State Board in the Community: July 2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

In July, SBOE members visited DCPS and charter schools and participated in important community gatherings across the District.

Jack (Ward 2 / Vice President) was honored with a Multilingual Education Visionary award by DC Language Immersion.

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SBOE Weekly Ed Links: 07/28/2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

Check out our rundown of the top education news and events this week in the District and around the country.

SBOE QUOTED IN THE NEWS
Who Gets Access to Data About D.C.’s Public Schools? | Washington City Paper
SBOE Rejects Credit Recovery Proposal, Seeks Public Guidance | Washington Informer

NATIONAL NEWS
Charter school network spreads ‘personalized learning’ model nationwide | EdSource
In 2012, with a goal of creating “self-directed learners,” Summit redesigned its two high schools and opened two new schools. A key element of Summit’s model is an online platform developed with engineering help from Facebook.

How Many Seats Do Teachers Get on the State Board of Ed.? In Most Places, None | EdWeek
State boards of education craft policies on curriculum, assessment, and other areas that directly affect day-to-day classroom life. But the professionals most affected by those decisions—teachers—often don’t have a seat at the boardroom table.

Where Can Districts Turn for Personalized Learning Resources? | EdTech
Organizations and government agencies are doing their best to help educators respond to the growing demand for individualized education.

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Putting #StudentsFirst: Our Vote on Credit Recovery

Credit recovery is supposed to provide students that have already failed a course the opportunity to make up or recover the credit. The regulations submitted to the State Board by OSSE were an attempt to provide statewide guardrails on a chaotic mix of programs, varied interpretations of policies or the complete absence of policies. The State Board unanimously rejected the proposal because, in our view, they would not provide any change in the practice of credit recovery in the District of Columbia.

The State Board believes we need to begin a long overdue conversation about how state agencies are better able to support excellent classrooms. It is a conversation that our caregivers, teachers, and students have been asking for: how do we harness the power of government and public education to ensure equity of opportunity for all students.

Credit recovery is a last resort. Every time a teacher acts with a student that is struggling, we need to be there to provide support. Every time a student falls behind, we need to be there to catch them up. A student that is struggling in a class shouldn’t have to fail the course before the teacher and the school can help. That is a failure of the system, not the student.

On the fundamentals, we agree with OSSE that credit recovery needs clear guidelines and rules, but not without a larger discussion about how the education system is serving individual students. Working together, as a community, we must ensure that the state agencies are supporting caregivers, teachers, and school leaders to provide students with the help they need to prosper by reducing barriers and ensuring equity of access and opportunity. We must hold our school leaders and agencies, not just teachers responsible for student outcomes, and empower our students and their caregivers to be decision-makers in education.

The State Board rejected the proposed regulations to put students, not the system, first.

Transforming Public School Teaching in the Nation’s Capital

By: Maria Salciccioli, Senior Policy Analyst

One of the most interesting conversations I attended this summer was the report release event for FutureEd’s A Policymaker’s Playbook: Transforming Public School Teaching in the Nation’s Capital. The event opened with remarks from Council Chair Mendelson, Council Education Chair Grosso, and Interim Deputy Mayor Smith. Thomas Toch then presented some of the findings from his report. He said that the Rhee era, under Chancellors Michelle Rhee and Kaya Henderson, was marked by a “transformation of the profession from low-status occupation with weak standards to performance-based professional providing recognitions, responsibility, collegiality, support, and significant compensation.” He noted that these improvements were actually what Michelle Rhee’s critics were looking for, and no other districts have accomplished them to the same extent. The results were achieved through initiatives that unions and Rhee’s other adversaries opposed, but also those they supported:

  • The IMPACT evaluation system
  • Performance pay and staffing (top salaries rose in the 10-year period from $87,000 to $132,000 for 10-month schools)
  • The LIFT career ladder, which provides leadership opportunities for classroom teachers
  • School-based professional development through the LEAP system

The result was a greater number of new hires with teaching experience (from 66% to 84%), retention of 94% of highly effective teachers and only 49% of minimally effective teachers (who only make up 5% of the teaching force). However, Toch acknowledged that there are still troubling facts and trends: only 15% of black students scored proficient on PARCC reading assessments, LEAP implementation is uneven, zoned high schools are a major challenge, and poverty is a formidable barrier. He concluded by saying that despite these issues, schools are much better than they were before the reform era.

