Conn. district's diversity plan approved by state education board | Ohio education board selects 2 local leaders as finalists for state superintendent | New student database sparks questions over security
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March 7, 2013
NASBE State Ed SmartBrief
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N.J. education board releases details of new evaluation system
The N.J. Board of Education on Wednesday unveiled the details of a new teacher and principal evaluation system that will allows districts to use student test scores to account for 35% to 50% of a teacher's rating. Effective beginning this summer, the evaluation system would allow districts to take away tenure or dismiss educators with the lowest ratings. Some educators and union leaders expressed concerns about the new policy, with one official warning the board of the possibility that teachers could be less willing to take on students with special needs or those learning English. The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.) (3/6)
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Conn. district's diversity plan approved by state education board
The Connecticut State Board of Education on Wednesday passed a resolution to endorse a plan by town of West Hartford to correct a "racial imbalance" at two district schools. Under the plan, the town will build a new, larger facility for one of the schools to relieve pressure on capacity at both schools and increase the potential for the school to attract more students to its magnet programs. The Hartford Courant (Conn.) (3/6), Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (3/6)
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Research links improvement in district leadership to student achievement. Find out how the Marzano District Leader Evaluation Model helps you with that goal. Learn more at our live webinar on March 29, or talk to Dr. Marzano in person at ASCD-Chicago booth 1129, 3/16 at 1 p.m.
 
Trends & TechnologySponsored By
New student database sparks questions over security
A K-12 student database will be featured this week at an education-technology conference in Austin, Texas. The database, which has been operating for three months, was created with help from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and contains data on millions of students, such as addresses, social security numbers, information on learning disabilities, test scores, attendance, hobbies and career goals. While school districts would retain the rights to the data, the potential for information to be shared has sparked concerns over privacy and security. Yahoo/Reuters (3/3)
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Fla. districts could have to post testing schedule online
School districts in Florida would be required to post standardized-testing schedules online under legislation unanimously approved by a state House committee. Under the bill, school districts also must declare which testing they have required beyond state and federal mandates. While some districts do release such information, supporters say they are seeking to make the process more uniform across districts. StateImpact (3/5)
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Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You'd Had shows teachers how to make math class more like the playful, creative, and captivating experience mathematicians describe. Author Tracy Zager tackles big ideas and instructional decisions, drawing on years of work with amazing teachers from across the country. Click here to preview the entire book!
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Policy & Legislation
States' plans to evaluate teachers slow to win federal approval
The work does not end after states receive waivers from portions of No Child Left Behind. Of the states -- 34 plus the District of Columbia -- that have received waivers, 12 have received approval from the U.S. Department of Education on their teacher-evaluation systems. Among the issues slowing the approval process are the use of students' test scores in evaluating teachers and how to evaluate teachers of subjects that aren't tested. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (3/6)
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Some Calif. districts are emerging from financial crisis
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said the worst of the state's "school funding crisis is behind us," following the release of a report showing that fewer school districts are in danger of running out of money. A state report shows that, as of May, the number of school districts at risk for being unable to meet financial obligations this year and the next two years is down to 124 from 188 districts. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (3/5)
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NASBE News
Education policy professional opportunities
NASBE has openings for a Director of Government Affairs and Member Relations, as well as a project director and a project associate to administer all aspects of a continuation grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support state boards in implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Go to our website to learn more about the project and positions.
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NASBE launches Next Generation Science Standards policy initiative
As states work to implement new math and English standards, policymakers from 26 lead state partners are participating in the development of the voluntary Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for K-12 education, which are now nearing completion. NASBE is embarking on a yearlong initiative to provide state board members with information, analysis and resources about the new standards so they are fully prepared to make the best, evidence-based decisions for their states.
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SmartQuote
Scientific progress makes moral progress a necessity; for if man's power is increased, the checks that restrain him from abusing it must be strengthened."
-- Anne Louise Germaine de Staël,
Swiss author
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Lead Editor:  Katharine Haber
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