Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 4
NEWS IN BRIEF
Judge Bars Board Elections
In Ferguson, Mo., District
A U.S. District Court judge ruled
last week that the system of electing
school board members in the Ferguson-Florissant, Mo., district deprives
African-Americans of an "equal opportunity" to elect representatives of
their choice to the school board and
violates the Voting Rights Act.
Judge Rodney W. Sippel barred the
district from holding elections until a
system addressing the "current inequities" is properly implemented.
The ruling stems from a 2014 lawsuit ﬁled by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Missouri
chapter of the NAACP and three residents. The lawsuit charged that the
voting process in the district reduces
the opportunity for African-Americans to be elected to the school board.
Nikki Fox//Daily News-Record via AP
-DENISA R. SUPERVILLE
U.S. Suit Claims Ga. Students
With Disabilities Segregated
The U.S. Department of Justice
ﬁled suit last week against Georgia,
alleging that a state-run network of
schools for students with behavioral
and emotional disabilities unnecessarily segregates them from peers.
About 4,600 students attend the
24 schools that are a part of the
Georgia Network for Educational
and Therapeutic Support. Those students are ofﬁcially enrolled in their
home districts, but are assigned to
the separate placements if their disabilities are considered severe.
The lawsuit said that for the vast
majority of students, such segregation is unnecessary and a violation
of federal law. An investigation the
department conducted in 2015 found
students were housed in shoddy facilities and often not given access to art,
music, foreign-language, vocational,
or other courses. -CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS
Miami-Dade Students Given
Students in the Wynwood area
of the Miami-Dade County district
in Florida have been receiving new
school uniforms that are intended to
protect against the spread of Zika.
Families received vouchers from
the district that they could exchange
for two pairs of khaki pants and two
long-sleeved white shirts. At the
same time, Florida health officials
have been handing out insect repellent and information on how to prevent mosquito bites.
School board member Dorothy
Bendross-Mindingall, who represents schools inside the Zika-transmission zone, said many parents
were anxious about sending their
children back to school in the affected area.
-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
based ETS would cover damages
from issues with the State of Texas
Assessments of Academic Readiness,
or STAAR. The company must spend
the rest improving features like its
online enrollment and testing and its
The ETS won a 2015 contract
worth $280 million to administer
STAAR for the state.
Texas Penalizes Vendor ETS
After Glitches Mar Testing
The Los Angeles district is redoubling its commitment to language
immersion and bilingual education, starting with the addition of
nine dual-language programs this
The expansion is part of an effort to
teach more children in the school system to read and write, not just speak,
in multiple languages. The district has
more than 140,000 English-learners,
more than all but ﬁve states.
Texas is fining the Educational
Testing Service $5.7 million-and
ordering it to invest $15 million in
future safeguards-after computer
glitches caused problems in statewide testing last school year.
Commissioner of Education Mike
Morath announced last week that
the fine against the New Jersey-
Dual-Language, Bilingual Ed.
Expanding in Los Angeles
Many Schools Remain Closed Following Flooding in Louisiana
Historic ﬂooding that swept across southern Louisiana continued to keep scores of schools closed and
thousands of students out of their classrooms last
week as a massive cleanup effort got underway in a
wide swath of the state.
Record-setting river crests damaged homes and
schools there and in parts of Mississippi and forced
tens of thousands of residents to evacuate their
homes for temporary shelter.
At least 13 people have died in the ﬂooding.
In the East Baton Rouge Parish district, school
administrators had hoped to reopen last week, but
later postponed the return of students and most
employees until September. District leaders said
the delay was due in part to the discovery that
some school buildings, even those that hadn't taken
on water, had developed mold or other problems.
4 | EDUCATION WEEK | August 31, 2016 | www.edweek.org
The district has 84 schools and serves more than
Schools in Livingston Parish, east of Baton Rouge,
remain closed indeﬁnitely, with district leaders reporting that nearly half their buildings had been damaged.
In addition to ﬂooded schools, districts have had to deal
with waterlogged buses, which could complicate their
efforts to get students back in school.
Ensuring there are enough teachers and other staff
members who can return to work is another challenge.
Another hard-hit school system is Central Community, where 40 percent of employees were affected
by the ﬂooding. Students there are slated to return
after Labor Day.
According to the Louisiana education department,
schools in 29 parishes were shut down as a result of
-ASSOCIATED PRESS & LESLI A. MAXWELL
The district now has 65 duallanguage programs, marking a 25
percent increase over the past three
years, EdSource reports. With the
language-immersion expansion, the
district now has programs in Arabic,
French, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Armenian, thanks in part
to parent demand.
