Education Week - April 1, 2015 - (Page 5)

REPORT ROUNDUP education version of the meetings will usually be at schools and will include the equivalent of "doctors' rounds," followed by analysis. In so-called CompStat meetings, police department bosses grill commanders when crime rises, meticulously track trends, map trouble spots, and demand to know how the precinct leaders will respond. The precise statistics to be tracked in the schools' version of CompStat have not yet been determined. -McCLATCHY-TRIBUNE Ed. Dept. Pledges Focus On Language-Learners The U.S. Department of Education says it is developing a strategy to elevate the national focus on English-language learners, the nation's fastest-growing student population. The plan, which touches on topics ranging from parent engagement to teacher preparation, is a "framing guideline for how we want to think about English-learners across different levels of the organization," said Libia Gil, the head of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition. -COREY MITCHELL CORRECTION An article on dwindling library services in New York City public schools in the March 18, 2015, issue of Education Week incorrectly named the high school headed by Principal Julia K. Chun. It is New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math and Science. GUIDANCE COUNSELORS "A National Look at the High School Counseling Office" A new report confirms that school counselors are critical to helping students transition from high school to college and career, yet often aren't allowed enough time to fulfill that role. Researchers for the National Association for College Admission Counseling reviewed data from 2009 to 2012 to examine the practices, priorities, and effectiveness of high school counseling departments. Just over half of principals surveyed (55 percent) said the top priority for school counselors is "helping students prepare for postsecondary schooling." Yet 54 percent of counselors report that their department spent less than 20 percent of its time on college readiness, selection, and applications. Fewer than two-fifths of schools have a counselor whose primary job is advising on college applications or selection. Researchers said 63 percent of high school juniors and 51 percent of their parents met with a school counselor to discuss options after high school. Another 13 percent of students and 15 percent of parents consulted with a private, hired counselor. -CARALEE J. ADAMS EARLY YEARS "Father's Language Input During Shared Book Activities" How much fathers talk to young children has a direct positive effect on their kindergarten performance, according to a study by researchers in the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology in January, concluded that more-talkative dads are a benefit to their children. Previous research has shown that the size of a mother's vocabulary and frequency of communication affect her child's vocabulary and preliteracy skills. This is one of the first studies to look specifically at fathers' verbal interactions with their children. | OBITUARY | Floretta D. McKenzie, a longtime educator who served as the District of Columbia's schools superintendent in the 1980s, has died. She was 79. Ms. McKenzie served as superintendent from 1981 to 1988, during a period of relative stability for the district's schools. Her tenure was one of the longest in the district. She stepped down in 1988 to start the McKenzie Group, a consulting firm focused on urban education. It was later acquired by the American Institutes of Research. Before taking the top schools job in the nation's capital, Ms. McKenzie worked as a deputy superintendent in Maryland's Montgomery County school district and was a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education. Early in her career, she worked as a teacher in Baltimore. The study looked at mostly poor, rural families and was able to isolate the effect of fathers' spoken language to show that it made a difference above and beyond language heard from mothers. -LILLIAN MONGEAU ELL STUDENTS "State Level English-Language-Learner Policies" A report from the Education Commission of the States offers policy recommendations that it says states and the federal government can adopt to improve the academic performance of English-language learners. The report lists proposed changes in five areas: finance; student identification and reclassification; educator quality; prekindergarten OPTIMUM AMOUNTS 540 520 500 480 460 440 420 -DENISA R. SUPERVILLE STUDENT SUSPENSIONS "Discipline Practices in Chicago Schools" Chicago's public schools have decreased suspension rates and improved teacher and student perceptions of school safety at the same time, according to a report. Released by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research last month, the report examines suspension and arrest rates for the city's public school students from the 200809 school year to the 2013-14 school year. Over those six years, the rate of out-of-school suspensions decreased from 23 percent of enrollment to 16 percent in high schools and from about 14 percent to 10 percent in middle schools, TIME ON HOMEWORK "Adolescents' Homework Performance in Mathematics and Science" Mathematics Science 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 Total daily minutes spent on homework SOURCE: The optimal amount of homework for 13-year-old students is about an hour a day, a study from Spain published last month in the Journal of Educational Psychology suggests. And spending too much time on homework, it found, is linked to a decrease in academic performance. Researchers from the University of Oviedo surveyed 7,725 Spanish secondary school students on their homework habits. The students also took a test with Charters Led to Marketing Push in New Orleans "How Do School Leaders Respond to Competition? Evidence