June 2020 Newsletter
This Month’s Top Standards News and Trends
We Know Standards
Despite all of the uncertainty surrounding school schedules for fall 2020, states are still actively updating and modifying their standards for the coming school year (whatever that school year may look like: in-person, remote or a hybrid solution). Scanning through EdGate’s 2020 “To Do” list this summer, we are scheduled to update standards for forty U.S. states and in many cases multiple subjects will be modified for a given state. On top of that work, our team is busily preparing the state standards so that we can provide CASE identifiers for each state for every subject, including Social Studies, Health & PE, Arts Education, World Languages, and Technology Education. Watch our Twitter Feed to monitor our progress.
The Team at EdGate
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act, earmarks $30.7 billion under an Education Stabilization Fund for states to spend on education, including $13.2 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund. States will receive a range of funds and all money must be spent by September 2022. The law lists twelve acceptable uses of the relief money which includes 1) Purchasing educational technology including hardware, software, and connectivity to allow for student interaction with instructors; 2) Planning and implementing summer and after school programs including online learning during the summer months; 3) The broadly sweeping statement “Providing principals and other school leaders with the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools.” How are states moving forward? Per an EdWeek article, most school districts are planning to use federal coronavirus relief funding to support remote learning, according to a new survey of district IT leaders. For example, California will need to provide daily live instruction either in-person or through distance learning with a requirement of at least three hours of instruction per day. Progress will be assessed a number of ways, including evidence of online activities and completion of assignments. In some Texas districts, however, there will be no additional money from the CARES Act. Instead, that money will make up for money lost during the 2019-2020 school year.
Still, online publishers should expect a surge. In Eugene, Oregon the district will offer a full K-12 online program. In Polk County, Florida students can enroll in the Polk Virtual School for the 2020-2021 school year. In Boise, Idaho students can sign up for an online learning program that mirrors the district’s in-person curriculum. Just a few examples of the many districts who will surely be working tirelessly this summer to plan their online curriculum strategy for the coming school year. For many districts the CARES Act allowance will be key to ensuring that these online programs can be successfully launched.
By: Gina Faulk
In Washington State, the Board of Education has recognized that student career goals are not all the same. School districts are now required to implement the "High school and Beyond Plan (HSBP)." According to the Spokesman-Review (Nov.29, 2019), referring to the Education Research and Data Center, "About 34% of Washington students enrolled in a four-year college the year after they graduated, 28% pursued a two-year or technical degree and 38% didn't enroll in a higher education program." HSBP's purpose is to provide a personalized plan that meets every student's future career goals.
Districts are expected to begin the HSBP in the 7th or 8th grade with an assessment of a student's skills and interests. The personalized plan would be continually revised over the next four years so that by the time the student is ready to graduate, he/she would meet the state and local requirements and the plan would align with the student's career goals. HSBP requires the student to pass one of seven pathways in order to receive a diploma.
The Spokesman-Review summarized the State Board of Education's seven pathways:
(For a more detailed description of each of the pathways go to: https://www.sbe.wa.gov/our-work/high-school-and-beyond-plan)
- Passing Smarter Balanced Assessments. These tests measure understanding of English and math.
- Earning college credit through dual-credit programs with a local university or college. These programs partner the high school with a college.
- Passing Advanced Placement exams.
- Passing college admissions exams. Students who meet certain requirements on the SAT and ACT can use their test scores to pass the state requirement.
- Passing the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, which is required to enter the armed services.
- Earning credits through career and technical education (CTE) courses.
- Taking Bridge to College courses.
Although there are critics who believe HSBP devalues the high school diploma, the plan appears to be moving in the right direction. The state board's executive director, Randy Spaulding, said, "This takes some emphasis off testing in our system, which is a positive thing. It also puts students' different pathways and their goals on a level playing field." Mr. Spaulding must be on to something as the University of California is in the process of eliminating the ACT/SAT for all California students, making the tests optional in 2021 and beyond. In a recent CNBC report, Abigail Hess pointed to several university research papers noting the bias of these tests, and predictions that other universities will also make admission testing optional. (See: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/22/uc-plans-to-phase-out-sat-and-act-other-schools-may-follow-suit.html)
By: Nancy Rubesch
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences recently published a report titled "Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century," recommending an increase in funding and education in a subject near and dear to my heart, civics! The report calls for a move to not just teach students the basics but rather how to become engaged and active citizens through integrating service learning, student government, debate training and participatory budgeting. The goal is to get students informed on civic knowledge and have them be able to carry that understanding forward to become participatory citizens throughout their lives. Without a basic knowledge of how government works, the understanding of how it applies as adults is lost. The report also stresses the need for states to develop a greater breadth of civics standards to establish best practices. With the recent rigorous debate on politics, rights and freedoms in this country, investing in civic education will provide students with a foundation from which to be an informed part of the conversation. If enacted we look forward to seeing a broader scope of curriculum and standards created across the board!
For more information on the topic please access the information below:
By: Jen Larson
Curriculum Grants and Funding
In this section of the EdGate Observer we point our clients to news about districts, states, etc. that may have available funding for curriculum.
This month we highlight three upcoming grants and awards:
- ecoTech Grants encourages educators and students to explore the role technology can play in designing and implementing solutions to some of our most pressing environmental challenges. (deadline July 15)
- Future Scholars for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce Development Programs
- Funding for English Language, STEAM, & Entrepreneurship Programs (deadline July 8th)
Updates to The EdGate Standards Repository include:
- Alabama Mathematics (AD 2019) Grades K-12, K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Arizona Social Studies (AD 2018) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Australia - New South Wales Science (AD 2018) Grades K-6
- Illinois Social and Emotional Learning (AD 2004) Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-10, 11-12
- Massachusetts Arts Education (AD 2019) Grades PK-K,1-2,3-4,5-6,7-8,9-12
- North Carolina Mathematics (AD 2019) Math 4 - Grades 9-12
- North Carolina Technology Education (AD 2020 ISTE-S) Grades K-12
- Texas Language Arts (AD 2017) Grades 9-12
- Washington Social and Emotional Learning (AD 2020) Grades K-3,4-5,6-8,9-12
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