Education News Roundup: May 14, 2012

school lunch/bookgrl/CC/flickr

school lunch/bookgrl/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Want to get people involved in education politics? Two words: Sex education.
http://goo.gl/1yrxp (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/hIFZy (PDH)
and http://goo.gl/bC665 (CVD)
and http://goo.gl/rAls8 (KUTV)

Parents worried about all the administrative changes in Ogden.
http://goo.gl/hc72x (OSE)

PacifiCorp sues Utah over the price of public land.
http://goo.gl/nmFf7 (DN)

Ed Week looks at education’s political advocacy groups.
http://goo.gl/YvYIB

Snohomish, Washington parents keep their kids home to protest standardized testing.
http://goo.gl/6qaae (AP)

How do you know when your school board relations have really broken down? When one of the board members hires a body guard to bring to meetings because of alleged threats from the superintendent. Y’know. In case you wanted to know how bad school board meetings could get.
http://goo.gl/89237 (Columbus Dispatch)

There’s a 9-year-old in England blogging on school lunch.
http://goo.gl/RPCfg (Independent)
or the blog
http://neverseconds.blogspot.com/

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Guv received nearly 10,000 letters, emails, calls about sex ed bill
Tribune analysis » The governor got 9,708 messages in 3 weeks leading up to his veto.

Ogden district administrative changes prompt parental worry about students, teachers

Ogden School District puts UVA training to work

Study: Children in Utah better off than in many other states
KIDS Count » Utah gets mostly high marks, but there are more children living in poverty.

Utility company sues state of Utah, claims it was overcharged

Huntsman family honors Utah’s educators at annual awards banquet

Southwest Utah region Sterling Scholars announced

Salem Hills students to represent Utah at Envirothon

Utah’s 8th Graders Show Improved Science Test Scoring

Mentors at Monroe Elementary encourage the pursuit of engineering

3 new murals to grace UTA bus shelters across Wasatch Front

A century of school bells: Smithfield milestone carries special meaning for teacher

Payson school secretary charged with sex crime
Courts » Woman, 49, allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.

Provo officer fired after dropping pants at school party

Orem teen busted after leaving homework at scene of crime

Hunter student fighting for her life, mother says

Ben Lomond honors longtime teacher with memorial assembly

5 students receive $1,000 scholarships from Tanner Clinic

Students at school for deaf write, perform opera

Weber County students rewarded working hard in Read Today program

Granite School District employees recognized

Teacher wins awards for nutrition education

Elementary school students explore the world through research

West Point students hold wedding party to remember Transcontinental Railroad

Down on the farm: Valley second-graders take field trip to Amalga dairy

Parents grant teacher’s life dream

Woods Cross, Skyline softball teams clash – in the name of fighting cancer

Bonneville students donate $7,000 to Weber County Sheriff’s Office

Alpine district employees donate to food bank

Lehi Pioneers host 5K fundraiser for Wash. D.C. trip

American Fork Jr. High choirs putting on benefit concert

Outstanding Service Award

Fantastic Falcons

Inside Our Schools

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Families are the real front lines in the war against bullying

Was firing the right choice?

The winners and the losers

Beehives and Buffalo Chips

Common Core standards in nation’s interest

Implementing the Common Core: Still missing pieces

Get juvenile offenders back into school

It takes a death to open public’s eye

Ponder nature of bullying

Guest Opinion

Was Utah teacher punished for testifying on union bill?

Opposition to Common Core unfounded; trust state board of education

Don’t sway too far from convictions stated in our governing documents

Millcreek High success attributed to help from area organizations

States Lack Capacity for Reform

The fantasies driving school reform: A primer for education graduates

Why rating teachers by test scores won’t work

Transcontinental Education
Soon, nearly every state in the union will have the same demanding standards for what students should know. If history is any guide, a burst of innovation won’t be far behind.

Common Core critics want ALEC to tell states what to do

Stop Complaining About Teacher Assessments; Find Alternatives

Ford Foundation Pledges $50 Million for Expanded Learning

NATION

New Advocacy Groups Shaking Up Education Field
Their sway over policy and politics appears to be growing, especially at the state and local levels.

Snohomish parents refuse to let their 550 kids take statewide test
A testing protest by parents in one western Washington school district isn’t likely to affect the state budget, but the parents feel they got their message out that statewide academic testing is a waste of money.

Grand Test Auto
The end of testing.

Next Class of Teachers Enters Changing Profession

Student surveys to be used to rate teachers in pilot program — even in kindergarten classes

American teacher blasts off to space today

Colorado bond companies’ role in school campaigns raises questions

1 in 3 autistic young adults lack jobs, education

Mitt Romney’s ‘hijinks’ seen as bullying today

NJ to no longer ask 3rd-graders to reveal a secret

Ed. Dept. announces Upward Bound awards
The U.S. Education Department announced $254 million for Upward Bound projects to help students access and succeed in higher education Friday.

In L.A. Pregnancy ‘Hot Spot,’ An On-Campus Clinic

Olentangy school-board member hires bodyguard
Armed deputy also at meetings

Facebook, Edutopia Collaborate on Social Media Guide

Tennessee governor signs controversial “gateway sexual activity” bill

Students charged with taping under teacher’s dress

School dinner blogger, 9, goes viral

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UTAH NEWS
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Guv received nearly 10,000 letters, emails, calls about sex ed bill
Tribune analysis » The governor got 9,708 messages in 3 weeks leading up to his veto.

Sex, politics and education is an explosive combination.
So explosive, in fact, that a bill that would have scaled back sex education in Utah schools inspired 9,708 emails, phone calls and letters to the governor’s office in the three weeks leading up to his veto of it earlier this year, according to a Salt Lake Tribune analysis of communications obtained through an open-records request.
Parents, grandparents and teens pleaded with the governor to both sign and not sign it. Some letter-writers identified themselves as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Republican delegates and/or conservatives. Many were polite and formal; others were crude and threatening.
Of those who wrote or called, about nine opposed the bill for every one who supported it.
http://goo.gl/1yrxp (SLT)

http://goo.gl/hIFZy (PDH)

http://goo.gl/bC665 (CVD)

http://goo.gl/rAls8 (KUTV)

Ogden district administrative changes prompt parental worry about students, teachers

OGDEN — Some parents of students in the Ogden School District say they are tired of administrative changes that don’t seem to make sense; they question whether teachers can function effectively while fearing they will lose their jobs; and they don’t see the logic of decisions made this school year by the Ogden School Board and Superintendent Brad Smith.
“It’s my impression, especially this year, teachers and administrators are just terrified with what might happen next,” said Karyn Johnston, a part-time reading-intervention specialist at the school and a parent of two students at Polk.
“I think probably my biggest concern is really how scared everyone is in the district right now.”
The changes in the district follow years of low test scores and a recent audit by a Colorado agency, RMC Research, that found district schools are operating about a year below grade level.
The sweeping personnel changes began in September, when moving vans pulled up to Ogden schools to cart away office contents of several administrators who had introduced themselves to students just weeks earlier. Three principals and three assistant principals were among the staffers abruptly moved.
Additional administrative changes announced late last month affected 13 of the district’s 20 schools.
http://goo.gl/hc72x (OSE)

