August 23, 2017

Education Week, Vol. 37, Issue 01
Science Letter to the Editor Expand the Definition of STEM
To the Editor:
A recent poll by the global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin reported that teachers say middle and high school students are not interested in science, math, and space ("Most Students Are Not Naturally Interested in STEM, Teachers Say," June 8, 2017). Overworked teachers might not read further, but they miss the point.
August 22, 2017
1 min read
Ed-Tech Policy Letter to the Editor The Indelible Student-Data Footprint
To the Editor:
As a counterbalance to "Maryland Dad Wants June 30 to Be 'National Student Data Deletion Day'" (June 30, 2017), it might be good for Education Week to review and expose all the data that schoolchildren give away online to Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, as well as how much of that information can becollected and sold by unknown companies. It should be noted that some data-collection items as listed in the article, including browsing history, schoolwork, student-created emails, and other data are stored in multiple places—on vendor sites, in cookies on the individual computer, within the internet-filter systems that are designed to keep the students safe, and by the recipient of electronic communications. As a result, such information is nearly impossible to find and delete. Schools do not "collect" the above information; it is part of the information age.
August 22, 2017
1 min read
Curriculum Letter to the Editor Religious Coercion Has No Place in Public Schools
To the Editor:
In Roger L. Beckett's Commentary ("Why Religion Belongs in the Classroom," July 7, 2017), he makes some valid points on the need to teach religion in our nation's public schools. His essay, however, glosses over critical constitutional distinctions and particular religious-coercion issues raised by a new Florida law he cites. Public schools are not devoid of religion. Over 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that schools may teach about religion in a secular and objective manner. And students are permitted to engage in a host of voluntary and private religious activities such as group prayer during nonclass time and participation in after-school or noncurricular religious clubs. But the First Amendment's establishment clause prohibits school-sponsored religious indoctrination and coercion.
August 22, 2017
1 min read
English-Language Learners Letter to the Editor How Better to Identify Gifted ELLs
To the Editor:
As discussed in "Too Few ELL Students Land in Gifted Classes" (June 21, 2017), when it comes to identifying students for gifted programs, equity matters. It cannot be understated in terms of its importance and complexity. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor captured one layer of this issue well when she said that "the gaps in my knowledge and understanding were simply limits of class and cultural background, not lack of aptitude or application, as I feared."
August 22, 2017
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor 'False Evidence' Against Principal
To the Editor:
In his Commentary from late spring ("Avoiding Education's Political Pitfall," June 7, 2017), Jonathan Zimmerman asserts that politics have become a minefield in many American schools. We concur. However, his characterization of one public school is based on gross inaccuracies.
August 22, 2017
2 min read
Assistant Teacher Kimberly Fisher talks with a student preparing for kindergarten at the Prairie Mountain School in Eugene, Ore.
Assistant Teacher Kimberly Fisher talks with a student preparing for kindergarten at the Prairie Mountain School in Eugene, Ore.
Amanda L. Smith for Education Week
Early Childhood Payoffs Seen in Smooth Transition to Kindergarten
Research shows children and teachers reap tangible benefits down the road when schools ease the way into this crucial early grade.
Christina A. Samuels, August 22, 2017
7 min read
School Climate & Safety Evolution of Sexting Tests School Leaders, Students
New technologies and a shifting legal landscape challenge school administrators grappling with student sexting incidents.
Benjamin Herold, August 22, 2017
5 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Who Gets Hurt When High School Diplomas Are Not Created Equal?
High schools across the country hand out nearly 100 different kinds of diplomas, and most don't offer solid preparation for college or career. The students who bear the brunt of that inequity are most likely to be English learners, students with disabilities, low-income students, or those learning English.
Catherine Gewertz, August 22, 2017
2 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Unease Over Justice Dept. Stance on Admissions
There are mixed reactions to a report that the Justice Department is recruiting lawyers to investigate and potentially sue colleges and universities over racial preferences.
Mark Walsh & Catherine Gewertz, August 22, 2017
5 min read
Karen Rogers goes over a concept in her freshman English class at Cienega High School in Vail, Ariz. Rogers, in her first full year as a teacher, previously served 20 years as a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.
Karen Rogers goes over a concept in her freshman English class at Cienega High School in Vail, Ariz. Rogers, in her first full year as a teacher, previously served 20 years as a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.
Mike Christy for Education Week
Recruitment & Retention Districts Turn to Emergency Measures for Hard-to-Staff Teaching Posts
Across the country, school districts are trying new tactics to avoid starting this school year with an empty teacher's desk, including hiring parents and calling veteran teachers out of retirement.
Madeline Will, August 22, 2017
5 min read
Equity & Diversity Commentary This Is Not Just Another Essay About Race
The American education system is rooted in racial inequity. Critical-thinking teachers can help, writes one assistant principal.
David Sanon, August 22, 2017
5 min read
Early Childhood Report Roundup Child Well-Being
Parents generally want their children to get outside and play, but they may prefer structured activities to those fueled by imagination, finds a new study.
Sarah D. Sparks, August 22, 2017
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Report Roundup High School
A new survey of 55,000 high school students across the country finds that only about half say their schools are doing a good job of getting them ready to succeed in college. The online survey was conducted by YouthTruth, a San Francisco nonprofit that contracts with schools and districts interested in using the find...
