Education Week - May 20, 2015 - (Page 5)

REPORT ROUNDUP HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETION "Building a GradNation" | TRANSITIONS | PEDRO MARTINEZ, a former superintendent in Washoe County, Nev., has been named the new schools superintendent in the 55,000-student San Antonio district in Texas. In January, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed Mr. Martinez as the state's superintendent-in-residence to help set up a proposed "achievement school district," which will consist of the state's lowest-performing schools. Mr. Martinez worked in Chicago and Clark County, Nev., before becoming the superintendent in Washoe County in 2012. The on-time high school graduation rate in the United States reached a record high of 81.4 percent in 2013 and is on track to reach 90 percent by 2020, according to a new report from the GradNation campaign. That marks the third year in a row that the rate has remained on track to meet the 2020 goal. But challenges still exist, including wide graduation gaps between low-income and minority students and their more-advantaged peers. The graduation rates for Hispanic/Latino and African-American students, for example, were 75.2 percent and 70.7 percent, respectively, compared with 86.6 percent for white students and 88.7 percent for Asian students. The report is the sixth update by the GradNation campaign, a joint project of America's Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center, and the Alliance for an Excellent Education. It uses data from the U.S. Department of Education. -JESSICA BROWN CHEATING IMPACT "The Long Run Effects of Teacher Cheating on Student Outcomes" computer-based testing will be available next year in the 18 states and additional districts that require students, typically juniors, to take the exam during the school day. About 1 million students could be affected. Act officials said the traditional paper test will still be an option. The announcement follows a two-year pilot project that allowed about 10,000 high school students to take the exam by desktop computer, laptop, or tablet. -AP Teachers in L.A. Approve Three-Year Contract Rank-and-file members of the union representing Los Angeles teachers have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a three-year contract that will increase salaries 10 percent. The school board must still approve the pact. The raises are the first teachers in the nation's second-largest district have received in eight years. -AP Indiana to Strip Authority From State Schools Chief Legislation that shifts authority over Indiana's education policy matters away from the elected state schools chief, Democrat Glenda Ritz, has been signed into law by Republican Gov. Mike Pence. Gop lawmakers pushed through the changes during this year's legislative session but delayed until 2017 a change in state law allowing the board dominated by the governor's appointees to replace Ms. Ritz as its leader. The changes also take away two of Mr. Pence's 10 appointments to the board, giving one appointment each to state House and Senate leaders. -AP A new study commissioned by the Atlanta public schools found that the district's testcheating scandal disproportionately affected black students and sparked an increase in charter school enrollment in the city. The researchers from Georgia State University, in Atlanta, found little evidence that the cheating had a significant effect on student attendance or behavior. But evidence of negative effects in math was mixed, according to the report, and the damage to students' performance in reading and English language arts was significant. The report used test-erasure-analysis data to conclude that about 7,000 students likely had their answers manipulated-more than half of whom were still enrolled in the Atlanta school system in 2014-15. A Fulton County, Ga., judge last month sentenced eight of the 11 former Atlanta schools employees convicted in the testcheating scandal to prison. -COREY MITCHELL SUMMER LEARNING "READ FOR SUCCESS: Combating the Summer Learning Slide in America" A Reading is Fundamental program that provided books to low-income children over the summer helped to stem-and, in some cases, even reverse-their expected "summer reading loss," according to a new report. Results of a two-year study of rif's Read for Success pilot, released this month, found that of the 33,000 students in grades 2-4 participating in the program, just 39 percent slipped. Another 4 percent held steady. And 57 percent significantly improved their reading skills between the end of one school year and the start of the next. Students who scored in the bottom 10th percentile on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills-a nationally norm-referenced assessment-showed the greatest improvements. Rif launched Read for Success with a $9.3 million Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant enabled rif to give out 760,000 books to all classrooms in grades 1 to 5 in 173 schools in 16 states. The books were selected for their emphasis on a range of academic subjects and paired with activity books. The intent was to build on the Common Core State Standards while boosting students' vocabulary and reading ability. -KATHRYN BARON SPORTS INJURY "Academic Effects of Concussion in Children and Adolescents" While recovering from the symptoms of a concussion, a vast majority of students reported having one or more issues that impaired their academic work, including headaches, problems paying attention, and difficulty studying or understanding material, according to a new study published online last week in the journal Pediatrics. The study's authors examined 349 students between the ages of 5 and 18 who sustained a concussion and underwent an initial evaluation within 28 days of the injury. Clinicians divided the children into two groups: those who had recovered from their concussions and those who had not yet recovered. Among the 109 students who had fully recovered from their concussions, just five reported having headaches interfere with their academic work, eight had problems paying attention, and 11 said they were feeling too tired. Of the 240 who had not yet recovered, however, 121 had headaches interfering with their work, 106 had problems paying attention, and 95 felt tired. Many more of the not-yet-recovered students also reported having to spend more time on homework, difficulty understanding material and studying, and difficulty taking class notes. Researchers said the range of symptoms suggests a need for "targeted supports" to students during the recovery period. COLLEGE-GOING "State of College Admission" High school students eager to cast a wide net in their college search drove up application volume again last year at the majority of U.S. colleges, according to a recent survey. For 10 of the past 15 years, more than 70 percent of colleges reported year-to-year increases in the number of applications they received, the National Association for College Admission Counseling reports in its latest survey of members. About one-third of college freshmen in the fall of 2013 had submitted seven or more applications for admission, up 10 percentage points since 2008. Colleges report 92 percent of applications are received online, up from 85 percent in 2011. Despite the frenzy around single-digit acceptance rates at the most highly elite colleges, nacac notes that the average selectivity rate at four-year colleges for fall 2013 was 64.7 percent, up slightly from 63.9 percent in 2012, after a steady decline in recent years. -CARALEE J. ADAMS -BRYAN TOPOREK Pre-K Sees Some Rises In Enrollment, Spending "The State of Preschool 2014" The 40 states with state preschool programs, along with the District of Columbia, spent $116 million more on public preschool in the 2013-14 school year than they did in 2012-13, according to the latest pre-K yearbook released last week by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University in New Jersey. That brought total spending to $5.56 billion in 2013-14, a 1 percent increase in real dollars over the previous year. The report also found that state-funded preschool served 1.3 million children in 2013-14. Enrollment increased overall by 8,535 children. In all, 29 percent of 4-year-olds and 4 percent of 3-year-olds were enrolled in state-funded preschool. Including Head Start, 41.5 percent of 4-year-olds were enrolled and 14.5 percent of 3-year-olds. The report's authors praised states for new spending and expanded enrollment, but cautioned that the growth rate was too slow. "At the 2013-2014 growth rate, it would take about 75 years for states to reach 50 percent enrollment at age 4 and 150 years to reach 70 percent enrollment," the report says. A few states that made notable policy changes in 2014 are not included in the report, though the authors do acknowledge the changes. Indiana and Mississippi, two states without 2013-14 state-funded preschool programs, both launched new programs in 2014. Hawaii and Montana, two other states without programs in 2013-14, were recipients of federal grants meant to support state-funded preschool. -LILLIAN MONGEAU Percent of national population enrolled 3-year-olds 4-year-olds 14 3% 2002 3 2004 17 3 2006 20 4 2008 24 4 2010 4 2012 4 2013 4 2014 28 28 28 29 Average state spending per child enrolled (2013 Dollars) $5,129 4,871 4,325 4,615 4,661 4,051 4,064 4,121 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2013 2014 SOURCE: National Institute for Early Education Research EDUCATION WEEK | May 20, 2015 | | 5

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