Weekly Update-February 18

On February 18, 2012, in Weekly Update, by Mary Kingston


President Obama Releases FY 2013 Budget Request, Signals Education as a Priority

From NASSP’s Principal’s Policy Blog: This past Monday, President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2013 budget request, which outlines his spending priorities for certain programs and purposes for the next fiscal year, which will provide funding for the 2012-2013 school year. NASSP is happy to see the President’s continued investment in education: a proposed increase to the education budget of $1.7 billion, 2.5% above fiscal year 2012 levels. This proposed increase is especially significant given that the President in contrast proposed reducing the defense budget by 1%, while non-security discretionary programs across all other agencies only received an overall increase of $2 billion. Clearly, the President is fighting for investing in education, and on behalf of NASSP members we applaud this direction. Read the rest of the blog here.

Read more about the President’s education budget from the Department of Education here.

President Obama Announces $5 Billion Proposal to Strengthen Education Profession

From NASSP’s Principal’s Policy Blog: As part of his FY 2013 budget proposal, President Obama has requested $5 billion through the American Jobs Act for a new initiative to elevate teachers and school leaders. Known as Recognizing Education Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching or “RESPECT,” the one-time competitive grant program would support states and districts “that commit to pursuing bold reforms at every stage of the teaching profession.”

“Our goal is to work with teachers and principals in rebuilding their profession and to elevate the teacher voice in federal, state and local education policy,” said US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a press release announcing the proposal. “Our larger goal is to make teaching not only America’s most important profession, but also America’s most respected profession.” Read the rest of the blog here.

Read the U.S. Department of Education press release here: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/obama-administration-seeks-elevate-teaching-profession-duncan-launch-respect-pro.

New Mexico ESEA Waiver Approved

Secretary Duncan announced this Wednesday that NM was also granted its ESEA waiver, so all 11 states that applied have now been approved. In addition, ED set September 6 as the deadline for the third round for states to submit waiver requests. See: Department of Education Approves New Mexico’s Request for Flexibility from No Child Left Behind and 3rd-Round Waiver Deadline Set, Short-Term NCLB Relief Offered


House Education and the Workforce Committee Holds Hearing on ESEA Bills

On Thursday, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) held a hearing on two ESEA bills he formally introduced the same day: The Student Success Act (HR 3989) that addresses accountability, and The Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (HR 3990) that addresses teacher quality. Chairman Kline drafted and introduced these bills in a partisan manner and without the participation and support of Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA) and other Democrats after talks apparently broke down at a certain point. As a result, the committee members were divided on the appropriate federal role in education, and it did not seem as if consensus will be reached soon. NASSP has heard that Chairman Kline would like to mark up the bill in the committee the week of February 27, which would give Rep. Miller (D-CA) and any other members the chance to offer as many amendments as they would like to the bill. It remains to be seen, however, if the committee can find enough of a common ground to approve these two bills. Access the witness testimony, remarks by the Chairman and Ranking Member, and the hearing video here.

Read NASSP’s perspective on these bills here.

Finally, read an Education Week analysis of the hearing here: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/02/22/21esea.h31.html?tkn=MTNFcszfdThFvzrdqOs0aDJe7CRZR3Dm6EDw&cmp=clp-edweek.

Brookings Institution Report Claims the Common Core Will Have Little To No Effect on Student Achievement

Excerpt from the report: “Common standards will only affect variation between and among states (analysts use the grammatically suspect “between-state” as shorthand for this kind of variation). Achievement variation existing within states is already influenced, to the extent that standards can exert influence, by the states standards under which schools currently operate. Within state variation is four to five times larger than the variation between states. Put another way, anyone who follows NAEP scores knows that the difference between Massachusetts and Mississippi is quite large. What is often overlooked is that every state has a mini-Massachusetts and Mississippi contrast within its own borders. Common state standards only target the differences between states, not within them, sharply limiting common state standards’ potential impact on achievement differences.” Read the full report here and read the Education Week summary here.

