Weekly Update-March 9

On March 9, 2012, in Weekly Update, by Mary Kingston


Follow the NASSP 2012 Conference from Home!

The 2012 NASSP Annual Conference begins today, and even if you can’t be on-site for the live event, you can still follow all of the action on NASSP’s website.

Visit www.nassp.org/Conference2012 to watch daily wrap-up videos and interviews with attendees and presenters.

View real-time tweets from participants on the ground in Tampa, and join the conversation by sending your own tweets with the special conference hashtag #nassp2012.

Check out the photo gallery smugmug from the NASSP Conference in Tampa provided by Lifetouch.

Read daily conference highlights from the all-new Leading Schools Blog, www.LeadingSchoolsBlog.org, discussing such session topics as the Common Core State Standards, education technology, urban schools, and much more.


Education and the Workforce Committee Changes: The following members of the House Education and the Workforce Committee will not be on the Committee in the next Congress:

  • Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) – retiring
  • Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) – deceased
  • Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) – retiring
  • Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) – defeated in primary
  • Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) – running for Senate
  • Rep/ Todd Platts (R-PA) – retiring


Go here to see Secretary Duncan’s statement about the passing of Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ).



FY 12 SEED Grants Announced: This week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan “announced the award of nearly $24.6 million for three grants to improve student achievement by increasing the effectiveness of teachers and principals. Funded under the Supporting Effective Educators Development (SEED) program, projects are awarded to the National Writing Project, New Teacher Center, and Teach for America.”  See: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/education-department-awards-246-million-grants-support-teacher-and-principal-dev.



New Data from U.S. Department of Education Highlights Educational Inequities Around Teacher Experience, Discipline and High School Rigor

From a U.S. Department of Education press release: “Minority students across America face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curricula, and are more often taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

In an event at Howard University attended by civil rights and education reform groups, federal education officials today released new data from a national survey of more than 72,000 schools serving 85% of the nation’s students.  The self-reported data, Part II of the 2009-10 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC), covers a range of issues including college and career readiness, discipline, school finance, and student retention.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the CRDC findings are a wake-up call to educators at every level and issued a broad challenge to work together to address educational inequities.

“The power of the data is not only in the numbers themselves, but in the impact it can have when married with the courage and the will to change.  The undeniable truth is that the everyday educational experience for many students of color violates the principle of equity at the heart of the American promise.  It is our collective duty to change that,” Duncan said.

Among the key findings are:

  • African-American students, particularly males, are far more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their peers.  Black students make up 18% of the students in the CRDC sample, but 35% of the students suspended once, and 39% of the students expelled.
  • Students learning English (ELL) were 6% of the CRDC high school enrollment, but made up 12% of students retained.
  • Only 29% of high-minority high schools offered Calculus, compared to 55% of schools with the lowest black and Hispanic enrollment.
  • Teachers in high-minority schools were paid $2,251 less per year than their colleagues in teaching in low-minority schools in the same district.”

Read the rest of the press release and access the website containing all of the data here.

States Are Getting Creative about Seat Time Requirements

According to the National Governors Association, 36 states have adopted policies for districts or schools to be able to offer credits based on student competency in subjects students’ rather than based on the traditional “seat time” requirements. Getting more creative about seat time requirements can help students not only advance faster through grades, but can help struggling or out-of-school students catch up if they are afforded more attention from teachers when the proficient students can advance. From an Education Week article, “Perhaps no state has gone as far as New Hamsphire in moving away from seat-time requirements. In 2005, it became the first state to do away with the Carnegie unit, according to the International Association of K-12 Online Learning, or INACOL, a Vienna, Va.-based group that supports expanding online education options.

The state gave districts until the 2008-09 academic year to award students credits based on their mastery of course-level competencies, though some districts have yet to make the change. (“N.H. Schools Embrace Competency-Based Learning,” Feb. 8, 2012.)” Read the rest of the article here.


House Budget Committee Prepares for FY 2013 Budget Resolution for Impact on Education Funding

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Paul Ryan (R-WI) has stated that he plans to mark up the House FY 2013 budget resolution the week of March 19, and House Republicans are eager to cut funding below FY 2012 levels. According to an article from The Hill publication, “Republicans on the House Budget Committee have intensified their push to overcome differences and produce their 2013 budget resolution, meeting almost daily. The GOP wants to be able to pass a budget without reaching out to any conservative Democrats, so it must find a way to resolve differences on discretionary spending and entitlements within the party conference…. The GOP is most deeply divided over whether discretionary spending caps in the August Budget Control Act should be in the budget or whether spending should be cut more deeply.” NASSP staff has been very active in advocating to preserve and ideally to increase education funding for FY 2013, and have met with several staff in House budget Congressional offices to deliver this message as part of the coalition Committee for Education Funding. Read the rest of the Hill article here and stay tuned for more updates here.


Teacher Job Satisfaction Hits Its Lowest Point in Decades

According to the MetLife survey of the American teacher, teacher satisfaction is at its lowest point since 1989. As Education Week reports: “the survey finds that 44 percent of teachers are “very satisfied” with their jobs, down from 59 percent in 2009. The last time job satisfaction dipped as low was in 1989.

The report is based on telephone interviews of 1,001 U.S. public school teachers conducted last fall by Harris Interactive on behalf of MetLife Inc. (The MetLife Foundation provides funding to Education Week Teacher to support its capacity to engage teachers interactively in professional community.)

In another indication of declining morale, according to the report, 29 percent of teachers say they are likely to leave the teaching profession within the next five years—up from 17 percent in 2009.”

Read the rest of the article and access the report here.


Resource for Teachers and School Leaders on Common Core Implementation

The Common Core State Standards have tremendous implications for all educators. Are you familiar with each of them? Marzano Research Laboratory will walk you through the major considerations of the CCSS during a FREE four-part webinar series. Prepare to align and implement seamlessly. Register today!




FY 13 Appropriations: Listed below are the scheduled House and Senate appropriations hearings on education. Access these sites to view the webcast and read the witness testimonies once these hearings have occurred:

Senate appropriations subcommittee on education: http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/ht-labor.cfm

House appropriations subcommittee on education: http://appropriations.house.gov/Calendar/?EventTypeID=316

  • 3/22, 10 AM;  2358-C Rayburn; House Labor- HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing;  FY 13 Department of Education Budget; Witness: Secretary Arne Duncan
  • 3/27,10:30 AM;  2358-C Rayburn; House Labor- HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing – K-12 Education; Witness: TBA
  • TENTATIVE; April 24; 2 PM; 124 Dirksen; Senate Labor- HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing;  FY 13 Department of Education Budget; Witness: Secretary Arne Duncan


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