Education Week - November 12, 2014 - (Page 5)
REPORT ROUNDUP www.edweek.org/go/rr
according to her husband, Paul
Sherman. She resigned. Louisville
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz last week
acknowledged that was "not the
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Delaware School Gets
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
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.
"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
SOURCE: School Leaders Network
"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
"Smarter Balanced 'Tests of the Tests'
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
*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.
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
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
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
RATES AT AFFLUENT AND
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
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.
EDUCATION WEEK | November 12, 2014 | www.edweek.org | 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
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