Education Week - December 3, 2014 - (Page 18)

BLOGS Dispute Over Teachers' Union Fees Headed for Appeal to High Court | THE SCHOOL LAW BLOG | The U.S. Supreme Court will likely soon have a fresh opportunity to consider overruling a key precedent on service fees for workers who object to joining teachers' unions or other publicemployee labor organizations. In a case known as Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a group of teachers who object to paying agency fees to their local teachers' union had asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, to expedite a ruling against them so they could be on their way to the Supreme Court. The teachers said only the Supreme Court can grant the relief they need, because only the justices can overrule the court's 1977 precedent in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, which authorizes public-sector unions to charge agency fees to objectors for the costs of collective bargaining. In a June 30 decision in Harris v. Quinn, the Supreme Court stopped short of overruling Abood when it held that a group of Medicaid home-health workers were really not government employees and could not be forced to pay agency fees to a union representing the majority of such workers in Illinois. Writing for a 5-4 majority in Harris, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. devoted some 12 pages of his opinion to undermining Abood, but concluded it wasn't necessary to overrule the 1977 decision in the Illinois case. In the recent California case, 10 nonunion teachers from several districts are challenging that state's law authorizing teachers' unions to charge agency fees to nonmembers. The teachers lost in a federal district court, and their appeal was pending in the 9th Circuit when the Harris decision came down. Their lawyers quickly filed a motion asking the appeals court to expedite a ruling against them, which the 9th Circuit issued Nov. 18. GOP, Democrats Make Top Picks For House Education Committee | POLITICS K-12 | Rep. John Kline, the Minnesota Republican who's skippered the Education and the Workforce Committee since 2011, has been named its chairman once again for the 114th Congress. Under Rep. Kline's stewardship during the 113th Congress, the committee has cleared a variety of education measures, including early education, K-12, and higher education bills. He ushered through the full House a Republican-backed update to the No Child Left Behind Act, a charter schools bill, a child-caredevelopment bill and an education research bill-to name a few. In an interview with Education Week after the Nov. 4 midterm election, Rep. Kline elaborated on priorities for the coming year. They include reauthorizing the nclb law, (the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act), updating the Higher Education Act, and rolling back the footprint of the federal government in K-12 education. On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia will serve as the top Democrat on the House education committee when the new session of Congress starts in January. He'll be taking over the slot held by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., an original author of the nclb law, who is retiring this year. Rep. Scott has long had an interest in K-12 education, with a focus on equity. He recently introduced legislation to officially authorize the Obama -MARK WALSH administration's Promise Neighborhood program, which pairs K-12 schools with other supports, such as health and arts programs. In 2007, he wrote a bill that would have held states accountable for improving graduation rates, including for poor and minority students. -LAUREN CAMERA Okla. Reclaiming NCLB Waiver Now That State Standards Certified | POLITICS K-12 | Oklahoma is set to get back its waiver from the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, the U.S. Department of Education announced late last month, reversing the revocation of the state's waiver earlier this year. The state was the second to lose its nclb waiver following Washington state. It is the first state to reclaim a lost waiver, now that it officially has a set of standards that match what the Education Department wants. In June, Oklahoma decided to drop the Common Core State Standards in favor of the state's previous content standards, the Priority Academic Student Skills, or pass. The plan was for Oklahoma to use pass while it developed new content standards for the 2016-17 academic year. Having "college- and career-ready" standards, whether they be common core or approved as such by states' institutions of higher education, is a key hurdle for states to clear in order to receive an nclb waiver. Since pass didn't meet those criteria, the Education Department pulled Oklahoma's waiver in August. But the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, in October, certified that the pass standards would properly prepare students for college and careers, prompting the Oklahoma education department to reapply for its waiver. -ANDREW UJIFUSA Education WEEk WEBINAR > REGISTRATION IS FREE! Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 2 to 3 p.m. ET DistrictPersonalizedLearning LIVE OR ON-DEMAND PERSONALIZED LEARNING School officials define "personalized learning" in very different ways. In this webinar, a K-12 leader and an education technology advocate will provide clarity on goals districts should set and what it should look like in schools. Turning Lofty Aspirations Into Specific District Policy GUESTS: ANDREW CALKINS, deputy director, Next Generation Learning Challenges THERESA EWALD, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, Kettle Moraine School District, Wis. MODERATOR: SEAN CAVANAGH, associate editor, Education Week Sponsored by 18 | EDUCATION WEEK | December 3, 2014 |

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