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Morning Video: Duncan Talks Common Core At White House


On Friday, they let Duncan talk to the White House press corps and he ended up answering questions about the Common Core. via The Blaze. #someonepleasgifthis

#EdGif Of The Day: Duncan Shines In NBA Celebrity All-Star Game

GIF via SBNation Via

Update: National Audit Of Testing Proposed By Senate

Screenshot.16Curious about just how much testing is going on in schools, and frustrated with the anecdotal reports and hyperbolic accounts?  

So was the Senate HELP Commmittee, way back in 2011-2012.

That's right. There was language in the bipartisan Harkin ESEA bill calling for the creation of a national commission that would have, among other things, been charged with "determining the frequency, length, and scheduling of such tests and assessments, and measuring, in hours and days, the student and teacher time spent on testing."

The Senate language was proposed by Senators Alexander and Bennet.  

Indeed, Bennet introduced standalone legislation last year. Colorado has been working on auditing and coordinating tests for several years, according to this 2011 Durango Herald opinion piece. Alexander is listed as a co-sponsor.

Since then, the noise surrounding test proliferation and/or test uses has risen exponentially -- warranted or not, we don't really know.  Chicago and DC have already initiated testing audit/streamlining procedures. 

The TeachPlus report that came out the other day indicated that there were large variations around the country, and that official and classroom views of the testing burden are very different.  However, the report was limited to a small set of districts. [See here for some updated information on why its Chicago numbers were initially wrong.]

I proposed something along the same lines in my latest Scholastic Administrator column: "Secretary Duncan has at least one thing he could do with his remaining time in office that could be both effective at preserving his initiatives and popular with educators and parents. He could begin to address concerns over test proliferation...  Serving as a watchdog against overtesting, he would also effectively be protecting the Common Core assessments during a very vulnerable time."

Hardcore testing opponents would not be appeased, of course -- look no further than the reactions to the New York State attempts to compromise on Common Core implementation for evidence of that. But, depending on the results such an audit provided, everyone else might be reassured and glad to know how different states and districts compare.

No word back yet about whether the USDE had taken a position on the language or not -- or what they think of the idea now.   

Unsolicited Suggestions: A National Testing Audit*

TestauditduncanscholasticMy new column for Scholastic Administrator proposes that the Obama administration undertake an audit and establish some testing guidelines for states and district to work with -- not a mandate, just some parameters.

Why bother?  Earlier this year, I noted that for all the hullabaloo surrounding overtesting we didn't really know all that much about test proliferation beyond anecdotal reports and isolated (and sometimes hyperbolic) media accounts. There is no national data that I've found. FairTest doesn't track this information comprehensively.  

Some parents and teachers seemed to feel like there was way more testing than in the past.  Some were just objecting to new, harder tests or to  new, controversial uses of the test results (to rate teachers not just schools or kids).

Last week, Teach Plus took a stab at answering some of the questions about test proliferation and variations among districts and states.  Even with findings revised to reflect changes in Chicago, there were clearly large differences among districts in terms of how much testing and time were involved -- and large differences between official time for administration and teachers' accounts even before test prep time was included.

Of course, the USDE has its hands full with test-related issues over which it has more direct control than whatever add-ons states and districts have layered onto federal requirements. The Secretary has given out 5 "double-test" waivers (CT, MS, MT, SD, VT) and has another 10 under review (CA, IA, IL, IA, KS, MD, MA, NV, OR, WA). Three states (ID, MT, and SD) are going to use their new field test assessments.  Connecticut is going to use the field test assessments for 90 percent of districts.  California is going to use them for elementary school accountability. 

But I still think that it'd be a good idea for someone to take a national snapshot of where we are on the testing burden front.  Right now, the whole discussion is happening in the absence of consistent and reliable data. Image via @scholasticadms *Fixed link - thanks, KL

Morning Video: MSNBC Interviews Pro-Choice House Democrat


MSNBC's Craig Melvin interview's Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and talks about parental choice for good schools (charters, magnets) and positive pressures created by choice - but stops short of endorsing vouchers or saying that choice itself is the top priority in education. 6:49 via EducationNation

Morning Video: DC Mayor Touts Early Childhood (With Duncan Assist)


DC's City Paper notes that EdSec Duncan makes a cameo appearance  -- in Mayor Vincent Gray's latest education video, and that his predecessor worked hard to get an endorsement from Duncan (but never apparently got one).

Bruno: Common Core Apathy Unsettling For Both Sides

2854281112_04b9018aedOver the last few months we've seen something of a Common Core paradox.

On the one hand, the Common Core standards appeared to be broadly popular.

At the same time, the new standards have begun experiencing sudden-seeming political collapses in places like New York and Indiana.

CCSS supporters seem surprised by the growing resistance, but they shouldn't be because there is not really a paradox here.

Support for the Common Core was just never that strong to begin with.

