Education Week - March 21, 2018 - 23
sion continues to be debated.
I was in 11th grade when the decision
was announced. It was a terrible year in
Vietnam, and it was a stressful year in my
life. I was trying to make friends at a new
school and still upset about the war. When
we won our case, it was hard for me to be in
the spotlight, even though I was glad that
future public school students would be able
to speak up about the issues that mattered
in their lives.
And this is exactly what the students at
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and
the many others who join them are doing.
One day, monuments will be built to them
and their #NeverAgain movement. And,
there will be monuments for Black Lives
Matter, with its #MovementforBlackLives.
History will applaud these brave young
The late Isidore Starr, the pioneer of lawrelated education, told me that, like a turtle,
we each have to stick our necks out to move
forward. This applies to teachers, as well.
And many are sticking out their necks by
challenging the idea that teachers should be
armed. Their campaign #ArmMeWith makes
it clear that schools are no place for guns.
I'm a fan of their campaign, and I'll bet most
trauma nurses and doctors are, too.
As a nurse, a mother, a member of Moms Demand Action (for Gun Sense in America), and
as a students' rights advocate who actually
visited Stoneman Douglas High School a few
years ago, I'll be standing with the students on
March 24th. What will you be doing? n
MARY BETH TINKER travels the country speaking
with students and others about the rights of students.
She lives in Washington.
possible for schools
to interpret FERPA
in a common-sense
manner that avoids
In the Cruz case, it's nonsensical to say that
a person who has admitted shooting 17 people
to death has any legally recognizable privacy
interest. FERPA or no, police and prosecutors
will have ample access to all of the education
records they care to see-no court will deny
law officials access to those records once a student is in custody and facing trial. And Cruz
has no reputation left to protect. Not one person's opinion of him will be lowered by finding
out his disciplinary history, so even if FERPA
could be interpreted to preclude disclosing his
records, that interpretation makes no practical sense.
Federal regulations provide that, even if a
FERPA violation is found, the U.S. Department of Education cannot take away a dime of
federal money without first issuing a written
warning and placing the school on a federal
corrective plan. Only if the school refuses to accept the plan can the department then initiate
financial penalties. That has never happened.
FERPA is a toothless tiger-not an excuse for
educational institutions to withhold essential
information that's necessary for students and
their parents to feel safe.
Whether school officials are doing enough to
maintain safety is manifestly the public's concern. Schools know, or certainly should know,
that they can say more than they're saying.
It's time for Congress to clarify the statute's
definition of "education records" to conform
with common sense. n
FRANK D. LoMONTE is an attorney and professor of
media law and director of the University of Florida's
Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, a thinktank on government transparency.
Yes, Betsy DeVos,
Our Schools Are Innovating
By Kirsten Baesler
arlier this month, I
commented on Twitter
about U.S. Secretary of
Education Betsy DeVos'
remarks at the Council
of Chief State School
Officers Legislative conference in Washington.
During her address there, she said that
states need to do more to innovate in
education. She further emphasized the
need to give local schools and communities the kind of flexibility and authority
they need to transform classrooms. She
stated that she didn't see this written
into states' plans under the Every
Student Succeeds Act.
What I fear the secretary may
have overlooked in her comments is the transformative
initiatives states like North
Dakota already have in
place-ones that cannot be
in a regulatory document
such as a templated ESSA
I've worked in education for
28 years, the last five of them
as the elected state superintendent of the North Dakota
Department of Public Instruction. My office has been involved in
helping education stakeholders across
the state put together our ESSA plan
and craft innovation legislation. Never
before have I heard more open and honest conversations about rethinking the
delivery of education than I have in the
last year, both in North Dakota and with
colleagues across the nation.
Consider this. I file my taxes each year.
It gives a sketch of how much money I
earn, but in reading my tax returns you
could never expect to learn about me, my
plans for the next year, or my priorities. I
would argue that each state's ESSA plan
works much the same way.
As I have engaged in national conversations with educators and policymakers, it is clear to me that state leaders
didn't intend for the plans to be an
overview of our states' vision for education or the sole way of communicating
the wide-ranging and robust work that
all education stakeholders are doing.
In my state's case, the ESSA plan is a
mechanism for North Dakota to tell the
U.S. Department of Education how we
plan to spend the nearly $141 million
in federal funding we receive each year.
(This amount represents 12.1 percent of
total spending in state and local dollars
to meet the needs of our students.) This
plan can help to leverage efforts toward
the state's vision, but it doesn't represent the vision entirely.
Last April, North Dakota passed legislation creating an innovative education
plan with bipartisan and cross-sector
support. In so doing, we enabled our
education communities across the state
to break free from burdensome rules
Senate Bill 2186 created a program
that allows public and private schools
greater control over practices, allowing
them to focus on personalized learning,
social-emotional skills, college-and-career
readiness, and the training for educators
to carry out this work. My office led a
team of legislators, teachers, administrators, parents, students, and business
leaders who crafted the bill.
Now, the law is helping students like
Elizabeth, a high school freshman in a
rural North Dakota district near Fargo
who didn't like school. Elizabeth's district
was one of several that were instrumental in the bill's passage, and, in turn, it
was ready to implement an entirely rede-
lings and I had joined a group of students
who were wearing black armbands to school.