Ogden School District puts UVA training to work

OGDEN — The sweeping administrative changes Ogden School District made recently were aimed at getting strong leadership into struggling schools, Superintendent Brad Smith says.
And the definition of strong leaders? That came largely from the training district officials have received from the University of Virginia School Turnaround program.
“It informed my thinking,” Smith said of the UVA program.
School district officials began working with UVA trainers last year, sending then-Superintendent Noel Zabriskie and principals from Dee Elementary, Odyssey Elementary, Ogden High and George Washington High schools for training sessions at UVA.
http://goo.gl/Trtor (OSE)

Study: Children in Utah better off than in many other states
KIDS Count » Utah gets mostly high marks, but there are more children living in poverty.

There were nearly a million children in Utah as of 2010 — an increase of 19 percent over the decade — and by most indicators, they were better off than children in many other states, according to the latest data from Voices for Utah Children.
But the data shows the Great Recession affected Utah children, with almost 50,000 more children living in poverty, and 56,000 children affected by home foreclosures.
While more Utah children are insured than in many other states, that percentage fell slightly since 2005, with 11 percent of children uninsured.
http://goo.gl/PhTaQ (SLT)

Utility company sues state of Utah, claims it was overcharged

SALT LAKE CITY — PacifiCorp, the parent company of Rocky Mountain Power, is suing the state of Utah in a dispute over the price of public lands.
The Oregon-based utility company is challenging a land appraisal conducted by a state agency and the utility is claiming eminent domain for a 100-mile power transmission line passing through Tooele County, according to documents filed Thursday in 3rd District Court.
That line is part of a PacifiCorp project that includes the construction of a substation in the southwestern portion of the Tooele Valley to address the growing demand for power along the Wasatch Front.
The lands are held in trust by the state of Utah and managed by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. Money generated from school trust lands is deposited into a fund that annually distributes revenue to public schools in Utah.
http://goo.gl/nmFf7 (DN)

Huntsman family honors Utah’s educators at annual awards banquet

SALT LAKE CITY — In a change of scenery from the traditional classroom, 11 Utah educators were honored Friday in the ballroom of the Little America Hotel, part of the 20th annual Huntsman Awards for Excellence in Education.
They still found themselves standing at the front of the room, only this time to thunderous applause.
Among those educators named as award winners was Fremont Elementary teacher Sam Clemmons. He was the first-ever recipient of the Mark H. Huntsman award for excellence in special education and began the awards portion of Friday’s banquet by receiving a hug from Mark Huntsman on stage.
http://goo.gl/Hp7uF (DN)

http://goo.gl/9ycj6 (KSL)

Southwest Utah region Sterling Scholars announced

Winners and runners-up for the Southwest region of the Deseret News/KSL Sterling Scholars Competition were announced Thursday, April 12, on the campus of Dixie State College in St. George.
One-hundred-seventy-four students representing 13 high schools and five school districts participated in this year’s competition.
http://goo.gl/G3afa (DN)

Salem Hills students to represent Utah at Envirothon

SALEM, Utah County — Salem Hills High School students McKay Trotter, McKenna Jaussi, Bryece Trotter, Elizabeth Haun and McCrea Malkovich won the opportunity to represent Utah at the Canon Envirothon in Pennsylvania this summer.
The team participated against 18 other high school teams in the Utah Envirothon held in Zion National Park in April.
http://goo.gl/XQUqg (DN)

Utah’s 8th Graders Show Improved Science Test Scoring

Salt Lake City, UT – Utah eighth graders turned in some of the best science scores in the nation in 2011, collectively raising their average score by three points and beating the national average by 10 points, according to data released today by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card.
Utah’s eighth grade science scores improved for white, Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander, and American Indian students as well as for students both eligible and not eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and for boys as well as girls, the NAEP reported. There were not enough black students included in the NAEP sampling of 2,400 Utah students to determine academic progress. The overall percentage of Utah students who are at or above basic levels in eighth grade science rose from 72 percent in 2009 to 77 percent in 2011.
http://goo.gl/c8ZBN (KCSG)

Mentors at Monroe Elementary encourage the pursuit of engineering

WEST VALLEY CITY — When Nathalie Ramos, a fifth-grade student at Monroe Elementary School, thought about what she wanted to be when she grew up, she didn’t know what she would do or if she would even make it to college.
But all of that changed for Nathalie when she joined Monroe’s after-school electronics club.
“It gives me encouragement about my future,” she said. “They (the mentors) help me to believe I am going to college. I told my mom that I wanted to go to college and she said, ‘Of course you are going!’ ”
The idea for the club sprang from the mind of Harjit Kaur, a former Monroe student who was not only looking for a way to give back to the community but also an avenue to encourage young students to pursue engineering. She organized the club last winter.
http://goo.gl/2GLyG (DN)

3 new murals to grace UTA bus shelters across Wasatch Front

OGDEN — It’s art in transit.
The Utah Transit Authority has opened a special art exhibit in Washington Terrace that showcases murals created by local artists. That art is, or soon will be, seen in bus shelters across the Top of Utah.
The exhibit, titled “The Mural Exhibit,” is being held at the Pleasant Valley Library until Wednesday as part of UTA’s bus stop mural program.
Three murals were recently finished by local artists and can be seen at the exhibit.
Ben Lomond High School students Lina Tomasevic and Shayla Evans created a mural that will be placed at a bus shelter near the library, 5568 S. Adams Parkway.
http://goo.gl/q91bu (OSE)

A century of school bells: Smithfield milestone carries special meaning for teacher

Kathryn Geddes has been anticipating this day ever since she was a little girl who loved to roller skate to school.
While attending Summit Elementary in Smithfield, the former Kathryn Gutke remembers looking up at the engraved keystone above the front doors that read: “Summit School 1912.”
“As a child, I saw that every day, so I’ve kind of known for the last decade that we were approaching this big milestone,” Geddes said last week. “So, I kept warning everyone this is coming, and now it’s exciting to be here for it.”
Although the original three-story, yellow-brick building completed in 1912 was torn down a couple of decades ago, the Smithfield school has now been operating for a century. Summit’s 100th birthday celebration will take place Thursday, with a concert by local quartet Lilium and a silent auction preceding a special program slated to begin at 6 p.m. on the grassy field directly north of the school.
http://goo.gl/dGVfd (LHJ)

Payson school secretary charged with sex crime
Courts » Woman, 49, allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.