It's easy for those of us who spend a lot of time thinking and talking and writing about these things to forget that most people, including most parents and teachers, just don't care that much about education policy.

Even fewer people care much about the content of our education standards.

So while it was never difficult to find surveys indicating that many stakeholders who knew of them were generally supportive of the CCSS, even most public school parents were completely unaware of the new standards.

And even among their backers, support for the CCSS has never seemed very strong. Many reformers and educators alike seem to have based their support only on the vaguest - and most platitudinous - abstractions about what good standards should be. (Realistically, who wouldn't say they support standards everyone claims are "fewer", "clearer", and "deeper"?)

Continue reading "Bruno: Common Core Apathy Unsettling For Both Sides" »

Photos: Three Things To Do With This USDE SOTU Pic

Unnamed (3)Three things you can do to show off using this @EDPressSec photo taken during the SOTU last night:  

(1) Correctly ID at least three of the faceless bureaucrats who are depicted.

(2) Correctly ID exactly when during the speech the image was taken.

(3) Come up with a better caption than these two:

"See, we told you he was going to talk about schools"

"Hey, no pictures. My spouse thinks I'm out playing poker."

Update: Private Vs. Public, Ugly Gentrification, & Weighted Lotteries

image from gothamist.comPicking schools is one of the most intense debates in education. So it's no surprise that there are 350 comments and counting on this January 17 Gothamist blog post in which a NYC newcomer asks a NYC veteran (pictured, as a youth) whether to send their kids to the public school in a gentrifying neighborhood or do the private school thing?

What makes the post extra interesting is that the local public elementary under consideration -- PS 9 -- recently lost its Title I funding and is now hard to get into from out of zone and is precariously close to flipping (like Petrilli et el described in a recent Washington Post oped).They proposed various measures to help schools encourage and support diversity rather than flip entirely (that whole ugly gentrification thing).

Some good news is on the horizon, though.  Just this morning, the USDE put out some new charter school guidance that allows them to use a weighted lottery to prevent flipping, which they were formerly prohibited from doing if they wanted to get the $500K charter school startup money.  There are a handful of diverse charters in Brooklyn near PS 9, and a few more opening.  I wrote about diverse charters like DSST, Community Roots, and Brooklyn Prospect in Educatoion Next not too long ago.

Update: USDE Doesn't Subscribe To POLITICO After All

Fist-of-Money-1Late last night I came across a CJR article noting that Politico's much-discussed Pro subscription model was likely to work because there were enough folks in DC with the need and the budget to buy it -- with a specific mention of the USDE's Office of Communications.

Indeed, there was a link to an official-looking RFP from December in which the USDE does indicate an interest in getting in on the Politico coverage. Nobody else can provide the "timely breaking news & in-depth, targeted coverage POLITICO Pro provides," according to the RFP.

However, the USDE is not after all a Politico subscriber, says the USDE's Massie Ritsch: 

“Politico has assembled a team of talented reporters and editors who have quickly contributed news and insight to the ongoing dialogue about education. The Department explored subscribing to Politico Pro but we were unable to negotiate a reasonable price to justify signing up.”

One issue that may have come up is that it's not clear if you can subscribe just to one vertical (education, health, etc.) or whether you have to get them all.  CJR says that it's $8,000 for five users, but that  might not be accurate.  CJR also notes that at higher price points Politico doesn't actually need that many buyers.

Anyway, we're still looking for someone willing to tell us that they subscribe to the Pro version of the site.  Come on, it's OK to brag.  Screenshot or it didn't happen.  Image via wow that's an old clip art.

SOTU 2013: Four Great Education Ideas Obama Won't Mention Tonight

image from www.wired.comSo far, at least, I've come up with a measly handful of things that President Obama could propose and implement without Congressional approval -- neither of which is likely to get mentioned tonight or done anytime soon.  

But they're good ideas -- take a look, White House speechwriters! -- and others have lots of ideas. They're not going to happen, either -- and hey, it's possible that something could come out of tonight's speech.  Unlikely, but possible. 

Herewith, 4 Russo recommendations (none of them really my ideas) for actions Obama could take on the education front in his speech tonight, related to high-intensity tutoring, charter school diversity, an audit of testing, and a renewed call for equitable teacher distribution (Vergara!).

Image: The Dialectic, via Wired

Continue reading "SOTU 2013: Four Great Education Ideas Obama Won't Mention Tonight" »

Update: Duncan-Starr "Liar" Beef Heats Up

Via Valerie Strauss, who notes that Duncan weighed in against Starr for NYC but doesn't mention that (a) she wrote the story (and some considered it to be journalistically problematic) and (b) that Duncan also used to tout test score increases when he was a superindent in Chicago so he's calling himself out as well as everyone else. 

