Education News Roundup: May 30, 2012

Coin Dropping Into Piggy Bank

Coin Dropping Into Piggy Bank/Gerard Van der Leun/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Trib looks at Canyons’ differentiated diploma.
http://goo.gl/OC89w (SLT)

West Jordan students rake in scholarship bucks.
http://goo.gl/oYpPJ (KUTV)

Fordham Institute takes a crack at how much Common Core implementation will cost.
http://goo.gl/E8WfB (Ed Week)
or a copy the study
http://goo.gl/W06HB

Digital divide closing. Slacker divide opening.
http://goo.gl/sfHW1 (NYT)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Canyons’ differentiated diploma rewards kids who aim high More rigorous course work helping make sure kids are college and career ready.

Bus driver on leave after ejecting 7-year-old girl in unfamiliar neighborhood

Cottonwood High coach Josh Lyman resigns

Graffiti surprises residents
Some Hurricane residents upset with approved tagging on soon-to-be-demolished school

Utah Still Not Exempt From No Child Left Behind Laws

Classes to help kids become superheroes of health, wellness New offering » Children will learn about healthy food choices, the importance of exercise, other healthy habits.

West Jordan Seniors Swimming In Scholarships

Visually impaired teen thrives as 4.0 student at Mountain Crest

Cache High valedictorian succeeds through artistry

Whittingham focused on getting Timpview football moving forward

Student athletes of all abilities shine on Jordan’s sports day All winners » Every student received a ribbon for participating in the event.

Summer school lunch times and locations announced in Ogden, Weber districts

Father on military leave surprises kids at school

Register now to read to a pup

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Summer activities

Where credit is due

Why NOT adopt a “no excuses” model for all schools?

Timpview football “moving on” with Cary Whittingham as coach

Any State With the Right Reason
Nineteen states now get a pass on No Child Left Behind.

Romney’s School Surprise

School Choice Mania

Key Features of a Comprehensive Principal Evaluation System

NATION

How Much Will the Common Core Cost?

Common-Core Training for Principals on Increase

Wasting Time Is New Divide in Digital Era

U.S. News Ranks Best High Schools for STEM High Tech High School tops the rankings of science and technology schools.

HotSeat Interview With NYT Education Reporter Motoko Rich

Scripps National Spelling Bee:
Spellbinding drama on ESPN2, ESPN3

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UTAH NEWS
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Canyons’ differentiated diploma rewards kids who aim high More rigorous course work helping make sure kids are college and career ready.

Three years ago, Fanueli Po’uha wasn’t thinking about life after high school.
Bouncing between schools in Arizona and Michigan while weathering several family moves and his parents’ divorce, Fanueli had started skipping classes. He friends were a bad influence and he almost landed in the juvenile court system.
But on Tuesday, the 18-year-old Alta High student was one of about 1,380 graduating seniors in the Canyons School District honored for earning a “differentiated diploma.” The distinction means Po’uha went above and beyond basic graduation requirements by enrolling in more rigorous coursework that school officials say will make him — and students like him — better prepared for college or the workforce.
The program, started at the district’s four high schools two years ago, has more graduates this year than last, said district spokeswoman Jennifer Toomer-Cook.
Sixty-two percent of Canyons’ 2,210 seniors will graduate with an honors or advanced diploma, Toomer-Cook said.
http://goo.gl/OC89w (SLT)

Bus driver on leave after ejecting 7-year-old girl in unfamiliar neighborhood

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — A mother said she is traumatized after her 7-year-old daughter was abandoned in an unfamiliar neighborhood by an Alpine School District bus driver.
Rhonda Bromley, Alpine School District spokeswoman, said the driver violated district policy and has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the incident.
Amber Hobdy said her daughter Kya, a second-grade student at Hidden Hollow Elementary School, normally walks to and from school. But on Friday she boarded a bus to go to a friend’s house. She said the bus driver recognized that Kya wasn’t supposed to be riding the bus, stopped along her route and told Kya to walk home.
http://goo.gl/y9ZoH (DN)

http://goo.gl/J7nqo (OSE)

http://goo.gl/H5TAj (PDH)

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

http://goo.gl/E2Rwh (KSL)

http://goo.gl/0SF4I (KSTU)

