District Administration - January 2007 - (Page 20)

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George Miller D-Calif. , new chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce, feels the cheating issue “ought to be part of the Rep. George Miller mix” during the reauthorization debate, says his spokesman, Tom Kiley. “Any cheating is going to undermine the core goal of the law, which is accountability and making sure that every student is proficient,” Kiley says. But other authorities are more cautious about whether cheating is worthy of federal involvement. “It’s up to the states to address it,” says Chad Colby, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Education. “It’s the people who administer the tests who have to be vigilant.” “We haven’t heard that this is a widespread issue in terms of NCLB or state accountability systems,” declares Alex Nock, director of the independent , bipartisan Commission on No Child Left Behind. “We went around the country talking to a lot of folks about a lot of things and this wasn’t one of the topics that anybody spent any time talking about.” Repor t s of manipulation of test scores have popped up across the country, although authorities are wary of calling it cheating. In New Jersey, state officia ls say administrators and teachers who ignored test rules caused numerous test violations at two Camden elementary schools in 2004-05. Violations included giving students more time on tests and letting them use calculators for math questions. The Camden School District has since developed a secur it y plan to block “adult interference” in testing. The plan includes rigorous training for test administrators, more monitoring, and more attention to handl i ng test booklets. Mea nwh i le, the state attorney general is conducting a criminal probe of the issue as well as alleged fiscal irregularities in the district. New Jersey is one of 12 states that have reported “significantly higher” percentages of fourth-graders proficient in reading and math compared with the percentages of students found to be proficient under the National Assessment of Educational Progress. T he differences were revealed in a study by Policy Analysis for Californ ia Education PACE , an independent research center at the University of California, Berkeley, UC Davis and Stanford University. “We did not look at the issue of cheating. We did look at how states try to game the system a bit. Part of it is probably due to teaching to the tests,” says Bruce Fuller, a PACE director at UC Berkeley. But he acknowledges that “a little of it might be due to cheating.” —Alan Dessoff S Three States “High Risk” for NCLB Teacher Plans The U.S. Department of Education has labeled Utah, Missouri and Hawaii education agencies as “high risk” due to inadequate “highly qualified teacher” plans under No Child Left Behind. The federal agency says it found “substantial deficiencies” and instructed revising the state agencies to revise them, or face consequences to be determined, says Chad Colby, department spokesman. It mandated last year that all states detail how they would ensure teachers of core subjects were highly qualified and that poor and minority children were given the same teaching quality. Peer reviewers scored the plans against six criteria, including how to help teachers “quickly attain” high-quality status. Utah, Missouri, Hawaii and Wisconsin, initially did not meet requirements, but the department subsequently approved revisions that Wisconsin made. “We think we have a plan that will meet their requirements,” adds Larry Shumway, director of educator quality services in the Utah State Office of Education. The Missouri Department of Elementar y and Secondary Education was notified that the data portion has been approved, says spokesman Jim Morris. Meanwhile, Jefferds Huyck, a 22year teacher in Santa Cruz, Calif., left a charter school after state education officials determined he was not “highly qualified” under NCLB. Rather than enter a certification program designed for beginners, he moved to a private —Alan Dessoff school. 20 January 2007 District Administration DA_107_nclbJP.indd 20 12/13/06 3:02:21 PM Warning : Unknown : The session id contains invalid characters, valid characters are only a-z, A-Z and 0-9 in Unknown on line 0 Warning : Unknown : Failed to write session data files . 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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - January 2007

Contents
Editor's Letter
Update
Inside the Law
Curriculum Update
Administrator Profile
District Profile
Overheard on the Pulse...
Teaching Techniques for Supervisors
Why Buy New When Used Might Do?
Past Becomes Future
Financial Rescue
Speaking Out
The Online Edge
Research Corner
Problem/Solution
Computer Literature
New Products
Calendar of Events
Understanding the Times

District Administration - January 2007

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