Our multi-year campaign will identify and promote specific improvements in the procurement transactions between K-12 school district buyers and private sector sellers, focusing on ed-tech and instructional support services that help districts attain superior student outcomes. These two segments are growing rapidly as the result of adoption of Common Core States Standards, school/district accountability and personalization of instruction.
As result of this work, EIA and our partners, intends to help make K-12 procurement more cost-efficient for both district buyers and sellers. For buyers, we hope the project will result in lower transaction costs, shortened timelines, an easier process to work with diverse providers and boost student outcomes. For sellers, including those new to the market, we hope the campaign will enable them to better navigate the procurement system and integrate their proprietary solutions into the classroom.
During the summer of 2013, EIA and Digital Promise conducted preliminary research into the buying and selling practices of a subgroup of school superintendents and vendors. This is a first-cut into deeper studies into procurement practices that will occur in 2014. Click here to scan highlights of that initial survey.
To join the 2013 PVPG Procurement Campaign Agreement, please click here.
House and Senate ESEA bills introduced this week but lack of bipartisan support casts doubt on final action.
Just when it seemed that the only news from Congress concerned student loan rates and sequestration, this week marks new activity in the reauthorization of the ESEA. Different bills will be introduced in respective committees in the House and Senate, but will anything end up on President Obama's desk for his signature this year?
EIA has learned at our press time that Senator Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Senate HELP Committee will introduce a new bill late this week modeled on S. 3578 that passed out of Committee in October, 2011. At that time, Ranking Minority Member of the committee, Mike Enzi (R-WY) joined to make that a bi-partisan measure. It is unclear if new the Ranking Minority Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will join Mr. Harkin, who is set to retire from the Senate and is likely seeking the ESEA reauthorization to be one of his legacy legislative successes. Mr. Alexander, who was Education Secretary under Bush 1, has his own ideas on reauthorization and is a strong advocate for state-rights.
The original Harkin-Enzi bill put States in the key roles of setting standards for achievement, setting accountability measures in lieu of the Federal AYP system and designing state-determined school improvement systems. In general, the theme of the bill was to shift to state-local control while minimizing the role of the US Department of Education. The new measure, to be introduced this week, will likely continue in this direction, although it is uncertain if Senator Alexander will join to make it a bipartisan bill.
At the time of the original Senate Committee activity, Senator John McCain introduced an amendment to S. 3578 to add after school tutoring back into the measure. It is doubtful that a bill to re-institute federal mandates like SES will gain much traction.
Meanwhile, over in the House Education and Workforce Committee, Chairman John Kline (R-MN) is about to introduce his own single bill to replace NCLB. The new measure will bundle together the four previous bills passed out of the House Committee in the last Congress. The new comprehensive ESEA bill will consolidate/eliminate several federal education programs; promote funding for charter and magnet schools, and create a new state set-aside equal to about $3 billion in Title I for tutoring and school choice that districts may apply for. This new mechanism to fund students who are trapped in failing schools solves some of the adversity districts had with SES providers and the mandated use of those funds.
The new House bill will also create a $2 billion Direct Student Services program that is a block grant available to districts that apply to the State for programs that have the broad purpose of raising student achievement. The funding is not new money but re-allocated funds from SIG and other programs that were eliminated or consolidated. This is a very flexible pot of funds that districts can purchase products and services that they deem appropriate.
and a third bill, H.R. 3989, the Student Success Act, scrapped AYP and created a state system of standards, accountability and school improvement.
A new Title II provides support for teachers and school leaders. This is a $3 billion measure that funded teacher and school leader evaluation and professional development systems that were evidence-based, job embedded and continuous in nature. For-profit organizations were specifically highlighted as eligible providers. Another part of the bill creates new flexibility by local districts to use funds for tutoring and extended learning time that are provided by business entities among other service providers.
In addition, the bill, in Title III, creates a new system of parent engagement centers and services at the state level that replaces PIRCs and will be a more robust provider of technical assistance services. 1% of Title I continues to be set-aside for districts to use funds for parent engagement services.
