Education Week - September 23, 2015 - (Page 9)

BLOGS U.S. Education Department Names Delaware Eyes Revamp Its First Open-Resources Adviser To Teachers' Pay and Roles | MARKETPLACE K-12 | The U.S. Department of Education has hired an adviser to focus on helping schools use "open educational resources," as districts around the country experiment with the free, flexible materials. Andrew Marcinek, a longtime educator, will be the first staff member at the agency to serve in the role. He will work out of the office of educational technology under its director, Richard Culatta. The move will "greatly enhance our ability to support states and districts as they move to using openly licensed learning resources," Culatta said. A number of school districts in recent years have embraced open educational resources, generally defined as materials created on licenses that permit their free sharing, repurposing, and alteration. Some districts have taken up open resources out of dissatisfaction with curricula offered by commercial providers, or because of concerns about the costs. In some cases, districts' interest in open educational materials has been driven by the need for content aligned to the Common Core State Standards and their lack of conviction that commercial resources hit the mark. Some open-resource projects have already had a major reach. EngageNY, a website created by the state of New York, is estimated to have received more than 20 million downloads so far. Commercial publishers and content producers say there's reason to doubt the quality of open resources, and they question whether those resources can be maintained and updated without a business model for supporting them. And to be sure, some districts that tossed out commercial lessons in favor of open materials have been forced to devote big chunks of time and money to organizing the new content to their liking. -SEAN CAVANAGH Print Ad | TEACHER BEAT | In recommendations to Gov. Jack Markell, a panel of Delaware leaders and education officials has recommended shifting to a pay system that recognizes a variety of roles for teachers-and moves away from the traditional "steps and lanes" approach, in which teachers are paid solely on experience and credentials. The panel, which includes lawmakers, state school board representatives, and the head of the state teachers' union, recently released a report outlining how such a plan might work. In essence, it would raise beginning salaries and collapse the number of incremental "steps." Teachers with good teacher-evaluation scores and a record of experience could apply to move to higher tiers as "teacher leaders" or "senior teacher leaders," for which they would be given release time from some classroom duties to take on additional responsibilities, such as mentoring new teachers and devising student interventions. Delaware's Committee to Advance Educator Compensation and Careers was established by 2014 legislation and charged with making recommendations on alternative compensation. Radio station WHYY recently looked at the system, and it's clear from its reporting that the plan required all parties to rethink a lot of sacred cows. "I would have walked a picket line for [steps and lanes] 10 years ago," Frederika Jenner, the president of the Delaware Education Association, told the station. Iowa launched a statewide career-ladder initiative in 2013 but made it optional for districts to participate. Idaho also has a statewide career-ladder system, although it's brand-new and the details are still fairly sketchy. But, as WHYY notes, there can be a whole host of additional wrinkles in crafting a system statewide, rather than district by district, given variations in local living costs, teacher supply, and so forth. To be clear, these are just preliminary recommendations in Delaware. The legislature has formed several new working groups to begin hashing out all the nitty-gritty, but this is an initiative to watch. -STEPHEN SAWCHUK Early PARCC Results in Illinois: Most Fall Short of Expectations | CURRICULUM MATTERS | Illinois released preliminary results last week from its PARCC tests, and they showed that fewer than 4 in 10 of its students met or exceeded grade-level or course expectations. Proficiency rates hovered at about one-third for English/language arts and were a bit lower in math, from just 17 percent on the high school exam to 36 percent in 3rd grade. The release was only the second, after Ohio, from a state that gave the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests. Neither set of scores is final, because they don't include results from paper-and-pencil versions, and not all groups of students are included yet. Some changes are anticipated with the final results. But the glimpse of student performance in Illinois confirms what many policymakers had been warning about new tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards: proficiency rates lower than those seen on previous tests. Schools Superintendent Tony Smith braced state school board members for a less comfortable set of results than the ones they've been used to. "The percentages have been comforting in some ways: 'Oh good, we're at 85th.' Well, not necessarily," he said. "Does that mean you're really ready for what's next?" One board member said the PARCC results will "blow parents' minds." But Smith said he and his staff will be "up, down, and around the state" in the coming weeks to explain them. -CATHERINE GEWERTZ How to Deploy a 1:1 iPad Program in Education In this webinar, you'll learn best practices for getting a 1:1 iPad program up and running in your school and hear lessons learned from iPad 1:1 pioneer, Fraser Speirs. free webinar ThurSday, ocT. 1, 2015 2 To 3 P.m. ET deployinganiPadProgram Guests davE SalTmarSh, education evangelist, JamF Software FraSEr SPEIrS, head of computing and IT, cedars School of Excellence Moderator SEan hErdman, associate publisher, Editorial Projects in Education EDUCATION WEEK | September 23, 2015 | | 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - September 23, 2015

Education Week - September 23, 2015
Research Agency Faces Deep Cuts In Budget Bills
Schools Seek Split From Confederacy
English-Learner Tests Moving to Digital Realm
Despite Research on Teens’ Sleep, Change to School Start Times Difficult
News in Brief
Report Roundup
To Combat Inequity, Ferguson Panel Urges K-12 Changes
Study: KIPP Confers an Edge in Academics But Not in Attitudes
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Online Credit Recovery in Need of Overhaul, Study Says
Blogs of the Week
From Pre-K to Higher Ed., Duncan Tour Touts Priorities
GOP Presidential Debaters Give Glancing Mention to Education
In Wide-Ranging Discussion, Duncan Mulls Issues, Agenda
ANN MYERS & JILL BERKOWICZ: STEM Doesn’t Narrow the Curriculum
MARY ANN ZEHR: Can a Former Journalist Teach English-Language Learners to Write?
GREG MILO: Why Do Students Hate History? Some Thoughts on the ‘Boring’ Social Studies
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
CAROL DWECK: Growth Mindset, Revisited

Education Week - September 23, 2015