Education Week - November 11, 2015 - (Page 5)

sented minorities went up just half a percentage point, to 13 percent. Twenty-three states had fewer than 10 black students take the exam, and in nine states no black students took it. -LIANA HEITIN N.J. Toughens Requirements For Teacher Certification New Jersey's state education board has changed requirements for teachers to be certified to include a full year of student teaching and going through a state evaluation system. Education Commissioner David Hespe says that recent statewide test results-in which fewer than half of New Jersey's public high school juniors were deemed college-ready- were a "call to action" to increase teacher preparedness. Among the changes are requiring teacher-candidates to be exposed to multiple types of classrooms, including at least one with students with disabilities. Teachers will also have to complete a performance assessment. -AP Most States Link Evaluations To Student Test Scores The vast majority of states now require that teachers be evaluated, at least in part, on student test scores-up sharply from six years ago. A state-by-state analysis by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a backer of more rigorous evalu- ations, shows 42 states and the District of Columbia have policies on the books requiring that student growth and achievement be considered in evaluations for public school teachers. In 2009, only 15 states linked scores to teacher reviews. In 16 states, student growth is the key factor in teacher evaluations, and in 28 states, teachers with "ineffective ratings are eligible for dismissal," the report said. Since most of the new evaluation systems were created in response to federal policy initiatives, some observers have questioned whether they will remain in place after the Obama administration leaves office. But based on its data, the NCTQ contends that test-based evaluations have gained a "strong foothold" in state policy frameworks. -AP H.S. Coach Placed on Leave For Leading Prayers on Field The Bremerton, Wash., school district has placed an assistant football coach on paid administrative leave for leading prayers with students on the field following games. In September, the district learned that Joe Kennedy, the assistant coach for Bremerton High School, was leading prayers with students on school property. Superintendent Aaron Leavell intervened, allowing Kennedy to continue on in his role as assistant football coach so long as he stopped leading prayers with students. Despite repeated warnings from the district, however, Kennedy continued to conduct postgame prayers. That spurred the district to place him on paid administrative leave. In a statement, the district said it has offered Kennedy a "private location to use for prayer that does not interfere with his performance of his duties," but Kennedy has yet to accept the district's offer. -BRYAN TOPOREK Mont. Schools Chief Juneau Launches Congressional Bid Montana Superintendent Denise Juneau, a Democrat, announced last week she will run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016 against the state's at-large Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke. Juneau was first elected state chief in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012. As chief, she's overseen efforts to improve the state's graduation rate and to provide better support to disadvantaged American Indian students. She's also overseen the development of a new teacher-evaluation system. Creating opportunities through education is a theme of Juneau's campaign. "Denise wants Montanans to see that it's possible to go from Head Start to Harvard, and from a small reservation town to Congress," states her campaign website. But Juneau faces tough historical odds on winning the seat. The Billings Gazette pointed out that a Democrat hasn't held the state's at- large congressional seat since 1997 and that Montana hasn't sent a woman to the House since 1941. -ANDREW UJIFUSA PARCC Releases Test Items For Use in Instruction quality and access along with field-based case studies on the educational experiences of refugee children in their countries of first asylum before arrival to the United States. The studies involved children originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Somalia, and Syria. -COREY MITCHELL REFUGEES IN SCHOOL Some children who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder go on to lose that diagnosis, but according to their parents, that change is not because of treatment or the child's maturity. Instead, most of the parents of children who shed the autism label reported that health professionals made a different diagnosis-often attention deficithyperactivity disorder-with more information. The findings, published last month in the journal Autism, are based on parental reports on 1,420 children ages 6 to 17, 187 of whom were once diagnosed with autism but were no longer believed to have it, said Stephen J. Blumberg, the lead author and an associate director for science with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. The children who lost the autism diagnosis generally had fewer social or behavioral problems than those who retained the label. Their parents were also less likely to have had early concerns with their child's verbal skills, or with their child making unusual or repetitive gestures-one of the hallmarks of autism. And their child's original diagnosis was less likely to have come from an autism specialist. -CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS "The Educational Experiences of Refugee Children in Countries of First Asylum" Refugee children's prior educational experiences, not their