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January 11, 2016


Understanding key changes as NCLB evolves into ESSA.

When President Obama signed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, into law, we had two reactions: 1) Finally! Congress and the President Obama have at last replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and 2) Holy cow! ESSA significantly changes key aspects of our work.Pres signs ESSA - photo by Amanda Lucidon

Like most educators, though, we embrace both responses. And we’ve been busy working through what ESSA means for our work and our clients. In doing so, we have come across multiple summaries and commentary worth sharing, which we’ve summarized below.

If you prefer the long version, you can find the full text of the new law here. But our primary takeaway is that ESSA provides targeted resources and tailored prescriptions designed to return accountability and decision-making for student success to state and local leaders. (more…)

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Tom photo - finalOn this day of his retirement, a shout out to Tom Hanley, Assistant Direct of ESCORT (the migrant professional services organization at the State University of New York Oneonta), dean of the consultants and advisors that work with migrant education programs throughout the United States, and a trusted partner of Arroyo Research Services.

For the past 30 years Tom has been a tireless advocate for migrant students and the people and programs that work with them. His impact has been both structural and personal: affecting how migrant education programs organize and execute programs, motivating and inspiring people to find meaning and passion their work, and directly engaging with migrant youth. (more…)

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Eakins with teachersAfter six years and over $180 million, Hillsborough County plans to move beyond a teacher evaluation system developed with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to a more data driven system of educator support emblematic of strategies advanced by Learning Forward. The move was announced in an email from Superintendent Jeff Eakins to the more than 260 Peer Evaluators and Mentors who form the core of the system. Said Eakins:

Much of the latest research points to job-embedded professional development and non-evaluative feedback from colleagues as the mechanisms which create a quality professional growth environment within organizations.

The feeling was apparently mutual, with Gates choosing not to fund the final $20 million of its own grant. (more…)

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Photo credit: Gillian Laub
Photo credit: Gillian Laub

Arroyo Research Services Senior Associate John Kucsera has been attracting considerable attention for his work with UCLA professor Gary Orfield on the extreme segregation still found in our nation’s school systems 60+ years after the landmark Brown v. Board of Education court ruling. And contrary to what some may expect, the biggest problem is not found in the American South. In fact, a recent study by Kucsera and Orfield, who co-directs the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, discovered that the country’s worst segregation rates in modern day can be found in New York state’s schools.

Photo credit Warren K Leffler
Photo credit Warren K Leffler

And the problem doesn’t end there; demographic shifts in places like Southern California, which are representative of changes happening elsewhere in the country, signal a need for more proactive policies that favor integration across the country (see, for example, “Are We Segregated and Satisfied?” in the journal, Urban Education). While progress has been made since Brown for some students, issues like a growing Latino population, increasing socioeconomic disparity, school choice, and finance reform all have an impact on segregation rates. (more…)

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Mike Matsuda

We smiled when we learned that Mike Matsuda had been named Superintendent of Anaheim Union School District. We have been so pleased to partner with him through our work evaluating the Transforming Academic and Cultural Identidad through Biliteracy project, a three year National Science Foundation Math Science Partnership with California State University Fullerton designed to develop and study the impact of a dual-language (English-Spanish) math and science pathway in grades 7 and 8. (more…)

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