The Alliance for Excellent Education and
the National Association of Secondary School Principals
Invite You to Attend a Briefing
Transitioning to College- and Career-Ready Standards: The Role of School Leaders
Thursday, May 2, 2013
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (ET)
902 Hart Senate Office Building
(Lunch available at 11:30 a.m.; program begins promptly at 11:45 a.m.)
Mitchell Curry, Principal, Scott Morgan Johnson Middle School (McKinney, TX)
Bill Knudsen, Education Policy Advisor, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) (minority staff)
Michael Gamel-McCormick, PhD, Senior K–12 Education Policy Advisor, U.S. Senate HELP Committee (majority staff)
Robbie Hooker, PhD, Principal, Clarke Central High School (Athens, GA)
Daniel Wiebers, Principal, Trenton R I-X High School (Trenton, MO)
Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education
Please join the Alliance for Excellent Education and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) on Thursday, May 2, 2013, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (ET), for a discussion about the role of school leaders in creating a culture of high expectations that will help all students graduate from high school ready for college and a career. The event will focus on the efforts principals are leading as schools transition to implement college- and career-ready standards. The MetLife Foundation–NASSP Breakthrough Schools project identifies, showcases, and recognizes middle and high schools that are achieving at high levels or dramatically improving student achievement while serving a large number of students who are most at risk of dropping out.
The panel discussion will highlight three schools—Clarke Central High School (GA); Scott Morgan Johnson Middle School (TX); and Trenton R I-X High School (MO)—that have been recognized by the Breakthrough Schools project for exemplifying the core areas of collaborative leadership, personalization, and access to a rigorous and differentiated curriculum for all students.
RSVP by Friday, April 26, 2012.
Space is limited. Acceptances ONLY, on a “first-come” basis,
with subject line “RSVP: May 2 Hill Briefing” to email@example.com
or contact Stephanie Gregg at (202) 289-3900.
The Alliance for Excellent Education and NASSP offers a special thank you to U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, honorary host of this event.
This event is made possible with support from the MetLife Foundation.
This event is closed to press.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and 36 countries. The association provides research-based professional development and resources, networking, and advocacy to build the capacity of middle level and high school leaders to continually improve student performance. www.NASSP.org
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal education policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. www.all4ed.org
Since Congress eliminated funding for the federal Enhancing Education through Technology (EETT) program in FY 2011, schools have struggled to pay for new handheld devices, education software, and training for school leaders and teachers on how to use technology to personalize the learning environment for each student. As these skills become more important in our effort to graduate all students college and career ready, principals should be very pleased that House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA) has introduced the Transforming Education through Technology Act (H.R. 521).
“Technology provides us an opportunity to tackle chronic education challenges in new ways thanks to increasing use and access, constant innovation, and falling costs. Technology can be a tool to drive equity and to help transform how education is delivered, making learning more student-centered and recognizing teachers as education designers,” said Rep. Miller. “We must harness this opportunity if we want to give all students a 21st century skill set to prepare them for high-growth, high-demand jobs in the global economy.”
The Transforming Education through Technology Act would authorize $500 million for State Grants for Technology Readiness and Access. States would be required to provide technical assistance to school districts to help them address their technology readiness needs, deliver computer-based and online assessments, support principals in evaluating teachers’ proficiency in implementing digital tools for teaching and learning, and build capacity for individual school and district leaders. States would also coordinate with teacher and school leader preparation programs to align digital learning teaching standards and provide professional development that is aligned to state student technology standards and activities promoting college and career readiness.
Under the bill, subgrants would be provided to school districts to carry out “digital age” professional development opportunities for all school staff. Specifically, school leaders would receive ongoing professional development to promote: 1) the use of educational technology to ensure a digital age learning environment; and 2) the use of data in order to increase student access to technology and engagement in learning. School districts could also use the funding to hire technology coaches to work directly with teachers on integrating technology into their instruction.
NASSP strongly supports the Transforming Education through Technology At and encourages our members to contact their legislators and urge them to cosponsor the bill. Click here for more information about the legislation.
Although both the Senate and House education committees passed bills within the past year to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), none of those bills were considered in their respective chambers. Instead, the US Department of Education (ED) has used the waiver process to bypass Congress and “fix” the problems in No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the current iteration of the law.
