Education Week - November 7, 2012 - (Page 1)

Education WEEk VOL. 32, NO. 11 • NOVEMBER 7, 2012 AM E R ICAN E DUCATION’S N EWS PAPE R OF R ECOR D • © 2012 Editorial Projects in Education • $4 BREAKING NEWS DAILY ▲ Crunch Seen On Ed. Issues After Election By Alyson Klein From the White House to Capitol Hill, the winners in this week’s elections won’t have much time to savor their victories. Even as federal policymakers sort out the political landscape, the remainder of 2012 and the early months of 2013 are likely to be dominated by divisive, unresolved issues with broad consequences for K-12 and higher education—some of which require immediate action. Chief among them: sequestration, a series of planned, across-the-board budget cuts that are set to hit almost every federal agency Jan. 2, including the U.S. Department of Education, unless the president and a lame-duck Congress act to stop them. And when lawmakers in the 113th Congress take office in early January, they also will confront a yawning shortfall in the Pell Grant program, which helps low-income students attend college; grapple with a planned rise in studentloan interest rates; and pass a spending bill financing the federal government for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year. On top of that, federal policymakers must cope with thorny implementation questions on major policy initiatives, including dozens of waivers that eased states’ obligations under the No Child PAGE 23> SEEKING SHELTER: Fern C. Lumpkin and her daughter, Freedom, get settled at Toms Rivers High School North in Toms River, N.J. Many evacuees found shelter in schools when Hurricane Sandy hit last week, and classes were canceled across the region. PAGE 6 Scientists Trace Suspended—But Still Learning—in School Adversity’s Toll Last of a four-part series But this Baltimore public high school isn’t for elite stuBaltimore dents. Admission depends on Some of the students at Suc- whether students have done cess Academy here are doing something so serious a regular International Baccalaureate- district school won’t have them level work. Most of the classes anymore: assaulting classhave just five or six students. mates or staff members, posAnd every nine weeks, groups sessing or distributing drugs, of students are required to or wielding weapons. The school, serving as many make major presentations to their classmates and hand in as 100 students at a time, costs thick binders full of even more- more than $1.2 million a year detailed reports. to run, but the district, which RETHINKING DISCIPLINE Ky. Road-Tests Common Core By Andrew Ujifusa Results from new state tests in Kentucky—the first in the nation explicitly tied to the Common Core State Standards—show that the share of students scoring “proficient” or better in reading and math dropped by roughly a third or more in both elementary and middle school the first year the tests were given. Kentucky in 2010 was the first state to adopt the common core in English/language arts and mathematics, and the assessment results released last week for the 2011-12 school year are being closely watched by school officials and policymakers nationwide for what they may reveal about how the common standards may affect student achievement in coming years. So far, 46 states have adopted the English/language arts common standards; 45 states have done so in math. Two federally funded consortia are working on assessments based on the common standards, and those tests are not slated to be fully ready for schools until 2014-15. But Kentucky’s tests are PAGE 20> By Nirvi Shah houses the program at its headquarters, says keeping students learning and in school—somewhere—while they are serving out a suspension or have been kicked out of their own schools is far less expensive than the alternative. “The idea of children being out of school makes no sense,” said Karen Webber-Ndour, Baltimore’s executive director of the office of student support PAGE 18> By Sarah D. Sparks The stress of a spelling bee or a challenging science project can enhance a student’s focus and promote learning. But the stress of a dysfunctional or unstable home life can poison a child’s cognitive ability for a lifetime, according to new research. While educators and psychologists have said for decades that the effects of poverty interfere with students’ academic achievement, new evidence from cognitive and neuroscience is showing exactly how adversity in childhood damages students’ longterm learning and health. Those studies show that stress forms the link between childhood adversity and poor academic achievement, but that not all adversity—or all stress—is bad for students. “Children from their earliest life need to learn how to manage adversity,” such as dealing with the first day of school, said Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff, the co-director of Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, in Cambridge, Mass. Research from Dr. Shonkoff ’s center and from other experts finds that positive stress—the kind that comes from telling a toddler he can’t have a cookie or a teenager that she’s about PAGE 19> DIGITAL DIRECTIONS Districts Deploy Digital Tools to Engage Parents By Nora Fleming Digital technology is providing a growing variety of methods for school leaders to connect with parents anywhere, anytime—a tactic mirroring how technology is used to engage students. Through Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and text messages sent in multiple languages, school staff members are giving parents instant updates, news, and information about their children’s schools. Not only that, but a number of districts are also providing parents access to Web portals where they can see everything from their children’s grades on school assignments to their locker combinations and what they’re served for lunch. Socioeconomic disparities in Internet access can make such digital-outreach efforts challenging and even divisive, however; some parents have many options for connecting digitally, and others don’t. Yet some school leaders are meeting that challenge head-on by teaching parents how they can use technology to become more engaged in PAGE 16> Bonnie Jo Mount/Washington Post/Getty

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 7, 2012

Education Week - November 7, 2012
Crunch Seen on Ed. Issues After Election
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Districts Deploy Digital Tools To Engage Parents
Ky. Road-Tests Common Core
Scientists Trace Adversity’s Toll
News in Brief
Report Roundup
East Coast Schools Scramble to Reopen In Wake of Storm
Study Ranks Strength of Teachers’ Unions by State
FOCUS ON: RURAL EDUCATION: Rural District Nurtures Demand for Dual Enrollment
Funders Set New Round of Support For STEM Teaching
Blogs of the Week
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Digital Tools Seen As Good and Bad, Surveys Suggest
School Impact Possible in Drug-Dog Cases
Policy Brief
Ky. Aims to Give Districts Charter-Like Flexibility
MICKEY FREEMAN: Putting Brands to Work For Public Schools
JACK GILLETTE: Closing the Teacher- Development Gap
SERGE CACERES: Academics and Athletics The Perfect Match-Up
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
MICHAEL GREENSTONE & ADAM LOONEY: The Importance of Education: An Economics View

Education Week - November 7, 2012