Education Week - March 16, 2016 - (Page 5)
| OBITUARY |
Nancy Reagan, the wife of
President Ronald Reagan and
the first lady of the United
States from 1981 to 1989, died
March 6. She
As first lady,
primarily her "Just Say No"
anti-drug campaign. By 1988,
supporters had formed more
than 12,000 "Just Say No" clubs,
according to the Ronald Reagan
Presidential Foundation. She
criss crossed the country to
host rallies, visit schools, and
talk to children about the issue.
She also addressed the United
Nations General Assembly in
October 1988, urging stronger
Upon leaving the White House,
Mrs. Reagan established a
foundation to continue her antidrug campaign. -COREY MITCHELL
dents' social-media posts to justify
disciplinary action or expulsion raises
serious First Amendment concerns.
The Huntsville City school system
this month updated safety guidelines to say the superintendent may
review students' public social-media
accounts if they have a history of violence or gang activity, or if their behavior endangers students and employees. The school's code of conduct
also says students who violate the
guidelines may be prohibited from
bringing "nonschool system technology" into school buildings.
The move comes after videos of
student fights gained widespread
ity to act, records show.
The state education department
considered Midwest Academy in
Keokuk an unregulated home school
that wasn't subject to oversight, according to complaints and emails
provided under the open-records law.
The records were released hours
after the Iowa Senate passed a bill
to give state agencies more authority to oversee such facilities.
Investigators are also looking into
whether academy leaders engaged
in a pattern of child endangerment
by putting students in small "isolation boxes" for days at a time. -AP
NPR and Partner to Offer
More Classroom Audio
National Public Radio and an organization founded by a former publicradio journalist are teaming up to
bring more NPR segments into the
The main goal of the partnership
between NPR and Listen Current, a
Brookline, Mass.-based curriculum
provider, is to help students become
The company already offers audio
from NPR and other public-radio
sources for use by teachers. -MARK WALSH
Lead Levels Force Shutdown
Of Newark Water Fountains
School leaders in the Newark, N.J.,
district ordered water fountains at
30 schools to be turned off after tests
found elevated levels of lead in some
water samples, state environmental
officials said last week.
Of approximately 300 samples
taken in the 30 buildings during annual testing, 59 showed levels above
While the ongoing crisis over
lead-contaminated drinking water
in Flint, Mich., has dominated the
national consciousness, lead contamination is a problem in many
State, District Data Differ
On Seclusion and Restraint
Publisher's Digital Sales
Surpass Print Sales
Students in the Jefferson County district in Kentucky were physically held
down or confined to a room more than
4,400 times last school year-but the
school system only correctly reported
174 of those instances to the state.
Superintendent Donna Hargens says the problem arose when
schools reported problems to an internal database, not the state.
Restraint and seclusion may only be
used in Kentucky if a student's behavior poses imminent danger or physical
harm to themselves or others.
Hargens said the district is looking at options to get the information
corrected, including inputting data
McGraw-Hill Education, one of
the largest publishers of textbooks,
said sales of its digital content and
online programs surpassed print
sales for the first time last year.
The company said that new users of
its Connect platform, for colleges, rose
16 percent in 2015 from the previous
year. New users of its LearnSmart and
SmartBook program, also for college
students, rose 18 percent. New users
of ALEKS, used by grade schools and
colleges, had a 14 percent increase.-AP
Education Agency Unable
To Regulate Troubled School
Iowa education officials have
been aware since at least 2011 of
allegations of mistreatment at a
now-shuttered boarding school for
troubled teenagers, but they believed they didn't have the author-
S.C. District Nixes
A South Carolina district has
scrapped an assignment asking 3rd
graders to pretend to be slaves after
a parent complained it wasn't appropriate for 8-year-olds at Killian
Elementary School in Columbia.
The students were to discuss being
kidnapped from West Africa, riding
on a slave ship, and being sold at auction. School officials say three teachers found the lesson online.
"School Personnel and Student Outcomes:
The Role of Support Staff In North Carolina's
Elementary and Middle Schools"
Teaching assistants significantly contribute
to student achievement, particularly in disadvantaged schools, according to a new study
presented this month at the annual conference of the National Center for Analysis of
Longitudinal Data in Education Research.
Researchers from Duke University and the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
analyzed school finance data and student
test data for 1,153 elementary schools, and
439 middle schools from 2006 to 2013.
They found an additional teaching assistant at a school was associated with
increases in students' reading scores of
.8 percent to 1.3 percent of a standard deviation in reading and .7 percent to 1.1 percent
of a standard deviation in math, with larger
effects in more disadvantaged schools. Students in schools with more teaching assistants
had both higher overall test scores and fewer
school absences than students in schools with
-SARAH D. SPARKS
"Who Repeats Algebra, and How Does Initial
Performance Relate to Improvement When the
Course Is Repeated?"
Algebra 1 is considered a gatekeeper to advanced math in high school, but the students
who repeat the course aren't always those
who failed it, finds a study presented at the
annual meeting this month of the Society for
Research in Educational Effectiveness.
WestEd researchers looked at East Side
Union High School District, in Silicon Valley,
Calif., as well as five elementary school districts that feed into the high school district.
