Education Week - April 11, 2018 - 1
VOL. 37, NO. 26 * APRIL 11, 2018
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2018 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
Midterm Elections Approach
In Midst of Teacher Activism
Matt Roth for Education Week
By Daarel Burnette II
George Roberts was principal at Perry Hall High School near Baltimore in 2012 when a student shot a classmate. The injured student returned to add his
handprint-shown in white-to a "LOVE" mural in the cafeteria. The other handprints are from students who were in the cafeteria during the shooting.
After a Shooting, What Should Principals Do?
By Denisa R. Superville
They share an unfortunate bond-the principals and superintendents of schools and districts where unexpected gunfire shattered their
peace and where the names of their schools and
communities came to symbolize tragedy.
Columbine. Sandy Hook. And now Parkland.
For school and district leaders in charge
when the unthinkable happens, there is no
playbook on how to pick up the pieces after the
crime scene has been sanitized.
How do you balance attending funerals and
consoling students, staff, and parents with trying to reopen a school building?
How do you motivate your staff to return to
class when they are grieving their students and
What steps do you take to set up long-term
counseling and plan permanent memorials for
the victims? How do you handle the blame that
may come from angry, grieving family members?
Do you jump into the political fray in the inevitable debates that follow over gun control
and school safety?
And once you've plowed through those immediate needs, how do you manage a recovery
process that will likely span years?
"People always want to know 'when does it
get back to normal?' " said Frank DeAngelis,
who was the principal at Columbine High
School in Littleton, Colo., in 1999 when two
students gunned down 13 classmates and staff
members. "And, unfortunately, it does not. You
really have to redefine what normal is."
Nearly two decades since the Columbine
tragedy became an indelible touchstone for
Already outnumbered in state-level
offices, embattled Democrats nationwide are hoping to turn momentum
from recent teacher activism into political gains this fall, when 36 governors
and three-fourths of state legislative
seats are up for grabs.
In states such as North Carolina, Texas,
and Wisconsin, Democrats have framed
themselves in political ads and candidate
talking points as the party that will rescue financially struggling public schools
from the grip of fiscally conservative Republicans, who fully control more than
half the nation's statehouses.
As if U.S. Secretary of Education
Betsy DeVos' relentless championing
of charter schools and vouchers weren't
enough, millions of Americans have been
bombarded by the sounds and images of
striking teachers and educators rallying
in Arizona, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, articulating the harm of real-life
classroom cuts they attribute to Republican leadership.
Democrats are hoping it will resonate
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School With Help
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By Catherine Gewertz
By Mark Walsh
MLK: Watering Down the Legacy?
By Stephen Sawchuk
Whenever U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer is asked about his father, he
typically slips the Omega watch from his left
forearm and shows off the inscription.
"Irving G. Breyer-Legal Advisor-SFUSD-
1933-1973-From Your Friends."
The elder Breyer was legal counsel to the
San Francisco Unified School District for
those 40 years, serving from the depths of the
Great Depression until the era when the city's
school system grappled with desegregation.
"He loved the job," Justice Breyer said in a
rare interview that offered insight into his
family history and into a little-known, but
influential, facet of local school administration. "He started in the city attorney's office.
He went over [to the school board] for [what
When the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial debuted on the National Mall in the District of Columbia, it was beset by a controversy: a quote from
King inscribed on one side had been edited and
taken out of context.
As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of
King's death, the incident is a good metaphor for
how his life and legacy are often taught in public
schools: truncated and tidied up.
King's beliefs were contested within his own
circle, he was hounded by the U.S. government for
his activism, and after his death, his legacy was
far from assured. It was not until later in the 20th
century that he became the face of the civil rights
movement-eclipsing all others except perhaps
By the time he was murdered on April 4, 1968,
King had become both more impatient and more
broadly focused on poverty and social conditions
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A High Court Justice's
School Law Heritage
Martin Luther King Jr. waves to the crowd at
the Lincoln Memorial for his 1963 "I Have a
For schools nationwide, it's a frustrating and elusive question: How can
we help students find a passion that
lights up their high school years and
guides them into a career? A school in
Minnesota thinks it might have found
It goes something like this: Stop assuming all students should go to fouryear colleges. Reorganize your curriculum offerings so teenagers can see
clearly how they connect to careers. And
partner with 200 businesses-far more
than most schools-to infuse real-world
work into students' learning.
The reorganization has changed
Burnsville High School from a place
where the bachelor's degree shaped everyone's thinking to a campus focused
on helping all students find a career
field that excites them, whether it leads
to a four-year degree or not.
The approach is less than two years
old. But the school's leaders are betPAGE 12 >