Education Week - October 23, 2013 - (Page 10)

BLOGS 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. -ALYSON KLEIN 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 academic improvement. 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 Experiment." 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 the school. 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 classmates. 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 | 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 student-discipline code. "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 her schools. -MARK WALSH 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 punishment. 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 available data). Number 45 WA MT OR ID WY NV UT CA AZ NM TX CO NE SD ND KS OK MN IA IL MO AR LA FL IN OH KY TN MS AL GA WV WI MI PA NC VA SC 1980 of states that allow corporal punishment. 19 2013 ME NY 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 suspension program. 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 the practice. 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
Report Roundup
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