Education Week - September 23, 2015 - (Page 5)
schools that foster dynamic learning,
critical thinking, intellectual flexibility, collaboration, and other skills
needed for the modern world."
Court Rebuffs L.A. District
On Verdict in Abuse Case
The Los Angeles school district
was wrong when it argued that a
14-year-old girl shared responsibility for sexual abuse by a teacher
because she consented to the sex,
a California appeals court said last
week, overturning a jury verdict in
favor of the district.
Lawyers and advocates for sexualabuse victims had said the legal tactic the district used was surprising.
As a minor, the girl was a crime
victim even if she agreed to the sex,
and crime victims cannot be held responsible for the harm they suffer,
the court ruled.
Spent Millions on Food
The Chicago school system spent
millions of dollars to bring in food
and beverages from area restaurants
and catering companies, including
more than $500,000 since July.
The district last week acknowledged it spent roughly $2.9 million
on "food from outside vendors" during the budget year that ended June
30. Nearly half was spent by the
central office; more than a third of
the money couldn't be accounted for.
The disclosure comes as the cashstrapped district's recently installed
leadership team has sought to publicize its efforts to cut expenses.
New guidelines now allow only
food and beverage purchases for student activities or parent events if the
events are longer than four hours or
occur during normal mealtimes. -TNS
Teacher Immune in Suit
Over Facebook Search
A teacher who demanded access to
a student's Facebook account to investigate threatening and offensive
remarks is immune from a lawsuit
because it was not clearly established that such a search would violate the student's rights, a federal
appeals court has ruled.
The case stems from a 2007 feud
between two Mississippi high school
cheerleaders and raises the question of whether school officials may
demand social-media account and
password information from students.
But the only issue decided by
the three-judge panel was whether
the teacher and other officials had
what is called qualified immunity
in the lawsuit filed by the student.
The court said the school officials at
that time "did not have fair warning" that they could not access a
student's social-networking account.
Arizona Board Turns Tables
Against Schools Chief
Frustrated with what they called
months of political grandstanding
by state schools Superintendent
Diane Douglas, a unanimous Arizona board of education voted last
week to sue if necessary to force her
to provide its investigators with access to teacher records used in disciplinary matters.
The board also voted to sue if
Douglas won't redirect Web traffic
to the board's new website.
The schools chief has sparred with
the board since February, when she
tried to fire its executive director
and her deputy. She has filed several lawsuits in that time and lost
in every round.
Football Players Transferred
After Tackling Referee
Two Texas high school football
players who appeared to intentionally tackle a referee during a game
this month have been temporarily
transferred to an alternative school,
awaiting the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.
Multiple players from John Jay
High School in San Antonio have
alleged that the referee used racist
remarks prior to the incident, according to ESPN.
An assistant coach has been
placed on leave pending the outcome
of an investigation into his role.
The University Interscholastic
League, the state's governing body for
interscholastic sports, is also looking
into the matter.
Breathalyzer Tests Given
At Catholic High's Games
"Who Believes in Me?: The Effect of StudentTeacher Demographics on Teacher Expectations"
A new study suggests teachers' own backgrounds deeply affect what they expect from
Researchers from American and Johns
Hopkins universities used an ongoing federal
longitudinal study starting in 2002 to analyze
data on 8,000 students, each of whom had two
teachers predicting how far the student would
go in school.
When the researchers held students' income
and prior academic achievement constant, they
found significantly higher expectations for college
completion when the teacher and the student
were the same race. Teachers who were not black
were 12 percentage points more likely than black
teachers to think their black student would go no
further than high school.
-SARAH D. SPARKS
"Students, Computer, and Learning"
Countries where 15-year-olds use computers the most in classrooms scored the worst
on digital reading and computer-based math
tests, according to an analysis of 2012 results
from the Program for International Student
Assessment, or PISA.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation
and Development's 31-country study concludes
that "there is little solid evidence that greater
computer use among students leads to better
U.S. students performed better in digital reading and math than expected given their past
performance on print tests.
