Education Week - January 9, 2013 - (Page 12)

12 EDUCATION WEEK n JANUARY 9, 2013 n BLOGS of the WEEK | NEWS | Digital Education NASA Project Gives Students Virtual Tour of Mars The Curiosity, an suv-size vehicle, is roving the surface of Mars, collecting information on soil, rocks, and other natural resources that scientists hope will enhance their understanding of the red planet. Now students from across the country can go roving, virtually, right along with it. Last month, a trio of organizations began hosting a “virtual field trip” to Mars, which gives students and teachers detailed information on the rover’s mission and its work. The virtual program, titled “Journey to the Extreme: Your vip Pass to Mars,” also will be archived for schools’ future use, for those who missed the initial launch. The program includes information presented by scientists and engineers who have worked on the rover project, including Leland Melvin, nasa associate administrator for education and an astronaut, and Dave Lavery, program executive for nasa’s solar system exploration and the Curiosity’s mission. The project is a joint effort of the foundation, nasa, and Discovery Education. (The foundation was launched by, a founding member of the musical group the Black Eyed Peas.) The virtual trip is part of an overall, five-year project called, meant to engage and inspire students through interactive projects to consider science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math fields. The program’s primary audience is students in grades 3-12, with a focus on middle school, Discovery officials say. Related activities, which are aligned with academic standards, are available for download on —SEAN CAVANAGH | NEWS | Hazelwood Landmark Seen Anew CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 District Dossier Debate Still Rages Over Michelle Rhee’s Tenure in D.C. Schools Michelle Rhee’s record as chancellor of the District of Columbia public schools remains contentious, and her leadership style polarizing, more than two years after she resigned and left the nation’s capital. That record—which gets rehashed often amid larger debates about what strategies hold the most promise for turning around a lowachieving public school system—is set to get a fresh examination. John Merrow, the veteran education reporter who closely chronicled Rhee’s three-plus turbulent years running the District’s long-troubled public schools in a series of broadcasts on The pbs NewsHour, was scheduled to air an hour-long “Frontline” piece on Rhee on Jan. 8. Rhee has hardly disappeared from the education sphere. The StudentsFirst organization she founded soon after leaving the chancellor’s job quickly established itself as one of the most influential shapers of education policies that Rhee touts, such as overhauling teacher evaluation systems. Under Rhee’s watch, District of Columbia schools saw student test scores rise, while enrollment declined. The teachers’ union also agreed to a contract that gave her broad authority to fire low-performing teachers. Since her departure, however, concerns about cheating that first arose in a USA Today investigation, have cast a pall over the rising scores during her tenure. A report from the U.S. Department of Education’s office of inspector general looking into the matter is still to come, Catherine Grant, a spokeswoman for the oig, confirmed. Other signs of progress that quickly emerged during her leadership have also faded: While enrollment in the city’s thriving charter school sector continued to increase, the number of families choosing a traditional District of Columbia public school stagnated, according to news accounts. I’m sure the piece will address all these topics and more. But will the former chancellor, known for posing with broom on the cover of Time magazine, firing a principal with the cameras rolling, and making brash statements like “I am going to start a revolution,” and “This isn’t a democracy,” staunchly stand by all the decisions she made? Or will the passage of time give her a more nuanced view of her tenure? If you miss the initial broadcast, check out the archives on the “Frontline” website: One footnote: The timing of this “Frontline” piece could be quite fortuitous for Rhee, whose memoir goes on sale in February. —LESLI A. MAXWELL decision had immense significance for student publications and for student speech more generally. The 25th anniversary of the Jan. 13, 1988, decision has been marked in recent months by scholarly conferences and assessments of its continuing impact. But when the case was being deliberated, the outcome was somewhat unsure, as revealed in the papers of Justice White, which were opened to the public only last year. After the case was argued in October 1987, five justices tentatively sided with the school administrators: Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Justice White, who was picked by the chief justice to write the opinion. Justice White knew he had to proceed carefully to retain his thin majority. The Hazelwood case was heard by only eight justices because Lewis F. Powell Jr. had retired from the court that summer, and his seat was still open following the failed nomination of Robert H. Bork, a former U.S. solicitor general and then federal appeals court judge. (Anthony M. Kennedy would join the court about a month after the Hazelwood decision.) If Justice White were to lose one of his votes, the resulting 4-4 tie would mean that a federal appeals court ruling in favor of the student journalists would be affirmed without a high court opinion. That made dealing with the requests of the justices in the majority precarious. Justice Scalia, the papers show, responded to Justice White’s draft with a wholesale alternative to a section dealing with the actions of Hazelwood East’s principal. Meanwhile, Justice Stevens proposed some suggestions of his own. “While I am in substantial agreement with your fine opinion, I wonder if you would consider making two changes,” Justice Stevens told Justice White in a Nov. 20, 1987, internal memo. “If you make these changes, or ones that will achieve a similar result, you will garner my vote.” Mature Topics The Hazelwood anniversary has prompted recollections by the original participants and examinations of the decision’s enduring effects on school speech controversies. At an October conference on student speech at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of the editors of the Hazelwood East High School Spectrum, now Cathy Kuhlmeier Frey, clashed verbally with Robert E. “Gene” Reynolds, the principal who had made the decision to pull the articles about teen pregnancy and divorce. Ms. Frey said the students who >> To see all Education Week blogs, go to produced the newspaper as part of the school’s journalism class had sought to broach mature topics that would be of interest to their classmates, and they had worked hard to refine the stories, which in some instances involved using pseudonyms for the subject students. “I was so mad because we had worked so hard on those articles,” she said. She said that Spectrum had run similar stories just a few years earlier. Mr. Reynolds testified at the time the case was in court that he did not believe the identities of students in sensitive situations had been adequately protected, and that was a key reason he had deleted two pages from the issue of the paper. At the student-speech conference at the umkc law school, the nowretired principal also said that budgetary pressures were a factor. “This was not about Cathy and her classmates—they were all great,” Mr. Reynolds said. “These center pages on divorce and pregnancy were not well done. They needed more work.” Under time pressure to complete the May 13, 1983, edition and at a time when he says he was under pressure to cut costs in general, Mr. Reynolds said he concluded that the easiest course was to eliminate the two-page spread that contained the controversial articles. The students sued with the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union, and while they lost in federal district court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, in St. Louis, ruled that the Spectrum was not only part of the school’s curriculum but was a public forum for student expression. School officials FROM TOP: Robert E. “Gene” Reynolds, then the principal of Hazelwood East High School in Hazelwood, Mo., holds a copy of the student newspaper, Spectrum, on Jan. 13, 1988. By a 5-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that day that schoolsponsored activities, including student newspapers and drama productions, are not normally protected from administrative control by the First Amendment. Justice Byron R. White wrote the court’s majority opinion in Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier. The ruling’s 25th anniversary has prompted a wave of scholarly assessments of its continued impact on student freedom of expression. James A. Finley/AP-File

