Education Week - September 23, 2015 - (Page 4)

NEWS IN BRIEF Interactive Constitution To Be Used in AP Curricula Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News/AP A new "interactive" version of the U.S. Constitution will be made available to teachers and students as a feature of the curricular materials for Advanced Placement classes. The multimillion-dollar tool, which allows users to explore constitutional debates through the eyes of legal scholars with a wide range of political perspectives, is a project of the National Constitution Center. The College Board has crafted lesson plans using the Interactive Constitution for its AP government and politics courses. A module for AP U.S. History is under development. Students can use the interactive tools to read and analyze founding documents and link directly to an AP theme or learning goal. -BENJAMIN HEROLD Florida Testing Disruptions Caused by Foreign Hackers A cyberattack that disrupted Florida's statewide exams was vast, but the culprits are "likely based somewhere outside the United States," and law-enforcement officials said last week that they have closed their six-month investigation without suspects or a motive. In a summary, state education officials said that no student information was compromised, and measures installed to thwart further attacks seem to be working. The attacks began the first week of March as the state launched its exams. Though an outside vendor initially took the blame for widespread login problems, students and teachers across the state hit a multitude of other problems. State lawenforcement officials and the FBI found evidence of a cyber assault. -TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE Target Will Close Out School-Giving Program FROM SUSPECT TO STAR Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was handcuffed and detained by police in Irving, Texas, last week after bringing a homemade clock to school that he showed to his teachers, who thought it might be a bomb. Police have since closed the case, but Ahmed was suspended from school for three days. The MacArthur High School student has become a social-media sensation, getting encouragement from President Barack Obama, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and a NASA scientist, among others. Observers have suggested police and school officials overreacted because the boy is Muslim. Target Corp.'s Take Charge of Education program, in which it sends 1 percent of every Redcard holder's purchase to a school of his or her choice, will be ending next spring. The 18-year-old program has given $432 million to tens of thousands of schools around the country. The retailer started notifying schools last week that it will wind down the program and shift its corporate social-responsibility focus to health and wellness. The company says schools received an average of $370 a year from the program, though some received thousands of dollars a year. -TNS Website Creates Database Of Preschool Regulations The website Noodle, which is aiming to be a national clearinghouse for information on early-childhood programs, has created a database that outlines the child-care and preschool regulations for each state. Regulations vary widely among states. The rules also can differ depending on whether the child-care program is in a center or inside a provider's home, and on the age of the children under care. Washington State Teachers' Unions End-and Begin-Strikes Teachers in Seattle and in one other Washington state district ended their strikes last week, while the union in another district there walked out. After winning a 9.5 percent pay raise over three years, mandatory 30-minute recesses for elementary students, a longer school day, and more say over standardized tests, Seattle teachers ended their weeklong labor action. The union's full membership was scheduled to vote on the contract Sept. 20. Teacher salaries in Seattle range now from about $44,000 to more than $86,000. Teachers, substitutes, and support staff complained that the city's high-paid technology industry had priced them out of living in the city where they teach, especially given that they had gone six years without a cost-of-living increase. 4 | EDUCATION WEEK | September 23, 2015 | The Seattle City Council also threw its support behind the striking educators. This year, facing a court order to increase spending on education, state lawmakers came up with money for new teachers and supplies. Elsewhere in the state, teachers in Pasco voted overwhelmingly last week to approve a contract agreement and end their two-week strike. It's a two-year deal with raises of 4.25 percent and 4.45 percent, in addition to raises passed by the legislature. A superior-court judge had ordered the Pasco teachers to return to work, but the union remained on strike, and the judge levied an $8,000 fine. Meanwhile, teachers in Kelso, Wash., walked out last week after last-minute talks with district officials over pay and other issues failed. -ASSOCIATED PRESS The guide includes links to where parents can find out about inspection reports and any history of rules violations. Noodle is free to users. -CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS Charter School Test Scores Take Dive in California State test scores of many once high-flying charter schools in California have plummeted-even more so than those of their regular public school counterparts. Among them is Rocketship Education, which has attracted generous high-tech funding and national attention for its success with students deemed hardest to educate, but now is grappling with some test scores no better than those of surrounding schools. At its flagship Mateo Sheedy school, once the third-highest-performing in the state among elementary schools serving lowincome children, just 36 percent of students met or exceeded English standards, and 44 percent met or exceeded math standards. One possible explanation is that the state's new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests are far more difficult, and the scores reinforce the difficulty in educating students in high-poverty areas. -TNS $50 Million Contest Seeks Redesign of High Schools Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, has launched a $50 million competition to create new high school designs that maximize student engagement and achievement. An unusual feature of the Super School Project is that it places student and community voice at its center. Leaders are kicking off an eightcity tour to publicize the competition and collect input. According to the Los Angeles Times, the project is seeking feedback from students, teachers, civic leaders, artists, and others to "create high | TRANSITIONS | Michael Hinojosa, a former Dallas schools superintendent, is the lone finalist to lead the district again. The school board is expected to make the appointment final at the end of a 21-day waiting period. He has been serving as the interim superintendent since late June. Hinojosa previously led the Dallas schools from 2005 to 2011. He then served as the superintendent of the Cobb County, Ga., school system until May 2014. Recently, he worked as an education consultant. Jean-Claude Brizard, a former Chicago schools CEO, will join Cross & Joftus, an education and consulting firm, as a partner and vice president. He headed the Chicago school system from May 2011 to October 2012. Before that, he was the superintendent of the Rochester, N.Y., district. Brizard started his career in the New York City schools, where he worked as a teacher, principal, central office administrator, and regional superintendent.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - September 23, 2015

Education Week - September 23, 2015
Research Agency Faces Deep Cuts In Budget Bills
Schools Seek Split From Confederacy
English-Learner Tests Moving to Digital Realm
Despite Research on Teens’ Sleep, Change to School Start Times Difficult
News in Brief
Report Roundup
To Combat Inequity, Ferguson Panel Urges K-12 Changes
Study: KIPP Confers an Edge in Academics But Not in Attitudes
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Online Credit Recovery in Need of Overhaul, Study Says
Blogs of the Week
From Pre-K to Higher Ed., Duncan Tour Touts Priorities
GOP Presidential Debaters Give Glancing Mention to Education
In Wide-Ranging Discussion, Duncan Mulls Issues, Agenda
ANN MYERS & JILL BERKOWICZ: STEM Doesn’t Narrow the Curriculum
MARY ANN ZEHR: Can a Former Journalist Teach English-Language Learners to Write?
GREG MILO: Why Do Students Hate History? Some Thoughts on the ‘Boring’ Social Studies
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
CAROL DWECK: Growth Mindset, Revisited

Education Week - September 23, 2015