Cottonwood High coach Josh Lyman resigns

Cottonwood football coach and teacher Josh Lyman resigned Wednesday morning amid a Granite School District investigation into allegations that he had “inappropriate contact” with a female student.
The Granite School District released a statement late Wednesday morning that said, “[Lyman’s] resignation effectively ends our ongoing investigation into the allegations against Mr. Lyman as he is no longer our employee.”
Lyman, 32, was placed on paid administrative leave on April 18, after allegations first surfaced.
According to records obtained by The Tribune through a Government Records and Management Act request, district police interviewed 17 witnesses — most students or former students — on April 23 and April 24.
http://goo.gl/XFGMy (SLT)

Graffiti surprises residents
Some Hurricane residents upset with approved tagging on soon-to-be-demolished school

HURRICANE – Some unsightly graffiti at Hurricane High School raised a few eyebrows in the Hurricane Valley this past week, after high school seniors received permission to cover a soon-to-be-bulldozed section of the building with spray paint as part of a graduation celebration.
The graffiti, largely made up of school pride slogans and student names, covers much of a south side wall at the school, which is scheduled to be torn down by Monday as part of the construction of a new school building.
Students came up with the idea, and administrators figured it wouldn’t do much harm, given the short amount of time left before the demolition.
But some residents said they were irritated, complaining that the graffiti is not only an eyesore in the middle of town, but serves as a poor example for local young people.
http://goo.gl/pWm9g (SGS)

Utah Still Not Exempt From No Child Left Behind Laws

State education officials want to know why Utah’s application for a waiver from the federal “No Child Left Behind” law has been rejected. Through the latest round of approvals, eight states received the waiver. But the Utah application was not among them.
The Obama administration is granting waivers in exchange for promises from states that they will improve how they teach and test public education students.
http://goo.gl/lsUkG (KNRS)

Classes to help kids become superheroes of health, wellness New offering » Children will learn about healthy food choices, the importance of exercise, other healthy habits.

Is the Incredible Hulk’s skin green because of a lethal dose of gamma radiation, or is it because his diet includes plenty of spinach, peas and other green vegetables?
And does Superman’s strength come from solar energy or from cross-training every morning?
A summer camp offered through Granite Peaks’ Community Education program will use superheroes as a teaching tool for health and fitness this June.
Carene Lopez, a holistic health teacher and mother of four, came up with the idea for the “Superhero’s Healthy Kids Camp” earlier this year while at a health seminar in California.
“We were at the beach for breakfast and there was a health fair with little booths that had fun things for kids to do to stay healthy,” Lopez said. “And I thought, ‘This is exactly what I want to do.’”
The camps at Cottonwood High School (June 11-14) and Taylorsville High (June 19, 21, 26 and 28) consist of four two-hour sessions in which campers from ages 6-12 will learn about the importance of eating healthy and staying physically fit.
http://goo.gl/cXk9i (SLT)

West Jordan Seniors Swimming In Scholarships

West Jordan High School’s graduating class is pulling in a large amount of scholarship money this year.
We’re talking around $6-million.
This is a record breaker for most schools across the state of Utah.
http://goo.gl/oYpPJ (KUTV)

Visually impaired teen thrives as 4.0 student at Mountain Crest

NIBLEY — Although she’s done her best to help Yesenia Oliva during the valedictorian’s three years in high school, Mountain Crest special education teacher Jane DeByle made it clear that the student has become the teacher in their relationship.
“Yesenia is my hero,” DeByle said. “She’s such a kind person, and I just think she’s an amazing individual. I don’t think anyone works as hard as she does.”
http://goo.gl/0cMSt (LHJ)

Cache High valedictorian succeeds through artistry

Before Kelsey Bland started attending Cache High School in Logan, she was “pretty much” failing her classes.
Admittedly, she “was not a very good student” during the first few years of her high school career.
“For freshman and sophomore years … I was very distracted by friends and all that, so I didn’t do a whole lot with my schoolwork,” Bland said, referring to her time at South Cache 8-9 Center and Mountain Crest High School.
http://goo.gl/uD4mH (LHJ)

Whittingham focused on getting Timpview football moving forward

Since Timpview High School made the official announcement Monday evening that Cary Whittingham would take over as the head coach of the Thunderbird football program, the new man in charge hasn’t had much time to think.
His phone has been ringing off the hook, media calls have flooded in and he’s been trying to get the staff organized so the team can start getting ready for the upcoming season.
http://goo.gl/gJHaq (PDH)

http://goo.gl/YI5jU (KSTU)

Student athletes of all abilities shine on Jordan’s sports day All winners » Every student received a ribbon for participating in the event.

