Education Week - June 1, 2016 - (Page 5)

REPORT ROUNDUP | OBITUARY | COLLEGE ACCESS David Wald, Education Week Supervising Producer, Dies "Higher Education: Actions Needed to Improve Access to Federal Financial Assistance for Homeless and Foster Youth" David Wald, a producer and editor who brought depth, passion, and visual expertise to award-winning education coverage for the "PBS NewsHour," as well as network television series and documentaries, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 61. Wald was most recently the supervising producer for the New York City bureau of Education Week Video. He had previously served in that role for Learning Matters TV, which Education Week acquired last summer. Over the past decade, he oversaw the development of dozens of stories for the "PBS NewsHour" on a range of education topics, including the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans' schools, the common-core standards, and Internet access in rural communities. Earlier in his career, he was a senior producer on Michael Moore's Emmy Award-winning magazine show "TV Nation," and he produced a documentary series about Doctors Without Borders, filmed in oftendangerous circumstances around the world. -KATHLEEN KENNEDY MANZO Programs intended to help homeless and foster youths attend college can instead create barriers, finds a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released this month. According to federal data, only 14 percent of homeless and foster youth who enrolled in college in 2003-04 had completed a degree by 2009, compared to 49 percent of their peers. Federal college-financing programs, such as the Pell Grant and direct loans, require foster youth to disclose their status only once to apply for aid. However, homeless students must provide extensive documentation each year to prove they don't have a permanent residence. Delayed processing of their homeless determination has caused some students to miss work-study or even enrollment, the GAO finds. -CARMEN CONSTANTINESCU Federal Authorities Uncover Alleged Tutoring Scam A former Detroit public schools administrator allegedly bilked the financially strapped district out of nearly $1.3 million by submitting fraudulent invoices for tutoring services, according to federal lawenforcement officials. As the district's director of grant development, Carolyn Starkey Darden, 69, was in charge of establishing supplemental educational services for eligible students. Darden is just the latest Detroit schools administrator facing criminal charges. At least 10 administrators, mostly principals, have pleaded guilty to felony charges for their roles in a $2.7 million bribery and kickback scheme. -C.M. Florida District Challenged Over Immigrant Placements The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed suit against the Collier County, Fla., district on behalf of immigrant parents who say their children were placed in an adult English program that offered no opportunity to earn credit toward a high school diploma. The lawsuit, filed last month in federal court, says the Florida district violated state and federal laws. When families tried to enroll their children in a high school, administrators said the teenagers were eligible to attend a technical school for an adult English-language class. The suit says there was no instruction in basic subjects. The district says it doesn't comment on pending litigation. -AP Teacher Bonuses in Idaho To Be Tied to Portfolios Just like their students, experienced teachers in Idaho looking for a bonus will have to show their work, under a plan adopted by the state board of education. Teachers with at least eight years of experience will have to submit a portfolio documenting how they meet the standards required to receive a master-teacher premium. If approved, they will receive the $4,000 bonus for three years. After that, they will need to resubmit an updated portfolio, but it's possible for teachers to receive a master-teacher premium for the rest of their careers. Criteria for a bonus include mastery in leadership, professional growth, and instructional methods. The board chose to use portfolios rather than tie the bonuses solely to evaluations or student achievement. -AP Doctors' Group Urges Nurse Full Time for Every School Every school needs at least one full-time nurse, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in a new policy statement. But in many cases, reality falls far short of that recommendation. The policy position is an update from a 2008 statement, when the organization supported a ratio of 1 school nurse to 750 students in the healthy student population, and a 1-to-225 ratio for student populations with greater health-care needs. According to the National Association of School Nurses, just 45 percent of public schools have a nurse all day, every day. Another 30 percent have a nurse who works part time. -EVIE BLAD Principal Cites Prayer, Not Cheating, for High Scores A principal in Clarksdale, Miss., who is accused of directing teachers to cheat on their students' standardized exams told a state education official that a dramatic increase on test scores was the result of prayer. In testimony last week during Lawanda Tyler-Jones' disciplinary hearing, Walt Drane, the state education department's executive director of student assessment and accountability, said Tyler-Jones indicated in an interview that she had anointed the desks, the pencils, the doorways, and students' heads with holy water. Several Heidelberg Elementary School educators told Drane that Tyler-Jones had instructed them to coach students and change their responses during testing. -AP DIGITAL LITERACY "What Are Pre-adolescent Readers Doing Online? An Examination of Upper Elementary Students' Reading, Writing, and Communication