Education Week - November 13, 2013 - (Page 1)

EDUCATIONWEEK VOL. 33, NO. 12 * NOVEMBER 13, 2013 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2013 Editorial Projects in Education * $4 DIGITAL DIRECTIONS By Stephen Sawchuk The transfer of top elementary teachers to low-achieving schools can help boost students' performance, but there's a catch: getting them to agree to move. A new study, seven years in the making, finds that elementary teachers identified as effective who transferred to low-achieving schools under a bonus-pay program helped their new students learn more, on average, than teachers in a control group did. They also stayed in the schools at least as long as other new hires. But despite a large financial reward, only 5 percent of eligible teachers made the shift, the report concludes. "It's a hard sell, even with $20,000 Kim Rogusky, right, the coordinator of college and career counseling for Commonwealth Connections Academy, the third-largest full-time online school in Pennsylvania, confers with co-worker Mary Cote, an advisory assistant, at the school's counseling offices in Harrisburg. Amid struggles with academic performance and student retention, online schools are striving to more holistically support students they rarely see in person. Counseling Is Virtual Experience at E-Schools By Benjamin Herold Kim Rogusky spends her days helping high school seniors plan for life after graduation, responding to teens' occasional crises, and plowing through endless administrative tasks-the typical work of a school guidance counselor. But Ms. Rogusky, who works for the 8,000-student Commonwealth Connections Academy, the third-largest full-time online school in Pennsylvania, does nearly all of her work in cyberspace, interacting with students across the state primarily from her small cubicle in an office building in Harrisburg. "It's definitely a challenge to my counseling skills," Ms. Rogusky said. "It's hard when [students] can't see that I'm smiling at them." Nationwide, an estimated 310,000 students in 30 states now attend "multi-district, fully online" schools such as Commonwealth Connections, according to the Evergreen Education Group, a consulting firm based in Durango, Colo. As the sector grows, those running the schools-usually states or charter school boards, both of which often contract with private companies for management services-are wrestling with how to better support the academic, social, and emotional needs of students they rarely see in person. "The challenge is to make sure [full-time online schools] are really providing a comprehensive school counseling program to students," said H. Eric Sparks, the assistant PAGE 14 > on the table," said Steven M. Glazerman, a senior fellow at the Princeton, N.J.-based Mathematica Policy Research, the evaluation firm that conducted the study. Education advocates have long deplored inequitable access by disadvantaged students to high-quality teaching. The federally financed study suggests there is promise in incentive programs, but highlights the logistical complexities in carrying them out, said Sarah Almy, the director of teacher quality for the Education Trust, a Washington-based group that advocates for poor and minority students. "I think it's a reminder of how much we still have to understand about this issue, and that it is challenging," she said. Called the Talent Transfer InitiaPAGE 13 > BREAKING NEWS DAILY Transferring Top Teachers Has Benefits Study Probes Moving Talent To Low-Performing Schools INDUSTRY & INNOVATION School Data Add Economic Value, Report Projects By Sean Cavanagh & Michele Molnar The increasingly ubiquitous flow of data across education has caused anxiety among parents and privacy advocates, who fear that information about students will be released or shared with outside entities without permission. Yet a new report, while acknowledging those concerns, focuses on a potential payoff in expanding the openness of data across K-12: robust economic growth. That analysis, released by the global consulting business McKinsey & Co., concludes that creating more open and transparent data in education from both public and private sources could "unlock" between $900 billion and $1.2 trillion in annual economic value worldwide, about a third of it in the United States. The report says that added economic value in education would be derived from the higher future earnings of students, resulting from the use of technology and data to tailor academic approaches to individual students' needs, as well as through financial savings for school districts realized through improved procurement processes and other means. "An increasing amount of data is being made more 'liquid,' " Michael Chui, a principal at the McKinsey Global InstiPAGE 16 > NAEP Scores Inch Up in Math, Reading Tennessee, D.C., Defense Schools Show Most Improvement By Catherine Gewertz The reading and mathematics achievement of the country's 8th grade students improved in the last two years, but the performance of 4th graders remains stubbornly mixed, with progress in math, but not in reading, according to national test data released last week. The results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as "the nation's report card," show that 8th graders' average scores in math rose 1 point since 2011, the last time the test was given, and 3 points in reading on NAEP's 500-point scale. Fourth graders gained 1 point in math; there was no statistically significant gain in reading. Larger shares of students reached the "proficient" level in 2013 than did so in 2011, and achievement was far higher than when the tests were first given in the early 1990s. But the numbers still paint a lessthan-rosy picture of American academic strength: In grade 4, only 42 percent of students are proficient in math, and 35 percent are proficient in reading. In grade 8, 36 percent are proficient in reading and math. NAEP scores fall into three categories on a 500point scale: basic, proficient, and advanced. Jack Buckley, the commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers NAEP, said during a call with reporters that while he was "heartened" to see some positive results, such as the gains in 8th grade reading, he was disappointed not to see more improvement. He singled out, in particular, the lack of progress closing racial PAGE 10> Jessica Kourkounis for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 13, 2013

Education Week - November 13, 2013
Transferring of Top Talent Has Benefits
NAEP Scores Inch Up In Math, Reading
School Data Add Economic Value, Report Projects
Counseling Is Virtual Experience at E-Schools
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Fast-Growing Group Widens Talent Pool For Education Leaders
Federal Innovation-Grant Winners to Share $135 Million
Boston, New York City Election Wins Signal Changes for Schools
Blogs of the Week
Colorado Tax-Hike Defeat Scrambles School Finance Picture
Picks Made for Governor In N.J., Va.
Report Flags Disparities In Child Care
Voters Stay the Course in Colo. Board Races
A Policy With Academic Promise For Students With Disabilities
Lunch Detention, By Invitation Only
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
In Defense of NCLB

Education Week - November 13, 2013