On July 19, ED approved waiver applications for 6 additional states and the District of Columbia, bringing the grand total to 32. The latest states to receive waivers are Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon and South Carolina. Five additional states (California, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, and Nevada) are currently under review, and the deadline for the next round of waivers is September 6.
The approved states may waive several specific provisions of NCLB, including the 2014 deadline for 100% student proficiency, in exchange for adopting college and career-ready standards, implementing new accountability and support systems for schools, and developing new evaluation systems for teachers and principals.
“More and more states can’t wait any longer for education reform,” said US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “A strong, bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act remains the best path forward in education reform, but as these states have demonstrated, our kids can’t wait any longer for Congress to act.”
House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and his staff said for months that the two bills passed by the committee in February 2012 would be considered on the House floor before the August recess, but a legislative agenda released by Speaker of the House John Boehner in the spring included no education legislation. On the Senate side, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) had previously announced that the Senate would not bring his bill to the floor until the House passed a “bipartisan” bill.
With few legislative days remaining before the looming November elections and a number of appropriations bills still to pass before the fiscal year ends on September 30, there’s slim-to-no-chance ESEA will be completed this year. And while waivers and Race to the Top seem like the law of the land for principals and assistant principals in some states now, the presidential and congressional elections will have a huge impact on whether they remain in place beyond 2014.
NASSP will continue to push for a comprehensive ESEA reauthorization in the next Congress that includes a focus on our key issue areas: school leadership, literacy, middle level and high schools, and education technology. We felt that the Senate committee bill was a step in the right direction toward improving current law and hope that Congress will use that draft as a starting-off point for negotiations in January.
As part of major legislation to create jobs and improve the nation’s economic competitiveness, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) has introduced a proposal to assist schools in preparing all students to be college and career ready.
NASSP strongly supports the Common Core State Standards, and the board of directors recently approved a position statement offering recommendations on their successful implementation. We call on Congress to fund ongoing, professional development about these new standards to build the capacity of principals, assistant principals, and teachers. School leaders are also encouraged to provide professional development opportunities to instructional staff members to help them teach to higher standards and provide students with the supports they need to achieve them.
The College and Career Ready Classrooms Act would authorize a competitive grant program to support local school districts in the successful implementation of college- and career-ready standards. In providing professional development opportunities for teachers and other school staff, NASSP is pleased that the bill would require in-service activities for school administrators that support instructional leadership around the implementation of these standards and ensure coordination with pre-service teacher preparation programs. Local implementation strategies would also support the use of technology to personalize instruction and to enhance educators’ own professional learning.
The bill was introduced as one provision in the Rebuild America Act (S. 2252), which would provide investments in job training, manufacturing, and the transportation infrastructure; increase overtime benefits and establish a fair and equitable minimum wage; and make changes to the tax code. While not taking a position on the entire legislation, NASSP also strongly supports a provision that would authorize $20 billion in formula grants for the modernization, renovation, and repair of early learning facilities, K-12 public schools and community colleges.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced on February 9 that ten states—Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Tennessee—are approved to waive certain requirements from the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act in exchange for raising standards, improving accountability, and undertaking reforms to improve educator effectiveness. New Mexico was the only state to apply for and not receive a waiver, but ED will continue to work with the state to improve its application. An additional 28 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have also indicated their intent to apply for waivers later this month.
“After waiting far too long for Congress to reform No Child Left Behind, my Administration is giving states the opportunity to set higher, more honest standards in exchange for more flexibility,” said President Barack Obama at a White House event announcing the waivers. “Today, we’re giving 10 states the green light to continue making reforms that are best for them. Because if we’re serious about helping our children reach their potential, the best ideas aren’t going to come from Washington alone. Our job is to harness those ideas, and to hold states and schools accountable for making them work.”
The 10 states receiving waivers will no longer have to meet the 2014 deadline for 100% proficiency, but they are required to set new performance targets for improving student achievement. Their accountability systems must recognize and reward high-performing schools in addition to providing “rigorous and comprehensive” interventions in the lowest-performing schools. State plans must address how they intend to improve educational outcomes for underperforming subgroups of students and close achievement gaps, but they will also provide schools and districts with greater flexibility in how they spend Title I funding.
