Teacher census under the microscope

With help from Maggie Severns, Nirvi Shah and Stephanie Simon

TEACHER CENSUS UNDER THE MICROSCOPE: The Coalition for Teaching Quality, which represents scores of education and civil rights groups, has some advice for the Education Department as it launches a $5.8 million project to gather information on the distribution of highly qualified teachers. In a lengthy letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the coalition urged the department to create a searchable database so parents can assess how equitably their district or their state distributes highly-qualified educators. 

— The coalition also wants the data to be broken down by demographic, so parents can see what proportion of students with disabilities, English-language learners or low-income children are taught by teachers who are still in training and or not yet "highly qualified". The coalition wants access to school-level data, not just district and state numbers. And it asks that online schools are included in the calculations. The coalition’s letter: http://politico.pro/1nqYYHF. Comments on the plan are due by Friday:  http://1.usa.gov/1eMs98A

NGA: COMMON CORE FACES TEST: Did National Governors Association Executive Director Dan Crippen cringe when Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said pulling out of PARCC was a “viable option”? “We don’t like to see it,” Crippen told Morning Education. With Jindal leaving office and his political aspirations for 2016 heating up, Crippen said he realizes that Jindal has other plans. “It’s as much of a political issue as it is a practical issue” for Jindal, Crippen said. NGA helped develop the Common Core with the Council of Chief State School Officers and other groups. 

— If anything, the debate and conversation over the Common Core and aligned assessments strengthens the notion that they’re state-led efforts, he said. And both are set to endure a lot of debate with about two-thirds of governors facing reelection and party turnover in some state legislatures. “But the adoption of higher standards will prevail,” Crippen said.

GOOD THURSDAY MORNING, APRIL 17. Seventy-seven years ago today, Daffy Duck made his first appearance in the cartoon titled, “Porky’s Duck Hunt.” To commemorate all the Saturday mornings I spent with my dad eating Cocoa Puffs and watching cartoons, here’s a relevant GIF [ http://bit.ly/1l9cz4V]. Send Looney Tunes fandom, tips and amusing GIFs to cemma@politico.com or @caitlinzemma. Events: educalendar@politicopro.com. And follow us on Twitter: @Morning_Edu and @POLITICOPro.

PROGRAM INTEGRITY DRAFT LANGUAGE DROPS: The Education Department has released draft proposals ahead of a negotiated rulemaking session next week on program integrity and improvement. That language includes the definition of “adverse credit” for Direct PLUS Loan eligibility. Proposed regulations would change the amount of time borrowers’ negative credit information on their credit report is considered from five years to two years for debts in collection or charged off. A borrower would then have an adverse credit history if debt is 90 days or more delinquent, in collections, charged off or totals an outstanding balance of $2,085: http://politico.pro/1pcuo9w

— Proposed regulations also cover state authorization for distance education [ http://politico.pro/1hOF5Lv] and foreign locations [ http://politico.pro/1pcuNZF]. On distance education, an institution would have to get approval from every state in which a student is enrolled, with no exemptions for an institution based on accreditation or years in existence. It’s possible states would have to tweak their laws, and institutions will likely push back on the requirement. For foreign locations, the language adds an exemption for locations or branch campuses on military bases, saying authorization from a foreign country isn’t necessary. WCET has more: http://bit.ly/1hM6dtw.

— The new draft language also covers cash management: [ http://politico.pro/1h6irrO]. The negotiated rulemaking committee takes up the proposed regulations Wednesday.

FALLING SHORT OF ITS 'PROMISE'?: This week, Tennessee lawmakers overwhelmingly approved Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's "Tennessee Promise" proposal, which would cover community college tuition for any high school graduate in the state. From The Associated Press:  http://bit.ly/1nbwMew.

— But Bryce McKibben, a policy analyst with the Association of Community College Trustees, said programs like Tennessee's and initiatives in Oregon and Mississippi may not help the neediest students. The programs"have been offered as so-called 'last dollar' scholarships — covering only tuition and fees that are  not covered by all other (overwhelmingly federal) aid, such as Pell grants," he told Morning Education. "Last-dollar programs do not cover things like room, board, books, and supplies that a student must pay for in order to survive. The practical effect of these programs is also to spend the most state money on students who 'need the least' aid." His chart:  http://bit.ly/1l6d3Nz.

— In addition, McKibben said, "part-time students who may be working to support themselves or their families while attending school — more than half of all enrolled Tennessee community college students — also receive no Promise funds under program rules." 

— The program will apply to full-time students who maintain consecutive enrollment for four or five semesters and maintain a C average. "Research has firmly established that these “traditional” students represent a very small portion of overall community college enrollments," McKibben said. "They are also generally students who have the most resources and academic preparation before starting college, and are the most likely to attend a postsecondary program regardless of aid."

SALLIE MAE FINANCIALS ARE IN: Sallie Mae’s first quarter 2014 financial results are out and compared to the first quarter of 2013, private loan originations are up 8 percent to $1.5 billion. The private education loan 90-day delinquency rate is down to 3.4 percent from 3.9 percent and private education loan charge-off rates are down, too. Sallie Mae also reported quarterly core earnings of $118 million, compared with $87 million one year ago: http://bit.ly/1l9a6Yc.

— As part of the news for investors, Sallie Mae also said it is in talks to with the FDIC, Justice Department and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over several regulatory issues. Sallie Mae disclosed last year that its lending practices with members of the military were among those issues. The Huffington Post reports that federal investigators find Sallie Mae may have cheated soldiers on federal student loans:  http://huff.to/QeOpN9.

