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 ESEA Reauthorization Moves Forward http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea-reauthorization-moves-forward.html The Every Student Succeeds Act - the long-awaited reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act - passed out of its conference committee on Thursday on a 39 - 1 vote. It remains to be seen if the bipartisan atmosphere of the Conference will carry over into the House and Senate passage votes, which will take place after Thanksgiving. The Senate seems likely to pass the bill fairly easily. Getting House approval for the bill could be trickier. The White House has not made its position known. ]]> Friday, November 20, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea-reauthorization-moves-forward.html Redesiging High School http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/redesiging-high-school.html The President hosted the first-ever White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools this week. The event featured the now familiar combinations of a small, tightly targeted federal effort supported by significant commitments from the private sector. The Department of Education will announce its intention to award over $20 million in Investing in Innovation (i3) grants to support the reform and redesign of high schools that serve low-income students. This application cycle will mark the first time that i3 has a specific focus on high school redesign. The Department also announced details on two new Career & Technical Education prizes: The EdSIM Challenge and the CTE Makeover Challenge. ]]> Friday, November 13, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/redesiging-high-school.html Too Much Testing? http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/too-much-testing-.html We are very pleased to introduce a new quarterly feature this week, focused on the business side of the industry. Baran Rosen, President of Whitestone Communications, will be sharing his insights on merger and acquisition activity in the education market. Whitestone Communications maintains an extensive database on M&A activity in the Internet, information, publishing, and training fields, which forms the basis for the firm’s annual Who’s Buying Whom publication. If you’re interested in seeing the monthly reports that Baran is drawing on for his analysis, visit the Whitestone website and sign up for a <a href="http://www.whitestonecommunications.com/knowledge/monthly_updates.php">free subscription</a>. <P> I know everyone has seen the President's initiative to cut down on the amount of time American students spend getting tested. While most of us agree with the sentiment, there really is little the administration and Department of Education can do to effect this change. ]]> Friday, November 06, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/too-much-testing-.html Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, #GoOpen http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/bipartisan-budget-act-of-2015---goopen.html It appears that the possibility of the U.S. government defaulting on its debt or shutting down has been averted, thanks to a last minute deal involving Congressional leaders and the White House, negotiated by departing Speaker John Boehner. The House voted on Wednesday to approve a two-year deal that extends the debt limit through March 2017, provides sequester relief by increasing domestic and military spending by $80 billion and sets clear spending targets for the next two years, through September 2017. The Senate is expected to act on the bill next week. <p>The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 passed by a vote of 266-167. All House Democrats voted for the measure, joined by 79 Republicans. Conservatives complaints about the spending increase were moderated somewhat by ensuring that the increases are fully paid for using a combination of tax and policy changes. Nevertheless, most House Republicans voted against the bill.</p> ]]> Friday, October 30, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/bipartisan-budget-act-of-2015---goopen.html White House Astronomy Night: OER http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/white-house-astronomy-night--oer.html On Monday, a group of students, teachers and scientists spent the evening stargazing at the White House. President Obama hosted the second White House Astronomy Night, held on the South Lawn on what proved to be a cool but clear night. The night's activities were designed to inspire more girls and boys with the wonder of science and space and increase opportunities for all Americans to develop careers in science, technology, and innovation-driven disciplines. In a now familiar pattern when promoting initiatives for which there is no legislation or federal funding, the President used the occasion to announce a variety of new commitments, by cities and organizations all over the country, to expose even more students and their parents to STEM education. ]]> Friday, October 23, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/white-house-astronomy-night--oer.html Congratulations on Another Great EdNET! http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/congratulations-on-another-great-ednet-.html Congratulations on another great EdNET! I’ve seen so much about the content and networking on our social channels, and many of you have reached out to me personally to share what a wonderful experience it was. <p>I am sorry to have missed this year, but I am looking forward to reporting back on the buzz from Atlanta very soon, so stay tuned!