Education Week - October 23, 2013 - (Page 10)
16 States, D.C., Vie for Race to Top Aid
Targeted at Early-Childhood Education
| POLITICS K-12_News | Sixteen states, plus the District of Columbia,
have thrown their hats in the ring for a piece of the U.S. Department
of Education's $280 million Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge
fund. The applicants are: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, the
District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan,
Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
Pennsylvania, and Vermont.
At least three of those applicants-the District of Columbia, Georgia,
and New York-clearly know how to write a winning Race to the Top
application. They were winners in the state grant competition, financed
by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also called the stimulus.
The applicants will be eligible for four-year grants ranging from
$37.5 million to $75 million. The grant size will depend on the state's
share of the national population of children birth-through-5 from lowincome
families, as well as its proposed plans.
This is not the first round of the early-learning competition. Nine
states-California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota,
North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington state-were
winners in the initial round. And five more states with highly-rated
applications also received funding: Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico,
Oregon, and Wisconsin.
View on Broad Prize's Value Mixed
Among Education 'Insiders'
| DISTRICT DOSSIER_News | Education "insiders" are hardly of the same
mind when it comes to their opinions on the Broad Prize, the $1 million
sweepstakes that honors urban school systems that have demonstrated
In a new survey released last week by Whiteboard Advisors, 42 percent
agreed that the annual award is an "important recognition of progress
by urban school systems despite their overall low levels of performance."
Fifteen percent said the award is an "inappropriate celebration" of urban
districts, given their overall low academic achievement, while another 42
percent fell somewhere in between.
Those results come less than a month after the Eli and Edythe Broad
Foundation announced that the Houston school system was the 2013
winner. Houston is the first district in the prize's 11-year history to
become a two-time winner. It was the inaugural winner in 2002.
Participants in Whiteboard's regular surveys are mostly current and
former Capitol Hill and U.S. Department of Education staff members
and heads of education associations and think tanks.
In N.Y.C. Private-School Journey
| EDUCATION AND THE MEDIA_News |
Corporal Punishment Remains Divisive
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
-LESLI A. MAXWELL
Documentary Follows Two Black Youths
"American Promise," a new
documentary with an Oct. 18 opening date in New York City and later
openings elsewhere, started out with the working title, "The Dalton
Filmmakers Michele Stephenson and George Brewster chose the
prestigious Dalton School in Manhattan for their son, Idris, despite the
lengthy commute it would require from their home in the Fort Greene
section of Brooklyn. Early in the boy's kindergarten year there, the
parents decided to film the experience of African-American students at
Three other families in the project would eventually drop out, but
Idris's friend Seun Summers would also be a long-term subject. The
result is a gripping, two-hour and 20-minute film chronicling the boys'
struggles and triumphs at the school and at home.
Race is a more dominant theme than class. Both families seem to
live comfortably in Brooklyn, though they marvel at Dalton parents
who can spend as much on private-school tutoring for their children as
they spend on tuition at the school. Seun's mother, Stacey O. Summers,
at one point finds him, at around age 7, brushing his gums so hard
they bleed because he wants them to be as light as those of his white
Meanwhile, Idris Brewster is asked at around the same age
whether he feels it is an issue that he is one of the few black students
at Dalton. "No, it's never an issue," he says confidently. Around the
black players at his neighborhood basketball court, though, Idris
worries about sounding too white, and he begins to speak "slangish,"
as he puts it.
By middle school, Idris has been invited to more than 20 bar
mitzvahs by his white Jewish classmates. He wonders out loud whether
his life might be better if he were white. Seun is on academic watch by
middle school, and his parents feel Dalton is intent on pushing him out
before high school. It's not revealing too much to say that Seun does
leave Dalton after 8th grade for a public school in Brooklyn.
What do we learn from this after more than two hours with these
families? That race is never far from the discussion in almost any facet
of American education, even though, as Idris observed at a young age,
it's not really a barrier if you don't let it be.
10 | EDUCATION WEEK | October 23, 2013 | www.edweek.org
inapplicable, since it was intended to
protect convicted criminals.