Despite a chaotic spring downpour, not even gloomy weather could dampen the spirits of athletes at Jordan School District’s annual Sports Day on Friday.
Sunny smiles and contagious laughter won the day as more than 350 special needs elementary students competed in sporting events at Riverton High School.
http://goo.gl/ox0TN (SLT)

Summer school lunch times and locations announced in Ogden, Weber districts

OGDEN — The Ogden and Weber school districts have announced the times and locations of their free summer lunch programs.
Meals are offered free to those 18 and younger.
http://goo.gl/4r21W (OSE)

Father on military leave surprises kids at school

Holly Mecham hugs her son Bradon Mecham while Tech. Sgt. Les Davenport III has his arm around his daughter Tiffany Mecham. Les Davenport surprised his children at Vae View Elementary in Layton, Tuesday, May 29, 2012 as he arrived home from Korea on mid-tour leave.
http://goo.gl/CyfyR (DN)

http://goo.gl/A6ziF (KSL)

Register now to read to a pup

OGDEN — Children are invited to read to a dog in the Ultimutt Readathon from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday in June at the Weber County Main Library, 2464 Jefferson Ave., Ogden.
By sharing a book with a therapy dog from Intermountain Therapy Animals, the children will have the opportunity to practice their reading skills during the summer months.
http://goo.gl/unt5V (OSE)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Summer activities
(St. George) Spectrum editorial

School is out and the kids are home for the summer.
The excitement of a couple of months free from homework and the rigors of learning is pumping through children’s veins like a jolt of caffeine at this time of year, leading to parents everywhere struggling to find ways to keep them entertained and to channel that energy.
Luckily there are a few local municipalities that are providing a number of different ways to keep your kids from spending their entire summer parked in front of a video game system.
St. George is offering up a whole host of summer fun for youngsters. The city is hosting art camps, educational camps, swimming lessons, tennis clinics, Boy Scout merit badge classes, nature camps, soccer camps and even a skimboard design class.
http://goo.gl/fhkhv

Where credit is due
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

In Monday’s column, I ran a list of goofy answers purportedly given on tests by high school students. A Utah teacher who found it on a website sent it to me.
I thank Joanne Day, head of Centerville Junior High School’s English department, who pointed out to me Richard Lederer compiled those answers in his book, An Anthology of Accidental Assaults Upon Our Language.
http://goo.gl/yJU22

Why NOT adopt a “no excuses” model for all schools?
Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

Sometimes the comments on my blog are so much better than my original post that I hate to see them buried down in the comments section.
My postings about the Romney education plan and long waiting lists for New York City charter schools generated the not uncommon complaint that charter schools cannot be fairly compared to traditional public schools. I responded with a link to a Harvard Center for Education Policy Research study comparing students who won admission to charter schools and those who did not not win admission to the same schools (in other words, presumably students with equally involved and dedicated parents.) http://goo.gl/Qh2cC

Timpview football “moving on” with Cary Whittingham as coach Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Kyle Goon

With the hiring of new football coach Cary Whittingham, Timpview principal Todd McKee is taking a deep breath and exhaling.
He, and the community of parents who were left wondering what would happen to their sons this spring, finally have someone in place they feel confident in.
“We tried to build an inclusive process, bringing in parents and students in addition to faculty and administration,” McKee said. “We needed direction.”
The school announced Whittingham’s hiring on Monday, a move the school is hoping brings some resolution to the flurry of concerns after coach Louis Wong was suspended and subsequently fired in April.
http://goo.gl/7akwV

Any State With the Right Reason
Nineteen states now get a pass on No Child Left Behind.
Wall Street Journal editorial

What do you call a federal law from which 19 of the 50 states have been formally exempted? That would be the No Child Left Behind Act, the 2001 law passed by bipartisan majorities that is now disowned by both the left and right.
On Tuesday, the Obama Administration continued its administrative rewrite of the statute by adding eight more states to the 11 it had already exempted from the law’s main requirements. “These states are getting more flexibility with federal funds and relief from No Child Left Behind’s one-size-fits-all mandates in order to develop locally tailored solutions to meet their unique educational challenges,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said.
Locally tailored solutions, flexibility with federal funds, no more one-size-fits-all mandates—sounds as if Mr. Duncan has had a mind-meld with Jim DeMint. Alas, no.
The law’s expectation that 100% of students meet certain standards in math and reading by 2014 was unrealistic and needed to be changed. But Mr. Duncan is mainly responding to pressure from teachers unions that hate No Child Left Behind because its testing standards and transparency have let millions of parents know for the first time how truly rotten their child’s school is. He’s also exempting only those states that accept the Obama Administration’s priorities (such as core national standards) that it couldn’t get through Congress. This is faux federalism.
http://goo.gl/YqOck