** America needs a skilled workforce to fill millions of new jobs being created in high-demand fields like nursing and computer technology. DeVry Education Group will help. DeVry Group institutions provide programs for many of today’s most in-demand jobs. And our flexible, career-oriented education meets the needs of today’s nontraditional students. http://www.educationworksdevry.com **

JUVENILE JUSTICE EDUCATION FALLS FLAT: Education programs offered by juvenile justice systems are failing students and southern states in particular have room for improvement, a new report from the Southern Education Foundation says. Students entering the system aren’t leaving it, said Kent McGuire, former U.S. assistant secretary of education and president of SEF. In 2010, about 70,000 young people were in custody of U.S. juvenile justice systems. About a third of them were in 15 southern states. In 2009, 47 percent of detained students earned high school course credits and 9 percent earned a GED or high school diploma. McGuire said states need higher teaching standards and better assessments that provide more telling data. And states need better data systems to track students and contribute to individual learning plans: http://politico.pro/1tbdHus.

BROWN V. BOARD: A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT?: With the 60th anniversary of the  Brown v. Board of Education ruling approaching, the Economic Policy Institute says in a new paper that the decision failed its mission. School segregation is still a problem, the paper argues. Initial school integration gains stalled shortly after the ruling, and black children are more racially and socioeconomically isolated than ever, EPI says. The achievement gap between black and white students is still too wide, and schools remain segregated because too often, the neighborhoods in which they’re located are segregated. The report: http://bit.ly/1noz6wh.

ProPublica also looked at school resegregation. In Tuscaloosa, Ala., poor black students are increasingly segregated through gerrymandering and white flight. All of it “facilitated, to some extent, by the city's black elites.” http://bit.ly/P6ESGC.

CCSF SAYS NO WAY TO ‘CANDIDACY STATUS’: The City College of San Francisco is definitely not seeking “candidacy status” recommended [ http://politico.pro/1eKF6Qg] by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. CCSF is set to lose its accreditation on July 31 following a number of issues, including lack of fiscal control and deficient student services. ACCJC said if the college applies for “candidacy status,” it can buy two to four years of time for recovery to make sure it’s meeting accreditation standards. “Candidacy would require us to withdraw our current accreditation,” CCSF Chancellor Arthur Tyler wrote the campus community in a letter. “Let me be clear: We are not considering withdrawing our accreditation. To do so would severely harm our current and future students as well as undermine our current enrollment efforts.” The letter: http://politico.pro/1gIcaXu.

FIRST LADY FOLLOWS STUDENTS TO HOWARD: First lady Michelle Obama is headed to Howard University this afternoon with a group of high school students from Chicago public high schools who hope to immerse themselves in a college campus environment. Students plan to spend a total of four days at Howard in a visit called “Escape to Mecca.” Obama will join students on a campus tour followed by a roundtable discussion about how college tours and other types exposure can inspire students to push for the best higher education possible.

— Sean Combs, a former Howard student, will give a commencement speech later this spring:  http://cbsn.ws/1hIRikO.


— More than 90 percent of public libraries in the U.S. have used the E-Rate program. Institute of Museum and Library Sciences: http://1.usa.gov/1iqzKIN.

— The Education Department’s improper payment rate estimation methodologies for Pell Grants and Direct Loan programs need improvement, according to the department’s Office of Inspector General: http://1.usa.gov/QquYRa.   


— 8:30 a.m.: The Defense Department’s Department of the Air Force holds a meeting of the Air University Board of Visitors on educational, doctrinal and research policies of Air University. Joint Base Andrews, Md.

— 9:30 a.m.: Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler addresses a public hearing hosted by The Institute for Museum and Library Services titled, “Libraries and Broadband: Urgency and Impact.” 901 G St. NW.

— 2 p.m.: First lady Michelle Obama speaks with students from Chicago public high schools during their four-day visit to Howard University.

— 2 p.m.: Maureen McLaughlin, senior advisor to Education Secretary Arne Duncan and director of international affairs, discusses the “U.S. Department of Education’s International Strategy: Succeeding Globally through Education and Engagement” at the University of Massachusetts Boston.


— Reversing a trend, fewer students who failed state tests graduated in 2013. Chalkbeat Indiana:  http://bit.ly/1l9f4US

— Oklahoma Superintendent Barresi and her challenger Hofmeister trade barbs over Common Core. Tulsa World: http://bit.ly/1j2l94n

— One year after Texas disaster, report looks at schools located near chemical facilities. The Huffington Post: http://huff.to/Qqefxg

— Nevada probe detects cheating on standardized tests. The Associated Press: http://abcn.ws/1hKXbgq

— A star quarterback accused and a flawed rape investigation. The New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1ir5my3

Hold your horses now. [ http://bit.ly/1l8QIe3] Are you following the Pro Education team? @ CaitlinZEmma or cemma@politico.com, @ MaggieSeverns or mseverns@politico.com, @ NirviShah or nshah@politico.com and @ StephanieSimon_ or ssimon@politico.com.

** 25,000 Nurses Needed. America needs a skilled workforce to fill millions of jobs being created in high-demand fields like nursing.

However, most colleges and universities are struggling to keep up.  In 2013, nearly 54,000 qualified applicants to nursing schools were turned away because of insufficient capacity to expand enrollment.

But not DeVry Education Group and the Chamberlain College of Nursing.

We were able to double enrollment in our nursing programs and add six new campuses.  DeVry Group provides the career-oriented and flexible education needed by today’s nontraditional students.

For over 120 years, DeVry Group has been helping students advance their careers in technology, healthcare and business.  We’ve been an innovator and leader in career-oriented education with over 250,000 alumni, helping graduates get jobs at America’s most successful companies. See how it’s possible: http://www.educationworksdevry.com **