October 15, 2014

Education Week, Vol. 34, Issue 08
English-Language Learners Dissecting Academic Gains for Dual-Language Students
In the 2008-09 school year, students enrolled in "two-way" dual-language programs in six North Carolina districts, on average, outscored their peers who were not enrolled in dual language on the state's reading and math tests.
October 16, 2014
Seventh grader Eluis Mendoza works on a laptop at Allapattah Middle School in Miami. School funding, choice, and accountability are among the education issues facing the winner in Florida’s gubernatorial race.
Seventh grader Eluis Mendoza works on a laptop at Allapattah Middle School in Miami. School funding, choice, and accountability are among the education issues facing the winner in Florida’s gubernatorial race.
Josh Ritchie for Education Week
Federal K-12 Funding a Top Issue in Heated Fla. Governor's Race
Incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist are both pledging greater financial support for schools in their close election contest.
Andrew Ujifusa, October 14, 2014
8 min read
Donald J. Leu, a researcher the University of Connecticut, speculates that the online-reading-skills gap could derive from unequal expectations for how the Internet should be used in school.
Donald J. Leu, a researcher the University of Connecticut, speculates that the online-reading-skills gap could derive from unequal expectations for how the Internet should be used in school.
Reading & Literacy Q&A: Researcher Identifies Gaps in Online-Reading Skills
University of Connecticut researcher Donald J. Leu talks about his recent findings showing that lower family income is linked to weaker online-reading skills for middle school students.
Benjamin Herold, October 14, 2014
3 min read
Donald J. Leu, a researcher the University of Connecticut, speculates that the online-reading-skills gap could derive from unequal expectations for how the Internet should be used in school.
Donald J. Leu, a researcher the University of Connecticut, speculates that the online-reading-skills gap could derive from unequal expectations for how the Internet should be used in school.
School & District Management Skills Gaps for Online Reading Linked to Family Income
A study of 7th graders from two Connecticut school districts finds a significant achievement gap for the ability to read information critically on the Internet.
Benjamin Herold, October 14, 2014
3 min read
Kindergartners wait in line after a water break at Collinswood. Selected by lottery, the 750 students at the K-8 magnet school are a nearly even mix of native Spanish speakers and native English speakers.
Kindergartners wait in line after a water break at Collinswood. Selected by lottery, the 750 students at the K-8 magnet school are a nearly even mix of native Spanish speakers and native English speakers.
--John W. Adkisson for Education Week
School & District Management School Successes Inspire N.C. Push for Dual Language
Collinswood Language Academy's experiences with two-way language learning illustrate why North Carolina state education officials are sold on the idea.
Lesli A. Maxwell, October 14, 2014
10 min read
Teaching Profession Report Roundup Study Weighs Special Training Vs. Effectiveness for Teachers
Want to find a better teacher for English-language learners? A new report suggests schools might start by looking for teachers who add the most value for any student, rather than limiting the search to those with specialized training to work with ELLs.
Sarah D. Sparks, October 14, 2014
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Transition
Jim Blew has been named the new president of StudentsFirst, the K-12 advocacy group founded by Michelle Rhee that pushes for increased school choice and the end to seniority-based employment decisions for teachers.
October 14, 2014
1 min read
Assessment College Board Pitches for Expanding AP Access
Too many students are 'missing opportunities' to take rigorous courses—and potentially boost their SAT scores, says the board.
Caralee J. Adams, October 14, 2014
5 min read
Assessment Groups Honing Real-Time Teacher-Performance Exam
The Educational Testing Service, with the help of a nonprofit specializing in teacher practice, is planning to release a new assessment capable of measuring teacher-candidates' ability to execute key aspects of instruction.
Stephen Sawchuk, October 14, 2014
4 min read
Assessment News in Brief Teachers Sue Over Gag Rule About Test Questions
New York state's largest teachers' union claims in a federal suit filed last week that the state education department is violating the free-speech rights of teachers by barring them from speaking about questions and answers on state tests after students take them.
McClatchy-Tribune, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Education Funding News in Brief Indiana Eliminates Audits of Extracurricular Accounts
Indiana has stopped auditing extracurricular accounts at school systems because of a lack of manpower, raising concerns that the absence of oversight could contribute to new problems with accounts already prone to lax financial controls.
The Associated Press, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Assessment Commentary 11 Ways to Make Data Analytics Work for K-12
To improve their practice, educators need early access to information on student performance, Irving Hamer says.