From New Orleans" In New Orleans, where charter schools have become the norm and compete against each other for student enrollment, school leaders' perceptions of, and reactions to, growing competition differed based on where they were in the marketplace hierarchy, a new study finds. Researcher Huriya Jabbar based her study on 72 interviews with district and charter school officials and principals from 30 randomly selected New Orleans schools. She found that leaders of high-status schools- those which have high student achievement and are often viewed as competition by other schools-were more likely to respond to competition by developing niche programs, instituting operational changes like increased fundraising or expansion into pre-K education, and using more selective or exclusionary practices regarding enrollment. Leaders of lower-status schools, which were facing more pressure to compete, employed more strategies to promote their schools, including improving academics, providing a wider range of extracurricular activities, and gathering marketing information. Ms. Jabbar said the most important finding of the study was that two-thirds of the leaders reported not implementing substantial academic or operational changes aimed services; and parent and family engagement. The commission compiled the report with input from some of the nation's leading languagelearner experts and advocates. It encourages states to dedicate funds to track the academic progress of former English-learners and prohibit schools and districts from diverting ell funding into general budgets. It also advises against relying solely on Title III, the provision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that sets aside money for English-language acquisition, to pay for the education of ells. -COREY MITCHELL at improving their schools in order to increase their competitiveness. Rather, 25 of the 30 schools promoted existing programs and assets through marketing ventures such as advertising or recruitment fairs. The study determined that changes such as marketing to and screening students were inefficient and unfair. New Orleans served as an ideal site to conduct the study, according to Ms. Jabbar. In 2005, as the school system was rebuilt following the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, the majority of New Orleans schools came under the control of the Recovery School District, a state-run effort to improve underperforming schools. Since then, all rsd-operated schools have become charter schools. Charter school proponents, however, called the study outdated, noting that changes to the city's school application process have made it harder for school leaders to "game" the system. Ms. Jabbar is an assistant professor of educational policy at the University of Texas at Austin and a research associate at the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, the Tulane University-based research organization that produced the report. The study is the second in a series of reports on New Orleans schools from the alliance. -JACOB BELL For more on this research, go to though the entire middle school decline came in the final study year. But the report also found gender, racial, and ethnic disparities in suspension rates among students. Over six years, the number of in-school suspensions doubled for African-American high school students, but held steady for students of other races and ethnicities. -JACOB BELL SCHOOL SPORTS "Athletic Training Services in Public Secondary Schools: A Benchmark Study" Over the past two decades, high school student-athletes' access to athletic trainers has doubled, according to a study published online in the Journal of Athletic Training last month. The authors surveyed all 14,951 public high schools across the nation from September 2011 through December 2013 to gauge their access to athletic trainers. Of the 8,500 schools that responded, 5,930 (70 percent) reported having athletic-training services, and 86 percent of all student-athletes-roughly 2.4 million out of 2.8 million-had access to athletic trainers. Thirty-seven percent of high schools nationwide (3,145) had full-time athletic trainers on staff, while 31 percent had part-time trainers, and 2 percent had per diem trainers. -BRYAN TOPOREK 24 math and 24 science questions. Students who did homework more frequently-i.e., every day-tended to do better on the test than those who did homework less frequently. And students who did their homework on their own performed better than those who had help. (The study controlled for factors such as gender and socioeconomic status.) Although those who spent about 90 to 100 minutes a day on homework scored highest on the assessment, they didn't outperform their peers who spent less time by very much. And students who did more than 90 to 100 minutes of homework posted lower scores. -LIANA HEITIN EDUCATION WEEK | April 1, 2015 | | 5 Test Score

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - April 1, 2015

K-12 Law’s Legacy Blend of Idealism, Policy Tensions
Testing Security Prompts Scrutiny Of Social Media
Virtual Spec. Ed. Is Evolving Option
Turnover at Top Can Leave Funders Wary
Education Week - April 1, 2015
News in Brief
Report Roundup
New Studies Affirm Impact of Board-Certified Teachers
Blogs of the Week
Honored Educator Decries Current Climate for Teaching
‘Opt-Out’ Push Sparks Queries For Guidance
Texas Lawmakers Wrangle A Herd of Education Measures
A View From the Top As the Policy Clock Ticks
Blogs of the Week
TYRONE HOWARD: Decriminalizing School Discipline: Why Black Males Matter
THE ESEA AT 50: Perspectives From the Archives
REBECCA GIVENS ROLLAND: The Ticking Clock of American Education
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
MARILYN BURNS: What Reading Instruction Can Teach Us About Math Instruction

Education Week - April 1, 2015