Education Week - August 28, 2013 - (Page 1)

EDUCATIONWEEK Waiver States VOL. 33, NO. 2 • AUGUST 28, 2013 AMERICAN EDUCATION’S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD • © 2013 Editorial Projects in Education • $4 Under Scrutiny Initial Phase of Federal Monitoring Turns Up Implementation Soft Spots By Michele McNeil In the wake of the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to place three states on “high-risk status” for problems with their No Child Left Behind Act waivers, it’s clear that the federal push to grant states sweeping flexibility in school accountability will be fraught with stumbles. Implementing teacher evaluations tied to student growth is a significant sticking point for many waiver states, including Kansas, Oregon, and Washington—which were formally warned by federal officials Aug. 15 that they might lose their waivers if they don’t get new evaluations back on track. But during an initial phase of monitoring by the Education Department, federal officials are anxiously eyeing other potential land mines as well, according to an Education Week review of the first round of oversight reports issued over the past several months by the department. In those reports, federal officials raised PAGE 24 > BREAKING NEWS DAILY Common Core: A Puzzle to Public By Lesli A. Maxwell In a pair of new national polls aiming to cap- ture the American public’s view of the state of K-12 education, one finding is clear: Most of those surveyed are clueless about the Common Core State Standards. Sixty-two percent of all respondents in a poll from Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup had never heard of the common core, and awareness among public school parents was not much better, at 55 percent. In a separate survey from the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which polled parents of K-12 students, 52 percent said they knew little or nothing about the common core, even though educators have PAGE 20 > GAUGING AWARENESS Q: SCIENCE FRONTIERS: Lynn-Steven Engelke of the Smithsonian Institution monitors presentations on a projector at the Space Telescope and Science Institute in Baltimore. Cultural institutions are among those helping teachers use technology. PAGE 14 DIGITAL DIRECTIONS Fla. Virtual School Faces Hard Times Enrollment Declines for Country’s Largest State-Run E-School Before today, have you ever heard of the Common Core State Standards? 45% 55% PUBLIC SCHOOL PARENTS 62% NO ALL RESPONDENTS SOURCE: PDK/Gallup 38% Yes Yes No By Benjamin Herold The Florida Virtual School—the largest state-sponsored online K-12 school in the country—is facing troubled times, a sign of major policy shifts now reshaping the world of online education. On the heels of new state legislation aimed at containing costs and promoting competition among providers offering individual online courses to students, Florida Virtual School officials expect to see a 20 percent drop in state revenue this school year and announced this month that they have shed one-third of their workforce. Experts in online education say the cuts reflect a national trend. “States are moving away from singularly funding a state virtual school,” said Susan D. Patrick, the president and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, or iNACOL, in Vienna, Va. “They want to have multiple providers for students to choose from.” She cited as another example the Loui- siana education department’s recent decision to replace the Louisiana Virtual School with a broader menu of course options for students. (See story, Page 22.) An analogous shift occurred in the recording industry following the launch of iTunes and the “debundling” of music albums, said John Bailey, the executive director of Digital Learning Now, a national advocacy group PAGE 19 > Stacked Deck Seen In Growth of PBIS By Christina A. Samuels Developers of some school climate reform models say their programs are often bypassed by schools and districts in favor of what they see as specific strategies promoted by a federally funded technical-assistance center. In 1997, Congress inserted language into the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act on the issue of discipline for students with disabilities. In an attempt to steer schools away from using punishment-based strategies for dealing with such students, the law was revised to say that special education teams should consider “positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports” to cut down on problem behavior. Since then, positive behavior interPAGE 16 > ▲ Swikar Patel/Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - August 28, 2013

Education Week - August 28, 2013
Waiver States Under Scrutiny
Common Core: A Puzzle to Public
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Fla. Virtual School Faces Hard Times
Stacked Deck Seen in Growth of PBIS
This Week
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Most Students Aren’t Ready for College, ACT Data Show
For Rural Teachers, Mentoring Support Is Just a Click Away
Philadelphia Gears to Open Schools After Aid Reprieve
Blogs of the Week
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: New Sites Designed to Help Choose Best Ed-Tech Tools
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Museums, Researchers Shifting To Online Science Ed. Outreach
Common Core Grinds Along Amid Michigan Debate
‘Course Choice’ Venture Gets Started in Louisiana
Policy Brief
PAULA STACEY: The Best Education Diet? Real Food, Prepared Well
LINDA DIAMOND: The Cure for Common-Core Syndrome
CAROL LACH: What Really Matters In Education: Compassion
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JAMES H. NEHRING: Think Education Is Like Medicine? Think Again

Education Week - August 28, 2013