E-Update for June 19, 2015

E-Update for June 19, 2015

EducationCounsel E-Update for June 19, 2015

U.S Department of Education

Revised Head Start Performance Standards: The Department of Health and Human Services released the first comprehensive revision of the Head Start Performance Standards since they were originally published in 1975. The proposed regulation seeks to update standards to reflect best practices and the latest research on what works in early education to foster healthy child development and school readiness. Notably, the proposed rule sets an expectation that all programs operate for a full school day and full school year; raises education standards to reflect current research on brain development, early learning, and effective practice; and builds teacher skills and improves classroom performance through a system of evidence-based, individualized professional development.
June 16, 2015

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Opposes Proposal to Block Gainful Employment Regulations: Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released the following statement on the House Republicans proposing to block gainful employment regulations in the House Fiscal Year 2016 Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill: “With students across the country reeling from the predatory behavior of failed and fraudulent ‘career’ colleges, it’s truly mind-boggling that House Republicans are still fighting tooth and nail to protect schools that take advantage of students and leave taxpayers with the bill. Make no mistake: a vote for this proposal is a vote to leave students in the dark and taxpayers holding the bag. Both deserve better.”
June 16, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Awards Grants to Improve Services and Outcomes for Children with  Disabilities: The Special Education-Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities/Preparation of Leadership Personnel Program will deliver $3.6 million in awards to prepare graduate students for leadership positions in special education, early intervention and related services. Additionally, the Special Education-Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities/Combined Priority for Personnel Development will provide $9.2 million in funds to help address state-identified needs for highly qualified personnel in special education, early intervention and regular education programs that serve children with disabilities.
June 16, 2015

U.S. Departments of Education and Interior Announce Grant to Assist Pine Ridge School Recovery Efforts: The U.S. Department of Education announced that the Pine Ridge School in South Dakota has received $218,000 at their request under the U.S. Department of Education’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant program to aid in recovery from student suicides and suicide attempts.
June 17, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Requests Comments on Evaluating the Impact of Professional Development around Data-Driven Instruction: The U.S. Department of Education announced a new information collected in the Federal Register entitled, “Impact Evaluation of Data-Driven Instruction Professional Development for Teachers.” The notice requests clearance for data collection activities for a rigorous evaluation of data-driven instruction (DDI) in 104 schools from 12 school districts. DDI involves the use of student assessment data to help teachers adapt their instruction and, ultimately, improve student achievement. The Department said it plans to collect student records and teacher assignment data from participating districts and schools, and conduct a teacher and principal survey, and review teacher logs.
June 15, 2015

U.S. Congress

House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations: The House Labor/HHS Appropriations Subcommittee met to consider its Fiscal Year 2016 Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill. Ultimately, the Subcommittee passed the bill by voice vote, which will now go to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration. Democratic Subcommittee members raised concerns with the overall funding level of the bill and offered a total of 12 amendments, all of which failed by voice vote. The full House Appropriations Committee may meet next week, at which point the report and funding tables will be available. Press release, hearing video, and USED statement.  The Senate LHHS Subcommittee is scheduled to markup its Fiscal Year 2016 Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill June 23 at 3PM.
June 17, 2015

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Hearing on Evaluating Accreditation’s Role in Ensuring Quality:  The Senate HELP Committee held a hearing entitled, “Reauthorizing the Higher Education Act: Evaluating Accreditation’s Role in Ensuring Quality.” The hearing, the fifth the Committee has held this year on HEA reauthorization, included testimony from the following: Peter T. Ewell, Vice President, National Center for Higher Education Management; George A. Pruitt, PhD, President, Thomas Edison State College; Albert C. Gray, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools; and Anne D. Neal, President, American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
June 17, 2015


On June 24, the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus will hold a briefing entitled, “Career Exploration in the Middle Grades: High Quality Programs to Help Students Build a Vision for Their Future.” The event will take place from noon until 1:30PM in room 385 of the Russell Senate Office Building. To RSVP, email Michelle Cravez.

On June 24, the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education will host a hearing entitled, “Child Nutrition Assistance: Looking at the Cost of Compliance for States and Schools.” The hearing will take place at 10AM in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building. There will be a live webcast available here.

On June 25, Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) will hold a policy briefing to discuss how federal and state policy alignment, or lack thereof, can affect college affordability. Experts will present data depicting the state and financial aid policies in Texas and nationally. The briefing will take place from 10 to 11AM in room 122 of the Cannon House Office Building. To RSVP, email Erica Cuevas.

On June 25, NCTAF and OECD will co-host a discussion on the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) entitled, “Professional Learning: What Can We Learn from International Data and Practice.” The discussion will explore how countries around the world develop and support their teachers. Register here.

New Legislation

S. 1606 : Digital Learning Equity Act – A bill to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovative strategies and methods to increase out-of-school access to digital learning resources for eligible students in order to increase student and educator engagement and disseminate evidence-based strategies to relevant stakeholders and the public.
Sponsor: Sen King, Angus S., Jr. [ME] (introduced 6/18/2015)      Cosponsors (1)

H.R.2728 : Youth Justice Act of 2015
Sponsor: Rep Scott, Robert C. “Bobby” [VA-3] (introduced 6/11/2015)      Cosponsors (4)

H.R.2731 : National Collegiate Athletics Accountability Act
Sponsor: Rep Dent, Charles W. [PA-15] (introduced 6/11/2015)      Cosponsors (5)

H.R.2762 : Getting Involved in Researching, Learning, and Studying of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Act
Sponsor: Rep McNerney, Jerry [CA-9] (introduced 6/12/2015)      Cosponsors (7)

H.R.2773 : To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide grants to local educational agencies to encourage girls and underrepresented minorities to pursue studies and careers in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.
Sponsor: Rep Beatty, Joyce [OH-3] (introduced 6/15/2015)      Cosponsors (27)

H.R.2794 : To strengthen and unite communities through English literacy and civics education, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Honda, Michael M. [CA-17] (introduced 6/16/2015)      Cosponsors (16)

H.R.2796 : To amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to provide grants to States for summer employment programs for youth.
Sponsor: Rep Richmond, Cedric L. [LA-2] (introduced 6/16/2015)      Cosponsors (None)

H.R.2797 : To amend the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 to establish the Office of School Discipline Policy, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Richmond, Cedric L. [LA-2] (introduced 6/16/2015)      Cosponsors (None)

H.R.2803 : To amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure State control over academic standards, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Zeldin, Lee M. [NY-1] (introduced 6/17/2015)      Cosponsors (None)

H.R.2815 : To require the Secretary of Education to complete a data analysis study on the impacts of all income- or employment-based outcome measures of quality in higher education before issuing or implementing regulations utilizing such metrics, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Salmon, Matt [AZ-5] (introduced 6/17/2015)      Cosponsors (6)

S.1556 : Adjunct Faculty Loan Fairness Act of 2015
Sponsor: Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] (introduced 6/11/2015)      Cosponsors (1)


What Works Clearinghouse Report on MyTeachingPartner-Secondary Professional Development Program: MyTeachingPartner–Secondary (MTP-S) is a professional development program that aims to increase student learning and development through improved teacher–student interactions. Through the program, middle and high school teachers access a video library featuring examples of high-quality interactions and receive individualized, web-based coaching approximately twice per month during the school year. MTP-S uses the secondary school version of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System®–Secondary (CLASS-S) to define and observe effective teaching practices. MTP-S was found to have no discernible effects on general achievement for middle and high school students.
June 16, 2015

The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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