Quotes: "South Carolina Children On South Carolina Standards"

Quotes2We don't ever want to educate South Carolina children like they educate California children.  -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Anderson Independent Mail via Politico 

AM News: High-Scoring Success For All Not Cool Enough For USDE

News2Success for All Again Scores Big, And Loses, in i3 Contest Politics K12: For two years in a row, Baltimore-based school turnaround organization Success for All has earned the top score in the scale-up category of the federal Investing in Innovation contest, only to be passed over, U.S. Department of Education records confirm.

New York Wants To Give Special Education Kids Easier Tests Like 'The Old South,' Advocate Says Huffington Post: Should students with disabilities be held to the same academic standards and tests as other kids their age? That decades-old question is being revived by a debate in New York. Some advocates charge that a proposed tweak to the state's No Child Left Behind update may shortchange vulnerable students -- and, if approved, could spread to other states. 

De Blasio, a Critic of Charter Schools, May Need Them for His Pre-K Agenda NYT: Mayor de Blasio is looking for classroom space and qualified teachers to accommodate 50,000 prekindergartners. Charter schools are willing, but not allowed to provide prekindergarten.

Arizona Hopes New Charter Schools Can Lift Poor Phoenix Area NYT: A movement in Phoenix to open 25 high-performing schools in the next five years is focused on test scores in the growing Latino population

Most D.C. residents give public schools low ratings in poll Washington Post: The share of District residents who think that the city’s public schools are performing well has more than doubled since the mid-1990s, but most continue to give low ratings to the schools.

Teachers union set to demand salary hike of 17.6 percent LA School Report: The UTLA House of Representatives last night voted to demand a significant salary hike for teachers — an increase of nearly 20 percent.

In Age of School Shootings, Lockdown Drills Are the New Duck-and-Cover NYT: At the whiff of a threat, a generation growing up in the shadow of Columbine and Sandy Hook is trained to snap off the lights, lock the doors and take refuge in corners and closets.

More news below and from overnight on Twitter (@alexanderrusso)

Continue reading "AM News: High-Scoring Success For All Not Cool Enough For USDE" »

Morning Video: Duncan Rolls Out New School Discipline Guidelines

Watch the announcement above (or here) or click here to watch a PBS NewsHour segment on whether the announcement will have positive impacts or not.

AM News: USDE Withdraws SIG Report Due To Errors


U.S. Department of Education to Redo SIG Analysis Due to Contractor Error PoliticsK12: The analysis, which was released just a couple of weeks ago, excluded about half of the schools that entered the newly revamped SIG program in its first year (the 2010-11 school year) and about a third of the schools that started in the second year (the 2011-12 school year.) It's unclear if the do-over will significantly change those conclusions. 

Head Start funding partially restored in federal budget deal EdSource Today: Head Start lost about 57,000 slots for children, including more than 5,600 in California, because of cuts under federal sequestration, a program of automatically triggered, across-the-board spending cuts. These cuts have continued to ripple through Head Start operations month by month as they cycle through their federal grant processes.

Arrest Leads to Shake-Up of Alexander's Leadership Team PoliticsK12: Longtime Capitol Hill staffer and edu-nerd extraordinaire David Cleary, the GOP staff director for the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, has become the chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. Alexander, a former U.S. secretary of education, currently serves as the top GOP lawmaker on the Senate education committee. 

Mike Huckabee's "Common Core is Dead" Line Not What He Told State Chiefs State EdWatch:The former Arkansas governor said he is dissatisfied with the implementation of the common core and how it has become "hijacked" by other interests.

Charter Leader Denies Insider's Advantage WNYC: “I’m not suggesting that I don’t know anyone at Tweed, I do,” she said, referring to the D.O.E.'s headquarters. “So if you’re saying can I pick up the phone and call folks, yes, I can. But does that mean from a policy perspective I’ve gotten any advantages? Absolutely not.”

Lots more news below.

Continue reading "AM News: USDE Withdraws SIG Report Due To Errors" »

Quotes: Sherriff Duncan "All Out Of Bullets"?

In 2009, Arne was the new sheriff in town, with big boxes of ammunition and a shiny new gun. Now, it’s later in the movie and he’s all out of bullets and he’s trying to scare states by shaking a stick at them. - Rick Hess in Stephanie Simon's recent Politico piece

Quotes: Duncan Only Has Himself To Blame, Says Rotherham

Quotes2One reason the suburbs are complacent is that politicians, notable amongst them Duncan and the President, spent a lot of time telling suburban voters there that any law that said 40 percent of the nation’s schools needed improvement was obviously flawed. - Andy "Eduwonk" Rotherham on Common Core pushback

Morning Video: Duncan Does MSNBC's "Morning Joe"


Duncan explains his clumsy remarks re white suburban moms and tries to push through to the launch of his new teacher recruitment/retention effort (also in print news and on WNYC so far today).

