Education Week - January 16, 2013 - (Page 4)

4 EDUCATION WEEK n JANUARY 16, 2013 n NEWS IN BRIEF Judge Orders Rewrite Of Texas Finance Study ent Revolution, a Los Angelesbased organization that has advised parents on the policy. Voters in November ousted school board President Carlos Mendoza, who had opposed the parents’ effort. In the same election, Teresa Rogers, a member of the Desert Trails Parent Union, was elected to the school board.  —KATIE ASH Parent-Trigger Charter Advances in California District in Rape Case Adds Armed Guards The Adelanto, Calif., school board voted unanimously last week to approve the recommendation of a local parent group to transform Desert Trails Elementary School into a charter school operated by LaVerne Elementary Preparatory Academy. The vote is thought to make the 8,300-student Adelanto district the first in the country to approve a provision under a parent-trigger law—which allows schools to be restructured through a majority vote of parents, according to Par- An Ohio district added unarmed security guards to all schools last week as a national uproar over a case of alleged rape involving two high school football players continued to mount. On Aug. 22, two 16-year-old football players from Steubenville High School were arrested and later charged with raping a 16-year-old girl. After the alleged rape on Aug. 11, evidence began to pop up on students’ social-networking accounts linking the two student-athletes to the assault, as Jessica Hill/AP A state district judge in Texas last week directed lawyers for the state to revise a key study that underestimated the funding advantages of higher-wealth school districts­ a blow to the state’s — arguments in a school finance lawsuit that current differences among districts are insignificant. Judge John Dietz asked that the study be corrected after lawyers for districts suing the state cited multiple miscalculations in the report. It was offered as evidence by the state to show that the funding gap between higher-wealth and other districts has diminished in the past six years. Rick Gray, a lawyer for one of the plaintiff groups, said the gap has actually increased more than 50 percent during the period. The 152 wealthiest districts in Texas have $1,671 per student more to spend than the rest of school districts. In a class of 22 students, that amounts to an extra $37,762 per year. The judge said he wants the corrected report this week. The case is expected to be appealed directly to the Texas Supreme Court by whichever party loses—the state or the more than 600 districts suing the state over its funding system.—MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE Newtown city official Pat Llodra, center left, and Newtown schools Superintendent Janet Robinson receive a standing ovation during Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s State of the State address in Hartford. In his speech, Mr. Malloy urged lawmakers to prevent gun violence. Conn. Governor Focuses on Safety, Ed. Funding Malloy discusses Sandy Hook advisory commission’s work Last month’s school shootings in Newtown, Conn., loomed large in Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s State of the State address, delivered last week in Hartford. The Democrat welcomed the Newtown schools superintendent, Janet Robinson, and town leader Pat Llodra, during his speech highlighting the state’s response to the Dec. 14 violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in which a gunman killed 20 students and six staff members. The governor outlined the aims of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, a group of experts representing emergency-response, education, law- enforcement, and gun-control organizations that will draft recommendations to state lawmakers on school safety, mental-health services, and gunviolence prevention. Mr. Malloy was visibly moved as he described the tragedy and used strong language to oppose suggestions that teachers and school officials should be armed. “More guns are not the answer,” the governor said. While reducing the state’s budget deficit was a major theme of the address, the governor touted a $100 million investment in high-needs districts in the state, saying that teachers were receiving new resources for raising achievement. He also highlighted the state’s focus on earlychildhood education.  —JACLYN ZUBRZYCKI noted by The New York Times in December. The suspects are set to stand trial on Feb. 13. They’re both currently under house arrest and are attending an alternative school inside the county justice center, according to the Associated Press. The district received an unspecified “false threat” of violence Jan. 8, causing all schools to go on lockdown, according to a statement on the district’s website. The police determined “the threat was not a viable threat,” and the lock—BRYAN TOPOREK down ended. New Concussion Study To Review Youth Risks With concern over sports-related concussions continuing to rise, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council launched a study about youth-sports concussions last week in response to a request from members of the U.S. Senate. A committee chaired by Dr. Robert Graham, a research professor in the department of health policy at George Washington University, will review the risk factors and long-term consequences of youthsports concussions. The group will also look at screening, diagnosis, treatment, and management of concussions, according to its website, among other topics. The group plans to submit its report to the institute mid-summer and expects to see the work published late this year. The committee’s report will include recommendations to specific organizations (both governmental and nongovernmental) on what factors to consider when determining whether an athlete has sustained a concussion. The National Football League provided funding for the study, according to the project’s website.—B.T. Calif. Teachers’ Fund To Sell Gun Stocks The nation’s largest teacher-pension fund took the first step last week toward divesting from companies that make guns and highcapacity ammunition magazines that are illegal in California. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s investment committee unanimously approved a motion Jan. 9 to begin the divestment process. Pension-fund officials determined that the fund has investments in a firm that owns the manufacturer of an assault weapon used at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month. The pension fund also owns shares of two publicly traded gun makers. The investments make up a tiny fraction of the pension system’s holdings, about $11.7 million out of the $155 billion fund, according —ASSOCIATED PRESS to its staff. National-Board Ranks Surpass Milestone The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards announced last week that 4,980 teachers earned certification last year, pushing the total number of educators who hold the advanced professional certification to more than 100,000. In its announcement, the board also highlighted a recent report by Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research showing that teachers with national-board certification in Los Angeles outperformed their peers on the basis of student standardized-test scores in math and English. The Arlington, Va.-based organization reports that national-boardcertified teachers are now in all 50 states, with the largest numbers in North Carolina, Washington state, and Illinois.  —FRANCESCA DUFFY No False Claims Found In D.C. Schools Review The U.S. Department of Education’s office of inspector general last week said it has found no evidence that District of Columbia public school officials engaged in widespread cheating on exams during the time that Michelle A. Rhee was chancellor. The oig could only identify instances of cheating in a single school, which was earlier identified in an investigation by the District of Columbia’s local watchdog agency. In a brief statement last week, the federal Education Department’s oig said it could not substantiate allegations that the District of Columbia public schools had made false claims to the department for payment of funds. As a result, the U.S. Department of Justice “declined to intervene.” During Ms. Rhee’s tenure, schools in the 45,000-student district saw test scores rise considerably. Since her departure more than two years ago, concerns about cheating surfaced, most notably in an investigative report by USA Today. —LESLI A. MAXWELL Calif. Chief Suggests Fewer State Tests Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has proposed suspending several tests not required under the No Child Left Behind Act for the 2013-14 school year, as part of a proposed overhaul of California’s testing system to prepare for the Common Core State Standards. Many of the tests that wouldn’t be administered next year are end-of-course exams in high school, as well as some 2nd grade tests in English and math, under Mr. Torlakson’s plan, released

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 16, 2013

Education Week - January 16, 2013
Is Education Facing a ‘Tech Bubble’?
Multiple Gauges Best for Teachers
Model Common-Core Unit Piloted for ELL Teachers
Gun Concerns Personal for Duncan
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Fla. Data Link Suspension To Lower Graduation Rates
Anti-Poverty Program Found To Fall Short In Studies
New Science-Standards Draft Incorporates Feedback
With Common Core in Mind, Schools Turn to E-Rate
Survey Tool Aims for Fresh Eye On Parents
Study Dissects Gender Effects In Math Teaching
Funders and N.C. District Team Up To Run Schools
Blogs of the Week
State of the States
N.Y.’s Cuomo Moves Ahead On K-12 Ideas
Crush of Ed. Laws Awaiting Renewal In Congress
Fiscal Realities Dog States
Policy Brief
R. BARKER BAUSELL: Putting Value-Added Evaluation To the (Scientific) Test
GARY HUGGINS: It’s Time for Summer Learning
JEFF CAMP: Let’s Remove Self-Righteousness From the K-12 Debate
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
MIKE ROSE: Giving Cognition a Bad Name

Education Week - January 16, 2013