Education Week - April 19, 2017 - 4
NEWS IN BRIEF
N.Y. Becomes First State to Offer
Free Tuition to Four-Year Colleges
Chester Higgins Jr./New York Times-File
New York has become the first state to make tuition free at public four-year colleges and universities.
Many other states are working to make community
college free, or have already done so.
The Excelsior Scholarship will allow students from
families earning less than $125,000 per year to attend all two- or four-year institutions in the City
University of New York and State University of New
York systems tuition-free. Students must attend college full time and maintain grades good enough to
pass their courses.
One provision of the plan is coming in for sharp
criticism, according to Inside Higher Ed. It requires students to live and work in New York state
for as many years as they received free tuition. If
they don't, they'll be required to pay off the tuition
amount as if it were a loan.
New Federal Law Could Affect
Students' Internet Privacy
President Donald Trump has signed into law a
measure that critics say clears a path for internetservice providers to share and sell customers' webbrowsing histories and other personal data, a decision that could have ramifications for student privacy.
The legislation nixes rules approved by the Federal
Communications Commission that set privacy restrictions on data the telecoms collect on customers.
Those rules had not yet taken effect.
Just how and whether student information could
be gathered and sold depends on such factors as the
language of individual K-12 contracts with schools
and districts, experts say. Another factor is whether
students log in through the school or their own, separate connection.
Connecticut, New Mexico Relax Use
Of Test Scores in Teacher Reviews
Connecticut's state school board voted last week to
prohibit the use of students' standardized-test scores
in evaluating a teacher's job performance.
On the state's teacher evaluations, student growth,
measured by teacher-designed tests, portfolios, and
other assessments, counts for 45 percent. Starting
this spring, the policy would have made half of that-
22.5 percent-dependent on student scores from the
Smarter Balanced assessment.
Meanwhile, New Mexico plans to reduce the
amount of weight it assigns to student scores for
teacher evaluations from 50 percent to 35 percent.
Graduates of P.S. 121 in
New York City surround
adviser, and philanthropist
EUGENE M. LANG in
October 1985. Lang's
impulsive promise to an East
Harlem 6th grade class that
he would help pay for their
college education inspired a
foundation, led to support for
more than 16,000 children
nationwide, and made
him into something of an
American folk hero. He died
April 8, at the age of 98.
having a black
teacher in grades
3 to 5.
SOURCE: Greg Stanley/
Johns Hopkins University
Ruling in the case of an Indiana community college
instructor, a federal appeals court has held that employment bias based on sexual orientation is covered
by Title VII's prohibition against sex discrimination.
The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
ruled 8-3 to revive a suit filed by Kimberly Hively, a
lesbian and a part-time adjunct instructor at Ivy Tech
Community College. She alleges that the college refused to hire her for six full-time posts she sought over
five years because of her sexual orientation.
Ivy Tech claimed that the protection against workplace sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 does not cover sexual orientation. But in its
April 4 decision, the court ruled that sexual orientation
was covered by the federal civil rights law, making it
the first federal appeals court to so rule.
Evers Wins Re-Election
As Wisconsin Schools Chief
Superintendent Tony Evers easily won a third term
as Wisconsin's top education official over an underfunded conservative opponent dogged by questions
-BRENDA IASEVOLI & EMMANUEL FELTON
U.S. Court Rules Title VII Covers
Sexual Orientation in Workplace
over whether he broke state law by using a public
school account to send campaign-related emails.
The win keeps Evers in place as the only Democratic-backed statewide official in a meaningful office. Even though the race is officially nonpartisan,
Evers had strong support from Democrats along
with state and national teachers' unions who favored
his positions in support of increased funding for public schools and opposition to private school vouchers.
While Evers pledged to stand up for what he
called progressive issues, such as keeping guns out
of classrooms and supporting transgender rights, he
said his wide election win showed that Republicans
also supported him.
Transgender Supporters Survive
Ballot-Box Challenge in Illinois
School board candidates who supported a plan to
let a transgender student use the girls' locker room
at a suburban Chicago school have survived an election challenge.
This month's contest focused on Palatine's Township High School District 211's practice allowing the
student, who has lived as a girl since middle school,
to use the girls' locker rooms with the understand-
of dropping out
of high school
4 | EDUCATION WEEK | April 19, 2017 | www.edweek.org
"The Long-Run Impacts of Same-Race Teachers"
If a low-income black student has just one black teacher in elementary school, that student is significantly more likely to graduate from high school and consider attending college, a new Johns
Hopkins University study finds.
A low-income black student's probability of dropping out of school
is reduced by 29 percent if he or she has one black teacher in 3rd,
4th, or 5th grades, finds the study published in March by the Institute of Labor Economics. That student is also 18 percent more
likely to express interest in college. The effect was stronger for black
boys from low-income homes: Their likelihood of dropping out of
school falls by 39 percent if they have one black teacher, and they
are 29 percent more likely to consider college.
Those results come from a longitudinal study that tracked
100,000 black students who entered 3rd grade in North Carolina public schools between 2001 and 2005 all the way up
through 12th grade. Only 7 percent of public school teachers
are black. Research has found that black teachers are less likely
to suspend, expel, or give detention to black students, who are
"A Quarter Century of Changes in the
Elementary and Secondary Teaching Force:
From 1987 to 2012"
In the past 25 years, the American teaching force has grown significantly, becoming
less experienced but more diverse, a new
analysis by the National Center on Education Statistics finds.
Based on data from the federal Schools
and Staffing Survey, researchers found the
teaching pool grew by 46 percent, twice the
rate of student enrollment, from 1987 to
2012. The teaching force in high-poverty
schools more than tripled during that
The average teacher had five years of experience in 2012, down from 15 years in 1988.
While teachers from racial minority groups
are still underrepresented overall, they made
up 17.3 percent of teachers in 2011-12, up
from 12.4 percent in 1987-88. -SARAH D. SPARKS