Update: White House Defends, Duncan Regrets/Reiterates*

ScreenHunter_07 Nov. 18 22.33

Thanks to Philip Elliott's AP writeup we now know that Obama spokesperson Jay Carney (blue tie above left) defended Arne Duncan (albeit vaguely) at Monday's press briefing, in response to questions form Politico's Jon Allen (gold tie above right). See transcript below or watch video here.) Duncan issued an apology later Monday afternoon but reiterated his point that nobody looks good on Common Core assessments ("every demographic group has room for improvement").

*Updated Tuesday 8:45: Roundup of news coverage begins below the fold (click below).

Continue reading "Update: White House Defends, Duncan Regrets/Reiterates*" »

Quotes: "No More Talk About Scared White Suburban Moms"

Quotes2Stay positive and relentlessly talk about how the new standards are rigorous and will help prepare our kids for college and career. No more talk about Tea Partiers, conspiracy theories, the D.C. bubble, the blogosphere or scared white suburban moms. Defend Common Core on its merits. - Andy Smarick giving advice to Arne Duncan and other Common Core supporters in Politico's story this morning.

Quotes: Duncan Does Dunbar

Quotes2On a gusty, rainy, recent afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sat on stage next to two students, an administrator and a teacher, at the head of a big blue auditorium that smelled faintly... - HuffPost's Joy Resmovits describing a recent Career Tech event.

AM News: Toughen Up NCLB Waiver Renewals, Say Reform Groups


Advocacy Groups Urge Arne Duncan to Get Tough on NCLB Waivers PoliticsK12: In a letter sent to the Education Department today, these groups express deep concerns about waiver implementation, from how graduation rates are factored into state accountability systems to how subgroups of at-risk students are being helped.

School iPads to cost nearly $100 more each, revised budget shows LA Times: The L.A. Unified School District will spend $770 per iPad, a 14% increase over earlier cost estimates, the revised budget shows.

Language-Gap Study Bolsters a Push for Pre-K NYT: A Stanford psychologist found that affluent children had learned 30 percent more words from 18 months to 2 years of age than children from low-income homes. Video: Middle schooler: Shooter was aiming 'at my chest' NBC: Sparks Middle School shooting survivor Jose Cazares describes the scene inside the school Monday when teacher Michael Landsberry got between him and the 12-year old shooter. 

Sequestration Cuts Lead To Bigger Classes, Shuttered Arts Programs In Schools HuffPost: For the current school year, the group heard back from 298 school districts in 42 states. Eighty-six percent factored sequestration cuts into budgets -- up from 36 last year -- and 144 reported they deferred building maintenance or purchases. Eight closed or consolidated schools.

West Point Women: A Natural Pattern Or A Camouflage Ceiling? NPR: Since 1980, the percentage of women at the U.S. Military Academy has stayed the same, leading some to conclude that the school has set an artificial cap on the number of female cadets that it accepts. Now, West Point has been told it must raise those numbers to meet the demand for more female leaders.

Crash Course on Speaking in Tongues, All 22 of Them NYT: A workshop in Brooklyn was held over three hours, in seven classrooms, featuring classes on nearly two dozen languages taught mostly by native speakers.

For many young D.C. parents, city schools remain a sticking point Washington Post: Public school enrollment in the District has risen nearly 18 percent over the past five years, mostly in the early grades and charter schools, as an increasing number of parents have been persuaded to give D.C. schools a try. 

Study: 15 percent of US youth out of school, work Associated Press: Almost 6 million young people are neither in school nor working, according to a study released Monday. That's almost 15 percent of those aged 16 to 24 who have neither desk nor job, according to The Opportunity Nation coalition, which wrote the report.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visiting Wheeling Thursday Chicago Daily Herald
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit with students at Wheeling High School on Thursday to discuss the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and tour the school's new nano technology laboratory, ...

Crenshaw Digital Team Brings its ‘Game’ to the White House LA School Report: The team, which is sponsored by the grassroots education nonprofit Mother of Many, raised nearly $10,000 for the trip by selling more than 50 gaming apps to Microsoft as part of the company’s “Keep the Cash” app-a-thon. One of the games, “Going Bananas for Health,” is now available on the Windows 8 App Store.

GIFS: Mesmerizing Arne Duncan White House Briefing Gestures

Inline image 1
Here's a GIF I made of Arne Duncan at the White House. Anything else you think would make a good education GIF? Let me know in comments or at thisweekineducation at gmail dot com. 

Media: How To Find Arne During The Shutdown? Tweet At Him.

Screen shot 2013-10-02 at 4.58.43 PM
Education reporters are wondering how to reach EdSec Arne Duncan during the government shutdown, when theoretically nonessential government workers aren't working.  One suggestion?  Tweet at him.  It worked for the NY Daily News' Ben Chapman last week (see above). Or, you could just try reaching his communications staff. That apparently works, too.  Via @edwriters listserv and specifically the WSJ's @lisafleisher.