In a conference call with education stakeholders today, Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Carmel Martin and Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Michael Yudin explained that all of the states would not only adopt higher standards but submitted plans to transition all of their students to college and career readiness. Massachusetts was particularly noted for its plan to align teacher and principal licensure requirements with the new college and career ready standards.
States would incorporate student growth and progress into their accountability systems, and they would also move away from the one-size-fits-all intervention strategies that are required under NCLB. Some plans focused on improving school and district capacity and providing tiered supports for low-performing schools and districts. Plans also included a focus on early warning data systems to identify students that are not on track to graduate from high school and provide them with necessary supports to succeed.
Improving educator effectiveness was a requirement for the waivers, and all states will modify their teacher and principal evaluation systems to incorporate multiple measures of student achievement. The evaluation systems will be created in partnership with teachers and principals and are intended to provide meaningful feedback to teachers in order to improve instruction.
What may be of surprise to educators is that only four of the states receiving a Race to the Top grant—Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee—also received a waiver in the first round. Although it should be noted that the other seven states—Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island—have not yet submitted a request for a waiver.
FY 2012 Appropriations
Congress is still finalizing what will likely be an FY 2012 “megabus” appropriations bill. The House is expected to pass the bill on December 15, and the Senate will follow suit the next day. It will include nearly all of the not-yet-completed appropriations bills, but the fate of the Labor-HHS-Education bill remains uncertain. Some of the outstanding and controversial issues in the bill include funding for the health care law and policy riders on abortion and other family planning issues. We expect to know later today whether the Labor-HHS-Education bill will be included in the megabus, but it’s likely to be wrapped into a year-long continuing resolution. Under that scenario, across-the-board cuts in all programs (including Title I and IDEA) are a foregone conclusion. An article from Congressional Quarterly is pasted at the end of today’s update!
There is still a very slim possibility that Congress will consider the Fix America’s Schools Today (FAST) Act before the holidays. Supporters of the bill have created a Web site where individual educators can also voice their support for the legislation: http://www.fixamericasschoolstoday.org/fast-home/.
Federal guidelines on use of race in school assignment/admissions
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice released joint guidelines that are meant to clarify how school districts may legally consider the race of students in their plans to promote diversity and limit racial isolation in schools. The guidance is based largely on three Supreme Court rulings that directly addressed the use of race in decisions about school assignments nd admissions by educational institutions: Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger.
Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies
Last week, the U.S. Department of Education released an Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies, a new report summarizing current approaches in the 46 states with anti-bullying laws and the 41 states that have created anti-bullying policies as models for schools.
The report shows the prevalence of state efforts to combat bullying over the last several years. From 1999 to 2010, more than 120 bills were enacted by state legislatures from across the country to either introduce or amend statutes that address bullying and related behaviors in schools. Twenty-one new bills were enacted in 2010 and eight additional bills were signed into law through April 30, 2011.
Out of the 46 states with anti-bullying laws in place, 36 have provisions that prohibit cyber bullying and 13 have statutes that grant schools the authority to address off-campus behavior that creates a hostile school environment.
The first Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit, hosted in August 2010 by the Department and other federal agencies, exposed an information gap regarding anti-bullying laws and policies across the country. The summit brought together government officials, researchers, policymakers, and education practitioners to explore strategies to combat bullying in schools. To address this information gap and respond to requests for technical assistance, the Department composed Anti-Bullying Policies: Examples of Provisions in State Laws, a guidance document outlining common key components of state anti-bullying laws.
Following the Summit, the Department’s Policy and Program Studies Service contracted researchers to compile the analysis on state laws and policies. In preparing the report, researchers reviewed and coded legislation and policy documents in every state across the country along with an additional sample of 20 local school districts. The report sought to address the extent to which states’ bullying laws and model policies contained the key components identified in the December guidance. A follow-up study will aim to identify how state laws translate into practice at the school level.
To learn about more key findings and to read the full report, visit http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html#safe.
New Democrats Release ESEA Reauthorization Framework
Last week, the 42-Member New Democrat Coalition released a framework for the reauthorization of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) designed to ensure American students receive a world-class education to compete for jobs in the 21st century global economy. The principles, which were developed by the New Democrat Coalition Education Task Force under the leadership of Representatives Susan Davis (D-CA) and Jared Polis (D-CO).
The framework calls for a comprehensive approach to reauthorizing ESEA that provides all students a well-rounded education, prepares them for college and the workforce, ensures there is an effective teacher in every classroom and encourages innovative educational approaches.
Business and Education Leaders Unite to Better Prepare Students for College and Careers
Last week, business, education and foundation leaders united to form the 114th Partnership, an organization that will better prepare our nation’s students for future success by fostering educational cultures of college and career readiness. The 114th Partnership—based on a proven business/ education model used by a top performing school system—will teach communities how to better leverage the strategies from business, the resources from foundations, and the skills and passion from educators to better prepare and inspire students to thrive in college and careers.
The 114th Partnership will make this model available to communities nationwide, thanks to the support and talent of its founding corporate partners in Deloitte, Gallup, Kaiser Permanente, Pearson, Sodexo, and UnitedHealthcare. A pilot program is being developed for the San Rafael City Schools in California.
For more information, please visit www.114th.org.
Leading Education Organizations Emphasize Alignment of P-3 Education
The nation’s leading education organizations have joined together to support alignment of preschool through third grade (P-3) education. The Pre-K Coalition—comprised of the American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Education Association, and the National School Boards Association (NSBA)—has released The Importance of Aligning Pre-K through 3rd Grade, which details best practices and recommendations for improving early learning.
According to the brief, a comprehensive P-3 approach is critical to ensure that children develop a solid foundation in literacy, math, and social-emotional skills. Gains made in high-quality pre-k programs must be sustained and built upon throughout the K–3 years. The need to focus attention on children’s early learning years is now more important than ever since a third of the nation’s fourth graders are reading at below basic levels. Without a basic level of competency by third grade, students are more likely to struggle academically, have behavioral and social problems, be retained in grade, and drop out of school.
House May Include CRs in ‘Megabus’
By Kerry Young, CQ Staff
Senior House appropriators on Wednesday said they may punt on one or more of nine remaining overdue spending bills for fiscal 2012 and avoid resolving difficult disagreements by passing continuing resolutions to cover their agencies and programs.
The possibility of one or more continuing resolutions being attached to a “megabus” that would wrap up remaining appropriations for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1 would signal that congressional leaders want to close this chapter of the yearlong budget fight that has dominated the Capitol.
This step also could be the only way to resolve seemingly intractable splits between Republicans and Democrats, the thorniest of which involve the overhaul of health care and financial regulatory laws. Republican efforts to restrict the reach of these two overhaul laws are tying up two of the remaining spending bills for the year.
The most likely candidate for a continuing resolution in the final fiscal 2012 appropriations package is the Labor-HHS-Education bill (HR 3070). Senior Democratic appropriators said Wednesday that continuing resolutions are also possible for Interior-Environment (HR 2584) and Financial Services (HR 2434).
Resorting to continuing resolutions would be a defeat for appropriators, who have criticized the use of such stopgap measures to finance much of the federal government in fiscal 2011. They had vowed to complete all 12 regular spending bills that pay for routing government operations for fiscal 2012.
Even with time running short, intense work continues to wrap up the remaining fiscal 2012 work in a single package, said House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky. “My goal is not to do CRs,” he said, while conceding that one may be needed for the Labor-HHS-Education bill. “We are expending all efforts toward” finishing a nine-bill package, Rogers said.
The fall of 2009 — for fiscal 2010 — was the last time Congress cleared regular spending bills for the departments and agencies most likely to be subject to continuing resolutions for fiscal 2012. Those decisions were largely carried through fiscal 2011 using a full-year continuing resolution (PL 112-10) for that budget year, with the exception of some cuts made in specific programs.
End in Sight
A conference committee of House and Senate appropriators will meet Thursday on the Military Construction-VA bill (HR 2055), and may at that time agree to add to it the remaining unfinished fiscal 2012 bills.
The text of a final appropriations package for the year, in the form of a conference agreement, is expected to be released Dec. 12 or Dec. 13, allowing a mandatory two-day advance publication of the legislation before the House votes on it the middle of next week.
