Education news. In context.
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No Child Left Behind
All-clear on ESSA
August 31, 2017
Tennessee and feds strike a balance in how to track historically underserved students
The change enables the state to intervene when any racial group of students fall far behind their peers.
August 4, 2017
No Child Left Behind is dead. But have states learned from it?
Are states really changing course from No Child Left Behind? Are they learning from what many viewed as the problematic aspects of the law ESSA replaced?
a failure of accountability
July 14, 2017
High-stakes testing may push struggling teachers to younger grades, hurting students
it’s a big problem when schools encourage their least effective teachers to work with their youngest students. And a new study says that the pressure of school accountability systems may be encouraging exactly that.
February 21, 2017
McQueen rips Tennessee’s school turnaround work as ineffectual, overdue
Calling outcomes "a little embarrassing," Education Commissioner Candice McQueen notes that the state has only moved 10 schools off its “priority” list since 2012.
Equity and ESSA
January 27, 2017
Famed researcher Linda Darling-Hammond on the future of New York education — and what she makes of Betsy DeVos
An influential education researcher, who has been helping New York implement ESSA, spells out how the state can focus on equity under the new law.
October 11, 2016
How Tennessee might drastically change testing, and other potential changes to the state’s schools
State officials share their takeaways from nearly six months of discussions on how Tennessee should adapt to the sweeping new federal education law.
the long view
July 13, 2016
Why this year’s failed TNReady test leaves Tennessee with challenges for years to come
The decision to cancel standardized testing this year will impact the state's accountability system for at least three years.
List of principles
July 11, 2016
What makes a highly effective school? New York State takes its first crack at describing what will count
The state's new accountability system could be based on these 20 principles.
April 25, 2016
Sen. Lamar Alexander on the nation’s new education law, and how it could shape Tennessee schools
Tennessee's senior senator says the goal of the Every Students Succeeds Act is to leave decisions about schools up to local stakeholders.
Adjustments in Accountability
March 31, 2016
This year’s TNReady scores can’t put your school on the priority list. Here’s why.
In light of TNReady's bumpy rollout, the State Department of Education has new provisions in place for how student test scores will be used to evaluate low-performing schools.
February 2, 2016
Every Marion County school district except one will get a break from the state
The State Board of Education is also expected to address the performance of state takeover schools.
January 26, 2016
Key legislator's bill now calls for dumping ISTEP in 2017
What sort of statewide test would come next has not yet been determined.
December 16, 2015
New federal education law gives states more flexibility — but will Tennessee use it?
Because Tennesssee only recently overhauled its education system, the replacement for No Child Left Behind likely will have a limited effect at the outset.
December 16, 2015
How the Every Student Succeeds Act could change New York schools
The law could eventually lead to changes in testing, what happens to struggling schools, and more as the state gets more leeway to make education policy decisions.
The Colorado Way
November 20, 2015
Colorado schools spared tough sanctions from high testing opt-out rates under new federal waiver
The OK from Washington comes a little more than a week after the State Board of Education begrudgingly signed off on the state's application.
September 14, 2015
Study: Middle school students want recognition, not money
Vanderbilt University researchers studying student incentives are surprised that middle school students are more motivated by certificates than money.
July 17, 2015
Indiana finalizes new A-to-F model for 2015-16
The new rules will equally weigh ISTEP passing rates and student test score improvement.
July 16, 2015
The basics of English language learning: Schools struggle to adapt
Indianapolis is at the center of the state's demographic shift, seeing more than 200 percent growth in English learners since 2001.
July 15, 2015
Tennessee legislators want more state control under No Child Left Behind rewrite
Lawmakers kick off a two-day study session on K-12 schools in Tennessee, looking first at how a proposed revision of a federal education law would impact state schools.
July 15, 2015
The basics of Indiana’s NCLB waiver: An ongoing debate
In 2012, Indiana negotiated a waiver from sanctions of NCLB, making promises to the federal government in exchange. Ever since, managing it has been a bit messy.
July 13, 2015
The basics of Mike Pence on education: A battle for control
As governor, Mike Pence has pushed for career and technical education, school choice, tougher school accountability and changes to standards and tests.
June 30, 2015
A-to-F grade 'pause' won't harm NCLB waiver renewal, Ritz's team says
Glenda Ritz will ask the state board Wednesday to mitigate the effects of this year's A-to-F grades on schools
May 7, 2015
A-to-F changes pass after more state board drama
The state board approved changes to Indiana's A-to-F accountability model that would use gains on tests as well as passing rates. The changes would result in fewer A's.
April 27, 2015
Legislature poised to shift more power from Glenda Ritz to state board
A bill could cost Superintendent Glenda Ritz her primary role overseeing school A-to-F grades along with the guarantee that she lead the Indiana State Board of Education.
April 23, 2015
Indiana kids learning English are getting less funding, more testing
More than 15 years of steep growth in the number of English language learners in Indiana schools might require a reconsideration of funding and accountability policies.
April 19, 2015
As immigration reshapes Indianapolis, schools struggle to keep up
Immigration is rapidly changing Indianapolis, and the changes are having major effects on schools.
April 10, 2015
After-school programs seek recognition as more than an after-thought
Advocates for after-school programs say their programs are vital resources, but they are often thought of as an after-thought to the traditional school day.
April 6, 2015
Could the battle over ISTEP put Indiana's NCLB waiver in jeopardy?
