Education News Roundup: April 4, 2012

green apple with iPod headphones and powercord plugged into it

Apple iPod/e.r.w.i.n./CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Housekeeping note: ENR plans to make this Friday a good one, so he’ll be at home working for his other boss. The roundup will return on Monday.

The Spectrum looks at teachers getting into local politics.
http://bit.ly/HiS7iM (SGS)

Attorney General Mark Shurtleff discusses the new suicide prevention law.
http://bit.ly/HpvHJY (KCPW)

Sen. Stephenson discusses public education finance and choice.
http://bit.ly/Hrklll (UTA)

Idaho Chief Tom Luna discusses education reform.
http://bit.ly/Hh9QXg (Stateline)

Piper Jaffray report says Apple has the inside line on school technology.
http://bit.ly/HrScdO (eWeek)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Educators jump into politics

New Suicide Prevention Law is Personal Accomplishment for A.G.

Provo-Orem, Heber in nation’s top 10 in growth Provo-Orem, Heber in nation’s top 10 in growth; St. George slips and some rural Utah counties see an exodus, 2011 estimates show.

Wong granted extension in appeals process

Teacher-student altercations just the latest challenge in the classroom

Judge to consider lifting restrictions on teen charged in Roy High bomb plot

Lone Peak academic decathlon team prepares for nationals

From furniture to orphans, Davis students know their history Education » District history fair draws record number of participants.

Scera Park students perform part of musical

Sanpete County readers rewarded with books

Nurse, Head Start program honored as ‘friends of public health’

OPINION & COMMENTARY

The Complexities of Financing Public Education, or Why Parental Choice is so Important

Taxpayers Association Releases School Spending Report

Utah Association of Public Charter Schools

Common standards and accountability . . . and now for the dirty work

The ‘100 Book Challenge’ that will get your kids reading

Fixing tardiness

School crossing lights’ timing confuses

Disgusted with standardized tests, group of parents shunning them A rebellion over standardized school testing in the Seattle Hill neighborhood southeast of Everett echoes a larger uprising around the country.

Assessment Consortium Moves to Build Higher Ed. Links

NATION

Idaho education chief Tom Luna talks reform

Brewer kills school-voucher bill

Charter-voucher expansion, along with tenure changes, head to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk

Sex Education Efforts Lagging in Schools, CDC Says Many states’ schools fail to teach students how to avoid unwanted pregnancy, HIV and other STDs, study finds

iPad, iPhone Use Is Helping Apple to Win the Education Market Apple is winning over younger students with both its iPad and iPhone, according to a new report. With schools considering BYOD policies, Apple is at the head of the class.

State of the Art

Student removed from contest for pro-gay remark Fullerton Union High School student says he hopes gay marriage will be legal and is removed from Mr. Fullerton competition.

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UTAH NEWS
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Educators jump into politics

ST. GEORGE – Educators are getting more involved in the political process this year, if the number of educators among the ranks of party delegates is any indication.
Candidates in various area races are reporting that as they speak to delegates in advance of the Washington County Republican Party convention on Saturday, they are running into a larger-than-expected number of teachers, retired teachers and others involved with education.
After another year in which education was front and center in state politics – legislators used most of a new budget surplus to fund an increase in the number of students, and lawmakers debated everything from sex education to a new evaluation system for educators.
If teachers weren’t inclined to get politically active before, this year seemed a good time to get started, said Robert Proffit, a delegate and the professional development coordinator for the Washington County School District.
http://bit.ly/HiS7iM (SGS)

New Suicide Prevention Law is Personal Accomplishment for A.G.

Utah teachers will soon have a new type of training, one aimed at saving their students’ lives. House Bill 501 requires all teachers in the state to receive two hours of youth suicide prevention training. Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff says he wanted to get this in place before retiring from his post at the end of this year, motivated by the story of Clark Flatt, and by his own daughter.
“About eight nine years ago I was at an attorney general conference, and he told about finding his 16 year old son dead. I realized that my own daughter was in crisis, she talked about wanting to hurt herself and I kind of blew it off,” he says. “He told all of us that day: never take a child’s statement of wanting to hurt themselves lightly. I got up and left the conference and went home, and started talking to her, and because we were talking, when she attempted suicide I was there and was able to save her life.”
Since the suicide of his son in 1997, Flatt has made it his mission to get teachers trained in suicide prevention. He attended a ceremonial signing of HB 501 with Governor Gary Herbert at the State Capitol Wednesday.
http://bit.ly/HpvHJY (KCPW)

Provo-Orem, Heber in nation’s top 10 in growth Provo-Orem, Heber in nation’s top 10 in growth; St. George slips and some rural Utah counties see an exodus, 2011 estimates show.