in Digital Spaces" A survey of how 4th and 5th grade students read online finds that girls significantly outperform boys on a test of digital skills such as searching for and communicating information. That's despite the fact that boys seem to engage in more digital activities than girls, and that they have more confidence in their online skills than girls do. About 1,300 students from five schools in a suburban school district took the survey in the fall of 2014. Students answered questions designed to measure their ability to do an Internet search, evaluate sources, and communicate online, among other skills. The average digital skills score for all students was 13.61 out of a possible 27 composite score. The survey also found, in contrast to previous research with older students, that students are doing more of their digital activities in school than out of school. -LIANA HEITIN PERSONALIZED LEARNING "Promising State Policies for Personalized Learning" Though some strides toward personalized learning can be made within states' existing education policies, many barriers continue to exist, according to a report from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, or iNACOL, a proponent of individualized, competency-based education plans for students. The group lists seat-time restrictions, graduation requirements, educator and leader licensure requirements, funding rules, and policies on curriculum, assessments, and accountability as potential tripping points. But states such as Vermont and New Hampshire have made strides in helping districts work through those barriers. Though increasingly popular, personalized learning has been criticized for potentially over-emphasizing assessment and lowering academic expectations for some students. -LEO DORAN IMMIGRANT STUDENTS "Suburban Schools: The Unrecognized Frontier in Public Education" Many suburban school districts are unequipped to handle influxes of English-language learners and students who are refugees, a new report argues. Exponential growth in English-learner enrollment in the suburbs surrounding Boston, Seattle, and Minnesota's Twin Cities has led to challenges in welcom- Race to Top Grants Spur Mixed Successes for Seven States "Race to the Top, Phase 3" With the crush of news about the Every Student Succeeds Act, Race to the Top may not be as highprofile as it once was-but states can learn from the competitive-grant program, according to a new U.S. Department of Education report. Seven states won $200 million in the "Phase 3" Race to the Top grants in December 2011: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. In addition to "comprehensive reform," these Phase 3 grants emphasized states' science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. States reported success in helping to create new data systems and regional resource centers, but at times struggled to support curriculum and classroom resource projects. Among the highlights: * Arizona, which won $25 million, earned praise for regional centers designed to support local districts, and monthly meetings to ensure local projects matched state goals. But the state did not completely vet instructional materials to ensure that they were aligned to Arizona's content standards. * Colorado, which received $18 million, expanded the resources it creates with districts to make items about standards and teacher-evaluation systems available statewide. It also provided opportunities for districts to work with local STEM-related businesses to provide students with real-life experiences in the various fields, and extended STEM-related grants to districts for two years instead of initiating a new round after just one year. However, the state made slower-than-expected progress in rolling out resources for things like sample curricula and performance assessments. * Pennsylvania received $41 million, and worked to increase monitoring of districts at the state level, help schools' transition to the state's content standards, and improve student achievement in STEM-related courses. But at the end of three years, it reported spending less than half its Race to the Top funds (49 percent), even though the grant period had only one year left to go. The state cited delays in several projects as the reason for the relatively low proportion of -ANDREW UJIFUSA money spent. ing children of families fleeing war and famine and accommodating students who speak languages other than Spanish, according to the report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. The report called for districts to track student population trends in ethnicity, language, income, and location, and assess their workforce in light of changing student populations. It also urged collaboration between urban and suburban districts to analyze needs and share strategies on how to adapt without "greatly increasing the size and cost of central office bureaucracies." -COREY MITCHELL SCHOOL LEADERS "Findings from a National Study on Research Use Among School and District Leaders" School and district leaders are more likely to absorb new studies as part of their general professional development rather than to make specific educational decisions, according to a study by the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice, a federal research center. The study is based on a nationally representative survey of 733 school and district leaders who responded to the survey from 45 states and 485 school districts. It found that more than 70 percent of education leaders said they used research to expand their own understanding of an issue, and they more frequently used research to justify a program or decision already made than to make a decision. -SARAH D. SPARKS EDUCATION WEEK | June 1, 2016 | | 5

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