May 21, 2014

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Vol. 33, Issue 32
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Although the debate over teacher-evaluation systems is dominated by the use of test scores, a new Brookings Institution analysis finds flaws with the observation component.
A 50-state survey by Education Week finds that the shared exams being developed by two assessment consortia are losing sway as more states pursue their own paths.
Interest in the controversial school choice option known as the parent trigger has declined sharply in state legislatures this year.
Fueled by a federal "innovation" grant, the initiative aims to improve the academic, socialization, and communications skills of students with severe cognitive and behavioral needs.
More states are mandating principal evaluations, but there is uncertainty about the best ways to measure effectiveness and how much weight to give student performance.
News in Brief
Report Roundup
News in Brief
Report Roundup
In a large-scale survey, youths who left school before graduating reported that adverse events in their lives combined to push them off the academic track.
A surge of Latino students in public schools in the past two decades coincided with a retreat from major desegregation efforts in many school districts, researchers argue.
The Baltimore and Boston initiatives come amid an influx of money into the ed-tech sector for the development of digital curricula, assessment products, and other offerings.
Proposed changes to "net neutrality" rules, posted by the Federal Communications Commission, have raised concerns among some education and technology advocates, who fear it will diminish the tradition of a free and open Internet.
An Indiana project that seeks to track information on students from elementary school through their time as adults in the workforce is drawing objections from critics concerned about data privacy and security.
Best of the Blogs
As a number of states begin evaluating teachers' effectiveness based on changes in their students' test scores, academic research is raising more questions about such "value-added" models.
Questions surround extra breathing room given states seeking to renew waivers from some provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act.
An annual report on the status of state preschool programs found that spending rose while enrollment dipped slightly in 2012-13, but high-profile expansions are underway.
The Senate education committee on a sharply partisan vote, approves a measure that would expand preschool to more low- and moderate-income 4-year-olds.
At a time when more states are moving to retain struggling students in lower grades, research shows that such efforts are counterproductive, Deborah Stipek and Michael Lombardo say.
Communication is key to an effective teacher-evaluation process, writes district superintendent Nicholas A. Fischer.
A common-core enthusiast, Carol Lloyd, questions the assessment after her daughter takes it.
Letters
Students benefit when secondary schools make a strong commitment to fostering social and emotional learning, write Barbara Cervone and Kathleen Cushman.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Atlantic Philanthropies, the California Endowment, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the GE Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the HOPE Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Panasonic Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and an anonymous funder. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations.

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