Education Week - October 28, 2015 - (Page 1)

Education Week VOL. 35, NO. 10 * OCTOBER 28, 2015 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2015 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 4  BRE AKING NEWS DAILY Study Paints Chaotic View Of Testing BEYOND BIAS Countering Stereotypes in School Second package of stories in a yearlong series Review of 66 Urban Districts Gauges Scope of Practice Courtney Perry for Education Week By Denisa R. Superville TARGETED SUPPORT: Michael V. Walker, bottom left, the director of Minneapolis schools' Office of Black Male Student Achievement, greets students before the group heads into a college fair. A growing number of urban districts are creating special offices to address educational disparities. PAGE 14 Unequal Access to Advanced Classes Targeted By Sarah D. Sparks Elk Grove, Calif. It's no secret that gifted and honors classes are often whiter and wealthier than their schools as a whole. At every stage of students' educational careers, the pipeline to academically advanced study narrows for many low-income and minority students. Research suggests years of little biases add up, shaping who gets identified for gifted education and advanced courses and how many hoops they jump through to do so. And with politicians and policymakers increasingly focused on promoting rigorous, "college-ready" coursework, those leaks can leave thousands of the ISSUES IN PLAY AS ESEA SIMMERS Vulnerable programs and a pitch to allow school choice with Title I money complicate the picture as congressional negotiators prepare to get down to business on a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. PAGE 16 most promising students behind. Here in Elk Grove, a suburb of Sacramento, Calif., the school district has invested more than $860,000 in overhauling the giftedand advanced-course procedures that unintentionally discriminate against poor and minority students. In the process, teachers and administrators are learning how to see students' potential in new ways. "It's a very challenging process," said John B. Diamond, a University of Wisconsin-Madison associate professor of educational leadership and policy analysis who studies bias in schools. "When people see evidence of disparities, they tend to filter it through "Are you sure you belong here?" There is perhaps no more critical question for a disadvantaged student entering an advanced class, none more likely to rattle in the back of even the most gifted student's brain. And when coming from a teacher or student, it's also just one example of a "microaggression," an incident of everyday discrimination that students encounter that may contribute to lower performance and disengagement. But educators and researchers are fighting back, with efforts to both curb microaggressions and buffer students against them and help them cope. Gabrielle "Ellie" Bennett moved to the mostly white St. Louis suburb of Rockwood, Mo., in 2nd grade, after being in a gifted PAGE 12 > PAGE 13 > Fighting Subtle Bias By Sarah D. Sparks A high-profile lawsuit targeting the Los Angeles school district highlights the collision of two little-known, murky areas of teacher policy: the district's process for investigating teachers accused of misconduct, and the state's rules for dismissing a teacher found guilty of it. The suit, filed this month, charges that the district has unfairly targeted veteran teachers on trumpedup claims of misconduct. It is being brought by the nationally prominent teacher Rafe Esquith, who was recently fired by the school board after a district investigation leveled charges of personal misconduct. The exact charges have not been released, but the investigation had reportedly looked at, among other alleged improprieties, whether Es- PAGE 9 > DIGITAL DIRECTIONS In L.A., Tensions Rise Over Teacher Investigations By Stephen Sawchuk & Ross Brenneman Students across the nation are taking tests that are redundant, misaligned with college- and career-ready standards, and often don't address students' mastery of specific content, according to a long-awaited report that provides the first in-depth look at testing in the nation's largest urban school districts. The comprehensive report by the Washington-based Council of the Great City Schools examines testing in 66 of the council's 68 member school districts, looking at the types of tests administered, their frequency, and how they are used. The findings are expected to add hard numbers and evidence to the fractious national debate around whether U.S. students are being overtested. The study found, for instance, that 8th grade students in an urban district spent an average of 4.22 school days taking mandatory tests last school year- the most test-taking time of any grade level. That's not counting optional tests and those given periodically by teachers to gauge student progress. And the re- quith exchanged inappropriate emails with students and kept sexually explicit images on his school computer. He has repeatedly denied the accusations. The law firm representing Esquith says that some 2,000 teachers said that they, too, have been harmed by district investigations, and could potentially join the suit. The district ramped up its investiPAGE 11 > 'Ephemeral' Apps Put School Leaders In Tricky Spots By Benjamin Herold Schools are facing growing challenges from so-called "ephemeral messaging" apps, which allow users to send mobileto-mobile content that disappears without a record after it has been read by the intended recipient. Take Snapchat, which a growing number of teachers cite as a cause of classroom disruption. Some districts are moving to block student access to the popular app, which now claims more than 100 million users worldwide. And even more vexing may be the use of such new technologies by school administrators. Is it appropriate and legal, for example, for a superintendent to conduct district business using Cyber Dust, an app the company's website boasts will let professionals communicate freely via disappearing text messages that "provide absolute discretion and can never be recovered once they're gone"? That very situation is the source of a PAGE 10 >

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - October 28, 2015

Education Week - October 28, 2015
Study Paints Chaotic View of Testing
In L.A., Tensions Rise Over Teacher Investigations
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: ‘Ephemeral’ Apps Put School Leaders in Tricky Spots
Unequal Access to Advanced Classes Targeted
Fighting Subtle Bias
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Oak Foundation Aiding Those With ‘Learning Differences’
Long-Term Study to Track Adolescent Brain Development
Blogs of the Week
In Minneapolis, a Targeted Effort To Bolster Black Boys
School-Parent Linkages Chip Away at Cultural Barriers
Fate of Programs Complicates Path To ESEA Compromise
Some School Choice Backers Tepid On Title I Portability Proposal
State Chiefs Look to Montana For Ways to Meet the Needs Of Native American Students
Signs Point to Increase in High School Graduation Rates
Blogs of the Week
SETH KERSHNER & SCOTT HARDING: Do Military Recruiters Belong in Schools?
JEREMY A. STERN: On the AP U.S. History Framework
Unearthing the Humanity Beneath Stereotypes
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JOHN HATTIE: The Effective Use of Testing: What the Research Says

Education Week - October 28, 2015