A secretary at Mt. Nebo Jr. High School is facing charges after police say she had a sexual relationship with a former student.
Montreia Barney, 49, was charged Friday in 4th District Court with one count each of third-degree felony unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, and class A misdemeanor obstructing justice.
Barney’s relationship with the 16-year-old boy began in the summer of 2010 with multiple phone calls, including phone sex, according to court documents.
Barney, a finance secretary at the school, allegedly asked the victim to meet her at a local church parking lot during that summer.
http://goo.gl/0QJVz (SLT)

http://goo.gl/kmXoR (DN)

http://goo.gl/DI4s6 (OSE)

http://goo.gl/7bB2V (PDH)

http://goo.gl/E08kp (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/quWRc (KSL)

Provo officer fired after dropping pants at school party

A Provo City school resource officer has been dismissed after officials say he violated police policy when he wore a green Speedo-style swimsuit to a birthday party at Provo High School.
Officer Cody Harris was fired Thursday after an internal investigation, Lt. Mathew Siufanua said in a news release. According to the police department, Harris, who was a resource officer at the high school, violated multiple police policies when on May 2 he participated in a birthday celebration at the school clad in nothing but a green hoodie and a scant swimsuit.
Harris was supposed to portray a frog as part of a “Princess and the Frog” theme party. Officials said he volunteered to wear the swimsuit over a pair of leggings as part of the costume.
“Upon the day of the party, he indicated he was not able to fit into the provided ‘leggings’ that would have covered his legs,” Siufanua said in the release. “Officer Harris made the conscious and independent decision to wear only a speedo/swimsuit and a green hoodie.”
http://goo.gl/4bkIe (SLT)

http://goo.gl/c74iO (DN)

http://goo.gl/frLjn (OSE)

http://goo.gl/zK70O (PDH)

http://goo.gl/sUagv (KSL)

http://goo.gl/gANSR (KSTU)

Orem teen busted after leaving homework at scene of crime

An Orem teen is likely kicking himself for doing his homework and then allegedly leaving it at the scene of a crime.
Orem police said they were called early Saturday morning to a home near 900 South and 50 East by a homeowner who woke to find a prowler in his home. When the man went to investigate, he stumbled upon the 18-year-old rifling through his desk. The teen then punched the homeowner in the face and fled, police said.
As officers were searching for the teen, they found a back pack that had been abandoned in the victim’s backyard. Inside the back pack, police said they found a USB drive. And on that USB drive was some homework with the teen’s name on it, police said.
http://goo.gl/PIiyg (SLT)

http://goo.gl/LlFV1 (CVD)

http://goo.gl/i3GBp (KTVX)

Hunter student fighting for her life, mother says

MURRAY — Bessie Porter spent most of this Mother’s Day at Intermountain Medical Center, where her 17-year-old daughter, Cassidy, is fighting for her life.
And Porter expects the strong-willed teenager to win.
“I know she’s going to be OK,” she said.
Cassidy was one of four Hunter High students leaving school for lunch Wednesday when the car they were traveling in collided with another vehicle near the intersection of 4100 South and 5600 West.
The driver of the car, Jacob Armijo, and front-seat passenger Avery Bock, both 16, were killed in the crash. A fourth student, Leticia Cordero, 16, was seriously injured, though she’s since been released from the hospital.
http://goo.gl/Z3pyP (DN)

Ben Lomond honors longtime teacher with memorial assembly

OGDEN — Brittany Budka remembers her first day in Lanny Desmond’s math class. “He greeted every single student with a chocolate-covered strawberry That was just the beginning. He made my high school life so much better. He would stay as late as he had to to help his students understand math. He was an amazing teacher, and I will miss him.”
Budka was one of many students and teachers at Ben Lomond High School who reminisced during a memorial assembly in Desmond’s honor Friday afternoon.
Desmond, 63, died May 5 after battling many illnesses.
http://goo.gl/GWa5T (OSE)

5 students receive $1,000 scholarships from Tanner Clinic

LAYTON — Tanner Clinic has awarded five $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors pursuing a career in health care.
The recipients are Lynette Randall, of Clearfield High; Kaitlyn Brough, of Davis High; Xavier Stilson, of Layton High; Dallas Clark, of Northridge High; and Taylour Crawford, of Syracuse High.
http://goo.gl/sotQW (OSE)

Students at school for deaf write, perform opera

SALT LAKE CITY — The students in firs through fourth grade in the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind on Thursday performed an opera they wrote and produced themselves with the support of Opera by Children. Opera by Children is the educational outreach program of Utah Festival Opera Company in Logan.
http://goo.gl/MnUlw (DN)

http://goo.gl/c56Rh (KSL)

Weber County students rewarded working hard in Read Today program

WEBER COUNTY — Students in Weber County are making great gains in reading, so Chopper 5 swooped in to say congratulations.
We joined the party to North Ogden Elementary School, where students are taking part in our Read Today program. Their volunteer tutors told us they get as much out of it as the kids.
http://goo.gl/GgqrM (KSL)

Granite School District employees recognized

SALT LAKE CITY — Two Granite School District staff members received employee of the year awards from the Utah State Education Association.
Tracy Atkin received the award for secretarial services, and Mike Memmott was honored for maintenance services.
http://goo.gl/QnWAU (DN)

Teacher wins awards for nutrition education

LEHI — For a class of Traverse Mountain Elementary second-graders, learning about good nutrition was a tasty adventure.
Second-grade teacher Sonda Smith was the winner of a $1,000 grant from Del Monte that funded a classroom fruit-tasting extravaganza. Part of the prize was $250 in fruit coupons.
http://goo.gl/yFQnU (PDH)

Elementary school students explore the world through research

Sometimes teachers have to get creative to motivate their students. Not so with a group of students from Forbes Elementary School in American Fork.
Forty-four students decided to challenge themselves to do extra work, outside of their regular classrooms, and participated in the Research Challenge sponsored by the school. They chose their topic, something they wanted to learn more about, and went to work. Their topics ranged from square foot gardening to solar panels, lighthouses, Brett Favre and the origin of Valentine’s Day.
http://goo.gl/9obxs (PDH)

West Point students hold wedding party to remember Transcontinental Railroad

WEST POINT — On the 143rd anniversary of the “Wedding of the Rails,” when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads joined at Promontory Summit, students at West Point Elementary School created their own mock wedding to celebrate the event.
Fourth-graders in Krista Harrah’s class on Thursday donned cardboard boxes decorated to look like train cars and formed two trains — Union Pacific’s engine No. 119 and Central Pacific’s Jupiter.
Their classroom was converted to a wedding hall, complete with white ribbons and wedding cake.
http://goo.gl/rcnmi (OSE)

