Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 13
searching for undocumented students, said Thompson, the district's
Erwin High Principal Jim Brown
has been a mainstay in the school as
a teacher, counselor, assistant principal, and principal spanning more
than two decades. He's witnessed
the school's demographic shift that
brought more students from Mexico
and Central America. The school is
now 62 percent white, 22 percent
Hispanic and 9 percent black.
While Brown and his staff tried to
figure out what led to widespread
parent and student frustration, immigrant families shared stories of
feeling alienated from the school and
unequal treatment of their children,
said Mirian Porras Rosas, a community organizer with Nuestro Centro, a
Latino rights advocacy organization.
"We thought we were doing a good
job reaching out to our immigrant
community, to our Latino community,"
Brown said. "We didn't really realize
the perception that was out there that
we weren't doing a fair job at reaching
out to our immigrant kids."
Said Thompson, the district's student-services director: "I think if you
were to ask somebody, before this incident, 'Is this an unfriendly environment?,' they would probably say no."
Beneath the Surface
But some community members
said the anti-immigrant signs kindled racial tensions residing just
beneath the surface in a community
that bills itself as progressive and
"It is about immigration, but it's also
about racism and how it affects all
communities of color. Unfortunately,
that's not a quick fix," said Andrea
Golden, a community activist with
the Center for Participatory Change,
an organization that pushes for racial
equality in western North Carolina.
In the final presidential debate,
Trump reiterated his pledge to build
a border wall and deport the drug
lords and "bad hombres" that migrate here. Two days later, he swung
through suburban Asheville for a
rally where he claimed that Clinton
had allowed "thousands of criminal
aliens" to remain in the U.S. because
their home countries refused to take
"They don't want to take back killers and drug dealers and all of the
people that we're sending back,"
His statements stirred up familiar
feelings for Keyla Estrada.
"When Trump talked about immigration, it made me very angry, because for him, we are the bad guys
that ruin this country," she wrote in
an email. "He doesn't think about
others, what we suffer to come to
this country, and the racism that we
suffer once we're here. It made me
feel very uncomfortable."
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DIGITAL DIRECTIONS > Tracking news and ideas in educational technology
New Effort Prioritizes Digital Safety, Ethics
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
teach them how to make smart choices so they
can take advantage of all that tech has to offer
while avoiding the dangers," said James P.
Steyer, in prepared remarks he was expected to
deliver late last week to the Twitter Digital Citizenship Summit in San Francisco."We believe
that good online behavior mimics good offline
Steyer is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit
Common Sense Media, whose advocacy wing,
Common Sense Kids Action, will lead the new
campaign. The group is joined by Media Literacy
Now, the Digital Citizenship Institute, and the
National Association for Media Literacy Education. Together, they hope to initially persuade 20
states to pass new digital-citizenship legislation
Their model is Washington state, where
Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, earlier this year
signed into law a measure requiring the office
of the state superintendent of public instruction
to convene a statewide advisory committee that
will devise best practices and recommendations
for "instruction in digital citizenship, internet
safety, and media literacy."
Beginning next school year, Washington districts will be required to conduct annual reviews
of their relevant policies.
From cyberbullying (bullying, threats, or intimidation that happens online or electronically)
to sexting (the exchange of sexually explicit images or messages via digital-communications
tools), the downsides of students' online lives
have in recent years garnered significant legislative attention. Often, the approach has been to
respond to problems after they arise.
Now, though, experts say there's a growing
focus on prevention and proactive efforts to promote healthy behaviors.
"This isn't an issue that can be solved with a
one-time fix," said Sunny Deye, a program principal at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "It requires a mechanism for schools to
address ongoing issues as they come up."
Teaching Respect, Responsibility
The need for internet-safety instruction for
children has long been evident: Back in 2009, for
example, the Pew Research Center's Internet
and American Life Project found that 15 percent
of teenagers who owned cellphones had received
nude or nearly nude images of someone they
know via a text message. More recently, Pew
found that 22 percent of teenagers with relationship experience have had a partner insult them
or be mean to them on the internet or via a cellphone. Overall, 4 in 10 of all internet users are
the victims of some form of online harassment.
But as the internet, social media, and digital
devices have become increasingly ubiquitous,
they've also presented children with new opportunities to connect with others, engage in school,
and take part in civic and public life.
To reflect that dual reality, "digital citizenship"
should cover both media literacy and responsible
online behavior, many experts and educators
now believe. While there is no single, universally
accepted definition, the term is generally used to
cover strategies to help students learn internet
safety and security; manage their digital identities and reputations; engage in appropriate and
ethical digital conduct; build healthy relationships; prevent cyberbullying; critically evaluate
online information sources; and learn to access,
analyze, produce, evaluate, and interpret a wide
range of media.
"Digital citizenship can play a strong role in
preventing negative experiences," said Monica
STATE LEGISLATIVE ACTION
Several states in recent years have enacted legislation around digital literacy
and digital citizenship:
WASHINGTON: A 2016 law provided for
a process by which students, parents or
guardians, teachers, librarians, other school
employees, administrators, and community
representatives may engage in an ongoing
discussion on safe technology use, internet
use, digital citizenship, and media literacy.
