Education Week - April 11, 2018 - 5
BLOG OF THE WEEK
Technology Giants, Startup Give Millions
For Devices, Training, and Supplies
Verizon Innovative Learning pledged more than
$200 million last week to furnish technology, teacher
training, and internet connectivity in K-12 schools.
With the new funding, Verizon plans to expand the
number of in-school programs from 100 to 200 by the
end of 2020.
Also last week, Amazon announced it would put
$50 million toward online Advanced Placement computer science courses, college scholarships, and student internships.
Only the week before, cryptocurrency startup Ripple
gave $29 million to finance every open education campaign on the crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose.
org-benefiting nearly 30,000 teachers and approximately 1 million students across the country.
The donation will fulfill teachers' requests for
books, lab equipment, art supplies, and more.
Founded in 2012, Ripple uses blockchain technology
to help banks and financial institutions make global
-SARAH SCHWARTZ & ALIX MAMMINA
Arizona Gov. Ducey Signs Law
Requiring Recess Time for Students
MARK SCHNEIDER, a vice president
and institute fellow at the American
Institutes for Research and College
Measures and a visiting scholar at
the American Enterprise Institute, has
been confirmed for a six-year term as
the director of the U.S. Department
of Education's Institute of Education
Sciences. From 2005 to 2008, he was
the commissioner of the National Center
for Education Statistics, making him the
first former top research official to return
to a new post in the agency.
When she was 9, Linda C. Brown
was denied admission to an
LINDA C. BROWN, whose name is
etched in history as part of the landmark
1954 U.S. Supreme Court case Brown
v. Board of Education of Topeka that
declared racial segregation of schools
unconstitutional, has died at age 75.
As a child, she walked about a mile
each day in Topeka, Kan., crossing train
tracks and bypassing the neighborhood
white school, just to catch a bus the rest
of the way to attend the all-black Monroe
School, about two miles from her home.
Her father, Oliver L. Brown, a railroad
worker and minister, became the lead
plaintiff among other African-Americans
in Topeka in a lawsuit challenging
"separate but equal" education in
That case was consolidated with
others before the U.S. Supreme Court,
for argument in 1952, leading to the
unanimous May 17, 1954, decision in
Brown that declared racial segregation
in schools to be a violation of the 14th
Amendment's equal-protection clause.
After his daughter was denied
admission to the all-white Sumner School
in 1950, despite registration notices stuck
on every door in their neighborhood,
Oliver Brown got in touch with the Topeka
chapter of the NAACP, which had been
gathering potential plaintiffs to challenge
the segregation policy, just as the other
challenges were forming elsewhere.
Vermont's education secretary,
Before joining the state agency, she
taught at the secondary and university
levels and served as a school principal.
Holcombe, who was appointed in 2014,
announced her departure four days
before leaving. She did not provide any
reasons for her resignation, though she
had been leading the thorny initiative
of driving the state's many districts to
merge with neighboring ones.
a former state schools chief in
Montana, has been selected as the
next superintendent of the Seattle
She was Montana's state
superintendent for eight years and
worked in the superintendent's office
beforehand. She was also a teacher.
Juneau was the first Native American
woman to win statewide office in
Montana and the state's first openly
gay candidate when she ran for
Congress in 2016.
KATHERINE BASSETT, the executive
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey last week signed a proposal that requires schools to expand recess for
young students, a measure that aims to give kids
more time for unstructured play.
The measure requires schools to provide an additional recess on top of the lunch period. The proposal
passed with wide bipartisan support.
The new requirements will apply to kindergarten
through 3rd grade this year, and 4th and 5th grades
next year. They cover regular district schools and
director and CEO of the National
Network of State Teachers of the Year,
has stepped down after five years.
Previously, she worked for the Center
for Educator Effectiveness at Pearson
and for the Educational Testing
Service. She was New Jersey's 2000
teacher of the year.
Eric Isselhardt, who was the
network's vice president and chief
operating officer, is now serving as its
president and acting CEO.
"The Language of the Classroom: Dual
Language Learners in Head Start, Public Pre-K,
and Private Preschool Programs"
"A Teacher Who Knows Me: The Academic
Benefits of Repeat Student-Teacher Matches"
With the nation's school-age population
becoming more linguistically and culturally
diverse, early-childhood educators should
do more to embrace the differences that the
nation's youngest English-learners bring to
the classroom, a new report from the Migration Policy Institute concludes.
The report recommends that districts:
cultivate strategies to help teachers support English and home-language development; collect detailed information regarding families' linguistic and cultural
backgrounds; and create policies that
explicitly support the inclusion of home
the face of plummeting student enrollment.
The move would leave Puerto Rico with 828 public schools in a system that currently serves 319,000
students. Secretary of Education Julia Keleher said
the closures will help the system better serve more
students, given the island's difficult financial situation. However, Aida Díaz, the president of the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, the island's main
teachers' union that serves nearly 30,000 active
teachers, said the move would damage more than
just the educational system: "We're going to have
communities that are not going to have any schools."
Also last week, the union filed the suit in response
to a new education law signed by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló late last month that allows charter schools
and vouchers on the island, the Associated Press
Elementary students matched with the
same teacher two years in a row show improvement in test scores, finds a new study in
the journal Economics of Education Review.
The study finds "looping," in which an entire
class moves to the next grade with the same
teacher, results in a small but statistically
significant increase in student achievement.
Even students assigned to a teacher for the
first time experience gains when a large number of their classmates are with that teacher
for a second school year.
The benefits of repeated student-teacher
matches were greatest for students of
color, the study found. Spending a second
year with students appeared to benefit
teachers too, in particular those deemed
"Student Access to Digital Learning Resources
Outside the Classroom"
Home access to digital resources is widespread, but inequities persist based on race,
income, family education level, and geography,
concludes a long-awaited report from the U.S.
Department of Education.
The report, by a team from the American
Institutes for Research, finds as of 2015, 94
percent of U.S. children between the ages of
3-18 had a computer at home. That figure
was up from 85 percent in 2010. It was also
higher for older children and kids whose
parents have more education or income.
In 1979, with her own children enrolled
in Topeka's public schools, Linda Brown
joined other plaintiffs in an effort to reopen
the historic desegregation case. It went on
for years as a federal appeals court called
for further remedies to address lingering
racial imbalances in student enrollment.
The Supreme Court declined to disturb the
appeals court's decision in 1993.
On the 50th anniversary of the Brown
decision, in 2004, President George W. Bush
dedicated the reopening of the Monroe
School as a national historic site. The
Brown Foundation for Educational Equity,
Excellence, and Research, founded by Linda
Brown's sister, had spearheaded the effort
to preserve the building and secure the
funding to turn it into a museum about the
cases and the civil rights era.
During a talk at the Chautauqua
Institution in New York in 2004, Brown
said she inherited much of the attention
surrounding the case following her
father's death in 1961.
The Brown case "might have been a little
flame," she said. "But it served to set off a