Down on the farm: Valley second-graders take field trip to Amalga dairy

AMALGA — Second-grade schoolteachers are certainly used to hearing their share of interesting questions.
But when Wendy Western from Greenville Elementary School in North Logan overheard a student ask, “Are these the cows we came to see?” — while standing directly in front of four goats — the 17-year teaching veteran admitted to having an “Are you kidding me?” moment.
“I think the educational value of this is amazing because some of these kids can’t even tell the difference between a goat and a cow,” Western said Thursday morning during Farm Field Days at the Ken Munk family dairy.
http://goo.gl/cb5V1 (LHJ)

Parents grant teacher’s life dream

LEHI — Parents helped a Lehi Elementary teacher, Dan Griffey, cross an item off a wish list on Saturday.
Griffey has liked fast as long as he can remember — fast trikes, bikes, skateboards. Later that passion for high speed grew into a love for NASCAR racing, but through his education and then teaching for 15 years he had never been to a race.
The 40-year-old can’t say that anymore.
“No way, and this is like one of my bucket list items I thought I would never get, so I was really excited,” said Griffey, grinning.
The school’s PTSA and Rocky Mountain Raceway co-sponsored a dream come true for him with four tickets to the raceway’s Horsepower Heaven event, special VIP treatment, a RMR gift bag and a ride in a pace car for the Winged Sprint Race. RMR also honored him recognizing Griffey during the program.
http://goo.gl/qp9oF (PDH)

Woods Cross, Skyline softball teams clash – in the name of fighting cancer

WOODS CROSS — This week’s softball game at Woods Cross High School was unlike any other played during their softball season.
This time, the school’s varsity softball team wasn’t just fighting to win; they were fighting for others to live.
The girls have become painfully aware of the stark realities of life, as their former head coach has had to undergo weekly chemotherapy treatments to keep his bone marrow cancer at bay. But that doesn’t stop 49-year-old Steve Drott from participating in something he loves.
After coaching high school softball for 19 years, it’s in his blood — something Drott won’t give up easily, even with the blood cells fighting against him in his body. He has decided to go forward with his life despite his struggle with the disease and fight a new kind of game against blood cells.
Last year, Drott proposed a game like no other to the varsity team.
“Let’s call it a red and white blood cell game, with all the proceeds going to fight blood cancers,” said Drott. Each team would represent red or white blood cells.
http://goo.gl/2tYBX (OSE)

Bonneville students donate $7,000 to Weber County Sheriff’s Office

OGDEN — Students at Bonneville High School presented Weber County sheriff’s officers with a donation of $7,000 on Friday.
The money was raised throughout the school year through a variety of efforts spearheaded by the school’s student government, said Deputy Jeff Lemberes.
The department uses the money to fund its annual Christmas-time shopping trips with underprivileged children.
http://goo.gl/9LhQI (OSE)

Alpine district employees donate to food bank

More than 8,000 pounds of food has been donated to the Provo food bank, thanks to the efforts of Alpine School District employees.
The staff of Freedom Elementary School won the fourth annual Alpine School District employee food drive by donating a total of 2,182 pounds of food to Community Action Services and Food Bank.
http://goo.gl/gHHQo (PDH)

Lehi Pioneers host 5K fundraiser for Wash. D.C. trip

LEHI — A large crowd of supporters met early Saturday morning to participate in “Band on the Run,” a fundraiser to help 115 Lehi High School marching band members get to Washington, D.C. for the Independence Day Parade in 7 weeks.
http://goo.gl/Dv9PM (PDH)

American Fork Jr. High choirs putting on benefit concert

The American Fork Junior High School choirs have announced a 10th anniversary benefit concert. A little more than 10 years ago the students organized a benefit concert in response to the tragic events of Sept.11, 2001. Under the direction of Macy Taylor (Robison), the students raised money for the American Red Cross to help the victims and the families of the victims of that terrible day.
http://goo.gl/b1n2I (PDH)

Outstanding Service Award

The Outstanding Service Award at Mapleton Elementary School was presented to librarian Laurie Mittanck.
http://goo.gl/1gSFD (PDH)

Fantastic Falcons

Teachers at Foothills Elementary in Salem chose outstanding students who go above and beyond to do their best in the classroom as this month’s Fantastic Falcons.
http://goo.gl/WylKe (PDH)

Inside Our Schools

Arrowhead Elementary
Millcreek High
Lava Ridge Intermediate
Pine View Middle
Vista Charter
Bloomington Elementary
Pine View High
Cedar Middle
Enoch Elementary
North Elementary
Iron Springs Elementary
Parowan Elementary
South Elementary
Canyon View Middle
http://goo.gl/oLRNZ (SGS)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Families are the real front lines in the war against bullying
Deseret News editorial

Much has been written and discussed lately on the subject of bullying — its disturbing prevalence and its tragic consequences. A number of effective campaigns are under way to address the problem by focusing both on its causes and effects.
Most of these efforts are directed at increasing awareness by identifying the specific behavior of a bully and the symptomology of a victim.
There are also campaigns that offer means to dissuade those from acting in a way that might injure and humiliate, and to provide guidance to those who are subject to such aggression on how best to avoid it and deal with its pernicious effects.
But between bully and victim there is a third party that deserves, but does not always receive, equal mention, and we all are members of that party. Bullying is a social problem, and as such, all society is party to its causes and to its cures.
http://goo.gl/btHaQ

Was firing the right choice?
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

The Provo Police Department on Thursday fired Provo High School resource officer Cody Harris for “behavior that was not in harmony with the existing standards of conduct of the Provo Police Department.”
Harris dropped his pants, multiple times, and romped about at the birthday party of a female staff member at the school. He went out of his way to favor others with the joke as well. His conduct, according to an internal department investigation, was witnessed by many individuals, including students.
http://goo.gl/T2J6X

The winners and the losers
Deseret News editorial

Loser: What do you do with a police officer assigned to a high school who drops his pants at a birthday party for an administrator, in front of students and employees? You fire him, which is exactly what the Provo Police Department did this week. Chief Rick Gregory called the officer’s actions “unbecoming of a police officer.” Actually, it’s pretty much unbecoming of just about anyone in any job.
http://goo.gl/63oPx

Beehives and Buffalo Chips
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

Beehive to American Fork High School math students Dane Grundvig, Nathan Hulet, Brad Kappen and David Stoker for winning the state 5-A championship in mathematics. If America is going to keep pace in science and technology, it needs people who speak the right language. And that language is math. This guys speak it fluently.
http://goo.gl/mm5bh

Common Core standards in nation’s interest
Deseret News commentary by columnist John Florez

Can you imagine 50 state National Guard units going to war after having been trained with 50 different manuals? Well, that’s what those opposing the new Common Core standards will be doing to education because they want each state to have its own standards.
http://goo.gl/17Cgs

Implementing the Common Core: Still missing pieces
Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

