Education Week - August 20, 2014 - (Page 1)
PULLOUT SECTION: Education Week's Calendar of Events & Professional Development Directory, Opposite Page 16
VOL. 34, NO. 1 * AUGUST 20, 2014
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2014 Editorial Projects in Education * $4
edweek.org: BREAKING NEWS DAILY
Sheen Fades as NCLB Waivers Near Three-Year Mark
By Alyson Klein
States still relish
the flexibility, but
about a thicket of
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outdated No Child Left Behind Act leapt at the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
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
"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.
NEW FACES, NEW CHALLENGES: The Changing Demographics of America's Schools
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
The nonprofit organization, called EdReports.org, 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
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 >
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
The OpEducation blog
will consider educators'
responses to the
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
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.