NASSP strongly supports the common core state standards, as expressed in a position statement awaiting its final draft format: http://www.nassp.org/tabid/3788/default.aspx?topic=Common_Core_State_Standards_and_Assessments_in_K_12_Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Appears on the Daily Show with John Stewart

From a Washington Post article that appeared February 17, 2012: “Jon Stewart tried to engage Education Secretary Arne Duncan on “The Daily Show” Thursday night, but the effort was an exercise in the futility of conversing with someone who won’t deviate from his talking points.

Duncan was so programmed that Stewart was even unable to get the basketball-playing secretary to have some fun talking about the New York Knicks’ new hero, Jeremy Lin.

When Stewart jokingly asked Duncan whether, having graduated from Harvard, it was “a disappointment” that he “ended up as just the secretary of education” and not as an NBA superstar, Duncan’s only response was about how great a role model the hard-working Lin was for young people.

Stewart surely knew at that point he would get nothing from Duncan, but he made a polite effort anyway, because he had time to fill and, perhaps, because he knew his mother, a teacher who apparently can’t stand Duncan’s policies, would be watching.. Read the rest of the article here.


Calder Releases Report on the Effect of Principals on Student Achievement

Titled “Estimating the Effect of Leaders on Public Sector Productivity: The Case of School Principals”, the report’s abstract states: “Although much has been written about the importance of leadership in the determination of organizational success, there is little quantitative evidence due to the difficulty of separating the impact of leaders from other organizational components – particularly in the public sector. Schools provide an especially rich environment for studying the impact of public sector management, not only because of the hypothesized importance of leadership but also because of the plentiful achievement data that provide information on institutional outcomes. Outcome-based estimates of principal value-added to student achievement reveal significant variation in principal quality that appears to be larger for high-poverty schools. Alternate lower-bound estimates based on direct estimation of the variance yield smaller estimates of the variation in principal productivity but ones that are still important, particularly for high poverty schools. Patterns of teacher exits by principal quality validate the notion that a primary channel for principal influence is the management of the teacher force. Finally, looking at principal transitions by quality reveals little systematic evidence that more effective leaders have a higher probability of exiting high poverty schools.” Access the report here.


Want to Know What’s on the Department of Education’s Agenda for FY 2012-2013? The Department recently released their priority goals for fiscal year 2012-2013:

FY 2012-13 Priority Performance Goals. The goals are the following:

  • Improve outcomes for all children from birth through third grade.
    By September 30 2013, at least nine states will implement a high-quality plan to collect and report disaggregated data on the status of children at kindergarten entry.
  • Improve learning by ensuring that more students have an effective teacher.
    By September 30th, 2013, at least 500 school districts will have comprehensive teacher evaluation and support systems and a majority of States will have statewide requirements for comprehensive teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.
  • Demonstrate progress in turning around the nation’s lowest-performing schools.
    By September 30th 2013, 500 of the nation’s persistently lowest-achieving schools will have demonstrated significant improvement and serve as potential models for future turnaround efforts.
  • Make informed decisions and improve instruction through the use of data.
    By September 30th, 2013 all states will implement comprehensive statewide longitudinal data systems.
  • Prepare all students for college and career.
    By September 30th 2013, all states will adopt internationally-benchmarked college- and career-ready standards.
  • Improve students’ ability to afford and complete college.
    By September 30th, 2013, the Department will develop college scorecards designed to improve consumer decision-making and transparency about affordability for students and borrowers by streamlining information on all degree-granting institutions into a single, comparable, and easily-understandable format, while also helping all states and institutions develop college completion plans.


Tuesday February 21, 2-3 pm EST: Want to Know More About What Is At Stake for the Fiscal Year 2013 Federal Education Budget? Attend this free webinar hosted by NASSP coalition partner Committee for Education Funding. This information is important for school leaders to know-we strongly encourage you to attend!

Register at: http://eo2.commpartners.com/users/acte/session.php?id=8479



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