Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 5

from members (teachers)." Among the union members' objections to the contract, according to the newspaper, were that it didn't restrict the number of standardized tests administered to students or roll back the district's test-scoreheavy teacher-evaluation system. -EMMANUEL FELTON Gov. Seeks Consolidation Of Superintendents in Maine Gov. Paul LePage believes Maine has a glut of school superintendents, and he intends to pressure districts into consolidating administrations with the two-year budget he will propose in early 2017. In a recent interview, the Republican said that funding is being spent more on the administration of schools and not in classrooms. Officials of the Maine School Boards Association and Maine School Superintendents Association cited a Maine education department report that shows administrative costs are declining in the state. LePage has offered no details on his plan to force district officials into combining administrative functions. -AP Counselor Gets Student To Hand Over Weapon A middle school counselor in Tennessee is being called a hero after talking a teenager into handing over a loaded handgun. A 14-year-old boy went to Sycamore Middle School late last month asking to speak with counselor Molly Hudgens. Authorities say he told Hudgens he was having problems and was going to kill teachers and a police officer, but no students; he told her she was the only one who could talk him out of it. Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove said that after they talked for 45 minutes in Hudgens' office, the boy agreed to hand over the loaded semi-automatic handgun he had hidden under his clothing. He was taken into custody without injury. -AP Conflicts Aside, N.J. Crowned Best State for Teachers The financial-services website Wallethub has ranked New Jersey as the best state for teachers, based on "16 key indicators of teacher-friendliness." That may come as a surprise to people who follow K-12 education news. There is perhaps no state where teachers are locked into a more hostile relationship with their governor. Republican Gov. Chris Christie frequently admonishes teachers who question his educational priorities. In 2015, he said teachers' unions needed a "punch in the face." And just this past summer, Christie likened the state union to the fictional Mafia family, the Corleones. Wallethub measured the quality of the education students are receiving and used that to assess teachers' working conditions. The state also TEXTBOOKS ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS "Evidence on the Effect of Textbook Funding on School-Level Achievement" "Review of PCBs in U.S. Schools" While education leaders debate innovations in school management and teaching strategy, it's important not to forget one of the most basic ways to improve students' achievement: Give them books. Kristian L. Holden, a researcher for the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at the American Institutes for Research, found spending a little less than $100 per student for new textbooks led to significant improvements in reading and math performance in some of California's poorest and lowest-performing elementary schools. As part of a 2004 class-action settlement over the underfunding of schools, California set a standard requiring each student to have his or her own textbooks and instructional materials to use in class and at home, and provided new money to buy the books. Money for textbooks increased from $25 per pupil to more than $54, and the state provided $138 million specifically for the lowestperforming 20 percent of schools. Holden compared achievement on the state reading and math tests from 2002 to 2011 in schools that were just above and below the cutoff for additional textbook funding. The increase was on average 0.15 of a standard deviation per school in both subjects-in the same ballpark as the effect of reducing class sizes by 10 students. But no significant change was found for the low-performing secondary schools that received the additional textbook money. -SARAH D. SPARKS TEACHERS OF COLOR "The Importance of Minority Teachers" Students in urban school districts, regardless of their race or ethnicity, prefer teachers of color to white teachers, a study has found. The study, published last week in the journal Educational Researcher by two New York University professors, found that students of all races, but particularly students of color, have more favorable perceptions of minority teachers versus white teachers. The researchers looked at over 50,000 adolescent student reports on 1,680 classroom teachers in six districts and found that students rated Latino and black teachers more positively than white teachers, even after controlling for student demographic and academic characteristics, teacher efficacy, and other teacher characteristics. Lead author Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng said the overall findings suggest that minority teachers can translate their experiences and identities to form rapports with students of different backgrounds. Only 18 percent of teachers are teachers of color. -MADELINE WILL scored high for its low student-toteacher ratios and its high per-pupil spending. -E.F. Wash. State Court Keeps Aid Penalties in Place Washington state's supreme court ruled last week that $100,000-a-day sanctions should continue against the state while a task force works to determine how lawmakers will comply An estimated 30 percent of K-12 students are exposed to unhealthy levels of toxic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, through common building materials found in schools, according to a Harvard University study. The study, by Robert Herrick, a senior lecturer on industrial hygiene at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was published earlier this year and publicized last week in new reports from the office of Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and the Environmental Working Group, a research organization. Once a material in the production of caulking, sealants, fluorescent lights, and paper, the chemicals could be in 30 percent to 50 percent of schools built between 1950 and the late 1970s, the research finds. As the building materials and lights age, PCBs spread into the air and dust, paint and other building fixtures, and outside soil-and students breathe them in. The Harvard study estimates that 13,000 to 26,000 schools could contain PCBs. But schools are not required by law to test for PCBs or report them-or to notify teachers and parents of the potential health hazards, according to the research. -KATE STOLTZFUS EARLY CHILDHOOD "Do Early Educators' Implicit Biases Regarding Sex and Race Relate to Behavior Expectations and Recommendations of Preschool Expulsions and Suspensions?" Black children make up only 19 percent of the children enrolled in public preschool but account for 47 percent of those suspended from preschool. Researchers at Yale