Education Week - November 28, 2018 - 1

Education Week
VOL. 38, NO. 14 * NOVEMBER 28, 2018

AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2018 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 6 

Shakeups Loom
In Post-Election
State Landscape


CITIZEN Z: Finding America's Story


Turnover in Governors, Lawmakers
May Affect Policy and Personnel

I got more comfortable
with people disagreeing. ...
I started to realize that
everyone is compelled by
what they think is best
for everyone. They're not
good or evil."

By Daarel Burnette II
There will be a new cast of characters overseeing state education policy in 2019-and many of
them will be looking to shake things up to deliver
on the many promises they made on the campaign trail in this year's midterm elections.
New governors-many of them Democrats-are
expected to propose ambitious budgets with new
ways of funding their K-12 systems. The fresh
crop of governors and state board members is
likely to lead to big turnover of state schools superintendents in places where they're appointed.
And states where one party or the other has
new control of both the legislature and governorship, such as Democrats in Colorado, may use
that momentum to push school accountability and
other changes at a time when the Every Student
Succeeds Act gives them greater policy authority.
"States are going to be more important than
ever before," said Kristen Amundson, the president and CEO of the National Association of
State Boards of Education. "There is less likelihood that there will be a single message from
the feds to states. But state by state, you'll see
important education policy decisions being made
next year."

Democratic Gains
Democrats picked up seven governors' seats
and seven legislative chambers in this year's elections. In January, 23 states will have Democratic
governors and 27 states will have Republican
governors. Eighteen states' legislatures will be
completely controlled by Democrats, 30 state legislatures will be controlled by Republicans, and
only one state legislature-Minnesota's-will be
split. (Nebraska's legislature is nonpartisan.)
Amundson predicted there will be almost two
dozen new appointed and elected state education

Nathan W. Armes for Education Week

PAGE 1 >


Bintou Sonko, a senior at Overland Park High School, near Denver, reflects on the civic discussions in her social studies classes this year.

Teaching Civility in an Age of Conflict
Some students
are learning
the art of civic

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By Catherine Gewertz
Aurora, Colo.

Inside this high school at the foot of the Rocky
Mountains, teenagers are immersed in a project
with the potential to temper the divisiveness that
is consuming U.S. politics. They're learning to have
calm, balanced conversations about controversial
In two very ordinary classrooms here, students are
aware that they're trying to do something extraordinary, something many adults around them seem
unable to do: study a problem, understand the arguments on all sides, and discuss it together to see

what solutions might work best for the country.
Educators around the country who are involved in
teaching these civil-discourse skills say the need for
them has become especially urgent as increasingly
heated political rhetoric exposes the degree to which
Americans are polarized and free-speech rights are
under fire.
"It's just a whole lot of yelling and finger-pointing
out there, people talking over each other instead of
hearing each other out," said Lindsey Johnson, an
11th grade student who's learning civil-discourse
skills here at Overland High School, near Denver.
"The sooner we can learn these habits, the sooner
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A Mission to Educate Migrant Students
By Alex Granados

Alex Granados/Education Week

Bladen County, N.C.

Sisters Lilian, right, and Emily Merlin look through a new
backpack given to them by education recruiters from the Bladen
County migrant education department in North Carolina.

Hope Derry and Janett Nunez Meza are
not a threatening pair. Derry is an unassuming 30-year-old from Ohio, and Nunez
Meza is a 40-year-old originally from Nicaragua.
The two work for the Bladen County,
N.C., migrant education department, recruiting migrant students into the program and working with older youths who
are not in school to help them get their
General Educational Development credentials or learn English. It's their job to
show up at farmworker camps and talk
with workers.
The first time they came to Thunder

Camp, one of the camps that house migrant workers at a nearby farm, they encountered a group of workers in their late
teens and early 20s.
One task that migrant education recruiters have to do when signing up migrant workers for their programs is ask
their names and where they're coming
from. One said he had to get his ID because he didn't know his birthday. (Outof-school youths must prove they are between 18 and 21 to join the educational
program for older youths.)
He never came back.
"He had jumped out the window and
run away," Derry said she later learned.
The anecdote illustrates one of the challenges of providing educational services

to migrant farmworkers: gaining their
trust-especially now as anti-immigrant
rhetoric escalates at the national level.
Other challenges abound: disrupted
schooling, competing with the lure of paid
work, language barriers. These difficulties
add up and are reflected in poor academic
outcomes for this vulnerable group of students. Less than a third of migrant students score at or above proficient levels on
their states' annual reading and language
arts assessments.
In this part of the country, migrant
workers pick blueberries, tomatoes, sweet
potatoes, and tobacco, work on Christmastree farms, or have other jobs that require
them to move from county to county and
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