Feb. 5, 2014

Education Week, Vol. 33, Issue 20
School & District Management 2014 State Races to Watch
This year, 36 states have gubernatorial elections, seven have elections for state schools superintendent, and 46 have legislative elections for one or both chambers. With the candidate landscape still unfolding, here are some likely hot spots.
Andrew Ujifusa, February 5, 2014
Early Childhood Pre-K Remains Hot State Policy Topic
With their legislative sessions in full swing and governors laying out their budget priorities, early-childhood education takes center stage.
Christina A. Samuels, February 4, 2014
6 min read
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker acknowledges high school students during his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature in January. The 2014 elections will test the voting public's response to changes reducing public employees' collective-bargaining power that GOP leaders such as Mr. Walker championed.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker acknowledges high school students during his State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature in January. The 2014 elections will test the voting public's response to changes reducing public employees' collective-bargaining power that GOP leaders such as Mr. Walker championed.
Andy Manis/AP
School & District Management Stakes Are High for K-12 Policy in 2014 Elections
With three dozen governorships and more than 6,000 legislative seats on the ballot, this year's elections could prove pivotal for key education issues.
Andrew Ujifusa, February 4, 2014
8 min read
School Climate & Safety School-Violence Tip Lines Get a Second Look After Sandy Hook
A handful of states and districts are showing renewed interest in tip lines that allow young people to anonymously share information about potential security threats, bullying, and other behaviors.
Evie Blad, February 4, 2014
5 min read
School Climate & Safety Feds Urged to Do More to Track School Sexual Abuse
A General Accountability Office investigation reveals a fractured, confusing, and conflicting system for reporting and tracking incidences of child sexual abuse by school personnel.
Evie Blad, February 4, 2014
5 min read
Sherwood, Ore., high school engineering teacher John Niebergall, left, and teacher Allison Meadows instruct student Garret Heckenberg on how to use a high-tech PlasmaCam, which cuts steel.
Sherwood, Ore., high school engineering teacher John Niebergall, left, and teacher Allison Meadows instruct student Garret Heckenberg on how to use a high-tech PlasmaCam, which cuts steel.
Leah Nash for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness Manufacturing-Job Growth Prompts K-12 Training Effort
High schools are creating programs to prepare students for high-tech manufacturing jobs amid projections of a 42 percent increase in the sector by 2018.
Fenit Nirappil, February 4, 2014
5 min read
Education Funding State Chiefs Reaffirm Intent to Safeguard Student Data
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Education, schools chiefs from 34 states say they will not share personally identifiable student data with the federal government.
Catherine Gewertz & Michele McNeil, February 4, 2014
4 min read
Standards New Tools Gauge Fidelity of Lessons to Common Core
Which instructional materials fully reflect the new math and literacy standards? Some recently developed tools and processes seek to provide an answer.
Catherine Gewertz, February 4, 2014
10 min read
Federal Opinion Taking a Closer Look at Rural Schools
A new organization is examining the needs of rural schools and students, who number in the millions but are frequently overlooked by American policymakers and researchers, Paul T. Hill says.
Paul T. Hill, February 4, 2014
3 min read
Elaine Weiss, of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, speaks at a Nashville, Tenn., event at which supporters and opponents of school vouchers discussed proposals to create a voucher program in that state and to expand charter schools.
Elaine Weiss, of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, speaks at a Nashville, Tenn., event at which supporters and opponents of school vouchers discussed proposals to create a voucher program in that state and to expand charter schools.
Erik Schelzig/AP
School & District Management Vouchers Get Fresh Attention From State Policymakers
Private-school-choice legislation is part of a broader trend at the state level, and proposals are bidding for attention in the U.S. Senate.
February 4, 2014
5 min read
School & District Management Opinion Responding to Principals' Rising Responsibilities
The pressures and expectations for principals have grown ever higher in recent years, but there are ways to support these school leaders while still encouraging their autonomy, write Duncan Young and Susan Szachowicz.
Duncan Young & Susan Szachowicz, February 4, 2014
6 min read
Jackie Cornejo, 16, left, and Elisa Martinez, 16, work on a problem in a math class at the Young Women's College Preparatory Academy in Houston. The school is one of the first in the Houston district to give laptops to students for use at school and at home.
Jackie Cornejo, 16, left, and Elisa Martinez, 16, work on a problem in a math class at the Young Women's College Preparatory Academy in Houston. The school is one of the first in the Houston district to give laptops to students for use at school and at home.
