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 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 Musings http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/musings.html I and the technicians at my ISP have become great friends these last few days and it still feels like it's all glued together with chewing gum. With all the disruption, I won't pretend to have much to say today. I do have an apology to make to all the education leaders, visionaries, trendsetters and the developers and publishers of instructional materials who were honored as finalists and winners of the 2015 EdTech Digest Awards. When posting the story last week, I inadvertently copied the list from 2014 rather than 2015's new list. We caught the error pretty quickly, but if you not sure you saw the correct listing, check out the <a href="http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/announcements/edtech-digest-awards-program-2014-finalists---winners.html">story here</a href>. It's a pretty amazing list of people and companies doing great work to support teachers and students. <p> I'm still on the lookout for Spring, which is in full bloom one day, just before the snow squalls set back in. I wish all of our readers a Blessed Easter and Passover and the joys of Spring. ]]> Friday, April 03, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/musings.html White House Science Fair and STEM http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/white-house-science-fair-and-stem.html On Monday, President Obama hosted the 5th White House Science Fair, featuring 36 exhibits manned by young scientists and engineers from across the country. Participating students had all previously won honors at a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions, such as FIRST Robotics, the National eCybermission Competition, the Intel Science Talent Search, Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and the Google Science Fair, among others. This year's event included a specific focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work. There's a video of the highlights at <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/science-fair" target="_blank">https://www.whitehouse.gov/science-fair</a href>, including a wonderful segment of the President interacting with a team of six-year old Girl Scouts who had created a battery-powered page turner for people who are paralyzed or have arthritis (and who seemed decidedly unimpressed by being at the White House). ]]> Friday, March 27, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/white-house-science-fair-and-stem.html FY 2016 Budget Process Begins http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-2016-budget-process-begins.html The House of Representatives will take up the FY 2016 budget resolution next week, following its passage Thursday by the House Budget Committee on a purely partisan 22 to 13 vote. The resolution – a Balanced Budget for a Stronger America – reflects the House’s aggressive deficit reduction and pro-defense spending stance. The House resolution promises to balance the budget by 2024 by cutting about $5.5 trillion of spending over the ten year period. While maintaining the Budget Control Act spending caps for FY16, going forward, the budget resolution lowers discretionary budget authority to $372 billion below sequester levels through 2025 and increases defense spending by $387 billion. It achieves this redistribution by making $759 billion in non-defense cuts. That makes for a pretty grim outlook for the education, social services and health care programs that fall into this non-defense discretionary spending bucket. ]]> Friday, March 20, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy-2016-budget-process-begins.html Digital Learning Day and More http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/digital-learning-day-and-more.html Today is Digital Learning Day (DLD). This is the fourth celebration of the event, created in 2012 by the Alliance for Excellent Education. More than 1,000 local celebrations across the country have been registered on the DLD site. <p> At 1 PM Eastern, the Alliance will host Digital Learning Day Live!, a one-hour live broadcast from the Teaching & Learning conference in Washington, DC, to an in-person audience of more than 3,000 teachers and administrators as well as hundreds of thousands of educators who will be watching online. The broadcast will feature the stories of four innovative districts-Baltimore County Public Schools, Houston Independent School District, Huntsville School District (AR), and Vista Unified School District and include national leaders in education technology. It's always fun to listen to districts talk about the ways they have used technology to empower and support teachers and learners. ]]> Friday, March 13, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/digital-learning-day-and-more.html EdReports Releases First Reviews http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/edreports-releases-first-reviews.html More fuel to splash on the simmering fire of discontent around the alignment of instructional materials to the Common Core standards appeared this week. When it launched in August last year, EdReports described its mission as producing free reviews of instructional materials focused on alignment to the Common Core and other indicators of high quality. Its first collection of product reviews was released this week. You've probably seen the resulting headlines declaring that the materials were, for the most part, found lacking. <p> In fact most of the 20 products, from 9 publishers, were never fully reviewed, not having made it past the first "gateway" which evaluated the extent to which the product focused on appropriate grade level work and was coherent (made strong connections between the mathematical content). Only seven products made the cut for Gateway 2 where reviewers considered the rigor of the materials and evaluated connections to the mathematical practices. Only one product made it to Gateway 3 where the review reviewed focused on how well products support teachers in reaching all students and their ease of use in the classroom. ]]> Friday, March 06, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/edreports-releases-first-reviews.html Net Neutrality, ESEA http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/net-neutrality--esea.html Regulatory decisions and legislation continue to move forward. <P> The Federal Communications Commission approved net neutrality rules on a 3-2 partisan vote this Thursday. <p> The House of Representatives is expected to pass the Student Success Act today on a purely partisan basis. <p> The Senate HELP committee continues to work toward fielding a bipartisan reauthorization bill, but it's slow going. ]]> Friday, February 27, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/net-neutrality--esea.html A Research Accelerator http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/a-research-accelerator.html <i>Education Week</i> reported an interesting story this week about a new organization designed to bridge the gap between educators and companies developing educational products. Education leaders continue to report difficulty with vetting educational products. They are skeptical about alignment claims, wary of company-sponsored efficacy research and frustrated with the complexities of running pilots and ensuring that their feedback on products is heard and implemented. The