A 2015 law modified the duties of teacherlibrarians to include instruction in digital
UTAH: A 2015 law required school community
councils to provide for education and
awareness on safe technology utilization and
digital citizenship. The aim was to empower
students to make smart media and online
choices and help parents and guardians learn to
discuss safe technology use with their children.
FLORIDA: A 2014 law requiring public schools
to provide K-12 students with opportunities
for learning computer science also permitted
elementary and middle schools to establish
digital classrooms to improve digital literacy
and skills, such as coding.
Bulger, a senior researcher at Data & Society,
a New York City-based research institute. "It's
also an opportunity to teach respect, responsibility, and how to engage in civil society."
Common Sense Media is among the groups
that have produced free curricular materials for
schools. A sample lesson for young children might
focus on how to respond when someone is mean
online. For high school students, lessons might
cover the consequences of "oversharing" on the
internet or an examination of how online identities might affect future educational or professional opportunities.
Despite the availability of such resources,
though, districts have typically been scattershot
in their approaches to such instruction in the
The federal Children's Internet Protection Act
requires schools receiving federal E-rate discounts to adopt an internet-safety policy, block
or filter obscene online content, and "provide
for educating minors about appropriate online
behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social-networking websites and in
chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and
response," according to the Federal Communications Commission.
In many states, however, the development
and implementation of such policies has been
hit or miss.
That's historically been the case in Washington, said Dennis Small, the director of educational technology in the state's office of public
instruction."Some districts were being very
deliberate and thoughtful," he said. "What's not
successful is when students get a canned video
from 10 years ago that talks about AOL chat
rooms and being safe on MySpace."
Following the passage last spring of Washington's new digital-citizenship law, Small and others
are hoping to see a more consistent approach.
The legislation stipulated that the state education department "convene and consult with
MAINE: A 2011 law required the state
commissioner of education to develop
a program of technical assistance for
instruction in digital literacy, including
offering professional development and
training for educators in the effective use
of online learning resources.
SOURCE: National Conference of State Legislatures
an advisory committee" consisting of educators,
parents, and media-literacy experts, among
others. The group was given the responsibility
of revising the state's ed-tech standards and
internet-safety policy and gathering materials and ideas that can be shared with schools.
Those schools will, in turn, be tasked with replicating the process on a local level, beginning
next school year.
Ongoing concerns about inadequate state education funding mean the new digital-citizenship
legislation didn't come with any new dollars. The
committee's recommendations are also likely to
be modest, focused more on updating standards
and sharing free resources than requesting that
lawmakers allocate millions of dollars for new
teacher professional-development efforts.
Marko Liias, a Democrat in the Washington
state senate who sponsored the law, said it is
just one step in a long-term strategy.
"Right now, we don't have to reinvent the
wheel. It's about finding the best things already
out there, sharing them, and launching a conversation," Liias said. "In the future, when we find
some strategies that really work, let's put some
money behind them to spread them more widely."
It's an approach that makes sense to Common Sense Kids Action and its partner organizations. Model legislation the groups intend to
push is drawn heavily from the new Washington law, said JR Starrett, the group's director
Educators and school administrators are
concerned with their students' digital lives,
Starrett said, but they've become increasingly
frustrated by the limitations of laws focused
narrowly on hot-button issues such as sexting
"They want to find preventative measures," he
said."That's why Washington caught our eye. It
creates a floor, rather than a ceiling, and it allows districts to tailor policies around digital citizenship and media literacy to their own needs."
Visit the DIGITAL EDUCATION blog, which tracks news and trends
on this issue. www.edweek.org/blogs
EDUCATION WEEK | NOVEMBER 2, 2016 | www.edweek.org | 13
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 2, 2016
Education Week - November 2, 2016
Teaching Literature Outside Of English Class
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Citizenship Initiative Will Target State Legislatures
Science Gains Seen at 4th, 8th Grades
African-American Museum Gears Up School Offerings
Principals Work Nearly 60 Hours A Week, According to Study
Conservative Group Focusing On ESSA Expands Reach
Guidance, Hurdles for ESSA’s ‘Well-Rounded Education’ Grant
SNAPSHOT: Tracking the Common Core
News in Brief
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
IN CONVERSATION: Q&A With Joseph Gauld
Election Lesson Reverberates In N.C. District
Education’s Tenuous Toehold on 2016 Ballot
SAM WINEBURG AND SARAH McGREW: What Students Don’t Know About Fact-Checking
BY THE NUMBERS: What Do Budding Voters Think?
MICHAEL J. FEUER: Whither Evidence?
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Election Lesson Reverberates In N.C. District
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 2
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 3
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - News in Brief
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Report Roundup
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Science Gains Seen at 4th, 8th Grades
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 7
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 8
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 9
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Principals Work Nearly 60 Hours A Week, According to Study
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 11
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 12
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 13
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 14
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Guidance, Hurdles for ESSA’s ‘Well-Rounded Education’ Grant
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - SNAPSHOT: Tracking the Common Core
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 17
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Education’s Tenuous Toehold on 2016 Ballot
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 19
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 20
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 21
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - SAM WINEBURG AND SARAH McGREW: What Students Don’t Know About Fact-Checking
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - BY THE NUMBERS: What Do Budding Voters Think?
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 24
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - Letters
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - 27
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - MICHAEL J. FEUER: Whither Evidence?
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - CT1
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - CT2
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - CT3
Education Week - November 2, 2016 - CT4