Education Week - January 13, 2016 - (Page 19)

BLOGS Obama Mentions School Shootings In His Push to Fight Gun Violence | RULES FOR ENGAGEMENT | President Barack Obama referenced school shootings-focusing especially on the 2012 attacks on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.-as he discussed actions last week that he says will help reduce gun violence. Surrounded by advocates for stronger gun laws and those affected by shootings, Obama on Jan. 5 discussed plans that include: closing loopholes on background checks required for firearms purchases; making the background-check system more effective; funding federal research into technology designed to make guns safer; and proposing to spend $500 million to increase access to mental-health care. In his remarks, the president acknowledged failed efforts to pass new gun laws through Congress after the Newtown shootings, in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults before turning the gun on himself. "Every time I think about those kids, it makes me mad," said Obama, who spoke with tears in his eyes and was introduced by Mark Barden, the father of a boy killed at Sandy Hook. The president added that children on the streets of Chicago face gun violence "every day." Obama's actions won praise from the Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded by some Newtown families that has pushed for new gun laws: "We are particularly appreciative of the president's focus on mental health and getting people more access to care. We have always stressed that gun-violence prevention cannot succeed without a comprehensive solution that goes beyond just firearms, and we are pleased to see the president offer a broad package of actions." Mental health is of particular concern to many Sandy Hook victims' families. A November 2014 report by Connecticut's child-advocate office, which is tasked with Print Ad reviewing child deaths in the state, detailed how gunman Adam Lanza's emotional and mental-health needs went unmet throughout his childhood. Obama's plan also received support from the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and the Council of the Great City Schools. -EVIE BLAD for autism; bolstered federal guidance to ensure that students with autism and others in special education are protected from bullying; a new Autism Works initiative to help students with autism find employment after high school; and a push for states to require private insurers to cover services for children and adults with autism. -ALYSON KLEIN Hillary Clinton Unveils Proposals To Aid Those With Autism | POLITICS K-12 | Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, wants to restrict the use of seclusion and restraints for children with autism and other students in special education. She also wants the U.S. Department of Education to help schools prevent bullying of students with autism, and to expand the use of early autism screenings. On Clinton's wish list: enacting the Keeping All Students Safe Act, which was championed in previous Congresses by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, both now retired. The bill would limit seclusion and restraint as a means of controlling students in special education, particularly if there is a risk of injury, and it would prevent those practices from being included in students' individualized educational programs, or IEPs. So far, the bill hasn't gotten much traction in the GOPcontrolled Congress, but similar measures have gained in popularity in state legislatures. That doesn't mean everyone is a fan of such policies. Back in 2012, AASA, the School Superintendents' Association, came out against the measure. AASA is still concerned about any legislation that would prohibit local districts from considering the use of seclusion and restraint, after other interventions. Clinton also wants a national early-screening outreach campaign to encourage parents to get children checked Effort to Remove Arizona's Chief Fails to Gain Enough Signatures STATE EDWATCH | An effort to get rid of Diane Douglas, Arizona's state schools chief, has failed. A petition that would have sparked an election failed to garner enough signatures, according to the Associated Press. Douglas, a Republican, was elected in 2014 on a campaign to scrap the Common Core State Standards, beating out several establishment candidates. Since being elected, she has waged several public battles with Republican Gov. Doug Ducey and his appointed state board of education. In February, she attempted to fire the education department's executive and deputy directors. The president of the state board of education opposed the move, and Ducey reversed the firings, determining that the department's employees worked for the board, not for the superintendent. Douglas has also opposed a process the governor has launched to change the state's school funding formula. The petition to remove Douglas, which was started a year ago by Phoenix teacher Anthony Espinoza, argued that she has used her position to increase her power rather than to improve school performance, the AP says. The petition garnered 40,000 signatures, far short of the 370,000 needed to force an election. Douglas told the AP she was too busy focusing on teachers and students to pay attention to the status of the recall petition. | -DAAREL BURNETTE II Using the Cloud at Seminole County Public Schools to Transform Its Infrastructure Seminole County Public Schools is leveraging the Microsoft StorSimple Storage Area Network (SAN) for costeffective file storage and employing Azure services for cloud-based backups in order to more adequately satisfy disaster recovery objectives. free webinar Guest ToM CoNdo, Supervisor, I.S. operations, Seminole County Public Schools, Fla. Moderator GeorGe SCoTT, education solution specialist, Microsoft Content provided by TueS., jAN. 19, 2016 3 To 4 P.M. eT usingTheCloud EDUCATION WEEK | January 13, 2016 | | 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 13, 2016

Education Week - January 13, 2016
Education Still Struggling for Traction as Campaign Issue
School Revenue Squeezed in Oil, Coal States
Feds to K-12: Ensure Safety For Muslims
Report Roundup
News in Brief
Political Winds Buffet Tenn.’s Achievement School District
Charter Sector to Get $1 Billion Boost From Walton
In the ‘Chess Capital’ of St. Louis, Game Takes Root in Poor Districts
Blogs of the Week
Education Week Launches Premium Site for K-12 Companies
The Slowest Internet in Mississippi
Rural Schools, Telecoms Battle Over Internet Pricing
‘Washington Gave Us Leverage’
Amid Its Own Changes, Research Office Gears Up for New ESSA Duties
Education Department Begins to Scope Out ESSA-Era Role
Blogs of the Week
Own the ‘Messy Dress’ of Scholarship
Stick to the Truth
Embrace the ‘Hurly Burly’
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Edu-Scholars and the Public Square: What Is Our Responsibility?

Education Week - January 13, 2016