Education Week - March 4, 2015 - (Page 4)

NEWS IN BRIEF FCC Approves Policy Of 'Net Neutrality' In a move to preserve an open Internet, the Federal Communications Commission voted last week along partisan lines to implement "net neutrality" rules to ensure equal treatment in how content is delivered by Internet service providers. Under the new rules, high-speed broadband providers like Verizon and Comcast will, for the first time, be regulated like utilities. They will be prohibited from charging for premium access to streaming content, essentially creating a pay-for-play "fast lane" of content delivery. The decision was seen as a positive measure for schools and libraries that could have been relegated to a "slow lane" of Internet access if a tiered system of providing service had been created. A legal challenge by broadband providers is expected. -MICHELE MOLNAR Georgia District Leader Is Superintendent of the Year Philip Lanoue, the schools chief in the Clarke County school district in Athens, Ga., was named national superintendent of the year last week in San Diego. The announcement came during the annual conference of aasa, the School Superintendents Association. Mr. Lanoue has led the 13,000-student Clarke County school system since 2009. The other finalists were MaryEllen Elia, the former superintendent of the Hillsborough County schools in Tampa, Fla.; Patrick Murphy of the Arlington, Va., schools; and Patrice Pujol of the Ascension Public Schools in Donaldsville, La. All four finalists were selected as winners in their individual state contests for superintendent of the year. -COREY MITCHELL Many Vaccination Rates Fall Below Range Deemed Safe Nearly one in seven public and private schools have measles-vaccination rates below 90 percent, a rate considered inadequate to proTRACKING ACTIVITY Fifth grader Leilani Nguyen twirls a hula hoop while jumping in and out of elastic bands during a physical education class last week in Wichita Falls, Texas. As part of a study, researchers from Midwestern State University, in Wichita Falls, have asked the students to wear FitBit devices to track their levels of physical activity. vide immunity, according to a USA Today analysis of data in 13 states. Hundreds of thousands of students attend schools-ranging from small, private academies in New York City to large public elementary schools outside Boston to Native American reservation schools in Idaho-where vaccination rates have dropped precipitously low, sometimes under 50 percent. The 13-state sample shows that people opposed to vaccinations tend to live near each other, leaving some schools dangerously vulnerable, while other schools are fully protected. -McCLATCHY-TRIBUNE N.Y.C. Ordered to Add More Sports for Girls The U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights has found New York City public schools to be L.A. Shifts Gears Over Computers-for-All-Students Policy The Los Angeles Unified district cannot afford to provide all its students with a digital computing device, interim Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines has announced. That decision marks a major policy reversal for the country's second-largest district, which for nearly two years has been under scrutiny for its seemingly starcrossed effort to give iPads to 641,000 students, as well as to staff members and administrators. "We are committed to providing technology to our children," Mr. Cortines said in a statement Feb. 20. "We will need to identify alternative ongoing resources to fund the curriculum that is preloaded on some of the devices, which is of course why I believe that, currently, the district does not have sufficient funds to purchase and maintain technology in a 1:1 model." In November 2013, Education Week reported problems associated with the Pearson digital curriculum intended to be included on the iPads. Later, the district's independent evaluator, the American Institutes for Research, concluded that the curriculum had gaping holes, was plagued by technical glitches, and was almost never used in the classroom. This past December, the fbi raided district headquarters, taking away 20 boxes of materials in what has been reported to be an investigation into the bid process that led to contracts for Apple and Pearson. Former schools Superintendent John Deasy, who led the iPads-for-all effort, steadfastly defended the program. He resigned in October. Fifty-eight schools now have a total of more than 90,000 iPads. The district plans to proceed with existing efforts to test laptop computers or Chromebooks at 21 additional high schools. -BENJAMIN HEROLD in violation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in federally financed education programs. The National Women's Law Center filed a complaint against the New York City school district-along with 11 other districts-in 2010, charging that it had a significant gap between the percentage of student-athletes who were female and the percentage of overall female students. The ocr found that the district had cut girls' athletic opportunities and had no process in which students could request a sport. Additionally, the ocr found the district hadn't met girls' interest in volleyball, softball, soccer, tennis, cross-country, bowling, golf, and swimming, according to the nwlc, and determined it would need to add 3,862 opportunities for female student-athletes to be in compliance with Title IX. -BRYAN TOPOREK Bill to Split Seattle District Takes a Step Forward A Washington state House committee last week advanced a bill that would split the Seattle school system into two smaller districts, a week after the measure was panned by education advocates and members of the public. The idea was rejected by every speaker at a public hearing last month, including representatives of the school district, the pta, the teachers' union, and the League of Women Voters. Sponsors of the measure say the 52,000-student district is too big to solve its problems. But opponents to the split contend that two districts would cost more and likely worsen the achievement gap between students from different ethnic and economic groups. -ASSOCIATED PRESS 4 | EDUCATION WEEK | March 4, 2015 | Indiana Trims Time From State Exams Legislators gave unanimous approval last week to steps that officials say will cut about three hours from the time thousands of students will spend taking Indiana's standardized tests this year, and Gov. Mike Pence quickly signed the bill into law. The moves come after parents and educators protested testing times for the exams, which were redesigned to align with new state standards. The revamped test was to have taken students about 12 hours-about double from last year. State schools chief Glenda Ritz proposed shaving at least three hours from the exam, mostly by eliminating some questions. Legislators also supported suspending this year's state-required ACT, SAT Security Measures Found to Deter Cheaters Administrators of the act and sat college-entrance exams report that new security measures put in place to reduce cheating are working. Since 2012, both college-entrance exams have required students to upload a photo upon registration and present the photo ticket to the proctor at the time of the exam. Officials from act Inc. and the Educational Testing Service, which administers the sat, say incidents of impersonation have been halved since the new procedure was put in place. The new process was rolled out following a cheating scandal in Nassau County, N.Y., where students paid people to take the exam for them. -CARALEE J. ADAMS Torin Halsey/Times Record News/AP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 4, 2015

Study: Twitter Fanned Debate On Standards
Police Body Cameras Surfacing in Schools
Tracing Hillary Clinton’s K-12 Record
Boys-Only Programs Raise Legal Concerns
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Simulation Game on Slave Experience Provokes Questions
Education Week - March 4, 2015
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Rewrite of Framework for AP U.S. History Raises More Hackles
Blogs of the Week
Chicago’s Emanuel Forced Into Runoff
N.Y. Study Finds More Top Students Hired as Teachers
Deeper Look at Suspension Data Pinpoints Big Disparities
House Wrestles With Bill to Rewrite No Child Left Behind Act
Partisan Winds Loom For Some GOP Governors
Blogs of the Week
State of the States
PAUL T. HILL & ASHLEY JOCHIM: Beyond Chartering
MATTHEW MUENCH: Making ‘Innovation’ Live Up to Its Hype
JOHN MANNES: The Fault in Our School Boards
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
DAVID FINLEY: Teacher Tenure: An Innocent Victim of Vergara v. California

Education Week - March 4, 2015