Education Week - June 20, 2018 - 4
NEWS IN BRIEF
AMA Adopts Sweeping Policies
To Decrease Gun Violence
Dan Kirk via Instagram
With frustration mounting over lawmakers' inaction on gun control, the American Medical Association last week pressed for a ban on assault
weapons and came out against arming teachers as
a way to fight what it calls a public-health crisis.
At its annual policymaking meeting, the nation's largest physicians group bowed to unprecedented demands from doctor-members to take
a stronger stand on gun violence-a problem the
organization says is as menacing as a lethal infectious disease.
AMA delegates voted to adopt several other proposals presented by doctor groups, such as supporting bans on the purchase or possession of guns and
ammunition by people younger than 21; backing
laws that would require licensing and safety courses
for gun owners and registration of all firearms;
pressing for legislation that would allow relatives of
suicidal people or those who have threatened imminent violence to seek court-ordered removal of guns
from the home.
Proposal to Use Federal Education Grants
To 'Harden' Schools Draws Backlash
An alliance of U.S. education groups, including the
National PTA and the National School Boards Association, expressed shock last week that the Trump administration would let schools pay for metal detectors
and police patrols through a $1.1 billion program that
the White House and Congress have used to defend
their response to an epidemic of school shootings.
The concern comes nearly a month after a gunman killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School near
Houston, which prompted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
to urge schools to use federal education dollars to
"harden" campuses with more armed guards or by
altering buildings. At a hearing last week, school police chiefs endorsed some physical safeguards but
waved off metal detectors as ineffective.
Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants
can be used by schools to promote "safe and healthy"
students, such as for mental health, but the money is
also for bolstering academic programs or technology.
The Game of Life
Makata Ezeugwa got
creative in decorating
his mortar board at his
graduation from Southwick
Regional School in
To see more graduates'
go to Education Week's
photo blog at
After Drawing Criticism, College Board
Rethinking Revision of AP World History
Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal
On Limiting Teacher-Tenure Rights
The College Board is considering reinstating
some content that was cut from Advanced Placement World History after high school teachers ar-
The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to
take up a case involving efforts by Indiana to limit
BUILDING ENJOYMENT IN MATH, READING YIELDS TEST GAINS
The National Center for Education Statistics finds that across grades 4 and 8 tested
in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, students who had positive
views of math, reading, or science performed better on those subjects. But the
report also found that low-income students, defined as those eligible for the
National School Lunch Program, were less likely to report positive views of reading
than middle- or high-income students.
Without comment, the justices refused to hear
the appeal of the state of Indiana and Madison
Consolidated Schools, which asked them to overrule a 1938 Supreme Court ruling that held that
the state's 1927 teacher-tenure law created binding rights protecting teachers who had earned
The state and the district say the 80-year-old
precedent is hampering the state's full implementation of a 2011 Indiana law, known as SB 1, that includes a measure allowing districts to lay off teachers based on performance rather than seniority.
Both a federal district court and appellate court
had ruled in a recent case in favor of a tenured
teacher who had been fired as part of a reduction in
force while several nontenured teachers kept their
n Significant difference
SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics
4 | EDUCATION WEEK | June 20, 2018 | www.edweek.org
gued that the elimination of pre-colonial Africa,
Asia, Americas, and the Middle East would hurt
children of color.
In the spring, the organization announced
changes to the test in response to teachers who
complained of having to cram too much content
into a short amount of time. The idea was to test
content from 1450, the expansion of European
power, through the present time, beginning in
2019-20. Earlier history would be covered in an
untested pre-AP course.
Much criticism ensued. At an open forum
in Salt Lake City, for example AP history
teacher Amanda DoAmaral argued that if the
content is not tested, teachers won't teach it.
That will hurt "black and brown students," she
said. "Their histories don't start at slavery,"
she said. "Their histories don't start at colonization. I just feel like you're another person of
authority telling my students that they don't
matter, and you need to take responsibility for
A high school student's petition to stop the revision, meanwhile, has garnered more than 5,000
Arizona Charter Schools Change Policies
After Discriminatory Practices Found
Documentation and policy changes have occurred at nearly 100 Arizona charter schools
following a civil rights group's report that
accused schools of having discriminatory enrollment policies, education officials say.
In its report from December, the American
Civil Liberties Union of Arizona found that many
charter schools had admission requirements
that deterred certain students, including those
with disabilities, English-learning needs,
poor academic performance, and past disciplinary issues.
A state board that oversees charters says
that 97 percent of those schools have now been
deemed compliant, while the remaining schools
are working with board staff to examine if their
policies are compliant. The state board has also
revised its review and advisory processes to prevent enrollment violations.
Visas of Baltimore Teachers to Expire,
Leaving Holes to Fill in Shortage Areas
About 25 foreign teachers working in Baltimore
public schools will be forced to return to their coun-
"Gender Achievement Gaps in U.S. School
In spite of stereotypes, gender gaps in
math and reading aren't universal. The
most comprehensive study to date on gender
gaps suggests the size and even the direction
of the gaps vary from one school district to
The new Stanford University study comparing gender gaps across nearly 10,000 districts
nationwide found no average gender gap in
math, but a gap of nearly three-quarters of a
grade level favoring girls in reading.
School district and community mattered far more than subject, the researchers found. Gaps favoring boys were more
common in wealthier districts and communities where there are big gaps in income
between men and women generally. In low-in-
come communities, girls tended to outperform
boys in both reading and math. -SARAH D. SPARKS
"Effective Teacher Policies: Insights from PISA"
The 19 highest-performing countries involved
in the Program for International Assessment
vary widely on most teacher policies, but they
do have three practices in common, finds a
study by the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation.
All the highest-performing countries, including the United States, had:
* A required, extended period of "clinical practice" during the preservice period or at the beginning of the teacher's career;
* Opportunities for professional development
tailored to individual teachers; and
* Teacher-evaluation practices that prioritize