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education

Mayors pledge to adopt ambitious education goals 80 mayors urge full funding of 21st Century Schools By Frank Wolfe The National League of Cities has launched the Mayors’ Action Challenge for Children and Families, which includes urging city mayors across the country to set ambitious goals for education, safety and health improvements. NLC launched the initiative Saturday at its annual convention in Orlando, Fla. To date, 80 mayors have signed the challenge, under which each mayor commits to set at least one ambitious, measurable, locally defined goal related to education, safety or health. Kathleen Novak, the president of NLC and the mayor of Northglenn, Colo., said the administration of President-elect Barack Obama presents a “new direction” that offers cities opportunities to collaborate with the federal government on these areas. “America needs collaborative strategies that emphasize partnership, innovation and an ‘allhazard’ approach to public safety, and we want to collaborate with the federal government on those strategies,” Novak said, adding that such partnerships have been “unraveling.” The Challenge Statement of Principles identifies several federal actions that can reinforce local efforts to address such challenges, including full funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers and the Pell Grant program as well as flexible funding to back in-depth local youth violence-prevention programs. Of particular importance is the push for full 21st CCLC funding, as the Bush administration has consistently funded the program at less than half the $2.5 billion authorized annually by NCLB. Some localities have begun projects to fill in the gaps in federal support for after-school programs. Obama has promised to double federal funding for after-school programs. “This is very good news and very important news,” Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance, said of the challenge’s support for (See CHALLENGE on page 3)

Vol. 41, No. 215 · Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Teacher quality Experts: New teachers expect pathway to leadership roles ....................................................... Page 3 Daily Briefing ........................................ Page 4

Education

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Spellings’ technology proposal contrasts Bush’s record By Erin Uy Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, in a recent white paper, urged further investment in and implementation of technology in schools — an area in which the Bush administration has received significant criticism from education technology stakeholders. In Harnessing Innovation to Support Student Success: Using Technology to Personalize Education, Spellings said the data and resources to improve student learning and academic outcomes exist, but the technology to leverage such resources has been implemented only in pockets of the nation. Perhaps setting the stage for the next administration, Spellings encouraged greater focus from local, state and federal agencies on five key areas: 1.  Online learning and virtual schools. 2.  Transforming data into knowledge and action. 3.  Broadband connectivity. 4.  Research efficacy and impact. 5.  School leadership and professional preparation. “Over the past decade, the federal investment in technology has not been well-targeted, resulting in islands of innovation, not a sea of change,” Spellings said. (See PROPOSAL on page 2) Prefer to get Ed Daily® by e-mail? Just call LRP customer service at (800) 341-7874

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Education Daily®

Spellings’ proposals to Harness Innovation Education Secretary Margaret Spellings’ recent white paper, Harnessing Innovation to Support Student Success: Using Technology to Personalize Education, targets several specific areas of education technology for improvement. First, she suggests federal expansion of research and development programs for online learning and virtual schools. Spellings said the federal government should take a lead role to allow states to discover the most effective ways to deliver online instruction and prepare teachers to implement the resources. Second, Spellings suggested policymakers revisit and update the nation’s E-Rate program, which offers funding to provide broadband services for schools and libraries. The program, which has endured a profusion of fraud scandals, has been flat-funded during the last decade. Third, Spellings encouraged policies to “transform raw data into information that educators can act upon.” Technology can allow educators to access information through online assessments and performance data

to tailor instruction and develop an effective, personal learning experience for students. “Increased transparency has brought about better use of data and built an appetite for change and improvement. With the help of technology, we must now begin to address those expectations in innovative ways,” Spellings said. Fourth, Spellings urged a “systematic and comprehensive research agenda” that stimulates the growth of the education technology market. Mary Ann Wolf, State Educational Technology Directors Association executive director, acknowledged the importance of Spellings’ final recommendation: grooming leadership at schools and at the policy level to boost education technology. “Now, it is important that we work together to specifically address these key areas and the role they play in transforming our education system — specially identifying how federal and state policy can serve as a catalyst for helping states and districts,” Wolfe said.

PROPOSAL (continued from page 1)

Instead, the administration directed districts interested in such funding to other federal programs, such as Title I or Improving Teacher Quality State Grants, which in FY 2009 Bush proposed to cut by $100 million. Education technology experts blasted Bush’s budget proposals, saying the decision was shortsighted and demonstrated the administration’s lack of understanding on the needs of ever-evolving education technology. Don Knezek, International Society for Technology in Education chief executive officer, said, “The rhetoric of the report and the reality of continuously reduced funding are inconsistent.” He applauded the spirit of Spelling’s report but also noted the work that lies ahead. “Let’s face facts: Innovation is not free. It will take vision, leadership and investment to realize the goals laid out in this white paper,” Knezek said. “ISTE stands ready to work with the new administration and Congress to secure adequate funding and transform our education system for the digital age.”

