Education Week - January 20, 2016 - (Page 5)
for a year while state authorities
investigated. The investigation concluded with a consent agreement in
which Kowalski denied any wrongdoing, but she agreed to complete
20 to 30 hours of college-level specialeducation coursework. -MARK WALSH
Officer Put on Leave
For 'Hurtful' Comments
The Cleveland district placed a
school resource officer on administrative leave for online comments he
made about Tamir Rice and Rice's
mother shortly after a prosecutor
announced that a grand jury declined to indict two officers in the
12-year-old boy's death.
Rice, who was a student in the
district, was shot and killed by a
Cleveland police officer in November 2014 while holding a pellet gun
in a public park.
Matt Cicero, 43, was placed on
paid leave for "hurtful" comments
he made on his Facebook page, the
Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, including that Tamir's mother, whom
he had called a derogatory name,
should have taught her son not to
play with fake guns.
Calif. Teacher Under Fire
For Donating Laptops
A California high school teacher
is under fire for donating laptops to
Chowchilla Union High School
English teacher Kim Kutzner and
her husband used their own money
to buy 90 computers, but school officials initially removed them from
the classroom. They expressed concern that the equipment wasn't purchased and approved by the district.
The computers have been returned
to Kutzner's classroom until district
officials make a final decision.
Kutzner insists the computers are
safe and have no Internet connection. She says the technology has
improved student morale and test
Fla. Teachers Protest
Testing, Funding Practices
More than a thousand teachers,
many waving signs critical of Florida's education system blasted the
and Gov. Rick Scott during a rally
last week at the state Capitol.
The protesters complained about
the state's reliance on high-stakes
testing. And they took aim at the
level of money going to schools, private school vouchers, and a contentious new bonus system that is partially tied to the scores that teachers
earned on college admission tests.
The rally was organized by the
Florida Education Assocation, the
union that represents teachers.
The teacher protests follow a tumultuous time as Florida has transitioned to a new high-stakes test that
is based primarily on common-core
standards. The rollout of the test last
spring was marred by glitches and
even a cyberattack, but state officials
have moved ahead with plans to use
the results to grade schools.
"Moneyball for Head Start"
The same data- and evidence-driven approach
that was made famous by a former baseball general manager would dramatically improve the
50-year-old federal preschool program for young
children, says a report written in partnership
with Head Start advocates and good-governance
For example, Head Start needs to start investing more in research so that it can figure
out the practices of the most effective Head
Start centers and replicate them across the
country, the report says. Currently, a quarter
of 1 percent of Head Start's $8.6 billion budget is spent on research and evaluation, and
that should be boosted to 1 percent, according
to the report.
The Office of Head Start should also be more
transparent in reporting the performance of its
approximately 1,600 grantees, the report contends.
The title refers to an analytical approach popularized by former Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, who used statistical analysis
to build winning baseball teams. The report was
supported by the group, Results for America,
the National Head Start Association, and the
Volcker Alliance, begun in 2013 by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker.
-CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS
"Transforming Schools: How Distributed
Leadership Can Create More High-Performance
In recent years, school districts have added
more leadership staff-assistant principals,
teacher-leaders, instructional coaches-to
support teachers. What they have not done
as much is think strategically about how to
deploy those new bodies to help teachers become better at their jobs.
That's according to the management company, Bain & Co., which released a report last
week on how districts can implement distributed-leadership models to improve teaching.
"All too often, we've added the titles, but
we haven't really effectively changed the
dynamic," said Chris Bierly, the company's
global head of K-12 education practice.
Bain looked at 12 school systems nationwide
and surveyed more than 4,200 teachers, assistant principals, and principals. The researchers found that the average principal was responsible for reviewing the performance and
development of 37 teachers plus other instructional staff-far more than the five people that
an average manager in accounting or human
resources is tasked with overseeing, according
to the report. It says the result is overworked
principals and assistant principals who are not
able to provide effective feedback or observations to their teachers.
-DENISA R. SUPERVILLE
Four-Year College-Graduation Rates
Among poor students in the top quarter of their high school
class, only those who went to the most-selective colleges
graduated at the same rate as top high-income students.
SOURCE: "True Merit"
Why Few Poor Students
Make It to Top Colleges
Poor students at the top of their class
have far less of a chance of getting into an
Ivy League college than wealthy students
with the same academic achievement.
Only 3 percent of students at the 91 most
competitive colleges in the country come from
families with the lowest 25 percent of income,
while 72 percent of students at those schools
come from the wealthiest 25 percent of families, according to a study released last week
by the Jack Kent Cooke and Century foundations. (The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
also supports coverage of low-income, highachieving students in Education Week.)
