Education Week - July 19, 2017 - 4
NEWS IN BRIEF
Dozens of Democratic Senators Voice
Concerns About DeVos and Civil Rights
Thirty-four Democratic senators have sent U.S.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos a letter expressing their concerns with the direction of civil rights
enforcement under her administration.
The lawmakers point to recent actions taken by
the U.S. Department of Education. They include a
new policy surrounding office for civil rights investigations that calls for less emphasis on examining individual complaints for evidence of systemic
discrimination. The letter points to the Trump administration's decision to rescind Obama-era guidance calling for transgender students to be able
to use the restroom that matches their gender
The senators are also unhappy that DeVos invited
groups with a historic record of supporting policies
such as gay-conversion therapy to a Father's Day
event at the department. And they are not pleased
that DeVos hired Adam Kissel, who formerly worked
at the conservative Koch network to serve as a deputy assistant secretary for higher education. Kissel has been skeptical of the standard of proof the
Obama administration advocated for colleges investigating sexual assault and harassment claims.
19 Attorneys General Sue Secretary for
Delaying Rules Aimed at For-Profit Colleges
Democratic attorneys general from 18 states and
the District of Columbia have sued U.S. Education
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos over her decision to suspend rules that were meant to protect
students from abuse by for-profit colleges.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington,
says DeVos violated rulemaking laws when she delayed so-called borrower defense to repayment rules,
which were scheduled to take effect July 1.
The rules would have forbidden schools from forcing students to sign agreements that waive their
right to sue. Defrauded students would have faced
a quicker path to get their loans erased, and schools,
not taxpayers, could have been held responsible for
In 11th Hour, N.Y. Legislature Extends
Mayor's Control Over N.Y.C. Schools
A Late Welcome
A girls' robotics team from
Afghanistan arrives at the
Hamid Karzai International
Airport in Kabul last week.
Their applications for
U.S. visas had been denied
twice, but the White House
said President Donald
Trump intervened. They will
be allowed to take part in
this week's international
high school robotics
with entrants from
157 other countries.
In a special session, New York state's legislature
has extended Mayor Bill de Blasio's control of New
York City schools for two years.
The mayoral-control law was set to expire June 30,
one day after lawmakers reached the accord.
The legislature first gave control of the country's largest school system to GOP Mayor Michael
Bloomberg in 2002. He got a six-year extension
when the law expired in 2009. But de Blasio, a
Democrat, has had a harder time persuading the
legislature to give him lengthy renewals: He has
only gotten one-year extensions.
Both Republicans and Democrats had tied extending mayoral control to other issues.
-DENISA R. SUPERVILLE
Settlement Expected to Send More Aid
To Neediest Schools in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles school board has authorized
the settlement of a lawsuit that would send more
money to the district's neediest schools over the
next three years for resources to improve AfricanAmerican and Latino student achievement.
Community Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy
group, filed a complaint with the California education department and sued the district in 2015,
alleging that the district was misspending money
meant for low-income students, English-learners,
and foster youths.
-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
Ohio's Troubled Online School Loses
More Court Battles in Repayment Feud
In yet another legal blow, the Ohio Supreme
Court last week rejected online school giant Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow's requests to block
the state from collecting $60.4 million in overpayments for inflating its attendance.
On the same day, July 12, a common-pleas judge
rejected ECOT's argument that the state board
of education violated Ohio's open-meetings law
during a meeting in which the repayment issue
The decision by the supreme court means the
Ohio education department can start deducting
WHERE LOW-INCOME STUDENTS LEARN MORE
A new study by the nonprofit Education Cities compared how well low-income students
in the 300 largest cities in the country performed on the National Assessment of
Educational Progress. It found in about 2 percent of schools studied, low-income
students outperformed the national average for students who are not low-income.
SCHOOLS WHERE LOW-INCOME STUDENTS:
students nationally on average
Outperform low-income students but
underperform all students nationally on average
Outperform all students but underperform nonlow-income students nationally on average
Outperform non-low-income students
nationally on average
The district receives more than $1 billion extra
for those groups each year under a recent state
funding formula. It freed up $450 million of that
pot for general use, arguing that schools spend that
amount on disabled students who also are in the
three categories. Community Coalition and other
critics called the logic improper, saying that the programs have to specifically help high-needs students.
SOURCE: Education Equality Index
4 | EDUCATION WEEK | July 19, 2017 | www.edweek.org
"Different Tales: The Role of Gender in the
Oral Narrative-Reading Link Among African
Strong oral-storytelling skills in preschool lead to better reading scores for
black boys later in elementary school, finds
a new study in the journal Child Development. Researchers at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill prompted
74 black preschoolers to tell a story based on
a wordless picture book and scored them based
on their "setting, initiating events, internal response and plan, attempts and consequences,
resolution, and ending." Then they tracked the
children's comprehension in grades preK-6.
Stronger oral-narrative skills among girls in
preschool translated to stronger reading-comprehension skills in early elementary, but the
effect decreased over time. For boys, stronger
oral-storytelling skills hurt reading skills in
the early years, but the effect became positive
as those boys progressed through elementary
"Promoting Positive Youth Development Through
School-Based Social and Emotional Learning
Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Follow-Up Effects"
Programs that teach students how to recognize their emotions, solve problems, and form
healthy relationships may continue to show positive benefits for students months or years after
they complete them, concludes a new meta-analysis in the journal Child Development.
Students who completed social-emotionallearning interventions fared better than their
non-participating peers on a variety of indicators-including academic performance, social
skills, and avoidance of such negative behaviors as drug use. In eight studies that measured academic results, participants in social-