Education Week - August 28, 2013 - (Page 5)

EDUCATION WEEK AUGUST 28, 2013 n n 5 Researchers from Stanford University’s medical REPORT ROUNDUP Federal Judge Upholds Ban Against ‘Boobies’ Bracelets A federal district judge in Indiana has ruled that school administrators may prohibit “IYBoobies” breast-cancerawareness bracelets, saying they could be considered lewd or vulgar student speech. Judge Joseph S. Van Bokkelen this month rejected the reasoning of the full federal appeals court in Philadelphia, which ruled earlier in the month that the bracelets could not be barred because they comment on a social issue and are not “plainly lewd.” The Fort Wayne school district barred the bracelets, which are produced by the Keep A Breast Foundation of Carlsbad, Calif., after a male high school student in 2010 was wearing one when he harassed a female student by repeating the phrase “I love boobies” around her. District officials, who had also confiscated a bracelet that said, “Save the boobs,” concluded that such messages were offensive to women and inappropriate for school regardless of their breast-cancerawareness theme. The ban was challenged on First Amendment grounds by a female student identified as K.A., a rising senior in Fort Wayne. The bracelets have caused controversy in several schools around the country. In its decision in B.H. v. Easton Area School District, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit held that the bracelets could not be categorically barred as lewd under U.S. Supreme Court precedents on student speech. But Judge Van Bokkelen concluded, in J.A. v. Fort Wayne Community Schools, that the word “boobies” is often vulgar by itself, and the “IYBoobies” slogan has been interpreted sexually by middle school boys, among others. The judge said high school is a place where the youngest students are not very far removed from the maturity level of middle schoolers. –MARK WALSH For links to these reports, go to HIGH SCHOOLS “Sustained Progress: New Findings About the Effectiveness and Operation of Small Public High Schools of Choice in New York City” Principals and teachers in the 25 highest-performing small high schools in New York City credit academic rigor and personalization with their schools’ rising graduation rates, according to the latest in a series of studies of the Big Apple’s small-schools initiative. Researchers from MDRC tracked more than 12,000 students who did and did not win a lottery-based admission to one of the city’s more than 80 small schools from 2004 to 2007. They found that students who went to small high schools were 9.5 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school-—73.6 percent versus 64.7 percent—and 7.2 percentage points more likely to receive a regents diploma than those who had applied but weren’t chosen. In the highest-performing schools, 85 percent of staff members attributed rising graduation rates to high-quality teachers, more than 75 percent credited strong relationships between teachers and staff, and a quarter cited high academic rigor. –SARAH D. SPARKS ENGLISH-LANGUAGE LEARNERS “Education Needs to Further Examine Data Collection on English-Language Learners in Charter Schools” More than a third of charter schools in 2010-11 did not disclose the number of English-language learners in their data reports to the federal government, says a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The report from last month found 37 percent of charters left blank a question dealing with the English-learner population at the school. The omissions could be partly definitional, the ation” of the standards and a comparison between the common core and Georgia’s previous content standards. Gov. Deal, along with state schools Superintendent John Barge, has been supportive of the standards, which the state school board adopted in 2010. But there has been considerable agitation against the standards from conservative groups in the state. In July, the state dropped out of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of two consortia developing tests aligned to the common core. Georgia officials cited the additional costs the tests would bring to the state. –ANDREW UJIFUSA Legislator Pulls Son Over Transgender Law A California legislator has pulled one of his sons from public school after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that provides transgender students explicit protection on campus. According to the Associated Press, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican, said he was withdrawing the 13-year-old because the law approved by the Democratic governor would replace students’ rights to privacy with a “right to be ogled.” Starting in January, the law will allow transgender stu- dents to use restrooms and join sports teams based on the gender they identify with. –GINA CAIRNEY Minn.: Test Glitches Did Not Affect Results Recurring problems with an on- line system for administering proficiency tests had minimal impact on Minnesota students’ scores this past spring, state education officials say. Thousands of students experienced slow loading times and other problems in April that interfered with their beginning or completing Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment tests in math and reading. Many more completed the tests