Irving Hamer, October 14, 2014
6 min read
Education Funding News in Brief Petitioners Get Signatures to Put Funding on Ballot
Supporters of a state constitutional amendment guaranteeing "an adequate and efficient system of free public schools" in Mississippi say they've collected enough signatures to put a referendum on the 2015 general-election ballot.
The Associated Press, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Professional Development News in Brief Student-Survey Company Unveils New Teacher Tool
One of the best-known providers of student surveys is launching a new, free service for teachers, aimed at helping educators use the results to refine their classroom practices.
Sean Cavanagh, October 14, 2014
1 min read
School Climate & Safety News in Brief New England Schools Face Rash of Bomb Threats
School and law-enforcement officials in New England say they are dealing with an unusually high number of bomb threats that have forced the cancellation of classes just weeks into the new academic year.
The Associated Press, October 14, 2014
1 min read
School Climate & Safety News in Brief Three H.S. Football Players Die in Short Time Span
Three U.S. high school football players have died within a 1½-week span, according to news reports.
Bryan Toporek, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Education Funding News in Brief High-Performing Charters Get Aid for Expansion
The federal government is awarding nearly $40 million to charter schools in 12 states, with the aim of helping high-performing charters expand. Among the awardees are several that belong to well-known charter networks, as well as four schools that are yet to open in Washington state, where a new charter law took effect in 2012.
Arianna Prothero, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Law & Courts News in Brief Justices Reject Appeal of Fired Science Teacher
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a public school science teacher who was fired for promoting creationism and refusing to remove religious materials from his Ohio classroom.
The Associated Press, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Education Funding News in Brief Battle Waged in Philadelphia Over Quashing of Union Contract
Philadelphia's School Reform Commission and the city teachers' union are headed for a showdown over whether the school district can unilaterally disregard the union contract—which expired in 2013—and require union members to pay $27 to $71 per paycheck toward their health benefits.
Denisa R. Superville, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Special Education News in Brief Supreme Court Seeks Views of U.S. in Special Ed. Case
The U.S. Supreme Court last week asked the Obama administration for its views on whether it should take up a case involving an interpretation of federal special education law.
Mark Walsh, October 14, 2014
1 min read
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Early Childhood Commentary Reimagining Early-Childhood Education
Investing in children's social and emotional development yields significant academic and economic benefits, write three early-education advocates.
Michael J. Kaufman, Sherelyn R. Kaufman & Elizabeth C. Nelson, October 14, 2014
5 min read
College & Workforce Readiness News in Brief Colleges Agree to Honor SBAC Tests for Placement
Public colleges and universities in Washington state have announced that they will use the college-readiness determination from the 11th grade test of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium in course-placement decisions.
Catherine Gewertz, October 14, 2014
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Report Roundup Native American Students
Some California colleges are seeing a decline in American Indian enrollment, and those students continue to lag behind their peers in academic achievement, according to a recent report.
Jackie Mader, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Equity & Diversity Report Roundup Early-Childhood Education
Preschool teachers are less likely to be white and more likely to be women than teachers in elementary and secondary school, says a report on early-education teachers.
Lillian Mongeau, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Equity & Diversity Report Roundup Teacher Expectations
A new study from the Center for American Progress concludes that teachers' expectations for their students are strongly correlated with students' graduation rates.
Jordan Moeny, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Federal Report Roundup School Grading Systems
Do the new "A through F" and similar accountability systems states designed under the Obama administration's No Child Left Behind Act waivers do a good job of recognizing how schools are doing when it comes to educating poor and minority students?
Alyson Klein, October 14, 2014
1 min read
Classroom Technology Commentary Technology Is Not the Answer: A Student's Perspective
A high school junior argues that the widespread use of technology in K-12 classrooms is highly overrated.
Benjamin Waldman, October 14, 2014
4 min read
Assessment Letter to the Editor Principals' Strategic Data Use Offers Key to Better Learning
To the Editor:
The Vanderbilt University research profiled in "Study: Teacher Data Remain Untapped" (Sept. 10, 2014) is an important contribution to our nation's efforts to improve education for children in low-income communities. In particular, the study provides crucial insight into how the most effective principals use data to generate positive change in their schools, and the role school systems have in supporting principals.
October 14, 2014
1 min read
Assessment Letter to the Editor Assessment Training Facilitates Student-Driven Teaching
To the Editor:
In a recent Commentary ("Debunking Three Assessment Myths," Sept. 17, 2014), Sherah Betts Carr and Anaya Bryson examine common misperceptions of K-12 assessments and suggest paths for teachers looking to maximize student learning and engagement in a test-heavy context.
October 14, 2014
1 min read