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EduClips: Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Transgender Student in Bathroom Case; TX Governor Touts Plan to Stop School Shootings — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

By Andrew Brownstein | May 23, 2018

EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

EduClips will be going on vacation until after the Memorial Day holiday. We will return Tuesday morning, May 29.

Top Story

TRANSGENDER BATHROOMS —A federal judge in Virginia has found in favor of a transgender student whose efforts to use the boys’ bathrooms at his high school reached the Supreme Court and thrust him into the middle of a national debate about the rights of transgender students. In an order handed down on Tuesday, Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia denied a motion by the Gloucester County school board to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the student, Gavin Grimm.

The school board had maintained that Mr. Grimm’s “biological gender” was female and had prohibited administrators from allowing him to use the boys’ restrooms. He sued the school board in July 2015, alleging that its policy violated Title IX as well as the equal protection clause of the Constitution. The board had argued in essence that its policy was valid because Title IX allows for claims only on the basis of sex, rather than gender identity, and that its policy did not violate the equal protection clause.

But Judge Wright Allen disagreed, writing that Mr. Grimm’s transgender status constituted a claim of sex discrimination and that the bathroom policy had “subjected him to sex stereotyping,” violations of the law. (Read at The New York Times)

National News

DEVOS TESTIMONY

From School Safety to Discipline Guidance: 8 Subjects DeVos Addressed in Wide-Ranging First Appearance Before House Ed Committee (Read at The74Million.org)

‘Astounding ignorance of the law’: Civil rights groups slam DeVos for saying schools can report undocumented students (Read at The Washington Post)

TEACHER GRANT PROGRAM — Education Secretary DeVos Acknowledges Problems With Teacher Grant Program (Read at NPR)

SCHOOL SAFETY — Arne Duncan Is Serious: Americans Should Boycott School (Read at The Atlantic)

TEACHER PAY — Democrats: Boost Teacher Pay Instead of Giving Tax Cut to ‘Richest Americans’ (Read at Politics K-12)

SCHOOL SAFETY — ‘All of These Tweets Are People’s Futures’: After Texas Tragedy, Hashtag #IfIDieInASchoolShooting Gives Voice to Students’ Despair (Read at The74Million.org)

APPRENTICESHIPS — Trump’s Apprenticeship Task Force Sheds No New Light on High School Expansion (Read at Education Week)

District and State News

TEXAS — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott touts immediate plans to stop school shootings, but avoids talk of a special session (Read at The Texas Tribune)

ILLINOIS — Editorial: When Chicago schools close: How to help students thrive (Read at the Chicago Tribune)

NEW YORK — Charter schools advocates’ next push: Funding for school security (Read at Chalkbeat)

TEXAS — Opinion: Something Has Changed in the Gun Debate in Texas (Read at the Texas Observer)

CALIFORNIA — Modesto taps Sacramento educator as next schools leader. Board member resigns. (Read at the Modesto Bee)

NEW YORK — Another integration plan for Upper West Side middle schools is met with some support, but also familiar concerns (Read at Chalkbeat)

CALIFORNIA — Latinos, African-Americans have less access to math, science classes, new data show (Read at EdSource)

Think Pieces

CHICAGO SCHOOLS — Study: CPS 2013 closings didn’t keep promises of better academic opportunities (Read at The Chicago Sun-Times)

EDUCATION REFORM — Bailey: Student-Centered Education Reforms + Time to Let Them Work = Progress. Need Proof? Look at Florida’s NAEP Scores (Read at The74Million.org)

GENDER EQUALITY — Gender equality in schools is hiding disadvantages for both boys and girls (Read at Quartz)

GRADING — Has video killed the red grading pen? (Read at The Hechinger Report)

Quote of the Day

“Sir, I think that’s a school decision. That’s a local community decision. And again, I refer to the fact that we have laws and we also are compassionate, and I urge this body to do its job and address or clarify where there is confusion around this.” —U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos answering, incorrectly, a question from Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) about whether schools can decide to report undocumented students to immigration enforcement officials. (Read at The Washington Post)

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