Monday, November 28, 2016

Obama administration to release new rules for judging schools - The Washington Post

Obama administration to release new rules for judging schools - The Washington Post:

Obama administration to release new rules for judging schools

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The U.S. Education Department on Monday plans to release final regulations governing how states should judge which schools are doing well and which are struggling and require help, a contentious set of rules that has pitted the Obama administration and its civil rights allies against an unusual alliance of teachers unions and GOP leaders.
But for all the debate, it is unclear — given Republican Donald Trump’s surprise election — whether the new rules will much matter. Trump has pledged a smaller federal footprint in public education, giving rise to speculation that his administration is likely to either rewrite the new regulations entirely, giving states more leeway to handle school accountability as they wish, or render the rules meaningless by declining to enforce them.
The new regulations explain in detail what states must do to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal education law that replaced No Child Left Behind when it passed with bipartisan support last year.
States must continue to administer standardized tests in math and reading to students in grades 3 through 8, and once in high school. But rather than judging schools solely by test scores, states now have a new opportunity to include other measures — such as chronic absenteeism or access to Advanced Placement courses — in their school ratings.
The department released draft rules in May and made some changes in response to comments and criticism.
The draft rules, for example, required states to identify schools in need of extra help by the 2017-2018 school year, a timeline widely panned as unrealistic; the final rules extend the timeline by a year.
The draft rules also drew criticism for requiring states to roll all of the data pertaining to a school into one simple rating, such as a letter grade, to give parents easy-to-understand information. The revised rules say that states are only required to put schools into one of three categories, as specified in the law itself: those in need of “comprehensive” intervention, including the lowest-performing five percent of schools and high schools with graduation rates below 67 percent; those in need of “targeted” support, including those with low-performing subgroups of students; and schools with no special identification.
It’s not clear whether these changes, and others, will mollify those who have accused the Obama administration of overreaching its authority in interpreting the new education law.Obama administration to release new rules for judging schools - The Washington Post:


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