Provo-Orem, Heber City and St. George — and, to a lesser extent, Salt Lake County — were among the fastest-growing places in the nation in 2011, according to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
But not everywhere in Utah is booming. Estimates also showed that rural Beaver, Carbon, Emery, Garfield, Piute and Wayne counties all lost population last year.
“It’s not that we are booming economically in Utah. But relative to other places, we are doing a little better — so that is attracting some people to come here for economic opportunity, or to stay here or move around in the state,” said state demographer Juliette Ten-nert. “Also, we have a lot of natural increase [more births than deaths]. We have a high fertility rate and a lot of women in childbearing years.”
The Census Bureau released 2011 population estimates on Thursday for counties, metropolitan areas and micropolitan areas (places between 10,000 and 50,000 population). Last December, it released 2011 estimates for states — which then said Utah was the second fastest-growing in the nation (behind Texas) with a 1.9 percent increase from 2010 to 2011, more than double the 0.9 percent average growth nationally.
New estimates show some areas of Utah are surging even more.
http://bit.ly/HhGgw6 (SLT)

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

Wong granted extension in appeals process

PROVO — The Provo School District has granted a two-week extension for Timpview football coach Louis Wong to appeal his suspension and possible termination.
Elizabeth Dunning, Wong’s attorney, said she needed time to put together a response to the termination letter, and the district granted her until April 26 to put that together. If Wong is terminated, it will not be until the appeals process is complete, she said.
“The appeal is handled like a grievance starting with the least formal to the most formal,” she said. “We have not had the first informal conference yet.”
http://bit.ly/HbAX2k (PDH)

http://bit.ly/HS2Tvo (KSL)

http://bit.ly/HiYdzY (KSL)

Teacher involved in child abuse allegation on paid leave

A special education teacher has been on paid administrative leave for a month after an incident involving a student and allegations of child abuse, and her employment status is still under review, according to a school spokesman.
The West Lake Junior High teacher was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with child abuse, a class A misdemeanor, for pushing a student and then hitting him with a pop can, according to prosecutors.
Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said on Tuesday the school already took “appropriate action” against the teacher. She is still employed with the district; however, Horsley clarified on Wednesday that she has been on paid administrative leave since the incident.
“She has not been in the classroom and will not until her criminal charges are resolved,” Horsley said.
http://bit.ly/HhiFM5 (SLT)

http://bit.ly/HkJild (KUTV)

Judge to consider lifting restrictions on teen charged in Roy High bomb plot

OGDEN — A Roy teenager charged with planning to bomb Roy High School is doing well enough on home confinement that further liberties are being considered.
Judge Janice Frost on Wednesday set an April 17 hearing date for Joshua Kyler Hoggan, 16, to discuss his detention, any progress he has made and to determine if any restrictions currently against him will be lifted.
“Josh has been on home detention with electronic monitoring,” probation officer Amy Muti reported to the 2nd District Juvenile Court judge. “(There have been) no violations. He has been attending counseling.”
Hoggan — his hair cut short, wearing a shirt and tie and accompanied by his parents — told the judge that he is taking classes through “electronic high school” and is making progress. The judge said she is aware of the costs of the monitoring system and will consider removing some of the restrictions on the teenager.
http://bit.ly/HivFo5 (DN)

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

http://bit.ly/HS4v8h (KSL)

http://bit.ly/Hh227W (KSTU)

http://bit.ly/Hh6ELp (MUR)

Lone Peak academic decathlon team prepares for nationals

After winning a state competition earlier this month, Lone Peak High School students will represent Utah at a National Academic Decathlon competition April 25 to 28 in Albuquerque, N.M.
“It is one of the hardest but most rewarding things I have ever done,” team member Cole Erickson said. Other team members are Spencer Bagley, Emily Gerday, Kendrick Kiggins, James Lewis, Adam Loudon, Kevin Low, Ethan Welch and John Wilson.
Academic decathlon is a 10-event competition covering math, science, literature, social science, art history, music, economics, essay, speech and interview. Every year it is centered on a single topic. This year’s topic is European Imperialism.
http://bit.ly/HgWfzk (PDH)

From furniture to orphans, Davis students know their history Education » District history fair draws record number of participants.

