Education Week - October 16, 2013 - (Page 5)

| TRANSITION | states, also disappointed analysts. Its stock price plummeted from more than $29 a share to about $19. —SEAN CAVANAGH Thousands March in Favor Of N.Y.C. Charter Schools Thousands of charter school supporters wearing neon-green shirts that read “My Child. My Choice” marched across the Brooklyn Bridge last week in a show of strength directed at front-running New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. A proponent of putting more resources into traditional public schools, the Democrat has said he would not expand charters and would charge rent to some operators. Marchers—mostly parents, children, and their teachers—paraded from Brooklyn to City Hall. —MCT Hawaii Substitute Teachers Must Wait for Back Pay Hawaii won’t be able to pay 9,000 people back pay for their work as substitute teachers until March. The teachers are owed the money as 2005 court ruling said the state underpaid substitutes by millions of dollars from 2000 to 2005. The attorney general’s office said last week the court won’t finalize a settlement agreement between the parties until Dec. 16 or later. The state will then be able to begin what the attorney general’s office called the “massive undertaking” of calculating taxes and benefits, preparing W-2 forms, and issuing paychecks. —AP Corporal Punishment Use Continues Decline in N.C. The use of corporal punishment in North Carolina’s public schools continues to decrease, with students in six districts hit 184 times in the most recent school year, says a study released last week by a child-advocacy group. Students in Robeson County are hit the most, representing 76 percent of the statewide total in the 2012-13 school year, Action for Children North Carolina said. A spokeswoman for the Robeson County schools said someone would respond after reading the study. In 2011-12, schools used corporal punishment 404 times, down from 891 instances the previous year. Two decades ago, almost all of the state’s 115 districts used corporal punishment. –AP No-Handshake Directive Spurs Backlash in Ky. A directive issued last week by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association telling high schools not to conduct postgame handshakes in all sports, following more than two dozen physical confrontations the past three years, has led to a backlash. Commissioner Julian Tackett issued a clarification describing the directive as a recommendation. school graduation, and neighborhood segregation and racial/ethnic disparities in schools. It follows 77,501 public school students who entered high school in 2005. The report notes, for example, that among those students who exceeded state standards in literacy in 3rd grade, 90 percent graduated high school in four years, compared to one in three students who failed to meet the 3rd grade literacy standard. —JACLYN ZUBRZYCKI TEACHING “2013 Global Teacher Status Index” The status of teachers varies widely across countries, according to a new survey, with educators in China having the highest social standing of the 21 countries measured. The study, conducted by the nonprofit Varkey GEMS Foundation, based in the United Arab Emirates, surveyed 1,000 people in 21 countries and constructed a “global teacher status index” based on the responses. The survey included questions about how teachers are respected compared to other professions, whether parents would encourage their children to become teachers, and how much (and how) teachers should be paid. China, Greece, Turkey, and South Korea, in order, top the list of places where teachers are most respected, while the United States ranks ninth. Teachers have the lowest social status in Israel, with Brazil, the Czech Republic, and Italy not far ahead. The survey also notes that average teacher pay is highest in Singapore, at $45,755, and lowest in Egypt at $10,604. The U.S. average was $44,917. —LIANA HEITIN At least three districts, including the state’s two largest, said they plan to continue postgame handshakes. Democratic Rep. Steve Riggs said he plans to introduce a bill to remove the khsaa’s authority to fine schools and athletic personnel. —AP School Reminds Parents Of ‘Tag’ Prohibition An elementary school in Nashua, N.H., has reminded parents and students that playing “tag” violates the school’s longtime “no contact” rule for recess games. Principal Patricia Beaulieu recently posted a letter on Charlotte Avenue Elementary School’s website informing parents of the safety policies. In the letter, she said that while “tag” may seem innocent enough, it has been banned in many schools because of injuries. Bill Chisholm, the father of a 4th grader, said the rules are unnecessary. “No parent wants to minimize the injury of a child; however, there isn’t a single childhood activity that any kid could participate in that doesn’t have the risk of injury,” he said. —AP Power Struggle Continues Between Ind. Chief, Board Indiana schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, said last week she is wary of what she sees as a broad effort by Republicans to strip her power. Her comments followed the first meeting of a committee that was Jim Rier, a 10-year veteran of the state education department in Maine, last week was appointed the agency’s acting commissioner. He has been overseeing day-to-day operations at the department since the resignation last month of Commissioner Stephen Bowen, who took a job with the Council of Chief State School Officers. Mr. Rier started with the department as its director of finance and operations and was named deputy commissioner in 2011. started, despite her objections, to set new goals for the board. Tension has grown between Ms. Ritz and board members and lawmakers who backed the