We may be hurtling toward implementation of common core educational standards for Language Arts and Mathematics standards . . . but when it comes to social studies and science, the hare’s not even in the race. The National Research Council is working on science standards, and various social studies organizations are talking about the idea, without (it seems to me) a lot of enthusiasm or urgency. No one relishes the inevitable squabbles over evolution, or state’s rights, or whose history’s on first. And frankly, school districts and teachers are still struggling to chew and swallow the standards they’ve already signed on for.
Do these still missing pieces matter to implementing the common core?
http://goo.gl/RddYI

Get juvenile offenders back into school
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by columnist Ron Campbell

A December 2011 report by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs strongly supports the notion that juvenile offenders, both with and without disabilities, are significantly more likely to experience successful re-entry into their home schools and communities if appropriate programs and supports are in place.
For example, youth with disabilities who had jobs or attended school during the first six months following release were 3.2 times less likely to return to custody and 2.5 times more likely to remain employed and/or enrolled in school one year after leaving correctional facilities.
The report indicates that juveniles with disabilities are over represented in the juvenile justice system. One study found at least 37 percent of incarcerated youth were eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, compared to only 9 percent in the general population.
http://goo.gl/hUamr

It takes a death to open public’s eye
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by Austin Miller-Anderson, a senior at Ben Lomond High School

Today in our society we are seeing many rising problems. We see murders, robberies, drugs … the list is endless.
But one particular issue has caught my attention recently — bullying and suicide. Many different types of people are bullied for various reasons, but right now, bullying based on sexual orientation is taking place in our schools, even here in northern Utah.
Recently a Northern Utah gay teen we will call Bryan (to protect his family’s privacy) was bullied at his school. Many may think that it’s just bullying and that everyone goes through it, but this person did not. He was bullied to the point that he no longer wanted to live. This young man took his own life because of the way he was treated and the names he was called.
http://goo.gl/cFzlO

Ponder nature of bullying
(St. George) Spectrum op-ed by Sally Musemeche of Dammeron Valley

A government website defines bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”
As for myself, I have to admit that until the last few years I was inclined to believe that bullying was something unique to a school environment, a right of passage, something to laugh about later in life when you find the tables turned on one of your ex- nemeses. Lately, however, I have observed not only an escalation in bullying itself, but an escalation in the measures kids who have been stripped of their self-confidence may consider in order make the bullying stop. I have also noticed that sometimes, even “big” girls and boys bully.
http://goo.gl/HixDL

Guest Opinion
(Provo) Daily Herald op-ed by Charles Wilkinson of Provo

For the past five years I have had a unique opportunity to observe and enjoy many of the families in our grand community. Not many occupations allow a window view into a very personal part of peoples lives, but a school bus driver can have that wonderful perspective.
I retired from the trucking industry in 2007 and wanted to spend whatever work years I might have left doing something satisfying. Driving a school bus seemed a choice worth exploring and indeed it was.
Have you ever had an occupation that made you smile most of the time, that made you get out of bed each day, anxious to go to work? What kind of employment could fill a man’s heart with such cheer? The laughter and smiles of children, as delightful as a flower garden in spring.
http://goo.gl/8VtOH

Was Utah teacher punished for testifying on union bill?
Sutherland Institute commentary by Alexis Young, multimedia reporter

According to Heartland Institute, Utah teacher Cole Kelley was released from his position as athletic director one week after testifying in favor of a bill that would penalize school districts for not granting equal access to all teacher organizations. Heartland asserts that “his principal admitted she approved of his job performance but had released him because of pressure.”
Are these allegations true? Are Utah teachers bullied by unions?
http://goo.gl/4UWUp

http://goo.gl/LS9OQ (Heartland Institute)

Opposition to Common Core unfounded; trust state board of education
Deseret News letter from Sandy Krueger

I cannot understand why someone would not want the very best education for their child. Why would they object to a school curriculum with the goal of teaching our students to be competitive in our global economy?
There have been a number of articles in the news lately discussing the Common Core Standards. I attended the Board of Education public forum a few weeks ago. I’m not a board member, educator, member of the PTA or a member of anything, really, just a concerned citizen. I listened to both sides of the argument.
If I would be asked my opinion, I would absolutely support Common Core. There is a faction group in Utah that objects to common sense education whether it was the Sex-ed Bill and now the Common Core. I listened to over 20 people speak from this group and they all said about the same thing. They fear the federal government.
They offered no facts to support the opposition to common core.
http://goo.gl/lSVoD

Don’t sway too far from convictions stated in our governing documents
(St. George) Spectrum letter from Greggory Wood

In response to Ted Aresnault’s Writers Group column suggesting that we put God back in our schools (May 6): Whatever the motivations of Southern Utah University President Michael Benson might be in accommodating Muslim students to pray five times a day, I find the idea a mockery of the spirit, letter and intent of the Founding Fathers. Mr. Arsenault’s suggestion of accommodation for all religions is even worse, turning the university into a seminary comprised of parties who have a longer history of internecine enmity than ecumenical comity; a suggestion that not only negates his assertion that our country was founded on “Christian beliefs and principles” – another myth that mocks the Establishment Clause ­- but would endorse the accommodation of religious peddlers of every stripe.
The Establishment Clause is de jure in the United States, inaugurated as such by men not without their own frailties who were Advertisement keenly aware of the animus nature of religion and sectarian strife. We do our Founding Fathers dishonor and ourselves a great injustice when public opinion sways our convictions further from the governing documents of our secular Republic.
http://goo.gl/BN3Fe

Millcreek High success attributed to help from area organizations
(St. George) Spectrum letter from Terry G. Ogborn

Millcreek High School is concluding its 25th year of success knowing that all students can learn and succeed, but not necessarily on the same day and in the same way. Over the years, many committed faculty and staff members have worked diligently to help countless students accomplish their goal of graduation.
During this same time, many organizations have supported our efforts to provide additional help for our students. This
support has allowed students to focus on their education.
http://goo.gl/mpnm1

States Lack Capacity for Reform
Education Week op-ed by Michael D. Usdan and Arthur D. Sheekey (Michael D. Usdan is a senior fellow at and the former president of the Institute for Educational Leadership. Arthur D. Sheekey is a senior adviser for education at CNA.)

