny of charter school experts assembled from across the country to advise the authorizing board. Yet this kind of gantlet is one that's getting more popular. Washington is among a small but growing group of states PAGE 17 > Researchers Find Clues in Ways Students Get Help With Classwork By Sarah D. Sparks If you need help, raise your hand. It's one of the first lessons of school, but as more students learn in and out of classrooms, in person and online, educators and researchers are starting to take another look at how students learn to ask for help. In a typical classroom, teachers may see some students who raise their hands constantly, while others try to overhear the response to another student's question without ever asking their own. Some students online hit the "help" button over and over to get straight to the answer, while others seek advice on problem-solving strategies. These behaviors can tell educators and researchers a lot about what a student thinks about learning, his or her engagement in the subject, and the student's confidence in the support of teachers and peers. That makes help-seeking behaviors uniquely useful as educators and policymakers look for ways to improve not just students' test scores, but the deeper "academic mindsets" that form a foundation for student learning-among them, perseverance, intellectual curiosity, and a "growth mindset," the belief that ability and knowledge in a particular subject is gained through experience rather than being innate. "Help-seeking is actually part of the process of self-regulation," said Sarah M. Kiefer, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of South Florida, in Tampa. While it's difficult to nail down what "perseverance" PAGE 16 > Shawn Poynter for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - August 20, 2014

Table of Contents

Education Week - August 20, 2014