EdNET Insight - From the Editor http://www.ednetinsight.com en-us http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Central by Imulus (http://imulus.com) info@ednetinsight.com PDK/Gallup, Education Next Polls http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/pdk-gallup--education-next-polls.html There's been a lot of attention devoted these past few weeks to two public opinion polls - the PDK/Gallup and <i>Education Next</i>. PDK released the results of its 47th annual <a href="http://pdkpoll2015.pdkintl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/pdkpoll47_2015.pdf" target="_blank">PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools</a href> last week. With its long history, this poll can provide a lot of historical context, allowing readers to see how opinion has changed over time. <i>Education Next</i> released its ninth version of its <a href="http://educationnext.org/2015-ednext-poll-school-reform-opt-out-common-core-unions/" target="_blank">national poll </a href>the week earlier. <i>Education Next</i> asks alternative questions on the same topic in order to determine the sensitivity of opinion to new information and particular wording. Much of the press coverage has focused on the differences that the polls found in support for the Common Core and around questions related to testing. While there are differences, a careful read of the way the questions were posed and even the answer options offered helps explain a lot of what the supposed disagreement. Even question order has an impact. If you're really interested in this sort of thing, you will want to go directly to the survey documents to get the most unbiased perspective on the issues covered. ]]> Friday, August 28, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/pdk-gallup--education-next-polls.html Rapid Cycle Tech Evaluations http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/rapid-cycle-tech-evaluations.html The Department of Education is seeking proposals from entities interested in developing a systematic approach to evaluating educational software applications purchased with Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) program funds. Educational software applications are defined as applications, platforms, and other tools implemented in an educational setting. The solicitation, for what the Department calls <a href="https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=943fb75963ddb52fb40b6547aa4ebea7&_cview=0" target="_blank">Rapid Cycle Tech Evaluations (RCTE)</a href>, is an attempt to address the problems schools are having sorting through the avalanche of apps to find those that have some evidence of working. The idea is to help develop protocol tools for conducting rapid cycle evaluations of apps that practitioners, developers, and researchers can use beyond the scope of the 16-month evaluation project. ]]> Friday, August 21, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/rapid-cycle-tech-evaluations.html School Starts, NY Test Scores, NGSS http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/school-starts--ny-test-scores--ngss.html Ready or not, vacation is over and the 2015-16 school year is upon us. As someone who never entered a classroom until after Labor Day, mid-August starts still seem a bit strange to me, to say nothing of one of our local high school districts that started school on August 11. MDR's data show that roughly 25% of schools open sometime between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15 and another 25% sometime after Aug. 31. Though every state has a number of early and late opening schools, early openings are concentrated largely in the South (AL, GA, KY, LA, MS, TN) and Midwest (IN, MO, OK, NE) along with AZ, HI, NM and roughly 45% of California's schools. The majority of schools in MA, MI, MN, NJ, NY, OR, VA, WA and WI open after Aug 31. The next few weeks will be full of the excitement, tinged with anxiety, which all new beginnings bring. Hopefully the anxiety recedes and the excitement grows as teachers and students share the learning journey. ]]> Friday, August 14, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/school-starts--ny-test-scores--ngss.html Teachers and Data http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teachers-and-data.html Results from two new surveys related to student data were released in July. Lexia Learning <a href="http://lexialearning.com/success/press-releases/lexia-survey-assessment">surveyed</a href> teachers at ISTE about their ability to access, interpret and use student data, while T.H.E. Journal surveyed K-12 education decision-makers on the use of data and its impact on student learning in their schools and districts and produced a very useful <a href="http://thejournal.com/whitepapers/2015/07/dell-software-powering-student-learning-070115.aspx?&pc=E5135E03&utm_source=webmktg&utm_medium=E-Mail&utm_campaign=E5135E03">infographic</a href> that displays the results. And back in June the Gates Foundation released <a href="http://collegeready.gatesfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/TeachersKnowBest-MakingDataWork.compressed.pdf">"Making Data Work for Teachers and Students</a href>," based on the responses of more than 4,600 teachers about the digital tools available to help them collect and use data to tailor and improve instruction for individual students. <p> <b>High level takeaways:</b> <p> Teachers almost universally agree that data is an important tool, especially in light of their desire to personalize student learning <p> Teachers believe that many of the tools they currently use do not deliver information fast enough, efficiently enough or clearly enough to make it easy for them to use the data to make decisions about instruction. <p> The majority of teachers are not comfortable connecting data to instruction. ]]> Friday, August 07, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teachers-and-data.html AIM Expenditures, News Items http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/aim-expenditures--news-items.html MDR released its annual accounting of public school districts' spending for all instructional materials (AIM), confirming that the school market is finally in recovery. Total AIM expenditures for K-12 public schools were $11.8 billion in 2013-2014, a 9% increase and the first increase