Morning Video: Duncan's "State Of Education" Speech


Here's the speech from earlier this week, which Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post describes as unusual. I found her observations as interesting as anything Duncan said.

Quotes: The USDE's FY2013 Furniture Spending Spree

Quotes2Of the $667,164 the department spent on office furniture during the 2013 fiscal year, more than $475,000 was spent just last week. -- via Politico 

Afternoon Video: Lousiana Gov. Slams Obama Voucher Decision

Is he talking about the USDOJ voucher position or about Common Core?  It's har d to tell (via HuffPost: Louisiana Voucher Lawsuit Opposition Aligns Minority Families With Republican Politicians)

Morning Video: Duncan Returns To Colbert Report

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

Quotes: Spellings Critiques Hill Republicans On Higher Ed

Quotes2While Hill Republicans seem to be shy on these [higher ed accountability] issues, this is the kind of thing you’re hearing Republican governors talk about all the time. - Former EdSec Margaret Spellings in Inside Higher Ed

Quotes: President Clinton Defends Common Core

Quotes2We cannot be disheartened by the forces of resistance to building a modern economy of good jobs and rising incomes, or to rebuilding our education system to give all our children a common core of knowledge necessary to ensure success... - Former President Bill Clinton, via USA Today's Greg Toppo

AM News: NCLB Waivers Hurt Tutoring - & At-Risk Students

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.com

Study: Waivers leave behind at-risk students AP: Millions of at-risk students could fall through the cracks as the Education Department gives states permission to ignore parts of No Child Left Behind, according to a study education advocates released Tuesday.

No Child Left Behind waivers are causing the private tutoring industry to implode Deseret News: Education Week's analysis showed that among states that have received NCLB waivers, very few included supplemental education — after-school tutoring — in their waiver plans.

Arne Duncan Wants Special Education Students To Take General Exams Huffington Post: Should students with disabilities be held to the same academic standards as their peers? And should schools and teachers be held accountable for their progress? U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan answered that question with a resounding yes, proposing a seemingly wonky regulatory change that could have profound effects on some of the nation's most vulnerable learners.

At Charter Schools, Short Careers by Choice NYT: Charter networks are developing what amounts to a youth movement in which teaching for two to five years is seen as acceptable, even desirable.

Biggest Changes in a Decade Greet Students Wall Street Journal: Millions of students heading back to school are finding significant changes in the curriculum and battles over how teachers are evaluated, as the biggest revamps of U.S. public education in a decade work their way into classrooms. Most states are implementing tougher math and reading standards known as Common Core, while teacher evaluations increasingly are [...]

Breaking Down the Newark Teacher Raises WSJ: Last week, 190 Newark public-school teachers learned they’d be getting bonuses in a controversial merit-pay program funded by Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg‘s foundation. Not all of Newark’s 3,200 teachers were eligible to begin with, and even fewer – only 11 teachers – qualified for the full bonus amount of $12,500. 

Former Sec. Of Education Wants More Support For Teachers NPR: Education has been called the top civil rights issue of the 21st century. Host Michel Martin asks former U.S. Secretary of Education of Education Rod Paige about whether the nation is winning the battle for equality in schools.

Continue reading "AM News: NCLB Waivers Hurt Tutoring - & At-Risk Students" »

Morning Video: New Standards Require New Tests


An overview of the new Common Core assessment development process from the PBS NewsHour earlier this week.

Morning Video: 18 Million Kids Still Missing Summer Meals

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

AM News: Districts Cutting PD During Key School Year

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.com

Sequestration Effects: 59 Percent of Districts Cut Professional Development PoliticsK12: Districts are dealing withautomatic, across-the-board trigger cuts of federal education funding by slicing professional development (59 percent of districts), eliminating personnel (53 percent), increasing class size (48 percent), and deferring technology purchases (46 percent).

Obama pushes ambitious Internet access plan Washington Post: There’s just one catch: The effort would cost billions of dollars, and Obama wants to pay for it by raising fees for mobile-phone users. Doing that relies on the Federal Communications Commission, an independent agency that has the power to approve or reject the plan.

Charter partnership gives L.A. Unified school new name and outlook LA Times: In an unprecedented partnership, the L.A. Unified School District has joined forces with Crown Prep, an outside charter operator, to run the persistently low-performing campus south of downtown.

Top Obama Higher Education Official, Resigns Huffington Post: Her departure thins out the ranks of the Education Department's first-term upper echelons. Until recently, the department lacked heads for its preschool and civil rights offices, and a general counsel. The department has "acting" leaders in charge of "innovation and improvement," "planning, evaluation and policy development" and communications.

Continue reading "AM News: Districts Cutting PD During Key School Year " »

Maps: Harder Tests (NY, KY) & Higher Cut Scores (IL, TN, MI)

Screen shot 2013-08-07 at 2.58.00 PMBy now you know that NY and KY have revamped their tests and reported out new (lower) test score results.  

