Education Week - September 16, 2015 - (Page 1)

Education WEEk VOL. 35, NO. 4 * SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 EDITORIAL PROJECTS IN EDUCATION * $ 4 BRE AKING NEWS DAILY Shock Waves From Ruling On Charters Schools' Backers Scrambling As Wash. Law Struck Down Sid Hastings for Education Week By Andrew Ujifusa Superintendent Joseph Davis, who took the helm of the Ferguson-Florissant district July 1, visits with students at McCluer High School in Florissant, Mo. A national debate on race was triggered last year when a black teenager was killed by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson. PAGE 14 Hidden Biases Tough for Schools to Erase Under Pressure, Colo. Schools Forge New Path By Sarah D. Sparks Commerce City, Colo. By 10 a.m., the teacher referrals are already starting to fill the box outside Ari Gerzon-Kessler's office at Monoco Elementary, a low-income, high-minority school in this district at the northeast edge of Denver. The principal will bring in parents and call students from their classes, as he does several times a week. In most schools, parents and students dread being called to the principal's office, but at Monoco Elementary, these are all "positive referrals," for which Gerzon-Kessler reads detailed praise from a teacher to the student, in English or Spanish, as his or her family looks on. "This [referral] is four minutes of work BEYOND BIAS Countering Stereotypes in School ABOUT THIS SERIES: This package kicks off a yearlong series on efforts to recognize and overcome discrimination in schools. COMMENTARY 32 A teacher in the Normandy, Mo., district, near Ferguson, shares her experiences. 30 Students from Michael Brown's school district discuss how bias has touched their lives. ONLINE Q&A Hear Ferguson's new superintendent discuss how he plans to deal with educational inequities in the district. Students Are Hope, Impetus For Recovery in Ferguson By Denisa R. Superville Ferguson, Mo. When protests erupted in this community last year after the death of Michael Brown, and then later when a grand jury declined to indict the white police officer who shot the black 18-year-old, Shawn Filer and Aniya Betts wanted to be part of the solution. Spurred by the events, the two 11th graders at McCluer High School in the Ferguson-Florissant school district decided to focus on improving their school, first by participating in forums on race and then leading The Vision, a student group formed in the wake of the unrest. In the past year, The Vision's efforts have centered on in-school activities that could make a difference for students, including improving interactions between students and teachers, a step that could prove instrumental in reducing disciplinary infractions, suspen- PAGE 12 > Parent-Teacher Digital Exchanges Studied By Sara Gilgore Technology is not only changing the way students learn-it is reshaping the way parents and teachers interact. Educators and researchers have long been intrigued by the potential of digital platforms and tools to strengthen communication between teachers and families. But in recent years, the proliferation of smartphones and various forms of apps, text-messaging, email, and social media has vastly improved the speed and scope of that communication, a digital transformation that carries implications for educators and parents alike. PAGE 25 > Scholars Lament Decline of Courses On Ed. History By Stephen Sawchuk Academic researchers have taken notice, and are beginning to probe what kinds of tech-based communication between educators and families bring the biggest academic payoff for students. Many of the tech tools that connect teachers with parents are offered by commercial providers and used by teachers at their own initiative. But some school systems, like the San Francisco Unified School District, are integrating these platforms with their student-information systems, making them functional at the classroom, Once an ubiquitous course requirement that nearly all aspiring teachers took, the history of education seems to be going the way of land-line phones, floppy disks, and shorthand. Crowded out by an ever-expanding teacher-preparation curriculum in the latter half of the 20th century, such courses are now almost exclusively electives reserved for graduate education students, according to scholars who have documented the decline. To put it simply: Is the history of education, well, history? And more to the point, does that matter? Yes, it does, some teacher-educators say. Take the increasing segregation of students by race today, a situation with echoes of 1954, the year of a historymaking U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue. Look at Washington state, where just this month the state's highest court justified scotching charter schools on the basis of a 1909 ruling. Consider age- PAGE 16 > PAGE 18 > PAGE 13 > DIGITAL DIRECTIONS The Washington State Supreme Court's decision earlier this month finding the state's charter school law unconstitutional has sent shock waves through Washington's educational establishment, handed charter critics a highprofile victory, and left the schools' supporters scrambling to keep the state's small, relatively young charter school sector alive. In its 6-3 ruling in League of Women Voters v. Washington, the court found that the law approved by voters through a 2012 ballot measure, Initiative 1240, improperly designated charters as "common schools," and that the schools were not therefore entitled under the state constitution to certain state funds they presently draw on. Despite the prominent setback for charters, it might be difficult for skeptics of the autonomous, publicly funded schools to create any momentum outside Washington from the decision. For example, in the majority opinion, the justices relied heavily on state precedent regard-

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - September 16, 2015

Education Week - September 16, 2015
Under Pressure, Colo. Schools Forge New Path
Students Are Hope, Impetus For Recovery in Ferguson
Shock Waves From Ruling On Charters
Scholars Lament Decline of Courses On Ed. History
Parent-Teacher Digital Exchanges Studied
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Seattle Teachers Strike Over Pay, Delaying Start of School Year
Districts Expand Languages In Dual-Immersion Programs
Blogs of the Week
Q&A: Ferguson’s New Schools Chief Outlines Plans
Facebook Moves Into ‘Personalized Learning’ Partnership
With Waivers, Ed. Dept. Loosens Teacher-Evaluation Reins
Proposal to Boost Head Start Hours, Year-Length Draws Concern
Ed. Dept. Approves Teacher-Equity Plans for 16 States
VIKKI S. KATZ, MICHAEL H. LEVINE, & CARMEN GONZALEZ: Cultural Assets and the Digital Promise
JENNIFER DAVIS: Give Teachers the Time to Collaborate
PAUL MARX: Education, Not Political Correctness, Is the Answer
STUDENT VOICES: Confronting Bias in Michael Brown’s Former District
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
INDA SCHAENEN: ‘Hoping for a Yes’ in a Troubled District

Education Week - September 16, 2015