The country is in the throes of ideological polarization about the role and influence of the federal government in every policy realm. This debate, which is a point of contention in the 2012 presidential race, concerns every major public-policy realm, be it business and finance regulation, health care, energy, social services, or education.
One long-neglected issue that is finally receiving the attention it merits relates to the capacity of the states to assume responsibility for such complex economic and political matters if one assumes, as we do, that the influence of the federal government may well begin to wane at least for the immediate future.
This issue is particularly salient in education, where state education agencies will be expected to pick up the leadership mantle on issues pertaining to the common-core standards, assessments, and teacher evaluation, to name a few examples. In essence, most state education departments remain almost wholly owned federal subsidiaries, with well over half their budgets emanating from federal funds.
http://goo.gl/ywbjZ

The fantasies driving school reform: A primer for education graduates
Washington Post commentary by Richard Rothstein, research associate at the Economic Policy Institute

This is the text of the commencement speech that Richard Rothstein, gave this past weekend at the Loyola University Chicago School of Education.
Thank you, Dr. Fine, Dean Prasse, faculty, parents, and guests.
Congratulations to the graduates.
Good luck as you embark on new responsibilities in one of the most important enterprises with which our society can entrust you — the preparation of the next generation.
Yet you leave here in a national climate of mistrust for all government, including public education. You are entering a highly politicized field where facts are too easily ignored.
In medicine, and in all fields, we know you can’t design proper treatment if your diagnosis is factually flawed.
Yet in education, conventional and widely shared diagnoses are based on fantasy, with little relation to facts.
Understanding these fantasies requires you not only to be good educators, but sophisticated citizens, capable of questioning data and penetrating the relationships between schools and the society that they reflect.
http://goo.gl/Fqi1j

Why rating teachers by test scores won’t work
Washington Post commentary by columnist Jay Mathews

I don’t spend much time debunking our most powerful educational fad: value-added assessments to rate teachers. My colleague Valerie Strauss eviscerates value-added several times a week on her Answer Sheet blog with the verve of a Samurai warrior, so who needs me?
Unfortunately, value-added is still growing in every corner of our nation, including D.C. schools, despite all that torn flesh and missing pieces. It’s like those monsters lumbering through this year’s action films. We’ve got to stop them! Let me fling my small, aged body in their way with the best argument against value-added I have seen in some time.
It comes from education analyst and teacher trainer Grant Wiggins and his “Granted, but . . .” blog.
http://goo.gl/Brc5P

Transcontinental Education
Soon, nearly every state in the union will have the same demanding standards for what students should know. If history is any guide, a burst of innovation won’t be far behind.
Washington Monthly commentary by Robert Rothman, author of Something in Common: The Common Core Standards and the Next Chapter in American Education

Like most enterprises in nineteenth-century America, rail-roads in the early 1800s were local affairs. The first trains served mainly to carry goods between towns that canals did not reach, so each region of the country built its own rail lines. As a result, rail gauges— the width between rails—varied widely. The tracks laid between Richmond and Memphis, for instance, used a five-foot gauge, while the gauges of the Erie and Lackawanna lines in New York were six feet wide. Those in the mid-Atlantic, such as the Baltimore and Ohio, used the gauge that was standard in England: four feet eight and a half inches wide. These variations made it exceedingly difficult to connect rail lines, which in turn effectively curbed the use of railroads to conduct commerce across regions.
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln recognized that this balkanized rail system also hurt something else: the war effort. He wanted to transport military materiel and goods across the country by rail. So he proposed a standard track width of five feet for the planned intercontinental railroad. He later amended his proposal to four feet eight and a half inches, to match the gauges of the largest eastern railroads, backing a plan urged by rail barons who wanted to expand their lines and their industry. This standard gauge made it possible to connect lines, and led to an explosion of railroad building. The number of track miles tripled, to 90,000, between 1860 and 1880, and then more than doubled, to 190,000, by 1900. With that expansion came the growth of whole new industries that could only be born through interstate train travel—for example, the auto industry, which depended on steel from Pennsylvania, rubber from Ohio, and coal from West Virginia, all shipped and put together in Michigan. Lincoln’s idea of a common standard helped make the United States the world’s largest industrial power.
In some ways, the American elementary and secondary education system is undergoing a transition similar to what the American rail system underwent around the time of the Civil War. For decades, each state has set its own expectations for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. These standards might reflect the tradition of local control of education, but they have made it difficult for students to move from state to state; students transferring from fourth grade in, say, Indiana, might face a different set of expectations when they arrive in fifth grade in Illinois. And, by fragmenting the educational marketplace, these varied standards have impeded the kinds of innovations that might otherwise come with economies of scale—in testing, textbooks, and teacher education.
A profound change is quietly under way.
http://goo.gl/mYOZK

Common Core critics want ALEC to tell states what to do
Fordham Institute commentary by Michael J. Petrilli, Executive Vice President

A clique of conservative groups is pushing the message that tomorrow’s ALEC vote is part of a “growing movement” against federal intrusion vis-à-vis the Common Core standards. There’s a problem with that line of reasoning: ALEC is already on record against federal intrusion into education vis-à-vis the Common Core standards.
In December, the organization of conservative state lawmakers adopted two Common Core resolutions in its education committee. One—the subject of the vote tomorrow at the board of directors level—calls on states to back out of the common standards initiative altogether. The second—which has already become ALEC policy—focuses instead on the federal role in the initiative, and tells Uncle Sam to back off.
http://goo.gl/f7DRx

Stop Complaining About Teacher Assessments; Find Alternatives
Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed by Robert C. Pianta, dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia

When talks between the U.S. Department of Education and teacher-preparation programs over performance-based accountability collapsed last month, no one should have been surprised. Like most other accountability efforts in education, the department’s proposed plan was more stick than carrot. But those of us in the higher-education field of teacher preparation must accept our share of responsibility for the breakdown in negotiations as well.
The department had proposed that states evaluate teacher-preparation programs using graduates’ job placement, teachers’ job retention, the achievement gains of their students, and graduates’ and their students’ satisfaction surveys. Those assessments would have been used to classify programs’ impacts, and only those in the “effective” or “exceptional” groups would have been eligible for the federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (Teach) Grant Program, which provides financial support for students planning to teach in schools that serve low-income families.
In this continuing ritual of education-reform point/counterpoint, teacher-preparation programs, state education agencies, deans of schools of education, and teacher unions have raised legitimate concerns:
http://goo.gl/AyNHB

Ford Foundation Pledges $50 Million for Expanded Learning
Education Week commentary by columnist Nora Fleming

The Ford Foundation has pledged $50 million over the next three years to work with the National Center on Time & Learning and a coalition of supporters to promote expanded learning time efforts nationwide.
The coalition, with 100 supporters already who include Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children’s Zone, Eli Broad of the Broad Foundation, and John Deasy of the Los Angeles Unified School District, will push schools to lengthen their day and calendars using the extra time to help close the achievement gap and meet student and staff needs at individual school sites.
In light of the announced partnership and coalition, a new site, “Time to Succeed,” has been launched, which will serve as a source of information for those interested in expanded learning efforts, more specifics on best practices for lengthening the school day, and other ways to get involved with others interested in ELT grassroots efforts.
http://goo.gl/pnAMX

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NATIONAL NEWS
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New Advocacy Groups Shaking Up Education Field
Their sway over policy and politics appears to be growing, especially at the state and local levels.
Education Week