But what about everybody else?  

A couple of states like IL and TN and Michigan have ratched up their cut scores on existing tests as a way of getting folks ready for new assessments.  (The tests are old, but the requirements are higher and in theory somewhat close to what they're going to be like under Common Core assessments.)  

The rest -- so far as I know -- are waiting until this year to make more changes.  

Here's a map from Achieve showing what states said they were doing as of December.  Scroll down to page 28.  Tell them Alexander sent you.

USDE: Worst (Education) Intern Ever?

Last week I told you about a 1970 incident in which an intern was fired for an obscene slide show. Here, thanks to Blair Brown at NCTL (@expanding_time) is the Boston Globe story in its full text:

Screen shot 2013-08-02 at 12.30.23 PMThe offending intern was a Oakland University junior named Leo Miseredino and his presentation was a screed against President Nixon. He was fired after a House education committee member looked into the incident. 

People: Duncan Staffer Named One Of DC's "Hottest" (2013)

image from thehill.com
Paul Kendrick has been named to this year's edition of The Hill's 50 Most Beautiful. The single 29 year-old is from West Hartford and previously worked for Geoff Canada's Harlem Children's Zone. 

Hard as it may be to believe, but I did a popular and mildly controversial annual "Hot For Education" post during the early years of this site: 2009200820072005.

Check and see who's on the old lists, if they're still in education, and whether they're still hot (for education, at least). 

In 2010, I launched Hot For Education as a standalone Tumblr (with a 2012 Pinterest interlude).

Previous posts: Ed Finance Council Makes Hill Beauty ListPS22 Choir Instructor Tops Salon List

Charts: 19 Waiver States Now Have Approved TVal Systems

Nclbwaivers-072913update (1) (1)
The yellow dots represent the 19 states with waivers that have also had their teacher evaluation systems approved, according to EdWeek. The green dots are those who have merely been approved for a waiver.  Everybody else is still operating under the original NCLB.

AM News: States Sticking With Common Core, Survey Says

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.comState education officials: We’re sticking with Common Core Washington Post: As the political debate swirls in some statehouses over the Common Core math and reading standards, most state education officials responsible for implementing the new K-12 standards are confident that their states will stick with the program, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Gates Announces $15M in Professional-Development Grants TeacherBeat: Its education wing today announced the awarding of more than $15 million in "Innovative Professional Development" grants over a three-year period. The funds will be split among the Fresno, Calif.; Long Beach, Calif; and Jefferson County, Colo., districts, with each receiving about $5 million.

Senate Approves College Student Loan Plan Tying Rates to Markets NYT: The plan would tie interest rates for student loans to the financial markets and brings Congress close to resolving a dispute that caused rates to double on July 1.

Obama Stumps for Education Spending, Pre-K PoliticsK12: "If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century," the president said in prepared remarks released in advance of the speech at Knox College in Illinois. "If we don't make this investment, we'll put our kids, our workers, and our country at a competitive disadvantage for decades."

Obama Promises 'Aggressive Strategy' For Higher Education NPR: Renee Montagne talks to The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel about a shift in the Obama administration's approach to higher education, which the president alluded to in his economic speech on Wednesday.

Can an algorithm ID high school drop outs in first grade? Hechinger: Early warning systems to detect high-school drop outs are all the rage in education data circles. See this post on a new early warning system in Wisconsin. Like the Wisconsin example, most data systems focus on identifying middle school students. But what if researchers could use grades, attendance and behavior data to identify at-risk students as soon as possible — as early as first grade? That would really give counselors more time to try to motivate these kids and keep them in school!

Transgender teen may use boys' locker room Politico: The first-of-its-kind decision from the agencies tasks the Arcadia school district outside Los Angeles to change district policies and practices to accommodate the rising ninth-grade student. Teachers and staff must be trained in how to prevent gender discrimination, and federal agencies will be keeping tabs on the district through at least 2016.

Charts: Roughly Half PARCC States Save On Testing

image from www.quickanded.com
"For 10 states, PARCC appears to be a net savings (the states with the negative sign in front of their number), while 11 states would likely see testing costs rise." (Chad Adelman Perspective on PARCC’s Price)

AM News: Duncan Focuses On Preschool Rather Than NCLB Rewrite

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.com

In Denver, Duncan promotes preschool expansion and K-12 tax measure EdNews Colorado: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Friday asked Colorado voters to support President Barack Obama’s attempt to expand access to early-childhood education and endorsed efforts here to pass a $950 million tax increase to overhaul the state’s school financing system.

GOP education bill comes under fire from House Democrats Washington Post: Underpinning the law is a belief that states that receive billions of federal dollars each year must be made accountable to Washington. The GOP bill takes a different tack, returning power to the states.