Between 1845 and 1920, thousands of street orphans traveled by train from New York City to rural areas across the country where they were placed with farm families. This causal relocation of children by the Children’s Aid Society was the beginning of what would became the foster care system in the United States.
Ashley Hubert and Elise Willmore, both 11 and fifth graders performed a two-person play depicting events during those years as part of the Davis County School District history fair.
http://bit.ly/HVFLZl (SLT)

Scera Park students perform part of musical

Students at Scera Park Elementary in Orem perform part of a scene from their recent school play “The Music Man.”
http://bit.ly/HkkrgR (KSTU)

Sanpete County readers rewarded with books

MOUNT PLEASANT, Sanpete County — Rural Utah has a lot of precious resources, but Sanpete County’s most valued is obvious.
The entire communities of Moroni, Mt. Pleasant and Fairview turned out to support the reading efforts of their children Tuesday, and many parents thanked the volunteer tutors who are reading with their children.
http://bit.ly/Hbyipk (DN)

http://bit.ly/I71IDV (KSL)

Nurse, Head Start program honored as ‘friends of public health’

As part of National Public Health Week, the Utah County Health Department and Board of Health honors one individual and one organization for their efforts and dedication to the health and welfare of the citizens of Utah County. This year, they are honoring Beth Luthy and Mountainland Head Start.
For more than 40 years Mountainland Head Start has provided an outstanding preschool experience for several hundred at-risk children in many locations in Utah County. They are serving families of about 800 children, many of whom have developmental disabilities.
http://bit.ly/HgtUEm (PDH)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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The Complexities of Financing Public Education, or Why Parental Choice is so Important Utah Taxpayers Association commentary by Sen. Howard Stephenson

The most significant budget issue debated each session is public education. Most other issues get debated in terms of their impact on public education. Some observers have asked whether the Legislature fully funded student growth. Perhaps the most prominent example came from a memo written by Brad Smith, superintendent of the Ogden School District.
Frustrated by his perception that the Legislature gave more money to charter schools than to district schools, and reflecting the feelings of many from the public education establishment, he complained in a memo to Ogden School District’s employees that “the legislature partially funded student growth statewide.” He further complained that the Legislature overstated how much the WPU grew, while dramatically increasing funding for charter schools.
http://bit.ly/Hrklll

Taxpayers Association Releases School Spending Report Utah Taxpayers Association analysis

Your Taxpayers Association has released its latest School Spending Report. Every year your Utah Taxpayers Association collects the financial and statistical data for Utah’s school districts and charter schools. This information compares the spending trends between districts and outlines how the districts spend taxpayer dollars. The 2010-2011 report includes all 41 school districts, and groups all charter schools into one line item.
In the 2010-2011 school year, school districts spent an average of $7,752 per student while charter schools spent approximately $8,100 per student. The accompanying chart shows total K-12 spending per student since 1999. Over the last decade public education funding in Utah has steadily increased. Even in the recent economic turmoil, education funding has remained relatively level.
http://bit.ly/HZMDr8

Utah Association of Public Charter Schools Zions Bank commentary by Chris Redgrave

One of the critical keys to competing effectively in the business world and maintaining the strength for our economy is a strong education of our kids. In Utah we’re fortunate to have schools impact our economic development and are helping us successfully face the future. Just ask Chris Bleak (blake), president of the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools.
Charter schools make sense from a business standpoint because they’re created based upon a contract, like a business plan, with specific educational goals. Each school is responsible for creating a culture around their charter to ensure educational needs are being met. Chris is on top of the organization’s responsibility and is passionate about making sure outcomes match resources and goals.
http://bit.ly/HQHhk9

Common standards and accountability . . . and now for the dirty work Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

I really am going to move on to the content of the common standards – promise – but first I wanted to share a recent Fordham Institute study of how, and how well, various states have responded to tougher curriculum standards.
http://bit.ly/HbYxvT

The ‘100 Book Challenge’ that will get your kids reading KSL commentary by columnist Teri Harman

SALT LAKE CITY — If I said you should read 100 books with your preschooler or kindergartner in the next couple weeks, what would you think? I’ll tell you what I’d think: That’s crazy. More importantly, I’d wonder if it was even possible.
Well, one Utah mom did it in just seven days.
In February, Cyndi McMillian, attended the UVU For the Love of Reading Conference. Sitting in a breakout session given by reading expert Nancy Livingston, in which Livingston presented the New York Library’s list of 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know, McMillian got a spark of inspiration.
http://bit.ly/HW731Q

