Education Week - June 1, 2016 - (Page 5)
| OBITUARY |
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
"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.
"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
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
"Suburban Schools: The Unrecognized Frontier in
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
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
"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
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 | www.edweek.org | 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
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