overhaul pushed by former state Superintendent Tony Bennett and former Gov. Mitch Daniels, both Republicans. Ms. Ritz campaigned against new laws, including limits on collective bargaining for teachers, school vouchers, and a school grading system. Gop lawmakers earlier this year shifted $5 million for staffing the state board from Ms. Ritz’s office to the governor’s. –AP Alabama District Hires Crisis-Management Team The Birmingham, Ala., school district is going to pay a crisis-management company $35,000 to help navigate the school accreditation process. The district was placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in July and given six months to address governance and leadership issues. District officials have said infight- ing among board members and the superintendent puts the district at risk of losing accreditation, which could diminish the value of diplomas. Officials from the company, Skye Connect, said they will give the school board a progress report, with a final appraisal in mid-February. —AP Teachers Upbeat on Core Nearly all teachers now know about the Common Core State Standards, and 73 percent of math, English, science, and social studies teachers in adoption states say they are enthusiastic about their implementation, finds a preview of a survey by Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. —ANTHONY REBORA CORRECTION An article in the Oct. 9, 2013, issue of Education Week gave an incorrect affiliation for researchers testing a new method to teach reason and argumentation in school science laboratories in Florida. The work is being conducted by Florida State University. COLLEGE-GOING “Education Pays 2013” A college degree still provides a significant earnings bump to individuals, but the value has declined slightly in comparison to those who only have a high school diploma, a new study shows. The study by the College Board underscores the payoff from higher education and highlights other benefits of a college degree. In 2011, among 25- to 34-year-olds, having a bachelor’s degree or higher increased average earnings by 69 percent for men and 70 percent for women over those individuals who only completed high school. By comparison, in 2008, higher education led to a 74 percent income edge for men and 79 percent for women. The report also acknowledges the debate over the value of a college degree at a time when tuition and student loan debt are growing, and the job market remains flat. —CARALEE ADAMS CHARTER SCHOOLS “School Choice and School Performance in the New York City Public Schools—Will the Past Be Prologue?” A report on New York City schools draws a link between improvements in student achievement and the district’s growing charter school sector. Since New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office in 2002, the number of charter schools in the district has grown to 159 from 22, and about 60 new regular public schools have opened each year, finds the report by the Brown Center on Education at the Brooking Institution, in Washington. —J.Z. Workplace Skills of U.S. Adults Found to Lag in Global Study “Survey of Adult Skills” A new international study shows that in key work-related skills, U.S. adults don’t stack up well against those in other countries. The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, or piacc, examines 16- to 65-year-olds for a set of skills deemed to be important for success in the working world, and finds U.S. adults’ literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving skills were below international averages. The study also showed deep skills disparities within the United States, corresponding to factors such as income, education, and health. Only 12 percent of U.S. adults scored at the highest level of proficiency in literacy, compared with 22 percent in Finland and 23 percent in Japan. One age group stood out in the United States for a strong comparative performance in literacy, though: older Americans. Twelve percent of Americans ages 55 to 65 scored at the highest proficiency level, while internationally only 5 percent of adults in that age group did the same. In every other age group, the United States approximated or lagged behind the international average. In numeracy, the United States outscored only two countries—Italy and Spain—of the 23 in the study. Only 9 percent of adults scored at the highest proficiency level. Six percent of U.S. adults scored at the highest proficiency level on the piaac’s scale for “problem-solving in technology-rich environments.” —CATHERINE GEWERTZ EDUCATION WEEK | October 16, 2013 | | 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - October 16, 2013

Sequester May Linger, Some Fear
Parent-Sparked Charter Faces Challenge to Deliver
Pa. Texting Furor Shows Difficulties Facing IT Leaders
Educators Launch Startups; See Steep Learning Curve
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Teachers Use Social-Emotional Programs to Manage Classes
Ind. Districts, AG File Suit Over Federal Health-Care Law
Hospital Partnership Provides Trainers for School Sports
Mass. Enterprise Targets Inadequate Preschool Facilities
Blogs of the Week
Tablet-Computing Initiatives Suffer Major Setbacks
Charter-Campaign Aftershocks Continue
Texas Race Flags Education Issues On 2014 Electoral Horizon
School-Related Cases Factor in Supreme Court’s First Week Back
Lights On, Nobody There As Ed. Dept. Weathers Shutdown
Blogs of the Week
KEVIN MEUWISSEN: Teachers as Political Actors
ANDRE BENITO MOUNTAIN: Easing Social Studies Through Turbulent Times
JUDY WALLIS: A Call to Teachers: Don’t Forget the Joy
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
DEBORAH STIPEK: Using Accountability to Promote Motivation, Not Undermine It

Education Week - October 16, 2013