Education Week - June 8, 2016 - (Page 1)

Education Week VOL. 35, NO. 34 * JUNE 8, 2016 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2016 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 4  BRE AKING NEWS DAILY Levels of Skill In Pre-K Staff Remain Issue CHARTER MOVEMENT AT 25: Amid expansion, questions persist Training, Support Encouraged To Boost Worker Qualifications Patrick T. Fallon for Education Week By Christina A. Samuels The Evolution of the 'Chartered School' 25 Years On, the Movement Has Expanded, Shifted, and Evolved By Arianna Prothero Twenty-five years ago this month, tucked in a voluminous education funding bill headed to the Minnesota governor's desk, was a quirky and contentious idea to allow teachers and parents to create a new kind of public school-chartered schools. With a stroke of his pen, then-Gov. Arne Carlson signed into existence a movement that has grown over the last quarter-century into a national juggernaut: a charter school sector with thousands of schools, millions of students, a cadre of deep-pocketed benefactors, dozens of advocacy groups, and sophisticated networks of schools that in some cases dwarf the nation's average-size school district. Although charter school students only make up about 5 percent of the 50 million K-12 public school students in the country, charters have posed the only credible competition to the traditional system of public schooling. While the growth of charters has mostly been in large urban districts, in 14 of those cities, such as San Antonio, Detroit, and Philadelphia, charters now enroll at least 30 percent of children in public schools. But as charters have expanded their reach, some observers inside and outside the sector contend they have wandered far from their original purpose: to be schools of innovation and serve as a research and development sector for traditional K-12 schools. And among one of the most searing criticisms of the charter sector is that the schools are accelerating the resegregation of American public education. In many ways, Minnesota still embodies some of the early ideas, while cities such as Los Angeles repre- Students arrive for classes at Alliance Collins Family CollegeReady High School, a public charter school in Huntington Park, Calif. DIVERSITY ISSUE : Charter schools have long been criticized for a lack of diversity, but a national analysis reveals a varied demographic profile. For many students, high school graduation is a momentous occasion. But for Katherine and Kenia, who are on track to graduate this month from a high school in Charlotte, N.C., this rite of passage is bittersweet, a mixture of joy at reaching a significant milestone and deep uncertainty about what comes next. Katherine, 17, and Kenia, 18, both hail from Honduras and were among the thousands of Central American children who made the per- ilous journey across the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years to escape violence and poverty at home. (Education Week is withholding the students' last names at their request because of their immigration status.) For some of those children, high school graduation marks the end of a period of relative stability. At school, they found trusted adults, got regular meals, and obtained mental-health assistance to deal with trauma from past experiences as they navigated a new country, school system, and language, said Gary Chapman, the executive vice presi- PAGE 10 > Restroom Guidance A Thorny Case Study In Regulatory Law By Mark Walsh dent of Communities in Schools, a Virginiabased organization that provides wraparound services to school districts. "School, for all intents and purposes, has become their home because of so much uncertainty in their lives," said Chapman, whose organization helps about 6,700 unaccompanied minors nationally. The majority of unaccompanied minors who enrolled are still in school, but a growing number are graduating. Such students are largely still undocumented, meaning Two radically different narratives are emerging about the federal guidance over transgender students and restrooms. President Barack Obama's administration asserts that its guidance calling for schools to allow transgender students to choose restrooms and locker rooms "consistent with their gender identity" is an interpretation of long-standing regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal law barring discrimination "based on sex" in federally funded education programs. "This guidance does not add requirements to applicable law, but provides information and examples to inform recipients about how the Departments [of Justice and Education] evaluate whether covered entities are complying with their legal obligations," those departments said in a May 13 "Dear Colleague" letter. Meanwhile, about a dozen states, several PAGE 13 > PAGE 22 > PAGE 14 > PAGE 16 Unaccompanied Minors Cross New Hurdle: Graduation By Denisa Superville One of the hottest topics in early-childhood education is the "word gap"-the division in preliteracy skills between children who are immersed in rich language from their earliest days and children who do not get that experience. High-quality child care and preschool are supposed to help close that gap. But those programs often may be relying on a workforce that has a literacy gap of its own. "We spend hundreds of millions on professional development without testing the language competency" of early-childhood employees, said Elizabeth Gilbert, who was the director of an early-educator-workforce program that ran for five years. Resources should go to supporting literacy skills not only in children, but also in the adults who care for them, she said. Gilbert's concerns are part of a national conversation about what child-care workers and preschool teachers should be expected to know and be able to do. Policymakers and those who represent child-care workers are trying to develop appropriate measures for those workers-along with incentives and rewards for being highly skilled. When Gilbert wrote about the issue in

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - June 8, 2016

Education Week - June 8, 2016
Levels of Skill in Pre-K Staff Remain Issue
Unaccompanied Minors Cross New Hurdle: Graduation
Restroom Guidance a Thorny Case Study in Regulatory Law
The Evolution of the ‘Chartered School’
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Collaboration Comes Slowly In Federal ‘Partnership Pilots’
Proposal Puts Teacher-License Portability Back in Spotlight
Ed-Tech Market in Flux, as Investors Grow More Selective
Blogs of the Week
Role of Charters Facet Of Debate About Diversity
Kansas Districts Gird For Funding Shutdown After Court Ruling
State K-12 Leaders Cautious In Assessing Draft ESSA Rules
Military Students to Get Additional Supports Under ESSA
Blogs of the Week
Narrowing the Focus For School Boards
Teachers Know Best
Improving School Attendance Requires Good Data
Lift Off
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Transgender Restroom Policies and What The Research Suggests

Education Week - June 8, 2016