Jefferson Education Accelerator plans to build a network of educators, researchers, entrepreneurs and investors who will work together to evaluate, research, improve and implement high-potential ed tech. ]]> Friday, February 20, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/a-research-accelerator.html News Roundup http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/news-roundup-2-13-2015.html It was a busy week all around with a lot of activity on the Hill, though it's all still very early stage for the most part. For now, stay aware, lobby a bit if you like and keep an especially wary eye on the data privacy initiatives. <P> On Wednesday, the House Education and the Workforce Committee marked up its ESEA reauthorization legislation and passed it out of Committee on a partisan basis. No real surprises here. <P> Thursday the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing to explore the use of new technology in the classroom and examine the need to modernize the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). <P> The President is moving forward on his commitment to ensure K-12 student data is used only for educational purposes. The White House announced that Rep Luke Messer (R-IN) and Rep Jared Polis (D-CO) will introduce legislation to fulfill that promise in the House. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) also intends to pursue bipartisan legislation. <P> Sen Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Enhancing Education Through Technology Act of 2015, a reauthorization of the original EETT that was defunded in 2011. Since then ed tech supporters have made a number of attempts to pass new legislation that would create a funding stream dedicated to educational technology. ]]> Friday, February 13, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/news-roundup-2-13-2015.html FY16 Budget Request, House ESEA Reauthorization http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy16-budget-request--house-esea-reauthorization.html As promised, President Obama delivered his FY 2016 Budget request on Monday. The overall FY 2016 request for the Department of Education totals $70.7 billion, up 5.4% from FY 2015. In many ways it seems more like a wish list than a real budget plan. For one thing, it does not deliver a balanced budget, a non-starter for the Republicans who now control Congress. There are a few areas where the President's request is likely to be well received (supporting manufacturing, medical research) and others that might at least open a dialogue around the issues (tax reform, cybersecurity), but there doesn't seem to be much in the K-12 education budget that falls in either category. There may be some hope for increases to Title I and I.D.E.A. ]]> Friday, February 06, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/fy16-budget-request--house-esea-reauthorization.html Budget Realities http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/budget-realities.html President Obama is expected to release his FY 2016 Budget Request on Monday and those in the know say that he will ask for a $2.7 billion increase in education spending. That is more than double the $1.3 billion increases President Obama proposed for FY2015 and well outside what might be expected under the budget cap imposed by the Budget Control Act. Despite that proposed increase, I would be surprised to find big bumps in proposed funding for the core education programs - Title I, I.D.E.A, ELL funding. ]]> Thursday, January 29, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/budget-realities.html Assessment in the Spotlight http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/assessment-in-the-spotlight.html Reauthorization is moving ahead. The Senate is taking the lead for now, with Sen Lamar Alexander, chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) saying he hopes to complete committee markup of his draft bill by the end of February. The bill would then move to the Senate floor for debate, which Alexander expects to last at least two weeks. Rep John Kline, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee says he plans to have reauthorization legislation passed by the end of March. The House legislation will be based on the Student Success Act that passed the full House last year. Committee markup is expected to start in the next several weeks. ]]> Friday, January 23, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/assessment-in-the-spotlight.html ESEA Reauthorization, Student Privacy http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea-reauthorization--student-privacy.html You would had to have worked very hard this week to avoid seeing at least one article or commentary on reauthorizing ESEA, especially now that Sen Alexander has released his <a href="http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/AEG15033.pdf">draft bill </a href> The Senator assured that there would be a debate around assessment by including two different approaches to statewide assessment. One essentially sticks with the current approach, while the other would give the states a lot of flexibility to decide what they want to do – grade span testing, portfolios, competency-based tests or something entirely new. Many groups have weighed in on what is known thus far from the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/14/us/reviewing-federal-education-law-senator-seeks-more-local-control.html?mabReward=R2&action=click&contentCollection=Technology&region=Footer&module=Recommendation&src=recg&pgtype=Blogs"><i>New York Times</i></a href> to the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tntp/bad-ideas-can-be-bipartis_b_6478680.html">Huffington Post</a href> and an interesting push back from <a href="http://blog.bellwethereducation.org/alexanders-esea-draft-a-plan-isnt-a-good-plan/">Bellwether’s Anne Hyslop</a href>. <i>Education Week</i>’s <a href="http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2015/01/stakeholders_mixed_reaction.html">Politics K-12 blog</a href> provides a great compilation of various reactions to the draft bill. ]]> Friday, January 16, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/esea-reauthorization--student-privacy.html 114th Congress Convenes; Quality Counts 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/114th-congress-convenes--quality-counts-2015.html Congress is back, organized and apparently down to work. In the Senate, Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-TN) new chair of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, has plans to get a bill that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act through committee by Valentine's Day. That's a fast track, making it even more likely that the bill to be considered will closely resemble the bill Alexander submitted last year as an alternative to Sen Harkin's reauthorization bill. If the bill is out of committee by mid-February, it could go to the full Senate be early March. On the House side, Rep. John Kline, (R-MN), chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, should have no trouble shepherding a bill through committee and to the floor of the House. The full House actually passed ESEA reauthorization legislation last year. This year's legislation is likely to closely resemble the trio of bills that was passed in the 113th Congress last year. ]]> Friday, January 09, 2015 http://www.ednetinsight.com/news-alerts/from-the-editor/114th-congress-convenes--quality-counts-2015.html