Out of 3,400 students who took Algebra 1
at grade 7 or above, between 2006-07 and 2011-12,
44.3 percent eventually repeated the course. More
than 8 percent of students who received an A or B
in the course during the first run-through, as well
as more than 22 percent of students who performed
proficiently in math on their first attempt of the Algebra 1 California Standards Test still repeated the
Students improved on average by about half a letter
grade and a little less than a third of the difference between one performance level and another on the state
tests when they repeated Algebra 1.-S.D.S.
"Demographic Characteristics of High School Math and
Science Teachers and Girls' Success in STEM"
White female students are more likely to pursue
science fields in college if they attended a high school
with a high proportion of female math and science
teachers, finds a study in the journal Social Problems.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte and
Duke University researchers looked at 16,300 students who attended high school in North Carolina
and matriculated to the University of North Carolina system.
There was no link between teachers' gender and the
probability of picking a STEM major for young men.
White girls were more likely to declare or graduate
with a STEM major if they attended a high school with
a higher proportion of female math and science teachers. For black girls, there was no significant association
between the proportion of female teachers and STEM
It's also possible "that the presence of female math and
science teachers-even co-ethnic female math and science teachers-may not be sufficient to offset the chilly
climate that young women of color might face in science
and math classrooms," the authors write.
'Deeper Learning' Approach
Linked to Higher Grad Rates
"Graduation Advantage Persists for Students in
Deeper Learning Network High Schools: Updated
Findings From the Study of Deeper Learning:
Opportunities and Outcomes"
Students who attend schools in networks that focus
on "deeper learning" graduate in four years at rates that
are about 8 percentage points higher than those of their
peers, according to a study released last week by the
American Institutes for Research.
The report is the latest in a series of studies that examine outcomes in schools that use a deeper-learning
approach. It confirms the findings of another study in
the series, released in 2014, which found that students
who attend schools that shape instruction that way
graduate in four years at rates that are about 9 percentage points higher than those of peers in schools that are
not in deeper-learning networks.
The studies, based on samples of more than 20,000
students in 27 schools in New York state and California,
are funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which has been exploring the deeper-learning idea
in recent years. (The Hewlett Foundation also supports
Education Week's coverage of the topic.) Researchers focused on students who entered the 9th grade between
the 2007-08 and 2010-11 school years in schools that
are networked around key principles of deeper learning,
such as mastery of core content and problem-solving,
and in similar schools that are not in such networks.
The 2014 report that found a graduation-rate advantage for students in deeper-learning network schools
followed them through fall 2013. The report released
March 9 followed an additional cohort of students
through spring 2014. The new study found that the
graduation-rate effect wasn't quite as pronounced for
students from low-income families, but showed that
those students still graduated at higher rates than similar students in non-network schools. -CATHERINE GEWERTZ
"Adolescent Attitudes and Beliefs Regarding Caffeine
and the Consumption of Caffeinated Beverages"
High school-age students see drinking sodas, coffee,
and other caffeinated drinks as a way to study better
and as a "sign of being grown up," finds a new study
in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Based on in-depth interviews with 166 students, mostly
in grades 9 and 10, researchers from Brescia University
College in Ontario, Canada, found more than 44.6 percent
drank caffeinated beverages one to six times a week, and
more than 11 percent had caffeine daily. The students'
most common reason for doing so was to be more alert
to study better, but many also reported considering it a
more adult behavior. Caffeine is the only psychoactive
drug that is both legal and generally socially acceptable
for children to use casually, according to senior author
and Brescia University researcher Danielle Battram.
"Public Pre-K and Test-Taking for the NYC Gifted and
Talented Programs: Forging a Path to Equity"
Racial and economic disparities in the students
tested for New York City gifted programs are smaller
for children who attended a public prekindergarten,
finds a study in the journal Educational Researcher.
Researchers found large racial gaps in students
tested for New York City's gifted programs: Of nearly
70,000 students starting kindergarten in 2009, 14 percent of black, 8 percent of Latino, 29 percent of white,
and 26 percent of Asian students took the gifted test.
For black and Latino students who attended public
preschools, the racial gaps in their likelihood of being
tested for gifted programs shrunk significantly-
by 15 percentage points for Latino students and by
31 percentage points for black students.-S.D.S.
EDUCATION WEEK | March 16, 2016 | www.edweek.org | 5
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 16, 2016
Education Week - March 16, 2016
States Hit Accelerator On Accountability
Immigrant Influxes Test U.S. Schools
Researchers Flag Downside Of Moving to Better Schools
News in Brief
Potential Use of ‘Blockchain’ Tech for K-12 Debated by Experts
Blogs of the Week
Early-Education Measures Percolating at State, Local Levels
Acting Ed. Secretary Urges Congress to Renew Career-Tech Law
ESSA Rulemaking: A Guide to Negotiations
Blogs of the Week
ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN: Keeping Schoolhouse Doors Open for Immigrant Children
GARRETT NEIMAN: For Disadvantaged Students, New SAT Is First Step
Q&A With Author David Denby: A Quest for ‘Serious’ Reading In the Digital Age
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
ARNOLD PACKER: Should Citizenship Be a Goal of Education?
Education Week - March 16, 2016