Fixing tardiness
Deseret News letter from Howard Lawrence

The crowd of East High students who left the building Friday in protest of the school’s tardiness policy was right to do so. To issue citations and impose fines for tardiness is unfair and misguided, and it will not solve the real problem.
Rather, the school should hire Valentine Gorlinski.
She was my human physiology teacher when I was at East. No one was ever late for her class. When students arrived at her classroom, Gorlinski was already in the middle of an experiment, with students crowded around her table. Students would run (not walk) to her classes not to miss anything. She never needed to scream, “Now students, come to attention.” All eyes were already upon her.
http://bit.ly/HN1wM8

School crossing lights’ timing confuses
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Pete Tefertiller Bassett

Mount Ogden Junior High School is in the Ogden School District area, and yet it seem to run as its own separate school from other schools in the district. For example, other schools in that district are on Spring Break beginning April 4; however, Mount Ogden does not begin Spring Break until April 5.
The school crossing lights for other schools in Ogden District are shut off by 8:40 a.m., or earlier, but those at Mount Ogden are still on even after 9 a.m., yet classes begin at 8:15 there at Mount Ogden. Is the school, the district, and the police department that desperate for funds that those particular crossing lights need to be on long after classes begin so that police can ticket motorist who assume those lights–like other crossing lights at Ogden District schools are off?
http://bit.ly/HbzDfS

Disgusted with standardized tests, group of parents shunning them A rebellion over standardized school testing in the Seattle Hill neighborhood southeast of Everett echoes a larger uprising around the country.
Seattle Times commentary by columnist Danny Westneat

The folks in the sprawling suburban developments near Mill Creek and Snohomish insist they are usually rule-following types.
“We didn’t go into this looking to start some big rebellion,” says Michelle Purcell, a mom of three in the Seattle Hill neighborhood southeast of Everett.
But a rebellion it has become. One that echoes a larger uprising around the country.
The parents of 70 students (and counting) at one elementary school are refusing to have their kids take the standardized tests mandated by the feds under No Child Left Behind.
The no-test protest means that so far about 25 percent of the kids of testing age at Seattle Hill Elementary, in the Snohomish School District, won’t be there when the school gives the Measurement of Student Progress (MSP) at the end of April, as required by federal law.
They’ll be in another room, doing art or science projects.
http://bit.ly/I7625u

Assessment Consortium Moves to Build Higher Ed. Links Education Week commentary by columnist Catherine Gewertz

Alexandria, Va. – The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers made a key move yesterday: It decided that higher education representatives from its member states will become voting members of PARCC on core decisions about how the forthcoming tests will reflect college readiness.
At its quarterly meeting yesterday, PARCC’s governing board—the education chiefs of its 24 member states—decided unanimously to allow higher ed. representatives to vote on a handful of issues: who will set the cutoff score for the tests, what evidence will be used to decide on cutoff scores, how to describe the expected performance levels on the test, and the million-dollar question: what the cutoff score will be.
http://bit.ly/HSllnu

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Idaho education chief Tom Luna talks reform Stateline

Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and Idaho Governor Butch Otter, who once shared lodging when Luna worked for the U.S. Education Department and Otter was a congressman, came together again last year to successfully back a series of education changes in the state. The plan, called Students Come First, increases the role of technology in the classroom and changes how teachers are evaluated and paid, eliminating collective bargaining and tenure and introducing performance pay.
Those moves drew protests at the state capitol in Boise, and the entire slate of changes will be on the ballot in November for possible repeal by voters. Luna spoke with Stateline in Washington D.C. last week about the 10-year-old No Child Left Behind law, his vision for changing education in his state and why he thinks that vision caused protests. He was in town for the legislative meeting of the Council of Chief State School Officers, which he serves as president.
http://bit.ly/Hh9QXg

