Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 5
Blog of the Week:
Students Get Pepper-Sprayed
For Criminal-Science Class
A group of Ohio high school students voluntarily got pepper-sprayed in the face-and called
the painful experience a useful lesson.
More than a dozen Barberton High School students agreed to be sprayed with their parents'
permission as part of a class exercise. A video
posted online shows a row of teenagers lined up
against a building. All is quiet as someone methodically sprays each student in the face and
then moves on. One by one, the students begin
The exercise was part of a criminal-science
class at the school about 40 miles south of Cleveland. Students also have been shocked with a
stun gun for the class. The competitive program
draws applications from students who want to
join the military or become a police officer and is
taught by a former police chief.
Startup Grades Student Papers
For Teachers-for a Fee
A new startup called the Graide Network aims
to lighten the load for teachers by grading their
Graide (a combination of "grade" plus "aide")
connects teachers with trained assistants who
evaluate student papers and return them in a
few days. The teacher uploads the writing assignment, grading measure, and any other instructions the student received to an education
student trained in responding to student writing.
The grader scores the work using the yardstick,
and writes up to three comments noting strengths
and up to three on how the writing could be
The cost is $16 an hour, increasing to $18 an
hour starting in July.
the Gilbert school
district in Arizona,
has been selected as
Hawaii's public schools
Before going to Gilbert
in 2014, Kishimoto was
the superintendent of
the Hartford district in
WILLIAM D. ADAMS
resigned as the
chairman of the
for the Humanities last
week-a day before
President Donald Trump
released his version
of the federal budget,
which would eliminate
Adams was the
president of Colby
College in Maine before
being appointed to
the NEH post in 2014
by President Barack
capital, the board's president deferred to a K12
official to answer most questions. The education
department denied Insight PA a charter that
year, then again in 2013 and in 2014. None of
the state's 14 cyber charters met the state's academic benchmarks last school year.
In its ruling, the state Commonwealth Court
said that the education department and charter school appeal board "raise fair points" about
problems with the agreement between Insight
and K12, but concluded that those issues don't
violate Pennsylvania's charter school law or a
legal precedent for determining independence.
Poor Roads on Tribal Lands
Lead to Student Absenteeism
A federal report released last week casts a critical
light on the conditions of roads on tribal lands, highlighting the widespread challenge of getting Native
American children to school during bad weather.
The General Accounting Office sent a team to
visit 10 school districts on three reservations in
Arizona and South Dakota, where they interviewed
school officials and evaluated bus routes by riding
with students to school. They experienced unmaintained roads, bumpy rides, loud rattling windows,
and lengthy routes. The government team rode
buses in May and June when weather conditions
were fairly good compared with the winter months.
The chronic-absenteeism rate for Native American
students is 23 percent, compared with 14 percent for
non-Indian students, according to data collected by
the U.S. Department of Education.
DeVos Declines Invitation to Address
Education Journalists' Conference
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has declined an invitation to address the Education Writers Association at its upcoming national conference
After being told the invitation to the May 31-June
2 event was being considered, EWA was later told
"that the secretary was not able to make it work for
As the nonpartisan professional organization for
journalists pointed out, the education secretaries
from every presidential administration going back
to the creation of the U.S. Department of Education
under President Jimmy Carter has addressed the
group, though not every year.
Whither to Fidget
Are fidget spinners helping antsy
students sit still and concentrate on their
lessons, or just driving kids (and teachers)
to distraction? Depends on who you ask.
Some schools have banned the twirling
gadgets, or allow kids to use them only if they
follow strict rules. Yet some teachers have
leveraged the craze as a way to teach writing,
science, technology, math and other subjects.
Amy Garay, a 3rd grade teacher at
Canopy Oaks Elementary in Tallahassee,
Fla., uses fidget spinners as a jumping-off
point for lessons, reports the Tallahassee
Democrat. In a science lesson, she guides
her students to make hypotheses about
how they work.
"We're having them compare and asking
things like, are the weights different and as
a result, do some spin faster than others?
Does the circumference and the size make a
difference?" Garay said.
Her students test out their hypotheses
and record the data in charts and graphs.
They students write opinion pieces arguing
for or against the use of fidget spinners
in the classroom. And they even dabble in
their own design mock-ups and write up
Education Week Teacher's Madeline Will
polled Twitter users on the topic, modeling
the poll after categories in an ASCD survey.