Almost 40 years later, Ingram's
legacy lingers. Numbers collected by
the U.S. Department of Education's
office for civil rights and released in
March 2008 showed that 223,190
students were physically punished
in American schools in 2006, the
most recent year available. This
estimate was based on the department's
survey of 60,000 schools.
The data also revealed that the
punishment was disproportionately
meted out for African-American and
male students. While the student
population covered by the survey
was 17.1 percent African-American,
35.6 percent of the students paddled
in 2006 were from that racial group.
Boys accounted for 78.3 percent of
the students paddled.
The switch back to corporal punishment
in the 42,000-student Marion
County district grew out of the
school board's annual review of the
"This administration did not recommend
[it be reinstated]," said
George D. Tomyn, the superintendent
of the suburban central Florida district.
"I was supportive of the code not
permitting corporal punishment. My
personal preference was to not paddle
here in Marion County."
A District Conflicted
But board member Carol Ely had
a different opinion.
Having spent 34 years as an educator
in the Marion County schools,
the last 14 as an elementary school
principal, Ms. Ely found the disciplinary
method to be effective at
So when the board reviewed the
code of conduct this past spring, she
acted to have corporal punishment
reinstated as an option. It passed
with a 3-2 vote.
"Definitely some board members
thought that this was what their
constituents wanted. So they supported
it," said Mr. Tomyn.
The code now allows corporal
punishment, administered with a
paddle, to be used, though only at the
elementary level and only for a "level
two" offense, such as hitting or hurting
another child or other aggressive
behavior like throwing a desk.
Parents also can opt their children
out of the punishment and are
called before it is administered.
Ms. Ely said she voted to rein-
state the policy for several reasons,
including a desire to have an alternative
to out-of-school suspension.
"When students receive out-of-
school suspension, they miss out on
instruction time, and the teacher
is not obligated in any way to help
that student catch up," she said. "In
elementary school, that's like a vacation.
That's not a punishment."
And for those students who don't
have parents at home during the
school day, "they're left on the street
without parents and no one to care
for them. We said we wanted corporal
punishment reinstated so we
have another tool."
Mr. Tomyn, though, doesn't find
his toolbox lacking without corporal
Prior to his election as superintendent,
Mr. Tomyn was an assistant
DISCIPLINE AT SCHOOL
223,190 schoolchildren were subjected
to physical punishment in U.S. schools
in the 2005-06 school year (latest
MS AL GA
of states that
principal in the district-a role in
which he paddled students.
"Our three options then were pad-
dling, suspension, or expulsion," he
said. "We paddled way too many
students and we suspended and expelled
way too many students."
But according to Mr. Tomyn, other,
more effective options are available
now, such as counseling and an inschool
The superintendent has asked
that principals who want to paddle
as a form of discipline discuss it
with him first. As of yet, no principals
have approached him, he said.
District by District
Nationwide, New Mexico in 2011
became the most recent state to ban
Tara C. Ford, the founder and
legal director of Pegasus Legal Services
for Children, in Albuquerque,
who was instrumental in getting
New Mexico's legislature to prohibit
corporal punishment, said that in
getting the legislation passed, "one
of the things that was important
George Tomyn, the superintendent of schools in Marion County, Fla., stands in front of Eighth Street Elementary
in Ocala. Mr. Tomyn opposed his school board's recent decision to reinstate a ban on paddling.
SOURCES: Center for Effective Discipline;
U.S. Department of Education
Andrew Stanfill for Education Week
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - October 23, 2013
Education Week - October 23, 2013
Colorado Tax Boosting K-12 Up to Voters
Paddling Persists in U.S. Schools
Health-Care Law Raises Questions For Districts
K12 Inc. Learning Difficult Lessons This School Year
News in Brief
New Student Majority in South and West: Poor Children
School Poverty Said to Hurt College Access
Media Group Calls on Companies To Protect Students’ Personal Data
D.C. Teachers Improved After Overhaul Of Evaluations, Pay
Blogs of the Week
K-12 Advocates Remain Braced For Fiscal Fight
Illinois Among Outliers With No NCLB Waiver
Appeal Argued on Affirmative-Action Ban
The Public School Ownership Gap
We Need a National Monument to Teachers
Changing the World, One Student at a Time
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Common Core’s Power for Disadvantaged Students
Education Week - October 23, 2013