Education Week - September 6, 2017 - 1
VOL. 37, NO. 3 * SEPTEMBER 6, 2017
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2017 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
In Spec. Ed
By Christina A. Samuels
Hurricane Takes Heavy Toll on Schools
Addressing Physical and Emotional Damage the First Priority
By Francisco Vara-Orta & Denisa Superville
Educators in school districts serving about 1 million students along the Texas coast are picking up the pieces after
Hurricane Harvey pummeled the area during what was
supposed to be the first days of the new school year.
Some of the roughly 220 affected school districts still
planned to open right after Labor Day, others in a matter
of weeks, but for school administrators who have survived
other devastating natural disasters, they know the road to
normalcy can take years.
In the immediate aftermath of such a natural disaster,
several school leaders who've experienced similar events
said the immediate priority should be making sure stu-
dents, teachers, and school staff are safe and sound.
"First, you must account for all of your students and
staff members," said Kerry Sachetta, the assistant superintendent for operations in the Joplin, Mo., school district,
where in May 2011 he was principal of the district's sole
high school when it was destroyed by a tornado that ripped
through the community. "You have to first take care of your
own situation before you can help someone else."
Several superintendents with such experience listed
some key initial moves to make:
* enacting an emergency plan calling on employees to
* communicating with the community constantly;
distaster hit .
efforts to provide
support to schools
districts. PAGE 13
Teachers Carve Out a Place in the
Curriculum for LGBT History
By Stephen Sawchuk
Civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, front left, accompanies Martin
Luther King Jr., at a gathering in Los Angeles in 1965. Teachers
studying LGBT history use primary and secondary sources on
Rustin to learn how his sexual orientation influenced his work.
Teachers sit at square tables in a
college classroom here poring over primary and secondary sources about the
civil rights icon Bayard Rustin.
There's his 1987 obituary in The
New York Times, which avoids any
mention of his sexual orientation.
There are copies of FBI documents
from the mid-20th century, which, in
coded language, talk about his male
companions. There's a piece about an
interview with Rustin's longtime partner, Walter Naegle, detailing how, in
the absence of any other way to secure
legal protection for their relationship
in the 1970s, Rustin adopted him.
Leading the teacher training are
Debra Fowler and Miriam Morgenstern, asking probing questions like
good history teachers: How might his
sexual orientation have helped Rustin's civil rights work? How might it
have complicated it? Would an obituary today mention his partner?
Fowler and Morgenstern are the
co-executive directors of History UnErased, or HUE. It's a small group
with a huge aim: to chip away at the
nearly total absence of LGBT individuals from the K-12 liberal arts curriculum-and teachers' hesitation to teach
about them-which the group does in
Learning to Teach
Via Virtual Reality
By Liana Loewus
Coming out of preservice training,
many soon-to-be teachers register the
same complaint: They didn't get enough
practice managing a classroom.
Researchers at New York's University
at Buffalo, in conjunction with a local
public charter school and a digital-media company, are working to help ease
that transition using virtual reality.
The technology offers a middle
ground "between what can happen in
the university context and the real
classroom," said Lynn Shanahan, an
associate professor at the university
who is currently working as an administrator at Enterprise Charter School,
which serves K-8 students. "It's a safe
space because they're practicing not on
Brett Carlsen for Education Week
David J. Phillip/AP
The football field at C.E. King High
School in Houston is covered by
floodwaters from the storm.
The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have spent time
and energy dismantling some of the
education regulations championed by
President Barack Obama.
But an educational equity policy
born from the bipartisan reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act and given prominence by
Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative lives on. And it means that many
more school districts may have to make
changes to how they spend their federal
special education allotment.
Starting in 2018-19, states must
start using a standardized method to
determine if their districts have wide
disparities in how they identify, place in
segregated settings, or discipline minority students with disabilities.
School systems found to have "significant disproportionality" in one or
more of those areas must use 15 percent of their federal special education
dollars on remedies, called "coordi-
The technology creates a safe setting for
teachers to learn to handle disruptions.