Education Week - October 30, 2013 - (Page 1)

EDUCATIONWEEK VOL. 33, NO. 10 * OCTOBER 30, 2013 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2013 Editorial Projects in Education * $4 INDUSTRY & INNOVATION Students photograph themselves with iPads during class at Broadacres Elementary School in Carson, Calif., in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Problems have dogged the rollout of iPads in the district's schools, and many educators have voiced concerns that the new digital curriculum embedded on their devices is incomplete. By Sarah D. Sparks A dozen years of control by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has caused tectonic shifts in the way the Big Apple runs its schools, but as the battle for his replacement moves into its final stretch, a few of the Bloomberg administration's most controversial education initiatives are shaping the landscape of the general election. Mr. Bloomberg gained control of the nation's largest school system soon after his initial 2001 election win. He restructured the 1.1 million-student district and ushered in a series of sweeping changes through a package of initiatives he called Children First. The program includes support for charter schools, a school-grading system, merit pay for principals and teachers, citywide school curricula, PAGE 9 > Concerns Over Curriculum in L.A. iPad Plan By Benjamin Herold Los Angeles Education officials here tout the new digital curriculum embedded on iPads being distributed to tens of thousands of students as a key piece of their halfbillion-dollar effort to transform teaching and learning in the nation's second-largest district. But the new software from the publishing giant Pearson that has been rolled out in dozens of schools is nowhere near complete, the Los Angeles Unified School District is unable to say how much it costs, and the district will lose access to content updates, software upgrades, and technical support from Pearson after just three years. The situation is prompting a new round of questions about an initiative already under withering scrutiny PAGE 12 > Risks Seen in Using Bonds for Tech Work By Michelle R. Davis As school districts across the country seek to implement costly, large-scale technology projects, a growing number of them are asking voters for approval to go into debt to pay for that work, through the issuance of long-term bonds. That strategy is standard practice in many areas of government, when pub- lic entities, such as school systems, need money to pay for special capital projects such as new construction or infrastructure upgrades. But districts' attempts to use long-term bonds to underwrite major purchases of tablets and laptops, which have a limited shelf life, are coming under fire from both taxpayers and financial experts, who worry that school systems will still be paying off those costs long after the technology is obsolete. "You don't debt-finance something where the term of the debt is going to extend beyond the life of the asset," said Bruce D. PAGE 12 > BREAKING NEWS DAILY For N.Y.C., Bloomberg Era to End Two Candidates Talk Education In Boston Race By Lesli A. Maxwell As Boston prepares to elect its first DIGITAL DIRECTIONS Transition to Online Tests Sparks Fears By Catherine Gewertz When tens of millions of schoolchildren sit down at computers to take new common assessments in spring 2015, many of their peers will be taking similar tests the old-fashioned way, with paper and pencil, raising questions about the comparability of results-as well as educational equity-on an unprecedented scale. Both state consortia that are designing tests for the Common Core State Standards are building computer-based assessments, but they will offer paperand-pencil versions as well, as states Moving Beyond The Mainstream transition fully to online testing. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium plans to run the two simultaneous "modes" of testing for three years. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, will do so for at least one year. In order to rely on the results, however, the consortia must show that the paper and computer modes of the tests in English/language arts and mathematics measure the same things. The prospect of establishing such comparability between two versions of a test isn't PAGE 15 > Helping Diverse Learners Master the Common Core This special report examines the challenging work of trying to adapt the Common Core State Standards for students with disabilities, English-language learners, gifted students, and others. It discusses how the standards are spurring teacher collaboration, the kinds of technological adaptations available for testing, and the controversy around test accommodations such as allowing students to have test items read aloud to them. See the pullout section opposite Page 14. new mayor in 20 years, the two candidates vying to replace Mayor Thomas M. Menino are touting education agendas that signal schools will remain a top priority at City Hall no matter who wins. Still, the election will bring a key transition for the Boston district, as the man who has led the city for most of the era of mayoral control of the public schools prepares to step down. John R. Connolly, a Boston city councilor and former teacher, and Martin J. Walsh, a Massachusetts state representative and longtime labor organizer, will face off on Nov. 5 after capturing the most votes among a dozen candidates in the first round of the nonpartisan mayoral sweepstakes. From a proposal to deepen the bench PAGE 11 > ADDITIONAL ELECTION COVERAGE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION HEATS UP 8 A contentious school board race in Douglas County, Colo., has drawn national attention. GOVERNORS' RACES APPROACH FINISH 16 School choice and finances have been flashpoints in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial contests. TAKING IT TO THE SENATE 18 A look at Newark Mayor Cory Booker and education as he joins the U.S. Senate. Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times/AP 2013 ELECTION

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - October 30, 2013

Education Week - October 30, 2013
In N.Y.C., Bloomberg Era to End
Risks Seen in Using Bonds For Tech Work
Concerns Over Curriculum In L.A. iPad Plan
Two Candidates Talk Education In Boston Race
Transition to Online Tests Sparks Fears
News in Brief
Report Roundup
In Math, Science, Most States Surpass the Global Average
More States Allow Schools to Stock Epinephrine Injectors
Divisiveness Marks Pivotal Colorado School Board Race
Blogs of the Week
Alabama District Merges Tech., Curriculum
State Pre-K Obligation at Center of Dispute Before N.C. High Court
N.J., Va. Governor Races Headline Off-Year Ballot
A Look at Cory Booker On Education Issues
JACK SCHNEIDER & ANIL NATHAN: Assessing School Quality
CRAIG HOCHBEIN: To Be Fair, Educators Should Start Measuring More, Not Less
JACOB WEISS: Et Tu, Common Core?
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
CAMERON EVANS: Five Steps to Reboot American Schools

Education Week - October 30, 2013