Education Week - May 2, 2018 - 1
VOL. 37, NO. 29 * MAY 2, 2018
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2018 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
Disparities Grow for Students of Color, Federal Data Show
By Sarah D. Sparks & Alyson Klein
At a time when the Trump administration
is contemplating rolling back discipline guidance with protections for vulnerable groups,
new federal civil rights data show students
of color and those with disabilities face wider
gaps in both school discipline and access to
The 2015-16 data released last week provides dozens of measures for 50.6 million
students in 99 percent of public K-12 schools.
It was last updated in 2013-14.
Among the most striking findings:
* Students with disabilities made up 12 percent of all K-12 public students in 2015-16, but
26 percent of those suspended out of school
and 28 percent of those arrested at school or
referred to law enforcement. They also were
disproportionately likely to be bullied at school
based on their disability, sex, or race-and to
be disciplined for harassing others.
* Black students made up 15 percent of K-12
students, but 27 percent of those restrained
at school and 31 percent of school-based arrests and referrals to law enforcement. Black
boys, in particular, made up 8 percent of all
students but 25 percent of out-of-school suspensions and 23 percent of expulsions. (See
story, Page 10.)
* Schools with high concentrations of black
and Latino students were less likely to offer
any core high school science and math course
besides Algebra 1-Algebra 2, geometry, biology, chemistry, and physics-than the average school.
* More than 1 in 4 students took Algebra 1
in middle school, and only 6 percent took the
course, considered to be a foundational "gate-
keeper" for advanced math, in late high school.
But while white students made up 49 percent
and Asian students 5 percent of students at
schools that offered 8th grade algebra, together
they represented 66 percent of all students taking the course in that grade. By contrast, black,
Latino, and Native American students were all
disproportionately likely to take Algebra 1 in
11th or 12th grades, making it difficult to take
advanced math courses before graduation.
"Is it because they've correctly assessed students' ability and put them in the appropriate
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Where K-12 Salaries
Lag Home Prices,
Districts Try to Help
Ross D. Franklin/AP
By Denisa R. Superville
Thousands march to the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix last week to demand higher teacher pay and school funding. The unprecedented walkout
closed most of the state's public schools and built on educator activism and shutdowns in other parts of the nation.
Why Raising Teacher Pay Is So Difficult
Tax-Averse Voters, Competing Budget Pressures Complicate the Picture
By Daarel Burnette II
The statewide teacher strike in Arizona underscores the political, logistical, and financial hurdles states face in boosting
teacher salaries even when the national economy is resurging
and there's widespread agreement that teachers are underpaid.
Pay issues have also helped fuel teacher protests, walkouts,
and strikes in Colorado, Mississippi, North Carolina, and West
Virginia. Why, educators ask, have teacher salaries failed to
budge eight years after the Great Recession and with unemployment at historic lows around the nation?
The answer, school finance experts say, includes factors such as
voters' aversion to taxes, competing pressures on state budgets,
and the sheer complexity of crafting a pay raise for what amounts
to the largest single workforce in many states.
In Arizona, for example, there is a fundamental disagreement
among teachers, the state's political leaders, and the state's Democrats over how schools should be funded, whether the state's tax code
leaves too many off the hook, and how soon change should come.
Teachers there, who on average make less than $47,405 a year,
have demanded, as part of a $1 billion package, a 20 percent pay
raise by this fall, which they say the state can easily afford.
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has said while it's true the economy
in Arizona is doing well, the state can't afford that much of a pay
raise that soon. After initially scoffing at teachers' demands, he
changed course after they ramped up their threats to strike. He's
now proposing to make good on that 20 percent pay raise by 2020.
"Our teachers deserve a raise," Ducey tweeted recently. "It's
time to get this done."
That's not good enough for the thousands of teachers in Arizona who last Thursday began a walkout, which shuttered
schools statewide, and mounted a mass protest at the state
capitol in Phoenix.
"This governor has invested a significant amount of money
compared to the size of the pie that's available, but the issue is
that the pie is not growing as fast as the demand for the pieces
of that pie," said Christine Thompson, the president and CEO of
Expect More Arizona, a nonpartisan advocacy group that pushes
for improved academic outcomes.
Nationally, teachers today are paid on average $60,483 annually-17 percent lower than America's typical college graduates,
according to a recent survey conducted by the National Education Association.
And teachers have lost ground in recent years, according to
the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that focuses on
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ORGANIZERS BOND: Teacher activists work across
states to build momentum. PAGE 6
In some of the nation's hottest real estate markets, school districts are trying new tactics to help
employees cover the spiraling costs of renting or
buying a home.
The Denver district, for example, is teaming
up with a lending company to help teachers,
principals, custodians, and others who work in
schools put down as much as half the down payment on a home.
In Florida's Miami-Dade County, the school
district and the county are floating a proposal
to build apartments-with first preference for
teachers but spots for others who work in the
district-on the campus of a brand-new middle
The Denver and Miami-Dade efforts highlight
a growing concern in school districts where educator salaries have not kept up with housing
prices: how to recruit and keep workers who
must fork over huge chunks of their paychecks
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Team Up on Science
By Sarah D. Sparks
In the dimly lit Hall of Mammals in the American Museum of Natural History here, small clusters of teachers scrutinized dioramas of animal
habitats from around the world, filling in sheets
of field observations.
The task served as a way to help teachers think
through how their students would experience the
exhibits, and how teachers could tie their students'
exploration of the museum to public data sets on
temperature, rain, and other climate factors that
could affect where plants and animals live.
The workshop was part of Urban Advantage,
a long-running partnership between the Big Apple's school district and local museums, zoos, and
botanical gardens-and part of a growing trend
of closer collaboration among museums and
schools to encourage educators to bring learning
outside the classroom and into the community.
Urban Advantage is part of a national network of
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