Romney’s School Surprise
New York Times op-ed by JAMES E. RYAN, professor at the University of Virginia School of Law

Last week’s speech by Mitt Romney, in which he presented his education reform plan to a group of Latino leaders in Washington, drew attention mainly because he criticized teachers’ unions and endorsed private school vouchers. But those points were perfectly predictable for a Republican candidate and not especially newsworthy.
But another part of his plan that potentially veers far from the usual conservative talking points received almost no attention: Mr. Romney would give poor students and those with disabilities the right to attend any public or charter school in their state.
This could be an empty promise. But in proposing that, in effect, city kids have a right to enroll in suburban schools, Mr. Romney is bucking a powerful, 50-year trend that has enjoyed the support of Republicans and Democrats alike.
For the last half-century, just about every education reform — from desegregation to school choice — has taken care to keep city and suburban schools and students separate.
http://goo.gl/0n5OB

School Choice Mania
National Journal commentary by Fawn Johnson, Kevin Welner, Jeanne Allen, Chester E. Finn, Jr.

Until last week, even some of Mitt Romney’s own advisers were scratching their heads about how a Romney White House would handle education. Is the former Massachusetts governor an “Abolish the Education Department” guy? Or is he a staunch education reform guy like President George W. Bush? The bold education plan hot off the press from the Romney campaign indicates that the Republican presidential contender is closer to the latter camp.
The most radical piece of Romney’s education plan would require states to give disadvantaged students open enrollment to all schools–public and private–throughout the state. Romney wants federal Title I funding, which is intended for low-income students, as well as funding for students with disabilities, to be tied to open enrollment policies. Those funds now are doled out by individual communities to schools with the highest percentage of disadvantaged students. Romney’s idea turns this localized funding mechanism on its head, setting up a host of logistical questions and a potential regulatory mess. What happens if a good school is overbooked already? What happens to the schools that everyone might ditch? Do the same choice opportunities apply to middle-income students at Title I schools?
Romney’s school choice plan is an excellent political tool because it taps into his deeply-seeded notion that competition is the answer to almost every problem. It also answers a clarion conservative call for more parental choice in schools and gives him a chance to trash President Obama for zeroing out the District of Columbia’s popular school voucher program.
Is Romney’s school choice plan workable? Is it politically smart? What hurdles would he encounter if he tried to enact it? Are there other ways to have federal funds “follow the child,” as Romney would do? If Romney’s school choice plan did not apply to private schools, would it make a difference? How should the federal government accommodate state and district capacity restrictions in implementing such a plan?
http://goo.gl/Rvzr8

Key Features of a Comprehensive Principal Evaluation System WestEd analysis

This publication, cowritten by Karen Kearney of the Leadership Initiative at WestEd, draws from an in-depth review of research and professional literature on principal evaluation and personnel evaluation standards to present 13 key features identified as critical in establishing a comprehensive principal evaluation system.
These features were validated through focus groups of superintendents, human resource administrators, principals, and professors of education administration, along with numerous conversations with practitioners, experts, and researchers in K-12 and higher education, instructional leadership, and personnel evaluation.
In addition, the features were reviewed against the personnel evaluation standards described in the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE) Framework 2009(2).
http://www.wested.org/cs/we/view/rs/1107

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NATIONAL NEWS
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How Much Will the Common Core Cost?
Education Week

States face key spending decisions as they implement the Common Core State Standards, and a new study finds that they could save about $927 million—or spend as much as $8.3 billion—depending on the approaches they choose in three vital areas: curriculum materials, tests, and professional development.
The report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, issued today, examines the net costs of three hypothetical transition routes to the new standards in mathematics and English/language arts.
The “business as usual” approach, which features buying hard-copy textbooks, giving annual paper-based assessments, and delivering in-person professional development to teachers, is the most expensive. Over the next one to three years, it would cost states $8.3 billion, according to the Washington-based think tank.
That rounded figure represents the difference between the $3.9 billion it estimates states currently spend on tests, curricular materials, and professional development and the $12.1 billion it estimates as their gross spending if they took the business-as-usual approach to those three elements in implementing the common standards.
http://goo.gl/E8WfB