A new generation of education advocacy groups has emerged to play a formidable political role in states and communities across the country. Those groups are shaping policy through aggressive lobbying and campaign activity—an evolution in advocacy that is primed to continue in the 2012 elections and beyond.
Bearing names meant to signal their intentions—Stand for Children, Democrats for Education Reform, StudentsFirst—they are pushing for such policies as rigorous teacher evaluations based in part on evidence of student learning, increased access to high-quality charter schools, and higher academic standards for schools and students.
Sometimes viewed as a counterweight to teachers’ unions, they are also supporting political candidates who champion those ideas.
Though the record of their electoral success is mixed, such groups’ overall influence appears to be growing, and it has already helped alter the landscape of education policy, particularly at the state level.
The rise of such high-powered advocacy groups focused on school issues marks a shift from a decade ago, when few education organizations other than teachers’ unions explicitly engaged in political activity beyond statehouse lobbying.
http://goo.gl/YvYIB

Snohomish parents refuse to let their 550 kids take statewide test
A testing protest by parents in one western Washington school district isn’t likely to affect the state budget, but the parents feel they got their message out that statewide academic testing is a waste of money.
Associated Press via Tacoma (WA) News Tribune

SNOHOMISH, Wash. — A testing protest by parents in one western Washington school district isn’t likely to affect the state budget, but the parents feel they got their message out that statewide academic testing is a waste of money.
An organized group in the Snohomish School District kept 550 students from taking the statewide Measurements of Student Progress this past week, the Everett Herald reported.
The students who didn’t take their exams represented about 12 percent of the 4,501 students between third and eighth grade required to take the test in Snohomish. Last year, just 12 students missed the standardized tests in that district.
State education officials told The Associated Press the students won’t be punished for refusing to take their reading, writing, math or science exams.
http://goo.gl/6qaae

Grand Test Auto
The end of testing.
Washington Monthly

In the old days, supermarkets struggled to keep track of the thousands of items on their shelves. Each month, they’d shutter the store so their employees could hand-count every soup can, cereal box, and candy bar. The first electronic scanning systems came along in the 1970s, which helped take a little of the drudgery and inefficiency out of the grocer’s life. Then came waves of advances in computing power and remote sensing technologies. By now, for most retailers, regularly shutting down to conduct inventor y is a thing of the past. Instead, they can constantly monitor their shelves through bar codes, scanners, and radio-frequency devices. And as it has turned out, all this technology has given them far more than just a better way to count cans: today, retailers not only keep track of what’s on their shelves, they also use the constant flow of real-time information to predict, analyze, and respond quickly to consumer demand.
This kind of real-time assessment and response has become a part of modern life in a number of areas. New car owners increasingly rely on remote sensors, not a yearly mechanic’s visit, to detect engine problems and keep tires at the right pressure. And more and more, diabetics no longer have to stop and inject themselves. Instead, they use a continuous glucose monitor to send blood readings to an insulin pump, which warns them if their blood-sugar level spikes and allows them to adjust their level of insulin. In each of these areas, a scientific understanding of systems—whether biological, mechanical, or commercial—has been combined with new technology to develop more useful, productive, and actionable monitoring and measurement. And all of it takes place almost invisibly, in the background.
Not so in America’s classrooms. Schools across the nation still essentially close to conduct inventory—only we don’t call it that. We call it “testing.” Every year at a given time, regular instruction stops. Teachers enter something called “test prep” mode; it lasts for weeks leading up to the big assessment. Just as grocery-store workers might try to fudge inventory numbers to conceal shortfalls in cash, schools sometimes try to fudge their testing results, and cheating scandals erupt. Then, in a twist, regular classroom instruction resumes only half heartedly once the big test is over, because there are no stakes attached to what everyone’s learning. Learning stops, evaluation begins: that’s how it works. But in the not-so-distant future, testing may be as much a thing of the past for educators as the counting of cans is for grocers.
http://goo.gl/62OP1

Next Class of Teachers Enters Changing Profession
Stateline

MUNCIE, Indiana — Every 15 minutes, the buzzer sounds at Ball State University’s Worthen Arena. But there’s no basketball game. The circular concourse outside the court is filled with 300 prospective teachers and 54 representatives of school districts and private educational companies looking to hire them. It’s three days before graduation and students at Indiana’s largest-teacher producing college have 15 minutes to state their case to prospective employers before the buzzer sounds again and their time is up.
The students who get hired will enter a profession experiencing major changes in Indiana. This fall, the state will begin requiring that all teachers be evaluated on student performance and that those evaluations help decide whether they get a raise and, ultimately, whether they keep their jobs. Indiana is not the only state making such moves, but from 2009 to 2011, no other state made more changes to teacher policy.
Tony Bennett, Indiana’s elected superintendent of public instruction, says there has never been a better time to be a teacher in Indiana. “For the first time, we are actually recognizing and rewarding great teachers,” he says. “We are treating teachers as the professionals I went to college to be.”
These moves come at a time when teacher satisfaction nationally is at its lowest point in more than two decades, according to the annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, with more of those in the profession saying they are considering leaving it or fear for the security of their jobs than at any recent time.
http://goo.gl/sV972

Student surveys to be used to rate teachers in pilot program — even in kindergarten classes
Hechinger Report

Kindergartners in Georgia — many of whom don’t yet read — could soon play an important role in deciding which teachers get raises or get fired. Under a new pilot program, 5-year-olds will be guided through a survey that includes such statements as “My teacher knows a lot about what he or she teaches” and “My teacher gives me help when I need it.” As the youngsters circle a smiley face, a neutral face or a frowning face, they will be playing their part in new high-stakes teacher evaluations.
The kindergartners could help put Georgia at the forefront of a growing national movement to make student surveys part of how teachers are rated. Students in every grade across the state will participate in the pilot program, and, depending on its results, Georgia may incorporate the student feedback into teacher evaluations as early as next school year, when it will join such measures as observations by principals and student test scores. The state has yet to determine how much weight the student evaluations will carry in teacher ratings.
Although Georgia is the only state so far to consider using students to grade teachers, individual school systems from Washoe County, Nev., to Pittsburgh are launching similar pilot projects. Memphis already counts student survey results as 5 percent of a teacher’s overall evaluation. By the fall of 2013, that figure will be 10 percent in the Chicago public schools.
http://goo.gl/Yp2Ba

American teacher blasts off to space today
USA Today

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – A former teacher and present U.S. astronaut will rocket up to the International Space Station on Monday for a six-month expedition.
Veteran shuttle mission specialist Joe Acaba will be the first NASA “educator astronaut” to fly a long-duration mission aboard the orbital laboratory, and he is eager to get under way.
“I think I’m definitely ready for this mission. We’ve spent a little over two years preparing,” the former Melbourne (Fla.) High School teacher said before he and two cosmonaut crewmates traveled to Russia for final launch preparations. “So now I’m at the point where the fine-tuning is almost done and I’m ready to get on that Soyuz and get to the space station.”
Acaba is blasting off on a Russian Soyuz rocket, commanded by veteran Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:01 p.m. EDT Monday.
http://goo.gl/BYgEK