University suggest in a study released last month that implicit bias-the negative or positive feelings people are unaware they hold-may be behind that disparity. Researchers shared vignettes with 135 preschool teachers that described a child acting out on the playground, ignoring the teacher, pushing classmates, and otherwise misbehaving. The vignettes differed only by names of students: Jake and Emily were chosen as names connoting white children, and DeShawn or Latoya were given as black names. The study found that black teachers tended to hold "black" preschoolers to a higher standard than white teachers did. In general, black teachers recommended harsher exclusionary discipline, such as suspension or expulsion, for all children. Told that the misbehaving children had a difficult home life, teachers showed more empathy-but only when the teacher and the child were of the same race. When the races differed, teachers rated the behavior as harder to fix. -CHRISTINA SAMUELS with a 2012 court order to fully fund the state's basic education system. In a hearing before the court last month, a lawyer for the plaintiffs- districts, parents, teachers, and education groups-had argued that the court should increase pressure on the lawmakers. Those sanctions, which are supposed to be set aside into a separate education account, are nearing $42 million. -AP Schooling Yields Financial Rewards for Mobsters, Researchers Find Al Capone, the late Chicago gangster AP-File REPORT ROUNDUP "Returns to Education in Criminal Organizations: Did Going to College Help Michael Corleone?" More years of schooling pay off-even for mobsters, a study published in the Economics of Education has found. Researchers compared more than 700 known members of the Italian-American mafia in the 1940s with several different groups of male contemporaries in the 1940 U.S. Census, including neighbors who weren't in the mob, other first- and second-generation Italian-American immigrants, and U.S.-born men from other backgrounds. The authors found that the mob-affiliated men on average had a year less of formal education than their unaffiliated neighbors. However, mobsters saw twice the income return on investment for furthering their education than the men from other Italian and immigrant groups. More education increased mobsters' incomes by 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent a year on average, though that's still 2 percentage points to 5 percentage points less than the gains for U.S.-born men. One reason why, the authors suggest, is that criminal syndicates require more complex math and logistics skills than typical street crimes. The most successful mobsters, like the infamous Chicago kingpin Al Capone, also ran above-board businesses. But extra years in school probably also came in handy for nefarious purposes. The mobsters with the highest financial return on their education were involved in more complex and math-centric enterprises, like embezzling and racketeering. Those whitecollar criminals had a three-times-higher return on educational investment than mobsters involved in violent crimes like robberies and murders. The study also likely underestimates the effect of education in the criminal world. After all, it only looked at the mobsters who got caught. -SARAH D. SPARKS CORRECTIONS An article in the Oct. 5, 2016, issue of Education Week on research mining testing data for clues to students' problem-solving strategies misidentified the lead researcher of an Educational Testing Service study on boys' and girls' approaches to essay questions. She is Mo Zhang of the Cognitively Based Assessment of, for, and as Learning project at the ETS. A story listing resources for finding evidence-based school improvement programs in the Sept. 28, 2016, special report, "Moving the Needle on Achievement," misidentified the organization that created the "State Guide to Evidence Use." It is the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University. EDUCATION WEEK | October 12, 2016 | | 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - October 12, 2016

Bilingual Education Poised for a Comeback in California Schools
Cultural Literacy Creator Carries On Campaign
New Teachers Turn to Web for Mentoring
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Modern E-Rate Puts Telephones On Hold in K-12
Sides Seek to Avert Chicago Teachers’ Strike
Labor Dispute Simmering In Buffalo, N.Y.
Shooting Reignites Safety Concerns
Kan. Governor: Tax Hike Needed If State Loses Funding Case
Court to Weigh Level of Benefits for Special Ed. Students
Literacy Program Reflects Clinton Policy Agenda
Snapshot: School Finance A Judge Gets Tough
News in Brief
Report Roundup
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
PAUL REVILLE: A Call to Action For K-12 Leaders
LYN MIKEL BROWN: A Field Guide to Girl Empowerment
JOHN URSCHEL: The Winning Equation In Math Education
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Modern E-Rate Puts Telephones On Hold in K-12
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 2
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 3
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - News in Brief
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - Report Roundup
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - Labor Dispute Simmering In Buffalo, N.Y.
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - Shooting Reignites Safety Concerns
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - Kan. Governor: Tax Hike Needed If State Loses Funding Case
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 9
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 10
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 11
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 12
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 13
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 14
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 15
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - Literacy Program Reflects Clinton Policy Agenda
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 17
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - Snapshot: School Finance A Judge Gets Tough
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 19
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 20
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 21
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - LYN MIKEL BROWN: A Field Guide to Girl Empowerment
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - JOHN URSCHEL: The Winning Equation In Math Education
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - Letters
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 25
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 27
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 28
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 29
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 30
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 31
Education Week - October 12, 2016 - 32