Education Week - February 17, 2016 - (Page 4)

NEWS IN BRIEF The outgoing emergency manager of the Detroit public schools estimates it would cost more than $50 million to address the immediate maintenance issues in the district's aging buildings. Meanwhile, the district has begun using money budgeted for other departments to fix the most urgent problems. A release from Darnell Earley's office says the district is trying to complete as many repairs as possible before the end of March, because the financially strapped school system is projected to deplete its cash reserves in April. Under orders from Mayor Mike Duggan, city workers have inspected about half of Detroit's nearly 100 schools, uncovering issues with mold, rodents, and broken glass. -COREY MITCHELL L.A. District Bars Visits From Immigration Agents The Los Angeles Unified school board has passed a resolution barring immigration agents from visiting its campuses to search for undocumented students. Despite reassurance from federal agents that schools are safe havens, some families remain afraid to send their children to school after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out a series of raids across the country last month in search of Central American immigrants who arrived in the country unauthorized after Jan. 1, 2014. The San Francisco district said in January that ICE officials wouldn't be allowed immediate access to campuses and "any request for access would need to go through a thorough review process." -C.M. U.S. Secretary King Soon Could Shed 'Acting' Label Acting U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. may not be "acting" in his role much longer. President Barack Obama has officially nominated King for the post. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate education committee, has been urging the White House to nominate someone to succeed former Secretary Arne Duncan since December. Alexander has stressed the importance of having a confirmed secretary oversee regulation of the new Every Student Succeeds Act. He hit on that theme again when the nomination was announced Feb. 11 and said King would receive a "prompt and fair" hearing in the committee. -ALYSON KLEIN Ohio Educator Named Superintendent of the Year Thomas Tucker, the superintendent in the Princeton City School District in suburban Cincinnati, has been Lead Poisoning in Pa. and N.J. May Be Worse Than in Flint The national uproar over lead poisoning in Flint, Mich., has drawn renewed attention to a children's health crisis that has plagued Pennsylvania and New Jersey for decades. The states' own data show that 18 cities in Pennsylvania and 11 in New Jersey may have an even higher share of children with dangerously elevated levels of lead than does Flint. The reports, released in 2014, were recirculated this month by health advocates trying to draw attention to the lead problem. "We're not trying to take anything away from Flint," said Elyse Pivnick, the director of environmental health for Isles Inc., a community-development organization in Trenton, N.J. "But, whoa, we have to tell the story of lead in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, too." Regional health officials, while expressing concern for children exposed to lead, insisted that the advocates were mismatching data and failing to recognize the progress that has been made. The biggest source of lead remains chipping and flaking paint in old and unmaintained houses. Despite improvements in recent years, blood-lead levels remain high, especially among poor children. Dr. Tom Vernon, a Philadelphia physician and former director of Colorado's health department, agreed that lead is less of a problem these days because of measures such as removing it from gasoline and paint. "But that good news is offset by what we're learning about the effects on school achievement and executive function at lower and lower levels of lead exposure," he said. No lead exposure for children is safe, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but a blood-lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter is the threshold that should trigger action. In Pennsylvania, 13,000 children younger than 7 were known to have blood-lead levels higher than 5 in 2014, a decrease of nearly 7 percent from the previous year. In the New Jersey report, more than 5,400 children were similarly affected. -TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE 4 | EDUCATION WEEK | February 17, 2016 | ANYTIME, ANYWHERE Zach Dickens, a freshman at Arrowhead Park Early College High School, kicks back last week while using the Google virtual-reality headset. The Las Cruces school was the first in New Mexico to have been selected to be part of the Google Expeditions Pioneer program. Through their headsets, the students saw such locations as space, a volcano, and foreign countries. selected as the 2016 National Superintendent of the Year by AASA, the School Superintendents Association. Tucker took the helm of the Princeton City district last year, and previously served as superintendent in Ohio's Licking Heights district. He was selected from among four superintendent finalists, including Pamela Moran in Albemarle County, Va., Steve Webb in Vancouver, Wash., and Freddie Williamson in Hoke County, N.C. Tucker's award was announced last week in Phoenix at AASA's annual education conference. Robin Zielinski/The Las Cruces Sun-News/AP Repair Bill for Detroit Could Top $59 Million -DENISA R. SUPERVILLE Texas Pre-K Grants Tied To Teacher Training Texas school districts will be required to hire teachers with multiple credentials and improve family engagement to qualify for prekindergarten grants from $118 million in newly available state money. New grant rules will require that all pre-K teachers have an additional credential beyond what is currently required, including having at least eight years of teaching experience in a nationally accredited child-care program or an undergraduate or graduate degree in early-childhood education. According to the National Insti- tute for Early Education Research, Texas does better than most states in providing prekindergarten education-about half its 4-year-olds are in such programs. But Texas loses ground in the quality of their education. -TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE Ohio Charter Failures Revised Upward As state education officials seek the release of a $71 million federal charter school grant, they now say Ohio has nearly 10 times as many failing charter schools as previously claimed. The state education department says there are 57 poor-performing charter schools, not the six reported in its grant application submitted in July. As for high-performing charter schools, it turns out there are 59, not the 93 originally claimed. The revised numbers were detailed in a recent letter to federal regulators who put a hold on Ohio's grant in November amid concerns about the state education department's rigging of charter school evaluations. -TNS Students May Have to Go To Community College First Students who are accepted to public colleges and universities, | TRANSITIONS | Mike Hanley, the commissioner of education in Alaska, will step down as of March 1. He offered his resignation this month after it became clear that the state board wanted a change in leadership. He has served as state schools chief for five years. Jack Smith has been conditionally hired as the new superintendent of the Montgomery County, Md., district, one of the nation's 15 largest. At present, he is the interim state schools superintendent in Maryland. He is set to start his new job in July. Philip Lanoue, who last year was named the national superintendent of the year by AASA, the School Superintendents Association, is expected to become the superintendent in Fulton County. Ga. Currently the superintendent in the Clarke County district in Athens, Ga., Lanoue is the lone finalist for the 94,000-student Fulton County job and would start his new job in July. Robert L. Hughes has been named the director of K-12 strategy for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 2000, he has served as president of New Visions for Public Schools, a nonprofit that serves as an incubator for new district and charter schools. It currently supports 70 schools in New York City. Hughes succeeds Vicki L. Phillips, who has been in the position since 2007.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - February 17, 2016

Education Week - February 17, 2016
Preservice Programs Seek To Head Off Teacher Biases
Black Male Teachers a Rarity
Consolidation Fight Erupts In Vermont
In Cities With Choice, Single- Enrollment Systems Hit Hurdles
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Letting Students Work From Home Adds Policy Twist
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Q&A: Principals Urged To ‘Shadow’ Students
Study: Showing Standout Work To Students Can Backfire
U.S. Manages to Reduce Share Of Low PISA Scores— in Science
Blogs of the Week
Lawmakers Pledging to Keep Close Eye on ESSA Implementation
Obama Budget Doubles As Policy Document
Blogs of the Week
Five-State Study Examines Teaching Shifts Under Core
Kansas High Court Strikes Down Stopgap Aid Formula
State of the States
Increased Accountability of Teacher Prep Gives Equity the Back Seat
Self-Care Is the Educator’s Core Standard
Beware the Racist Subtext Of Children’s Books
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Dispatch From Flint, Mich.: Our Water Crisis Is a Crisis of Trust

Education Week - February 17, 2016