E-Update for October 9, 2014

E-Update for October 9, 2014

E-Update for October 9, 2014


On October 2, the U.S. Department of Education announced nearly $96 million in grants to focus on closing equity and opportunity gaps for minority students attending colleges and universities across the country. The grants awarded by the Department are:

  • Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program ($20,141,221)
  • Strengthening Institutions Program ($22,998,921)
  • The Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions Program ($16,360,038)
  • Native Hawaiian Education Program ($10,054,780)
  • Alaska Native Education Equity Program ($12,662,376)
  • Promoting Post-baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program ($10,625,456)
  • Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program ($3,039,006)


On October 9, the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) will host a webinar on Key Strategies for Effective Educational Leadership Policy at 3pm. The Wallace Foundation and representatives from national policy associations will discuss how laws and regulations can promote leadership capacity building, strengthen state momentum on educational leadership, and give policy partners opportunities to collaborate on these issues. Speakers will include: Mary Bivens, Colorado Department of Education; Cortney Rowland, National Governors Association; Mary Canole, Council of Chief State School Officers, and more. RSVP here.

On October 14, The Education Testing Service will host a forum, “What Does it Mean to be Work Ready: A Talent Supply Chain Perspective.” This forum will investigate the disconnect between the skill requirements of 21st-century jobs and the abilities of today’s workers seeking those jobs. Participants will explore the need to establish a global framework of critical skills for workplace readiness and success and how to articulate the meaning of workplace readiness. Steven Robbins of ETS and Martin Scaglione of Hope Street Group will review the relationship between skills, work readiness, and success from both research and policy perspectives as they discuss their work in building a skills agenda. The event will run from 11:30am to 1:30pm with lunch provided. To RSVP, please contact Elizabeth Kingsley at 202-659-0616.

On October 16, the Alliance for Excellent Education will host a briefing on Rethinking Accountability to Support College and Career Readiness. This briefing will focus on a broader vision of accountability to support higher and deeper levels of learning for all students and to provide greater flexibility for schools and districts. The event will include the release of a new report, Accountability for College and Career Readiness: Developing a New Paradigm, which explores how states might construct accountability systems that are well-aligned and that assure a high-quality education for all students. Using an imaginary “51st state” as the model, authors Linda Darling-Hammond and Gene Wilhoit will set out some principles for effective accountability systems that are better able to “foster a culture of inquiry and continuous improvement at all levels of the system.” Speakers will include: S. Dallas Dance, Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools; Paul Leather, Deputy Commissioner of Education at the New Hampshire Department of Education; Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress. RSVP here.

U.S Department of Education

31 Organizations Pledge Support for Teach to Lead Boston, Denver and Louisville selected as sites for first “Teacher Leader Summits”: The U.S. Department of Education and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced that 31 organizations have joined the Teach to Lead initiative as supporters in the effort to advance student learning by expanding opportunities for teacher leadership. Supporters include the National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY). Each organization pledged to help engage the field and their members in various ways, including through social media, summits, training, policy work and advocacy opportunities for future teacher leaders.
October 6, 2014


Center for American Progress Report: The Power of the Pygmalion Effect: Expectations Have A Deep Influence on Student Performance: To look at the issue of expectations more closely, the Center for American Progress (CAP) analyzed the National Center for Education Statistics’ Education Longitudinal Study, or ELS, which followed the progression of a nationally representative sample of 10th grade students from 2002 to 2012. The study showed that high school students whose teachers have higher expectations about their future success are far more likely to graduate from college; secondary teachers have lower expectations for students of color and students from disadvantaged backgrounds; and college-preparation programs and other factors that support higher expectations are significant predictors of college graduation rates.
October 6, 2014

ACT Report: The End of Erasures: Updating Test Security Laws and Policies for Computerized Testing: ACT ReportL The End of Erasures: Updating Test Security Laws and Policies for Computerized Testing: As states transition to computer administered testing, new test security challenges will emerge. The report reviews test administration manuals in sixteen states, provides examples of good practice, and identifies areas where states could improve test security. The report offers the following recommendations: states should update their state statutes and regulations to reflect the shift to computer-administered assessments; states should concentrate efforts on controlling test access; and when updating the test administration manuals, the test security section should have all necessary information and be a “one-stop shop.” Although shifting to computer-based testing reduces some test security risks, it also creates new risks that states will need to address with new laws and policies.
October 2014

National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance Report: Evaluation of the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: An Early Look at Applicants and Participating Schools Under the SOAR Act: This report explores implementation of the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) in the first two years after Congress reauthorized it with some changes under the SOAR Act of 2011. Key findings include the following: (1) Just over half of all DC private schools participated in the OSP, with current schools more likely to have published tuition rates above the OSP scholarship amounts than did participating schools in the past; (2) OSP applicants under the SOAR Act represent between three and four percent of the estimated 53,000 children in DC who meet the eligibility criterion; (3) A number of awarded scholarships go unused, with students from disadvantaged schools and families using awarded scholarships at lower rates than others.
October 2014

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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