academic aptitude, may be the most significant indicator of how they'll perform in U.S. schools, according to an analysis from the Migration Policy Institute. Sarah Dryden-Peterson, an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, found that refugee children-many of them English-language learners-spend a "disproportionate amount of their time learning languages," which can contribute to falling behind in age-appropriate academic content. "The histories of resettled refugee children are often hidden from their teachers and other school staff in the United States by factors such as language barriers, privacy concerns, cultural misunderstandings, and stereotypes," she wrote. Dryden-Peterson's analysis drew on United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports on education STUDENTS WITH AUTISM "Diagnosis Lost: Differences Between Children Who Had and Who Currently Have an Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis" -CATHERINE GEWERTZ CLARIFICATION: The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers has released hundreds of test questions from its 2015 assessment. The items are available on the consortium's Partnership Resource Center website ( The consortium released the items "to give teachers a powerful tool to inform classroom instruction," to "better prepare students for success," it said in an announcement of An article in the Nov. 4, 2015, issue of Education Week miscast the National Education Policy Center's stance on the drop in NAEP scores. The press release from the center stated that the decrease was "bad news" for school improvement approaches that seek to close failing schools and hold teachers accountable for student test scores. AVERAGE ANNUAL PERCENTAGE INCREASES IN PUBLISHED PRICES FOR POSTSECONDARY SCHOOLS FOR THREE DIFFERENT DECADES TUITION AND FEES 4.3 4.2 3.5% 3.4 3.0 3.9 2.5 2.4 2.6 Public Two-Year Public Four-Year Private Nonprofit Four-Year TUITION AND FEES AND ROOM AND BOARD 3.4 3.3% 2.6 2.3 Private Nonprofit Four-Year communities need to earn at least 200 percent of the poverty level to meet basic needs like housing, food, and health care. And, while 46 states have increased those levels since 2001, only 10 have increased their levels by enough to change who is eligible as a percentage of the poverty level. Despite the issues, families' access to child-care assistance and/or the extent of the assistance offered increased in nearly two-thirds of states between 2014 and 2015. That is cause for optimism, though not complacency, among advocates, the report concludes. -LILLIAN MONGEAU the release. The consortium also hopes that seeing the released items will help parents understand the test, so that the "assessments aren't a mystery," the consortium's statement said. 2.8 2.1 1985-86 to 1995-96 1995-96 to 2005-06 2005-06 to 2015-16 Public Four-Year SOURCES: The College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; NCES, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System Tuition Rose Faster at Public Universities "Trends in College Pricing 2015" Students who attend public four-year colleges and universities are paying an average of 38 percent more in tuition and fees than they were a decade ago, according to data released last week. Those increases are far greater than the increases at two-year public colleges or at private, four-year institutions. The annual study by the College Board shows that while net tuition and fees-the amount students pay after grants, scholarships, and tax credits-rose 38 percent in public four-year institutions between 2005-06 and 2015-16 to $3,980, that figure rose an average of only 1 percent in private four-year colleges and universities, to $14,890, over the same period, and actually declined by $1,140 in two-year colleges. Likewise, the published prices for tuition and fees at public fouryear schools-the so-called "sticker prices"-are up 40 percent over that time. In private four-year institutions, by contrast, published tuition and fees rose by 26 percent. The College Board report notes that net prices in all higher-ed sectors declined between 2005-06 and 2010-11, but have risen since then. Recent annual increases are "moderate by historical standards," according to report author Sandy Baum, while the rise in published tuition and fees over time has been "dramatic." But student aid has not kept pace with those rises, Baum added, and that has sparked concern about college access and affordability. A companion report to the collegepricing study notes that grant aid increased 56 percent in the decade ending in 2014-15, but only a small slice of that growth occurred in -CATHERINE GEWERTZ the last four years. EDUCATION WEEK | November 11, 2015 | | 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 11, 2015

Education Week - November 11, 2015
RTI Practice Falls Short of Promise, Research Finds
Districts Confront Transgender Policies
Top Teacher’s Resignation Spurs Certification Debate
Special Ed. Law Wrought Complex Changes
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Blogs of the Week
In Colorado School Board Recall, Politics and Money Drive Ouster
‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Is Tough Call for Districts
Districts Struggle to Equip Schools With Fast, Affordable Internet
States Prepare for Shifting Role On Accountability
In Off-Year Elections, Ky., Miss. Drew Spotlight on K-12
Arizona Governor Signs Deal to Settle K-12 Funding Suit
Blogs of the Week
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Must Be Everywhere at Once
Put Our Mission Front and Center
Control What I Can
Prioritize Community-Building
How Do We Keep Good Principals?

Education Week - November 11, 2015