She got 482 responses:
Do you think fidget spinners help
students focus or are a classroom
while 16 percent of white students and 20
percent of Asian students earned a top score.
"Best Practices for Serving English Language
Learners and Their Families"
Teaching Tolerance, an education project at
the Southern Poverty Law Center, has published a guide designed to help educators ensure that English-language learners and their
families have equitable experiences at school.
"For many educators, helping children
learn English is a joy and a privilege," the
report says. "But classroom educators may
not always know how their administration
is approaching ELL students and vice versa."
The report recommends districts devise consistent strategies for enrolling English-learners,
engaging with parents, and building anti-bias
work into classroom culture.
"Building America's Skilled Technical
"The Condition of Education, 2017"
The skills needed for technical careers have
changed significantly, and school and adult
education programs need to do more to support evolving technical education, according
to a sizeable new report on career education
by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
It finds the demand for manual skills in
the workforce has been declining since the
1960s, while the demand for more advanced
cognitive and interpersonal skills has risen
The report calls for policymakers and educators, among other measures, to improve
counseling for students' career options and
to build more substantive models of career
apprenticeships to help students develop onthe-job training in new fields. -SARAH D. SPARKS
Children whose parents did not graduate
from high school and who are poor enter kindergarten less prepared than pupils without
those risk factors, and they trail other students
academically through 3rd grade, according to a
special section in the National Center for Education Statistics' annual digest of school data.
The data show students with both family-income and education-risk factors performed consistently worse in reading and
math than those with fewer or no risk factors. Of students with one risk factor, those
whose parents had less education performed slightly worse than those who were
The Condition of Education provides data
on public and private school students, teachers, and schools, from trends in enrollment to
what they are
@MsCrawford101: Helpful for kids who truly
need a fidget & use it appropriately. Horrible and
distracting for everyone else!
@gennarolinda: I was allowing them, with
rules, until one flew off a child's hand and hit a
classmate. Accidental, but no more.
@MrBurdteach: I have no problem with them;
perhaps those Ts complaining have boring
lessons that don't engage.
@boshymath: I'm going to ban them altogether
next school year. I've tried to keep an open mind,
but they've just turned into toys.
@LPHSRuiz: They don't bother me. Sometimes I
borrow from a student and use it while I teach.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - May 31, 2017
Education Week - May 31, 2017
Where Career Plans Start Early
States Struggle to Define ‘Ineffective Teachers’
Trump Priorities on Full Display In K-12 Budget
For Schools, Rating Students’ Character Is a Tricky Prospect
News in Brief
Charter Win Brings Big Shift to L.A. Unified
Reading and the Mind : An Author Q&A
Letters to Districts Prompt Worries About E-Rate’s Future
States’ Spec. Ed. Work Offers a Jump on ESSA’s Demands
Amid Fiscal Crisis, Puerto Rico Shuts Down Scores of Schools
Budget Plan Spares Some Ed. Research Efforts, Cuts Others
Trump Budget Draws Ire, Tepid Support From School Choice Worl
Darienne Driver: A Collective-Impact Approach to Equity
Steve Canavero:Two-Party Support Gives School Funding Wider Reach
Peggy Lehner: Money Doesn’t Ensure Equity
Veronica Palmer: Empowering Families to Lead
Pedro A. Rivera: A Fair Formula for Funding
John Schoenig: Our Children Are Made for Greatness
Tammy Wawro: Confronting the Realities of a Changing Population
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Danielle Gonzales & Ross Wiener: Yes, Schools Have an Equity Problem. What Should We Do About It?
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - For Schools, Rating Students’ Character Is a Tricky Prospect
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 2
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 3
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - News in Brief
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - Report Roundup
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - Charter Win Brings Big Shift to L.A. Unified
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - Reading and the Mind : An Author Q&A
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - Letters to Districts Prompt Worries About E-Rate’s Future
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 9
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 10
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 11
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 12
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - Amid Fiscal Crisis, Puerto Rico Shuts Down Scores of Schools
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 14
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 15
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 16
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 17
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - Trump Budget Draws Ire, Tepid Support From School Choice Worl
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 19
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - Steve Canavero:Two-Party Support Gives School Funding Wider Reach
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - Pedro A. Rivera: A Fair Formula for Funding
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - Letters
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 24
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 25
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 26
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - 27
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - Danielle Gonzales & Ross Wiener: Yes, Schools Have an Equity Problem. What Should We Do About It?
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - CW1
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - CW2
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - CW3
Education Week - May 31, 2017 - CW4