Education Week - March 30, 2016 - (Page 5)

REPORT ROUNDUP 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 freedom-of-information request. A spokeswoman for the city's education department said there is "zero tolerance for any weapons in schools." -AP 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 performance-based compensation as a percentage of his 2015 salary this year. -AP 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 wrong video. -AP Farm-to-School Efforts Take Root in Schools "Influence of Relative Age on Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention-Deficit Disorder in Taiwanese Children" "Farm-to-School Census" 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 taking medication. 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" means. -EVIE BLAD TOP FIVE MOST-COMMON FARM-TO-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES Percent of school districts participating in activities Serving locally produced foods in the cafeteria 77% Promoting locally produced foods at school REFUGEE CHILDREN 37% "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 U.S.-bound refugees..- -COREY MITCHELL Holding taste testings/demos of locally produced foods 33% Conducting student field trips to farms or orchards 31% Using smarter lunchroom strategies to encourage consumption of local foods 31% 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.  -ARIANNA PROTHERO COMMON CORE CHARTER 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 organization. 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 Getty 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.  -ARIANNA PROTHERO "California Standards Implementation: WestEd Insights" 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 nonprofit. 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 SCIENCE LEARNING "Peer-Led Team Learning Helps Minority Students Succeed" 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.  -ROSS BRENNEMAN EDUCATION WEEK | March 30, 2016 | | 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
Report Roundup
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