in AIM spending since 2007-08. Though still not back to pre-recession levels, this dramatic increase pumped over $964 million into the school materials market. AIM is defined as all supplies and materials used for instructional purposes, including textbooks, instructional supplies, books, magazines, and newspaper subscriptions purchased for the school library, educational media and software, but excluding hardware technology. ]]> Friday, July 31, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/aim-expenditures--news-items.html ConnectHome http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/connecthome.html The President launched the next phase of his plan to expand access to high-speed Internet. Building on ConnectED, with its goal of connecting 99% of K-12 students to high-speed Internet in their classrooms over the next five years, ConnectHome aims to ensure that students also have high-speed access from their homes. <p> This is a relatively small effort. ConnectHome is focused on increasing Internet access for low-income families in 28 communities, including the Choctaw Nation. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in collaboration with EveryoneOn and US Ignite, is working with private- and public-sector leaders to build local partnerships that will bring broadband, technical assistance, and digital literacy training to students living in public and assisted housing. Mayors in the identified communities have committed to reallocate local funds, leverage local programming, and use regulatory tools to support this initiative and the expansion of broadband access in low-income communities. ]]> Friday, July 24, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/connecthome.html WA Opt-Out Statistics, Market Maps http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/wa-opt-out-statistics--market-maps.html On July 16, the Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act, its bill reauthorizing ESEA, on an 81-17 vote. After more than a week of debate, the bill was not changed in any substantive way from its original format. None of the amendments focused on strengthening the bill's accountability features passed, though Democrats mustered 43 (including one Republican) votes for a fairly strong accountability measure. That's enough to block the passage of a conference bill that does not include more accountability measures. The bill now moves to conference to iron out the differences between the House and Senate version It will require careful negotiation to create a final bill that both chambers can pass. ]]> Friday, July 17, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/wa-opt-out-statistics--market-maps.html ESEA Reauthorization, Common Core Test Results http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea-reauthorization--common-core-test-results.html Today's News Alert is very long, including as many of the news headlines that came out of last week's ISTE Conference as I could find. I've shortened headlines as much as possible to save space and for companies that made multiple announcements I only included the one I thought most news worthy in this e-mail edition. All the headlines can be found by browsing the various sections of the newsletter at <a href="http://app.mdr.info/e/er?s=1137903935&lid=437&elq=bceed7ac26604423929900a23f381613&elqaid=1166&elqat=1&elqTrackId=03f9ced6ac3148fb9869db20d60188f5">ednetinsight.com</a href> or clicking through on the section you're interested in in this e-mail. <p> Having missed ISTE, I can only report on what crossed my desk (though a number of people I talked with reported high energy and big crowds, "more like the old days"). Platforms continue to proliferate. It's too early to tell how many platforms the schools will ultimately support, in part because the market continues to evolve. In the end, a platform vendor has to work hard at developing an complete ecosystem - the more you can access via the platform, the more people you have doing that and the more collaboration the platform supports -- , the more chance the platform has of becoming an "old standard" down the road. ]]> Friday, July 10, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea-reauthorization--common-core-test-results.html Lifeline Expansion, FY16 Education Budget http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/lifeline-expansion--fy16-education-budget.html Last week, the Federal Communications Commission voted along partisan lines to expand the Lifeline program by adding broadband internet service as a supported service. The <a href="http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db0622/FCC-15-71A1.pdf" target="_blank">Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Report</a href> seeked public comments on a variety of questions about how best to modernize the Lifeline program so that all consumers can access advanced networks while increasing the program's accountability and efficiency. The FCC's call for comments raises a number of questions about how best to modernize the Lifeline program, including issues around identifying low-income households that include school children and ensure they are aware of and have the opportunity to participate in a broadband access program, adopting minimum service standards for both voice and broadband service, reducing subsidy support for Lifeline supported mobile voice-only service, and encouraging more competition to improve price and service. ]]> Friday, June 26, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/lifeline-expansion--fy16-education-budget.html Millennials' Tech Skills http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/millennials--tech-skills.html There's a story going around in the ed tech press about millennials having low technology skills. The first time I saw the headlines I thought - that's not really news. But after two or three more appearances in my news feed, I checked it out. Change the Equation (CTEq), a coalition of corporate and education organizations committed to improving STEM learning for every child, commissioned the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to analyze raw data from the 2012 Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), a household study conducted by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. <p> Remember that millennials are the first