Education Week - November 29, 2017 - 5
BLOG OF THE WEEK
had to wrestle with was figuring out how much the
state must provide for teacher salaries.
Texas Special Ed. Enrollment Surges
After Change in State Policy
Special education programs in Texas have seen a sharp
increase in enrollment after a policy that directed districts
to limit such services was lifted.
More than 477,000 students received special education
services in the 2016-17 school year, an increase of about
14,000 from the previous school year. Almost 9 percent of
Texas students use special education resources, compared
with about 13 percent of students nationwide in 2016.
The Texas Education Agency enacted a policy in 2004
to limit special education services to no more than 8.5
percent of students. The agency removed that policy last
year, after a newspaper investigation found thousands of
students with disabilities didn't have access to necessary
services. Texas passed legislation this year that prohibits
setting a target number of students who can enroll in special education.
Foundations Give $50 Million to Better
Early-Childhood Education in Detroit
The Michigan-based philanthropies the W.K. Kellogg
and Kresge Foundations are each donating $25 million to
improve early-childhood education in Detroit.
Increasing access to early-childhood education and
improving the quality of those programs are a big part
of their Hope Starts Here Community Framework. It
was devised through a yearlong process that brought together more than 18,000 people from across Detroit to
brainstorm on the problems facing young children and
families in the city and how to solve them. That group
included parents, early-childhood educators, health-care
providers, and representatives from local and state government, as well as leaders from the business community
and philanthropic organizations.
The need in the city is great: More than 60 percent of
children 5 and younger live in poverty, about 13 out of
every 1,000 babies born in Detroit die before their first
birthday, and 87 percent of Detroit's 3rd graders are not
reading at grade level.
Democrats Decry Plan to Drop Content
On Civil Rights Leaders From Exam
the director of special
education outcomes for the
Council of Chief State School
Officers, has been tapped to
be the U.S. assistant
secretary of education for
special education and
Previously, he was the director
of learning services and
the state director of special
education for the Kentucky
He's also been a member
of the board of the National
Association of State Directors
of Special Education. Collett
was a high school special
education teacher as well.
Transgender Athletes May Now Compete
In Line With Gender Identity in New Jersey
"Ready to Lead: A National Principal Survey
On How Social and Emotional Learning Can
Prepare Children and Transform Schools"
"Self-Regulated Strategy Development"
State spending on K-12 education rose
over the past year despite lackluster
tax collections, as budgets continue to
tick upward from the abyss of the Great
Funding for education in the states
increased by 4 percent in fiscal 2017, a
bump from 2.9 percent a year before,
according to a report by the National
Association of State Budget Officers.
"K-12 is one of the last areas states
want to cut. They see the value of it,"
said Brian Sigritz, the association's
director of state fiscal studies.
States' median general-fund spending
for K-12 rose by 3.6 percent from fiscal
2016 to 2017, roughly the same amount it
did the previous year.
And states spent a total of $385 billion
on K-12 in fiscal 2017. School spending
continues to represent the biggest chunk of
state general-fund spending, at 36 percent,
according to fiscal 2016 estimates.
K-12 spending makes up 19 percent of
total state expenditures-a combination of
state and federal sources.
The New Mexico education department has proposed
changes to state history exams that Democratic lawmakers are decrying as an attempt to erase social-justice and
civil rights leaders, among other topics, from lessons.
A hearing at the Capitol this month drew dozens of opponents to the plan, voicing concerns reminiscent of a recent controversy that erupted over the agency's proposal
to rework science standards, which would have dropped
key concepts such as evolution and climate change. The
department later withdrew that proposal.
This time, the department's changes wouldn't affect the
social studies standards, but they still could alter what
students learn, lawmakers argued, because teachers
might not bother introducing students to historical figures such as Malcolm X and Rosa Parks, or a major event
like the U.S. dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, if the material won't be on the tests.
And while the science-standards debate centered on
whether the state was allowing religion and politics to
creep into classrooms, the history exam proposal has
raised questions about diversity and even racism.
-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
K-12 comes in second, behind
Medicaid, as the biggest slice of
state spending in fiscal 2017.
SOURCE: National Association of State
Transgender high school athletes in New Jersey no longer have to prove their gender identity.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association this month approved a policy that allows athletes to
simply notify the school administration if they want to
change gender. Previously, they needed a doctor's note or
official documentation. The organization says the trans-
School leaders see students' social and emotional development as important factors in
school success, but in a nationally representative survey of principals, just 35 percent of
respondents said their school was fully implementing social-emotional learning into policies and classroom work.
Principals reported several barriers to putting social-emotional learning strategies into
place, including a lack of time, inadequate
teacher training, and a need for further evidence of its link to academic success.
The survey was administered to 884 public school principals by Civic Enterprises
and Hart Associates on behalf of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional
How Is Spending
Faring for K-12?
gender community didn't believe students should have to
prove their transgender status.
An appeals process will be available to schools to raise
concerns about safety or competitive imbalance.
Self-regulated strategy development has
the potential to help students with some
learning disabilities improve their writing
skills, according to a research review by the
federal What Works Clearinghouse.
The intervention is a six-step process in
which a teacher gives background knowledge,
discusses a strategy with the student, models
the strategy, helps the student memorize the
strategy, supports it, and then observes as the
student performs the strategy independently.
In particular, the teacher helps the student
learn to set goals and monitor her own progress as she uses a writing strategy.
Based on an analysis of 10 single-case
design studies of black, white, and Asian
students, the clearinghouse found the strategy potentially helped improve writing for
students in grades 2-10, though it found no
evidence that the process helped improve students' progress in elementary mathematics.
-SARAH D. SPARKS
COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS
"AGB 2017 Trustee Index"
Preparing students for the workforce isn't
the most important purpose of higher education, according to a survey of the trustees that
lead the country's colleges and universities.
Only 22 percent of the trustees surveyed
said that preparing students for careers is
the most important role that colleges and
universities can play. Preparing graduates
to lead meaningful lives and be engaged citizens took the top spots. Making sure they're
ready for work came in third.
Gallup contacted 1,400 trustees from public
and private institutions, in March and April.
for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
Some of the new money states are
pouring into education is going to
raising teacher pay, NASBO says in the
report. In a few cases, states are raising
overall K-12 funding-and the equity of
spending across districts-in response
to court mandates. Early-childhood
education is also receiving an infusion
in some states.
To the extent that individual states
prioritized K-12, many of them were
not helped by weak tax revenues. State
general-fund revenues grew by just
2.2 percent in fiscal 2017, following
1.8 percent growth in fiscal 2016.
The share of state spending
consumed by elementary and
secondary education has fallen from 22
percent in fiscal 2008 to a little more
than 19 percent in 2017. That's not
because K-12 spending has decreased,
but because Medicaid is consuming a
larger share of the pie, notes NASBO,
in its report.
K-12 spending rose in the majority of
individual states, the analysis found.
"Overall, you see almost all positives,"
Sigritz said. "There's less variation in
K-12 than you would see in some other