June 20, 2019

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Missouri/Kansas Education News

Lee’s Summit School Board reverses course, will pay for district-wide equity training

By Mara Rose Williams, KC Star

The Lee’s Summit School Board has done an about-face and reversed a decision it made last month regarding equity training for teachers and district staff.  The board in a 6-1 vote Wednesday night agreed to hire Educational Equity Consultants, a St. Louis firm that is training employees in other area districts, including North Kansas City.

National Education News

Suicide Rate Among Adolescents at Highest Point Since 2000

By Sasha Jones, Education Week

Adolescents and young adults have seen the highest rate of deaths due to suicide in nearly two decades, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today. In 2000, the suicide rate for adolescents ages 15 to 19 was 8 deaths per 100,000. In 2017, the rate increased to 11.8 per 100,000. The CDC found that most of that increase occurred between 2007 and 2017. Researchers determined death rates using the CDC Underlying Cause of Death database, a national data set based on death certificates and population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Random wand searches will end in Los Angeles schools

By Linda Jacobson, EducationDive

  • The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will no longer use handheld metal detectors to conduct random searches on school campuses after July 2020, the district’s school board decided this week. Superintendent Austin Beutner now has a year to develop an alternative school safety plan that doesn’t include random searches.

The district last fall also launched a pilot in 14 schools in which random searches were reduced from daily to 10 per month, Jones said. But George J. McKenna III, one of two board members who voted against the resolution, said in a district press release that officials haven’t analyzed the current pilot thoroughly enough to determine if it’s effective.

Vaccine exemptions tightening in several states as measles outbreak grows

By Amelia Harper, EducationDive

  • With 1,044 cases of measles reported in the United States since Jan. 1, several states have now either passed or are considering legislation reducing the exemptions parents can use to avoid vaccines for their children. New York, Maine, and Washington are moving to restrict religious-based exemptions, Massachusetts has a similar bill on the table, and California is looking at ways to curb medical exemptions, The 74 reports.

All 50 states have some form of vaccination requirements for students attending public schools, though the laws may become more restrictive.  While vaccinations have been required for public school attendance for many years, the issue has regained prominence in the wake of recent measles outbreak in several states. This outbreak, the worst in at least 10 years, has come at a time when anti-vaccination protests are stronger than ever, creating a tense situation for state and school leaders.

High-quality teachers significantly boost student attendance

By Shawna De La Rosa, EducationDive

Teachers who are able to engage with students have more success with boosting attendance numbers in middle and high schools, according to a new study from Brown University researchers Jing Liu and Susanna Loeb focusing on attendance as a teacher evaluation metric, Chalkbeat reports.

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