Education Week - December 2, 2015 - (Page 1)

Education Week VOL. 35, NO. 13 * DECEMBER 2, 2015 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 4  BRE AKING NEWS DAILY Days Could Be Numbered for No Child Left Behind By Alyson Klein After more than a decade, Congress appears to be on the verge of leaving the almost universally unpopular No Child Left Behind Act ... well, behind. Lawmakers have spent months behind the scenes crafting a deal that would scale back the federal role under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act-the 14-year-old NCLB law is the latest iteration-for the first time since the early 1980s. The compromise, the Every Student Succeeds Act, sailed through a confer- ence committee late last month, with just one dissenting vote, from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who is running for president. It's expected to be on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this week. The measure's prospects in the Senate are rosy, but it could run into trouble with House conservatives. The bipartisan agreement seeks to give states miles of new running room on accountability, school turnarounds, teacher evaluation, and more, while maintaining No Child Left Behind's signature transparency provisions, such as annual testing in reading and math in grades 3-8 and once in high school. And it calls for states to incorporate new measures into their accountability systems that get at students' opportunity to learn and postsecondary readiness. States could choose to include school climate, student engagement, and teacher engagement, for example. "This agreement, in my opinion, is the most significant step towards local control in 25 years," Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate education committee, told House and Senate conferees. The Senate panel's top Democrat, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, said that the framework includes "strong federal guardrails ... so that students don't get left behind." Alexander and Murray worked out the deal with their House counterparts: Reps. John Kline, R-Minn., who chairs that chamber's education committee, and Bobby Scott, D-Va., its ranking member. For their part, state education chiefs are excited Congress is poised to move beyond the NCLB era. "There's been a lot of emphasis on RELATED STORIES: Long-awaited reports find the federal Race to the Top and School Improvement Grant programs yielded some successes, but results were mixed. PAGES 13 AND 17 PAGE 19> DIGITAL DIRECTIONS Big Progress, Hurdles Outlined in New Report On School Connectivity Photos by Mark Abramson for Education Week By Benjamin Herold For Some Immigrant Students, Culture Bears on College Choice By Catherine Gewertz New York Ayat Husseini is standing on the threshold of a new world: college. She longs to venture into Pennsylvania, to live on a leafy campus and experience everything college life has to offer. But her father is dead set against it. That's why the air is getting increasingly tense in Ayat's household UNMET PROMISES High-Achieving, Low-Income Students as college-application deadlines draw near. The 17-year-old is dutifully submitting applications to a bevy of public and private colleges within commuting distance of her home in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens. But she's got her heart set on an out-of-state school, and it's putting her on a collision course with her dad. What's happening in Ayat's household echoes tensions built into the college process for many immigrant families. In Ayat's family, the issue isn't whether to go to college; Refaat Husseini never got the chance to go- he worked construction in his home country of Lebanon and became a chef in New York-so he expects his children to take full advantage of their opportunities, and to earn graduate degrees. The stumbling block is what the Husseini family refers to as "dorming." Husseini fears that if his daughter lives on campus, she'll be surrounded by drugs, alcohol, and other bad influences that will clash with her Islamic faith and make her drift from her family and her culture. In his village in Lebanon, girls live at home until they're married. Ayat is frustrated that her father won't trust her and rely on the good judgment that she's demonstrated The number of students without adequate Internet connections in school has been cut in half over the past two years, according to a new analysis by the broadband-advocacy group EducationSuperHighway. During the same period, the rate most districts pay for bandwidth has also declined by 50 percent, the group found. Despite that substantial progress, however, more than 21 million students still go without adequate Internet access in the classroom, according to the report. Roughly 9,500 public schools in the United States-many of them rural-also still need access to fiber-optic cables or other modern technologies that will allow them to meet schools' ever-growing demand for more bandwidth. "People are focused on this issue now, and they know there is an opportunity to finish the job," said Evan Marwell, EducationSuperHighway's CEO. "But affordability is really the number-one challenge." The analysis is based on a review of recent apPAGE 12> Charters, District Partner On Spec. Ed. in Denver By Arianna Prothero Denver for years. She's an A student who doesn't drink, take drugs, or even date. In most ways, Ayat is a modern American teenager, bubbly and enthusiastic in her jeans, fluorescent orange sneakers, and long-corkscrew curls. But while she declines to wear the hijab, or headscarf, that connotes religious devotion, she cherishes the culture and religion she brought with her from Lebanon at age 3 and tries to abide by those values. Her mother, Salam Akil, who grew PAGE 9> FROM TOP: Ayat Husseini, center in blue, tours Lafayette College with classmates. Ayat waits outside the college counselor's office at the Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria. The go-to narrative on the relationship between districts and charter schools is generally one of mistrust and competition, but a few outposts of collaboration between the two are challenging that story line. Among them is Denver, where an atypical partnership between the district and local charter schools is not only tackling one of the most persistent issues for the charter sector-special education-but may also be plotting a model for the nation. Over the last five years, Denver district officials have been opening special centers for students with significant disabilities inside high-performing charPAGE 11>

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - December 2, 2015

Education Week - December 2, 2015
Charters, District Partner On Spec. Ed. in Denver
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Big Progress, Hurdles Outlined in New Report On School Connectivity
For Some Immigrant Students, Culture Bears on College Choice
Days Could Be Numbered For No Child Left Behind
News in Brief
Report Roundup
PARCC to Let States Buy Parts of Tests And Select Vendors
Gates Foundation Turns Attention To Teacher-Prep ‘Transformation’
Blogs of the Week
College Scout Mines Below-the-Radar Schools For Talent
Ed. Dept. Touts Race to Top’s Impact, Tiptoes Around Stumbles
Pa. Districts Anxiously Awaiting End to Budget Standoff
New Data Paints Mixed Picture Of Turnaround Program
With New ESEA Likely, State Chiefs Pledge Better Accountability
White House Corrals Financing For High School Redesign
JEFFREY AARON SNYDER: Social Justice Is Not the Most Compelling Reason to Teach Race
SCOTT GOLDSTEIN: What Mexico Gets Right About Adult Education
OPEDUCATION BLOG: On Scaling Back Testing
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
SCOTT STERLING: Extinguishing a Burnout Actionable Ideas to Keep Teachers Engaged in Their Careers

Education Week - December 2, 2015