Education Week - June 1, 2016 - (Page 4)

NEWS IN BRIEF U.N. Launches Fund To Educate Refugees ALL THE BUZZ Rishi Nair, a 12-year-old from Florida, bites his medal after winning the 2016 National Geographic Bee last week in Washington. He named the east African lake- Kivu-that drains into the Ruzizi River and contains large quantities of dissolved methane gas to take the top honor. The National Spelling Bee took place at the same time in nearby suburban Maryland. Nihar Janga, 11, and Jairan Hathwar, 13, tied for first place. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has announced the creation of the United Nations' first humanitarian fund for the education of refugee children. Now the U.N. special envoy for global education, Brown said the fund hopes to reach many of the estimated 20 million school-age refugees and displaced persons around the world who are being denied an education as part of "the largest population of displaced girls and boys since 1945." The initiative seeks to raise $3.85 billion from some 100 donors in the public and private sectors over the next five years. -ASSOCIATED PRESS Andrew Harnik/AP Court Affirms Independence Of Wisconsin Schools Chief Wisconsin's Supreme Court has ruled that the state legislature and the governor can't meddle in the affairs of the state schools chief- a blow to Gov. Scott Walker's attempts to exert more control over K-12. In a 4-3 ruling, the justices decided that the state superintendent doesn't need the governor's approval to write and enact education policy. The ruling stems from a dispute in 2011, when lawmakers passed a measure requiring state agencies to get their administrative rules signed by the governor. In several states, legislators have tried in recent years to curtail the powers of the state board of education and the schools superintendent. -DAAREL BURNETTE II ger a huge police response, including SWAT teams. The latest threats led to the evacuation of schools in Colorado, Utah, Delaware, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Wisconsin. Media outlets in the United Kingdom also reported evacuations. The threats were made against elementary, middle, and high schools, with some schools choosing to continue classes and others putting buildings on lockdown rather than evacuate. Some schools resumed classes after sweeps by authorities failed to turn up explosives or other threats. -AP Schools Evacuate in 6 States, After 'Swatting' Threats L.A. to Pay $88 Million To Settle Sex-Abuse Cases Threats made against schools across the United States led to the evacuation of students Monday in what could be the latest example of so-called "swatting" against schools. In recent months, hoaxers have allegedly used proxy servers and other high-tech identity-disguising tools to anonymously threaten schools online or in phone messages with electronic voices to trig- The Los Angeles Unified district will pay $88 million to settle lawsuits over sex abuse by teachers involving dozens of children at two elementary schools. The two settlements, $58 million for 37 plaintiffs at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School and $30 million for 10 plaintiffs at Telfair Avenue Elementary School, are among the largest in district history after the Miramonte sex-abuse | TRANSITIONS | Richard Crandall, who took over in January as Colorado's education commissioner, has called it quits, saying he was leaving the position for family reasons. Colorado's education department has clashed with district leaders and politicians in recent years over various issues. In June, Marcia Neal, the state's school board chairwoman, resigned after what she characterized as board dysfunction, and the state commissioner, Robert Hammond, later announced his retirement, too. ACT Streamlines System For Special-Needs Students With N.M. 'Gag Order' Lifted, Teachers Able to Pan Tests Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision striking down racially segregated public schools, one small Mississippi district had resisted-until now. A federal court has ordered the 3,600-student Cleveland, Miss., district, where middle and high school students are still separated largely on the basis of race, to desegregate its schools. Under the order, the district must merge its historically black and virtually all-white high schools and two middle schools to form one high school and one middle school. ACT Inc., which has been criticized for making it hard for students to get accommodations on its college-entrance exam, announced last week that it is taking steps to make the process easier. With the new system, students will register online for the test and work with a school counselor, or someone else, to request accommodations online, ACT said. The system will ask that a student submit "only the documentation needed for the student's particular diagnosis, eliminating the need to send unnecessary support materials," ACT said. The company said that, based on pilots it has conducted of the new system, students should be able to receive answers to their accommodations requests 10 days sooner, on average. But ACT spokesman Ed Colby said that while the new system is intended to make the system easier to use, the ACT doesn't anticipate that it will result in more approvals of requested accommodations. Just weeks after New Mexico teachers took the state to court over a ban on school employees deriding standardized tests, state education officials have announced that they will abolish the so-called "gag order." Robert McEntryre, a spokesman for the state education department, called the 2009 ban an unintentional holdover from the administration of previous Governor Bill Richardson. In settling the case, the state has backed off of earlier claims that the lawsuit-which was filed by the New Mexico branch of the American Civil Liberties Union-was just a part of an "extreme agenda" against all testing. ACLU attorney María Mártinez Sánchez says that lifting the ban was necessary for the public to be able to tap teachers' critical wisdom in the ongoing debate about the proper role of testing in schools. Mary Mackie, a teacher at Montezuma Elementary School in Albuquerque and one of the suit's plaintiffs, told the news service that the decision was also a win for parents. -C.M. -CATHERINE GEWERTZ -EMMANUEL FELTON case that brought a $139 million settlement. The two teachers at the center of the cases are serving long prison terms after pleading no contest to molestation charges. The lawsuits alleged that the district didn't take seriously the initial complaints of teachers' misbehavior. -COREY MITCHELL Court Orders Miss. District To Desegregate Schools Crandall, a former Arizona politician, served a short stint as Wyoming's state superintendent in 2013-14, before that state's supreme court reinstated Cindy Hill, who argued the state legislature illegally forced her out of the job. Ed Graff, the superintendent of the Anchorage, Alaska, school district, will become the new schools chief in Minneapolis. A Minnesota native, Graff has been superintendent in Anchorage since 2013. He spent nearly his entire education career in Alaska, where he 4 | EDUCATION WEEK | June 1, 2016 | worked his way up from school principal, director of elementary education, and chief academic officer. Anthony Hamlet, a Palm Beach, Fla., administrator who oversees the system's struggling schools, has been chosen as the new superintendent of the Pittsburgh, Pa., district. Hamlet has been with the Palm Beach district since 2014. He had a brief career in the National Football League, from 1992 to 1993, playing for the Seattle Seahawks and the Indianapolis Colts. He has also worked as an assistant principal, a principal, and a teacher. He was also the Florida education department's principal of the year. Karen Salmon, who has served as the interim superintendent of Maryland's education department since last fall, has been appointed by the state board to serve in the position full time. She served for more than a decade as the superintendent of Talbot County in Maryland followed by a short stint as a district superintendent in upstate New York. In 2015, she returned to Maryland as the state's assistant superintendent of college- and careerreadiness.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - June 1, 2016

Education Week - June 1, 2016
In Special Education, A Debate on Bias
Proposed ESSA Rules Aim to Strike Balance
Civil Rights Office Gets Aggressive
Charter Movement Fuels Boom For Public Montessori Schools
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Transgender Debate: What’s Next?
Free Website Expands on EngageNY’s Mission
Study on Teacher Test Finds Mixed Results
Blogs of the Week
Digital Learning Games Breaking Into K-12 Mainstream
Girls Outperform Boys on First National Test of Tech, Engineering
Oregon Creates a ‘Lens’ for Viewing Educational Equity
High School Takes Cue From Montessori
School Finance Suits: More Than Just a Legal Roll of the Dice?
Report Feeds Into Debate Over Racial, Economic Inequities
Blogs of the Week
Policing Girls of Color in School
The Plight of Black Girls in K-12 Schools
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Black Girls, Discipline, and Schools

Education Week - June 1, 2016