Brewer kills school-voucher bill
(Phoenix) Arizona Republic

Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would have expanded the use of public-education money to pay for the private education of more Arizona students.
In her veto letter, Brewer gave two reasons for killing the bill: Expanding the voucherlike program would impact the state’s general fund, and it could tilt the playing field to give too much preference to private schools. Brewer said she would be willing to talk about expanding the program once the fiscal 2013 state budget was complete.
House Bill 2626 would have increased the number of students eligible for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. These accounts are offered to parents of disabled students. Parents are given a card, like a debit card, containing 90 percent of what the state would have given a district or charter school to educate their children.
The money can be used for educational expenses, including private-school tuition, books, therapies or tutoring.
http://bit.ly/I1WrlL

Charter-voucher expansion, along with tenure changes, head to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s desk New Orleans Times-Picayune

The Louisiana House of Representatives has given final approval to the central pieces of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s sweeping agenda to restructure primary and secondary education in Louisiana.
With the 60-43 vote for House Bill 974 and a subsequent 60-42 vote for House Bill 976, Louisiana will, among other details, curtail teacher tenure protection; tie instructors’ compensation and superintendents’ job security to student performance; shift hiring and firing power from school boards to superintendents; create new paths to open independent public charter schools; and establish a statewide program that uses the public-school financing formula to pay private-school tuition for certain low-income students.
The House votes ratified the Senate versions of the measures that were adopted Wednesday. Here is a report on the Senate’s action on the tenure bill. Here is today’s print edition story that includes the upper chamber’s actions on both bills. The Senate amendments did not fundamentally alter the framework for either of the governor’s proposals.
http://bit.ly/I7em5f

Sex Education Efforts Lagging in Schools, CDC Says Many states’ schools fail to teach students how to avoid unwanted pregnancy, HIV and other STDs, study finds HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report

There’s been little progress in recent years in boosting the number of American secondary schools that teach students how to prevent pregnancy and protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
That’s the finding from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who analyzed 2008 and 2010 data from 45 states taking part in biennial surveys of school health practices.
The surveys assessed the percentage of schools in each state that teach specific topics related to HIV, STD and pregnancy prevention. The topics differ in middle schools and high schools, but generally include basic information on the transmission and diagnosis of HIV and other STDs, as well as pregnancy risk reduction. Condom use is one of the topics that’s covered only in high schools, the CDC said.
The surveys revealed few indications of progress between 2008 and 2010.
http://bit.ly/HhbJDt

iPad, iPhone Use Is Helping Apple to Win the Education Market Apple is winning over younger students with both its iPad and iPhone, according to a new report. With schools considering BYOD policies, Apple is at the head of the class.
eWeek

Apple iPads are the tablets of choice for 70 percent of tablet-owning teenagers, according to an April 4 report from Piper Jaffray. Teen preference, combined with teen iPhone ownership, the results of school surveys and the growing trend of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies—even within schools—all result in a forecast that finds the education market is going to do excellent things for Apple’s bottom line.
The popularity of the iPad among teens, said the report “will lead to the iPad owning the educational tablet market.”
Piper Jaffray found 78 percent of school IT managers to be testing iPads, along with Google’s Chromebooks, while another 6 percent said they were testing Android tablets. Gene Munster and Douglas J. Clinton, the authors of the report, concluded that most of these managers believe the iPad would ultimately be the platform of choice for the market “because the growing app marketplace makes iPad a safer long-term investment.”
http://bit.ly/HrScdO

State of the Art
NBC News

At a time when schools are cutting back on funding for arts education, there’s some good news. Google is stepping into the breach with a project that is part Google Earth and part museum of art, but it’s meant to bring art to us.
http://bit.ly/Hj11Ls

Student removed from contest for pro-gay remark Fullerton Union High School student says he hopes gay marriage will be legal and is removed from Mr. Fullerton competition.
Orange County (CA) Register

FULLERTON – Students at Fullerton Union High School are protesting the action of an administrator who removed a classmate of theirs from a campus competition for his pro-gay comment.
He was removed from the school’s Mr. Fullerton competition Tuesday night for answering a question of where he saw himself in 10 years.
The student said he hoped to find the love of his life, marry him and hoped gay marriage would be legal.
After the answer, an assistant principal took the student from the Plummer Auditorium stage and disqualified him from the competition.
In a statement, Fullerton Joint Union High School District Superintendent George Giokaris said the student’s answer did not violate any school rules.
“The district has concluded that the matter was not handled appropriately by the assistant principal,” Giokaris said. “The district believes that the matter should have been handled privately with the student by the assistant principal.”
Giokaris said the administrator apologized privately to the student and publicly over the school’s public-address system Wednesday morning.
http://bit.ly/HYKrxU

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