The study examined federal data on college selection and persistence of students
at different income levels, and was supplemented by an analysis of 891 students
who participated in the Cooke Scholars
program. The findings dispute several
myths about college-going. Among them:
address the academic and fiscal issues, and
possible mismanagement, that large districts
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and former
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter are among
those who want to abandon the state takeover
and return the city's schools to local control.
Wolf wants an elected school board, while Nutter favors one that is mayorally appointed.
"Governing Urban Schools in the Future"
"Effect of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
on the Nutritional Quality of Meals Selected by
Students and School Lunch Participation Rates"
State takeovers of large urban districts
have become more common in recent years,
but there's no clear-cut evidence that the
intervention leads to better student performance or fiscal management, a report from
the Pew Charitable Trusts concludes.
Using Pennsylvania's 2001 takeover of
the Philadelphia schools as a starting point,
the analysis compares elements of the city's
school governance structure with those of
15 similar urban districts, including Baltimore, Detroit, and Newark, N.J. It found, in
fact, that no form of school governance, be it
elected local school boards, mayoral control,
or state takeover, provides a surefire way to
Students at an urban school district in
Washington state ate healthier lunches after
their schools began complying with new federal nutrition standards, and participation
in the lunch program remained steady, a new
Authors of the study, published this month
in JAMA Pediatrics, examined 1.7 million
lunches at three middle schools and three high
schools in the unnamed district between 2011
The authors, from the Center for Public Nutrition at the University of Washington, found
school lunches prepared after the standards
were implemented had higher levels of six nu-
* Contrary to what some may think, top students
don't necessarily get pushed toward top colleges.
In fact, a third of academic high-fliers who
are poor never apply to one of the most selective colleges in the country. And overburdened school counselors receive little training in how to advise low-income students
* The most-selective colleges are not always too
expensive for poor students. At an average cost
of $6,754 per year, a student in the lowest 20 percent of income actually had significantly lower out-of-pocket costs at a top
college. The cost to attend a less-competitive
school was $26,335 per year-nearly four
* Athletics don't always offer a path to selective schools for poor students. The study found
that the most-selective colleges did offer
athletic scholarships-but mostly for
"crew, squash, riding, sailing, and water
polo," Harold Levy, the Cooke Foundation's
executive director, said.
Boosting the numbers of low-income students in top colleges is key, the report says,
because such students have higher graduation rates at those institutions.-SARAH D. SPARKS
trients-calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron,
fiber, and protein-and fewer calories per gram
of food. They did not study whether students
actually consumed the foods.
"Early-Grade Teacher Effectiveness and Pre-K
Advocates for early-childhood education
have had to contend with the fact that many
studies have shown that the cognitive benefits of preschool appear to fade by the time
the children reach 3rd grade.
They argue that you can't just stop at preschool: The type of education that a child
receives in grade school matters, too.
Research out of Tennessee backs up that
contention, at least when it comes to 1st
For a paper published late last year in the
online journal AERA Open, researchers mined
data on Tennessee's state-supported preschool
programs. They found that students who had attended a state-funded preschool and subsequently
had a highly rated 1st grade teacher performed
better than children who had a highly rated
teacher but did not attend a state-supported preschool. That correlation was especially strong for
students from a non-English-speaking family or
those with early cognitive deficits.-C.A.S.
EDUCATION WEEK | January 20, 2016 | www.edweek.org | 5
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 20, 2016
Education Week - January 20, 2016
ESSA Challenges Ahead for States
25 Years In, TFA Faces Tensions, Courts Change
Flint, Mich., Reels From Water Crisis
Opt-Out Activists Eye Fresh Battlefronts
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Open Ed. Resources Get Boost From ESSA
News in Brief
Book Highlights Practical Guidance For Teaching Reading
College Testing Season Marred By Score Delays, Snafus
Blogs of the Week
Unions on Defensive as High Court Hears Dispute Involving Fees
In Home Stretch, Obama Vows to Push On Education Priorities
Ed. Dept. Gets Advocates’ Views On Preparing ESSA Regulations
DONALD M. FEUERSTEIN: The ‘Inconvenient Truth’ of Student Debt
JAMES LYTLE: The NCAA’s Chokehold On Secondary Schooling
FLORINA RODOV: Your College Essay Isn’t a Selfie
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
RICHARD WEISSBOURD: College Admission 2.0: Service Over Self
Education Week - January 20, 2016