Education Week - April 1, 2015 - (Page 5)
REPORT ROUNDUP www.edweek.org/go/rr
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.
Ed. Dept. Pledges Focus
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
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.
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.
"A National Look at the High School Counseling
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
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,
-CARALEE J. ADAMS
"Father's Language Input During Shared Book
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
in the 1980s, has
died. She was 79.
from 1981 to 1988,
during a period
of relative stability for the
district's schools. Her tenure
was one of the longest in the
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
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
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.
"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
The report lists proposed changes in five
areas: finance; student identification and reclassification;
educator quality; prekindergarten
-DENISA R. SUPERVILLE
"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"
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160
Total daily minutes spent on homework
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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
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.
EDUCATION WEEK | April 1, 2015 | www.edweek.org | 5
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
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