Education Week - May 20, 2015 - (Page 5)
REPORT ROUNDUP www.edweek.org/go/rr
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
to help set up a proposed
"achievement school district,"
which will consist of the
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
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.
"The Long Run Effects of Teacher Cheating on
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
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.
Teachers in L.A. Approve
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
The school board must still approve
The raises are the first teachers
in the nation's second-largest district
have received in eight years.
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
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
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
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.
"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.
"Academic Effects of Concussion in Children and
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
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.
"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
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
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
"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
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.
Percent of national population enrolled
Average state spending per child enrolled
SOURCE: National Institute for Early Education Research
EDUCATION WEEK | May 20, 2015 | www.edweek.org | 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
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