The conference agreement would not be subject to amendment, and both chambers would be under pressure to act on it before stopgap appropriations provided as part of an earlier fiscal 2012 appropriations package (PL 112-55) expire on Dec. 16.
Democratic appropriators are warming to the idea of using continuing resolutions for some of the most contentious bills, because that approach would block Republican efforts to use them to change existing federal policy.
“It’s always better to have a bill,” said Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the ranking Democrat on the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee. “That may not be possible.”
House Republicans have been pressing to bar the use of appropriated money to implement the health care (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) and financial services (PL 111-203) laws, which they oppose. Republicans also want to restrict appropriations as a way to block labor and environmental regulations that they say unfairly restrict business.
“In some ways, a CR is not the end of the world,” said James P. Moran of Virginia, ranking Democrat on the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. “Life will go on. The EPA will continue to function.”
There is a chance that a compromise might be reached on the Interior-Environment bill, even with a remaining controversy on as many as 40 policy provisions that Republican leaders want included in the bill, Moran said. He said the chairman of the subcommittee, Republican Mike Simpson of Idaho, was trying to negotiate a compromise. “If it’s up to Mike Simpson, we’ll have a bill,” Moran said.
House aides said that prospects also were good for the Financial Services bill, although Rep. José E. Serrano of New York, ranking Democrat on that subcommittee, said the bill might be a candidate for a continuing resolution.
Republicans want to use the Financial Services bill to set policy on abortion funding and needle exchanges for drug addicts in the District of Columbia, Serrano said. But, he said, Senate Financial Services Appropriations Chairman Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., has not given any indication that he will concede to these demands.
“I don’t know how you get an agreement unless Sen. Durbin says it is OK to do these things, and so far he has said no,” Serrano said.
House appropriators said Wednesday they have no appetite to let work on fiscal 2012 appropriations drag into January, and that there is a strong effort to finish by Dec. 16. Moran said that there was little chance of reaching compromises later that cannot be reached now, and that appropriators and party leaders want to avoid another short-term stopgap spending measure.
“I don’t think we want to have another two- or three-day CR,” Moran said.
Source: CQ Today Online News
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In an effort to turn around the so-called “dropout factories” and ensure that all students graduate from high school college and career-ready, Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) has reintroduced high school reform legislation long supported by NASSP and our members.
“No Child Left Behind was important because it demanded more from schools and students. But the law was flawed and we must take action to fix the problems with it,” said Sen. Bingaman who is one of the lead Senators currently working on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). “The legislation I have introduced seeks to reform schools in New Mexico and across the country by raising standards and helping students achieve them.”
Encompassing many of the recommendations outlined by NASSP in Breaking Ranks II: Strategies for Leading High School Reform, The Graduation Promise Act (S. 1177) would authorize $2.4 billion for a High School Improvement and Dropout Reduction Fund to support the development of statewide systems of differentiated high school improvement. High schools receiving funding would be required to implement schoolwide improvement plans that ensure continuous improvement, organize the school to improve teaching and learning, improve curriculum and instruction, provide students with academic and social supports to address individual student learning needs, and increase teacher and school leader effectiveness.
Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) sponsored the House version of the bill (H.R. 778), which was reintroduced in February.
The Advanced Programs Act (S. 1179), also recently reintroduced by Sen. Bingaman, would reauthorize the AP Test Fee Program to help pay for low-income students to sit for the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. The bill would also reauthorize the AP Incentive Program that provides grants to states and districts to increase: 1) the number of teachers in high-need schools who are qualified to teach AP or IB courses; 2) the number of AP or IB courses offered in high-need schools; and 3) the number of students who are enrolled in and pass AP and IB courses and exams.
NASSP looks forward to working with Sen. Bingaman and his staff to ensure that both of these proposals are incorporated into a larger bill to reauthorize ESEA.
The Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, chaired by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), held a hearing this week to examine the role of charter schools in the nation’s education system. Go here www.edworkforce.house.gov to watch a webcast of the event and read the witness testimony.
