Education Week - February 10, 2016 - (Page 5)
suit in 2014, as he was readying his
failed bid for the GOP presidential
nomination, contending that the
administration had manipulated
grant money and policy waivers to
illegally pressure states to adopt the
Jindal lost the first round of the
litigation. The office of Edwards, a
Democrat, announced last week
that the new governor won't continue with an appeal. Edwards' office said the recently signed Every
Student Succeeds Act, which includes language barring the government from mandating standards,
combined with Louisiana's work to
rewrite its standards, makes the
lawsuit "educationally and financially unnecessary."
Athletes Held 'Fight Club'
At Dallas-Area School
Baseball players at a Dallas-area
high school held a "fight club" in the
batting cages, according to a school
district investigation that also found
the team's coaches subjected players
to demeaning comments.
Complaints from players' parents
led to the uncovering of the fight
club, as well as reports that Plano
East High School head baseball coach
Travis Collins and assistant coach
Reagan Allen subjected players to
demeaning, sometimes racist comments, according to documents obtained by The Dallas Morning News.
A lawyer for the coaches said
they deny the allegations regarding demeaning comments and had
no knowledge of the fight club.
But investigators said the attention generated by the fights was so
widespread the coaches should have
known of them, although they occurred while the coaches were away
Both coaches are on paid administrative leave, and a district statement
says neither coach is still associated
with the baseball program.
Sandy Hook Memorial
Covered With Plasterboard
A student-painted mural inside
Newtown High School that paid
tribute to victims of the Sandy Hook
Elementary shooting rampage has
been covered with plasterboard.
The administration became worried that despite its intentions, the
painting of a dreamcatcher was upsetting some students in the Newtown, Conn., community.
The decision led to an online student petition rallying support for
uncovering the painting, sparked
debate on how to acknowledge the
tragedy, and provided a glimpse of
the challenges facing administrators
in a school system that remains in
recovery three years after the shooting that claimed the lives of 20 1st
graders and six educators.
Georgia Bill Supports
Athletes' Religious Attire
A House committee in Georgia
has approved a bill preventing
state-funded high schools from
mother was given the tape and a parenting pamphlet.
By age 3, children who had participated in the VIP
program had significantly higher attention skills and
lower levels of aggression and separation anxiety than
those in the other two groups.
-SARAH D. SPARKS
"Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and
Secondary School Districts: School Year 2012-13"
The economy might be recovering, but school districts
are still feeling the pinch, according to new federal data.
The latest school district spending data from the National Center for Education Statistics show that the median district got $11,745 per student in fiscal 2013 from
all sources, after adjusting for inflation, 1.8 percent less
than the prior year. Districts spent $10,047 per student
during the same time, a .5 percent decrease from fiscal 2012, suggesting that administrators tried to buffer
students from some of the budget cuts.
Part of districts' squeeze came from a cut of more than
10 percent in federal support for K-12 schools, from
$61.7 billion in fiscal 2012 to $55.1 billion in fiscal 2013.
On average, 37 percent of district budgets came from
local property taxes, but in five states, districts depended
on such contributions for more than half of their budgets.
"State Pre-K Funding for 2015-16 Year"
For the fourth-straight year, state spending on publicly funded preschool has increased, according to the
latest report by the Education Commission of the
States, a state education policy think tank.
joining athletic associations that
don't allow athletes to wear clothing expressing religious beliefs.
The measure approved last
week by the education committee
is a swipe at the Georgia High
School Association. Several lawmakers cited a high school runner
disqualified from an association
event last fall. He was wearing a
headband with a Bible verse written on it.
The organization has said the student was disqualified because all
athletes must be in uniform, with no
other adornments, under national
Student Removed for Helping
Peer Having Asthma Attack
The mother of a Texas teenager
who was suspended from school for
helping a friend who was having an
asthma attack says her son won't
return to the school.
Mandy Cortes said that she will
home-school her 15-year-old rather
than have him return to Gateway
Middle School in Killeen.
Anthony Ruelas was suspended
when he disobeyed his teacher by
picking up his classmate and leaving the classroom to carry her to
the nurse's office. The teacher had
emailed the nurse when the girl
began suffering the attack and
was awaiting a response. Cortes
says that after a few minutes had
passed, her son uttered an expletive
about not waiting and carried the
Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia increased spending on preschool, while only five states
decreased funding. Of the states that made increases,
22 had Republican governors and 10 had Democratic
governors. Overall, spending increased by 12 percent
over 2014-15 to a total of $7 billion in 2015-16.
