Education Week - April 19, 2017 - 5
Readers React: News
ing she would use a private changing station that
other students also can access, as well as the girls'
restrooms. The policy followed a 2013 federal complaint, packed board meetings, and intervention from
former President Barack Obama's administration.
Opposition to its practice re-emerged on the campaign trail, with three candidates saying a top priority was to overhaul the policy.
Lobbying Science Teachers
The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank,
is on a quest to deliver mailers to 200,000 teachers
encouraging them to consider and teach explanations for global warming that reject humans' role in
a changing climate, PBS's Frontline reports.
Books and DVDs have been mailed to more than
25,000 teachers so far, along with a letter that asks
them to consider that the scientific consensus on climate change might not be "settled" and that students
would best be served by learning about the debate
over climate change's causes and potential impacts.
The institute plans to reach out to an additional
25,000 teachers every two weeks and ultimately send
materials to every public school science teacher in
Group Seeks Processed-Meat Ban
In Two California Districts
An advocacy group last week sued the Los Angeles
school district for serving hot dogs and other processed meats to students, arguing that they increase
the risk of cancer.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, along with a teacher and parents, asked the
court to ban the district from offering processed
meats, citing a "recognized association between eating processed meats ... and developing cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease." It seeks the same
ban for the Poway district in San Diego County.
The Los Angeles district's lunch menu for April
lists several processed meat items, including a "turkey pastrami croissandwich with cheese" and a turkey hot dog. Breakfasts can include beef sausage or
Student-Newspaper Probe Leads
To Principal's Resignation
An incoming high school principal has resigned
in Kansas after student reporters investigated and
raised questions about her credentials.
The Pittsburg school board accepted Amy Robertson's resignation this month.
"Delayed High School Start Times Later
Than 8:30 a.m. and Impact on Graduation
Rates and Attendance Rates"
Starting the high school day a little
later is associated with higher rates of attendance and ultimately graduation, finds
a study in the April issue of the journal
Central Connecticut State University researchers compared graduation and attendance rates for 30,000 high school students
enrolled in 29 high schools across seven
states, one year before they implemented
a start time after 8:30 a.m. and two years
after the schedule change.
The average graduation rate rose from
79 percent to 88 percent. The average attendance rate rose from 90 percent to
The American Academy of Pediatrics
recommends that middle and high schools
Title II: A Wise Investment
Or a Waste of Money?
President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating the Supporting
Effective Instruction State Grant program, better known to school
districts as Title II, which covers teachers' professional development
and class-size reduction, among several other measures.
L. EARL FRANKS, the
executive director of the
Council for Leaders in
Alabama Schools, has been
named the executive director
of the National Association
of Elementary School
Principals, effective July 1.
He replaces Gail Connelly,
who held the post for a
decade and worked for the
organization for 32 years.
the chief innovation officer
for Rhode Island, will
become the next CEO of the
International Society for
Technology in Education.
He previously led the office of
educational technology at the
U.S. Department of Education.
DEVIN VODICKA, California's
top district superintendent for
two years running, is leaving
his post as the head of the
Vista Unified school system
to become the "chief impact
officer" of AltSchool, an edtech startup company, which
manages a small network
of independent private
schools and is developing
The Trump administration doesn't see Title II as effective. The funds
are "poorly targeted and spread thinly across thousands of districts
with scant evidence of impact," say White House budget documents.
Many readers shared their thoughts about the proposal following
the April 3 publication of an Education Week story by Assistant
Editor Alyson Klein. Some sided with the president. Others,
however, lamented the impact they believe such an action would
likely have on improving instruction, especially at a time when
policymakers and the public are expecting more out of schools.
As outlined in the student newspaper, The
Booster Redux, the main concern stemmed from
her receiving her master's and doctoral degrees
from Corllins University, an unaccredited, online
school. Robertson said she received her degrees before the university lost accreditation.
More Security for Secretary DeVos
Adds Millions More to Costs
Government officials say that U.S. Secretary of
Education Betsy DeVos requires additional security detail because of a threat to her safety and
that it may cost up to $7.8 million through September to protect her.
The U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement
this month that a threat assessment was conducted in February, and DeVos was put under additional protection. The statement did not provide
details on the threat or the number of personnel
assigned to her.
The agency said it will be reimbursed $7.78 million from the Department of Education. The move
comes amid a proposal by the Trump administration to cut the department's budget by 13 percent.
The evaluation of DeVos' safety took place after a
protester briefly blocked her from entering a public
school in the nation's capital.
start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to better align with adolescents' natural body
A new study from the University of
Maryland indicates that those who participated in K-12 music education are more
likely to continue to be involved with the
arts as adults.
The study, based on data from the National Endowment for the Arts' Survey
of Public Participation in the Arts, found
adults who had studied music as children
were more than three times more likely
to play an instrument and more than
twice as likely to have sung in the past
Other arts fields showed similar patterns.
Drama students were nearly 3.7 times more
likely to have participated in a theater production in the last year, and visual-arts students were more likely to create art beyond
photographs as adults.
"Teacher Merit Pay and Student Test
Scores: A Meta-Analysis"
Teacher participation in a merit-pay program led to the equivalent of four extra
weeks of student learning, according to a
new analysis of 44 studies of incentive-pay
initiatives in the United States and abroad.
Vanderbilt University researchers analyzed
incentive-pay studies that had been in place
for four years on average, with yearly or oneoff awards ranging from $26 to $20,000 in
U.S. dollars. They found merit-pay programs
aimed at groups of teachers who worked together to earn incentive pay, as opposed to
individuals competing against one another, resulted in an effect more than twice the average.
"Music Education Promotes Lifelong
Engagement With the Arts"
These programs have not advanced teacher effectiveness. They cost at
least $18,000 annually per teacher, which
is roughly about $3 billion a year. Not
being able to see the forest for the trees
and the lack of value in an investment is
a flawed reason to keep investing in something that doesn't work."
"As an educator with over 35 years of service, [I believe] cutting these funds will be a
disaster for education. The majority of teachers in this country are eager to improve and
help their students. They want to learn
and improve their offerings. Professional-development funds provide them the way to do
that. The funds also help to keep class sizes
reasonable. Teaching science (which is what
I do) in overcrowded classrooms is dangerous and does not allow students to improve
their observational and analytical skills.
These cuts in education are jeopardizing the
future of our country."
- MASS TEACHER 1046
"Most professional development I receive
through my school system does not translate into student achievement. By contrast,
it is the advanced-degree education classes
I take at the local university that have impacted my students' achievement in math-
to an extremely marked degree. Granted, it
is expensive, but when it comes to being a
data-driven, standards-teaching instructor who gets results (learning that sticks)
with students who come to me from years of
being in the lowest quartile, it is the university classes that make a very significant difference, not the county-delivered PD." -SOOTIE
"There is ample research and empirical
evidence that teacher effectiveness is correlated to student achievement. The Trump
administration wants us to fall for this
smoke-and-mirrors analysis of the effectiveness of professional development to take
money away from educators to fund his tax
cuts for the rich."
-JILL KERPER MORA
Want to read more responses?