Education Week - November 12, 2014 - (Page 5)

REPORT ROUNDUP according to her husband, Paul Sherman. She resigned. Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz last week acknowledged that was "not the right judgment." The Shermans spent nine days in Kenya, working with a relief organization that provides health care, food, and water and builds churches and distributes Bibles. -ASSOCIATED PRESS N.Y. Teacher Challenges State Evaluation System A Long Island teacher has filed a lawsuit against the New York state education department, charging that the teacher-evaluation system is statistically flawed. Sheri Lederman filed the suit after being rated "ineffective" on the portion of her rating tied to students' test performance-a year after she got a "highly effective" score. She teaches 4th grade in the Great Neck district and has a doctorate in education. The lawsuit claims the evaluation system lacks a proper appeals process. An education department spokesman said it doesn't comment on litigation. -AP Rural District Under Fire For Authorizing Charters A rural district in Southern California is the subject of several lawsuits after it authorized charter schools that have opened in neighboring districts, according to LA School Report. The Acton-Agua Dulce Unified district has approved more than 20 new charter schools in recent years, many located in nearby districts. California's charter school law says that if a charter school is unable to operate within a district, it can operate outside district boundaries. Acton-Agua Dulce says it does not have the facilities and other resources to house charter schools within its boundaries. The district charges a fee to manage the charter schools it authorizes. In recent months, the Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Newhall districts have each filed lawsuits in protest of the charter schools that have opened within their service areas. -JACKIE MADER Teachers in New York State To Give EpiPen Injections New York state has crafted new rules allowing trained teachers to administer epinephrine injections to students facing medical emergencies. Gov. Andrew Cuomo late last month signed into law a measure expanding access to devices known as EpiPens that are commonly used to treat emergency asthma and allergy attacks. The regulations will allow schools to keep EpiPens on hand and authorize teachers trained in their use to administer them to students even if the students don't have prescriptions. Mr. Cuomo also signed legislation that will allow students with asthma, allergies, diabetes, or other conditions to carry and administer inhalers, insulin injections, or other medications while at school. -AP Delaware School Gets Bulletproof Whiteboards As part of a pilot program, all staff members at Gunning Bedford Middle School in New Castle, Del., have been given hand-held whiteboards that double as bulletproof shields in case of a school shooting. Made of material similar to the armor plating in bulletproof vests, the 18-by-20-inch boards are light enough to be carried around and used in class every day, but can be wielded like a shield and are capable of stopping shots from handguns and shotguns, according to George Tunis, the chairman and ceo of Hardwire, the company that makes them. If a shooter comes on campus, instructions on the back tell users to grab the whiteboard in a shield grip, position themselves between the shooter and other bystanders to protect them, then disable the attacker using the shield. -AP DIGITAL ACCESS "Keeping Pace With K-12 Digital Learning" Enrollment in state-run online schools is on the rise, though broad gaps remain in the availability of digital resources and tools across the country's large, midsized, and small school systems, a new report concludes. The report is the 11th edition of a nationwide review of online policies released by the Evergreen Education Group, a Durango, Colo.-based consulting company. It describes a variety of public and private entities, including Connections Education, a commercial provider of online education; the Michigan Virtual School; the National Association of Independent Schools; and the Texas Education Agency. It notes that some growth restrictions are rooted in government policy: 20 states, for instance, bar openenrollment in online schools, and many do not allow students to choose individual courses. -SEAN CAVANAGH CLIQUES IN SCHOOL "Network Ecology and Adolescent Social Structure" COUNTRY COMES TO THE WHITE HOUSE Willie Nelson sings during a workshop for high school students from military communities in the Washington area in the East Room of the White House. First lady Michelle Obama hosted the event last week. Students are more likely to organize in homogenous and hierarchical cliques in schools that offer them more choices, says a study published last week. The study, in an online preview of the American Sociological Review, found that schools that offer students more choice-more elective courses, more 10% HIGH-POVERTY 0% SOURCE: School Leaders Network AFFLUENT CHILD CARE "Turning the Corner: State Child-Care Assistance Policies 2014" Thirty-three states made policy changes this calendar year that either make it easier for families to get child-care assistance or provide a more substantial benefit, says a report from the National Women's Law Center in