Overhaul of No Child Left Behind law expected to have little impact in Kansas The Kansas City Kansan: No Child Left Behind is the name of the 2001 federal law to reauthorize the 1960s-era Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the basic law that distributes much of the money the federal government sends to states and local districts through programs

Texas Seeks Waiver from Feds on Test Exemptions EdWeek: On the heels of a significant reduction in the number of required end-of-course tests in Texas high schools, Lone Star State education officials are awaiting word from the U.S. Department of Education on their plan to reduce the number of tests high-performing elementary and middle school students must take.

Church, junior high help out Moore, Okla., schools AP: School officials in the Oklahoma city of Moore say students whose schools were destroyed in the deadly May tornado will attend classes next month in a refurbished junior high school building and a local church....

How Much Will New Common Tests Cost States? EdWeek: Resident Common-Core Queen Catherine Gewertz has the full scoop over at Curriculum Matters.

Textbook publishers revamp ebooks to fight used market Reuters: A booming market in recent years for selling and renting used college textbooks has saved students across the United States a ton of cash. 

No Evidence Harvard Officials Read Faculty E-Mails, Report Says NYT: A review commissioned by the university found that administrators involved in searching faculty e-mail accounts did not believe they were violating privacy rules.

Quotes: CORE NCLB Waiver Treats Educators "As An Afterthought"

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.comAny effort at “whole system reform” must include “educators and their representatives, as well as other stakeholders, in meaningful decision-making roles throughout the process … not as an afterthought.” -- Local California union presidents in letter opposing CORE NCLB waiver application (in EdSource Today)

AM News: House Takes First Steps Towards NCLB Rollback

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House takes up GOP version of No Child Left Behind AP: The House is ready to make the final tweaks to its Republican-led rewrite of the sweeping No Child Left Behind education law that governs every school in the country that receives federal education dollars.

Rollback of NCLB to get vote Politico: A bill to roll back No Child Left Behind, the far-reaching 2001 education overhaul that expired six years ago but remains in effect, will finally get a vote in the House of Representatives later this week after clearing a procedural hurdle Wednesday night—and despite grumbling from some of the chamber’s more conservative members.

House Lawmakers Set to Debate No Child Left Behind Act Rewrite Politics K12:  On the eve of a possible vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on long-stalled legislation to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act, the bill's road to passage is still somewhat bumpy. House leaders have scheduled votes for Thursday on a host of amendments to the proposed Elementary and Secondary Education Act revision—26 of them altogether. But so far, a vote on final passage hasn't been scheduled, which gives leaders extra time to twist some arms, if they need to.

Senate Reaches Deal to End Fight Over Student Loan Interest Rates NYT: A Senate aide said that the new proposal, which had been the subject of tense negotiations since the rates doubled on July 1, would include a cap on federal Stafford and PLUS loans and a relatively low interest rate.

Plan approved for Conn. school shooting donations AP: Families of the 26 children and educators killed in the Connecticut school shooting will receive $281,000 each under a plan for dividing up $7.7 million in donations....

Texas School District Drops Microchip-Tracking System WSJ:  District officials decided that attendance didn't increase enough to justify the costs of the program, said Northside spokesman Pascual Gonzalez. "The lawsuit and negative publicity were part of the conversation, but not the deciding factor in ending the program," he said.

Arne Duncan presses GOP to back universal pre-K Politico: Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday he's urging reluctant Republicans in Congress to get on board with funding universal preschool. One of the big sticking points for Republicans has been coming up with new money for the program.

25 Children Die From Tainted Lunches at Indian School NYT: The authorities were searching for the headmistress of a primary school in the eastern state of Bihar after children were served food contaminated with insecticide.

AM News: CA Rejects Obama Education Reforms

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California holds out against Obama's education vision LA Times:  The union's position has been embraced by Gov. Jerry Brown and State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, two old-guard Democrats who are loath to antagonize labor.

Boston District Refuses Newspaper's Evaluation-Results Request Teacher Beat: The notion of publicly reporting evaluation results has been so contentious that even U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan changed his mind about the practice.

Why Poor Students' College Plans 'Melt' Over The Summer NPR: A large number of poor high school students, who say they are continuing on to college, fail to show up in the fall. The reason is referred to as the "summer melt." Students face many hurdles over the summer including lack of resources and mentors.

As charter schools come of age, measuring their success is tricky Hechinger: Increased regulations have also taken a toll. Since No Child Left Behind took effect in 2002, New Country has applied annually for a waiver from the “highly qualified teacher” requirement because it doesn’t have traditional classrooms.

Teachers unions urge federal action against George Zimmerman Washington Post: The National Education Association and the Federation of Teachers, which together represent some 4.5 million teachers and others, both are urging the Department of Justice to investigate George Zimmerman, who was acquitted by a jury of second-degree murder in the Florida killing of teenager Trayvon Martin.

