Education Week - December 11, 2013 - (Page 1)

EDUCATIONWEEK VOL. 33, NO. 14 * DECEMBER 11, 2013 AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2013 Editorial Projects in Education * $4 'Newtown' A Year Later, Still Echoes But Few New Laws Seen By Evie Blad Around the country, "Newtown" has become shorthand in policy discussions for the horrific act everyone is trying to prevent. But in Newtown, Conn., the site of the Dec. 14, 2012, school massacre, leaders refer to the events of that day simply as "12/14." A year after the shooting, the flurry of passionate calls for "national conversations" and changes to state and federal laws related to guns, school security, and mental health that were spurred by the tragedy has yet to produce a sea change in policy. While an undetermined number of districts across the country responded to the violence at Sandy Hook Elementary School by beefing up safety measures or adding armed security staff, only a fraction of the state and federal legislative changes proposed in the immediate aftermath of the killings have become law. "People asked 'How can we really protect our students? How can we ensure that something like this won't happen?'" said Pamela L. Goins, the director of education policy for the Lexington, Ky.based Council of State Governments. "The message that we've heard is that we need to be as prepared as possible." A year after the deadliest K-12 school shooting in American history, Newtown is still trying to regain a sense of routine. District leaders, fearing a rush of media attention leading up to the anniversary, rejected all requests for interviews about the attack, in which 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook and killed 26 people, including 20 children. Meanwhile, deaths from school violence remain statistically rare. Between the 1992-93 and 2010-11 school years, violent deaths that occurred while the victim was at school, on the way to school, or at a school-related activity peaked at 63 in the 2006-2007 school year, and nine of those were classified PAGE 18 > By Liana Heitin Washington The news that U.S. achievement was stagnant on a global exam as other nations plowed ahead triggered agendadriven pronouncements from all sides last week, but some experts caution against making policy prescriptions based on 15-year-olds' results on the assessment. Schools such as Naalehu Elementary aim to use federal grant aid to counter rural isolation and poverty. Hawaii's Early Stumbles on Race to Top Give Way to Pace-Setting Outcomes By Michele McNeil Naalehu, Hawaii Sixty-five miles from the nearest town of Hilo, over the volcano and past groves of coffee and macadamia-nut trees, is Naalehu Elementary School. Here, students travel as far as eight miles along privately owned roads to reach the closest school bus stop on the main highway, contributing to chronically high absenteeism. Children from the Marshall Islands, a U.S. territory where the American military tested nuclear weapons during the Cold War, come to escape pov- erty and contamination, and often arrive at school with health problems and little English. Naalehu Elementary is a training ground for new teachers, who typically do two years of duty, get tenure, and then leave for schools in larger towns on the Big Island of Hawaii, or on Oahu. The 459-pupil school and the others in what's known as the Kau-Keaau-Pahoa complex area are among the primary beneficiaries of a $75 million Race to the Top grant, part of an intensive state and federal effort to transform Hawaii's school system from one of the nation's worst, by some metPAGE 24 > In all subjects tested-reading, mathematics, and science-more countries scored above the United States than did so in 2009 on the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA. In the most striking example, 10 additional nations, including Germany and Poland, surpassed the U.S. average in reading compared with three years ago. "We're running in place as other highperforming countries start to lap us," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said at a daylong live-webcast event here Dec. 3. There's "so much to learn from countries that have outperformed us." Mr. Duncan emphasized the need for improved early-childhood education and "elevating and strengthening the teaching profession" in the United States. But Mark Schneider, a vice president at the American Institutes for Research, PAGE 14 > BREAKING NEWS DAILY Global Test Shows U.S. Stagnating Results Spur Policy Debate INDUSTRY & INNOVATION Ed. Companies Finding Success In Chinese Market By Sean Cavanagh Does 'Blue Light' Impair Students' Sleep? While lights and electronic devices that mimic By Sarah D. Sparks San Diego Schools may soon face an unintended consequence of more flexible technology and more energy-efficient buildings: sleepier students. That's because evidence is mounting that use of artificial light from energy-efficient lamps and computer and mobile-electronics screens later and later in the day can lead to significant sleep problems for adults and, particularly, children. daylight can improve students' attention and alertness if used during normal daytime hours, Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, has found exposure in the late afternoon and evening can disrupt sleep cycles as much as six to eight hours-the same amount of "jet lag" caused by a flight from New York City to Honolulu. "Technology has disconnected us from the natural 24-hour day," Dr. Czeisler said in a keynote lecture at the Society for Neuroscience meeting held here last month. That could lead to headaches for school districts across the country that are rolling out take-home electronic devices in an effort to boost student achievement. Two connected systems determine how people of all ages sleep. The first is pretty straightforward: The longer it's been since you've slept, the sleepier you get. The second system, called the circadian cycle, is more complex and can easily come into conflict with a person's basic sleep drive. Human brains regulate circadian sleep PAGE 20 > Education companies from the United States and other countries are moving aggressively to secure a piece of the market in China, where a surging private-sector economy and growing middle class are fueling a demand for services, particularly for Western-style products and school strategies. Many of the best-known opportunities for education businesses working in China have come in English-language acquisition and college preparation and recruitment. But companies are also establishing a foothold in such diverse areas as early-childhood education, curriculum, and management of schools' Web content and online professional communities. The players include not only smaller PAGE 16 > Marco Garcia/ AP for Education Week

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - December 11, 2013

Education Week - December 11, 2013
Hawaii’s Early Stumbles on Race to Top Give Way to Pace-Setting Outcomes
Global Test Shows U.S. Stagnating
A Year Later, ‘Newtown’ Still Echoes
Does ‘Blue Light’ Impair Students’ Sleep?
Ed. Companies Finding Success In Chinese Market
News in Brief
Report Roundup
States Grapple With Setting Common Test-Score Cutoffs
Report Shares Strategies For Growing Principals
Tech. Compatibility Certification Set Up for Common-Core Testing
Blogs of the Week
Group’s Model Bill Aims to Protect Privacy of Student Data
Privacy Issues Prompt State Measures
Sandy Hook: Words and Actions
Biology Explains Only Part Of Teenagers’ Sleep Losses
Chiefs for Change Confronts Political, Policy Tests
Kansas Funding Feud Raises Prospect of Court, Legislative Clash
Blogs of the Week
The Best Antidote to Bullying? Community Building
An Open Letter to the NCTQ
How a Learning Gap Grows
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Steering Clear of the Textbook

Education Week - December 11, 2013