Michael Paulsen/Houston Chronicle
Classroom Technology Unfazed, Houston Pushes Ahead on 1-to-1 Computing
Undeterred by problems experienced by other school systems attempting to equip students with digital devices, the district began distributing more than 18,000 laptops.
Benjamin Herold, February 4, 2014
7 min read
Education Correction Corrections
• A news brief in the Jan. 15, 2014, issue of Education Week incorrectly identified the district affiliations of two finalists for the AASA's Superintendent of the Year. Michele Taylor is the superintendent of the Calhoun, Ga., district, and Kevin Maxwell, who was selected for his leadership of the Anne Arundel County schools in Maryland, is now the superintendent in neighboring Prince George's County.
February 4, 2014
1 min read
Education Best of the Blogs Blogs of the Week
February 4, 2014
5 min read
Reading & Literacy News in Brief 250 Million Children Worldwide Can't Read
At least 250 million of the world's 650 million primary school age children can't read, write, or do basic mathematics, a report released last week by the United Nations finds.
The Associated Press, February 4, 2014
1 min read
Curriculum News in Brief Texas Board Considers Reining In Text Reviewers
Texas' board of education is mulling tighter rules on citizen-review panels that scrutinize proposed textbooks in the hope of heading off future controversies over evolution, climate change, and other hot-button issues.
The Associated Press, February 4, 2014
1 min read
Assessment News in Brief Federation of Blind Sues PARCC Over Field Tests
The National Federation of the Blind has filed a lawsuit against PARCC claiming the lack of Braille access on the common-core field tests to be given in 18 states and the District of Columbia represents a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Christina A. Samuels, February 4, 2014
1 min read
Education Funding News in Brief Education Department Offers Guidance on Charter Lotteries
Charter schools receiving federal funds may now hold weighted lotteries in favor of disadvantaged students, according to new nonregulatory guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.
February 4, 2014
1 min read
School Choice & Charters News in Brief Students in Private Schools Getting Many Ind. Vouchers
A growing number of Indiana students receiving school vouchers are already enrolled in private schools, a state education department analysis finds.
The Associated Press, February 4, 2014
1 min read
Assessment News in Brief New Jersey Adds Arts to School Report Cards
New Jersey became what is believed to be the first state in the nation to include visual and performing arts among the items it tracks in annual state school report cards.
McClatchy-Tribune, February 4, 2014
1 min read
Classroom Technology News in Brief CEOs Urge Federal Officials to Overhaul E-Rate
Industries from across the United States are taking a stronger interest in improving schools' Web connectivity, as evidenced by an open letter released last week from some 50 CEOs that urges federal officials to bring significant changes to the E-rate program.
Sean Cavanagh, February 4, 2014
1 min read
Special Education News in Brief Connecticut District Faulted for Handling of Special Ed.
State education officials in Connecticut have ordered Bridgeport schools to take corrective action after finding that local officials systematically failed to identify students eligible for special education services.
The Associated Press, February 4, 2014
1 min read
School Climate & Safety News in Brief Student-Discipline Rules Adopted in Maryland
Maryland's board of education adopted student discipline regulations aimed at keeping students in school, ending racial disparities in suspensions, and seeking more constructive punishments.
The Associated Press, February 4, 2014
1 min read
Data News in Brief Ohio District Found to Play 'Loose' With Student Data
Columbus schools played "fast and loose" with attendance data, grades, and other records, the Ohio auditor said.
The Associated Press, February 4, 2014
1 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
vectorikart/iStockphoto
Mathematics Opinion How We Created a Network of STEM Teachers
Creating a national network of teachers with subject-matter expertise encourages them to commit to the profession and embrace leadership roles, writes Nicole Gillespie.
Nicole Gillespie, February 4, 2014
6 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Wyoming Court Clears Way for Schools Chief's Return
The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled last week that a 2013 law improperly stripped state schools chief Cindy Hill of power over public schools.
Andrew Ujifusa, February 4, 2014
1 min read
School Climate & Safety News in Brief Bill Would Limit Liability When Staff Use Weapons
An Ohio bill would allow school boards to make closed-door decisions about arming employees, prohibit the release of the names of armed school staff, and provide immunity from civil liability resulting from employees' use of weapons on campus unless it is "reckless or wanton conduct."
Evie Blad, February 4, 2014
1 min read
School Choice & Charters News in Brief Charter Law Rankings
Plenty of movement took place overall among states considered to have the best charter school laws, though little change occurred in the top 10 lineup from last year to this year, according to a leading advocacy group for the charter sector.
February 4, 2014
1 min read