Edvoice - Issues

Arizona Leans In on Formative Assessment

November 11 | Education Week

By Liana Heitin

Formative assessment is a hyperlocal process that happens in classrooms, and often, just between a teacher and an individual student. But education leaders in Arizona are making the instructional practice a state-level priority and finding ways to support individual teachers with their daily-assessment tactics from the top.

California's schools falling short on accountability

November 18 | Sacramento Bee

By George Miller

We live in a progressive and forward-thinking state with a constitution that guarantees equity in our public education system. We have a lot to be proud of – successfully implementing the Common Core standards, expanding services for students in foster care and investing in early childhood education.

But we also should be striving every day to more fully deliver on that constitutional promise of an equal education for every California child. Critical to that promise is a system rooted in accountability and transparency, and on that front, we are falling short.

Is a new era of education policy just around the corner?

November 16 | The Hechinger Report

By Robert Rothman

If you want to see education policy in the next few years, look to state capitols, not Washington, D.C. Negotiators for the U.S. House and Senate have agreed on a framework to revise the main federal education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, that would give more authority to states. The current version of the law, the No Child Left Behind Act, created a federal system of testing and accountability, and many educators and policy makers contended that that law was too constraining and created some harmful side-effects. The new framework, if approved by Congress and the president, would largely restore the system that existed prior to NCLB, in which states had greater authority over their testing and accountability systems.

Feds: IEPs Should Align With Grade-Level Standards

November 17 | DisabilityScoop

By Michelle Diament

Beyond offering a free appropriate public education, individualized education programs for students with disabilities should meet grade-level requirements, federal education officials say.

In guidance released Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Education said that all IEPs should conform to “the state’s academic content standards for the grade in which the child is enrolled.”

Sources: House and Senate Negotiators Have Reached Preliminary ESEA Deal

November 13 | Education Week

By Alyson Klein

Christmas seems to have come early this year for education advocates. After weeks of long and hard negotiations, House and Senate lawmakers have reached preliminary agreement on a bill for the long-stalled reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, multiple sources say.

Fact check: Clinton's charter school exaggeration

November 13 | USA Today

By Eugene Kiely

Hillary Clinton says “most charter schools … don’t take the hardest-to-teach kids. Or if they do, they don’t keep them.” But her campaign could not provide evidence for such a sweeping claim.

Lower enrollment, employee benefits contributing to L.A. Unified's projected deficit

November 10 | Los Angeles Times

By Zahira Torres and Howard Blume

Declining enrollment along with the cost of providing employee benefits and special education services for students are among the key drivers contributing to a projected long-term deficit at the Los Angeles Unified School District, according to an independent financial review panel.

Walton foundation sustains local funding for Teach For America with new grant

November 9 | Los Angeles Times

By Howard Blume

The Walton Family Foundation, a major education funder in Los Angeles, has announced a $50-million grant to Teach For America that will support the organization’s work in Southern California as well as across the nation.

Why some LAUSD teachers are balking at a new approach to discipline problems

November 7 | Los Angeles Times

By Teresa Watanabe and Howard Blume

It's another day of disruption on this campus in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which has been nationally hailed by the White House and others for its leadership in promoting more progressive school-discipline policies. The nation's second-largest school system was the first in California to ban suspensions for defiance and announced plans to roll out an alternative known as restorative justice, which seeks to resolve conflicts through talking circles and other methods to build trust.

California teachers' pension plan reduces investment risk

November 5 | Sacramento Bee

By Dale Kasler

CalSTRS has taken the first big step toward reducing risk in its portfolio by adopting a “risk mitigation strategy” that will devote a portion of its assets to safer investments.

The move by the teachers pension fund comes as California’s largest public pension fund, CalPERS, considers its own plan to lower its risk profile. Both pension funds are wrestling with long-term funding deficits and earned returns of less than 5 percent each in the most recent fiscal year. At the same time, they’re determined to minimize the fallout from a market meltdown like they experienced in 2008.