Education Week - October 28, 2015 - (Page 8)

BLOGS Educators in the Middle East Tackle the Common Core | MARKETPLACE K-12 | The United Arab Emirates might seem an unlikely place to find a conference on the Common Core State Standards. But Dubai was center stage this month for about 200 educators from the Middle East and North Africa who met to delve into the common core. Despite the fact that eight states in the United States are not on board with the common core, the standards have been embraced by 110 private schools in the UAE, said Alison Burrows, the co-founder of KDSL, a UAE-based education company that organized the conference. "There are hundreds of thousands of K-12 students here who don't qualify for public school," she said, because the government only provides a free education for its citizens. "We have a huge international private school market offering various curricula-American being one of the most favored." Each emirate has its own regulatory agency for private schools. In Dubai, it's the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, and this organization requires American-curriculum schools to use the common core. It partners with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, which inspects the American-oriented schools annually, according to Burrows. That review is central to the adoption of the common core: "If schools here want to be competitive with schools back home," they need to follow the standards, she said. The keynote presenter at the conference was Norman Webb, who created the "depth of knowledge" classification system to explore the extent to which the common-core assessments gauge students' deeper learning. Among the exhibitors was WebbAlign, a program based on his research to help K-12 educational publishers validate the rigor of their curricula and assessments. Print Ad The common-core standards-which have been much discussed, debated, and challenged in the United States- are being studied, taught, and implemented with interest in the Middle East, Burrows said. -MICHELE MOLNAR Clockmaker's White House Visit Shines Light on School Discipline | RULES FOR ENGAGEMENT | Teenage clockmaker Ahmed Mohamed's visit to the White House astronomy night last week has once again stirred conversations about discipline and racial justice in schools. Ahmed, a Muslim from a Sudanese-American family, drew international press coverage last month when police arrested him at his Irving, Texas, school after teachers said his homemade clock looked like a "hoax bomb." Police later filed no charges, though Ahmed did serve a multiday suspension related to the incident. His supporters said the case demonstrates how discipline is often administered unfairly, especially for students of color. But some said the public was too quick to judge educators and police who were responding to what they saw as a potential safety threat. The boy and his family have been on a sometimes bizarre international press tour. As Mashable points out, it included meetings with tech leaders, appearances at conferences, and even a meeting with the Sudanese president and alleged war criminal Omar al-Bashir. The whole experience culminated in a quick meeting with President Obama as Ahmed joined other science-minded teenagers to gaze at the stars from the White House lawn. The Advancement Project, a Washington-based racialjustice organization, was quick to highlight that Ahmed isn't the first student to be disciplined for a science project. Kiera Wilmot, a black Florida student, was arrested in 2013 on two felony charges after her science experiment, a volcano model, malfunctioned. She was later expelled and then allowed to return to school and graduate following a public outcry, the organization said. "We should be encouraging young scientists like Ahmed and Kiera, not criminalizing them because of race," Thena Robinson Mock, a project official, said in a statement. -EVIE BLAD New York Principal Orders Teachers' Desks Thrown Out | TEACHING NOW | Teachers at a New York City elementary school got their furniture back last week after they were suddenly ordered to remove all desks and cabinets from their classrooms. Donna Connelly, the principal of PS 24 Spuyten Duyvil School in Riverdale, had the furniture thrown out because she didn't want teachers sitting, according to a story first reported in the New York Post. Connelly had teachers clear out their desks and filing cabinets while classes were in session. Custodians then dumped the desks at the curb. Photographs of the desks piled up on the street were uploaded to a teacher's Facebook page, which has since been deleted. The post sparked hundreds of outraged comments criticizing the principal for her behavior. After an uproar from teachers and Post readers, District 10 Superintendent Melodie Mashel ordered the return of the furniture, which then was stored in the basement. Last week, Connelly sent a staffwide email saying she would be returning desks to classrooms, the Post said. The idea of removing the front-and-center teacher's desk from classrooms has become popular in recent years as educators have sought to create nontraditional learning spaces and to circulate more among students. Read for Success: Improve Reading Proficiency and Combat the Summer Learning Slide Read for Success is a groundbreaking program intervention designed to help early elementary students excel at reading. Learn how school systems are using RIF's program to combat the summer learning slide and ensure reading success. free webinar Guests RoN FaIRchILd, president and ceo, Smarter Learning Group tImothy SImS, director of federal programs, hickory public Schools, N.c. JeNNy WhIte, principal, Southwest elementary School Wed., Nov. 4, 2015 2 to 3 p.m. et Moderator JuLIe RodRIGuez, vice president, literacy services, Reading Is Fundamental ReadForSuccess Content provided by 8 | EDUCATION WEEK | October 28, 2015 | -ELISHA McNEIL

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