Monday, April 13, 2015

The Senate ESEA Reauthorization Draft, Part VI– My Final Post | deutsch29

The Senate ESEA Reauthorization Draft, Part VI– My Final Post | deutsch29:

The Senate ESEA Reauthorization Draft, Part VI– My Final Post






On April 7, 2015, the Senate education committee announced the following as part of a press release:
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7 – Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced a bipartisan agreement on fixing “No Child Left Behind.” They scheduled committee action on their agreement and any amendments to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 14.
The result of the Lamar-Murray collaboration on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization (the latest version of which is renamed No Child Left Behind) is this 601-page document entitled, The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015.
On April 7, 2015, I began reading and writing about the content of those 601 pages. My writing has resulted in a series of six posts.
This is my sixth and final post, just in time for the Senate education committee meetings that will begin on April 14, 2015, regarding this possible ESEA reauthorization draft.
My other five posts on the Alexander-Murray reauthorization draft can be found here:
At the end of part V, I left off with Title VI, “Innovation and Flexibility.”
That is where I begin this final post.
Let’s jump in.
Page 429, Title VI, “Innovation and Felixibility,” involves ESEA money available “to support State and local innovation in preparing all students to meet challenging State standards” and “to provide States and local educational agencies with maximum flexibility in using Federal funds provided under this Act” as well as “to support education in rural areas.”
Title VI is loosely defined because it allows states and local education agencies (LEAs) to submit for consideration of federal funding potential programs (or components of programs) that do not fall under previous titles.
LEAs receiving grants directly from the US secretary must agree to administer assessments “that are consistent with” (pg. 437) the state assessments that states agreed to use to receive Title I funding (see pgs. 35-40 for Title I assessment info). This means that LEAs that receive Title VI money directly from the US secretary will have to establish that the assessments they use for the Title VI funding somehow “match” the state’s chosen assessments for Title I.
As is true throughout the Alexander-Murray draft, the fact that assessments are tied to those “challenging State academic standards” is downplayed by only mentioning “meeting” the standards. However, in sections in which “meeting” the standards is mentioned as a necessary criterion for funding, all goes back to Section 1111(b) of Title I, which involves setting those “challenging State academic standards” and the assessments.
“Meeting challenging State academic standards” is a euphemism for adequate marks on assessments, whatever those adequate marks might be.
The prohibition on federal control is repeated in Title VI:
Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize an officer or employee of the Federal Government to mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s specific instructional content, academic standards and assessments, curriculum, or program of instruction, as a condition of eligibility to receive funds under this Act. (pg. 441)
Title VI also includes this interesting rule:
Nothing in this title shall be construed to mandate equalized spending per pupil for a State, local educational agency, or school. (pg. 442)
Next is Title VII, “Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Education” (pg. 442):
It is the purpose of this subpart to support local educational agencies in developing elementary school and secondary school programs for American Indian and Alaska Native students that are designed to—
(1) meet the unique cultural, language, and educational needs of such students; and
(2) ensure that all students meet the challenging State academic standards adopted under section 1111(b)
All goes back to those “challenging State acedemic standards,” the front door for the state assessments.
Page 496: Title VIII, “Impact Aid,” involves grants to LEAs “whose boundaries are the same as a Federal military installation or an island property designated by the Secretary of the Interior to be property that is held in trust by the Federal Government; and that has no taxing authority.” Title VIII was designed to assist schools located on federal property because these schools do not benefit from local taxes. Some language in Title VIII indicates that it also serves districts “located in a State that by State law has eliminated ad valorem tax as a revenue for local educational agencies” (pg. 502) or that serves high percentages of children residing on federal land (for example, see pgs. 503-04).
An interesting note: If a state board of education takes over an LEA eligible for Title VIII money, the LEA remains eligible for Title VIII impact aid for two years (pg. 506).The Senate ESEA Reauthorization Draft, Part VI– My Final Post | deutsch29:

Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has her second book available on pre-order, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, due for publication June 12, 2015.