House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor (R-VA), may also wade into the debate with an amendment of his own. It is anticipated that Leader Cantor will introduce a voucher-like bill that may be attached to the use of Title I funds that may allow a portion of federal funds to "follow" the student who may then attend a private school or take a course online, or obtain tutoring. Details on these options will be know if and when the amendment is introduced.
Like last year, it will move through the House Committee without the participation of Democrats who are preparing their own substitute amendment. Of course, the Democrats do not have the votes to tweak the bill. Mark-up of the Kline bill will occur by the end of June, with plans to get it to the House floor by August before the summer recess.
So what, if what anything, does this new attempt to replace NCLB really mean? The one thing that Democrats and Republicans do agree on is their collective frustration with the Administration's use of ESEA waivers to force changes to current law without Congressional leadership. Congress may be signaling President Obama that they are unhappy with this patch-work quilt of States that are going their own ways in setting standards with different accountability and school improvement systems.
Of course, this outcome for States is exactly what is contemplated in the original Senate and House bills--the difference is Congress is legislating these policies, rather than being side-lined by Administration waivers.
Once the new bills are formally introduced, EIA will prepare an updated analysis for the K-12 industry.
EIA Rebuts FL Press Slam of SES
In an OpEd published in the Tampa Bay Times, on February 20, 2013, EIA's Steven Pines, corrects the reporting, "No cash left behind: Tutoring for profit in Florida," Feb. 10 and 11.The Tampa Bay Times regrettably chose to cite a handful of anecdotes and point to our sector's quite proper use of public advocacy to smear dozens of tutoring companies that have provided an educational lifeline to tens of thousands of Florida students and their families for nearly 10 years. Notably, not one parent or student was quoted on record regarding their experience with Supplemental Education Services tutoring.
On behalf of the members of the Education Industry Association, some of whom include providers of Supplemental Educational Services, I feel compelled to restore some semblance of balance to the story of how federally funded tutoring has lifted the academic skills of tens of thousands of Florida's low-income students — and why the alleged and (if true) inexcusable actions of a few should not be considered representative of all SES providers.
SES was the result of a bipartisan proposal crafted by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, the scion of the Democratic Party. About five years into SES, in a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, Kennedy staunchly defended the value of tutoring, recounting how it personally benefited the Kennedy family.
He then made the same civil rights argument that seemed to have been ridiculed by the Times, by saying that low-income students should have access to the same high-quality tutoring services that affluent families use every day. Kennedy's words inspired SES providers, working with school districts around the country, to redouble their efforts on behalf of those kids.
Yes, the federal No Child Left Behind law passed during President George W. Bush's administration expressly allowed education businesses to compete with one another to provide tutoring, but these businesses certainly do not dominate the SES tutoring market in Florida or elsewhere — despite the Times' consistent reference to all providers as "companies." In fact, about half of all tutoring is provided directly by public school districts, faith-based groups and nonprofit organizations.
Regarding the state's grading system of provider effectiveness, Florida has developed an approach to SES evaluation that serves as a national model, used by Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee, which includes a mix of state standardized testing, attendance, customer satisfaction surveys and provider pre/post testing. State and local education officials have given themselves every tool to ensure that tutoring organizations were delivering high-quality SES services.
With the exception of the few that allegedly gamed the system, I believe the vast majority of Florida-approved tutoring companies have served their students, their families and U.S. taxpayers honorably and ethically.
EIA does not condone criminal acts or malfeasance on the part of any SES providers, anywhere, and we would be among the first to call for strong sanctions against these organizations if the allegations reported by the Times are found to be true.
Florida (like 30 other states) adopted the EIA Code of Ethics for SES Providers, which provides industry guidance to government regulators on standards of best practice. I am encouraged that in the wake of the Times series, the Florida commissioner of education, Tony Bennett, announced new measures to expose and sanction those tutoring organizations that do not abide by the EIA code or related state regulations.
EIA makes no apologies for standing up for its tutoring company members, and on behalf of the tens of thousands of students that its members have so ably served in Florida. Access to quality educational services is a civil right that should continue to be enjoyed by students and their parents who cannot afford private tutoring like their wealthier counterparts.