Orlando Students Stay Away
After Threats on Twitter
More than 900 students were
absent from three Orlando-area
schools after authorities say a man
posted threats on Twitter to shoot
students and put pipe bombs inside
the Florida campuses.
FBI ofﬁcials said they were looking into the threats made against
the schools, but didn't think they
Authorities were searching for
the man who they say posted the
threats: a 23-year-old transient who
has lived in Florida, California, Vir-AP
ginia, and Maryland.
Ky. Education Officials Find
200-Plus Violations on Tests
Kentucky officials have determined that 241 testing violations
occurred on required statewide tests
for the 2014-15 school year.
A state education department
spokeswoman said most violations
involved procedural errors, not intentional efforts to cheat. Investigators found that students in the
Anchorage Independent district
were allowed to use dictionaries during tests. In Grant County,
investigators determined that a
teacher let students use protractors, which aren't allowed during
As a result of the investigation,
ofﬁcials lowered the tests scores of
48 students and changed the scores
of 44 others to zero. About 216 educators have also been required to
have extra training.
Florida Teachers Push Back
On Mandated Collaboration
Research has shown that when
teachers collaborate, their practice
changes, and student learning improves. But when the superintendent of Florida's Palm Beach County
district mandated that all teachers
spend 90 minutes a week in group
meetings, he received an onslaught of
complaints from the teachers' union.
Union ofﬁcials said the requirement
took away from teachers' planning
time, according to the Palm Beach
Post. They threatened to ﬁle a federal
After about a week, Superintendent Robert Avossa dropped the
plan, calling the opposing teachers
"isolationists" and "divisive."
Teachers and union ofﬁcials took
issue with Avossa's characterization of teachers as being opposed
to collaboration. They said teachers
already work together and want to
collaborate more, but not by a bureaucratic decree.
Mailer Tarring Public School
Leads Charter CEO to Resign
The CEO of a Pennsylvania charter
school is resigning after a mailer promoting the school cited a 2015 drug
arrest at a nearby public high school.
Loraine Petrillo says she had
nothing to do with the mailer but is
resigning in the wake of the controversy it has caused for the Innovative Arts Academy Charter School in
The school says the mailer wasn't
authorized. It references the arrest
last year of a Liberty High School
student and says, "Why worry about
this type of student at school?" -AP
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - August 31, 2016
Education Week - August 31, 2016
Calls to Halt Charters Stir Friction
Head Start Benefits Underscored
Efforts to Boost Teacher Diversity Seen Falling Short
Digital Directions: 1-to-1 Computing Under Microscope in Maine Schools
News in Brief
Back to School: Taking the Public’s Pulse
U.S. State Department Tackles Gender Gap in Stem Participation
Act Scores Dip as Participation Swells
Are Poor Students More Ready for Kindergarten?
Teacher-Tenure Battles Continue After Vergara
Judge Blocks Guidance on Transgender Rights
Reading the Tea Leaves in Advance of Essa Funding Rules
Q&A: With Christopher Emdin
Q&A: Talking K-12 With a Force in the House Gop
Howard Fuller: The Naacp Has It Wrong
Milton Chen & Jonathan B. Jarvis: 100 Years Old, Our National Parks Are the Best Outdoor Classrooms
Topschooljobs Recruitment Marketplace
David E. Dematthews: The Principal as Community Advocate
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Digital Directions: 1-to-1 Computing Under Microscope in Maine Schools
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 2
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 3
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - News in Brief
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Report Roundup
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Back to School: Taking the Public’s Pulse
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - U.S. State Department Tackles Gender Gap in Stem Participation
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Are Poor Students More Ready for Kindergarten?
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Teacher-Tenure Battles Continue After Vergara
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 10
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 11
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 12
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 13
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 14
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 15
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Reading the Tea Leaves in Advance of Essa Funding Rules
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Q&A: Talking K-12 With a Force in the House Gop
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Howard Fuller: The Naacp Has It Wrong
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Milton Chen & Jonathan B. Jarvis: 100 Years Old, Our National Parks Are the Best Outdoor Classrooms
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 20
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Letters
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - Topschooljobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - 23
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - David E. Dematthews: The Principal as Community Advocate
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - CT1
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - CT2
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - CT3
Education Week - August 31, 2016 - CT4