The District of Columbia spends $12,407, far and
away the most per preschool-age resident. The other
states all spend less than $1,500, though some cities,
like Boston, New York, and Tulsa, have separate budgets that significantly supplement state funds.
Three years ago, 11 states did not fund preschool at
all. This year, there are only five holdouts: Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
"The American Teacher Panel"
Teachers do seem to be getting a lot of professional
development aligned to the common core in both English/language arts and math, but it's not always focused
on the topics that they say they need the most help on.
That's according to surveys drawn from RAND's
American Teacher Panel, which represents some
In both math and English/language arts, more than
half of teachers reported that "the content of state standards" was a focus of their professional development,
but far fewer teachers said that focus reflected their
needs (28 percent in math and 31 percent in English/
language arts.) Funding for the survey analysis came
from the National Education Association and the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation, among others. (The foundation also supports coverage of college- and career-ready
standards in Education Week.)
Md. to Give Scholarships
To Early Graduates
Maryland students who finish
high school in three years or less
will receive $6,000 in college scholarships, beginning next fall.
Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order last week creating the
scholarships. He called the action
a smart use of tax dollars because
the state can reallocate money it
would have spent on a student's
last year in public high school to
help with the first year of college
Last year, 1,065 students across
Maryland graduated before the start
of the senior year. On average, about
1,000 students have graduated early
each year since 2010.
An article in the Jan. 20, 2016,
issue of Education Week on Teach
For America's political impact misstated the length of time that Zeke
Cohen, the executive director of
the Intersection, had worked as a
teacher in Baltimore. It was two
A paragraph in that same issue's overview of the Every Student
Succeeds Act was incomplete as
printed. It should read: "It's equally
unclear just how much power the
U.S. Department of Education will
have when the law, the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and
Secondary Education Act, is fully
| TRANSITIONS |
Tiffany Anderson, the
superintendent of the
Jennings, Mo., district,
the reins of
as of July 1.
Leaders to Learn From,
Anderson has received
national attention for her
approach to educating
children in poverty.
During her tenure in
Jennings, the district
regained its accreditation,
started a food pantry for
many of the community's
low-income families, put
washers and dryers in
schools, added a clothing
boutique that provided
jackets, socks, and the like
to students, and opened
a foster home to provide
shelter for homeless
Geography Plays Role in College Access
"Education Deserts: The Continued Significance of 'Place' in the
The college frenzy obsesses on key hurdles students must clear
to snag a spot in a good college: taking tough courses and getting
good grades, building an impressive list of extracurriculars, gathering the financial resources to pay the bills. But the simple fact of a
student's street address can be as big a hurdle as any.
A paper released last week explores the dynamics in "education
deserts"-areas with fewer colleges and universities-and argues
that where students live is a powerful force that can undermine
their access to college. Living in an education desert-a place with
no four-year colleges or universities nearby and perhaps only one
community college-can mean that "geography is destiny" when it
comes to college choice, the paper says.
The paper was written by Nicholas Hillman, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Taylor Weichman,
a doctoral student there. It's the first in a series about higher education issues from the American Council on Education's Center for
Policy Research and Strategy.
The authors cite research showing that 57 percent of freshmen
in four-year colleges and universities enroll in institutions within
50 miles of their homes, and that the farther students live from a
given institution, the less likely they are to enroll.
The study finds the most education deserts in the Great Plains
and the Midwest. The two biggest are Kentucky's LexingtonLafayette region and South Carolina's Columbia area.
Education deserts aren't always defined solely by the physical
lack of colleges nearby, the authors add. Those two regions each
have a flagship university, but since they are relatively selective,
students who aren't admitted have only one other public option
nearby: community college.
EDUCATION WEEK | February 10, 2016 | www.edweek.org | 5
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - February 10, 2016
Education Week - February 10, 2016
Federal Trade Regulators Target Brain-Training Product Claims
In States Hungry for Teachers, Policy Menu Expands
PARCC Scores Lower On Computer Exams
Equipping Parents on Spec. Ed.
News in Brief
In Chicago, Schools’ Financial Crisis Deepens Divisions
Advocates’ Report Hits States For Overtesting, Other Policies
Blogs of the Week
Digital Directions: Partnership Boosts Data Privacy
Kindergarten: Less Play, More Academics (infographic
‘Proficiency’ Bars on State Tests Are Seen Heading Upward
Views Clash On K-12 Law Rulemaking
Blogs of the Week
Ed. Dept. CIO Grilled By Oversight Panel
State of the States
I’m Tired of ‘Grit’
Why Small Steps Are Better for Small Schools
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
In Low-Income Schools, Teachers Need Guidance
Education Week - February 10, 2016