Weekly Update-March 4

“For too long we’ve been a compliance-driven bureaucracy when it comes to educating students with disabilities,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “We have to expect the very best from our students—and tell the truth about student performance—so that we can give all students the supports and services they need. The best way to do that is by focusing on results,” Duncan said.” Read the rest of the press release here: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/department-announces-new-effort-strengthen-accountability-students-disabilities.

For more information about the work of the Department’s Office of Special Education Programs, see http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/osep/index.html


Weigh in on Theory of “Cage-Busting Leadership”

Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute is seeking input from school leaders like yourselves on stories that illustrate either:

“A] the ways in which you’ve been hemmed in by federal/state laws or regulations, district policies, employee contracts, IT/HR/finance operations, established routines, or stagnant cultures, or

B] the ways in which you, or your colleagues, have found ways to escape or explode those constraints.”

Mr. Hess may use some of these stories in his next book tentatively titled Cage-Busting Leadership, and centered on the premise that “It is true, as would-be reformers often argue, that statutes, policies, rules, regulations, contracts, and case law make it tougher than it should be for school and system leaders to drive improvement and, well, lead. At the same time, however, it is also true that these leaders have far more freedom to transform, reimagine, and invigorate teaching, learning, and schooling than is widely believed.” Read the rest of his musings on this topic and learn how to weigh in with your thoughts here: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rick_hess_straight_up/2012/02/cage-busting_leadership.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Walt+Gardner+Reality+Check.



CBO on ARRA: On February 22, CBO released Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output from October 2011 through December 2011. “CBO estimates that, compared with what would have occurred otherwise, ARRA will raise real GDP in 2012 by between 0.1 percent and 0.8 percent and will increase the number of FTE jobs in 2012 by between 0.2 million and 1.1 million.”


Useful Resources for ESEA Waivers:

U.S. Department of Education: Website devoted to the waivers including press releases, fact sheets, summaries, and more: http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility

Council of Chief State School Officers: State ESEA flexibility map coloring states by status (applied, applications pending, not applied) as well as “state innovations and specific details found in NCLB flexibility requests”: http://www.ccsso.org/Resources/Programs/ESEA_Flexibility.html

National Governors Association: Press release linking to a news issue brief outlining the opportunity for states through ESEA waivers to “reinvent” their accountability systems: http://www.nga.org/cms/home/news-room/news-releases/page_2012/col2-content/states-have-opportunity-to-reinv.html

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