Education Week - May 6, 2015 - (Page 5)
| TRANSITIONS |
Ed. Dept.'s Top K-12 Official to Head ASCD
The move by the biggest district
in Florida and the fourth-largest in
the country reflects growing national
discontent with the burden of assessment
on students. Previously, state
law required districts to create endof-course
exams for every subject not
covered by statewide assessments.
According to The Miami Herald,
the cutback means that elementary
students won't have any final
exams, and tests in such subjects as
music and physical education will
be dropped. The district will give
the remaining end-of-course tests
only to a randomly chosen pool of
students, as a field test.
Florida Considers Shifting
Building Funds to Charters
Regular public schools in Florida
could soon be required to share
money designated for construction
and maintenance with charter
schools in their districts.
The majority-Republican House
has approved a bill that calls for
districts to divert some of the local
property-tax money they can raise
for construction and maintenance
costs to charter schools.
District officials say the move
could place financial burdens on
districts that are already operating
under tight capital budgets that go
toward expenses like maintaining
aging school buildings, and building
N.Y.C. District Underreported
School Violence, Audit Finds
The state comptroller says New
York City failed to report hundreds
of violent public school incidents to
the state as required by law.
An audit looked at 10 schools, two
in each borough, during the 2011-12
and 2012-13 school years. It found
the city's education department
did not report more than 400 incidents,
126 of which were defined as
violent, such as assault, sexual offenses,
and weapons possession.
The department says the audit
made mistaken assumptions about
the reporting process.
Teacher Files Lawsuit
Over Active-Shooter Drill
A former grade school teacher in
Oregon has sued a school safety officer
and others responsible for a
surprise "active shooter" drill. She
says she was so scared when a man
burst into her classroom and pulled
the trigger on the pistol he pointed
at her face that she suffers from
post-traumatic stress disorder.
The episode took place in April
2013 at Pine Eagle charter school
At the time, Pine Eagle officials
said they conducted the drill, held
during an in-service day for teachers,
to see how many of the school's
staff would survive an onslaught.
Officials judged that a real attack
would have left most of the 15 teachers
Representatives of the school declined
A new nationwide survey from Pew Research
Center reveals that 24 percent of teens ages
13-17 say they are online "almost constantly,"
and 92 percent go online daily.
According to the survey, 73 percent of teens
surveyed have a smartphone, while only 12
percent have no cellphone of any kind.
The boost in smartphone ownership and increased
time spent on the Web represents "a
major change" in teens' connectivity and phone
habits, said lead researcher Amanda Lenhart
in an interview. In 2012, just one-third of teens
surveyed owned a smartphone.
The survey also uncovered demographic differences
in the types of devices teenagers own.
African-American teens were found to be more
likely to have smartphones, with 85 percent
owning those hand-held devices, compared to
71 percent of both white and Hispanic teens.
However, 91 percent of white and upper-income
teenagers have access to a desktop or
laptop-in comparison to eight in 10 AfricanAmerican,
Hispanic, and middle- and lowerincome
CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION
"New Pathways to College and Careers:
Examples, Evidence, and Prospects"
New high school programs that merge career
and technical education with rigorous
academic courses to prepare students for both
college and career are gaining momentum. But
new research suggests more needs to be done
to strengthen successful "pathways" in schools
if the concept is truly going to take off.
The report released last month by the nonprofit
research organization mdrc highlights
successful college and career pathways in
California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey,
and Tennessee, where vocational programs
have been transformed into comprehensive,
full-time, academically rigorous high schools.
The authors note that, nationwide, the number
of high school students in vocational education
who also took academic coursework for college
jumped from 28 percent in 1982 to 88 percent
The report also identifies elements of promising
pathways programs: options for students
to choose themed pathways, personalized support
in small learning communities, integrated
curriculum, work-based learning, high standards
and accountability, data-driven decisionmaking,
district support, and strong partnerships
with the community.
-CARALEE J. ADAMS
EQUITY IN SPORTS
"Finishing Last: Girls of Color and School Sports
When it comes to high school-based athletic
opportunities, girls of color are coming up
shortest, according to a report released last
month from the National Women's Law Center
and the Poverty & Race Research Action
The report examined high schools with a
student body that is either at least 90 percent
white or no more than 10 percent white to see
how large of a female opportunity gap existed
at each. In total, 42 percent of U.S. public high
schools fell into the "heavily white" or "heavily
One way for schools to satisfy Title IX, the
federal legislation requiring female students
to have equal access to athletic and extracurricular
activities, is to demonstrate proportionality-in
other words, to show that there is an
equal percentage of females participating in
sports as there is in a school's student body.
