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In This Issue
The U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights will likely require schools to report results for 10 new survey questions beginning in fall 2014. The new questions include whether the school has students enrolled in distance education, whether the school employs civil rights coordinators and sworn law enforcement officers, and the request for disaggregated student data on chronic absenteeism. Nine of the 10 new questions are either yes/no or multiple choice.
Schools will have an additional two years before they must submit more detailed information as part of the Mandatory Civil Rights Data Collection.
The department’s office for civil rights has collected data from a selection of school districts to monitor civil rights policies since 1968 and expanded the collection to include all school districts nationwide during the 2011–12 survey period. In June 2013, at the request of civil rights and education groups, the department proposed more data points to add to the survey (PDF). However, a 60-day comment period garnered nearly 300 comments, which made clear that districts need more time to produce the more detailed and disaggregated data.
In response, the department announced the two-year delay (Word doc) for some questions and stated that the additional time will be used “to provide intensive technical assistance to schools and school districts so they will be prepared to provide accurate data when required for the 2015–16 collection.” Final approval of all proposed questions for data collection comes from the federal Office of Management and Budget and is expected in early 2014.
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School budgets continue to be squeezed, leaving school and district administrators scrambling to find dollars for teacher and school leader professional development. At the same time, the need for professional development is increasing as many educators are implementing new academic standards and aligned assessments that demand deeper learning from students. ASCD’s latest Policy Points (PDF) provides an expansive list of federal programs that support and fund professional development for educators in a variety of areas. ASCD encourages educators to see if their school or district receives funding through the formula-based programs or if their district is eligible to apply for any of the competitive grant programs.
Sixteen states report graduation rates at or above 85 percent, compared to just nine states that reached that benchmark in 2010–11, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Education. For the second year, all states used a common, rigorous measure to calculate graduation rates that allows for new and more valid comparisons. In early 2014, the National Center for Education Statistics will release a follow-up report examining on-time graduation rates.
Register for ASCD’s Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA) while you still can! The conference provides the opportunity for you to start the new year right by gaining the knowledge and skills you need to expand your influence beyond the doors of your school. At LILA, you will hear from and speak with national education leaders, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and proactively advocate for what matters most in your school and district by participating in Capitol Hill meetings with your federal policymakers. See the conference agenda as well as travel information. The education profession needs influential voices like yours—make yourself heard and register now for LILA 2014!
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