Education Week - July 19, 2017 - 5
NEA Talks Tough
On Policy Stances
$2.5 million each month from ECOT's state aid beginning with this month's payment.
In June, the state school board ordered restitution after education department investigators
used computer log-in durations and offline documentation to verify 6,313 full-time ECOT students, about 60 percent less than the students
Despite Ruling, Arizona Regents Offer
In-State Tuition to Some Immigrants
Public universities in Arizona say they will continue to allow in-state tuition for young immigrants
who came to the United States at an early age despite a recent court decision that threw it in doubt.
The board of regents' vote came late last month,
a week after a state appeals court ruled that young
immigrants granted deferred-deportation status
under a program started by former President Barack
Obama are not eligible for lower in-state college tuition. The court's decision sets Arizona apart from
other states around the country that are granting instate tuition to immigrants in the country illegally.
After the regents acted, a former state legislator
who was a driving force behind Arizona's tough immigration laws sent a letter to the state attorney
general that gives him 60 days to sue the regents
before the legislator takes legal action himself. -AP
Most Republicans Have Negative View
Of Higher Education, Poll Finds
"The Impact of Transitional Kindergarten
on California Students"
California's unusual transitional-kindergarten program is showing promising results
when it comes to how prepared young children are to enter kindergarten itself.
The state began offering transitional kindergarten in the 2012-13 school year, after it
changed the cutoff date for children to turn 5 in
The Girl Scouts of the USA will soon offer badges
in cybersecurity for girls in grades K-12 as part of a
growing national effort to bring technological skill
and digital savvy to America's schoolchildren.
The badges will cover everything from staying
safe online and combating cyberbullying to "the
kinds of skills that cybersecurity experts need to
combat theft, extortion, espionage, data manipulation, and other criminal acts," Suzanne Harper,
the STEM (science, technology, engineering and
math) strategy lead for the organization, said in a
Its new curriculum will be developed alongside
security company Palo Alto Networks, with the
help of a cybersecurity advisory board. The tentative plan is to release badges for scouts in grades
K-5 by next summer, with badges for older scouts
available the following summer. The focus on cybersecurity is part of a larger effort to promote
STEM among the 1.8 million girls who are part of
the Girl Scouts.
MITCHELL CHESTER, the hard-charging Massachusetts
Republicans are becoming increasingly critical of
the effect higher education is having on American
life, with 58 percent saying colleges and universities exert a negative impact on the country, according to a study released last week.
The findings by the Pew Research Center show a
sharp divide in attitude toward higher education between Republicans and Democrats. While 58 percent
of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents said
colleges and universities have a negative impact on
"the way things are going in the country," 72 percent
of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents
said higher education exerts a positive impact.
The report doesn't offer insight into why Republicans' views of higher education have grown more
negative. But doubts about the value of college
have grown in the wake of the Great Recession,
as many college graduates struggled to find work,
and the cost of college-and student-debt levels-
soared. Policymakers are increasingly hailing
career-focused education as a way to equip young
people with skills that can lead to industry credentials and good jobs.
emotional programs performed about 13
percentile points higher than their peers
in the control group.
Researchers reviewed results and followup data from studies on 82 school-based,
that were universal, or administered to all
students. Those studies involved nearly
100,000 K-12 students of different demographic backgrounds.
As Part of STEM Effort, Girl Scouts
To Offer Cybersecurity Badges
education commissioner who put in place some of the
country's most ambitious school improvement efforts and
led his state through battles over common standards and a
raucous testing opt-out movement, died June 26. He was 65.
Local media outlets reported that he had been battling cancer.
One of the country's longest-serving state education chiefs, Chester was
appointed by the state school board in 2008. Over the next decade, he led the
state, one of the highest-performing in the nation, through a number of changes,
including implementation of its federal waiver of elements of the No Child Left
Behind Act, its controversial approval of the Common Core State Standards,
and the adoption of the aligned standardized test from the Partnership for
Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. In November 2015, the state
designed its own test.
The state also instituted an improvement process for its lowest-performing schools that
involved state and local officials, a model now being replicated across the country.
"Mitchell was incredibly passionate about children, and he would always bring
the discussion back to whether we were helping kids, especially those children
who need the most support," said Chris Minnich, the executive director of the
Council of Chief State School Officers. "We have lost an incredible leader today."
Chester often went toe-to-toe with the state teachers' union over testing and
school turnaround efforts.
He began his career as an elementary teacher and worked in the Connecticut and Ohio
education departments, as well as the Philadelphia schools.
-DAAREL BURNETTE II
order to begin kindergarten from Dec. 2 to Sept.
1. Evaluators from the American Institutes of
Research looked at the program's effectiveness
in preparing youngsters for kindergarten and
improving learning outcomes.
The study found that pupils who attended
the program were six months ahead in literacy skills and nearly three months ahead
in problem-solving compared with their peers
who didn't take part. The program showed
benefits for all pupils but particularly strong
effects on the English skills of those learning
the language and on the math skills of lowincome children.
"Burnout Contagion: Is It Due to
Early-Career Teachers' Social Networks
or Organizational Exposure?"
The professional climate of a school can
create a "vicious cycle" of burnout and at-
trition among young teachers, says a new
study in the journal Teaching and Teacher
Researchers tracked teachers in their first
four years on the job in 10 districts in Indiana and Michigan. They looked at the stress
and burnout levels of the novice teachers'
mentors and close colleagues. They also
examined broader structural issues in the
teachers' schools, such as poverty concentration, trust among staff, and whether teachers felt their instructional approach "fit."
The best predictor of whether a young
teacher would burn out in his or her first
four years on the job was the average stress
and burnout level of teachers in the school.
It was a stronger indicator than the school's
poverty level. Although schools that had
more low-income students were also more
likely to have stressed teachers, it didn't
necessarily lead to burnout among young
teachers if their school climate was strong
-SARAH D. SPARKS
Highlights from Education Week's
reporting from the National
Education Association's annual
convention, held in Boston
July 1-5, include:
A Harsh Welcome
For Betsy DeVos
The president of the National
Education Association really
doesn't trust U.S. Secretary
of Education Betsy DeVos,
and she wants everyone
to know it.
"I will not allow the
Association to be used by Donald Trump
or by Betsy DeVos," Lily Eskelsen García
said in a fiery address to her union's
7,000 delegates. "I do not trust their
motives. I do not believe in 'alternative
facts.' ... There will be no photo op."
The union will seek allies among both
Republicans and Democrats on Capitol
Hill, she said, "but we will not find
common ground with an administration
that is cruel and callous to our children,
to their families."
Delegates one-upped her, though, by
subsequently passing a motion calling
on the education secretary to address
their president's concerns by Sept. 1-
or face a call for her resignation.
A newly adopted policy
statement on charter
schools would limit
the union's support
of charters to
those that more
The NEA will support
charters that meet the same openrecords, financial reporting, and
accountability requirements as other
public schools. The charters must also
permit teachers to unionize.
The criteria would effectively rule
out support for major nonprofit
charter networks, such as KIPP and
Achievement First, as well as for-profit
Rough Times Ahead?
The NEA passed a
conservative budget for
that could cost
the union 20,000
That figure could be
far worse, though, if the
U.S. Supreme Court rules against
the constitutionality of charging
nonmembers "agency fees."
The court is expected to decide
whether to hear a case on the fees,
AFSCME v. Janus, by September.
Read all the convention coverage: