Education News Roundup for September 16

Education News Roundup for September 16_"Constitution" by COM Library/flickr

"Constitution" by COM Library/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Rep. Bishop wants to let states create their own reform measures.
http://bit.ly/owPfEP (SLT)

There’s follow up on Utah’s AP scores
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=17262380
and http://bit.ly/pzmCka (MUR)
and on Utah’s two new Blue Ribbon Schools.
http://bit.ly/oSDRhU (DN)
and http://bit.ly/p2r1ZE (SLT)

White House unveils Digital Promise.
http://usat.ly/pXdV8T (USAT)
and http://1.usa.gov/oq1qQQ (ED)
and http://1.usa.gov/oKcd0H (White House)

Students back the First Amendment.
http://bit.ly/pawzfL (AP)

And what are you doing for Constitution Day?
http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-day/

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Rob Bishop and colleagues push states’ rights bills

Midway school celebrates nature, receives national recognition

Students get new approach to reading

Utah AP scores surpass national average

SAT scores drop, show students not ready for college

Ogden Teachers Skeptical Of New Superintendent

Students walk to earn funding for technology

Special needs students are ‘all-stars’ at kickball tournament

Herschel Walker tells Skyline students how to cope with life

Summer reading eases freshmen into college, though controversy lurks

Plane crashes near Columbia Elementary in West Jordan
Aviation: Pilot, dog are killed, but no students injured.

Students uninjured after lunchtime car accident

Burst water pipes create mess in Draper school

School district employee under investigation for extorting immigrants

South Sevier basketball coach Scott Hunt fined, suspended for recruiting transfer Austin Clark

Police use stun gun, arrest 3 adults over fight at West Valley high school

Pleasant Grove High celebrates 100 years

Payson High School celebrates 100 years

Utah students can apply for volunteer award

Students can experience dyslexia at free seminar

High school bands to perform Tuesday

Lakeview PTA plans health, safety fest

Inside Our Schools

OPINION & COMMENTARY

And now the Senate steps up to the plate

Educators’ cracked crystal balls

Ability grouping in classrooms

Moving beyond ‘blame the teacher’
The problem with schools isn’t teachers; it’s a management system that pushes them aside.

Why education reform keeps failing

School: It’s way more boring than when you were there New studies show that the disappearance of art, music and even recess is having a devastating effect on kids

NATION

White House details plans for more digital learning

Flipping the classroom
Hopes that the internet can improve teaching may at last be bearing fruit

Some States, Districts Abandoning Performance Pay

Wisconsin teachers retire in droves after union loss in bargaining fight Teachers across Wisconsin are retiring or quitting at higher rates than usual, due in part to a new law that cuts benefits and curtails collective bargaining rights.

Wyo. lawmakers consider reversing Common Core adoption

Does your child have a school nurse?

Teaching as a Second, or Even Third, Career

Poll: Increasing teen support for First Amendment

Mayor, Music Row push music education plan

School districts slammed on fiscal efficiency Four locally get low ratings from state comptroller.

Half of parents want cane brought back in schools Half of parents believe that the cane should be reintroduced to restore order to the classroom, research suggests.

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UTAH NEWS
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Rob Bishop and colleagues push states’ rights bills

Washington – Rep. Rob Bishop and members of his 10th Amendment Task Force highlighted 10 bills that would give states more control.
The press event tied the legislation to Saturday’s 224th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, which sought to spread power between states and the branches of federal government.
“Not every program has to be authorized, funded and controlled from Washington, D.C.,” said Bishop, R-Utah.
He is the lead sponsor of two of the proposals. One is a constitutional amendment that would allow states to repeal federal laws if two-thirds of the legislatures pass similar resolutions. The other would allow states to create their own education reform proposals by which they could bypass requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law.
http://bit.ly/owPfEP (SLT)

Midway school celebrates nature, receives national recognition

MIDWAY — Without a cafeteria or gymnasium, lunch and P.E. at Solider Hollow Charter are held outside — the same place science and sometimes math lessons take place.
The omitted buildings aren’t the result of a too-small campus, but rather an intentional part of a curriculum that treats nature as a classroom.
Soldier Hollow Charter in Midway and Milford Elementary in Milford have earned the national distinction of being 2011 Blue Ribbon Schools — an honor given to public and private schools across the country that excel year after year.
http://bit.ly/oSDRhU (DN)

http://bit.ly/p2r1ZE (SLT)

Students get new approach to reading

The first-grade students at Red Mountain Elementary received a great surprise when they entered their classrooms this past Friday and saw a toy stuffed Labrador puppy on each desk with books lying next to them. The toy puppies were given to the students to keep at school as part of a special reading program called Learning with Lucky.
Thanks to the funds generated last year during the Dixie Escalante Kite Festival, Red Mountain was able to order enough material for all of their first-grade students. Red Mountain is the first elementary school in Utah to implement this reading program.

http://bit.ly/rrUWir (SGS)

Utah AP scores surpass national average

Utah students have proved once again they are some of the best testers.
According to the College Board, 68 percent of those high- schoolers passed the tests, outperforming other students across the nation by 10 percent.
More than 18,000 Utah students took advanced placement exams last year. According to the college board, 68 percent of those students passed, out-performing students across the nation by 10 percent.
This represents a 7.5 percent increase in AP participation and a 1 percent increase in passage rates. Davis High School had the most students take the AP tests, at 741, followed by Alta View, 667, and Skyline High, 592. Green River High and Ogden Preparatory Academy had a 100 percent passing rate, followed by Davis High School at 85 percent.
http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=17262380

http://bit.ly/pzmCka (MUR)

SAT scores drop, show students not ready for college

Most of the 2011 high school graduates who took the SAT were not college-ready, according to a report released by the College Board this week.
Just 43 percent of 2011 graduates who took the college entrance exam were deemed ready to succeed in college or received a combined score of 1550 or higher on the critical reading, mathematics and writing sections. This score indicates that students have a 65 percent likelihood of getting a B- average or higher during their freshman year of college, according to the College Board, which administers the SAT test. The highest score a person can receive is 2400.
http://bit.ly/qtRfnp (DN)

Ogden Teachers Skeptical Of New Superintendent

OGDEN – Ogden teachers protested last summer when negotiations broke off over salary negotiations
At the time, the school board gave them an ultimatum: work on our terms or get fired ultimatum.
And now, one of those school board members, Brad Smith, has now become school superintendent.
He says he will return to negotiating with teachers, and resume negotiation.
http://connect2utah.com/news-story?nxd_id=163727

Students walk to earn funding for technology

CEDAR CITY – Earning money for advanced technology in the classroom by walking around school grounds in exchange for donations is how more than 500 Fiddler’s Canyon Elementary students spent small portions of their day Thursday.
“We are not a Title 1 school so are not eligible for grants. We have to earn our own money to pay for needed resources and this year we want to improve technology in the classroom by getting SMART Boards,” said PTA President-Elect Amy Rigby. “The SMART Boards offer more interaction and engage the senses of the students.”
http://bit.ly/nt1ldi (SGS)

Special needs students are ‘all-stars’ at kickball tournament

SPANISH FORK — Kyle Loveless rounded the bases amid cheers from peers, aides and peer tutors.
“Oh, yeah!” Loveless yelled after crossing home plate. “My dad is not going to believe this. I didn’t get out even once.”
Pushing Loveless’s wheelchair was a smiling Whitney Talbert, organizer of a kickball tournament that involved 150 Nebo students with disabilities on Wednesday.
http://bit.ly/nEZPUo (PDH)

Herschel Walker tells Skyline students how to cope with life

SALT LAKE CITY — What Herschel Walker thought was toughness was really a defense mechanism he’d created to shield himself from a painful childhood full of bullying, teasing and beatings from classmates.
“They hurt my feelings so bad that I couldn’t handle it,” Walker told the Skyline High student body in an early morning assembly Thursday. “I put these walls up, and I wasn’t going to feel pain anymore.”
In trying to protect himself from the pain of bullying, he developed Dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder.
http://bit.ly/ncRJ5S (DN)

Summer reading eases freshmen into college, though controversy lurks

When Ashley Llewellyn embarked on her drive to Utah State University for her first semester in college, through the tears and the fears that encompass heading off to college she found comfort knowing USU had assigned all freshmen to read the book “Warriors Don’t Cry” before orientation.
“We all had read the book, so it was cool that all the incoming freshmen had had an experience in common,” Llewellyn said.
Now a senior elementary education major at BYU after transferring from Utah State, she said the book and discussion of it helped her successfully transition to a college learning environment.
http://bit.ly/pdiy8y (DN)

Plane crashes near Columbia Elementary in West Jordan
Aviation: Pilot, dog are killed, but no students injured.

West Jordan – A small plane crashed at Columbia Elementary School in West Jordan midday Thursday, killing the 60-year-old pilot but harming no students.
The small plane barely missed striking the school at 3505 W. 7800 South as it crash-landed about 12:23 p.m., near the south entrance. A fire department official said the aircraft, which was destroyed but remained in one piece, struck the ground within one foot of the building.
The plane’s pilot, Randolph Flores, 60, of Palominos, Ariz., and a dog on-board died on impact, said Reed Scharman, West Jordan fire battalion chief.
http://bit.ly/pxXBsC (SLT)

http://bit.ly/oKVuWI (DN)

http://bit.ly/oTVOsU (OSE)

http://bit.ly/q1s4xI (PDH)

http://connect2utah.com/news-story/?nxd_id=163827

http://bit.ly/nrIKNL (KTVX)

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=17257851

http://bit.ly/o8KQbd (KSTU)

Students uninjured after lunchtime car accident

ST. GEORGE – Seven Snow Canyon High School students walked away with no injuries after their vehicles collided, leaving one truck crushed on its top and a car severely damaged on Thursday.
A third vehicle bumped after the initial accident, which took place near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Dixie Drive, had four passengers not from school, with no injuries or major damage.
http://bit.ly/rgtnKj (SGS)

Burst water pipes create mess in Draper school

DRAPER, Utah — Crews have been working to clean up after water pipes burst in a Draper charter school on Wednesday afternoon.
Around noon Wednesday, water pipes in the American Preparatory Academy on 12892 S. Pony Express Road in Draper, splitting walls, buckling floors and creating a huge sinkhole in part of the floor.
http://bit.ly/ofjcmc (KSTU)

School district employee under investigation for extorting immigrants

WEST JORDAN, Utah – A school district employee who was supposed to help struggling students is under investigation after she was accused of extorting an immigrant.
The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office told ABC 4 News the employee took advantage of her position to make at least one parent believe she had the authority to get the mother’s children a U.S. visa. The Jordan School District says the woman confessed and has been fired.
http://bit.ly/oNnBTm (KTVX)

South Sevier basketball coach Scott Hunt fined, suspended for recruiting transfer Austin Clark

Midvale – An eligibility hearing Thursday for a star basketball player who transferred to South Sevier over the summer was hardly a victory for the Monroe school — even though the player was deemed immediately eligible.
Rams basketball coach Scott Hunt was fined $500 and suspended for five games for allowing Austin Clark, a first-team All-State selection for North Sevier last year, to play in summer league games with the defending 2A champions. The 6-foot-5 junior suited up with the team before he enrolled in school, which the committee found to be a violation of the Utah High School Activities Association’s undue influence and recruiting rule.
“I have a clear conscience,” Hunt said. “I don’t feel like I did anything wrong or incorrect, I don’t think I did anything wrong with the player transferring in.”
http://bit.ly/pbMbrs (SLT)

http://bit.ly/nta12G (DN)

http://bit.ly/rixXVm (MUR)

Police use stun gun, arrest 3 adults over fight at West Valley high school

Police say an officer shocked at least one adult with a Taser stun gun during a fight at a West Valley City school.
West Valley Police say three adults were arrested Wednesday after fighting with a school detective at Granger High School.
http://bit.ly/mYOFiE (SLT)

http://bit.ly/oItCs6 (KNRS)

Pleasant Grove High celebrates 100 years

PLEASANT GROVE — One of the oldest high schools in Utah is celebrating its centennial birthday, and the whole community is invited to the party.
Pleasant Grove High School is starting off its 100th year with a huge Homecoming Week celebration.
http://bit.ly/nAGQwg (PDH)

Payson High School celebrates 100 years

In conjunction with its 100th anniversary, Payson High School celebrated its homecoming with a week full of various activities. Kai Schulze, Payson High School’s student body president, spent the summer planning the school’s first-ever week-long homecoming celebration. Schulze is confident that the festivities were well received by the students and Payson community.
http://bit.ly/pKG3W4 (PDH)

Utah students can apply for volunteer award

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is looking for America’s top youth volunteers of 2012. This year, Aimee Matheson, 18, of Clearfield, and Colten Lee, 13, of Provo, were named Utah’s top youth volunteers, earning $1,000 awards and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. Aimee also was one of 10 National Honorees for 2011. Utah students in grades 5-12 can apply for the award at http://spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit.
http://bit.ly/qwVaVB (SLT)

Students can experience dyslexia at free seminar

“Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Person with Dyslexia” is the topic of this month’s education group sponsored by The Learning Disabilities Association of Utah in the South Jordan Library, 10673 S. Redwood Road, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 7-8:45 p.m. The featured speaker is Shelley Hatch, director of the Dyslexia Center of Utah, who will present a simulation designed to increase awareness of difficulties encountered daily by people with dyslexia. Free.
http://bit.ly/pQtOCX (SLT)

High school bands to perform Tuesday

OGDEN — Weber State University’s Performing Arts Department on Tuesday will host a WSU Marching Band review featuring high school bands from Utah.
Bands will perform for judges and receive critiques to improve their performance. The event is at 4 p.m. at Stewart Stadium, WSU, 3848 Harrison Blvd.
http://bit.ly/ow0l3m (OSE)

Lakeview PTA plans health, safety fest

Where can you find a whole bunch of costumed characters, games and safety information, all at the same time? At Lakeview Elementary, 2025 W. 5000 South. From 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 22, the Lakeview PTA will host a community Health and Safety Carnival.
http://bit.ly/qahBqs (OSE)

Inside Our Schools

Arrowhead Elementary
Panorama Elementary
Lava Ridge Intermediate
Sunrise Ridge Intermediate
Desert Hills High
Dixie Middle
Bloomington Elementary
Pine View High
Tuacahn High School
Snow Canyon High
Pine View Middle
Enoch Elementary
Fiddlers Elementary
Iron Springs Elementary
North Elementary
South Elementary
Three Peaks Elementary
Canyon View Middle
Cedar Middle
Canyon View High
Cedar High
Parowan High
http://bit.ly/nL5XQF (SGS)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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And now the Senate steps up to the plate Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

Yesterday I reported on the first House of Representatives vote on the No Child Left Behind reauthorization, and the House Republicans’ strategy of breaking down the reauthorization into several smaller bills. (The first bill, which made it easier for charter schools to apply for federal money, passed with strong bipartisan support.)
I also chided the Senate for taking so long to act on an issue that’s becoming increasingly urgent as NCLB deadlines approach, and the Secretary of Education seems to be rewriting the law on his own.
Well, Senate Republicans have now announced that they will begin introducing their own “piecemeal” bills.
http://bit.ly/oRPhsF

Educators’ cracked crystal balls
Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

I just read a short article in Education Week, written by a fellow history teacher who argues that “educators make bad prognosticators of the future.” He continues, “There is no shame in that. Politicians, stock-market players, CEOs, and gamblers, people with a lot at stake, routinely fail in their predictive efforts. But when school ‘reformers’ try to reorder education based on ’21st-century skills,’ or what some describe as ‘teaching tomorrow’s skills to today’s students,’ they show not only lack of prescience, but also ignorance of the past.”
He proceeds to argue, quite persuasively, that reformers usually get the future wrong.
http://bit.ly/qMIevo

Ability grouping in classrooms
Deseret News letter from Roger Williams

Ability grouping in classrooms versus whole class instruction? It doesn’t have to be either/or. If student abilities are within a certain range, the whole class problem solving in small groups has worked very well here and abroad.
If some students are forming alphabet letters while others are writing sonnets, ability grouping will have to happen — as long as groups are flexible and not permanent.
http://bit.ly/qoKnEV

Moving beyond ‘blame the teacher’
The problem with schools isn’t teachers; it’s a management system that pushes them aside.
Los Angeles Times op-ed by Saul Rubinstein, Charles Heckscher and Paul Adler (Saul Rubinstein and Charles Heckscher are professors at Rutgers University and co-directors of the Center for Organizational Learning and Transformation; Paul Adler is a professor at the Marshall School of Business at USC.)

Most of the current efforts to improve public education begin with the flawed assumption that the basic problem is teacher performance. This “blame the teacher” attitude has led to an emphasis on standardized tests, narrow teacher evaluation criteria, merit pay, erosion of tenure, privatization, vouchers and charter schools. The primary goal of these measures has been greater teacher accountability — as if the weaknesses of public education were due to an invasion of our classrooms by uncaring and incompetent teachers. That is the premise of the documentary, “Waiting for Superman,” and of the attacks on teachers and their unions by politicians across the country.
We see distressing parallels between this approach to quality in education and the approaches that failed so badly in U.S. manufacturing. Recall the reaction of domestic manufacturers in the 1970s as Japanese competitors began to take market share: Many managers and an army of experts blamed American workers. They denounced workers’ “blue-collar blues,” lackadaisical attitudes and union job protections as the chief impediments to higher quality, productivity and competitiveness.
It took nearly two decades for manufacturers to realize that this diagnosis was deeply flawed and that the recommendations that flowed from it were leading U.S. industry further into decline.
http://lat.ms/ny61rG

A copy of the study
http://smlr.rutgers.edu/collaborating-school-reform

Why education reform keeps failing
Washington Post commentary by David K. Cohen, John Dewey Collegiate Professor of Education and professor of public policy at the University of Michigan

What are we to make of articles (here and here) extolling IMPACT, Washington D.C.’s fledging teacher evaluation system, for how many “ineffective” teachers have been identified and fired, how many “highly effective” teachers rewarded? It’s hard to say.
I argue in my new book, Teaching and Its Predicaments (Harvard University) that fragmented school governance in the United States, coupled with the lack of coherent educational infrastructure, make it difficult either to broadly improve teaching and learning or to have valid knowledge of the extent of improvement.
http://wapo.st/pEnAFJ

School: It’s way more boring than when you were there New studies show that the disappearance of art, music and even recess is having a devastating effect on kids
Salon.com commentary by columnist Daniel Denvir

Forty-nine million or so American children have returned to public school classrooms that are, according to many critics, ever more boring. Preparation for increasingly high-stakes tests has reduced time for social studies and science. Austerity state and federal budgets are decimating already hobbled music, art, library and physical education budgets.
“When reading and math count and nothing else does, then less time and resources are devoted to non-tested subjects like the arts, science, history, civics and so on,” education historian Diane Ravitch, a well-known high-stakes testing critic and one-time proponent, writes in an email to Salon.
Supporters of the self-described “education reform” movement counter that evaluating teachers based on test scores is the only way to ensure good teaching, and that focused attention on reading and math is necessary to boost poor students’ achievement.
But the achievement gap is still wide, and there is (hotly disputed) evidence that students are afforded less time for creative inquiry.
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2011/09/14/denvir_school

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NATIONAL NEWS
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White House details plans for more digital learning USA Today

WASHINGTON – The White House will unveil plans Friday for a research center that aims to infuse more digital learning into the nation’s classrooms.
The center, dubbed “Digital Promise,” will aid the rapid development of new learning software, educational games and other technologies, in part through helping educators vet what works and what doesn’t.
Among the new ideas: a “League of Innovative Schools” that will test-drive promising technologies and use its collective purchasing power to drive down costs.
http://usat.ly/pXdV8T

http://1.usa.gov/oq1qQQ (ED)

http://1.usa.gov/oKcd0H (White House)

Flipping the classroom
Hopes that the internet can improve teaching may at last be bearing fruit The Economist

LOS ALTOS – THE 12-year-olds filing into Courtney Cadwell’s classroom at Egan Junior High in Los Altos, a leafy suburb of Silicon Valley, each take a white MacBook from a trolley, log on to a website called KhanAcademy.org and begin doing maths exercises. They will not get a lecture from Ms Cadwell, because they have already viewed, at home, various lectures as video clips on KhanAcademy (given by Salman Khan, its founder). And Ms Cadwell, logged in as a “coach”, can see exactly who has watched which. This means that class time is now free for something else: one-on-one instruction by Ms Cadwell, or what used to be known as tutoring.
So Ms Cadwell, in her own web browser, pulls up a dashboard where KhanAcademy’s software presents, through the internet, the data the children are producing at that instant. She can view information for the entire class or any individual pupil. Just then she sees two fields, representing modules, turning from green to red, one for Andrea, the other for Asia. Ms Cadwell sees that Andrea is struggling with exponents, Asia with fractions. “Instead of having to guess where my students have gaps, I can see it, at that moment, and I walk over to that one student,” says Ms Cadwell, as she arrives at Asia’s chair.
While the other pupils continue to work at their own pace and at different problems, Ms Cadwell now spends a few minutes just with Andrea and Asia. Soon Andrea has an epiphany and starts firing correct answers, getting, in KhanAcademy’s jargon, a “badge”, then going “transonic”. A few minutes later, Asia also gets a “streak”. She lets out a shriek. Ms Cadwell, with a big smile, is off to another pupil. “The growth in these kids is just staggering,” she says. “This is the future. I don’t see how it couldn’t be.”
This reversal of the traditional teaching methods—with lecturing done outside class time and tutoring (or “homework”) during it—is what Mr Khan calls “the flip”.
http://www.economist.com/node/21529062

Some States, Districts Abandoning Performance Pay Education Week

Two competing pressures—decreased finances and rising policy interest—have left the future of performance-based teacher compensation uncertain.
A dicey fiscal climate and research that has shown limited impact have led some states and districts to scale back, abandon, or change their fledgling merit-pay programs, causing observers to wonder what the next few years will hold for compensation systems that link teacher pay to student achievement.
Just this summer, Texas officials squelched funding for the country’s largest merit-pay program, from $392 million to $40 million, blaming the state’s deficit. And New York City wiped out its $56 million schoolwide program, citing disappointing research results.
Yet new examples are also springing up, largely because of increased federal funding for performance pay and state and federal legislation encouraging, and in some cases requiring, alternative-compensation schemes.
http://bit.ly/pad0q2

Wisconsin teachers retire in droves after union loss in bargaining fight Teachers across Wisconsin are retiring or quitting at higher rates than usual, due in part to a new law that cuts benefits and curtails collective bargaining rights.
Christian Science Monitor

In the small Monona Grove School District in Wisconsin, three teachers had planned to retire this year. But then, says history teacher Thomas Howe, the “political dust-up” happened – the controversy over a law, eventually pushed through by Gov. Scott Walker (R) and supporters, that restricts public employees’ collective-bargaining power.
In the midst of the battle last spring, 17 teachers, including Mr. Howe, retired from that school district. “Many of us felt very bittersweet about it,” he says.
Across Wisconsin this year, teachers have opted to retire at higher rates than usual, partly in response to the new law. Under the law, teachers have to contribute a considerable chunk of their salaries to health and retirement plans, and districts can decide to lengthen the school day or year without increasing salaries.
http://bit.ly/oe8lD6

Wyo. lawmakers consider reversing Common Core adoption Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

Wyoming lawmakers concerned with the state’s adoption of national education standards said Thursday they need more time to consider repealing the decision.
Lawmakers studying a statewide education accountability system directed the Legislature’s Joint Interim Education Committee to revisit the adoption decision made in June 2010 by the Wyoming Board of Education.
http://bit.ly/ogrh6t

Does your child have a school nurse?
CNN

As a school nurse in Rochester, Michigan, Ronda Harrison has more than 15,000 students in 23 buildings under her care. She works out of the district’s administrative offices and spends her days giving PowerPoint presentations to educators and communicating with parents over the phone.
“[It is] scary the fact that I’m responsible for so many schools,” Harrison said. “I miss being ‘Nurse Ronda.’ ”
The 16-year veteran has seen a lot of changes during her career as a nationally certified school nurse, but most notable is the shrinking ranks of her colleagues. Michigan has the highest student-to-school nurse ratio in the country at 4,411 to 1, according to the National Association of School Nurses. Utah isn’t far behind, with a ratio of 3,637 to 1.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/14/health/school-nurses/

Teaching as a Second, or Even Third, Career New York Times

AT 65, Walt Patteson has two careers behind him and is relishing his third as a high school chemistry teacher. He is one of the retirement-age Americans who are finding new uses for their skills by deciding to teach.
As the baby boomers reach retirement age, some of those anticipating a new career are enrolling at community colleges and in state-approved or private programs to convert their professional expertise to the classroom. Even the recent public criticism of teachers and cuts in school budgets have not deterred retirees from getting teaching credentials — and finding paying jobs, especially in math, science and special education.
Many come to teaching later in life because they want a challenge. Some want to do good or keep active. Others need an income or a supplement to retirement savings. And some, like Mr. Patteson, need a nudge to explore teaching.
http://nyti.ms/r5bGpF

Poll: Increasing teen support for First Amendment Associated Press via Google

WASHINGTON — More and more teenagers these days support a bedrock of American democracy, the First Amendment.
A new poll shows a sharp decline in the percentage of students who think it goes too far in the rights it guarantees, from 45 percent in 2006 to 24 percent this year.
The study was being released to coincide with Constitution Day, which commemorates the formation and signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.
http://bit.ly/pawzfL

Mayor, Music Row push music education plan
(Nashville) Tennesseean

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean wants more music in Music City schools. Music Row agrees.
Starting next year, music education at Metro Nashville Public Schools will undergo a radical change. You’ll still have your marching band and glee club, but thanks to an avalanch of donations and music industry volunteers, students will also have the option of joining a rock and roll band, or performing bluegrass or hip-hop, or signing up for a songwriting class or a course in DJ remixing.
“Nashville has been blessed with a huge asset in its music industry,” said Dean, who has spent the past year laying the groundwork for the new music education curriculum and raising what he estimates to be at least half a million dollars in private donations to launch “Music Makes Us: The Nashville Music Education Project.”
http://bit.ly/o8vqsj

School districts slammed on fiscal efficiency Four locally get low ratings from state comptroller.
San Antonio (TX) Express-News

Some Bexar County public school districts aren’t getting enough bang for their buck, according to a state study released Thursday.
The San Antonio, East Central, Edgewood and Somerset districts got two stars or less out of five in the Financial Allocation Study for Texas report from Comptroller Susan Combs, meaning they scored low on academic progress relative to their spending.
The districts said the ratings are based on old figures that don’t paint an accurate picture of current efforts.
Several of the area’s 16 districts achieved a four-star rating for the first time this year, but none earned the top five-star rating in the FAST report.
This is the second year Combs has rated Texas districts and schools. Statewide, the number of districts that received five stars rose slightly, from 43 to 46.
The study rated districts by correlating three-year averages of operating expenditures and academic scores.
http://bit.ly/n1Vs42

Half of parents want cane brought back in schools Half of parents believe that the cane should be reintroduced to restore order to the classroom, research suggests.
(London) Telegraph

Some 49 per cent of mothers and fathers are in favour of corporal punishment to crack down on the worst offenders, it was revealed.
The vast majority of parents also want the greater use of other back-to-basics discipline measures including detention, expulsion and forcing badly behaved children to write lines.
Even a fifth of secondary school pupils themselves support the reintroduction of caning or smacking.
The disclosure comes amid claims from Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, that “adult authority” has been eroded in too many schools.
http://tgr.ph/nwf4rv

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