It is more likely that legislation on gun safety will gain traction, but there will be no additional federal funding for school safety programs. Sequestration will have a more immediate effect on individuals and schools served through programs such as Impact Aid including aid to military dependents and Native American students and the Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants, which are not forward-funded.
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What is happening with school safety at the federal level? That is opposite to what's needed for successful turnarounds -- gaining all stakeholder groups' cooperation. While the seventh, "state flexibility," allows states to propose their own approach, it gives the Secretary of Education total discretion to withhold approval.
Thus, staff replacement could still be demanded there. Valuably, the House omits these intrusive and unnecessary constraints. Percent of Schools Subject to Turnaround Requirements -- Given the paucity of skilled turnaround leaders, states' limited human capacity to provide needed technical assistance, tight federal budgets, and the need to proceed cautiously in an undertaking of this difficulty, the Senate is right to limit the percentage of schools subject to turnaround mandates. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus.
Our Communities Left Behind: An Analysis of the Administration’s School Turnaround Policies
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HuffPost Personal. Special Projects. NCLB transformed a weak, state-driven system of standards-based accountability into a centralized, more coherent, federally driven version. Unlike previous federal efforts, it combined specific performance goals for all students and high-stakes consequences for schools and districts for failing to meet those goals. Specifically, NCLB required:.
Additionally, NCLB focused unprecedented attention on struggling students and low-performing schools, and states began to collect important new data to track progress. Test results were disaggregated by key student subgroups, such as ELLs and low-income students, and accountability targets were applied to these subpopulations within schools. Evidence of achievement gaps could no longer be masked by average student performance data. High school graduation rates are at an all-time high at over 80 percent see Chapter 1: Student Achievement.
But just as states developed and tested new solutions 30 years ago for the problems identified in A Nation at Risk , states are again at the fore of a new wave of education reform to address these persistent challenges. Some evidence suggests that this pressure, coupled with the reality of operating a school or district on a limited budget, meant educators often began to focus more time on those tested subjects at the expense of others, like social studies, science, and the arts—a logical response to the incentives created by the accountability system and tough budget choices.
Read more. If the federal government was the primary driver of education policy in the early s, states reemerged as a dominant player in recent years leading up to the enactment of ESSA, driving the structure of the post-NCLB iteration of standards-based reform. In a seeming contradiction, on the one hand, states moved toward more uniformity in standards and assessments. On the other hand, waivers increased the variation in how states use those standards and assessments to hold schools accountable.
The changing policy dynamic meant states could experiment with a variety of strategies to improve their education systems and outcomes. That flexibility carried forth in the structure of ESSA, and states are now submitting plans for their own accountability system designs.
Uncertainty Marks ESEA Reauthorization Efforts: Your Actions Matter
The tradeoff of innovation and flexibility is risk that some state experiments may fail. If they do, that failure could exacerbate educational inequity — driving increased variance in the quality of education across state lines. After years of collaboration among state leaders, educators, nonprofits, and content experts, the final draft of the Common Core State Standards was released in The U.
In addition to criticisms around the Common Core standards themselves, the implementation of new assessment regimes aligned to the Common Core has also driven a range of criticisms. Some of the more frequent include:.
Some of the specific criticisms levied at Common Core-related assessments are part and parcel of more global debate regarding assessments and their use more generally. Concerns include the effect of testing on students and instruction, citing impacts on instructional time and focus as well as test-related stress and the psychological impact on children.
Debate extends to how test data can and should be used in terms of accountability for schools and school personnel, particularly the inclusion of standardized test results as a factor in teacher evaluations, and regarding the use and protection of student data. Early anecdotal reports from schools and districts suggest a wide disparity in opt out rates among states and districts. As was the case before the development of the Common Core standards, leaders in districts and schools choose the resources that educators use to teach to the standards.
Very little system-wide information exists about how and where districts purchase curricular materials. In fact, in every state except one, it is impossible to find out what materials districts are currently using without contacting the districts individually. With the rollout of the Common Core standards, K publishers took advantage of the fact that new standards would require new or at least updated materials.
A study of a widely used math textbook series found that none of the series covered percent of on-grade Common Core standards, and some were virtually identical to their pre-Common Core versions. For instance, due to their interaction with the standards and curriculum, teachers have reported feeling more engaged in their instruction than they were in the past with pre-developed resources made by publishers or district-level staff. While districts report that the vast majority of teachers receive professional development related to the Common Core, only one-third of districts say teachers are prepared to teach the standards.
Also similar to the way local educators have responded to the need for curriculum development, large proportions of districts report that teachers themselves are developing and providing Common Core-aligned professional development. Source: Data collected by authors from various sources, including state agency web sites, official press releases, and other public documents. The —15 school year marked the first time that all participating states administered updated assessments. However, at least 10 states are already transitioning to new tests for the —16 school year and beyond.
For instance, some states began using measures of student growth to replace the proficiency rate-based measures required by NCLB. Other states developed their own accountability practices beyond those required by NCLB. These systems drew on additional performance measures and often included more intuitive ratings categories, like A—F grades for schools.
ESEA Programs and Related State Initiatives
These state-level developments, however, were at odds with the federal law, and each year Congress failed to rewrite NCLB created greater friction between state reforms and federal requirements. Increasingly, NCLB was seen as a barrier to positive change. Given the lack of Congressional action and recognizing the promising policies states were pursuing on their own, in , Secretary of Education Arne Duncan began granting waivers to provide states relief from some of the federal requirements that were most at odds with current knowledge and practice.
To qualify for flexibility, states were required to submit plans for adhering to certain parameters under each of these broad principles.