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2018 National Forum on Education Policy

By: Matt Repka, Policy Analyst

The Education Commission of the States (ECS) held its annual National Forum on Education Policy in late June 2018 at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC. Hundreds of state legislators, state board members, principals, teachers, and other education stakeholders attended the three-day event, which featured presentations, workshops, and addresses from prominent elected officials, educators, and researchers, including former U.S. Secretary of Education John King.

ECS is a nonpartisan national organization that assists state government officials in developing education policies. Founded over 50 years ago, its objective is to bring state officials together to share best practices on how to improve the quality of education in their states, and to provide research and other resources to better inform policymakers.

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SBOE Weekly EdLinks: 07/15/2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

Here’s your weekly rundown of education local/national news and events here in the District.

SBOE QUOTED IN THE NEWS
D.C. Officials Irked by Report of Unlicensed Teachers | Washington Informer

Statement on Mayor’s Veto of School Promotion and Graduation Fairness Emergency Act of 2018 | Markus Batchelor

How 2 Communities in DC, One White One Black, Work Together | Afro

NATIONAL NEWS
Detroit schools will hire teachers without classroom experience, sparking debate | Chalkbeat
Detroit’s main district is proceeding with a plan to hire teachers who are certified but have received no training in the classroom — adding an element of controversy to efforts to fill hundreds of teacher vacancies by the end of summer.

Indiana State Board of Education approves graduation pathway policy | Fox59
The Indiana State Board of Education (Board) on Wednesday approved policy guidance for Graduation Pathways by a 10-0 vote. The policy guidance will be used by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and schools across the state to implement Graduation Pathways, which the Board approved in December 2017.

Controversial Discipline Program Not to Blame for Parkland School Shooting, Commission Finds | EdWeek
A controversial school discipline program adopted by the Broward County, Fla., district to reduce student arrests cannot be blamed for the shooting by a former student there, a state commission said Tuesday.

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SBOE Weekly EdLinks: 07/06/2018

By: Paul Negron, Public Affairs Specialist

Starting today, we are launching a weekly rundown of education local/national news and events here in the District!

SBOE QUOTED IN THE NEWS
Bowser Waited Until After The Primary to Find The Next Public Schools Chancellor | Washington City Paper

Student journalists at Wilson High’s Beacon look to build on high-profile year | DC Line

NATIONAL NEWS
K-12 and the U.S. Supreme Court: Highlights of the 2017-18 Term | EdWeek
After a major term for K-12 education the year before, the U.S. Supreme Court had a more measured term in 2017-18.

The Largest Teachers’ Union Predicts a 14 Percent Membership Loss Over Two Years | EdWeek
The National Education Association is projecting a nearly 8 percent membership loss over the course of the next school year, along with a $28 million budget reduction, due to an adverse Supreme Court ruling.

New York, Virginia become first to require mental health education in schools | CNN
New York’s law updates the health curriculum in elementary, middle and high schools to include material on mental health. Virginia’s law mandates that mental health education be incorporated into physical education and health curricula for ninth- and 10th-graders.

Ohio teacher evaluations get an overhaul teachers like | Columbus Dispatch
Once again, Ohio teachers are going to face a new state-mandated evaluation system — but this time, most agree it’s a good thing. Ohio lawmakers have struggled for years to craft a teacher evaluation system that both teachers and administrators think is fair, not overly burdensome and actually furthers the goal of better classroom instruction.

Education by the Numbers: 9 Statistics That Have Made Us Think Differently About America’s Schools This Academic Year | 74
Even with a perpetual media carnival unfolding around the Trump presidency, and ahead of midterm elections that could result in an even more hectic news environment next year, the events of 2018 have been shaped to an extraordinary degree by America’s K-12 schools.

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