Washington. This is the second year of improvement in this area, said Karen Schulman, a senior policy analyst for the center. In 2013, 27 states made changes to their policies in support of families who receive child-care assistance. The assessment was based on policies and laws in place as of February. The law center looked at five key areas: income eligibility, waiting lists, copayments, reimbursement rates for providers, and eligibility for families in which a parent is looking for a job. -CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS 30% 20% COMMON-CORE TESTING "Smarter Balanced 'Tests of the Tests' Successful" High school students who took the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium field test last spring found it far more difficult than younger students did, especially in mathematics, according to a new report. The report by the consortium is based on responses from 19,000 of the 4 million students who took part in the field test and 5,000 teachers and administrators. Seventy percent of the test coordinators in the seven states that responded to the sbac survey said the field test had gone as well or better than they had anticipated. Among other key takeaways: *Students at all grade levels found the test more difficult than their state's previous test. They found the Smarter Balanced items "challenging" and "really hard" and said they "took more thought to answer questions." *Many respondents reported that the test, which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, required a daunting amount of keyboarding from young children. *Most students said the test did not reflect what they learned in class. -CATHERINE GEWERTZ Study Finds Principal Mobility Takes Toll on Budgets, Learning "Churn: The High Cost of Principal Turnover" The high rate of principal turnover is costing school districts dearly, particularly teachers and students in high-poverty systems, says a new report by the School Leaders Network. According to the report, which was released last month, a quarter of the country's principals leave their schools each year, and nearly 50 percent do so in their third year. That churn happens after a district typically has spent an estimated $75,000 on each leader to prepare, hire, and place that person on the job, the report found. A 10-percent reduction in principal turnover in high-poverty districts-where 27 percent of principals leave their schools annually-along with an increase in principal effectiveness, could add $30,000 to a student's lifetime earning potential, the report says. The School Leaders Network, a national group aimed at improving professional development for public school principals, came up with the lost-earnings estimate by using a calculation that took into account the annual income for people of color from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and extrapolating their lifetime earnings. The report is based on a literature review of principal studies, survey data, and analyses of statistics from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the U.S. Census. According to the report, same-school principalturnover rates are highest in Alaska, California, Delaware, Idaho, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. In those states, principals stay at the same school an average of 2.7 to 3.5 years. -DENISA R. SUPERVILLE ANNUAL PRINCIPAL-CHURN RATES AT AFFLUENT AND HIGH-POVERTY SCHOOLS 40% 27% 20% ways to complete requirements, a bigger range of potential friends, more freedom to select seats in a classroom-are more likely to be rank-ordered, cliquish, and segregated by race, age, gender, and social status. Stanford University education professor Daniel A. McFarland based his conclusions on school-level data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and classroom-level data (surveys asking students who they "hung around with as friends," observations, and school records) that he collected at two high schools in 2001. He said more research is needed, however, and cautioned schools against responding to student social segregation by "tracking" students academically, taking away their course choices, or forcing them into more varied social relationships. -EVIE BLAD EDUCATION WEEK | November 12, 2014 | | 5 Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - November 12, 2014

Education Week - November 12, 2014
Republicans Enhance State-Level Advantage
Broad Poverty Index Gives Fuller Picture Of Stressed Schools
Chromebooks Gaining Popularity in Districts
Key Obama Priorities Facing Lack of Allies
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Study: Close Screening Process Can Improve Teacher Hires
Study Finds Few Payoffs in Short-Term Career Certificates
Blogs of the Week
Chromebooks Ascend in K-12 Market to Challenge iPads
Perceived Threat to Net Neutrality Sparks Furor
GOP Leaders in Congress Outline Education Priorities
More Than $60 Million Later, Scant Payoff for Teachers’ Unions
California Chief’s Win a Bright Spot For Teachers’ Unions
Election 2014 Results
Blogs of the Week
RANDI WEINGARTEN: Collaboration Takes Two
FATIMA GOSS GRAVES: Overlooked and in Need: Black Female Students
JOE FELDMAN: Grading Standards Can Elevate Teaching
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
APRIL BO WANG: What About Helping Rural Schools?

Education Week - November 12, 2014