Education Week - March 22, 2017 - 1
VOL. 36, NO. 25 * MARCH 22, 2017
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2017 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
HIDDEN INEQUITIES An Education Week Analysis
The Hard Work
Of Making School
One School's Journey to Address
Racial and Income Disparities
By Catherine Gewertz
Wheaton North High
School students stream
through the commons
area during lunchtime
earlier this month.
Parents See Benefits
In Spec. Ed. Vouchers
But No Silver Bullet
By Christina A. Samuels
While the senators were lecturing, Tera
Myers was fuming.
Myers, the mother of an adult son with
Down syndrome, had traveled to Washington
to support Betsy DeVos, then the nominee for
U.S. secretary of education, during her confirmation hearing. DeVos, a staunch supporter
of school choice programs such as vouchers,
faced pointed questioning from skeptical
lawmakers at the January hearing. Several
of them said that such options leave students
with disabilities behind.
Myers, who lives in Mansfield, Ohio, said
she felt the questions were deeply unfair. Not
only had a voucher program helped Myers
provide the best education for her son, she
said, but the choice options had pushed
school districts in her area to improve their
offerings as well.
"No one, from my perspective, is saying, 'I
don't like public school,' " Myers said. "I believe, just from my experience, the competition has created better public schools and
better private schools."
But in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Lynn Ambert
watched the same hearing live on C-SPAN
Trump Education Dept. Has Yet to Hit the Gas
to staff up,
By Alyson Klein
Under the past two presidents, the
U.S. Department of Education was a
mighty-and mighty well-funded-
agency. But all signs point to its
being much sleepier under President Donald Trump.
For one thing, the department's
bottom line may be about to plummet. Trump has proposed a 13 percent cut in funding for the agency,
to $59 billion for the coming fis-
cal year. That could mean serious
reductions to the department's
current workforce of about 4,000
employees. (See article, Page 17.)
The Trump administration also
has been slow to hire a support
team-even though the department
is about to face the mammoth task
of reviewing dozens of state plans to
implement the new Every Student
Succeeds Act. Those plans are due
to start rolling in the beginning of
Some educators and advocates-
and even a few career staffers working inside the agency-say that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos'
priorities remain hazy, beyond a
push for school choice.
The picture is a sharp contrast
to the early days of the George W.
Bush and Barack Obama administrations. Under Obama in 2009,
Secretary Arne Duncan and his
team were burning the midnight oil
Cybersecurity Skills in Demand
By Benjamin Herold
Amid a steady drumbeat of reports on
cyber-espionage and election-related hackings, lawmakers are wrestling with questions of how to best protect the country
from digital threats and address a severe
shortage of skilled cybersecurity workers.
That means new attention for nascent
efforts to support cybersecurity education, including in K-12 schools. The National Governors Association, eight dif-
ferent federal agencies, and a national
commission established by President
Barack Obama are among those supporting a wide assortment of cybersecurity-related education and workforcedevelopment initiatives.
The administration of President Donald Trump has also been working on its
own cybersecurity executive order, an
early version of which would have mandated a sweeping review of the country's
Douglas Collier for Education Week
Alyssa Schukar for Education Week
When the bell rings at Wheaton North High School, a
river of white students flows into Advanced Placement
classrooms. A trickle of brown and black students joins
them. But mostly, the Latino, African-American, and
Asian teenagers file into lower-rung classes.
In this way, Wheaton North is like thousands of
other high schools across the country, replicating
along its polished hallways the inequities that mark
the daily lives of minority and low-income students
beyond the school's big glass doors. Studies show, in
fact, that achievement gaps within schools can be
greater than those from school to school.
And, like many schools nationwide, Wheaton North
is trying hard to rewire the machinery that perpetuates those inequities. It's making progress, but entrenched patterns persist.
"We're trying to make this school work for everybody," said Matt Biscan, who's in his third year as
principal at Wheaton North. "What that means, ex-
Jennifer Langston, a freshman at Plain Dealing High School
in Plain Dealing, La., is learning engineering and computer
programming skills in a cyber-literacy class.