Education Week - February 15, 2017 - 4
NEWS IN BRIEF
dent by himself doesn't have the
authority to scrap the standards.
What's more, the 1-year-old Every
Student Succeeds Act explicitly bars
the U.S. secretary of education from
influencing states' decisions about
The Internal Revenue Service is
warning school business officials to
beware of a phishing scam targeting
schools' payroll or human-resource
departments in an attempt to have
them release employees' confidential information, according to the
Association of School Business Officials International.
The association alerted members to
the scam in a notice on its website.
John Musso, ASBO's executive director, said that he could not identify
districts that have been targeted, but
noted that it must be "more than a
handful" to come to the attention of
the IRS and for the federal agency to
contact his group.
The IRS reports the scam relies on
a phishing email "that uses a corporate officer's name to request employees' Forms W-2 from company
payroll or human-resources departments," according to ASBO.
Alan Campbell/The Rocky Mount Telegram via AP
More H.S. Students Support
First Amendment Freedoms
Texas Doesn't Keep Tabs
On Improper Teacher Acts
A newspaper investigation has
found the Texas Education Agency
doesn't track if a teacher has been
charged with or convicted of a
The Austin American-Statesman
found that in many cases, school
districts keep the information secret, and teachers are allowed to
take other teaching jobs or positions where they are in contact
Lawmakers have proposed bills
that would make superintendents
and principals subject to at least
a Class A misdemeanor for failing to report allegations of teacher
misconduct to the state education
agency. The bills also call for training that would help teachers understand proper teacher-student
boundaries and recognizing and reporting sexual misconduct between
Chloe Hopkins, 4, chats
with her father, Christopher
Hopkins, as they color
during Take Your Child to the
Library Day at Edgecombe
County Memorial Library
in Tarboro, N.C.
teachers and students.
They are also proposing legislation that would stop teachers' resigning from a school district amid
allegations of misconduct with students and moving on to another
Health Groups Assure Trump
That Vaccines Are Safe
Vaccines are safe and effective,
and claims otherwise "have been
disproven by a robust body of medical literature," hundreds of state
and national health organizations
wrote in a letter to President Donald Trump last week.
In statements he made in his
private life and on the 2016 campaign trail, Trump has been skeptical of vaccines. He stoked concerns
of vaccine supporters again after
winning the election when vocal
vaccine critic Robert F. Kennedy
Jr. said he had agreed to "chair a
Impact on Universities Cited in 9th Circuit Travel-Ban Ruling
A federal appeals court panel last week declined the
Trump administration's request to reinstate its executive order temporarily barring U.S. entry for individuals from seven countries, citing disruption in higher
education among other factors.
The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, unanimously rejected the administration's request for a stay of a federal district court's temporary restraining order that
enjoined enforcement of key sections of the Jan. 27
executive order signed by President Donald Trump.
Citing the potential for terrorism, the order barred
for 90 days entry for those from Iraq, Iran, Libya,
Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The two other
blocked sections deal with refugees. The executive
order created widespread disruption in immigration
and was met with protests.
Washington state, joined by Minnesota, sued the
Trump administration to block the order on due-process and religious-discrimination grounds.
The 9th Circuit's Feb. 9 opinion, issued jointly by
the three judges, relies on the states' arguments about
the executive order's impact on universities and foreign students.
"The interests of the states' universities here are
aligned with their students," says the opinion in State
of Washington v. Trump. "The students' educational
success is inextricably bound up in the universities'
capacity to teach them. And the universities' reputations depend on the success of their professors' research."
The president's executive order has alarmed many
in K-12 education, especially in communities with
large numbers of refugees or immigrants from the
countries cited in the order.
The 9th Circuit court panel found that the states
had a likelihood of prevailing on their claim that the
provisions of the executive order violated the constitutional guarantee of procedural due process.
Trump reacted on Twitter soon after the ruling: "SEE
YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION
IS AT STAKE!" The U.S. Department of Justice said
it was "reviewing the decision and considering its options."
4 | EDUCATION WEEK | February 15, 2017 | www.edweek.org
commission on vaccine safety and
scientific integrity" at the thenpresident-elect's request.
The letter, from organizations including the American Academy of
Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, calls for a redoubling of efforts at the national level
in the area of vaccines.
School Flood Damage
Could Top $60 Million
Officials estimate that it will cost
more than $62 million and years
of work to repair flooded schools in
Baton Rouge, La.
Of the 10 schools that were forced
to temporarily relocate because of
the flood in August, just one has
been fully repaired and reopened.
Four administrative centers have
also been closed since the flood.
School officials have said some of
the flood-damaged schools may
Some of the schools are undergoing repairs, but future construction
depends in part on how quickly the
Federal Emergency Management
Agency reimburses the school system.
Adviser Asserts President
Will Repeal Common Core
President Donald Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway last week
claimed in an interview with CNN
that the president plans to move
ahead with his campaign promise
to repeal the Common Core State
Standards. But that's a problematic
States adopt content standards
like the common core; the federal
government doesn't get to choose
for them. Washington also didn't
write the common core. There was
intense debate during President
Barack Obama's administration
about whether Washington improperly induced states to adopt the
common core through programs
like Race to the Top grants. Regardless of that debate, the presi-
Most high schoolers believe that
people should be able to express
unpopular opinions in public. But
they're less supportive of allowing
people to publicly share opinions or
posts on social media that are bullying or offensive.
That's according to the Future
of the First Amendment report released by the John S. and James L.
Knight Foundation last week. This
is the sixth study the foundation
has published that examines high
schoolers' attitudes toward issues
related to the First Amendment of
the U.S. Constitution. This year's report is based on a poll of 11,998 students and 726 teachers conducted
last May by The Stats Group.
The report tracks young people's
evolving attitudes on issues including the trustworthiness of media
and news shared on social media
and the role of offensive speech.
S.D. Rejects Transparency
For Scholarship Fund
South Dakota lawmakers last
week rejected a bill that was meant
to increase transparency in the
state's school choice scholarship
The bill would have required insurance companies to disclose how
much money they donate to the private-school-scholarship fund in exchange for tax credits. It also would
have required the group in charge of
the program to show how much goes
to each private school. The scholarship program was created last year
and can accept up to $2 million a
Bill supporters say taxpayers
should know how much money is
being diverted from the state's general fund for private use. Opponents
say it's still a fledgling program and
argue that the bill could intimidate
companies and families and discourage their participation.
District Chief Is Targeted
For Comment About Trump
Maine's Republican Party is accusing a school superintendent of
pushing a political agenda after
he suggested an attack on several
black students was the result of
President Donald Trump's stance
on immigrants and minorities.
The Maine GOP said that Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana's actions in the wake of the Jan.
27 attack were inappropriate, and it
vowed to investigate him.
Police arrested 20-year-old Jamie
Hoffman of Portland on charges
stemming from the attack.
Botana, an immigrant from Cuba,
issued a statement after the attack