A copy the study
http://goo.gl/W06HB

Common-Core Training for Principals on Increase Education Week

A year ago, top officials in the school leadership world were worried. It seemed to them that principals were being overlooked in national conversations about how to get educators ready for the Common Core State Standards.
But that is changing. The past six months have seen a surge of activity to acquaint principals with the new standards and teach them how to lead their staff members through the profound changes that are required to turn the new expectations into classroom instruction.
“There is much greater awareness now about what we need to do to educate principals about what they should be doing for the common core,” said JoAnn D. Bartoletti, the executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
http://goo.gl/ik2oF

Wasting Time Is New Divide in Digital Era New York Times

In the 1990s, the term “digital divide” emerged to describe technology’s haves and have-nots. It inspired many efforts to get the latest computing tools into the hands of all Americans, particularly low-income families.
Those efforts have indeed shrunk the divide. But they have created an unintended side effect, one that is surprising and troubling to researchers and policy makers and that the government now wants to fix.
As access to devices has spread, children in poorer families are spending considerably more time than children from more well-off families using their television and gadgets to watch shows and videos, play games and connect on social networking sites, studies show.
This growing time-wasting gap, policy makers and researchers say, is more a reflection of the ability of parents to monitor and limit how children use technology than of access to it.
http://goo.gl/sfHW1

U.S. News Ranks Best High Schools for STEM High Tech High School tops the rankings of science and technology schools.
U.S. News & World Report

Top science and technology high schools are leading the STEM education push.
Science and technology can play an integral role in boosting the economy and strengthening national security—but only if there are enough scientists and engineers to go around.
Experts predict the shortfall of skilled technical workers to increase dramatically in the coming years, and getting students hooked on coding, cyber security, and manufacturing should start in high school, if not sooner.
Recognizing the role they play in training future innovators and inventors, high schools across the country are ramping up their science and technology curriculum. U.S. News & World Report highlights those leading the pack with the 2012 rankings of the Best High Schools for STEM—or science, technology, engineering, and math.
http://goo.gl/h7Fbb

HotSeat Interview With NYT Education Reporter Motoko Rich Scholastic This Week in Education

The NYT’s new national education reporter Motoko Rich speaks quickly but clearly, has a friendly, curious demeanor – straightforward but not rude or gruff. She’s been at the journalism game long enough to have done with the affectations many journalists take on. And her excitement about the new beat seems sincere, which is great for all of us who watch or participate in K-12 education. One example: At the end of our brief phone interview she asked me didn’t I want to know her favorite teachers — and proceeded to name four.
That being said, she’s obviously not a softie and has some high ambitions for what she’s going to do with her new beat. She’s already getting tons of pitches but doesn’t want to give too much guidance because good story ideas come from the strangest places. The NYT announcement email (also below) notes that she’s known internally for being relentless in getting straight answers from sources. She’s on the lookout for great teacher and classroom voices (aren’t we all).
Like any reporter new to the beat, she’s everyone’s new best friend — until she writes about you. Or at least, that’s the hope. Crossed fingers for lots of fair but incredibly skeptical front-page education stories from the Times in the weeks and months ahead.
http://goo.gl/b86ZQ

Scripps National Spelling Bee:
Spellbinding drama on ESPN2, ESPN3
ESPN

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Every year since 1925, except during World War II (1943-1945), about 200-plus young spellers travel here on Memorial Day week to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Since 1994, ESPN has been there to capture the memorable moments from the captivating competition.
This week, the youngest contestant ever in this competition, six-year-old Lori Anne C. Madison of Woodbridge, Va., joins 277 spellers.
She, like other contestants, will complete computer spelling tests today as part of the preliminaries. The test scores, combined with results from Rounds 2 and 3 airing on ESPN3 Wednesday, will determine the semifinalists who will be seen on ESPN2 and ESPN3 on Thursday, May 31, at 10 a.m. ET. The champion will be crowned during ESPN’s 8 p.m. coverage on Thursday.
Front Row caught up with SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele, television host of the National Spelling Bee, to get her insights on her preparation for the telecast, similarities between the contestants and athletes, and her empathy for the competitors.
http://goo.gl/IXhYM

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