</p> ]]> Friday, October 16, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/congratulations-on-another-great-ednet-.html Librarians Are Key http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/librarians-are-key.html I am so looking forward to EdNET this year. It will be wonderful to reconnect with long-time friends and industry colleagues as well as to meet new people and learn about new organizations who working on education solutions. Safe travels everyone. See you in Atlanta. <P> I was at an event at the local grade school this week that reminded me about what a gift a good librarian is to a school's teachers and students. I think we sometimes forget about the amazing things that librarians/media center specialists do to support learning at their schools. Librarians are at the heart of the school information network. They know a lot about what's going on in individual classrooms. They distribute catalogs with personal notes pointing out resources just right for the next unit a teacher is planning. They forward e-mails to the "right" people and introduce teachers to new products of all sorts. The library is often home to the school's maker space.</p> ]]> Friday, October 02, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/librarians-are-key.html 2015 E-Rate Analysis http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/2015-e-rate-analysis.html Funds for Learning has published its <a href="https://fundsforlearning.app.box.com/s/qg5vca157u1s6mw4kz31s1fnuz1esuk9" target="_blank"> analysis</a href> of funding request data for E-Rate funding year 2015. In FY2015, there were 27,132 applicants for E-Rate funding. They requested a total of $3.92 billion. Category 1 requests (Internet access, leased data lines and phone service) totaled $2.25 billion. Category 2 requests (purchase, maintenance or operation of on-site networks) totaled $1.67 billion. <p>Of the 27,132 applicants, 91% submitted funding requests for voice telephony services, 81% for Internet access and data lines, and 39% for Category 2 services (e.g. Wi-Fi and other internal connections). Category 2 demand was greatest for switches and routers, Wi-Fi equipment and data cabling.</p> ]]> Friday, September 25, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/2015-e-rate-analysis.html Analyzing Classroom Assignments http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/analyzing-classroom-assignments.html The U.S. Department of Education has hired its first ever open education adviser to lead a national effort that, in the Department's words, "will expand schools' access to high-quality, openly-licensed learning resources." Andrew Marcinek will work in the Office of Educational Technology reporting to OET's director, Richard Culatta. Marcinek will be responsible for helping both K-12 and higher education connect with teaching, learning and research resources that are freely available to anyone over the web. Though the Department has long been a champion of OER, actually hiring someone to promote OER comes as something of a surprise, at least to me. <p> Now that PARCC has set (and released) the cut scores for its English/language arts and math tests in grades 3-8 (high school scores were set earlier), states are beginning to report results. <a href="http://www.isbe.net/assessment/pdfs/parcc/parcc-prelim-state-lvl-results.pdf" target="_blank">Illinois</a href> and <a href="http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/78211ac4-37d4-4ecf-9fba-61fd69bc2ef2/performancelevels.pdf.aspx" target="_blank">Ohio</a href> have released preliminary test score reports.</p> ]]> Friday, September 18, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/analyzing-classroom-assignments.html TNTP Report on Teacher Development http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/tntp-report-on-teacher-development.html I've revisited <a href="http://tntp.org/assets/documents/TNTP-Mirage_2015.pdf" target="_blank">"The Mirage"</a href> report from TNTP on teacher development several times, trying to decide what I want to say about it. You will remember that it was released last month and many of the headlines about the report went something like this: "Time and Money Spent on Professional Development Is Largely Wasted." TNTP studied teacher development in three large school districts and one charter school network. Rather than examining a specific type of professional development to determine its effectiveness, TNTP worked backwards, first identifying teachers who had improved significantly over a two-year period and then looking for development experiences they had in common. Researchers used a broad definition of "professional development" to include efforts carried out by districts, schools and teachers themselves. ]]> Friday, September 11, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/tntp-report-on-teacher-development.html Connected Educator Month and more... http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/connected-educator-month-and-more---.html Just a few things that readers may want to know about: <p> October is Connected Educator Month, the fourth annual celebration of professional collaboration, designed to help more educators get proficient with social media. It's not too late to get your message in front of participating educators. <p> Applications are now open for the Software and Education Industry Association's 2015 Innovation Incubator Program. SIIA is looking for early-revenue stage ed tech companies with products or services that are innovative and unlike any others on the market. <p> The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is taking a number of steps to ensure a better testing experience for its member states in 2015-16, including an outside evaluation of the quality and performance of its open source test-delivery platform. <p> The FCC is making progress on bringing broadband to rural America. This week, the FCC announced that with the exception of Verizon, the price cap carriers accepted 95% of their Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II allocations. ]]> Friday, September 04, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/connected-educator-month-and-more---.html 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