Daily News Roundup, June 20, 2014

Perspectives: News You Can Use
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Some of the News Fit to Print

Editor's Note: There will be no News You Can Use next week. Time for a bit of fun in the sun.

ABOUT HIGHER ED

SENATORS START IN ON HEA
WASHINGTON -- After months of hearings, the two key lawmakers charged with overseeing the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in the U.S. Senate are beginning to stake out firmer positions on what they want to include in the massive law that governs colleges and universities. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the top Republican on the Senate education committee, on Thursday unveiled his plan to drastically simplify the federal student aid system. His announcement comes as Senator Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who chairs the panel, is preparing to release a package of Higher Education Act proposals next week. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.

FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES IN WHITE HOUSE CROSSHAIRS
As the Obama administration targets student debt in one of its many executive orders, it once again is locking horns with private for-profit colleges over federal funding. Some of these subsidized institutions are publicly traded. The Department of Education's "gainful employment" rule, if finalized, would end federal financial aid to schools whose graduates have high student-loan debt relative to their incomes. It would apply to virtually all programs offered by for-profits as well as any non-degree program for public and private nonprofit universities. The article is in Investors’ Daily.

ABOUT K-12

POLL: NEARLY HALF OF ADULT AMERICANS HAVEN’T HEARD OF COMMON CORE
Sick of hearing people bicker about the political football called common core? You have lots of company. A new poll finds barely half of Americans haven't even heard of the new standards, let alone heard about them nonstop (like we do here in Washington). The MSN/Wall Street Journal poll, conducted by Hart Research Associates and released June 18, shows that 47 percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed have not heard of the common core. Of those who have, only 22 percent said they'd heard a lot about it. The remaining 30 percent said they'd heard "some." The post is from Education Week’s Curriculum Matters blog.

DCPS HITS PAUSE ON TEST SCORES FOR TEACHER EVALUATIONS
For several years, teachers in D.C. public schools have had student test scores account for up to half of their evaluation. But the school system now plans to suspend that practice for the upcoming school year. Jason Kamras oversees teacher evaluations in DCPS. He says instead of the local test D.C. students take, at the end of the next academic year, students will take the PARCC test. It stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. Basically, it's one of the tests used by states that follow the more rigorous Common Core Standards. Kamras says new assessments could have complications and delays, so they decided to hold them for a year. The piece is from WAMU.

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED ON CHANGES TO TEACHER EVALUATION SYSTEM
As the legislative session wrapped up in Albany on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo put forward a proposal to protect teachers from high-stakes consequences tied to student performance on new state tests. For the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years, teachers with poor ratings of either “ineffective” or “developing” would have state test scores removed from their evaluations. If the test scores alone led to a poor rating, then teachers would get a temporary pass. But if those teachers received low ratings based on classroom observations or other metrics, they would still be subject to a termination hearing. The article is from WNYC.

 

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