Education Week - August 26, 2015 - (Page 1)

Education Week VOL. 35, NO. 2 * AUGUST 26, 2015 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 EDITORIAL PROJECTS IN EDUCATION * $ 4 BRE AKING NEWS DAILY Terrain Shifts for Children's TV Programming Polls Reveal 'Sesame Street'-HBO Deal Reflects World of More Channels, Platforms Nuanced K-12 Views By Mark Walsh The deal that is sending "Sesame Street" to a new TV neighborhood-the premium channels and services of HBO-is emblematic of a fastshifting landscape for children's television programming, experts say. Preschoolers and their parents have vastly larger volumes of programming available to them, on more channels, than they did when "Sesame Street" debuted in 1969, and they are increasingly watching shows not just on living room TVs, but also on platforms such as tablet computers and mobile phones. "What's clear is that children are moving to access more and more entertainment and educational shows not on television but on digital devices," said Ellen A. Wartella, a professor and the director of the Center on Media and Human Development at Northwestern University's School of Communication. That was a widely accepted motivation for the five-year partnership announced this month between Sesame Workshop, the New York City-based creator of "Sesame Street," and HBO, which will give the premium cable network exclusive access to new episodes for nine months, after which they will appear on their longtime home, PBS. HBO is pumping an undisclosed amount of money into Sesame Workshop (formerly the Children's Television Workshop) in a deal that also includes a new spinoff series involving "Sesame Street" Muppets. The deal gives HBO highly acclaimed programming for its new streaming video services at a time when others in that field, such as Netflix and Amazon, are ramping up both original children's shows and PAGE 14 > Testing, Standards Remain Major Topics of Contention By Corey Mitchell Two high-profile public-opinion polls released this month offer contrasting snapshots on the public's support for common-core standards and mandatory standardized testing-intertwined issues that are arguably among the most divisive in K-12 public education. Often released within days of each other, the education survey by Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup-now in its 47th year-and the one conducted since 2007 by Education Next, a journal from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, deliver new data that fuel debate and reflection on topics ranging from teacher quality to school funding. This year's PDK/Gallup poll reveals that a majority of respondents, including 54 percent of public school parents, oppose having teachers use the Common Core State Standards to guide what they teach. While the Education Next poll also shows public support for the common standards slipping to 49 percent and mounting dissatisfaction with among teachers, with 50 percent opposed to the standards, its results show that Wong Maye-E/AP-File PAGE 11 > BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS: Michelle Obama hugs Sohang Vean, a high school student in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The first lady was in Cambodia in March to promote Let Girls Learn, her effort to remove obstacles that keep 62 million girls around the world from attending school. PAGE 8 Inside schools, meanwhile, the ripple effects of Amplify's striking demise promised to be minimal. A majority of the 30,000 or so tablet computers sold by the company went to a single district, and Amplify fell far short of its modest goal of getting its no-expense-spared digital curriculum into the hands of 30,000 students by the 2015-16 school year. Experts attributed the company's lack of impact on the K-12 market to a series of miscalculations. First, News Corp. wagered that it would be able to leverage the established assessment PAGE 12 > PAGE 17 > Big Hype, Hard Fall for News Corp.'s $1 Billion Ed-Tech Venture The global media giant News Corp. sought to push its way into the K-12 marketplace five years ago by betting big on technology. Now, despite a $1 billion investment and a steady stream of brash promises to radically disrupt the way public schools do business, the company's education division, known as Amplify, is deeply in the red and on the auction block. Veteran observers of the fickle K-12 ed-tech market say they aren't surprised. "There's a long history of education entrepre- neurs who have crashed on the rocks because the market was not what they thought it would be," said Douglas A. Levin, a consultant on the ed-tech market and the recent head of the State Educational Technology Directors Association. Earlier this month, it became clear that the highly publicized venture had become a financial albatross. When News Corp. announced that it would write off the education division's $371 million in losses over the past year and look to sell off Amplify, investors cheered, sending the parent company's share price up 7.5 percent, to $14.89. By Christina A. Samuels The Justice Department's recent scathing letter to Georgia alleging discrimination at a statewide network of alternative schools is the latest example of the government's willingness to use a muscular interpretation of the Americans with Disabilities Act to eliminate what it views as segregated school settings. Six years ago, the Justice Department signaled its intent to aggressively enforce Olmstead v. L.C., a seminal ruling for disabilities rights. That 1999 U.S. Supreme Court decision requires public entities to provide services "in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities." The 25-year-old ADA is an expansive civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disabil- DIGITAL DIRECTIONS By Benjamin Herold Justice Takes Aim At ADA Violations In School Settings

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - August 26, 2015

Education Week - August 26, 2015
Polls Reveal Nuanced K-12 Views
Justice Takes Aim at ADA Violations in School Settings
Terrain Shifts for Children’s TV Programming
Nev. Officials Work to Unknot Kinks In School Choice Law
Michelle Obama to Tap U.S. Students in Equity Campaign for Girls
With Marijuana Legal, Colo. Rebrands Drug-Free Message
Big Hype, Hard Fall for News Corp.’s $1 Billion Ed-Tech Venture
Schools Urged to Put a Higher Priority on ‘De-Identifying’ Student Data
GOP Candidates’ Forum Puts Ed. Policy Front and Center
Hard Choices Dog Washington State Lawmakers Over K-12 Aid
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Blogs of the Week
Blogs of the Week
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
New Orleans’ Path to Equity
Colorblind Approaches To Education Are Hurting Students
To Measure, or to Assess, Learning?

Education Week - August 26, 2015