Debt Ceiling/Deficit Reduction:
House Rejects Clean Debt Ceiling Bill: This Tuesday, the House rejected HR 1954, a bill to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion (the amount needed through the end of 2012). It failed by 97 – 318. House Republican leadership staged this vote to give their members the opportunity to officially register their opposition to raising the debt ceiling without spending cuts (all Republicans voted no) as well as to demonstrate that a clean debt ceiling bill can’t pass without spending cuts. Democrats split with 97 voting yes, 82 voting no and 7 voting present.
The next meeting of the Biden bipartisan group (aimed at finding a bipartisan deficit reduction plan for FY 2012) is scheduled for June 9. Yesterday, after President Obama met with the House Republican caucus, Speaker Boehner called for direct talks between himself and Obama and for a deal to be worked out within a month. See: John Boehner calls for debt deal in a month www.politico.com
FY ’12 Budget and Appropriations News: Balanced Budget
The House Judiciary Committee yesterday partially marked up H.J. Res 1, a proposed Constitutional amendment to require a balanced federal budget. In addition to mandating that outlays (spending) cannot exceed revenues in any year (other than by a 3/5ths vote of both the House and Senate) it also limits total outlays to no more than 20% of GDP (the co-called global spending cap), which can only be waived by a 2/3rds majority vote of both houses of Congress and prohibits any legislation to increase revenues without a 3/5ths majority vote of both houses. It would take effect in FY 17.
Department of Education Issues New Rules for Investing in Innovation Grants
The second round of the Investing in Innovation grant program will be a smaller, $150 million contest for districts and non-profits. The Education Department guidelines will require fewer private-sector matching dollars, ask applicants to focus on rural schools, and change how evidence of past success is used in the scoring process. Read more here: www.edweek.org.
Common Core Assessments to Integrate Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
The two consortia of states developing the common core assessments, to be rolled out in the 2014-2015 school year, are crafting them to include accommodations for students with disabilities. Videos with avatars conducting sign language is just one example of the innovative means that the consortia are taking in their approach. “We’re not even thinking about accommodations anymore” in the traditional sense, said Mr. Hock, co-chair of the accessibility and accommodations work group for the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium—one of the two groups developing the new tests. Read more here: www.edweek.org.
White House Convenes Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence held its first President’s Advisory Commission meeting last week. The work of this commission is urgent since Hispanics account for more than one in five students in public elementary, middle, and high schools, but have the lowest educational attainment overall. White House Initiative Director Juan Sepulveda said the commission’s priority is to collect best practices, noting that “the community has told us many, many times: We don’t need any more reports, we need help.” Read more here: www.whitehouse.gov.
Alliance Releases New Report on Deeper Learning
From the Alliance website: “Policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels should support the concepts of “deeper learning” to help all students meet higher expectations and be prepared for college and career, according to a new Alliance policy brief released on May 26. The brief argues that deeper learning provides students with the deep content knowledge they need to succeed after high school and the critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills that today’s jobs demand.” Read the brief here: all4ed.org [pdf].
ARRA Spending Report:
ED has posted an updated reports showing ARRA spending as of May 27. Of the $97.4 billion in ED ARRA funds allocated, 82.6% has been outlaid (spent). $16.9 billion still remains to be spent.
CHN Budget Webinar:
The Coalition for Human Needs is sponsoring a webinar on June 7th: A Webinar for the Budget-Perplexed: Stop the Slashing
The human needs advocates’ simple guide to understanding – and defeating – unprecedented attacks on the federal budget Tuesday, June 7, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. EST
Massive cuts in essential services like Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP/food stamps, education and children’s services, help to low-income communities such as housing and the Community Services Block Grant, and virtually every other human needs program. A large number of proposals now being floated in Washington would devastate these services and would make it far harder for the federal government to respond to economic downturns and solve looming national problems. Yet at the same time, they would do nothing to restrict more deficit-increasing tax cuts for millionaires and corporations.
These proposals don’t have straightforward names like “The Act to Slash Health Care for Older Americans” or “The Act to Cut Services for Low- and Moderate-Income Americans in order to Provide Enormous Tax Breaks for the Rich.” Instead, Congress is talking about global caps, balanced budget amendments, debt ceiling increases, deficit reduction… It’s hard to fight back if you don’t understand how you’re being attacked.