Catherine Gewertz, August 22, 2017
1 min read
Teaching Profession Report Roundup Teacher Pay
A 2011 Florida pay-for-performance law demands that the most effective teachers earn the biggest salary awards each year.
Brenda Iasevoli, August 22, 2017
1 min read
Teaching Profession Report Roundup Principals
A larger share of charter school principals are black and Hispanic compared to their peers who run traditional public schools, new federal data show.
Denisa R. Superville, August 22, 2017
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness News in Brief Undergraduate Education Degrees Again Permitted in California
Aspiring teachers in California will now be able to major in education as undergraduates, which has been forbidden for more than five decades under an unusual state law.
Liana Loewus, August 22, 2017
1 min read
Education Funding News in Brief Security Changes to Financial Forms for College Generate New Worries
In response to a major security breach in which hackers tried to obtain tax information, federal officials have announced a change to the financial-aid application that some worry could discourage students from applying for the support they need to go to college.
Catherine Gewertz, August 22, 2017
1 min read
Early Childhood News in Brief Pediatricians Urged to Promote Early-Childhood Education
The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement calling on its members to advocate high-quality early-childhood education.
Marva Hinton, August 22, 2017
1 min read
Law & Courts News in Brief Federal Ruling Keeps Lawsuit Against Deferred-Action Program Alive
Supporters of DACA, a program that grants temporary protection to young immigrants who were illegally brought to the United States as children, suffered a setback last week after a ruling by a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, that puts more pressure on President Donald Trump to decide the program's fate.
Tribune News Service, August 22, 2017
1 min read
Joseph South
Joseph South
Education News in Brief Transitions
Joseph South, who directed the federal Office of Educational Technology during President Barack Obama's administration, has joined the International Society for Technology in Education.
August 22, 2017
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Outspoken Detractor of Obamas Stripped of Board Seat in N.Y. District
Carl P. Paladino, who made inflammatory remarks about former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, has been kicked off the Buffalo, N.Y., school board.
Tribune News Service, August 22, 2017
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Growth of Foreign Students Attending U.S. High Schools Slows Down
The number of international students coming to the United States for high school is leveling off after years of rapid growth.
The Associated Press, August 22, 2017
1 min read
School Climate & Safety News in Brief Florida Educators Told Indoor Recess Permissible Under New State Law
Florida schools can comply with the state's new recess mandate without having to take children outside.
The Associated Press, August 22, 2017
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Share of Girls Taking Tests In AP Computer Science Grows
Girls' participation in Advanced Placement Computer Science tests boomed in the past school year—largely thanks to a brand-new, broader course offerings with less of an emphasis on programming.
Stephen Sawchuk, August 22, 2017
1 min read
Law & Courts News in Brief New Law Expanding Vouchers Placed on Hold in Arizona
Arizona's ambitious expansion of its school voucher program has officially been put on hold after opponents filed enough signatures to at least temporarily block the new law.
The Associated Press, August 22, 2017
1 min read
Dawn Von Tersch plays with her son Jack, 1, at her home in Fort Smith, Ark. Von Tersch decided to stay home with her son after trying to breastfeed and pump at work as an elementary school teacher.
Dawn Von Tersch plays with her son Jack, 1, at her home in Fort Smith, Ark. Von Tersch decided to stay home with her son after trying to breastfeed and pump at work as an elementary school teacher.
Shane Bevel for Education Week
Teaching Profession 'Would You Mind If I Pumped in Here?' Breast-Feeding Teachers Lack Accommodations
Returning to the office after maternity leave is never easy for working mothers, but it might be even harder for classroom teachers who want to continue to breast-feed their babies.
Liana Loewus, August 21, 2017
8 min read
Every Student Succeeds Act Ed. Dept. Steps Up Pace of States' ESSA Plan Reviews
After a rocky start from federal officials, approvals and feedback are coming at a fast clip for states looking to get their Every Student Succeeds Act plans in order.
Alyson Klein, August 17, 2017
4 min read
Facing Our Confederate Past: The recent events in Charlottesville, Va., demand that Americans rethink how we teach the Civil War, writes historian Melvin Patrick Ely.
A crowd of more than 100,000 people gathered in Richmond, Va., on May 29, 1890, to view the unveiling of the Gen. Robert E. Lee Monument.
Cook Collection/The Valentine Museum
School Climate & Safety Commentary Facing Our Confederate Past
The recent events in Charlottesville, Va., demand that Americans rethink how we teach the Civil War, writes historian Melvin Patrick Ely.
Melvin Patrick Ely, August 16, 2017
5 min read
A photo of Heather Heyer, who was killed during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., sits among flowers at a makeshift memorial in the Virginia city on Aug. 16.
A photo of Heather Heyer, who was killed during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., sits among flowers at a makeshift memorial in the Virginia city on Aug. 16.
Evan Vucci/AP
Equity & Diversity Somber Mood in Charlottesville as Schools Prepare to Open
Officials in the Virginia city wracked by violence centered on a Confederate monument prepare for the safe return of children next week and ways to help them deal with tensions and questions stemming from the unrest.
Corey Mitchell, August 16, 2017
5 min read