Education Week - December 12, 2012 - (Page 5)

EDUCATION WEEK n DECEMBER 12, 2012 n 5 REPORTto these reports, go to For links ROUNDUP The test-score-driven evaluations—dubbed “value added”— were mandated by the Florida legislature last year and combine traditional observations with student scores and other data. The new evaluations rate teachers if they are “highly effective,” “effective,” “need improvement,” “developing,” or “unsatisfactory” for the 2011-12 school year. Among teachers evaluated with the new data-driven formula, 22 percent were ranked highly effective, 75 percent were rated effective, and barely 2 percent were told they need improvement. About a quarter of Florida teachers were not included, according to the report. A final report for 2011-12 will be available in January. The results for districts vary. For example, the number of teachers who “need improvement” in the 260,000-student Broward district was 238, compared to nearly 2,000 in 100,000-student Pinellas school system. Districts have flexibility in how they include student performance in evaluations. Also, the state and district administrators showed an “abundance of caution” in the first rollout, said Kathy Hebda, the state’s deputy chancellor for educator quality. —McCLATCHY-TRIBUNE Under the framework, most schools should be able to implement the assessments, the organization said. However, schools that meet only the minimum specifications for the assessments may experience lag times, while schools that implement the recommended guidelines for technology will experience a faster, more seamless assessment experience. Still, the consortium asserts that the delays will not affect the quality of the assessments, only the amount of time it takes to process students’ responses. —KATIE ASH ACHIEVEMENT GAPS “Finding Our Way Back to First: Reclaiming World Leadership by Educating All America’s Children” Google Gives Grant For AP STEM Access Fueled by a $5 million grant from the technology company Google, more than 800 public high schools will be invited to start up Advanced Placement stem courses with a focus on attracting more female and minority students who show strong potential to succeed. The new program—to be developed by the College Board in collaboration with the nonprofit, the grant recipient—will work directly with teachers in qualifying schools to help them obtain the training and classroom resources they need to launch ap courses. Under the grant, schools can receive awards ranging from $1,200 to $9,000, depending on the subject, for each new course. The money will be used for professional development to prepare teachers, as well as to acquire classroom materials, lab and technology equipment, and other resources to support the new stem courses. The new program will target a set of high schools that are deemed to have a population of students traditionally underrepresented in the stem fields but who are ready for advanced coursework in those disciplines. —ERIK W. ROBELEN The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People last week released a report that calls for public investments in universal prekindergarten, developing and supporting effective teachers, extending the school day and year, and more targeted spending for schools serving the most disadvantaged students. The report, which also makes a case for providing children with literacy- and language-rich earlychildhood education programs and recruiting a more diverse teaching workforce, was created to be an education reform agenda that educators and activists can use in their local communities. —LESLI A. MAXWELL of six males who formerly played high school football but did not continue playing through college or as professionals. Researchers from the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy examined the brains of 85 deceased former athletes and military veterans to check for traces of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that can be triggered by repetitive mild traumatic brain injuries. Another 18 subjects without a history of brain injury served as the control group. Of the 68 brains found to have the condition, 15 came from people who played football only in high school or in high school and —BRYAN TOPOREK college. during that time, adolescent cigarette use nationwide declined from 12.6 percent to 8.7 percent, although rates in individual states varied widely. Wyoming had the nation’s highest rate, at 13.5 percent, which was more than double the 5.9 percent rate for Utah. The study defines current use as smoking in the past month. —NIRVI SHAH PRESCHOOL CHILDREN “Early-Years Swimming: Adding Capital to Young Australians” TEENAGERS AND TOBACCO National Survey on Drug Use and Health SPORTS INJURIES “The Spectrum of Disease in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy” A new study found evidence of long-term damage in the brains As more evidence that national campaigns warning about the dangers of smoking are working, a new state-by-state look at teenagers’ smoking habits finds that from 2002 to 2010, cigarette smoking among 12- to 17-yearolds fell in 41 states. The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that Preschoolers who participate in swimming reach a range of developmental milestones before children who don’t, according to a new Australian study. Researchers from the Griffith Institute for Educational Research at Griffith University surveyed 7,000 children younger than 5 in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States over three to four years and “intensively tested” another 180 3-to5-year-olds. Young swimmers scored significantly better than the average population on several skills important for their transition to school, including visualmotor skills, oral expression in literacy and numeracy, and mathematically related tasks. —JULIE RASICOT Ed. Dept. to Evaluate Assistance Centers In the wake of a broad reorganization of the nation’s network of comprehensive technical-assistance centers this fall, the Institute of Education Sciences is putting out a call for researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of the new system going forward. The ies, the U.S. Department of Education’s research agency, is conducting a five-year project to build an ongoing evaluation system for the 26 centers, which provide help to states and districts on education problems specific to geographic regions, as well as specific content areas such as early learning and state capacity building. The new monitoring system, according to the ies, would be built on the “results-based monitoring and evaluation” system used by the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program. It would provide ongoing peer reviews of both the quality and usefulness of the centers’ work. —SARAH D. SPARKS STAKEHOLDERS’ VIEWS ON JOB-MARKET READINESS Agreement that graduates/ new hires are adequately prepared Employers Educators Youth 42% 45 72 SOURCE: McKinsey Survey, August-September 2012 Study Pinpoints Educator-Employer Disconnects “Education to Employment: Designing a System That Works” Affirmative-Action Ban In Question in Mich. The ruling that ended Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in college admissions was put on hold Nov. 30 until the U.S. Supreme Court decides to hear an appeal by the state’s attorney general. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati issued an order staying its Nov. 15 ruling that the voter-approved mandate was unconstitutional. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a petition Nov. 29 asking the high court to review the ruling. If the high court hears the appeal, the stay will remain until the Supreme Court makes a ruling. If Mr. Schuette’s appeal is denied, then the affirmative-action ban is ended. —ASSOCIATED PRESS Common-Core Guide Updates Tech. Needs The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has released an updated guide to technology requirements and recommendations for member states planning to implement the common-core assessment system it is developing for the 2014-15 school year. Despite efforts to improve college and career readiness, students, educators, and employers around the world still largely exist in “parallel worlds,” never really aligning the skills students learn in class with the ones they need after graduation, according to a new study by the McKinsey Center for Government. The report released last week identifies obstacles at critical junctures of a student’s schoolto-career path. For example, nearly a third of those who graduate from high school never enroll in college because of the expense. Of those who do enroll, about 60 percent of students say they wanted on-the-job training and hands-on job skills, but fewer than half had courses that met those goals. Once they graduate, 25 percent to 40 percent of students found they were unable to get a first job related to their college major. That matched employers’ experiences; 69 percent of employers reported difficulty in finding job candidates with the right skills. Effective training programs around the world had two common traits, the study found. First, educators and employers worked together with businesspeople helping to design curricula and place students in internships. Second, teachers and employers worked with students “early and intensely” to prepare them for a job. Researchers for the center, part of the international London-based research firm McKinsey & Co., surveyed students, education providers, and employers in nine countries: Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They also analyzed case studies of more than 100 education-to-work programs in 25 countries. —SARAH D. SPARKS >> For links to these reports, go to

