Education Week - October 14, 2015 - (Page 1)

1 EDUCATION WEEK VOL. 35, NO. 8 * OCTOBER 14, 2015 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 4 BRE AKING NEWS DAILY Leadership Issues Cloud Federal Ed. Policy Picture Congress and the Obama Administration Confront a Lengthy To-Do List on Education By Alyson Klein The one-two punch of turnover in the top leadership of Congress and the U.S. Department of Education complicates the prospects for completing unfinished business on the federal K-12 policy agenda. As both Speaker of the House John A. Boehner and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan prepare to step down, the inevitable uncertainty during such transitions further unsettles the outlook for an Elementary and Secondary Education Act overhaul and for any new regulatory moves by the Obama administration. With or without Duncan at the helm, it's unclear just how much political juice the Education Department has left to work its policy will on states. Unlike its first years in office, when the administration was flush with one-time education funding under the federal economic-stimulus package, the department doesn't have much money left to entice states to adopt its priorities through competitive grants. And it seems reluctant to drop the hammer on states to drive policy-for instance, by withholding aid or pulling a state's waiver from the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act, the ESEA's current version. "What's in their toolbox?" said Terry Holliday, a former Kentucky commissioner of education. And he doesn't think John B. King Jr., the former New York state schools chief who will serve as acting secretary after Duncan leaves in December, is a throwthunderbolts-from-Washington kind of guy. "I don't think John King will have the desire to really create a lot of mandates on states," Holliday said. "I think having been a former chief helps, and I think he'll try to work with states to honor their work over the last several years." That power drain is typical for the end of any administration and would likely have happened even if Duncan, who came in with President Barack Obama in 2009, had PAGE 16 > Gates Plows Ahead Amid K-12's Swirl Kyle Grillot for Education Week By Alyson Klein Students change classes at Dayton Early College Academy High School, a charter in Dayton, Ohio, as school staff member Shelley McNichols adjusts a display board. Ohio's charter sector is set to get a windfall of federal money. More Money, Scrutiny for Ohio Charters Lax Oversight Led to Mismanagement and Poor Academic Results By Arianna Prothero With Ohio poised to potentially receive more than $70 million in federal cash to expand the number of high-performing charter schools over the next five years, state and federal leaders, along with some advocates, are raising concerns that the state's beleaguered charter sector may not deserve, or be ready for, such a windfall. Charter schools in Ohio have been generating scandal-ridden headlines for years over financial mismanagement and poor academic outcomes. Charter critics-and increasingly, charter advocates-point to the Ohio charter sector as an example of the dysfunction that can arise from lax oversight. A bill that would bring more stringent monitoring to the state's publicly funded but independently run schools appears to be on its way to becoming law after passage through both houses of the Ohio legislature last week. But concerns remain that fueling charter growth too fast, too soon could undermine recent attempts to rein in the sector. 'Bad Apples Out' "I would want to make sure our reforms are in place before we pour any more money into Ohio's charter schools," said state Rep. Kristina Roegner, a Republican from Northeast Ohio and one of the cosponsors of the bill aimed at making all levels of the sector-authorizers, manage- ment organizations, and schools-more accountable financially and academically. "Once the reforms are in place, and we get the bad apples out, then by all means, let's grow it," she said. The U.S. Department of Education announced at the end of last month that it was giving Ohio $32 million for the first year, with a plan to award the state a total of $71 million over the next five years, through the department's Charter Schools Program. Ohio is slated to receive the largest share of the $249 million the department is promising seven states and the District of Columbia, though it must meet several conditions in order to receive the full amount. In a twist that highlights the myriad PAGE 13 > A renewed commitment to teacher effectiveness and academic standards on the part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-outlined last week in co-chair Bill Gates' first major education speech in seven years-comes amid turbulent changes in the nation's schools sparked in part by the foundation itself. Gates told the foundation's U.S. Learning Forum in Bellevue, Wash., that the multibillion-dollar foundation has been redoubling its efforts to make sure the troops on the ground, specifically teachers, have the tools they need to move forward on implementing college- and career-ready standards and closing gaps in student achievement. But at no point during his address did Gates mention the name of the man who has helped spread a similar agenda faster and further than his foundation alone ever could have: departing U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who came into office with the Obama adminisPAGE 10 > STAYING THE COURSE: Fresh praise, renewed criticism as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recommits to its K-12 priorities. E 10 Dual-Credit Classes Put at Risk by Ruling By Catherine Gewertz A new rule that threatens to hobble or shutter dual-enrollment programs in 19 states has sparked widespread objections from educators who fear it could undermine students' chances of going to college. A ruling by the Higher Learning Commission, a Chicago-based group that accredits colleges and universities across a big swath of the West and the Midwest, requires high school teachers of dual-credit courses to have a master's degree. If that advanced degree isn't in the subject they're teaching, teachers must have earned 18 graduate credits in that subject. Whether provided online, in high schools, or on college campuses, dual-enrollment programs allow students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously by taking college-level courses. The commission made its ruling on June 26, but few on-the-ground educators knew about it until it was published in final form on Oct. 1. It goes into effect in September 2017. Now, district leaders are worried, since dual-enrollment PAGE 13 >

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - October 14, 2015

Education Week - October 14, 2015
Gates Plows Ahead Amid K-12’s Swirl
More Money, Scrutiny For Ohio Charters
Dual-Credit Classes Put at Risk by Ruling
Leadership Issues Cloud Federal Ed. Policy Picture
News in Brief
Report Roundup
N.C. Plagued by Teacher Attrition Despite Retention, Pay Measures
Former Chicago Schools CEO Indicted in Federal Fraud Case
Microsoft’s Windows 10 Scrutinized Over Privacy Controls
Blogs of the Week
State, Local Officials Gird for Special Education Guidance Letters
California Blazes Trail With New Sex Education Mandates
Blogs of the Week
Less Leverage Awaits Official Set to Step In As Head of Ed. Dept.
GINA WOMACK: The Sexual-Abuse-to-Prison Pipeline
SUSAN HOPGOOD, LILY ESKELSEN-GARCÍA, & RANDI WEINGARTEN: Education Is a Global Answer To the Challenges of Our Time
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace

Education Week - October 14, 2015