Education Week - May 20, 2015 - (Page 1)

Education WEEk AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 EDITORIAL PROJECTS IN EDUCATION * $4 VOL. 34, NO. 31 * MAY 20, 2015 BREAKING NEWS DAILY Civil Rights Data Detail Increase In Complaints By Caralee J. Adams A recent surge in complaints to the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights involving students with disabilities and other alleged discrimination likely stems from ramped-up outreach efforts and broader awareness of the agency's willingness to address such complaints, according to advocacy organizations, school administrators, and department officials. Advocacy groups for students with disabilities welcome the increased vigilance outlined in an April ocr report, which found that nearly half of all complaints to the civil rights office continue to involve students with disabilities, with sexand race-discrimination complaints making up a lesser part of the caseload. But some organizations representing school districts and administrators, while maintaining they are committed to equity in education, complain in some cases that the federal government is overreaching its authority, underfunding PAGE 21 > EMBRACING DIFFERENCE: Tai D. Matthews leads a lesson on ancient Greece in her 6th grade humanities class at the Paterson (N.J.) Academy for the Gifted and Talented. She says the school's cultural, linguistic, and economic diversity enriches her teaching. Page 16 Gifted Programs Miss Disadvantaged Students By Sarah D. Sparks Paterson, N.J. What does it take to find the country's most promising, academically talented students? In wealthier enclaves, where gifted education programs often flourish, it can be simply a matter of testing to cream the best from a pool of youngsters who have had high-quality early enrichment and academics. UNMET PROMISES High-Achieving, Low-Income Students But with more than half of public school students now coming from low-income families and deepening concentrations of poverty in many communities, standard screening and pullout programs may not be enough to find and support the most vulnerable talented students. In response, more educators and researchers who work with gifted students are calling for another look at who is considered gifted and how schools can locate and support those students. "I think there's a significant shift going on in the field," said Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, the director of the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and the past-president of the National Association for Gifted Children. "The field is really wrestling with whether to jettison the notion of giftedness as this fixed, inborn trait of IQ, and adopting the sense that giftedness is something malleable, that experience matters a lot, and we need to develop it." Thirty-six states require at least that districts identify students with high academic potential, according to the 2015 report "Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities," commissioned by the Leesburg, Va.based Jack Kent Cooke Foundation-though not all those states require districts to serve gifted students. Of those, 28 audit or otherwise monitor gifted PAGE 16 > ABOUT THIS SERIES: This package of stories is the first in an occasional series examining the challenges facing disadvantaged students who show academic potential. NEW DEMOGRAPHY 16 Most students at this New Jersey school for the gifted are from low-income families. SEEKING TO DIVERSIFY 18 Admissions policies prevent many selective schools from drawing a wider array of students. Groups Aim to Smooth Student-Police Relations By Corey Mitchell Mario Conway experiences a range of emotions when he sees police officers patrolling his South Side Chicago neighborhood. Fear. Anger. Frustration. Two years ago, Chicago police fatally shot his friend, 17-year-old Cedrick Chatman, as he fled a stolen car. During the foot chase, Mr. Chatman turned toward officers with a "dark object" they assumed was a firearm. The officers opened fire. No weapon was recovered. His friend's death and his own tense encounters with police have left Mr. Conway's confidence in law enforcement shaken. "They always mess with me and my friends," said Mr. Conway, an 18-year-old senior at Hyde Park Academy High School. "I'm always thinking, 'That could be me the next time.' " Recent tensions between youths and poPAGE 14 > DIGITAL DIRECTIONS U.S. Senate Proposal Puts Spotlight On Open Educational Resources By Michelle R. Davis & Sean Cavanagh Federal lawmakers want to encourage schools to consider using free, modifiable learning resources for students before investing in costly textbooks and curricula. A move in the U.S. Senate to promote schools' use of open educational resources, if enacted by Congress and ultimately embraced by schools, could have a major impact on the development of curricula and on the companies that provide content to schools, some education experts say. The latest Senate version of the main federal law on K-12 education includes new wording to encourage the use of open education resources-alternatives to proprietary products created by commerPAGE 12 > Army of Scorers Tackles Common-Core Tests By Catherine Gewertz Westerville, Ohio It's the middle of spring testing season, and a bevy of accountants, technology geeks, lawyers, unemployed corporate executives-and oh, yes, teachers-are scoring the parcc exam. The room has the generic feel of any high-volume office operation: Seated in front of laptop computers at long beige tables, the scorers could be processing insurance claims. Instead, they're pivotal players in the biggest and most controversial student-assessment project in history: the grading of new, federally funded common-core assessments in English/language arts and mathematics. The parcc and Smarter Balanced assessments aren't the only tests that require hand-scoring, but the sheer scope of the undertaking dwarfs all others. Twelve million students are taking either the parcc or the Smarter Balanced assessments in 29 states and the District of Columbia this school year. Large portions of the exams are machine-scored, but a key feature that sets them apart from the multiple-choice tests that states typically use-their constructed-response questions and multistep, complex performance tasks-require real people to evaluate students' answers. And that means that 42,000 people will be scoring 109 million student responses to questions on the two exams, which were designed by two groups of states- PAGE 10 > Mark Abramson for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - May 20, 2015

Education Week - May 20, 2015
Gifted Programs Miss Disadvantaged Students
Army of Scorers Tackles Common-Core Tests
Groups Aim to Smooth Student-Police Relations
U.S. Senate Proposal Puts Spotlight On ‘Open Educational Resources’
Civil Rights Data Detail Increase In Complaints
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Accountability Measures for Traits Like ‘Grit’ Questioned
Long-Term Gains Seen for Kids Who Move Out of Poverty
Blogs of the Week
Selective Public Schools Struggle to Diversify Enrollments
Illinois Policymakers Scramble After Pension Law Struck Down
Student-Data Use a Key Issue In Debates Over Privacy Bills
Blogs of the Week
Why Not Practice What We Preached?
Education Has to Be a ‘Human Business’
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Making the Right Commitment to Student-Data Privacy
Is the Public Ever Really Private?

Education Week - May 20, 2015