The first steps toward comprehensive E-Rate reform have already been taken. What should schools expect?
- By John K. Waters
Rural education is receiving federal funding from an unexpected source: helium. Amid the federal government shutdown, the United States House and Senate passed a measure last week dealing with helium reserves that also reauthorized the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination program, affecting funding for more than 4,000 schools.
The national discussion around Common Core is off base. Instead of focusing on test scores, teacher accountability and federal takeovers, policymakers need to put their efforts behind supporting teachers to improve teaching practices and ultimately improve student learning, according to a report released this month.
There's a conundrum facing universal preK. According to researchers, the disadvantaged see definite benefits from free preschool, with mid-term academic gains and increased "quality" parental involvement. But when preschool is available to all, those who can afford private schools begin to switch to the free, public system, causing a "crowd out" that, among other things, increases costs to taxpayers by "as much as 19 percent" while providing no discernible benefits.
The Consortium for Policy Research in Education has released a new report, "State Education Agencies' Acquisition and Use of Research Knowledge in School Improvement Strategies," that examines how state education agencies look for, choose, and integrate research into strategies for improving low-performing schools.
A new $1.4 million federal grant will fund the establishment of a Center on Technology and Disability.
New research is questioning the validity of high stakes tests given by states, calling breakdowns in quality control "near commonplace," even as test results affect whether or not students are able to graduate or move to the next grade.
- By Dian Schaffhauser
A preliminary report from a survey of K-12 school districts has revealed that 99 percent of all districts in the United States will need broadband upgrades within the next three years.
The 23 governing states of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium have unanimously approved the consortium's Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, which outline the modes of assessment delivery for all students, particularly those with special needs.
Per-pupil spending in 34 states is below pre-recession levels for the 2013-2014 school year. According to a new report released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, despite some improvements in state revenues, 15 of those states have cut budgets beyond the levels they were at just last year.