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - December 12, 2012

Education Week - December 12, 2012
Test Designers Tap Students for Feedback
Race to Top Draws Out New Suitors
Common Core Taught Through the Arts
Federal Attention on ELL Needs Seen to Wane
News in Brief
Report Roundup
NAEP Seeks to Test New Measure Of Student Poverty
In Rural Areas, After-School Efforts Must Stretch to Provide Services
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: McGraw-Hill Education Sale Highlights Publishing Trends
K-12, Higher Ed. Unite to Align Learning In Minnesota
States Pledge to Expand School Hours, Days
Absenteeism Linked to Low Achievement In NAEP Time Study
Union Pushes Higher Standards For New Teachers
Brand-New NAEP Report on Vocabulary Shows Same Old Gaps
Psychiatrists Revising Manual On Mental Disorders
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: N.C. Law Protects Educators From Online Harassment
Blogs of the Week
Education May Not Benefit From Brighter Financial Outlook
K-12 Education Advocates Lobby To Avert Fiscal Cliff
Policy Brief
Louisiana’s Ambitious Voucher Effort Unclear Following Judge’s Ruling
BARNETT BERRY & FREDERICK M. HESS: Expanded Learning Time: An Avenue to Greater Change
DAVE POWELL: Confusing Achievement With Aptitude
ANITA N. VOELKER: Smokeless Santa? Sanitizing a Child’s World
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JAMES S. LIEBMAN: Ending the Great School Wars

Education Week - December 12, 2012