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 9, 2013

Education Week - January 9, 2013
State Lawmakers Gear for Action On Broad K-12 Issues Menu
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: Teachers Seek Specialized Peer Networks
Shootings Revive Debates on Security
Student-Press Ruling Resonates From 1988
News in Brief
Report Roundup
FOCUS ON: INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE: IB Supporters Tout Program’s Links With Common Core
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: Federal Effort Aims to Bridge Ed. Tech., Learning Sciences
U.S. Students Exceed International Average, But Lag Some Asian Nations in Math, Science
New Global Results Spark Questions On Finland’s Standing
Head Start Gains Found to Fade By 3rd Grade in Latest Study
Testing Group Selects Exam to Gauge ‘College Readiness’
State Chiefs Pledge Teacher Prep, Licensing Upgrades
Blogs of the Week
Post-Tragedy, Difficult Choices Loom
At Sandy Hook, Grim Day Unfolds
Legal, Logistical Concerns Seen In Call to Arm Adults
Tragedy Sets Off Fresh Debate Over Federal Gun-Policy Role
Advocates Worry Shootings Will Deepen Autism’s Stigma
K-12 Aid Outlook Murky, Despite ‘Cliff’ Deal
District Race to Top Winners Split $400 Million Pot
Policy Brief
Top State Ed. Positions Turn Over as Year Ends
CAROLYN LUNSFORD MEARS: After the Tragedy, What Next?
DAVID YOUNG & J.B. BUXTON: Language Education We Can Use
W. JAMES POPHAM: Formative Assessment’s ‘Advocatable Moment’
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JEFFREY R. HENIG: Reading the Future of Education Policy

Education Week - January 9, 2013