Education Week - November 4, 2015 - (Page 1)

Education Week VOL. 35, NO. 11 * NOVEMBER 4, 2015 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 Editorial Projects In Education * $ 4  BRE AKING NEWS DAILY NAEP Score Drop Spurs Speculation Blame Laid on Economy, Demography, Standards With U.S. students' math and reading scores showing statistically significant declines on a national test for the first time in more than two decades, advocates on all sides have begun pointing fingers. The Common Core State Standards, frequent testing, the economy, and demographic changes have all become targets. But researchers say such explanations should be viewed skeptically-both because the test scores don't explain causation and because the drop will not necessarily lead to a long-term trend. "Politically, [the drop] is going to be a problem for the common core, but as an educational researcher, it's unfair to say the common core had anything to do with these scores going down," said Tom Loveless, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who researches trends in achievement tests. "If [the scores] went up, it would be unfair to say it had anything to do with them going up. You just can't tell that from NAEP data." Still, the results were a surprise to some, since scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress had been showing an upward trend over the past two decades. "This isn't a pattern that we saw coming," Peggy G. Carr, the acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers NAEP, said in a call with news media. "It was an unexpected downturn." PAGE 12 > Marie D. De Jesus for Education Week By Liana Heitin Tiffany Chenier, the principal of McNamara Elementary School in Houston, laughs with 5th grade student Manaes'sh Allen, 10, during a science class. Chenier is a graduate of a Rice University program that trains leaders to use business practices in schools. Leaders Go to School to Learn Management Savvy New Wave of Principal-Prep Programs Emphasizes Business Practices By Denisa R. Superville Houston What exactly does understanding the ins and outs of financial accounting, data analytics, and organizational behavior have to do with being a good school leader? Those who run the Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program at the Jessie H. Jones Graduate School of Business here say that kind of know-how arms school leaders with the right mindset and skills to manage successful schools. Rice's program is part of a new wave of school-leader training programs that are emphasizing the importance of management and other leadership principles culled from the business world. "Our view is that our principals need to be more than instructional leaders on campus," said Andrea Hodge, the executive director of the Rice University program. "The principal needs to be the chief executive. What we try to Arrest Fuels Debate on School Police Officer's Treatment of Black Student Sparks Civil Rights Probe By Evie Blad Cellphone videos of the violent arrest of an African-American girl in a South Carolina classroom spread quickly online last week, thrusting an ongoing heated debate about race, discipline, and the appropriate role of police in schools into the national spotlight. The videos show Ben Fields, a local sheriff 's deputy who worked as a school resource officer at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C., knocking the unidentified high school student's desk over as he grabbed her by the neck and shoulders, pulling her from her chair before throwing her across the room. The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office for South Carolina will investigate the incident for possible civil rights violations, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a day after the videos went viral. Fields was fired after an immediate internal investigation by his employer, the Richland County Sheriff's Office. "We would hope that physical force would be a last resort," Sheriff Leon Lott said in a press conference. "[The student] wasn't a danger at that point. She was just being disrespectful." But Lott denied allegations the incident was racially motivated. The incident wouldn't have started if the girl hadn't been defiant in the first place, he said. The girl and a classmate who challenged her arrest were both arrested on state charges of disrupting a school. The incident apparently started when the student in the video refused to leave the classroom with an administrator who was initially called PAGE 10 > do is give principals exposure to more holistic organizational-management concepts that are not covered to the same degree in most schools of education." As organizational leaders, principals need to have the same kinds of skill sets that effective managers in other professions possess: the ability to create a compelling vision, lead highperforming teams, think like problem-solvers, put strategic plans in place, and execute on those plans. "Leadership is leadership is leadership," said LeAnn M. Buntrock, the director of the WoodPAGE 14 > DIGITAL DIRECTIONS Cybercharter Students Fall Far Behind On Academic Measures, New Reports Say By Benjamin Herold Students who take classes over the Internet through online charter schools make dramatically less academic progress than their counterparts in traditional schools, according to a sweeping new series of reports released last week. How stark are the findings? Statistically speaking, the gains that online charter students saw in math were so limited, it was "literally as though the student did not go to school for the entire year," said Margaret Raymond, the director of the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes at Stanford University. Prepared by CREDO, the Center on Reinventing Public Education, and Mathematica Policy Research, the three-part National Study of Online Charter Schools represents the first comprehensive national look at the roughly 200 schools in the publicly funded, independently managed cybercharter sector. Such schools enroll about 200,000 full-time students across 26 states. More than two-thirds of online charters were found to have weaker PAGE 8 >

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 4, 2015

NAEP Score Drop Spurs Speculation
Arrest Fuels Debate On School Police
Cybercharter Students Fall Far Behind On Academic Measures, New Reports Say
Leaders Go to School to Learn Management Savvy
Education Week - November 4, 2015
Education Week - November 4, 2015
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Academic Support a Priority for School Business Officers
Buffalo Struggles to Respond to Feds Over Access to Best Schools
Blogs of the Week
Key Spending Provision in House ESEA Bill’s Cross Hairs
As Pressure Builds to Rein in Testing, Ed. Dept. Sets Path for States, Districts
Keep the Ed. Dept., or Scrap It? Where GOP Hopefuls Stand
Blogs of the Week
In Michigan, a Move To Fix Detroit’s Schools Muddied by Probe
The Painful Necessity of Replicating Research
Moving Beyond the Hype of the 3-D Printer
The Real ‘Prize’ in Newark Schools
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
A Different Kind of Lesson From Finland

Education Week - November 4, 2015