Education Week - June 20, 2018 - 5
BLOG OF THE WEEK
Drug Use, Smoking, Sexual Activity-
And Milk-Down Among Teenagers
Fewer U.S. teenagers are smoking, having
sex, and doing drugs these days-and they're
drinking less milk.
Less than one-third of high school students
drink a glass of milk a day, according to a large
government survey released last week. About
two decades ago, it was nearly half.
Last year's survey asked about 100 questions
on a wide range of health topics. Researchers
compared the results with similar questionnaires going back more than 25 years.
One trend that stood out was the drop in
drinking milk. In recent decades, teenagers
have shifted from milk to soda, then to sports
drinks, and recently to energy drinks. The survey showed slightly fewer are drinking soda
and sports drinks now, compared with the last
survey in 2015. Most students were not asked
about energy drinks.
Barry Popkin, a University of North Carolina researcher who studies how diets change,
said the shifts in beverage consumption are
likely contributing to the nation's obesity
of the National
Center for Education
Research, who also
oversaw the Institute
of Education Sciences for the past
year, will leave the U.S. Department of
Education's research agency June 29.
He is moving on to become the director
of the Community College Research
Center at Teachers College, Columbia
University. Before joining the department
in 2013, Brock led the young adults and
postsecondary education division at the
research firm MDRC.
ROBERT HULL, the executive vice
president of the National Association
of State Boards of Education, has been
tapped as the
president and CEO,
effective in January.
He will take over
will retire at the end
of the year after
for five years.
Hull started his
career as an
elementary teacher in West Virginia,
then served as a principal and in other
administrative positions. He also worked
as an assistant superintendent in that
state's education department.
A former teacher, Amundson served in the
Virginia legislature and was a senior vice
president for the think tank Education
A Commentary in the May 30, 2018, issue of
Education Week, "Is Silicon Valley Standardizing Learning?" by Natalia Kucirkova, has
been updated online to clarify that one of the
research-and-development initiatives from the
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation does not currently receive funding from them.
"Hidden Progress of Multilingual Students
Current and former English-language
learners have improved faster than Englishonly students in the past 15 years on the test
dubbed "the nation's report card," finds a new
study in the journal Education Researcher.
Fourth and 8th grade multilingual students' scores on the National Assessment of
Educational Progress in math and reading
have risen two to three times faster since
2003 than those of students who speak only
English at home. When researchers included
not just current ELLs, but also former ones
who had since gained proficiency in the language, they found the gap between Englishonly and multilingual 4th graders closed by
24 percent in reading and 37 percent in math
from 2003 to 2015. For 8th graders, the gaps
When schools let out for summer break,
some of the country's poorest students-
who rely on federally subsidized school
meals-lose their key source of nutrition.
Federally funded summer meal programs
are designed to bridge that gap, but many
children miss out, children's advocacy
Of the 20 million children who ate free
or reduced-price lunches during the 201617 school year, only 1 out of 7 participated
in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
summer meal programs, according to a
report released last week by the Food
Research and Action Center. And the
number of children served by summer
meal programs in 2017 dropped by 14,000,
a 0.5 percent decline from the previous
summer, the report found.
That decrease, and falling participation
closed by 27 percent in reading and 39 percent in math in that time.
"Can UTeach? Assessing the Relative
Effectiveness of STEM Teachers"
Texas science and math teachers who are
trained using the UTeach program are better at raising student-test scores than other
teachers in the state, says a new study in the
journal Economics of Education Review.
Aspiring teachers enrolled in UTeach earn
a degree in mathematics or science alongside
a teaching credential in four years. Researchers found the difference between the performance of UTeach graduates who teach in
high school and their non-UTeach peers was
greater than the gap between new teachers
and those with 10 years of experience.
The American Institutes for Research mea-
Melissa Lyttle for Education Week
tries when their visas expire at the end of this
The majority of the teachers came from the
Philippines as part of a recruitment effort by
the district in the mid-2000s to fill math, science, and special education positions-shortage areas in many school districts across the
The school system's chief human-capital officer, Jeremy Grant-Skinner, said it could be six
to eight months before federal officials decide
whether to extend the teachers' visas. He said
the district applied months ago to extend their
In Pasco County, Fla.,
children received a
free summer meal
on a modified school
bus in 2014.
sures the impact of UTeach teachers-from
the University of Texas at Austin and six
other universities in the state-on studenttest scores for middle school math, high
school math (mostly algebra), and high school
science (mostly biology) from 2010 to 2016.
"AP Computer Science Expansion"
AP Computer Science Principles has become
one of the fastest growing AP courses, expanding access to computer science both for
underrepresented minorities and female students, finds an early study of the 2018 exam
data released by the College Board last week.
Between 2017 and 2018, the number of
students taking the AP CSP exam increased
from 50,000 to 76,000-about 50 percent,
according to the data.
the prior year, followed a "successful
multiyear effort to increase participation"
through publicity campaigns promoting
free summer meal sites and attempts to
reduce red tape for organizations that
want to take part.
The USDA's free summer meal programs
allow such organizations as libraries,
schools, and youth programs to offer free
meals to children younger than 18 in
areas where at least half the children are
considered to be from low-income families.
Why do so many children miss out?
There's a shortage of funding for summer
enrichment programs, which often offer
free summer meals. Some children aren't
aware of the meals program, and many lack
transportation to meal sites, especially in
In recent years, organizations have
worked with the USDA to provide options
like text lines that allow families to
easily locate meal sites. (Text "FOOD"
to 877-877 to use No Kid Hungry's free
meal-site finder.) And some participating
organizations have tackled transportation
barriers by serving meals in food trucks
and modified buses that travel through
low-income neighborhoods during the
FRAC has a goal of seeing at least
40 percent of children who eat free or reducedprice school meals take advantage of summer
food programs. States are reaching that goal
with various levels of success. The District of
Columbia, Vermont, and New York state feed
a greater proportion of those children, while
Oklahoma, Nevada, and Louisiana feed the
lowest share during the summer.