Education Week - January 16, 2013 - (Page 5)

EDUCATION WEEK REPORTto these reports, go to For links ROUNDUP VACCINATIONS Social Workers Can Access Foster Children’s Records Child-welfare agencies will now have direct access to the school records of children under their care, thanks to a bill passed in the waning days of the 113th Congress. The Uninterrupted Scholars Act amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, which gives parents control over their child’s educational records, by allowing an exception for social workers, who cannot otherwise access such records without parental permission. For foster children, social workers often serve in a parental role, though they are not legally that child’s parents. Ferpa left schools confused about what records they could share without violating its provisions. Foster children who move from school to school often cannot prove what classes they have taken, or if they are eligible for certain accommodations, said Teri Kook, the director of child welfare for the San Francisco-based Stuart Foundation, which advocates on behalf of foster children in California and Washington state. Social workers could seek a court order to get those records, but by the time the order was received, the child may have moved on to another school, Ms. Kook said. “The young person in foster care needs all of the adults in their life to link forces,” she said. The National Working Group on Foster Care and Education, in an October 2011 report, noted that of the approximately 465,000 children in foster care, 65 percent of them had at least one change in school placement. Nearly 16 percent of the foster youths examined had six or more placements. A 2008 law, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, requires that child-welfare agencies attempt to keep students in their home schools unless it is not in their best interest. —CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS last week. However, federally mandated tests like those in English/language arts and math for students in grades 3-8 would remain to satisfy nclb requirements. (The U. S. Department of Education recently denied California’s request for a waiver from the nclb law.) In September, Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed a bill requiring the state to change its school rating formula so that it relies less on standardized tests and more on measures like graduation rates and college readiness.  —ANDREW UJIFUSA N.Y.C. to Shut Down Struggling Schools New York City’s department of education announced last week that 26 schools will be closed, phased out, or “truncated,” primarily because of low student achievement. The nation’s largest district, with 1.1 million students, is one of a number of urban systems that are planning to close large numbers of schools by next school year. District officials said that after getting community input and providing support services to the schools, they determined students would be better served elsewhere. The district will draft action plans and consider additional supports, including school improvement grants, for 32 other schools that it considered closing.  —JACLYN ZUBRZYCKI College Enrollment To Grow, But Slowly The latest projections from the U.S. Department of Education show postsecondary enrollment in the next decade will grow by 15 percent, a much slower rate than from 1996 to 2010 when there was a 46 percent increase in students going to college. The National Center for Education Statistics released the projections last week. The new report anticipates a 21 percent boost in the number of associate degrees awarded and a 21 percent increase in bachelor’s degrees by 2021-22. A similar drop-off is projected at the high school level, according to the report. While the number of high school graduates increased nationally by 28 percent between 1996-97 and 2008-09, total graduates are expected to climb by just 2 percent by 2021-22. —CARALEE ADAMS “The Impact of Childhood Health on Adult Educational Attainment” Ensuring students get their booster shots can help protect not just later health, but their educational achievement, too, according to a University of Missouri study released at the American Economic Association’s annual conference in San Diego this month. The study tracks the effects of state vaccination requirements for common childhood diseases, including measles, pertussis (also known as whooping cough), and diptheria, through the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national diseasesurveillance system. Dara N. Lee, an assistant economics professor at the university, analyzed both child-mortality and health rates and years of schooling for students from the 1960s through the early 1980s, before and after states began to require proof of immunization before children could start school. “It seems like these mandatoryvaccination laws were very effective in lowering morbidity for these childhood diseases,” she said. By contrast, diseases not included in those initial vaccination laws, such as hepatitis and chicken pox, saw no significant decrease during the same time. Ms. Lee found that mandatoryvaccination laws increased students’ likelihood of graduating from high school by 1.9 percentage points and increased the average educational attainment by 1.2 years.  —SARAH D. SPARKS JANUARY 16, 2013 lines more than a dozen federal policy recommendations for improving the financial-aid system to increase college enrollment and completion. The nonprofit Washington-based group recommends: • Using Internal Revenue Service information to communicate potential financial-aid awards so families can plan ahead, similar to a Social Security statement of benefits; • Creating a system of early financial-aid “accounts” to leverage family savings and public and private resources; • Matching family college savings for low-income households through public or employer dollars; and • Making the American Opportunity Tax Credit fully refundable so it can be used by low-income households. —CARALEE ADAMS “Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques” In a review published in the Association for Psychological Science’s Psychological Science in the Public Interest journal, psychologists at Kent State University, Duke University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Virginia describe and rate 10 study techniques, based on learning research. Five common strategies, including highlighting, summarizing, and rereading, are ranked as having low utility for students and teachers. Practice testing and elaborative interrogation— which is generating an explanation for why a fact or concept is true—were the only two strategies described as highly useful. n 5 one-month period, and one in five reported binge drinking, according to a survey published this month by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey found that binge drinking is a problem for roughly one of every five women between 11th grade and age 35. While women ages 18 to 24 were most likely to binge-drink among females (24.2 percent), they were closely followed by women ages 25 to 34 and highschool-age girls. The study, based on more than 15,500 responses from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, defines binge drinking as consumption of four or more drinks per occasion for women, or five or more for men.  —ROSS BRENNEMAN STUDENT HEALTH STUDY METHODS —JACLYN ZUBRZYCKI AFFORDING COLLEGE UNDERAGE DRINKING “Making Sense of the System: Financial Aid for the 21st-Century Student” “Binge Drinking Among Women and High School Girls: United States, 2011” A new paper from the Institute for Higher Education Policy out- Roughly two of every five high school girls drank alcohol within a “Physical Activity and ScreenTime Viewing Among Elementary School Aged Children in the United States From 2009-2011” Fewer than four in 10 children of elementary school age met recommended guidelines for both daily physical activity and screen-time viewing, according to an online study published last week in jama Pediatrics. Federal guidelines recommend that children engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day and that a child be limited to two hours per day of viewing a computer, television, or video-game screen for entertainment. Researchers examined data on 1,218 children ages 6 to 11 to determine how many met both recommendations simultaneously. More than 70 percent of the children in the study were reported to be getting the recommended 60 minutes or more of physical activity per day, and 53.5 percent were exposed to two hours or less a day of screen-time viewing. But only 38.3 percent of the children met both recommendations at the same time.  —BRYAN TOPOREK Fewer College Students Taking Remedial Classes “First-Year Undergraduate Remedial Coursetaking” New research from the National Center for Education Statistics points to a drop over nine years in the percentage of college freshmen who had to take remedial classes. According to the report, the rate of students taking remedial, or developmental, classes in their first year of postsecondary study decreased from 26.3 percent in 1999-2000 to 20.4 percent in 2007-08. But the trend wasn’t uphill all the way. Remedial coursetaking dipped to 19.3 percent in 2003-04 before ticking up again the next year. Looking more closely, the federal study found that the lowest remedial-coursetaking rates were among white students. In 2007-08, the most recent academic year reviewed, 19.9 percent of white students reported enrolling in remedial classes while 30.2 percent of African-American CORRECTIONS: • A piece in the Commentary section in this issue of Education Week about the importance of summer learning incorrectly states the timing of the Summer Changes Everything conference. It was in October. • A letter to the editor, by Mary Bruce, in this issue gives an incorrect statistic. It should say one in four students fail to graduate with their peers. n >> For links to these reports, go to students and 29 percent of Hispanics did. The analysis also shows that students attending public four-year colleges were more likely to need remediation than those at private, not-forprofit schools. In 2007-08, the freshman remediation rate was 21 percent for public schools versus 15 percent at those kinds of private institutions. More often, students at two-year public schools were required to take noncredit-bearing classes to get up to speed compared with those at fouryear public schools—24 percent compared with 21 percent. The report notes some limitations of the analysis and cautions that the findings might not represent the full extent of the need for remediation. The numbers are based on self-reported data from students, because transcripts don’t always indicate whether a course was remedial, the study says. —CARALEE ADAMS

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