Hopkins Dean David Andrews Honored with EIA's Friend of Industry Award
The Education Industry Association (EIA) named David Andrews, dean, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, as the recipient of its 2013 “Friend of the Education Industry” Award.
The “Friend of the Education Industry” Award
“Dean Andrews is most deserving of this award, which for nine years has put an appreciative spotlight on educators, policymakers and businesspeople who don’t know what status quo means. Who do not shy away from education’s most vexing problems. And who above all dedicate themselves to reforming education for the betterment of our schools, our teachers, and our students,” said Michael R. Sandler, chairman of Education Industry Group and author of Social Entrepreneurship in Education: Private Ventures for the Public Good, who presented the Award today on behalf of EIA during its 13th Education Industry Days conference here. “Dean Andrews has done all of that and then some, and he is setting the Johns Hopkins School of Education on a courageous path that is producing transformative leaders in all sectors – public, private and corporate.”
Andrews has led a series of bold initiatives since he was named dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education in 2010. He has created collaborations with EIA, Teach for America (TFA), and other highly regarded education reform organizations; developed a unique partnership with Laureate Education to provide an online Masters in teaching; is working with EIA to undertake program evaluations for proprietary education firms; and established a Visiting Fellows program of leaders and experts representing a range of educational sectors.
Before joining Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Andrews served on the faculty of Ohio State University and was the founding dean of The Ohio State University’s College of Education and Human Ecology. Andrews earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from Auburn University. He holds a master's degree from Kansas State University and a doctorate from Florida State University, both in child development.
The EIA Friend of the Education Industry Award is the Association’s highest and most prestigious honor since its inception in 2005. It is presented annually to an individual who, fosters and demonstrates vision, entrepreneurship, a dedication to quality, and the spirit of public-private partnership in advancing education reform. Previous recipients have included noted education entrepreneur Christopher Whittle; Jeanne Allen, Founder and President, Center for Education Reform; Toru Kumon, founder of Kumon Math & Reading Centers; and Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education.
“It’s an honor for me to receive such a prestigious award from the Education Industry Association,” Andrews said. “I strongly believe that schools of education must be involved with all components of the education sector if we are to achieve real education reform. Our partnership with EIA is helping us accomplish that goal.”
About the Johns Hopkins School of Education
Established in 2007, the Johns Hopkins University School of Education (SOE) prepares educational leaders and develops research-based models of instruction that are making lasting improvements in student achievement – from early childhood to the adult learner. Ranked in the top ten graduate schools of education by US News and World Report, the SOE offers doctorate and graduate programs, and is engaged in a variety of research and development activities, external partnerships, and collaborative connections to the broader Johns Hopkins community. For more information: www.education.jhu.edu.
The “Friend of the Education Industry” Award is EIA’s highest and most prestigious honor, presented annually to the individual who, in the view of the EIA Board of Directors, fosters and demonstrates extraordinary vision, entrepreneurship, a dedication to quality, and the spirit of public-private partnership in advancing education reform.
Since 2005, EIA each year has recognized an individual whose leadership and achievements have also contributed to the development, growth and success of the education industry in its service to students, families, schools and teachers.
Conceived of and sponsored by noted education entrepreneur and author Michael R. Sandler, the EIA “Friend of the Education Industry” Award has been bestowed on these noteworthy education leaders:
2013 David Andrews, Ph.D., Dean, Johns Hopkins University School of Education
2012 Christopher Whittle, CEO, Avenues: The World School and founder, Edison Learning
2011 Jeanne Allen, Founder and President, Center for Education Reform
2010 Toru Kumon, Founder, Kumon Math & Reading Centers
2009 Margaret Spellings, Former U.S. Secretary of Education
2008 Howard “Buck” McKeon, Former Ranking Member, U.S. House Committee on Education & Labor
2007 Guilbert Hentschke, Ph.D., Professor, University of Southern California
2006 David Kearns, former Chairman & CEO, Xerox Corporation (award presented by U.S. Senator (and former
U.S. Secretary of Education) Lamar Alexander
2005 George Miller, Former Chairman and Current Ranking Member, U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor