Education Week - November 11, 2015 - (Page 1)

1 EDUCATION WEEK VOL. 35, NO. 12 * NOVEMBER 11, 2015 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 4 BRE AKING NEWS DAILY RTI Practice Falls Short of Promise, Research Finds First Graders Who Were Identified For More Help Fell Further Behind By Sarah D. Sparks PAGE 10 > PAGE 12 > Melissa Golden for Education Week House down to school administrators, bedeviled the law that would come to be known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Those concerns persist today. The law remade the country's education system for an often-vulnerable, once-overlooked population. More than 6 million stu- Response to intervention has become ubiquitous as a framework to teach students to read in elementary schools, but the most comprehensive federal evaluation of the approach to date finds that it may hold back some of the children it was originally designed to support. First graders who received reading interventions actually did worse than virtually identical peers who did not get the more targeted assistance, according to the study released last week by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. The study focused on schools that were using RTI for literacy. Students who read just below grade level at the start of the year had been referred to RTI intended to catch them up with the rest of the class. Moreover, students who were already in special education and those who were older than average for their grades (suggesting they had either entered late or failed a grade) performed particularly poorly if they received interventions. The study, involving more than 20,000 students in 13 states, does not look at how students with more severe learning problems fare under RTI. But it raises questions about the evolution of a model originally designed to target students as soon as they started to struggle, and prevent their difficulties from escalating to the need for a special education evaluation. Now, with more than 70 percent of school districts across the country incorporating RTI in at least some classrooms, it has become more of a general education approach, with all of the trade-offs that entails. "We're looking at this framework that has de- Paraprofessional Vicky Henderson works with a 3rd grader, Payton, during story time in his special education classroom at Clinch County Elementary School in Homerville, Ga. The law now called the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act turns 40 this month. Special Ed. Law Wrought Complex Changes Schools See Four Decades of Increased Services, Inclusion-and Red Tape By Christina A. Samuels Forty years ago, by overwhelming margins, both houses of Congress decided that children with disabilities could no longer be allowed to languish in classrooms that did not meet their needs-if they were even allowed through the schoolhouse doors at all. Goaded by dogged advocacy work at the Districts Confront Transgender Policies By Evie Blad As federal civil rights officials ramp up pressure on a suburban Chicago district to give a transgender student full access to its girls' locker rooms, similar flare-ups in public schools recently are presenting educators with state and local levels and more than two dozen state court decisions, lawmakers-in a landmark piece of legislation signed Nov. 29, 1975-agreed that schools must identify students with disabilities, provide them a free and appropriate education, and adhere to a process that protected their rights. But right from the start, concerns about money and about red tape, from the White complicated questions about their responsibilities to students whose gender identity doesn't match the sex they were assigned at birth. In a 14-page letter to Daniel E. Cates, the superintendent of Township High School District 2011 in Palatine, Ill., last week, officials with the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights said the district is violating a transgender girl's civil rights by not allowing her unrestricted use of her high school's girls' locker rooms. "OCR finds by a preponderance of the eviPAGE 15 > FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT 101 This special report aims to give educators a deeper understanding of what formative assessment is, how it differs from other forms of assessment, and how they can best use formative-assessment techniques to target instruction to the gaps in their students' learning-in real time. See the pullout section opposite Page 14. Top Teacher's Resignation Spurs Certification Debate Former Alabama teacher of the year deemed not qualified to teach in new grade By Ross Brenneman Alabama educator Ann Marie Corgill has taught for more than two decades and has no shortage of credits to her name. She's been an author, a public speaker, a TEDx Education Fellow, and a steering committee member for the National Council of Teachers of English. In 2014, she was selected as her state's teacher of the year, and she was a final- ist to be this year's National Teacher of the Year. At the end of last month, though, she resigned from her teaching job, citing burdensome and inconsistent state regulations about her qualifications to teach as the primary cause. Every state has different rules on teacher certification, which are further influenced by federal regulations. How those rules play out in the field can pose big challenges for teachers and adminis- trators trying to navigate them. Corgill's situation puts a compellingly personal face on the issue of who is allowed to teach and where: a renowned and outspoken educator, pressured out of teaching after getting mired in multiple layers of bureaucracy. "From the very first day of my career, I've tried to make the most of every opportunity that came my way," Corgill said in an interview last March with Education Week Teacher. So it's understandable that when Corgill was offered a 2nd grade PAGE 9 >

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 11, 2015

Education Week - November 11, 2015
RTI Practice Falls Short of Promise, Research Finds
Districts Confront Transgender Policies
Top Teacher’s Resignation Spurs Certification Debate
Special Ed. Law Wrought Complex Changes
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Blogs of the Week
In Colorado School Board Recall, Politics and Money Drive Ouster
‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Is Tough Call for Districts
Districts Struggle to Equip Schools With Fast, Affordable Internet
States Prepare for Shifting Role On Accountability
In Off-Year Elections, Ky., Miss. Drew Spotlight on K-12
Arizona Governor Signs Deal to Settle K-12 Funding Suit
Blogs of the Week
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Must Be Everywhere at Once
Put Our Mission Front and Center
Control What I Can
Prioritize Community-Building
How Do We Keep Good Principals?

Education Week - November 11, 2015