Education Week - October 28, 2015 - (Page 22)

Poverty Continues to Harm Students After Early Ed. Intervention Ends To the Editor: Your recent article "Study Casts Fresh Doubts on Durability of Pre-K Gains" (Oct. 7, 2015) on a new study of Tennessee prekindergarten results raises many of the same issues that have plagued Head Start. By 3rd grade, gains made in either Head Start or the Tennessee pre-K program have disappeared. The only thing that hasn't disappeared for the students who participated in these programs is the handicap created by living in poverty. To think that simply catching students up before they get to kindergarten solves the "gaps" issue forever is nonsensical. Poverty plagues students throughout their schooling. Unless supports are provided, as long as the poverty exists, these students will continually fall behind their peers. Joseph Crowley Executive Director Rhode Island Association of School Principals Providence, R.I. The '#62MillionGirls' Push Is Relevant Here In the United States, Too To the Editor: I was inspired to respond to your article "Michelle Obama to Tap U.S. Students in Equity Campaign for Girls" (Aug. 26, 2015). I have been following first lady Michelle Obama's work, and earlier this month she announced a global campaign for girls' education that is called #62MillionGirls. I believe that it is important to create awareness about girls' education, but not only in developing countries. Attention also needs to be paid to developed countries, " including here in the United States, in Canada, and in the United Kingdom. I am fortunate to have experienced the power of helping a student during my teacher training last year. The student, whom I'll call Jasmine, was a 9th grader in my classes. I could tell from my interactions with her that she was intelligent and had the potential to achieve high grades, but her motivation was low. She explained that the reason behind her lack of motivation was that after graduating high school she would get married and not be expected to get a job. She further explained that she could have a stable life without wasting time, energy, and money on her education. My job as a teacher is not only to deliver my lessons, but also to tap into student motivation. Doing so is often about changing his or her frame of reference. Jasmine's reference was the cultural expectations of family and the precedent her older sisters had set. My conversations with Jasmine were a way to build trust and help her recognize a new reference point. Toward the end of the school year, Jasmine changed her course selections to prepare for attending university, and she had a new aspiration to become a social worker. This anecdote shows that the impediments to girls' education are not only prevalent in developing countries, but can also be an issue in a developed country such as the United States. But for me, this is not just about policy or economics. This is deeply personal, because I come to this issue not just as a future policymaker in education, but also as someone who was initially denied an education because I was a young female. It is deeply disheartening to know millions of girls worldwide are dealing with the same, if not worse, circumstances. But what is most inspiring to me is that we as a nation are taking the time to create awareness about this issue. Roma Souraya Cambridge, Mass. COMMENTARY POLICY Education Week takes no editorial positions, but publishes opinion essays and letters from outside contributors in its Commentary section. For information about submitting an essay or letter for review, visit | READERS REACT ON EDWEEK.ORG | Inspiring Students to Read To read the full Commentary and readers' reactions, please visit: We are not allowed to let students enjoy reading. They must produce a product to prove they have read ... and you wonder why older kids hate reading. A CHILD'S VOICE We spend way too much time on teaching strategies and technique and no time letting [students] practice what we learned. BARBMC It seems like classroom activities such as reading are so controlled. No wonder kids like computerized games. They are more interactive than what the districts allow. In the higher grades, we need to allow greater freedom to read books of interest to the student, not those of interest to the teachers. Fiction is torture to many students on the autism spectrum. And me. EBASCO I didn't dissuade [students] from reading books below their levels, but reminded them that they should focus the majority of their reading on books at their level, or just one above. EDTECHTEACHER KIDZ1ST 22 | EDUCATION WEEK | October 28, 2015 | Getty Veteran educator Barbara Wheatley's Oct. 7, 2015, Commentary "Reading by Choice" prompted a number of thought-provoking comments. In her essay, Wheatley asks parents and educators to encourage students to select their own books, maintaining that allowing children to do so, even if the books are judged to be "too difficult" for them, can improve children's reading skills and further their love of reading. She encourages adults to read aloud to children, give books as gifts, and read independently themselves to set a good example. In response, commenters agreed that students should be encouraged to select books they are excited about. Some suggested that a classroom needs a broad selection of books to motivate unenthusiastic readers, while others argued that classroom reading instruction can make or break a reader. One way to best help students is to collaborate so librarians can guide children to the appropriate sections of their library to make finding a 'just right' book much easier for the students and less frustrating for the teachers. A LIBRARIAN About 25 percent of my kiddos try to choose books that are way too low. ... I'm not sure why they do this-maybe they think it's funny, or maybe they just don't really like to read. ARADEBA1 -COMPILED BY MARGARET YAP Getty LETTERS to the EDITOR Do Military Recruiters Belong in Schools? CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21 cruits, the American Public Health Association passed a resolution urging schools to more closely regulate military-recruiter access. While it is unlikely that he was familiar with the scholarly literature, several years ago a New Haven 5th grader summed up this view in an interview with Junior Scholastic magazine: "If people are not allowed to drink alcohol until the age of 21," he said, "they should not be able to make a decision that could cost them their lives until at least that age." The military holds a different view. For the military, access to high schools is all-important because, in the words of its own officer corps, youths represent their "target market" and high schools "the primary source of Army applicants." School access is essential to military recruiters precisely because that's where young people can be found five days a week. In fact, the Army's recruiter handbook notes that among key community institutions-churches, civic organizations, businesses-schools have the most significant "impact on recruiting." Given the way military recruiters rely on unfettered access to public schools and students, it would be unreasonable to expect them to voluntarily scale back their activities. But educators, parents, and activists have an important role to play in pushing for reform. Our research, supported by other scholars and community organizations, indicates that common sense is needed to protect youths from military recruiters and restore a sense of balance to the career choices being promoted to students. If recruiters are to remain in schools, we suggest public school districts across the United States adopt the following policies: * Districts should require military recruiters to remain in one part of the school only. In too many instances, they are allowed to roam the hallways in search of students, or often sit with students eating alone in the cafeteria. We think most school officials would balk if a recruiter from another organization expected such access. Military recruiters should be held to that same standard. * Districts should limit recruitment visits to one per branch of the military per year. As shown in Connecticut, weekly visits by recruiters to individual schools are common. Students in public settings should not be overexposed to information about just one potential career path. * Restricting recruiter visits to schools is important, but to make this policy effective, "visits" should be broadly defined to include any activity by a military recruiter in which student contact is made. This would include not only traditional table set-ups, but also activities like classroom presentations by military personnel. * Districts should require recruiters to fully disclose the health risks of military service. Among the more than 800 Texas high school students who told researchers Adam McGlynn and Jessica Lavariega-Monforti that they had had contact with military recruiters, 86 percent said they were never told about the possible risks of military service. At the least, recruiters should be required to tell students that if they join the military, they may end up in combat. * To ensure these rules are followed, a designated military monitor should be present at all times when recruiters interact with students. Such a policy has been successfully implemented in the Seattle public schools, where the Parent Teacher and Student Association, or PTSA, assigns a parent to monitor the military during school visits by recruiters. Efforts to regulate the presence of recruiters invariably produce strong opposition. The military and veterans' groups claim that such sensible reforms are "anti-military" and undermine the ability to recruit new service members. But advocates, parents, and teachers who wish to protect students should not be intimidated. This is not about being for, or against, the military. It is about ensuring that high schools do not become de facto recruiting stations, and that all young people have equal access to educational opportunities. n http://www.EDWEEK.ORG

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