Education Week - March 30, 2016 - (Page 5)
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER
Weapons Said to Be on Rise
In N.Y.C. District Schools
A group that supports charter
schools says the number of weapons
confiscated in the New York City
school system rose sharply last year.
The report this month by Families For Excellent Schools says the
biggest increase in weapons seized
was in the number of Tasers and
stun guns, from four in the 2013-14
school year to 62 in 2014-15. Its data
are based on police records that the
group says it obtained through a
A spokeswoman for the city's
education department said there is
"zero tolerance for any weapons in
CEO Bestows Salary
On Education Aid
The president and CEO of a shipbuilding company says he will forgo
his base salary and use the money
to launch an educational assistance
fund for employees' children.
Mike Petters, the chief executive
of Huntington Ingalls Industries,
said in a news release last week
that the fund will go toward earlychildhood-education assistance and
college scholarships. The Washington-based company says the education fund will be operated by an
independent third party.
Peters earned a base salary of
$950,000 last year. His total compensation last year topped $8 million. He will continue to receive
as a percentage of his 2015 salary
Teacher Fined for Showing
Video of Beheading
A New York City middle school
teacher has been fined $300 for
showing students a video of an
Islamic State beheading.
The New York Post reports that
Alexiss Nazario, a veteran teacher
earning $105,000 a year, showed the
video to 8th graders at the South
Bronx Academy for Applied Media
during the 2014-15 school year.
Students told investigators probing the incident that the video
blacked out the actual beheading
but showed the victim's severed
head afterward. The students said
they were scared by the video.
City education department officials sought to fire Nazario, but
an arbitrator ruled in favor of the
lighter penalty of a $300 fine. Nazario, who now works as a roving
substitute teacher, told the newspaper she accidentally played the
Take Root in Schools
"Influence of Relative Age on Diagnosis and
Treatment of Attention-Deficit Disorder in
A highly publicized study in Taiwan has renewed interest in the idea that a child's immaturity, relative to peers', may be driving some diagnoses of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The study, published this month in the Journal of Pediatrics, looked at more than 378,000
children ages 4 to 17, between 1997 and 2011.
Researchers found that 4.5 percent of boys
born in August-just before the Aug. 31 birthdate cutoff for school entry-were diagnosed
with ADHD, a disorder linked to inattention,
impulsive behavior, and excessive activity,
and 3.3 percent were taking medication for
it. In contrast, among boys born in September-the children who would be the oldest
of their grade-level peers-2.8 percent were
diagnosed with ADHD, and 1.9 percent were
Among girls, the same pattern held, but the
overall rates of diagnosis were much lower.
The study found that 1.2 percent of Augustborn girls were diagnosed with ADHD versus
0.7 percent of September-born girls. As the researchers examined births through the year, they
found the closer that children were to the school
enrollment cutoff age, the more likely they were
to be diagnosed with ADHD. -CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS
The number of schools participating in
farm-to-school programs and activities is
on the rise, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports.
Forty-two percent of the 12,585 districts that responded to a national survey
the agency fielded in 2015 said that their
schools took part in such activities during
the 2013-14 school year, the USDA reported
this month. The surveyed districts reported
investing $789 million on locally purchased
food that year. That's a 105 percent increase
from the 2011-12 school year, when the
agency began its census.
And it looks like the growth of the program
will continue. Nearly half of districts said
they plan to increase local buying in coming
years, and 16 percent said they plan to start
farm-to-school activites in the future.
The 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids
Act, which sets rules for school meals, created the USDA's farm-to-school program to
help encourage healthy eating habits for
students and to encourage innovation and
cooperation in local food purchasing.
While serving local foods is the most common farm-to-school activity by far, schools
also report: conducting field trips to local
farms and coordinating with farmers on
classroom activities; using "taste testing"
and other forms of student input to encourage eating fresh produce; and adopting "smarter lunchroom" strategies that
encourage healthy eating by changing the
way school meals are offered and displayed.
Through the farm-to-school program, districts can apply for grants and share strategies to support the purchase of local foods,
but it's up to them to decide what "local"
TOP FIVE MOST-COMMON FARM-TO-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
Percent of school districts participating in activities
Serving locally produced foods in the cafeteria
Promoting locally produced foods at school
"Providing a Head Start: Improving Access to
Early-Childhood Education for Refugee Children"
The number of newly arrived refugee children
enrolled in early-childhood-education programs
surged in two cities where Head Start officials
and resettlement agencies worked together to
help families adjust to their new communities.
A report from the Migration Policy Institute
explores how efforts in Syracuse, N.Y., and
Phoenix helped early-childhood-education providers respond to the cultural and language
needs of refugee children and families.
