Education Week - December 3, 2014 - (Page 26)

LETTERS to the EDITOR Tracking Hostility to LGBT Youths Will Help in Efforts to Support Them Wash. State Colleges Well Aware Of Value of 'Stacking' Certificates To the Editor: "Payoff Found to Be Slim for Short-Term Certificates From Community Colleges" (College Bound Blog, www., Nov. 6, 2014) included good, balanced quotes about the value of short-term certificates. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, where I work, would also like to add its perspective since the blog post focused on a study that used data from Washington state, "Labor Market Returns to Sub-Baccalaureate Credentials: How Much Does a Community College Degree or Certificate Pay?" The study only tracked students who entered community college between 2001 and 2002. Times have changed. Today, Washington state's community and technical colleges offer the very solution the study's author recommends: short-term certificates that "stack" on top of each other, like building blocks, to form longer certificates or degrees. Each level of skills serves as a foundation for the next level. With short-term certificates, current professionals stay on top of changes and innovations within their fields, while job-seekers learn beginning skill sets that lead to further education. And many certificates, such as Computer Numerical Control (cnc) machining, lead immediately to good wages. Short-term certificates are an important first step; colleges are making sure they're not the last. Marty Brown Executive Director Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Olympia, Wash. To the Editor: Tracking school climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students is crucial to illuminate a problem historically ignored or played down ("Efforts Build to Track Climate for lgbt Students," Oct. 22, 2014). Long hidden in the shadows, lgbt students frequently suffer in silence for fear of physical or psychological retribution. Depression and suicide are disproportionate among lgbt youths. This should not be. There are glimmers of hope resting in Gay-Straight Alliances based in some high schools across the nation, as well as the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, or glsen, both of which serve as a resource to schools as well as support and a voice to students stumbling their way through adolescence, which can be tough enough in itself. Hopefully, with a database to support the already well-known hostility toward lgbt youths in schools, as well as the support of many educational allies teaching in our classrooms, data in the future can be collected on the positive impact on the lives of lgbt students. Joseph Russo Stamford,Conn. COMMENTARY POLICY Education Week takes no editorial positions, but publishes opinion essays and letters from outside contributors in its Commentary section. For information about submitting an essay or letter for review, visit PRESIDENT & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Virginia B. Edwards EXECUTIVE EDITOR Gregory Chronister MANAGING EDITOR Kathleen Kennedy Manzo ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITORS Mark W. Bomster, Kevin C. Bushweller, Lesli A. 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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - December 3, 2014

Education Week - December 3, 2014
Rules Aim to Heighten Ed. School Monitoring
Parents Get Schooled On New Math Standards
Principals’ Central Role Gets New Attention at Ed. Dept.
Districts Press Publishers On Digital-Content Access
Consortium Sets High Bars For Its Common-Core Tests
Table of Contents
News in Brief
Report Roundup
New Teacher-Licensing Exams In N.Y. Lead to Subpar Results
Obama Grants Deportation Relief To Immigrant Parents
Kindergartners Found to Benefit From ‘Tools of the Mind’
Blogs of the Week
Word Problems Should Be Given At the Start of Lesson, Studies Say
Tech. Vendors Cloudy On K-12 Buying Needs
New Guidance Offers States Roadmap to NCLB Waiver Renewal
Achievement, Dissension Marked Tennessee Chief’s Tenure
States Get Federal Running Room On Teacher-Equity Plans
Blogs of the Week
JOHN CESCHINI: STEM + Art: A Fruitful Combination
KIP ZEGERS: A Teacher, Students, and Poetry in Motion
JEAN HENDRICKSON: Why Not Art for Children’s Sake?
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JEFF DEKAL: A Brief Portrait of a Young Artist

Education Week - December 3, 2014