Education Week - January 28, 2015 - (Page 9)

BLOGS Television Networks Present Quirky Education Fare | EDUCATION AND THE MEDIA | Network TV newsmagazine shows continue to highlight education in quirky ways. Yet they rarely air reports on the biggest policy issues in education. Instead, ABC's "20/20" recently reported on a set of parents who feuded with the pta president of their children's school, and "CBS Sunday Morning" ran a sweet profile of a custodian who has been counseling students on the side for years. On "20/20," Chris Connelly reported on a war at Plaza Vista School in Irvine, Calif., between parents and the pta president. The parents launched a "vitriolic campaign" against the pta president that included letters to school officials, lawsuits -and something more. One day in 2011, the show reported, the Irvine police received a tip that there were drugs in the pta president's car. The police searched it and found marijuana and pills. In the end, the parents were convicted of planting the drugs. It doesn't say much about the state of education in Irvine or anywhere else, but it is the kind of story that "20/20" loves. On "CBS Sunday Morning," which did broadcast a piece last year about the common-core standards, there was a story by correspondent Steve Hartman of the type that he specializes in-uplifting profiles of hard-working folks who just go about doing their jobs and do good. Hartman profiles Charles Clark, the custodian at Trinity High School in Euless, Texas. Clark takes to his job with dignity, taking pride in how clean he keeps things. But for the past 25 years, the custodian has also informally counseled students at risk of failure, particularly boys in need of a father figure. He helps those who "may be falling through the Print Ad cracks," Hartman says, all with the OK of the school's regular counselor. "Who do you think gives me my clients," Clarks jokes about the professional counselor. The segment is short, but it speaks volumes about the good people who can be found working in the nation's schools. California Districts Ignoring Law On Teacher Reviews, Report Says | TEACHER BEAT | Four years after a major lawsuit in California brought attention to districts ignoring a teacher-evaluation statute, many continue not to include student achievement as a measure of teacher quality, a new report says. The findings come from EdVoice, an advocacy group that funded-and won-a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District in 2011. The lawsuit argued that the district was ignoring student achievement in violation of state law. Following that suit, EdVoice investigated other districts' policies, resulting in the report released last week that says student achievement continues to be ignored by districts in spite of legal obligations. "Evidence from many large districts suggests little movement from their elected leaders, senior management, or staff unit representatives to change noncompliant district practice and culture, except when legal violations are brought directly to their attention," the report says. Specifically, the EdVoice report looks at district compliance with the Stull Act, which outlines teacherevaluation standards for the state. The report dissects both formal evaluation forms and collective bargaining pacts to see whether student achievement is included. Of the 26 districts investigated, only two-Clovis Unified and Sweetwater Union High School-were found to comply fully on official evaluation forms, if not in the collective bargaining agreements for those districts. California has 1,028 districts, but EdVoice used 26 of the largest in its study. The San Ramon Valley and Upland -MARK WALSH districts were found to be "explicitly in violation" of the Stull Act, because of pacts that purportedly ban consideration of test scores in teacher evaluations. Representatives of both districts told the Los Angeles Times that they disagree with the report's findings and are in compliance with state law. The report acknowledges that the forms studied generally have comment sections where evaluators could add in details on student growth, but further analysis of completed teacher evaluation forms (with names redacted) showed that no district used the comments to address student achievement in a consistent manner. Girls' Basketball Coach Suspended Two Games After Winning 161-2 | SCHOOLED IN SPORTS | Tip to all girls' basketball coaches in California: Egregiously running up the score against an opponent could be detrimental to your job. The Arroyo Valley High School girls' basketball coach, Michael Anderson, recently earned a two-game suspension after his team blasted Bloomington High School to the tune of 161-2 earlier this month, according to local media. Anderson and Bloomington head coach Dale Chung met before the game, with Anderson saying that he planned on running his full offense for the first half. "This was our last game before we started league, and we were going to come out playing hard," Anderson told the San Bernardino Sun. "I wanted to let him know there was no harm intended, ... and he seemed fine with that." According to the paper, Anderson tried to have the officials implement a running clock in the third quarter, but they didn't do so until the fourth. He also claimed to have told his team in the second half not to attempt a shot unless there were seven seconds or fewer remaining on the shot clock. Those concessions were little consolation to Chung. "People shouldn't feel sorry for my team," he said. "They should feel sorry for his team, which isn't learning the game the right way." -BRYAN TOPOREK -ROSS BRENNEMAN Deepening and Widening The Way We Teach Writing in K-5 Many schools are off to a good start implementing the common-core writing standards. Learn how to deepen and widen that good start into a powerful writing program that more fully addresses the standards. GuesT James W. (Jim) Cunningham, Ph.D. Professor emeritus of literacy studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. MoDeraTor aDam Berkin Vice president, product development, Curriculum Associates reGIsTraTIoN Is Free! Thurs., Feb. 5, 2015 2 to 3 p.m. eT webinar/TeachWriting LIve or oN-DeMaND Content provided by EDUCATION WEEK | January 28, 2015 | | 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 28, 2015

Education Week - January 28, 2015
Activists Learn Art of ‘Test Refusal’
Ed. School Deans Join Forces To Bolster Teacher Preparation
N.C. District Rebounds From Ed-Tech Meltdown
Poverty Data Signal Urgency for Schools
Report Roundup
News in Brief
Chicago’s Closures Drove Most to Higher-Rated Schools
More Districts Expected to Follow Boston on Longer Days
International Study Ranks Schools on Social Stress, Equity
Blogs of the Week
No Firm Direction on Testing Set At Senate Panel’s ESEA Hearing
As Job Description Grows, So Does Churn for State Chiefs
K-12 Issues Given Short Shrift in State of the Union Address
State of the States
Blogs of the Week
SUSAN H. FUHRMAN: Measurement Alone Cannot Propel Improvement
SAMINA HADI-TABASSUM: Too Much Discipline Hurts Majority-Minority Schools
GARRISON WALTERS: Dump Management ‘Science,’ And Change Learning Attitudes
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment

Education Week - January 28, 2015