Education Week - July 8, 2015 - (Page 5)
Dallas Chief's Resignation
Marks End of Rocky Tenure
Mike Miles has resigned as the superintendent of the Dallas schools, ending a tenure
marked by near-constant clashes with his
school board and community members.
Before coming to Dallas, Mr. Miles served as
superintendent of the Harrison school system
in Colorado for six years.
In Dallas, he installed new evaluation systems for teachers and principals. Despite his
efforts, student scores on state exams flatlined or plunged, The Dallas Morning News
During his three-year tenure in Dallas, protesters picketed his home, and he continually
clashed with employees and several school
board members, and survived several attempts by a few board members to fire him.
Just last month, he fired three popular principals despite a school board vote to keep them.
Suit Claims Los Angeles Misused
Funds for High-Need Students
Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against
the Los Angeles Unified School District last
week alleging that millions of dollars intended
to help low-income, foster-care, and Englishlearner students were diverted to special education services.
The nonprofit law firm Public Advocates and
the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern
California assert the district used the funds toward special education costs instead of spending the money on services for the students targeted under a new funding law that provides
districts with higher numbers of high-need
students with additional funds. The law is considered one of the nation's largest public undertakings to equalize educational opportunities.
Public Advocates and the aclu estimate that
high-need students were deprived of about
$126 million in the 2014-15 school year and
$288 million in the next. The district did not
immediately return a request for comment.
"Minorities Are Disproportionately Underrepresented in Special Education:
Longitudinal Evidence Across Five Disability Categories"
The 2008 economic downturn may
have made paying for college more difficult, but the students who started high
school in the teeth of the downturn are
still pushing into higher education, according to new federal data.
Of the students who entered 9th grade
in fall 2009, the overwhelming majority graduated and moved on to higher
education in four years, according to the
National Center for Education Statistics'
latest update of the 2009 High School
Transcript Study, released last month.
Nces researchers tracked 20,000 9th
graders in 944 schools nationwide and
updated the survey in 2013. They found
that nearly nine out of 10 students had
graduated by 2013 and more than a
third had earned Advanced Placement
or International Baccalaureate credit.
Seventy-three percent were taking at
least some postsecondary courses; an
additional 8 percent had been accepted
or registered for classes but had not yet
-SARAH D. SPARKS
Black students and Hispanic students are less likely than their white
and non-Hispanic peers to be labeled with a disability, when factors such as
household income, low birth weight, and parents' marital status are taken
into account, according to a new study.
The findings challenge the notion that overt or unconscious bias has funneled a disproportionate number of minority students into special education. The study was published online June 24 by the journal Educational
Researchers analyzed a national sample of students from five of
the 13 federal disability categories-emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, "other health impairment," specific learning disability,
and speech and language impairment. They looked at not only race but
at other variables that correlate with educational outcomes: Englishlanguage status, birth weight, insurance status, household income, and
mother's marital status. They also controlled for the child's achievement
and behavior. After accounting for such factors, the probability of being
identified for special education was lower in every category for minority
Lead author Paul L. Morgan of Pennsylvania State University said just reporting the share of black children identified with a disability is not enough:
Risk factors seem to make a difference. For example, black children may
be more likely to be born at a low birth weight, or in low-income households.
-CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS
"Foundations for Young Adult Success: A
A report from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School
Research seeks to distill reams of
research and insights from practitioners to help identify the cognitive and
noncognitive traits students need to
succeed in life, and to give schools and
community groups a developmentally
sensitive road map for nurturing them
The report seeks to show how those
ideas fit together into sort of an ecosystem with the aim of helping educators
and policymakers design and implement
It was funded through a competitivegrant process by the Wallace Foundation,
which also helps to support Education
Week's coverage of leadership, expanded
learning time, and arts education.
Kent D. Williamson, a former
executive director of the National
Council of Teachers of English,
died June 7 after a long illness.
He was 57.
Mr. Williamson served as
head of the 35,000-member
organization from 2000 to 2015. As he wrote
on the ncte website in February, he was an
"unlikely choice" for the position. He had
taught as a Peace Corps volunteer in the
Kingdom of Tonga and as a graduate assistant,
but was never a K-12 English teacher. Prior
to his time at the ncte, Mr. Williamson had
worked as an executive director for the American
Dairy Science Association and as a development
officer for the University of Tennessee Medical
Under Mr. Williamson's leadership, the ncte
helped start such initiatives as the online
teacher-resource hub ReadWriteThink and the
widely celebrated National Day on Writing. He
also directed the National Center for Literacy
Education, a partnership started in 2011 between
the ncte and more than two dozen groups aimed at
supporting teachers of all disciplines with literacy
Study: Minorities Less Likely to Be in Spec. Ed.
