E-Update for January 8, 2016
While the House was in session, most of Washington was preparing for the President’s final State of the Union address next Tuesday. President Obama is expected to deliver remarks on the newly reauthorized education bill, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), in addition to STEM education, which many believe will also make an appearance in the address.
January 12, 2016
Speaker Ryan and Senate Majority Leader McConnell Advocate for Return to Regular Order on Appropriations Bills: In recent weeks, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have been advocating for a return to regular order on appropriations bills. This could mean that the House considers appropriations bills beginning in March, which is a faster timeline than in recent years. Additionally, House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) has said he is committed to writing and passing a budget bill by March.
Sen. Lankford Writes Letter on USED Bullying Guidance: Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) wrote a letter to Acting Secretary John King Jr. asking for an explanation of two U.S. Department of Education (USED) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) Dear Colleague letters on bullying and sexual harassment issued in October 2010 and April 2011. In the letter, Sen. Lankford asked for an explanation of USED’s regulatory basis for issuing the guidance, stating that the Department used broad interpretations of existing law to justify the contents of the guidance. The letter is available here.
January 7, 2016
House Rules Subcommittee Holds Hearing on the “Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act of 2015”: The House Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process conducted a hearing on H.R. 1610, the Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act of 2015, which would establish a process for adopting budgets for two year periods. In a statement released after the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Rob Woodall (R-GA) noted that the bipartisan legislation was important to ensuring an efficient budgeting process in the long-term. Chairman Woodall’s statement is available here.
January 6, 2016
U.S Department of Education
USED Requests Recommendations and Advice for Implementing ESSA: USED published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting from stakeholders recommendations and advice for regulations or guidance on the implementation of various Title I programs. The Department is soliciting comments to ensure states and districts have a smooth transition to the new law. Written comments must be submitted by January 21. The RFI is available here.
December 21, 2015
USED Releases Dear Colleague Letter to States on ESSA Transition: USED released a Dear Colleague letter clarifying USED’s expectations of states during the transition pertaining to issues such as: Title I assessment peer review; annual measurable objectives (AMOs) and annual measurable achievement objectives (AMAOs) for school years 2014–2015 and 2015–2016; conditions and other related requirements under ESEA flexibility; priority and focus school lists; and educator evaluation and support systems under ESEA flexibility. The letter is available here.
December 18, 2015
On January 11, USED will host a regional meeting for the public to provide advice and recommendations concerning issues in ESSA for which regulations may be helpful to clarify statutory ambiguities or provide appropriate flexibility. The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Education.
On January 12, President Obama will deliver his final State of the Union Address to Congress at 9:00 p.m.
On January 12, Partners for Each and Every Child will host a live video conference to examine the implications of ESSA for California’s school districts and accountability systems and to discuss what educators and policymakers must to do ensure all children succeed in California’s schools. The conference begins at 11:00 a.m. Register here.
On January 19, USED will host a regional meeting for the public to provide advice and recommendations concerning issues in ESSA for which regulations may be helpful to clarify statutory ambiguities or provide appropriate flexibility. The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the University of California-Los Angeles’ Carnesale Commons. Individuals who would like to present comments at the regional meeting must register by sending an email to ESSA.firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5:00 p.m. local time on January 12.
S.2428 : Service for Schools Act of 2015
Sponsor: Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] (introduced 12/18/2015) Cosponsors (None)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
The Role of Effect Size in Conducting, Interpreting, and Summarizing Single-Case Research: Single-case-design (SCD) is a type of experimental study design that involves observations of a single case (ex. a child or classroom) over time in the absence and presence of an experimenter-controlled treatment manipulation to determine whether the outcome is systematically related to the treatment. They can be useful for when randomized experimental designs are not feasible. To address the omission of single-case-design (SCD) research from reviews of whether evidence-based practices work, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) commissioned this paper by leading experts in methodology and SCD. Authors William Shadish, Larry Hedges, Robert Horner, and Samuel Odom contend that the best way to ensure that SCD research is accessible and informs policy decisions is to use good standardized effect size measures—indices that put results on a scale with the same meaning across studies—for statistical analyses.
January 7, 2016
Teacher Retention, Mobility, and Attrition in Kentucky Public Schools from 2008 to 2012: The purpose of this Institute for Education Sciences (IES) descriptive study was to determine the rates of retention, mobility, and attrition for classroom teachers in Kentucky public schools, as well as how those rates might vary by various teacher and school characteristics. The study looks at retention, defined as teachers returning to their same classroom (“stayers”); mobility, when teachers change schools within the school system (“movers”); and attrition, when teachers leave the system (“leavers”) from one year to the next. The study found that the Kentucky teacher workforce was largely stable across the study period (2008–2012). Most teachers (85.6 percent, on average) stayed in the same school from one year to the next, 6.0 percent moved to a different school, and 8.4 percent left the public school system. The study revealed some variation in rates based on select teacher and school characteristics. In particular, teachers with the fewest years of experience, teachers in urban schools, and teachers in schools where more students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch were retained at the lowest rates.
January 5, 2016
A What Works Clearinghouse Year in Review: The What Works Clearinghouse published a webpage detailing the work they did in 2015. The page contains links to all the practice guides, intervention reports, study reviews, and other resources they created, as well as information on the outreach activities they undertook.
January 4, 2016