Education Week - March 20,2019 - 1

Education Week
VOL. 38, NO. 25 * MARCH 20, 2019

AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2019 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 6 


Schools Confront Student Depression as Data Show Rates Rising
New Study Finds
Uptick in MentalHealth Incidents
Only in Younger

By Evie Blad
Rates of mental-health incidents among teens
and young adults have arced upward over the
last decade while they've remained relatively unchanged for older adults, a new analysis finds.
The findings confirm what many educators say
has long been evident in their classrooms. Teachers and principals must be more versed in the
warning signs of serious issues like mood disorders, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts so that they

can better serve students in crisis, they say.
As psychologists explore causes behind trends
in mental illness-probing issues like an increase
in smartphone use, economic trends, and social
isolation for clues-more schools are engaging
students themselves to seek solutions.
They're teaching teens to build healthy habits,
enacting programs designed to strengthen relationships, and bringing suicide prevention work to
students as young as elementary school.
"It's very unusual to see changes this large

happen in such a short period of time," said Jean
Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego
State University who studies generational trends.
Twenge co-authored the new analysis, published
in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology last week,
that relied on data from the National Survey of
Drug Use and Health, an annual, nationally representative survey of Americans 12 and older.
Between 2005 and 2017, the proportion of teens
12-17 who reported the symptoms of a major dePAGE 13 >

Knowing When to
Quit Can Be Tricky
For Superintendents

CITIZEN Z: Finding America's Story

Meg Oliphant for Education Week

By Denisa R. Superville

Doig Middle School history teacher Ben Huntsinger talks with Valerie Rivera, 12, center, and Jailyn Portillo, 14, right, before the students present a
proposal for a new homeless shelter during a city council meeting in Garden Grove, Calif., last week.

The 8th graders in a civics class in Oklahoma
may be too young to vote, but they've learned
how to bring about change in their government
anyway. Because of their work, lawmakers in
the state Capitol are considering a bill that
would require schools to provide students with
accurate information about HIV and AIDS.
The story of how these teenagers turned
anger into legislative action is one that's being
replicated in varying forms around the country as an activist brand of civics education
gains a foothold in classrooms.
The name of this instructional model-
"action civics"-signals its mission: not only to
teach students how their government works

Gates, Zuckerberg
Tout Big New Ideas

In Del City, Okla., the HIV-education bill
got its start last fall in the classroom of Aaron
Baker, who had begun using an action-civics curriculum designed by Generation Citizen, which
works with schools in six states. The process

Do schools need artificial intelligence that
can "detect and predict learning styles associated with different personality traits?"
What about "an intelligent learning companion that would ask students to teach a
simulated digital peer while tracking students' mathematical understanding?"
Or a new digital tool based on advances in
"precision medicine" that would gather information about students' working memory,
attention spans, and ability to manage their
thoughts and feelings?
Those are just three of the 465 ideas that
left the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative "tremendously inspired and encouraged," according to a recently released summary of
responses to the groups' joint request for
state-of-the-art approaches to education,
originally announced last May.
Gates and CZI "share a view that there is

PAGE 12 >

PAGE 9 >

Through 'Action Civics' Lessons, Students Become Activists in Their Communities
but to harness that knowledge to launch
them into collective action on issues they care
about. And its lofty goal is to revitalize democracy with a new generation of informed,
engaged citizens.
Using the action-civics approach recently,
middle school students in Anaheim, Calif., researched the water quality in their drinking
fountains and persuaded their principal to
install new filtration systems in an upcoming
school renovation.
One group of students in Chicago persuaded
the local transit agency to move a bus stop to
a safer spot, while another started structured
dialogues-and basketball games-between
students and police officers to build mutual
trust and understanding.

PAGE 10 >

By Benjamin Herold

A Hands-On Approach to Democracy
By Catherine Gewertz

Superintendents sometimes become the
targets of angry calls for their firing even
when there's been no official finding of misconduct or wrongdoing.
Such a scenario has been playing out in the
Broward County, Fla., district where a vocal
contingent of critics has been calling for the dismissal of Superintendent Robert Runcie over
his handling of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in which
17 students and staff members were killed.
But are there times when a schools chief
should walk away from a job? How can a
leader subjectively judge when such demands are valid and when his or her presence is a lightning rod?
The answer is not so clear-cut, said Lance
Fusarelli, a professor in the college of education at NC State University.
While superintendents can't ignore detrac-

Teenagers at an alternative school in Norman, Okla., immersed themselves in the nuances of school funding and won an $11 million
bond issue to renovate their school. Students
in South Los Angeles surveyed homelessness
among their peers, convened social-service
agencies on campus to publicize their resources,
and opened a food pantry on campus.

Teenagers Aim for Capitol

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 20,2019