"A First Look at Fall 2009 9th Graders in
"Inequalities at the Starting Gate"
Children enter kindergarten with academic and "soft skills" gaps that can be
linked directly to their socioeconomic
status, says an economic policy group
that examined federal data on kindergarten students.
The Washington-based Economic Policy Institute found that race-based gaps
in skills such as reading and math, eagerness to learn, persistence, and focus
shrink significantly when socioeconomic
status is taken into account.
About 46 percent of black children
and 63 percent of Hispanic Englishlearners live in poverty, the study
Its title is a deliberate allusion to
a 2002 report published by epi called
"Inequality at the Starting Gate,"
which drew on the experiences of children who started school in 1998.
The new study showed that the disparities extend to noncognitive skills
in addition to language arts and math.
-CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS
"Does Not Compute: The High Cost of
Low Technology Skills in the U.S.-And
What We Can Do About It"
The U.S. education system isn't adequately preparing students to use technology for problem-solving, according to
a newly released analysis, which recommends what public schools and businesses can do to address that problem.
Change the Equation, a Washingtonbased organization promoting science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics, or stem, studies, looked at how
American millennials-the first "digital
natives" because they were born between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s
after the advent of the Internet-fared
in an international study of adult skills
in 19 countries.
Researchers analyzed data from the
2012 Program for International Assessment of Adult Competencies, which
tested the key cognitive and workplace
skills needed to participate in society.
While millennials may be adept at social media, the study found, 58 percent
struggle to use digital tools and networks to solve relatively simple problems that involve skills like sorting,
searching for, and emailing information
from a spreadsheet, the study found.
"Trends in High School Dropout and
Completion Rates in the United States:
A new National Center for Education
Statistics report suggests that some
improvements in the percentages of
students dropping out of the nation's
schools have slowed in recent years.
Drawing on several surveys and databases, the nces report traces trends
from 1972 to 2012 for an array of different dropout indicators: the event dropout rate, the status dropout rate, the
status completion rate, and the adjusted
cohort graduation rate.
For example, the event dropout rate,
which estimates the percentage of students who left high school between the beginning of one school year and the next, is
3.4 percent-unchanged since 2009.
In 1972, the rate was 6.1 percent.
With another indicator, the status dropout rate, the nces found in 2012 that
there were 2.6 million Americans ages
16-24 who were not in a public or private
school and had not earned a diploma.
This group comprised about 6.6 percent of
this age group that year, down from 14.6
percent in 1972, and 9.3 percent in 2003.
-CARALEE J. ADAMS
"College Enrollment Patterns for Rural
Indiana High School Graduates"
Students who graduate from rural
Indiana high schools are more likely
to attend a two-year or nonselective postsecondary school than their
nonrural peers, and to choose a college
that is "undermatched" with their presumed eligibility level, according to a
The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest at American Institutes
for Research, in partnership with rel
Midwest's Rural Research Alliance, examined trends among Indiana's 2010
high school graduates-about 32 percent of whom were rural students.
While rural Indiana students were
just as likely as their nonrural peers to
attend college, they were more likely to
choose a two-year-rather than a fouryear-college. About 28 percent of rural
graduates enrolled in a college that was
less selective than they were qualified
for, compared to about 24 percent of
To mitigate this pattern, the authors
of the report suggested providing more
information to students who are eligible
for selective colleges. They also called
for more research to better understand
which academic programs are attractive to rural graduates.
EDUCATION WEEK | July 8, 2015 | www.edweek.org | 5
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - July 8, 2015
Education Week - July 8, 2015
Nev. Moves to Split Clark Co. District
Crazy Quilt of State Responses To Cries of Overtesting
Common Core Trickles Into All States
Advocates Scrutinize Head Start Proposals
Supreme Court To Decide Case On Union Fees
News in Brief
Ed. School Critic Levine, MIT Partner to Launch Teacher-Prep ‘Lab’
Ariz.’s 20-Year-Old ELL Case May End, But Debate Rages On
Spelling—en Español—Catches On, With Bees in Multiple States
Blogs of the Week
ISTE Conference Examines How Tech Is Reshaping Education
Budgets, Testing Issues Took Legislative Stage
States Struggle With How to Ensure Good Teachers in All Schools
K-12 Issues Fall Within Suite of Recent High Court Rulings
In States, Plenty of Talk But Incremental Action on Early Ed.
Lengthy Floor Debate Looms for U.S. Senate Over ESEA Rewrite
Fresh Entrants in GOP’s Quest For White House
House, Senate Appropriations Bills Would Cut Back Ed. Dept. Funding
What We’ve Learned From a Longer School Day and Year
The Illusion of Closing The Achievement Gap
The ‘Power’ of Adversity
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Scholars: Challenging Racial Injustice Begins With Us
Education Week - July 8, 2015