ESEA Reauthorization: Where are we headed?
The Obama Administration has released its “blueprint” for ESEA reauthorization. What’s in it? This article summarizes some of the major concepts.

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Teachers get paid to review Dakota STEP

Do you have teachers with strong opinions about the Dakota STEP? Would they like to have a say in what goes on the test? Here’s their chance to have an impact and make a little money in the process!

The South Dakota Department of Education is looking for teachers to serve on work groups related to the Dakota STEP. Each work group requires broad representation from large and small districts, and should include special education and English language learner teachers.

The department will reimburse all selected participants for mileage, meals and lodging (at state rates) and will pay a stipend of $125 per eight-hour workday. The department will also reimburse each participant’s district $70 per day to go toward substitute pay, if necessary.

Participants will be notified with details via e-mail once the work groups have been selected in early May.

Data Review Work Groups
There will be three Data Review Work Groups: one for reading, one for math and one for science.

The purpose of the Data Review Work Groups is to review field test items and related performance data from the spring 2010 Dakota STEP, in order to determine each item’s eligibility for use in future test administrations.

Data Review Work Groups will meet July 13 in Sioux Falls.

To nominate teachers to participate in the Reading Data Review Work Group, complete this form by April 26.

To nominate teachers to participate in the Math Data Review Work Group, complete this form by April 26.

To nominate teachers to participate in the Science Data Review Work Group, complete this form by April 26.

Bias and Content Work Groups
There will be four Bias and Content Work Groups: one for reading, one for math and two for science (one for elementary science and one for grade 11 science).

The purpose of the Content and Bias Work Groups is to review items for grade-appropriate content, and to identify and eliminate bias from these items to ensure that sensitivity to the diverse circumstances of all students.

The work groups will meet July 14-15 in Sioux Falls. The grade 11 science group will meet only July 14.

To nominate teachers to participate in the Reading Bias and Content Work Group, complete this form by April 26.

To nominate teachers to participate in the Mathematics Bias and Content Work Group, complete this form by April 26.

To nominate teachers to participate in the Science Bias and Content Work Group (grades 5 and 8), complete this form by April 26.

To nominate teachers to participate in the Science Bias and Content Work Group (grade 11), complete this form by April 26.

Please direct any questions to Gay Pickner at the Department of Education, (605) 773-3247 or Gay.Pickner@state.sd.us.