Funding implications

Critics say Bush administration funding priorities for such programs have been in stark contrast with Spellings’ recent call to action. They attribute the limited growth of data systems to limited federal funds. Bush proposed to zero-fund the Title I Enhancing Education Through Technology program for the fourth consecutive year in FY 2009. The program supports initiatives to integrate technology in the classroom and in student’s curricula through Educational Technology State Grants, which are many states’ primary pot for education technology funding. Bush’s FY 2009 budget proposal noted that “schools today offer a greater level of technology infrastructure than just a few years ago, and there is no longer a significant need for a state formula grant program targeted specifically on (and limited to) the integration of technology into schools and classrooms.”

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that the publisher and editor are not engaged in rendering legal or professional counsel. If legal or professional advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. Published every business day by LRP Publications, Inc. (ISSN: 0013-1261), 360 Hiatt Drive, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418, Editorial: (703) 516-7002, extension 21; Customer Service: (800) 341-7874; New Subscriptions: (800) 341-7874. Publisher: Kenneth F. Kahn, Esq.; V.P., Editorial: Claude J. Werder; Corporate Executive Editor: Candace Golanski Gallo; Executive Editor: Debi Pelletier; News Editor: Charlie Hendrix; Editorial Staff: Michael Brodie, Pamela Moore, Wangui Njuguna, Joseph L. Pfrommer, Esq., Kim Riley, Mark W. Sherman, Sarah D. Sparks, Jeanne Sweeney, Erin Uy, Frank Wolfe; Copy Editor: Jennifer Pfaff. Annual subscription rate: $1,200. Single issues: $6. Copyright 2008 by LRP Publications, Inc. Federal law restricts reproduction of material in this newsletter without written permission. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by LRP Publications, for libraries or other users registered with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) for a $7.50-per-document fee and a $4.25-per-page fee to be paid directly to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923. Fee Code: 0013-1261/08/$7.50 + $4.25. Requests for permission to reproduce content should be directed to LRP customer service at (800) 341-7874, fax (561) 622-2423, e-mail custserve@lrp.com. For editorial suggestions, e-mail dpelletier@lrp.com. www.educationdaily.net.

November 18, 2008

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Education Daily®

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Experts: New teachers expect pathway to leadership roles Some programs respond to demand for professional advancement opportunities By Wangui Njuguna Unlike earlier generations of teachers who entered the profession expecting to spend their entire careers in the classroom, many new teachers say they plan on a much briefer stint. Yet during their abbreviated teaching careers, many want responsibilities beyond classroom management, said experts speaking at the recent National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality conference. A study of new teachers found, for example, that many talk about wanting to be coaches even though they did not know what coaches do, said Susan Moore Johnson, director of the Project on the Next Generation of Teachers at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Recent entrants to the teaching field are looking for “some way to be compensated for their efforts and achievement to allow them to progress in their profession as their friends in other professions do,” she said. States are starting to respond to the demand. The Kansas Education Department granted teachers’ request for a new teacher leadership licensure, which will be launched next fall, said Pamela Coleman, director of teacher education and licensure for Kansas ED. Other states such as Iowa are in various stages of developing similar programs. Alabama, Delaware, Ohio, Kentucky and Kansas are part of the Council of Chief State School Officers’ State Consortium on Teacher Leadership, which is developing a model curriculum for a teacher leader certificate or endorsement that would serve as a resource for higher education institutions. 

Credibility

As states and districts develop opportunities for teachers to play a larger role in their schools, they

Urban CHALLENGE (continued from page 1) 21st CCLC. “Families are really struggling, and we need after-school more than ever, not only because of the economy, but to build the workforce of the future.”

Local challenges underway

Although the challenge effort is just beginning, some big city mayors have already laid out far-reaching goals. In St. Paul, Minn., for instance, Mayor Christopher Coleman has launched his Second Shift Initiative to bring together nonprofits and other community groups to provide quality after-school programs. Coleman also promised to expand access to quality early education and increase kindergarten readiness for 1,600 children by providing scholar-

have to design programs that give the leadership role credibility with fellow teachers, experts said. In addition to promoting a culture that respects expertise, school administrators can support teacher leaders by ensuring that their responsibilities go beyond being an extra person to take on cafeteria duties or oversee testing, Johnson said. Carefully designed leadership roles also would emphasize to other teachers that “this is a meaningful job” and help colleagues who might be resistant to working with teacher leaders, especially if evaluating coworkers is part of their job description, she said.

Defining responsibilities

Additional responsibilities that a teacher takes on have to be clear, experts said. Examples of leadership positions include mentor, instructional coach, data analyst, staff developer, department head, and staff member who helps guide education policies. “The greatest honor for a teacher is not a title such as teacher of the year. The greatest honor is acknowledging and using the teacher’s expertise,” said Terry Dozier, director of the Center for Teacher Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dozier said her teaching experience helped in her role as a senior advisor on teaching to the education secretary during the Clinton administration. But she cautioned that a teacher who works well with students is not always well-suited to work with colleagues, even if the teacher takes professional development training on leadership. Dozier recommended administrators define the characteristics of a teacher leader as someone who is an excellent teacher with the ability to “positively influence others.”

education ships to low-income families for quality early care and learning programs for 3- to 5-year-olds. Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia has pledged to cut the city’s 45 percent dropout rate in half in five to seven years and double the city’s 18 percent college-attainment rate in five to 10 years. “Across our nation, we must agree together on the way — both in the public and private sectors — to create cities that are successful in educating all of our children and supporting all of our families,” Nutter said. The 26 mayors who founded the challenge effort include Richard Daley of Chicago, Michael Bloomberg of New York City, Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, John Hickenlooper of Denver, Thomas Menino of Boston, Manuel Diaz of Miami, and Adrian Fenty of Washington, D.C.

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November 18, 2008


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Capitol Hill Watch Kennedy returns to Senate According to several published reports Monday, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., returned to Washington D.C., for the lame-duck sessions of the 110th Congress. Kennedy was key negotiator of a number of educationrelated bills during the Bush administration, including NCLB and the recently enacted Higher Education Opportunity Act. While Kennedy has been a key figure in federal education policy, a statement issued by his office Monday indicates health care reform will likely be his priority for the start of the 111th Congress. In the statement, Kennedy said he would “continue to lay the ground work for early action by Congress on health reform when President Obama takes office in January. We’ve been making real progress in our discussions about a consensus approach, and I’m optimistic we’ll succeed.”

Across the Nation Arizona State joins 21st century partnership program Arizona has joined the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a program focused on embedding 21st century skills in high school curricula. As the 10th state to join the program, Arizona agreed to infuse 21st century skills in schools’ standards, assessments, professional development, teacher preparation and youth development. Arizona joins a network of states — Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin — that benefit from technical assistance and other resources through the program. “Joining the partnership is a decisive step toward providing all Arizona students with a rigorous 21st century education system,” said Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat. “Our students will graduate with the necessary skills — like creativity, innovation and critical thinking — that employers around the globe increasingly demand of their employees.” Arizona has created a teacher preparation plan focused on forging relationships with the state’s public higher education institutions. The state committed to revising teaching standards to include 21st century skills and integrating 21st century skills into accreditation, preparation, certification and professional development. Plans for the state include an evaluation of Arizona standards and assessments to incorporate student mastery of 21st century skills.

Iowa Some districts struggle with school nurses law Dozens of Iowa school districts have come up short on a 2007 state law that requires them to hire registered nurses, The Des Moines Register reported recently. The newspaper said state records show that at least 38 small school districts have no qualified nurses, which administrators say are expensive and in short supply. Several Iowa districts have taken advantage of state waivers that provided them time to meet the nurse requirement, the newspaper said. State records show officials in 44

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Education Daily®

school districts asked for waivers in the 2007-08 school year, it said. Thirty-eight of them asked for waivers this school year. That option will disappear by next fall, the newspaper said. School nurses or health services were mandatory in 28 states in 2006, according to the National Association of School Nurses. Iowa schools could get by without nurses until 2007, when lawmakers agreed every district should have at least one. The positions must be registered nurses, who are specially trained and licensed. School officials told the newspaper that the nurse requirement is a stretch, particularly for rural districts that can’t afford competitive salaries.

Oregon Gov. seeks to delay graduation requirements Gov. Ted Kulongoski recommended Friday that the State Board of Education postpone issuing more rigorous accountability tests to high school freshmen this fall, calling the new graduation requirement an “unfunded mandate” for schools in a time of economic downturn, The Oregonian reported. The board in June unanimously approved tougher state tests in the areas of reading, math, speaking and writing as a stricter graduation requirement, beginning with this year’s freshmen, the newspaper said. Ninthgrade students in all districts were given informative briefs detailing the new tests, according to the newspaper. A state panel found the stricter standards would cost about $266 million from 2009-11 to hire more counselors and math, science and reading teachers; provide extra training for teachers; and offer extended tutoring time for struggling students, The Oregonian reported. Kulongoski told school board members Friday that the cost was too much considering the state’s economic downturn, the newspaper said. Board chairmen told reporters that some of the new requirements may be scaled back or delayed but that they would likely not be dropped completely.

Newsmakers CCSSO announces recipient of Distinguished Service Award The Council of Chief State School Officers announced Sunday that Alma Powell is the 2008 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Powell sits on the boards of several educational, cultural, charitable and civic organizations. She is the chair of the board of America’s Promise Alliance, whose mission is to mobilize people from every sector of American life to build the character and competence of youth. She also chairs the advisory board for the Pew Center for Civic Change. “We are delighted to honor Alma Powell with the Distinguished Service Award,” said CCSSO Executive Director Gene Wilhoit. “Building on the legacy of the alliance’s founder, Gen. Colin Powell, America’s Promise is forging strong and effective partnership alliances committed to seeing that children experience the fundamental resources they need to succeed.” The award is given annually to a person or persons outside CCSSO who have shown leadership and contributed to the advancement of education. CCSSO will present the award to Powell at its spring 2009 Legislative Conference.

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