"Don't Quit on Me"
A Roman Catholic high school in
northeast Ohio is requiring students
to submit to blood-alcohol-level tests
before attending the school's football
Students at Akron's St. VincentSt. Mary High School will be randomly tested after entering football
games through a designated gate.
Despite stating that there's been
no evidence of alcohol abuse at
games, school officials say students
who refuse the testing will receive
School officials say only four out of
705 families at St. Vincent-St. Mary
have complained about the decision.
Wichita District to Use
Bus Drivers as Custodians
The Wichita, Kan., school district
says it plans to use bus drivers as
part-time custodians as part of a
pilot program to keep schools clean
and costs down.
School board members were planning last week to consider a contract
with First Student to provide workers to clean cafeterias at 16 elementary schools this semester. First
Student is the bus-transportation
provider for the district.
The district's director of operations,
Darren Muci, said several schools
moved custodians to later shifts to
clean classrooms, hallways, and common areas at the end of the school
day. That left the schools in need of
extra help at lunchtime, but Muci
said there was not enough money to
hire additional custodians.
A new study argues that having an "anchor"
and a "web" of support-rather than one person
to act as a "hero"-can boost adolescents' chances
of staying in school.
The report from the America's Promise Alliance
draws on data from an online survey of 2,800
teenagers, about 40 percent of whom had disconnected from school at some point. It also analyzes
interviews with 120 young people in eight cities.
Among the most powerful predictors of staying
in school were the emotional support of parents
and of adults in their schools, "instrumental" support from adults in and out of school-tangible
help, such as providing babysitting so a student
can come to school or introducing the student to
a potential employer-and "informational" support from friends, such as how to apply to college.
Numbers of Black Teachers Drop
In Nine City School Districts
"The State of Teacher Diversity in American
Nine major urban school districts have lost many
black teachers since the early 2000s, some of them by
a disproportionate number, according to a new report
released last week.
The research by the Albert Shanker Institute, a think
tank supported by the American Federation of Teachers, raises questions about whether districts are doing
enough to hold onto minority teachers, who tend to work
in higher-poverty schools.
The districts studied are in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, the District of Columbia, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. The
New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago districts are the
three largest in the nation. They serve about 1 million,
670,000, and 350,000 students, respectively.
Many of those cities have seen significant contraction
in their student populations over the past decade, so
some decline in the teaching population was expected.
But black teachers were often more heavily hit than
other groups. In Cleveland, for example, the overall
teaching force shrank by 17 percent between 2001 and
2011, but the percentage of black teachers declined by
Philadelphia's teaching force increased by 13 percent
from 2001 to 2011, but the percentage of black teachers dropped by 19 percent over that time. Philadelphia
also has the greatest gap between the racial and ethnic
makeups of its teachers and students.
The report notes that it provides only descriptive figures rather than a causal explanation for the findings,
and it concludes by offering recommendations on how
the federal government, states, districts, and schools can
increase teacher diversity.
In the Philadelphia school
system, a 19 percent drop in the
percentage of black teachers
exacerbated the gap between the
racial and ethnic makeups of its
student and teacher populations.
2.6 0.2 0.3
l American Indian
"Analysis Finds Students With Disabilities
Served Under Section 504 Overwhelmingly
White, Disproportionately Male"
States vary widely in the number of students
with disabilities who are covered under Section
504, according to an analysis by the Advocacy
In New Hampshire, for instance, almost 5
percent of students have disabilities that are
covered solely by that provision of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which offers protection
to students who have a "physical or mental
disability that substantially limits one or more
major life activities." In New Mexico and Wisconsin, that figure is less than half a percent.
The institute relied on federal data on
16,500 school districts. It found that students
covered under Section 504 plans are far more
likely to be white and male than the general
-CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS
Footnote: The "multiracial" response was available to charter but not district
school teachers in 2012, but it is retained in the figure above.
SOURCE: Albert Shanker Institute
EDUCATION WEEK | September 23, 2015 | www.edweek.org | 5
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
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