Education Week - November 29, 2017 - 1
VOL. 37, NO. 14 * NOVEMBER 29, 2017
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2017 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
Lauren Grabelle for Education Week
By Evie Blad
Superintendent Steve Bradshaw started sleeping with a shotgun following a disturbing hacking incident involving his district in Columbia Falls, Mont.
Schools Struggle With Hacking, Other Cyber Threats
By Benjamin Herold
A wide range of cybersecurity threats are sweeping through the education sector, sowing discord and
costing public schools significant time, money, and
Criminal hacking groups have terrorized and extorted school communities. Email scams have led to
identify theft, fraudulent tax returns, and stolen public funds. Mistakes by district staff, third-party vendors, and other outside groups have left teacher and
student information vulnerable.
Still, the country's K-12 information-technology lead-
Common Core Lives On When States
Revise Their Standards, Study Says
By Stephen Sawchuk
For a while, the Common Core State
Standards seemed to teeter on the brink
of the abyss. State lawmakers were defecting left and right, convening committees to rewrite the expectations.
But a review released earlier this
month of 24 states' revisions show that
they have largely preserved the common core's most important features.
The report from Achieve, a Washington-based nonprofit that supports states'
efforts to improve their academic standards, does not explicitly compare old
and new standards. But most of the nonprofit's review criteria come directly out
of the common core-such as a focus on
"text complexity," or ensuring that students encounter progressively more difficult reading at each grade level.
In essence, the "core of the core" is
maintained in most states' new English/language arts standards. In math,
Achieve found that five states were
missing elements that it deems necessary to set up students for later success.
But states resisted the temptation
to revert back to earlier standards,
which were roundly criticized by math
experts as overstuffed and incoherent.
"This is a good-news story; by and
large, states do have strong collegePAGE 14 >
ers are likely underestimating the dangers they face.
Most don't see cybersecurity threats such as ransomware attacks, phishing schemes, and data breaches as
a significant problem, according to a new survey by the
Consortium for School Networking, or CoSN, and the
Education Week Research Center.
Even more troubling, many school technology leaders are failing to take basic steps to secure their networks and data. Just 15 percent say they have implemented a cybersecurity plan in their own district, the
That's not good enough, said Keith Krueger, the CEO of
THE NEW SCHOOLHOUSE
This special report
needed to make
sure the nation's
provide a strong
See the pullout section
opposite Page 12.
Early in Kelly Wickham Hurst's
teaching career, some of her colleagues
warned her about an older male coworker. He came in early and sometimes
cornered women, telling inappropriate
jokes that at times led to uncomfortable
physical contact he brushed off as accidental, they said.
The Springfield, Ill., middle school had a
wave of young, newly hired female teachers that year, and they believed its administration didn't take their concerns about
the man seriously, Hurst said.
"I paid attention to it but I thought he'd
never do this to me," said Hurst, who retired after 23 years and founded an advocacy group called Being Black at School.
Then one day, she got to school before
sunrise to arrange desks in her classroom. The older teacher was there, and he
followed her around, trying to engage her
in conversation. As he got closer, Hurst
cracked a joke that she knew karate, a
lie she made up on the spot. He got the
message, she said.
"I wanted him to know that I was dangerous," Hurst said. "I wanted him to
know that if he put his hands on me that
PAGE 12 >
ESSA Prods Chiefs
Into Hard Choices
By Daarel Burnette II
State education chiefs are scrambling
their staffs' duties and outsourcing tasks
such as data collection and school improvement efforts as they prepare for new responsibilities under the Every Student Succeeds Act-at the same time they cope with
continued funding and staffing pressures.
ESSA, which goes into effect for accountability purposes next fall, is a mixed blessing in the view of state superintendents
who have long asked for more flexibility
to figure out on their own how best to improve student outcomes.
One big challenge: Budget cuts in recent years have left large swaths of state
education departments squeezed on the
capacity to carry out the training, data collecting, and innovation necessary to fully
exploit that flexibility.
That tension was top of mind this month
as the Council of Chief State School Officers gathered here for its annual policy
With all their ESSA accountability plans
now submitted to the U.S. Department of
Education for approval, state education
agencies in the coming months move into
the implementation phase, which has the
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