Education Week - July 18, 2018 - 1
VOL. 37, NO. 37 * JULY 18, 2018
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2018 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
Conservative Groups Push Teachers to Drop Their Unions
By Sarah Schwartz
Conservative, free-market groups
across the country have launched campaigns aimed at persuading teachers
to drop out of their unions, in the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling
that will put a dent in unions' finances
and membership numbers.
For the past year, union officials
had been preparing to face both an
adverse ruling in Janus v. American
Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31-which
last month determined public-employee unions could no longer collect
fees from nonmembers for collective
bargaining-and subsequent efforts
by anti-union groups to get teachers
to end their memberships. But the
speed and scope of the anti-union
messaging has been striking.
Right-leaning think tanks and advocacy organizations have placed antiunion ads on Google and social media
and sent targeted emails to teachers
across the country. Some plan to go
door to door to reach educators during
Ashley Elpern Chapman, a public
school teacher and union member in
Newton, Mass., received a message
from one of these groups, the Macki-
nac Center for Public Policy, the day
after the Janus decision came down on
" T he word i ng of [ t he ema i l]
sounded very manipulative, and very,
'We're here to help you,' " she said.
"They're there to push an agenda-
PAGE 11 >
STINGING DEFEAT: Supreme Court smacks
down unions on agency fees. PAGE 10
In K-12, 20 Percent
Of Staff Say #MeToo
Even in a Female-Dominated Field,
Sexual Harassment Mars Workplace
Brandi Simons for Education Week
By Arianna Prothero
Jennifer Esau, center, an Oklahoma teacher who is running for a state Senate seat, talks with Sandra Yost in Claremore, Okla., as she
and her 16-year-old daughter Isabelle, right, canvass her district for votes earlier this month.
Next Up in Teacher Activism: Run for State Office
By Madeline Will
Thousands of angry teachers
across the country walked out of
their classrooms this spring to
protest low wages, cuts to school
funding, and other changes to
education policy. They scored
some legislative victories, but
many remained frustrated
that the statehouse seems far
removed from the schoolhouse
when it comes to their priorities.
Now, scores of teachers are
turning from the picket lines to
the polls with a new mantra: If
you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
According to an Education
Week analysis, at least 135 current teachers have filed to run
for their state legislature-
including 103 as Democrats, 28
as Republicans, and three as
independents. (Many more re-
Our Students Don't
Get Enough Civics,
By Alyson Klein
Earlier this year, students at Iowa's
Burlington High School joined thousands
of their peers in a nationwide protest advocating for stricter gun laws. Nearby, a
handful of their classmates staged their
tired teachers and administrators have filed to run, too, along
with current teachers running
for school boards and other local
offices.) The teachers are contending for 111 legislative seats,
with some races pitting educators against one another.
Those numbers reflect teachers running for office across
the country, but Education
Week gathered the most data
own demonstration in support of the Second Amendment.
For David Keane, the principal of the
school near Iowa's Quad Cities, the goal
was: Make sure his students engaged in a
respectful, productive conversation on an
issue that can send adults straight to tantrum territory, especially on social media.
Keane said he told his students " 'You
have to be rational, you have to be empathetic to what the other side has to say.' ...
We encourage kids to have differing viewpoints, but we encourage them to be respectful because that's the only way you'll
in four states that had significant teacher unrest this
spring: Arizona, Kentucky,
Oklahoma, and West Virginia.
In Oklahoma alone, 67 teachers filed to run for the state legislature. Thirteen candidates
won their primary races on
June 26, and 10 have moved on
to the Aug. 28 primary-runoff
election. Several other candi-
The #MeToo movement has felled the careers of
some of the most celebrated and influential men in
the country while exposing the pervasiveness of sexual
harassment and assault in industry after industry. As
more women come forward, it seems no place is immune: whether it be inside Hollywood, the Washington
Beltway, or the newsroom.
The same is true, it turns out, of the schoolhouse.
Forty percent of teachers and school administrators
report having been the victim of sexual harassment
or assault in their jobs or witnessing such incidents,
according to a nationally representative survey conducted by the Education Week Research Center. The
survey gives a rare look at the prevalence of this issue
in the K-12 workplace.
Twenty-five percent of female educators say they
have personally experienced sexual harassment or assault on the job, even though the profession is predominantly made up of women and most teachers spend
Alexa Moves Into Class,
Raising Alarm Bells
By Benjamin Herold
get anything accomplished."
Keane and more than a half dozen other
school leaders interviewed by Education
Week say they see helping students learn
how to have a constructive dialogue on
hot-button issues in a polarized political
climate as a key goal of civics education.
But those conversations may not be
happening often enough. More than half
of principals, assistant principals, and
other school leaders say schools don't
focus enough on civics, according to a nationally representative survey by the Edu-
For better or worse, a new technology is making its
way from consumers' homes into America's classrooms:
voice-controlled "smart speaker" systems from companies such as Amazon and Google.
The internet-enabled devices listen to what users say,
send audio recordings to the cloud, translate that information into commands, and respond accordingly-
providing users with a personal digital voice assistant
such as Amazon's Alexa, which teachers are now using
to help with everything from setting a classroom timer
to leading a group of 3rd graders through a spelling test.
Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union
are raising alarms about privacy.
"Should students be required to submit themselves to
always-on voice-tracking and other third-party surveillance in order to get an education?" asked ACLU staff
technologist Daniel Kahn Gillmor.
Still, the early K-12 adopters of smart speakers and