SBOE Weekly Ed Links: 08-26-2018

By: Matt Repka, Policy Analyst

Here’s our rundown of this week’s top education news and events in the District and around the country!

Karen Williams: School can be a warm, exciting place to be | The DC Line
A student’s voice | David Grosso
Meet Marjoury Alicea, SBOE’s bilingual student representative | DC Language Immersion Project

How Do You Get Better Schools? Take the State to Court, More Advocates Say | The New York Times
A lawsuit alleges that Minnesota knowingly allowed towns and cities to set policies and zoning boundaries that led to segregated schools, lowering test scores and graduation rates for low-income and nonwhite children. Last month, the state’s Supreme Court ruled the suit could move forward, in a decision advocates across the country hailed as important.

Schools add laundromats to battle absenteeism | CBS News
At schools across the country, officials are tackling student absenteeism by focusing on a non-educational problem: a lack of access to laundry facilities.

Bills and Bulletproof Backpacks: Safety Measures For A New School Year | NPR
As students prepare to go back to school, more and more parents are thinking about school safety. A recent poll found 34 percent of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school.

Why School Spending Is So Unequal | Governing
Governing calculated per pupil current spending for all school districts in the nation with 100 students or more, using data from the Census Bureau’s 2016 Annual Survey of School System Finances. In most states, as in New Jersey, the top elementary-secondary school districts reported spending from two to six times more than those near the bottom.

Florida told its low-scoring schools to make their days longer. It helped, new research finds | Chalkbeat
New research finds that the program really did boost reading scores for students from low-income families. It’s new evidence that lengthening the school day, an approach being taken at schools across the country, can make a difference for students who stand to benefit the most.

Which Teachers Are Most Likely to Leave School Mid-Year? | EdWeek
By the end of their third year of teaching, little more than 1 in 3 novice educators are still teaching in the school where they started their careers—and a quarter of those don’t even wait for the end of the school year to leave.

5 Reasons LeBron James’s School Really Is Unique | The Atlantic
It’s tempting to dismiss every new K-12 initiative as a fad or fantasy doomed to either flatline or fail. A skeptical observer might be inclined to sweep LeBron James’s I Promise School into that pile. But teachers and executives who’ve worked closely with James on this endeavor insist that he won’t let that happen. The professional basketball player and Akron, Ohio, native, they say, really wants to rethink how public education should be delivered—not only in Akron, but across the country.

Firestorm Erupts as Betsy DeVos Weighs If Districts Can Buy Guns With Federal Money | EdWeek
At the request of officials in Texas, Secretary DeVos and her staff are considering an idea that a grant program under the Every Student Succeeds Act could be used by school districts to pay for firearms and firearms training for school-based staff.

Civil Rights Groups Weigh In On Florida’s Delayed ESSA Plan | WJCT (Jacksonville)
Florida remains the only state that hasn’t received approval of a federally mandated education plan. Now, civil rights groups are weighing in on the delay.

A promising alternative to subsidized lunch receipt as a measure of student poverty | Brookings
Several states are leading the way in developing and using innovative methods for identifying disadvantaged students, and other states would do well to follow them.

Parton: 3 Ways States Are Committing to Using Data to Meet Their Education Goals for Students Under ESSA | 74
States have made big commitments in their plans for complying with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act to use data effectively to achieve their education goals — a major recognition of data as a powerful tool when it’s working for students. The Data Quality Campaign has dug into every state’s ESSA plan and found that while approaches to student success vary, the commitment to data use is clear.

In D.C. high schools, few students are passing national standardized test | WaPo
Flanked by the city’s top education officials, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) held a news conference Thursday to celebrate the District’s progress in performances on a national standardized test.

Hundreds of DCPS teachers don’t have proper certification | WJLA
D.C. Public Schools says around 900 teachers will not have current licenses when school starts Monday but will still go to work.

‘It feels great to go back’: The District’s students return to school | WaPo
The mission for the city’s public schools this academic year is to push children like Lakia — African American and low-income — to perform on a par academically with their wealthier peers and be prepared for college and careers by the time they graduate from high school.

Parent files lawsuit against DC over schools chancellor search process | WUSA 9
The search for Antwan Wilson’s replacement is now underway, but the process could be stalled by a lawsuit filed Tuesday. It’s all happening with just days left in summer break for many D.C. students.

D.C. schools are improving slow and steady — and not enough | WaPo Editorial Board
As a new school year begins this week, the city must avoid the missteps and redouble its efforts to sustain the progress of recent years and meet the formidable challenges that still confront the system.

A D.C. School Was Named After A Slave Owner. So Students Got It Renamed After Its First Black Principal | WAMU
“As students and as faculty and as people involved in the school, we were like, ‘Well, as a predominantly black school, could we have that name represent us, our student body?’ And the students were just like, ‘No, that’s not right,’” says Jones.

Two new single-sex schools open in District | Washington Times
D.C. officials marked the first day of school in the District by opening two new single-sex schools in Southeast — one for girls and one for boys.

‘I hope that they find normalcy’: What a D.C. dad’s fight for his daughters’ education says about girls of color in school | WaPo
“It was totally different and what I’ve been working so hard toward,” he said. Already he could see that the Northwest Washington school, where he moved his daughters to this year after growing increasingly frustrated with schools in Southeast Washington, was going to offer a new experience.

Rethinking Licensure | New America
A promising alternative to subsidized lunch receipt as a measure of student poverty | Brookings
Do Students Benefit from Longer School Days? Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Florida’s Additional Hour of Literacy Instruction | CALDER
Digital Devices in the Classroom Can Hinder Long-Term Retention | Educational Psychology

Upcoming School Open Houses

8/28: DCPS Chancellor Public Engagement @ Savoy Elementary
8/28: Fit for Purpose: Taking the Long View on Systems Change and Policy to Support Competency Education

9/5: SBOE Working Session
9/6: Opening the Gates: Using Deeper Learning to Expand College Access
9/8: Special Education Town Hall for DC Parents
9/11: SBOE ESSA Task Force
9/11: DCPS Chancellor Public Engagement @ Brookland Middle
9/13: CBC Young Gifted & Green Black Millennials For Flint CommunityAction
9/17: Ward 1 Education Town Hall (featuring Laura)
9/20: SBOE Public Meeting
9/20: Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan on “How Schools Work”
9/23: DC State Fair
9/29: OSSE DC Parent and Family Engagement Summit

10/3: SBOE Working Session
10/9: SBOE ESSA Task Force
10/12: Sharing Our Voice: What Students Think About School Mental Health
10/17-20: NASBE Annual Conference
10/20: EmpowerEd Teacher Voice Summit
10/24: SBOE Public Meeting
10/24-28: Council of the Great City Schools 62ND ANNUAL FALL CONFERENCE
10/27: ResearchEd Philadelphia

11/13-15: SEF’s 2018 “The Politics of Equity” Forum


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