generation of people who grew up with computers and the internet, the so-called digital natives. Millennials spend on average 35 hours per week on digital media. But CTEq's analysis found that 58% have low skills in solving problems with technology. An international comparison of millennials' performance on PIAAC's technology test ranked the United States last out of 19 participating countries. ]]> Friday, June 19, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/millennials--tech-skills.html The Educator's Dilemma, Technology Counts http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/the-educator-s-dilemma--technology-counts.html <a href="http://www.christenseninstitute.org/educatorsdilemma" target="_blank">"The Educator's Dilemma: When and how schools should embrace poverty relief"</a href> from the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation is sure to annoy a number of people. The paper takes on one of the long running debates between school reformers and poverty relief advocates over what it takes to close the achievement gap. Michael and his co-author Julia Freeland argue that this is a false dichotomy. Based on a theory of Christensen and his Harvard colleagues-the theory of interdependence and modularity-they argue that schools "must integrate backward beyond just core academic delivery to design and distribute a range of nonacademic supports." That will upset a lot of traditional school reformers, but the authors suggest two key conditions. It's not just a matter of giving low income students more services but of designing and delivering services in an interdependent manner that allows the school to control the mix and type of services offered to each student. And the driving force behind this backward integration has to be addressing the achievement gap. The paper profiles community schools, Harlem Children's Zone, KIPP and SEED Schools and how they have integrated backward into the nonacademic realms of low-income children's lives. It's an interesting theory. ]]> Friday, June 12, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/the-educator-s-dilemma--technology-counts.html Teachers on Data, Diplomas Count http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teachers-on-data--diplomas-count.html The Gates Foundation has released the latest report in its <i>Teachers Know Best</i> series. <a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/edtech-production/reports/Gates-TeachersKnowBest-MakingDataWork.pdf" target="_blank">"Making Data Work for Teachers and Students"</a href> is based on the responses of more than 4,600 teachers about the digital tools available to help them collect and use data to tailor and improve instruction for individual students. You can take the traditional route and download the entire report to see how teachers answered questions about their behaviors and beliefs, the specific occasions in which they use data to guide student learning and the challenges they face. Teachers also described and rated current tools and offered advice on ways to make digital tools more effective for teachers and students. ]]> Friday, June 05, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/teachers-on-data--diplomas-count.html Personalized Learning http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/personalized-learning.html An interesting report was released last week. <a href="http://www.fi.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/TEPLS_report-FINAL-051415.pdf" target="_blank">"Technology-Enabled Personalized Learning: Findings and Recommendations to Accelerate Implementation"</a href> summarizes the findings from last year's Technology-Enabled Personalized Learning (TEPL) Summit which was hosted by the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University in collaboration with Digital Promise, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), and the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA). Leaders from the education industry, associations and nonprofits, and university and K-12 education attended, working together to identified potential solutions and models that might help scale the implementation of personalized learning through technology. The report includes their recommendations. ]]> Friday, May 29, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/personalized-learning.html FY 2016 Budget Progress and More Privacy Legislation http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-2016-budget-progress-and-more-privacy-legislation.html The federal FY 2016 budget process is now well under way. Last week Congress passed a joint budget resolution, the first such resolution in five years. It includes what is known as a 302(a) allocation that sets a total amount of money for the Appropriations Committees to spend, which is $1.017 trillion for FY 2016. Once the 302(a) allocation is set, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees set 302(b) allocations which divide the $1.017 total appropriation among 12 subcommittees, each of which deal with a different part of the budget. Those subcommittees then decide how to distribute funds within their 302(b) allocations. The Labor, Health and Human Services and Education allocation for FY 2016 is $153 billion, $3 billion lower than the FY 2015 total. As I've said earlier, under this scenario flat funding for the Department of Education would be good news. Certainly there's no room to accommodate the $3.5 billion increase included in the President's FY 2016 budget request. It's likely that a number of subcommittees will have difficulty crafting their appropriations bills in light of their tight budget allocations. The President has threatened to veto any spending bills that come in at sequestration levels, setting up the potential for a drawn-out battle between Congress and the administration down the road. ]]> Friday, May 22, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-2016-budget-progress-and-more-privacy-legislation.html Speak Up Student Data http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/speak-up-student-data.html A few weeks ago, Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, presented the <a href="http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/SU14DigitalLearning24-7_StudentReport.html" target="_blank">Speak Up 2014 National Findings for Students</a