Education Week - December 3, 2014 - (Page 1)

Education WEEk Consortium Sets High Bars for Its Common-Core Tests VOL. 34, NO. 13 * DECEMBER 3, 2014 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2014 Editorial Projects in Education * $4 BREAKING NEWS DAILY More than half of students won't reach proficiency, Smarter Balanced predicts By Catherine Gewertz States that adopted the common core have anticipated tougher tests, but new student-performance projections convert that abstract concern into a more concrete picture. They show that more than half of students will fall short of proficiency in English/language arts and mathematics on tests designed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. If the achievement projections released last month hold true for the consortium's first operational test next spring, many states will see lower proficiency rates than those on their current tests. State leaders will be faced with a daunting public relations task: convincing policymakers and parents that the results are a painful but temporary result of asking students to dig deeper intellectually so they will be better prepared for college and good jobs. The establishment of cut scores, known in the measurement field as "standard-setting," marks one of the biggest milestones in the four-year-long project to design tests for the Common Core State Standards. It is also the most flammable, since a central tenet of the initiative has been to ratchet up academic expectations to ensure that students are ready for their future endeavors. The Smarter Balanced test has four achievement categories. Students must score at Level 3 or higher to be considered proficient in the skills and knowledge PAGE 11 > Rules Aim to Heighten Ed. School Monitoring By Stephen Sawchuk Teacher colleges would need to provide proof of their graduates' classroom skills in helping advance student learning, under proposed rules issued last week by the U.S. Department of Education. Programs that failed to do so could eventually be blocked from offering financial aid to would-be K-12 teachers in the form of federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education, or teach, grants, according to the long-delayed proposal. The rules are the Obama administration's attempt to toughen what have long been considered ineffectual requirements for teacher-preparation programs in Title II of the Higher Education Act. Even so, under its proposal, few consequences would kick in before 2020-years after President Barack Obama will have left office. The blueprint is conceptually in line with the administraPAGE 20 > Saveya Howleft and her uncle, Nick Scott, learn about common-core math at Old Orchard Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio. Parents Get Schooled on New Math Standards By Liana Heitin Toledo, Ohio Schools around the country are holding math nights, sending letters home, and posting videos on their websites to teach parents about the Common Core State Standards for mathematics, which require students to use calculation methods that many parents never learned. The result is that initially frustrated parents, once they fully grasp the new DIGITAL DIRECTIONS Districts Press Publishers On Digital-Content Access By Benjamin Herold Houston A handful of large school districts are aggressively pushing big publishers and other providers of digital content to overhaul the way they deliver instructional materials, a movement that experts say could upend long-established purchasing patterns and help educators more easily access materials from multiple vendors. The movement is being led by the 215,000-student district here and the 187,000-student Orange County, Fla., schools, which have declared they will no longer do business with content vendors that do not adopt "interoperability standards" put forth by the ims Global Learning Consortium, a Lake Mary, Fla.-based nonprofit membership organization. Other prominent districts-including Denver; Gwinnett County, Ga.; and PAGE 14 > A special Commentary section on arts education INSPIRED Learning In this special opinion package, educators and arts advocates discuss the impact of using different avenues to include the arts in K-12 learning. Five illustrators provide original art for the section. See Pages 22-25 and back page. strategies, often end up convinced they're a good way to learn, educators and parents here and in other districts say. But getting to that point can be a tough road, experts say, considering the many highly publicized negative portrayals of the common standards. The TV and radio commentator Glenn Beck held simulcasts in 700 movie theaters over the summer to call on citizens to lobby against the common core, and the comedians Stephen Colbert and Louis C.K. have taken shots at the math standards. (The latter went on a Twitter tirade in April about how his children used to love math, but "now it makes them cry.") Some policymakers, meanwhile, such as Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, have claimed the standards- whose adoption the Obama administration encouraged with financial incentives to states-are a case of federal overreach. The impending common-core-aligned PAGE 12 > Principals' Central Role Gets New Attention at Ed. Dept. By Denisa R. Superville In the second term of the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Education, under Secretary Arne Duncan, has trained its efforts on principals by rolling out a series of initiatives that build on the growing body of research underscoring the role they play in schools' success. That heavy focus on principals is a departure from that of previous administrations and marks a shift even from Secretary Duncan's first four years. It coincides not only with the research, but also with sweeping changes in other federal and state K-12 policies-ranging from federal waivers of some provisions of the No Child Behind Act to the implementation of college- and career-readiness PAGE 10 > Brian Widdis for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - December 3, 2014

Education Week - December 3, 2014
Rules Aim to Heighten Ed. School Monitoring
Parents Get Schooled On New Math Standards
Principals’ Central Role Gets New Attention at Ed. Dept.
Districts Press Publishers On Digital-Content Access
Consortium Sets High Bars For Its Common-Core Tests
Table of Contents
News in Brief
Report Roundup
New Teacher-Licensing Exams In N.Y. Lead to Subpar Results
Obama Grants Deportation Relief To Immigrant Parents
Kindergartners Found to Benefit From ‘Tools of the Mind’
Blogs of the Week
Word Problems Should Be Given At the Start of Lesson, Studies Say
Tech. Vendors Cloudy On K-12 Buying Needs
New Guidance Offers States Roadmap to NCLB Waiver Renewal
Achievement, Dissension Marked Tennessee Chief’s Tenure
States Get Federal Running Room On Teacher-Equity Plans
Blogs of the Week
JOHN CESCHINI: STEM + Art: A Fruitful Combination
KIP ZEGERS: A Teacher, Students, and Poetry in Motion
JEAN HENDRICKSON: Why Not Art for Children’s Sake?
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JEFF DEKAL: A Brief Portrait of a Young Artist

Education Week - December 3, 2014