Education Week - September 20, 2017 - 1
VOL. 37, NO. 5 * SEPTEMBER 20, 2017
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2017 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
Rivalries, Political Infighting Marked States' ESSA Planning
By Daarel Burnette II
The grinding, two-year process of drafting accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act
has upended states' K-12 political landscape and laid
bare long-simmering factions among power brokers
charged with putting the new federal education law
into effect this school year.
The details tucked into dozens of plans being
turned in to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy
DeVos this week were hammered out by a hodgepodge of elected and appointed officials-from
governors and legislators to state school board
members and local superintendents-during
sometimes sparsely attended meetings, caucuses,
and task force sessions.
Further complicating matters, 12 governors, half
the nation's state superintendents, and half of legislatures' education committee chairpersons are new to
office since the passing of ESSA in December 2015,
when significant policy leeway was handed back to
the states from the federal government.
"The problem with devolution and decentralization is that, by definition, you're going to get
a lot of variation ... in terms of effort, political
will, and the effectiveness of those efforts," said
Patrick McGuinn, a political scientist at Drew
University in New Jersey who has studied state
and federal policy and followed the implementation of ESSA.
In many cases, politicians, lobbyists, and membership organizations used their political prowess,
technical expertise, and longevity to successfully
push their agendas in the crafting of 51 state-level
ESSA accountability plans.
But the nature of state politics left out other groups,
some of which will spend the coming months restructuring their spending and staffing priorities to more
effectively lobby in the inevitable battles to come over
the new law.
"The politics of federalism is going to dramatically
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Sleep Problems Linked
To Attention Disorders
Angelo Merendino for Education Week
By Sarah D. Sparks
Fifth grade students, from left, Nishal Suchuri, Ricardo Whacley, and Victorine Ndume, position themselves against a
row of lockers at Forest Hills Community Learning Center in Akron, Ohio, as part of a recent drill designed to train
them on how to respond if a gunman comes onto their K-5 campus.
It's well known that students
find it harder to focus if they
haven't slept the night before, but
new research suggests sleep problems and attention-deficit disorders may be linked in ways that
escalate both problems.
While there is not evidence
yet on whether attention deficits
cause or are caused by sleep problems, or whether both are linked
in some other way, "We know that
poor sleep and ADHD frequently
co-occur; often sleepiness aggravates ADHD symptoms and
ADHD symptoms make it difficult
to go to bed, fall asleep, and sleep
well, said Karen Sampson Hoffman, a spokeswoman for the National Resource Center on ADHD.
"There does seem to be a relationship between the two difficulties."
Now researchers are looking for
new ways to improve students'
attention deficits through more
sleep-related treatments, such as
light therapy and better bedtime
The studies are part of a growing body of evidence of connections between attention deficits
and sleep problems that could also
intensify debates in the education
field over school schedules and
extracurricular activities that can
throw off students' sleep cycles.
As many as 30 percent of children with attention deficit disorders also have significant sleep
problems, including insomnia, delayed sleep, and daytime drowsiness, prior research has found.
Katherine Peppers, a pediatric
nurse and mental health specialist
in Raleigh, N.C., sees it in her own
practice. On average, she said, the
students with attention deficits
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Do Shooter Drills Prepare or Frighten?
As More Schools Use Active-Shooter Training, Concerns Raised for Youngest
By Evie Blad
On "safety days," elementary students in Akron,
Ohio, learn a new vocabulary word: barricade.
School-based police officers tell students as young as
kindergartners how to stack chairs and desks against
the classroom door to make it harder for "bad guys" to
get in. "Make the classroom more like a fort," an officer
says in a video of the exercise.
If a teacher asks you to climb out a window, listen to
them, the officers instruct. And, in the unlikely event
a "bad guy" gets into the classroom, scream and run
around to distract him, officers tell students.
For some parents, the idea of such instruction is
chilling. Others, though, say it's a sad, but necessary
sign of the times.
Children around the country are increasingly receiving similar training as schools adopt more-elaborate
safety drills in response to concerns about school
shootings. That leaves schools with a profound challenge: how to prepare young students for the worst,
without provoking anxiety or fear.
"That's the fine balance," said Dan Rambler, the
Akron school district's director of student services and
safety. "We're not trying to panic people."
Like Akron, a growing number of school districts
around the country have replaced or supplemented
traditional lockdown drills-which teach students to
quietly hide in their classrooms in the event of a school
shooting-with multi-option response drills, which
teach them a variety of ways to respond and escape.
Most controversially, the drills also teach young students how to "counter" a shooter by running in zig-zag
patterns, throwing objects, and screaming to make it
difficult for a gunman to focus and aim.
Akron uses a protocol called ALICE, an acronym for
Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. The response
was developed by former police officer Greg Crane and his
wife, Lisa Crane, a former school principal, after the 1999
shootings at Colorado's Columbine High School.
It's grown more popular following the 2012 shootings
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By Denisa R. Superville,
& Liana Loewus
As Hurricane Irma sped toward
Florida and millions of residents
were urged to evacuate, hundreds
of the state's K-12 schools became
havens of refuge from the looming
Educators and school support
staff became essential personnel
in the state's shelter network,
mopping floors, cleaning toilets,
serving meals, feeding animals,
and comforting anxious children
and adults. Many of them-prin-
cipals, teachers, custodians, and
cafeteria workers-toiled around
the clock even as their own homes
were pummeled by Irma's ferocious winds and rains.
"They are the unsung heroes that
show up," said Andrea Messina, the
executive director of the Florida
School Boards Association. "They
say, 'Put me to work.' "
Across the state late last week, as
the full extent of damage wrought
by Irma came into clearer view,
crews and volunteers were hauling away debris and downed trees
that littered school campuses, fixing
blown-out windows, patching leaking roofs, and pumping water out of
The storm-which at its peak
was one the strongest hurricanes
ever recorded in the Atlantic-
knocked out power to more than
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