Education Week - August 21, 2013 - (Page 1)

PULLOUT SECTION: Education Week’s Calendar of Events & Professional Development Directory, Opposite Page 16 EDUCATIONWEEK VOL. 33, NO. 1 • AUGUST 21, 2013 AMERICAN EDUCATION’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD • © 2013 Editorial Projects in Education • $4 Concerns Arise About Competition By Catherine Gewertz The College Board is redesigning four of its testing programs so they reflect the Common Core State Standards and can be used for accountability, a project that adds yet another player to the list of companies seeking to take on new roles in a shifting nationwide assessment landscape. The New York City-based nonprofit announced last year that it would align its college- BREAKING NEWS DAILY College Board Enters Common-Test Market entrance exam, the SAT, to the common standards. But its plans have expanded to include three other products: ReadiStep, aimed at 8th and 9th graders; the PSAT, typically taken by 10th and 11th graders; and Accuplacer, used by colleges to determine course placement for incoming students. Test redesigns are still largely in the discussion stage, according to David Coleman, who took over as the College Board’s president last October after serving as a chief writer of the common standards in English/language PAGE 16> Dawn Hawkins and her son, Khyrie Brown, 13, return to Leslie Pinckney Hill Public School in Philadelphia, closed in the spring to save costs. Khyrie will be going to a new school this year. Fiscal Clouds Swirl Around Philadelphia Schools By Jaclyn Zubrzycki Philadelphia’s scramble last week to find the $50 million in emergency aid Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. says is needed to open schools as scheduled exposed deep rifts about how to fix the district’s chronic fiscal problems. On the hot seat, both short and long term: a district that’s laid off thousands of teachers and support staff; a city that’s weighing how to meet its pension obligations amid the school funding crisis; teachers and principals whose contracts expire at the end of this month; and a state that’s been criticized over an aid formula that experts say is among the most inequitable in the country. “This has been an historic pat- tern in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia,” said Michael D. Casserly, the executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, a Washington group that represents large urban districts. “Philadelphia is not unique in facing substantial budget issues, but it is unique in the fact that the state, for decades, has not adequately supported Philadelphia or its schoolchildren. DIGITAL DIRECTIONS “The crisis is not related just to an economy that’s gone sour in the last few years,” he said. “It’s related to a longer historical lack of support from the state.” But Timothy Eller, a spokesman for the state department of education, asserted there has been strong state financial support for public schools under Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican who took office in 2011, and said the Philadelphia district will get more than $1.33 billion in state funding this school year. “State taxpayers cannot be exPAGE 17> Districts’ Leeway Shatters Mold INDUSTRY & INNOVATION Federal Role in Accountability Redefined; Many Wary By Michele McNeil & Lesli A. Maxwell By awarding a No Child Left Be- hind Act waiver to eight California districts, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has embarked on an experiment that redefines the federal role in school accountability. That move is sparking criticism from across the political spectrum and raising questions about whether the new flexibility goes too far. The first-of-its-kind waiver, good for one year, essentially allows the eight districts to set up their own accountability system outside of the state of California’s—and largely police themselves through their own board of directors. The districts, known as CORE, for California Office to Reform Education, will operate under a new school rating system that will eventually count nonacademic factors, such as absentee rates and parent surveys, as 40 percent of a school’s grade. In the short term, those districts are frantically preparing for the start of the 2013-14 school year, which means making key decisions about NCLB-era practices, such as whether to keep providing tutoring and school choice to students in persistently low-performing schools. Until now, Mr. Duncan has granted PAGE 14> IN JEOPARDY: Three states are at risk of losing their No Child Left Behind Act waivers. PAGE 18 Use of Calculators to Shift With Core-Aligned Exams By Erik W. Robelen Although calculators have not figured prominently in discussions of the common-core math standards, it’s likely the complementary tests will result in far greater uniformity in their use on state exams across the nation. Policies emerging from the two state consortia developing common-core assessments would prohibit most students from using calculators on the grades 3-5 tests, for example. At grades 6 and above, they call for calculator “on” and “off” sections and set restrictions on what functionality is allowed. (Both consortia will provide online calculators for the computer-based tests.) Those rules, especially in to- day’s high-stakes-testing environment, are sure to influence regular classroom use of calculators, from the elementary ban to the ways increasingly sophisticated PAGE 12> Tutoring Firms Hit Hard Times In Waiver Era By Michele Molnar The private tutoring industry, which has flourished under the No Child Left Behind Act, has been hit hard by federal waivers that have eased key provisions of the law. Those waivers, granted by the U.S. Department of Education to most states and a group of California districts, allow school systems to avoid the NCLB mandate that they use 20 percent of Title I funds for afterschool tutoring and transportation for school choice to eligible students. Many for-profit providers of the tutoring, known in the NCLB law as supplemental education services, have had to pursue new K-12 rev- enue streams, or even close their doors, as federal funding funneled through affected school districts is being reallocated for other purposes. At its peak several years ago, tutoring services were provided by about 2,500 companies and other organizations that had received state approval to work with students, PAGE 14> Yamil Marcos Catalan, 11, plays a reading game at a camp run by University Instructors, a former supplemental education services provider. ▲ Jessica Kourkounis for Education Week John W. Adkisson for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - August 21, 2013

Education Week - August 21, 2013
Use of Calculators to Shift With Core-Aligned Exams
Fiscal Clouds Swirl Around Philadephia Schools
College Board Enters Common-Test Market
Districts’ Leeway Shatters Mold
Tutoring Firms Hit Hard Times in Waiver Era
News in Brief
Report Roundup
K-12 Community-Service Requirements Can Discourage Student Volunteering
Siblings’ Disabilities Linked to Academics For Brothers, Sisters
Assessment Governing Board Crafts Definition Of ‘Prepared for College’
Blogs of the Week
Plunge in N.Y.’s Test Scores Adds Fuel to Raging Debate Over Common-Core Impact
GOP Moves on Activist K-12 Agenda in N.C.
Obama Administration Aloof in ESEA Wrangling
Policy Brief
Advocates Split on Workforce Investment Act Rewrite
Guidance on Waiver Renewals Expected Soon, Ed. Dept. Says
Turnarounds Require Work, Humility
Community Schools: Turning Costs Into Investments
Taking Care of Teachers
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
The Route to School Safety Begins With Collaboration

Education Week - August 21, 2013