Lawmakers May Debate Testing, Teacher Evaulations in NCLB Renewal Politics K12: The big question is whether the (arguably, very conservative) measure can make it past the House with just (or mostly) Republican votes. Democratic leaders, have been pretty clear they hate this bill and aren't going to do anything to help it along.

Malala, Pakistan Shooting Survivor, Stands Strong for Women's Rights NBC: Less than a year after being attacked by the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai spoke about girls' right to an education.

Devastated Texas town ponders schools' future  AP: After a massive fertilizer plant explosion devastated this rural town in April, local teachers and administrators did what they could to help the community cope with a disaster that killed 15 people and wrecked hundreds of structures, including three of West's four schools.

Quotes: "More Money [to DE & TN] Than Maybe One Would Have Liked"

image from scholasticadministrator.typepad.comI don't think there are a lot of things I would have done differently, other than maybe put the budget caps on earlier, which meant Delaware and Tennessee got more money than maybe one would have liked to have seen.  - Joanne Weiss, soon-departing Chief of Staff to EdSec Duncan (in EdWeek)

AM News: Duncan Spokesman Leaving for PR Firm

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Press Secretary Daren Briscoe Leaving Education Department Politics K12: U.S. Department of Education spokesman-in-chief Daren Briscoe, who has helped manage the communications effort around No Child Left Behind Act waivers, will leave his post at the end of August to become a vice president for GMMB, a public relations and consulting firm in Washington.

Parents calls on feds to investigate ‘unfair’ concentration of bad teachers NY Post: A pro-Bloomberg administration parents group is planning to file a civil-rights complaint that calls for an investigation of what it says is the unfair concentration of ineffective teachers in the city’s highest-needs schools.
Schools Chief in Bridgeport Is Under Fire WSJ: Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that Mr. Vallas, who doesn't have an advanced education degree, did an end-run around state requirements for superintendents. Mr. Vallas failed to complete a program that had been tailored for him to satisfy the requirements, the judge said in her June 28 decision.
Recess time headed for a rocky road Catalyst: Lack of money to hire staff to supervise children was a problem, one that is likely to worsen given the budget cuts already reported by some schools.  And a survey of parents from 20 schools by the group POWER-PAC found that schools didn’t always view recess as a requirement. 
CPS cuts into schools’ cellphone tower cash deals Sun Times: It was a way for a number of cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools to generate a little extra income on their own: leasing roof space to cellular phone companies looking for a place to erect their towers.

City schools should cut $200M over 5 years, panel advises Columbus Dispatch: Columbus City Schools should cut or “slow the rate of growth” of its nonteaching operations by $200 million over the next five years, without reducing student safety or nutrition, a committee of Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman's Education Commission

Bankrupt in Philadelphia: Could This Happen to Your School District? TakePart: Conner also points out that what is happening in Philadelphia has already occurred in Chicago. “It is no coincidence that the Philadelphia School District is facing a plight similar to that of theChicago public schools, with mass school closing.

Morning Video: USDA Revamps School Food (Again)

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Via Morning Joe -- less fat, more grains in snack foods (and less caffeine, too).

Afternoon Video: Duncan Talks About District NCLB Waiver


Here's Duncan's appearance in SF on Friday, during which he apparently said nice things about Governor Jerry Brown (with whom he's battled regularly for the last four years) and about the district NCLB waiver application. Via EdSource Daily.

AM News: What Happens When Waivers Expire?

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Is NCLB Waiver Renewal the Next Big Issue? EdWeek: The waivers are only set to be in place for two years, and it's unclear if Brokedown Congress will get its act together to pass a rewrite. 

Arne Duncan Expected To Tap Emma Vadehra As New Chief Of Staff Huffington Post: She is expected to be replaced by Emma Vadehra, who works as the chief of staff for a charter school management organization known as Uncommon Schools, the sources said. 

Education with a LIFT NBC: Schools adopt program to LIFT low income students to higher learning.

In Dallas, 3-Year High School Diploma Would Expand Preschool NYT: Dallas Independent School District, the state’s second largest, is developing a voluntary three-year high school diploma plan that is likely to start in the 2014-15 school year and would funnel cost savings to finance prekindergarten.

Defiant LAUSD Superintendent Says He’ll Push Targeted Spending Plan Anyway LA School Report: “The Board voted down the directive to have me come and do it,” said Deasy, referring to Galatzan’s local spending resolution. “[But] they can’t stop me from doing it; we’re doing it anyway. If they had voted to prevent me from doing it… well they didn’t think of that.”

A Lifeline for Minorities, Catholic Schools Retrench NYT: Many blacks and Latinos say they can trace the success they have achieved in their careers to the guidance they received in Catholic schools.

Texas school district apologizes to valedictorian AP: A North Texas school district has apologized to a high-school valedictorian whose microphone was switched off during a graduation ceremony when he deviated from prepared remarks.



Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.