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. -CATHERINE GEWERTZ 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 new ones. -McCLATCHY-TRIBUNE 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. -AP 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 in Halfway. 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 dead. Representatives of the school declined to comment. -AP 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 teens. -AUDREY ARMITAGE 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 in 2000. 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 Opportunities" 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 Council. 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 minority" category. 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 gap. 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. -BRYAN TOPOREK DROPOUTS "Youth Transitions Task Force: A 10-Year Retrospective" 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. -C.J.A. EDUCATION WEEK | May 6, 2015 | | 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 to shrink. 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. -ROSS BRENNEMAN 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 administrators. 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. -LAUREN CAMERA 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 DIGITAL ACCESS "Teens, Social Media, and Technology Overview 2015" 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
Report Roundup
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