without glitches. Indiana, Kentucky, and Oklahoma also had problems with online proficiency tests in the spring. Those states use a different vendor to administer their tests, but their reviews also found the disruptions had little impact on students’ scores. –AP CORRECTION: A column about a leadership transition at the Center for Education Reform in the Aug. 7, 2013, issue of Education Week should have said that Jeanne Allen will step down as president of the organization in October. She will remain on its board of directors and will become a senior fellow. GAO concludes. The form asks schools for the number of students enrolled in “English-language instruction educational programs” without clearly defining “program.” The GAO urges the Department of Education to systemically evaluate data-reporting practices in charter schools to see how often such omissions occur. –KATIE ASH AUTISM “Brain Organization Underlying Superior Mathematical Abilities in Children With Autism” 5.6% Students with autism and average intelligence regularly outperform nonautistic peers with the same IQ levels on mathematics problems, and their brains may approach the problems differently, according to a study published online last week in the journal Biological Psychiatry. 17.9% Operations NCES Puts K-12 Spending At $500 Billion in 2010-11 “Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2010–11 (Fiscal Year 2011)” New financial data released by the National Center on Education Statistics show that 50 states and the District of Columbia spent more than $527 billion on public K-12 education in fiscal 2011, including $322.5 billion on instruction. Per-student spending dipped slightly from 2010 to 2011, but has not dropped below $10,000 on average since 2005. –SARAH D. SPARKS HOW SCHOOL SPENDING BREAKS DOWN 23.3% Benefits 66% Salaries 4.6% Purchased services 4.1% Instructional supplies 1.5% Tuition to private or out-of-state schools 0.5% Other 10.7% Administration 65.9% Instruction and instruction-related Student services ACHIEVEMENT GAP “Leaving Boys Behind: Gender Disparities in High Academic Achievement” Girls’ expectations for higher education have risen significantly since the 1980s, while boys’ expectations have remained flat, finds a study posted online by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The researchers say their findings, out this month, suggest one reason female students are outpacing males in college-going. In the 1980s, seniors of both genders had similar expectations for higher education, but by the 2000s, girls were 8 percentage points more likely to aspire to college. In that same time, girls’ GPAs rose, while boys’ GPAs have stagnated. –ALYSSA MORONES For links to these reports, go to school and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, both in Palo Alto, Calif., gave math problems to 36 7- to 12-year-old students of average IQs with and without an autism spectrum disorder. Students with autism were more accurate and used more-sophisticated strategies to break the problem into component parts. Brain scans taken during the tests showed students with autism had activity in an area associated with understanding faces and other visual information –S.D.S. BULLYING “Impact of Bullying in Childhood on Adult Health, Wealth, Crime, and Social Outcomes” Adults who both bullied and were bullies as children develop worse health problems than those who were not bullied or victims who never bullied others, according to a study published online last week in Psychological Science. Researchers interviewed more than 1,400 North Carolina students at ages 9, 11, and 13 and then later as adults. They found that so-called “bullyvictims” were twice as likely as those who weren’t bullied to have difficulty holding a job and six times more likely to have a serious illness, smoke regularly, or have a psychiatric disorder. The researchers suggest this may be because aggressive students find less support to recover when they become victims themselves, or because long-term bullying may lead victims to become bullies. By contrast, “pure bullies” did not grow up with health or career problems. –S.D.S.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - August 28, 2013

Education Week - August 28, 2013
Waiver States Under Scrutiny
Common Core: A Puzzle to Public
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Fla. Virtual School Faces Hard Times
Stacked Deck Seen in Growth of PBIS
This Week
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Most Students Aren’t Ready for College, ACT Data Show
For Rural Teachers, Mentoring Support Is Just a Click Away
Philadelphia Gears to Open Schools After Aid Reprieve
Blogs of the Week
INDUSTRY & INNOVATION: New Sites Designed to Help Choose Best Ed-Tech Tools
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Museums, Researchers Shifting To Online Science Ed. Outreach
Common Core Grinds Along Amid Michigan Debate
‘Course Choice’ Venture Gets Started in Louisiana
Policy Brief
PAULA STACEY: The Best Education Diet? Real Food, Prepared Well
LINDA DIAMOND: The Cure for Common-Core Syndrome
CAROL LACH: What Really Matters In Education: Compassion
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JAMES H. NEHRING: Think Education Is Like Medicine? Think Again

Education Week - August 28, 2013