If a school's student body is 40 percent female
and 30 percent of the spots on sports teams
go to females, for instance, the school would
be deemed to have a 10-percentage-point opportunity
The authors found that 40 percent of heavily
minority high schools and 16 percent of heavily
white schools had a female opportunity
gap of at least 10 percentage points. A typical
heavily minority high school had 20 spots
on sports teams for females per 100 students,
and 30 spots for males; a typical heavily white
school had 51 spots for females and 62 spots
for males per 100 students.
"Youth Transitions Task Force: A 10-Year
A new report examines the Boston school district's
success in reducing its dropout rates from
8 percent in 2004 to 3.8 percent last year.
The case study by the Rennie Center, an
education policy and research organization in
Boston, focuses on the school system's efforts
to join forces with various community partners
to come up with innovative prevention and
dropout-recovery programs to get students to
complete a high school diploma. The initiatives
grew out of the city's Youth Transitions Task
Force, a coalition of government agencies and
nonprofit organizations convened by the late
Mayor Thomas Menino and organized by the
Boston Private Industry Council.
Among the key strategies identified were:
*developing a common understanding of the
problem and a vision for change;
*agreement on how to measure results; and
*continuous communication between partners.
EDUCATION WEEK | May 6, 2015 | www.edweek.org | 5
Bad news continues to roll in for those watching the flow of people into the teaching
pipeline: A report from act Inc. says that young people's interest in teaching continues
The study asked students taking the 2014 act college-entrance exam to identify future
career interests. Some 57 percent of graduating high school students in the United States
took that test. It found that, overall, students are less interested in becoming teachers than
they were in 2010. That year, 7 percent of test-takers expressed interest in education majors.
In 2014, that number dropped to 5 percent.
Digging into the report, which was released last month, shows where the drop comes
from, as the overall group is divided into subgroups based on education interests. There are
actually comparable gains, for instance, among test-takers interested in becoming school
administrative- and support-staff members, a category that includes such roles as principal
and counselor, as well as those interested in being student-population-specific educators
(elementary, high school, etc.). The big drops come in those interested in education majors
generally, and in subject-specific teaching.
The study also finds that students who are interested in an education major perform lower
than average on the act.
The findings also point to a lack of diversity among students interested in pursuing education
and a continuing shortage of male teachers. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents interested
in education are female. That share rises to nearly 95 percent among students interested in
early-childhood and elementary education.
Deborah S. Delisle, the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary
education, will leave her post at the U.S. Department of Education
as of July 1 to take over as the executive director and ceo of ascd, a
150,000-member international education organization that provides
professional development, advocates policy shifts, and
publishes books and other resources for educators and
Ms. Delisle, who was confirmed to her current post
in 2012, is a former Ohio state schools chief who
played an integral role in bringing a state chief's voice
to the Education Department. She is credited with
creating an office of state support, an attempt to build
new relationships with state education agencies in
administering and monitoring federal grant programs.
In an email to department employees, Ms. Delisle said the process of
choosing a nominee as her replacement is underway.
Robert Hammond, the commissioner of
education in Colorado, has announced that
he will retire from his position July 1.
He became the state's deputy
commissioner in 2008 after working in
administration in the Wichita, Kan., district
and in Colorado's Boulder Valley school
system. He was appointed commissioner by
the state school board in 2011.
Robert Avossa, the superintendent of the Fulton
County, Ga., district, has been named the
superintendent of the Palm Beach County
school system in Florida, effective in June.
Mr. Avossa, who has led the Fulton County
schools since June 2011, replaces E. Wayne
Gent, who announced that he would not seek
to renew his contract.
REPORT ROUNDUP www.edweek.org/go/rr
"Teens, Social Media, and Technology Overview
Survey: Teacher Pipeline Still Shrinking
"The Condition of Future Educators 2014"
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - May 6, 2015
Education Week - May 6, 2015
Some Balk as Testing Rolls Ahead
Nevada Exams Hit Tech Trouble
Science Standards Pop Up in Districts
Undocumented Students Strive to Adapt
State Takeover Gives Mass. District a Fresh Start
News in Brief
Chicago Schools Probe Prompts AASA to End Alliance With Firm
Researchers Target Ways to Design Better Mathematics Text Materials
GED Revisions Spur Bumpy Year for Equivalency Exams
After Baltimore Unrest, Students and Educators Seek Understanding
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: New Research Probes Frontiers of Tech Learning
Blogs of the Week
Efforts to Change Federal Aid Formulas Prove Tricky
New Research Emerges On LGBT Parents
Advocates for Special Ed., Gifted Weigh Details in ESEA Rewrite Bill
Blogs of the Week
Marriage Issue Gets Full Airing at High Court
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - May 6, 2015