Colorado bond companies’ role in school campaigns raises questions
Denver Post

When Colorado citizens vote to borrow money to build new schools, a library or a recreation center, the crusader behind the curtain is often the investment banker who gets paid to sell the bonds.
For those pushing bond issues in a tough economic climate, help from a bond underwriter can mean the difference between election day success and defeat. But the prevalence of bond house involvement — everything from polling to designing yard signs — also raises concerns from critics who worry they exert undue influence in a campaign.
At worst, critics and experts say, governments pay bond companies extra to help pass tax increases, a potential violation of Colorado law.
http://goo.gl/UgE3r

1 in 3 autistic young adults lack jobs, education
Associated Press

CHICAGO — One in 3 young adults with autism have no paid job experience, college or technical schooling nearly seven years after high school graduation, a study finds. That’s a poorer showing than those with other disabilities including those who are mentally disabled, the researchers said.
With roughly half a million autistic kids reaching adulthood in the next decade, experts say it’s an issue policymakers urgently need to address.
http://goo.gl/F0RYf

A copy of the study
http://goo.gl/6c1aK

Mitt Romney’s ‘hijinks’ seen as bullying today
Associated Press

NEW YORK — When Mitt Romney was a good-looking teen in the buttoned-up `60s, corporal punishment was the norm and bullying had a different, more acceptable name: hijinks.
Yet in today’s zero-tolerance world when it comes to, well, just about everything, things haven’t changed all that much for young victims of bullies. Definitions have tightened, become law, but bullying is far from over.
“Bullying’s never going to go away,” said one crusader, ex-Marine James McGibney, a dad who founded a new social network, BullyVille.com, where victims can find help. “What makes it a million times worse is the advent of the Internet.”
There was no Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or sexting when several fellow students at a posh Detroit-area prep school say 18-year-old Romney led a boy posse to hold down one among them perceived as different and snip off his bleached blond hair.
http://goo.gl/9cyBk

NJ to no longer ask 3rd-graders to reveal a secret
Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — State education officials will no longer use a standardized test question that asked third-graders to reveal a secret and write about why it was difficult to keep.
The question appeared on the writing portion of some versions of the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge given to third-graders this past week. And it drew criticism from some parents, who thought it was inappropriate.
The state Department of Education said the question was reviewed and approved by it and a panel of teachers. It said Friday the question was only being tried out and would not count in the students’ scores.
But after further review, Department of Education spokesman Justin Barra said, the question won’t be included in future tests.
http://goo.gl/eOfj1

Ed. Dept. announces Upward Bound awards
The U.S. Education Department announced $254 million for Upward Bound projects to help students access and succeed in higher education Friday.
UPI

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Education Department announced $254 million for Upward Bound projects to help students access and succeed in higher education Friday.
The awards for 780 Upward Bound projects will help nearly 60,000 students acquire knowledge and skills needed to access and succeed in college, the department said Friday in a release.
Upward Bound projects are designed to increase high school graduation and college completion rates among low-income, first-generation students, the department said.
http://goo.gl/Edyiz

http://goo.gl/2Qm66 (ED)

In L.A. Pregnancy ‘Hot Spot,’ An On-Campus Clinic
NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles has the only Planned Parenthood-funded family planning clinic in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The program has its opponents, but the school’s chief nurse says “90 percent of the time, abstinence just isn’t working for them.”
http://goo.gl/7kv6Q

Olentangy school-board member hires bodyguard
Armed deputy also at meetings
Columbus (OH) Dispatch

Wearing a black blazer and with metallic sunglasses perched atop his shaved head, the man watched intently from a front-row seat as Olentangy school-board members went over budgets and changes to lunch prices.
He paid especially close attention to Adam White, the school-board member who has paid him to be a personal bodyguard at school meetings since last month. Behind the guard, in the back row, a Delaware County deputy sheriff also kept watch, also paid by White to monitor the meeting.
White says the measures are needed to keep him safe in what he says is a “hostile environment” at meetings. Last month, White filed a report with the sheriff’s office, saying the superintendent threatened him at a board meeting, and that men in a car followed him when he left early.
“It’s preventative, and it’s for my safety,” White said. “I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I’m not gonna sit around to find out.”
Other board members dispute that Superintendent Wade Lucas threatened White during a closed session. District officials are investigating the complaint that White was followed.
http://goo.gl/89237

Facebook, Edutopia Collaborate on Social Media Guide
U.S. News & World Report

As most high school students are gearing up for summer break, many teachers and administrators are planning and prepping for the next school year. Part of their planning may include strategies to integrate technology in the classroom, through digital textbooks, gaming, and social media.
On May 8, the nonprofit Edutopia released “How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School.” The free guide, released during Teacher Appreciation Week, is part of a collaboration with Facebook.
http://goo.gl/OVGfd

A copy of the guide
http://goo.gl/LEsn4

Tennessee governor signs controversial “gateway sexual activity” bill
Reuters

NASHVILLE, Tenn – Tennessee teachers can no longer condone so-called “gateway sexual activity” such as touching genitals under a new law that critics say is too vague and could hamper discussion about safe sexual behavior.
Governor Bill Haslam’s office Friday confirmed that he had signed the bill, which stirred up controversy nationwide and even was lampooned by comedian Stephen Colbert.
“Kissing and hugging are the last stop before reaching Groin Central Station, so it’s important to ban all the things that lead to the things that lead to sex,” he said on the “Colbert Report” television show.
But proponents say the new law helps define the existing abstinence-only sex-education policy.
Under the law, Tennessee teachers could be disciplined and speakers from outside groups like Planned Parenthood could face fines of up to $500 for promoting or condoning “gateway sexual activities.”
http://goo.gl/CTjQ1

Students charged with taping under teacher’s dress
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Police have charged two Kentucky high school students with video voyeurism after they say one of them held a cellphone under a teacher’s dress, made a video and posted it online.

An arrest warrant obtained by WLKY-TV says the two-18-year-old students at Louisville’s Doss High School shot the video Wednesday.
Police charged Eugene Cain and Devon Ewing. Police say Ewing asked the teacher for assistance and when she bent over, Cain held Ewing’s cellphone under her dress and recorded.
Police say the two later posted the video on YouTube and spread the word about where it could be found.
http://goo.gl/fRI7Z

School dinner blogger, 9, goes viral
(London) Independent

London – It is hardly food for the hungry – a cheeseburger, two potato croquettes, tiny slices of cucumber and a lolly.
Now nine-year-old Martha Payne’s miserable school dinner looks set to spark an outcry over nutrition for the nation’s children – and has turned her into an overnight star on the internet.
The fair-haired schoolgirl posted a photograph of the pathetic offering online as part of a writing project she and her father started.
http://goo.gl/RPCfg

The blog
http://neverseconds.blogspot.com/

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