We were mourning the dead in Vietnam and
supporting Senator Robert Kennedy's call
for a Christmas truce. For that, our school
administrators suspended five of us.
Like the Florida students, my strong emotions motivated me to take action. I saw children in Vietnam running from burning huts
and soldiers in body bags on the news each
night. A 7th grader in Ohio recently said to
me, "The news makes me so sad, but I don't
know what to do." I knew what she meant. I
felt that way, too.
My role models were the children of the
Civil Rights Movement. The Birmingham
Children's Crusade stood up to the KKK
in 1963. They were attacked by police dogs,
sprayed with heavy fire hoses, and hit with
batons by white policemen. Martin Luther
King Jr. called their action the "turning
point" of the civil rights movement. My parents, who put their faith into action for justice and peace, were also my role models.
I had no idea that our small action of wearing armbands would result in a federal lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties
Union, or that it would culminate in the
landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Tinker v.
Des Moines Independent Schools that would
decide in favor of certain student rights.
In the 1969 ruling, Justice Abe Fortas
wrote that neither "students or teachers
shed their constitutional rights to freedom
of speech or expression at the schoolhouse
gate." But, he argued, students would not be
protected by the First Amendment if they
"substantially disrupt" school or "impinge
upon on the rights of other students." The
meaning of these words in the court's deci-
fined education program for the 2017-18
school year. Elizabeth now has the
freedom to learn in a personalized way, at
her own pace, and to follow her passions.
More flexibility and personalized instruction has since given Elizabeth time in the
school day to explore meaningful career
opportunities in partnership with local
This story is not one that we could
illustrate in a federal ESSA application,
yet it is just one example of the first steps
in the remarkable movement to reinvent
education in North Dakota.
I believe that Secretary DeVos and I
agree on the direction that the delivery of
education needs to take. We must do better for young people. We must embrace
the challenge of innovation to meet the
needs of our individual students. I invite
Secretary DeVos to visit our North Dakota schools. I'm sure that other states,
which are undertaking similar multifaceted initiatives, would also welcome a
visit from her.
I would further encourage the secretary to engage in meaningful conversation with chief state school officers, teachers, administrators, students, parents,
and all of the other stakeholders that are
making this sort of innovation possible.
Secretary DeVos, once everyone has a
better understanding of the work that is
being done in states across the country,
I am confident we can work together to
make progress for all students. n
KIRSTEN BAESLER, a Republican elected in
2012, serves as the state superintendent of the
North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.
EDUCATION WEEK | March 21, 2018 | www.edweek.org | 23
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 21, 2018
Education Week - March 21, 2018
A Teachable Moment For 2nd Amendment
Student Walkout Taps Well of Anger, Sadness
Sick of Low Pay, More Teachers Prepare to Fight
News in Brief
N.D. Districts Can Substitute ACT For State Test
Study: Don’t Use ACT, SAT to Gauge School Achievement
Spreading Social-Emotional Learning Across All Schools
Educators and Finance Officers Team Up for Better Budgeting
Schools Struggle to Use Data To Get Better
Upcoming March Could Draw On Walkout’s Momentum
Walkout Takes Aim at Gun Violence
FACT SHEET: Students With Emotional Disabilities
Response to Shooting Begins to Take Shape
lorida Extends Private-School Vouchers to Bullied Students
Surprise W.Va. Teachers Strike Emboldens Activists Elsewhere
DeVos Still Challenged In Delivering Message
Shakeup in Office Overseeing Student Privacy Rights
MARY BETH TINKER: I Stand With the Students
FRANK LOMONTE: Student Privacy Laws Should Protect Students, Not School Officials
KIRSTEN BAESLER: Yes, Betsy DeVos, Our Schools Are Innovating
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
LAWRENCE BAINES & JIM MACHELL: The War on Teachers Comes to Oklahoma
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Sick of Low Pay, More Teachers Prepare to Fight
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - 2
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Contents
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - News in Brief
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Report Roundup
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - N.D. Districts Can Substitute ACT For State Test
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Study: Don’t Use ACT, SAT to Gauge School Achievement
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Spreading Social-Emotional Learning Across All Schools
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - 9
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Schools Struggle to Use Data To Get Better
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - 11
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Upcoming March Could Draw On Walkout’s Momentum
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Walkout Takes Aim at Gun Violence
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - FACT SHEET: Students With Emotional Disabilities
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - 15
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - 16
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - 17
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - lorida Extends Private-School Vouchers to Bullied Students
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Surprise W.Va. Teachers Strike Emboldens Activists Elsewhere
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Shakeup in Office Overseeing Student Privacy Rights
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - 21
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - FRANK LOMONTE: Student Privacy Laws Should Protect Students, Not School Officials
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - KIRSTEN BAESLER: Yes, Betsy DeVos, Our Schools Are Innovating
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - Letters
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - 25
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - 27
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - LAWRENCE BAINES & JIM MACHELL: The War on Teachers Comes to Oklahoma
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - CW1
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - CW2
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - CW3
Education Week - March 21, 2018 - CW4