CC book cover

Full Circle Initiative Helps AAPI Students Close Gap - California State University, Sacramento, Pakou Her

Full Circle Initiative Helps AAPI Students Close Gap - Higher Education:

Full Circle Initiative Helps AAPI Students Close Gap



AAPI




 SAN FRANCISCO — Before enrolling at California State University, Sacramento, Pakou Her didn’t contemplate careers beyond what her family suggested. Furthermore, Her didn’t think of herself as Asian American, only Hmong American.

But all that changed in college, where she began participating in Sacramento State’s Full Circle initiative, a federally funded endeavor aimed at reducing educational disparities among Asian American subgroups and improving graduation rates.
“I was a shy girl, and it was a big step for me to leave home for college,” said Her, whose family lives in Marysville, a town of 12,000 about 40 miles north of Sacramento. “My family thinks the best careers are in medicine and law, so I thought I would study nursing. But now that I’m seeing how higher education changes so many lives, especially for low-income people, I might work in higher education instead.”
She added, “I am now better able to express what I want.” 
Her’s comments came last week during the annual conference of the Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education (APAHE). Since its 1987 inception, the organization has developed programs and addressed issues impacting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). It has evolved from a group of almost exclusively Californians into one with national reach.
Her and other Sacramento State undergraduates were panelists at a session titled “Student Leaders Coming Full Circle.” Their reflections illustrate some of the outcomes and benefits produced by initiatives financed by U.S. Department of Education grants for universities designated as Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI). Ten percent or more of undergraduates at each of these schools, including Sacramento State, are AAPI and at least 50 percent of all students there, regardless of race, rely on Pell Grants or other federal aid.
At Sacramento State, a major component of its Full Circle initiative consists of ethnic studies courses aimed at increasing retention of AAPI freshmen. Two courses per semester introduce first-year students to Asian American studies, ethnic studies, and contemporary issues and social change. All of the courses count toward graduation requirements for any academic major.
Among other topics, freshmen in the Full Circle courses learn about the 1968 student-led strike at San Francisco State University that led to the birth of what is now its ethnic studies college. The Sacramento State freshmen organize themselves into teams to pursue a social justice project, whether it’s reducing cruelty to animals or trying to end child abuse. They research their subject, form a partnership with an off-campus group and execute their project. In a series of panel discussions in class, the students share their findings and reflections with their peers.
Although the Full Circle initiative is only in its third school year, some of the academic milestones already show promise, educators said.
For example, 92 percent of Full Circle participants who were freshmen in fall 2012 were still enrolled at the university a year ago, compared with only 82 percent of university freshmen across all racial groups. Yet only 12 percent of that cohort of Full Circle participants had a parent who held a bachelor’s degree — the rate of college graduates was almost twice that among parents of the 2012 freshmen across all racial groups combined — and 80 percent of the Full Circle participants came from families whose annual household income was less than $60,000. Among all 2012 freshmen at Sacramento State, only 57 percent came from such families.
The Full Circle participants from 2012-13 also had higher grade point averages both semesters than their AAPI peers who were nonparticipants. In the fall, the Full Circle freshmen had an average GPA of 3.27, compared with 2.81 for other AAPI freshmen, and in the spring, it was 3.12 versus 2.78.
The retention rate and GPAs are encouraging signs at Sacramento State, where the most populous AAPI subgroups are Filipino and Hmong, educators said. Nationally, only about 13 percent of Hmong Americans hold a bachelor’s degree, while it’s 48 percent among Filipino Americans. 
With a theme of “Many Identities: One Call to Action,” APAHE conference workshops examined challenges in academia that have been overcome as well as those that remain, such as issues faced by AAPI military veterans and foster youth, respectively, on college campuses.
Meanwhile, multiple sessions featured AANAPISI presentations about federal grant-supported initiatives.
At the University of Massachusetts Boston, for example, an AANAPISI grant supports writing seminars aimed at helping AAPI students pass the university’s writing proficiency requirement, which students of every race and most academic majors must fulfill in order to graduate. The requirement calls for students to submit a 20-page portfolio, which includes a five-page composition based on a reading assignment.
The portfolio of writing proves difficult for many AAPI students at UMass Boston, a commuter school, because about 90 Full Circle Initiative Helps AAPI Students Close Gap - Higher Education:

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2015 National Conference – Chicago

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