The Syracuse and Phoenix collaborations
yielded larger than expected gains. From 2008 to
2013, refugee enrollment in Syracuse Head Start
and Early Head Start programs increased 500
percent and in Phoenix, it doubled.
Both sites are home to refugees from the major
populations that resettled in the United States
in 2011-12, primarily Burmese Karen and Chin,
Bhutanese, Somali, and Iraqi. The enrollment
spikes occurred even though overall refugee
arrivals in the cities declined during that time.
The report offers suggestions for boosting the
school readiness of refugee children, including
providing information on child care and education services as part of the U.S. Department of
State-funded overseas cultural orientation for
Holding taste testings/demos of locally produced foods
Conducting student field trips to farms or orchards
Using smarter lunchroom strategies to
encourage consumption of local foods
the National Association of Charter School
Authorizers. They based their conclusions
on anecdotes from news stories and interviews
with authorizers, policymakers, and state charter school associations across the country.
Among the report's recommendations for
ending the practice are: requiring "higher authorities," such as state boards of education or
state education agencies, to approve authorizer
switches; setting a minimum performance level
that charter schools must meet before they can
transfer; and barring authorizers from collecting fees for authorizing low-performing schools.
"Authorizer Shopping: Lessons From Experience
and Ideas for the Future"
"Authorizer shopping" is a growing threat
to charter school quality, according to a report from a national advocacy and research
Authorizers are the groups that enter into
a contract with a charter operator allowing a
school to open. They are also responsible for
shutting down failing charters. Authorizer
shopping takes place when a charter school
switches authorizers either to avoid being
closed or to reopen after being shuttered by
their original authorizer.
It's hard to pin down exactly how big an
issue authorizer shopping is, write the authors
of the report prepared by Public Impact for
newly implemented standards, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Most authorizers in Illinois are
school districts. But the commission,
unlike districts, has the power to
grant charters to schools anywhere
in the state, and it can also grant
appeals to charter applications or
renewals that have been turned
down by other authorizers.
"California Standards Implementation: WestEd
California teachers and administrators
agree that the Common Core State Standards are more rigorous than old standards, are more relevant to students' lives,
and will better prepare them for college
and careers, but they are split on how well
implementation has gone in the Golden
State, says a new survey by WestEd, a San
Francisco-based research and consulting
While more than 70 percent of district
leaders deemed their progress as either
"good" or "excellent," teachers see room for
improvement and have a wish list for moving forward.
One caveat: The study only cites survey re-
sults that are consistent with findings from
either more in-depth interviews or other research. That's because the survey's response
rate was too low for it to be statistically sound.
Less than 30 percent of the 835 California
superintendents who received the survey completed it. That figure dropped to 23 percent
for the 7,000 teachers contacted, and around
20 percent of 7,375 principals. -EMMANUEL FELTON
"Peer-Led Team Learning Helps Minority
Focusing the responsibility for learning on students can be more effective than
traditional lectures in improving student
achievement in STEM-science, technology,
engineering, and math-courses, especially
for underrepresented minority students, says
a study of college students published in the
journal PLOS Biology.
Syracuse University researchers studied
the use of peer-led team learning, an activelearning method that emphasizes smallgroup interactions among students, in a university introductory-biology course. Students
to work in groups of six to eight that are led by
a student "peer leader" who passed the course
the previous year.
Students performed significantly better if
they engaged in the peer-led intervention.
Reductions in failure rates were dramatic
for underrepresented minority students.
EDUCATION WEEK | March 30, 2016 | www.edweek.org | 5
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - March 30, 2016
Education Week - March 30, 2016
State Boards Feel New Need To Flex Muscles
Distress Call Issued On K-12 Facilities
Can ‘Micro-Credentialing’ Salvage Teacher PD?
Sanders Gets Educators’ Attention Despite Limited Specifics on K-12
Table of Contents
DAVID GAMBERG: What Makes a School?
News in Brief
Common Core: Is Its Achievement Impact Starting To Dissipate?
ACT’s New 10th Grade Test Provides Competition for PSAT
N.C. Law Restricts Transgender Student Restroom Access
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Group Probes Ed-Tech Pricing, Buying
Home Schooling Gains Popularity With Military Families
Blogs of the Week
‘Teach to Lead’ Projects Face Uphill Climb at State Level
Hearing Weighs Student-Data Privacy Concerns
High Court Weighing Birth-Control Mandate
ESSA Rule Negotiators Grapple With Issues of Flexibility, Equity
ROBERT EVANS: Principals, Get Your Irish On
PATRICK O’CONNOR: Why Good Teachers Don’t Have to ‘Like’ Teaching
JONATHAN ECKERT: Finding Joy in Teaching
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - March 30, 2016