A showdown is brewing this week over the future of ISTEP, but expect a new question to be raised: could changes to state tests could…
February 9, 2015
Pence signs executive order to shorten ISTEP test
Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order today aimed at shortening Indiana’s ISTEP test, an action that follows days of heated conversations about how the 2015…
February 4, 2015
State board stops short of guiding schools toward more test scores in teacher ratings
The Indiana State Board of Education today held off a decision to ask school districts to count test scores and other “objective” measures of…
February 3, 2015
City charter school CEO to senators: Testing has its place
A city charter school leader told a group of U.S. senators Tuesday that there is value in testing students throughout the year if the focus is on progress, not just proficiency.
January 22, 2015
At out-of-town training, IPS board also tries to resolve discord
The Indianapolis Public School Board spent two days together last weekend among the rolling hills of southern Indiana. The stated reason was for training, and board members have been careful not to officially describe the get-together a "retreat," which might suggest a more general meeting that would be required to be open to the public under Indiana's Sunshine Law.
January 21, 2015
City teachers testify before U.S. Senate committee on reducing testing
Two New York City teachers were among a panel of expert witnesses called to testify on testing and accountability at a U.S. Senate committee hearing Wednesday aimed to fix No Child Left Behind.
August 28, 2014
Indiana celebrates NCLB waiver win, but questions remain
Four months after Indiana was stunned to be put on a form of probation by the U.S. Department of Education, there was widespread relief today with federal officials approved the state's request to extend a waiver that releases schools from possible sanctions under No Child Left Behind. But there was also a sense that Indiana wasn't entirely out of the woods yet.
August 28, 2014
How'd we get here? Background on Indiana's NCLB waiver process
Indiana today learned it would get a one-year extension of it's No Child Left Behind waiver from U.S. Department of Education. We've rounded up some of our past stories on the issue to help get you up to speed.
August 28, 2014
Indiana dodges NCLB waiver bullet, for now
Indiana today got a one year reprieve from possible penalties from the U.S. Department of Education. Those penalties, including the loss of control over more than $200 million in federal aid that goes to local schools, won’t happen before June 30 of next year.
July 10, 2014
Ritz, state board battle over board rules, NCLB waiver
Relations between Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Indiana State Board of Education members today reached a new low as board members voted on a series of resolutions that Ritz and her supporters say are no more than politically motivated power grabs from Ritz.
July 8, 2014
Ritz blames Pence, CECI for "undermining" her leadership
State Superintendent Glenda Ritz today ripped Gov. Mike Pence’s Center for Education and Career Innovation, saying it is “determined to undermine our work” at the Indiana Department of Education, and charged that the State Board of Education’s proposed actions Wednesday could threaten Indiana’s standing with federal education officials.
July 7, 2014
Proposal to rewrite rules for Ritz, state board draws objections
A proposal to again change the rules for how the Indiana State Board of Education conducts its meetings has brought renewed charges from state Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s supporters that it is a thinly veiled effort to limit her power.
July 3, 2014
Colorado gets one-year extension on federal policy waiver
Federal education dollars will continue to flow to Colorado after the U.S. Department of Education announced today that it has granted the state a…
June 13, 2014
Pence: Indiana won’t delay test-based accountability in 2015
Indiana must keep school accountability in place in 2015 even if an overhauled ISTEP test results in lower student scores, Gov. Mike Pence said…
June 4, 2014
Indiana's dilemma: Should state test scores count next year?
Indiana could propose letting teachers and schools off the hook from sanctions for poor test scores next year as part of its effort to meet demands from the U.S Department of Education. But state Superintendent Glenda Ritz and the Indiana State Board of Education today faced a series of tough questions they’ve only begun to try to answer about what that could mean for the state’s school accountability system.
June 3, 2014
Questions remain as Indiana's NCLB deadline nears
Indiana now has less than a month to satisfy U.S. Department of Education concerns that have put it in jeopardy of facing federal sanctions,…
May 13, 2014
Ritz, state board at odds over what went wrong on NCLB
State Board of Education members sparred with state Superintendent Glenda Ritz and her staff today over why Indiana is in hot water with federal education officials. In a tense meeting reminiscent of last fall’s battles between Ritz and the rest of the board over who controlled state education policy, board members peppered the superintendent and her team with questions and challenged the veracity of their answers.
May 7, 2014
State board sets special meeting on NCLB waiver concerns
The Indiana State Board of Education will hold a special meeting on on Tuesday for board members to ask questions of state Superintendent Glenda…
May 2, 2014
New tensions begin to emerge over state's NCLB response
Gov. Mike Pence and state Superintendent Glenda Ritz put aside their 2013 squabbles to form an alliance for the fight over new state academic standards last month, but dividing lines between them may re-emerge as the state scrambles to respond to a warning from the federal government.
May 2, 2014
Feds put Indiana on notice: NCLB waiver in doubt
Indiana could face potentially severe sanctions under the federal No Child Left Behind law if it cannot satisfactorily answer U.S. Department of Education concerns in 60 days about its plans for instituting its new standards. On Thursday, Indiana State Superintendent Glenda Ritz received a letter from Deb Delisle, assistant U.S. secretary of education, spelling out concerns about “significant issues” with Indiana’s adherence to an agreement it made in with the federal government in 2012.
April 9, 2014
Indiana students will take two state tests in 2014-15
Indiana students will take at least two online, state-run standardized tests in 2014-15, and some state board members raised concerns today about a proposal to add a third test.
March 19, 2014
How Indiana jumped from Common Core but got on board with preschool
Simultaneously Hoosiers dropped out of of a group of 45 states that have agreed to share standards while also joining in on another education front by becoming the 42nd state to offer financial aid for preschool. Driving the state in these different directions were politics, timing and changing attitudes.
March 19, 2014
Common Core: Without a champion, support waned
So how did Indiana become the first state to formally withdraw from Common Core? Opponents of the standards were able to connect with the natural sympathy of several key Republican players, who share with Common Core critics grave concerns about the influence of the federal government.
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