href> at a Congressional briefing. Speak Up 2014 gathered responses from 431,231 K-12 students representing over 8,000 schools and 2,600 districts in the United States and around the world. Later releases will look at educator and parent data. The student data offers a glimpse of not only what students are doing with technology in their classrooms, but also what they think about those activities, what they would like to be doing, and how they use technology and digital resources outside of school. ]]> Friday, May 15, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/speak-up-student-data.html Competency-Based Education, IMS Initiatives http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/competency-based-education--ims-initiatives.html Competency-based education seems to be gaining real traction in the higher ed space. Kaplan University is making a personalized <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/files/Kaplan%20transcript.pdf" target="_blank">Competency Report </a href>available to all 42,000 of its online students. The report provides ratings along a six point scale (No Progress, Introductory, Emergent, Practiced, Proficient, Mastery) of the skills and knowledge students demonstrated throughout their course of study. It includes how the student applies the knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors required to execute work-related activities and projects. The report will stand side-by-side with the University's more traditional graded transcript. The vast majority of Kaplan University students are adult. The Competency Report attempts to provide employers with information more closely tied to skills they may be seeking in potential employees. ]]> Friday, May 08, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/competency-based-education--ims-initiatives.html Student Privacy, Digital Learning Report Card http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/student-privacy--digital-learning-report-card.html The "Student Data Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015" was formally introduced in the House this week. The bill is sponsored by Rep Luke Messer (R-IN) and Rep Jared Polis (D-CO). The bill, which in its original form was considered by many to be too "vendor friendly", has undergone significant changes. The definition of "covered information" has been expanded to include metadata and other information that is generated when students use vendors' products. Vendors would be required to delete student data within a year of ceasing the provision of services to the student or his or her educational institution and within 45 days of receiving a request from an educational institution or a parent. They would also need to disclose all third parties with whom the share student information, as well as getting those third parties to agree in writing not to use the disclosed information for any new purposes, make any further disclosures and maintain reasonable security measures. The bill also includes the usual requirements that vendors not sell student information or use it to target students with advertising, maintain reasonable security, and make notification in the case of a data breach. The bill gives enforcement powers, including the right to impose penalties to the Federal Trade Commission. ]]> Friday, May 01, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/student-privacy--digital-learning-report-card.html ECS Resources, Personalization http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/ecs-resources--personalization.html The Education Commission of the States (ECS) has been busy these past few months as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. ECS is a national organization created to serve the needs of the states. It brings together governors, state legislators, K-12 and higher education department chiefs and other education leaders, tracking state policy trends, providing unbiased advice and creating opportunities for state leaders to learn from one another. Recently it has released a series of Policy Analysis and Education Trend reports on a variety of subjects. These reports are tightly focused and typically backed up by a related database that details policy or actions across the 50 states. They serve as great starting points if you want to explore a new market or think through a new marketing approach. ]]> Friday, April 24, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/ecs-resources--personalization.html Pew on Teens and Technology http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/pew-on-teens-and-technology.html Last week, the Pew Research Center released <a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/files/2015/04/PI_TeensandTech_Update2015_0409151.pdf" target="_blank">"Teens, Social Media and Technology Overview 2015"</a href>, the first in a series of reports on teens' (ages 13 to 17) technology use. This report examines teens' access to and use of smartphones, basic cell phones, desktop or laptop computers, tablets, and game consoles. The data is examined by a number of demographics including age, gender, race and household income. ]]> Friday, April 17, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/pew-on-teens-and-technology.html ESEA, FERPA, Ed Tech Developers Guide http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea--ferpa--ed-tech-developers-guide.html The Senate HELP Committee has released its bipartisan <a href="http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/Senate%20Bill.pdf" target="_blank"> ESEA reauthorization bill </a href> (if you’re not up for 600 pages of text, try the <a href="http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/The%20Every%20Child%20Achieves%20Act%20of%202015%20--%20summary.pdf" target="_blank">summary</a href>). The general reaction from the various stakeholder groups, including the President and some of the civil rights community, has been, “It’s a good start.” In order to be bipartisan, the bill includes a number of compromises, which have been negotiated over the past few months between Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-TN) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), without much input from the rest of the committee. ]]> Friday, April 10, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea--ferpa--ed-tech-developers-guide.html