Education News Roundup: June 18, 2012

teen texting

texting/Stitch/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Davis District looks at its maturation program.
http://http://www.standard.net/stories/2012/06/16/committee-reviews-maturation-program(OSE)

Study recommends schools do more about sexting problem.
http://goo.gl/Q11Vt (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/d8gdy (DN)
and http://goo.gl/RmbGW (KUTV)
and http://goo.gl/irb9I (KTVX)

UtahPublicEducation.org columnist Kris Dobson offers advice on amusing your kids this summer: “I’m not your entertainment committee.”
http://goo.gl/Vur5X (UtahPublicEducation.org)

Nationally, districts are looking at weighted student funding.
http://goo.gl/vjIuG (Ed Week)

U.S. Conference of Mayors backs parent triggers.
http://goo.gl/Agiyt (Reuters)

Kids today: fewer antibiotics, more ADHD drugs.
http://goo.gl/80Igv (Reuters)
or a copy of the study http://goo.gl/0VFJ8

And to break up your Monday, CNN looks at school-themed music. Alice Cooper is there (Schools Out for Summer), so are the Beach Boys (Be True to Your School), Jeannie C. Riley (Harper Valley PTA), Pink Floyd (Another Brick in the Wall), and the Ramones (Rock and Roll High School). But, jeez, how do you miss The Boss doing Glory Days, the Beastie Boys doing Fight For Your Right to Party, and, the biggest omission, Chuck Berry’s School Days (“Up in the morning’ and out to school. The teacher is teachin’ the Golden Rule. American History and Practical Math. You’re studyin’ hard and hopin’ to pass.”) What else is missing?
http://goo.gl/bzZu2 (CNN)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Committee reviews maturation program

‘Sexting’ prevalent among high schoolers, study finds

Ogden School District ditches Colors of Success

American Fork High under construction

GED graduates recognized

Students explore health care professions
Ogden-Weber Tech students take part in golf ball catapult competition

Teen to be sentenced in Bountiful High bomb incident

Three retire from Mapleton Jr.

Kids receive books, reading encouragement at Family Book Festival

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Commentators throwing stones from a glass house

Tribune proud to honor Utah’s student journalists
Scholarships » Students throughout state impress with accomplishments.

At the crossroads of education reform

Utah’s misguided land grab

Dear Parents: Let the summer fun begin!

Those left behind, dropouts

Common Core’s influence

Book may persuade, advocate a lifestyle

Suggestions to put a stop to bullying

Keystone State Kop-Out on Education
Nearly two years of Republican dominance in Pennsylvania fails to deliver school vouchers.

School Is For Everyone: Celebrating Plyler v. Doe

Better Schools, Fewer Dollars

Music appreciation: Songs about school

NATION

Districts Experiment With ‘Weighted’ Funding
Student numbers, needs drive dollars

Mayors back parents seizing control of schools

Obama proposal to raise dropout age falls flat

L.A. teachers approve deal that reduces pay, shortens school year

State of Alaska sets new education standards

U.S. kids getting more ADHD drugs, fewer antibiotics

As gender roles change, are men out of step?

The Enlightened Classroom
School districts are using solar power to cut their energy bills—and cope with budget cuts.

District: Texas teacher had kids hit alleged bully

High schools cracking down on end-of-the-year pranks

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UTAH NEWS
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Committee reviews maturation program

FARMINGTON — A committee of parents, educators, and a school nurse will spend the next few months reviewing Davis School District’s maturation program provided for fifth- and sixth-graders.
The committee that was recently approved by the district’s school board consists of four parents, three teachers, a school nurse and the district’s health curriculum supervisor, John Robison.
Every district is required by a State Board of Education rule to have a committee that reviews proposed speakers, presenters and materials used to teach elementary students about maturation.
“Technology and media are changing everything,” Robison said.
What hasn’t changed are the basics of puberty and maturation, he said.
http://goo.gl/VfDrk (OSE)

‘Sexting’ prevalent among high schoolers, study finds

A University of Utah study found that nearly 20 percent of surveyed high school students had sent a sexually explicit picture of themselves via cell phone, while twice as many said they had received a similar picture.
The study, conducted in part by U. of U. psychology professor Donald Strassberg, surveyed 606 private high school students about their feelings, experiences and potential consequences of “sexting,” according to a news release. Children as young as 14 said they had sent a sexually explicit message, and of those who received a message, 25 percent said they forwarded it to others, according to the study.
Senior boys at the school reported the most sexting, with nearly 27 percent sending and 65 percent receiving sexually explicit messages, while freshmen boys reported the least, with 9 percent sending and nearly 39 percent receiving sexually explicit messages.
Senior girls also reported the most sexting, with 24 percent sending and 46 percent receiving sexually explicit messages, while sophomore girls reported the least, with 14 percent sending and 24 percent receiving sexually explicit messages.
The study concludes schools should include educational efforts to inform students about the dangers of sexting through classroom curriculum, assemblies and awareness days.
http://goo.gl/Q11Vt (SLT)

http://goo.gl/d8gdy (DN)

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

http://goo.gl/irb9I (KTVX)

Ogden School District ditches Colors of Success

OGDEN — The Ogden School District has opted not to use the Colors of Success program as its official anti-gang program in the district, but is not prohibiting individual schools from applying for a grant with Colors of Success if they want.
Colors of Success is an anti-gang program run by a nonprofit group out of Salt Lake City. The program has also been used in Salt Lake School District.
The decision comes after six weeks of review and meetings to go over the effectiveness of the program in the district.
http://goo.gl/uDIQW (OSE)

American Fork High under construction

AMERICAN FORK — American Fork High School is getting a face lift — not just cosmetic, but functional.
Hogan & Associates Construction has begun work in earnest, with the first phase of a two-phase project to enlarge the school and make it more efficient.
The initial work includes a two-story addition that will adjoin a previous addition on the front of the building. It includes 14 science classrooms, including labs, two prep rooms for science, 13 English department classrooms, a teacher workroom, conference room, restrooms, faculty room and administration offices.
http://goo.gl/PoZqX (PDH)

GED graduates recognized

ST. GEORGE – Graduates from the Stevens-Henager College GED course received recognition Friday night during a graduation ceremony at the St. George Recreation Center.
The GED course is a part of the Stevens-Henager College Good Neighbor Initiative and is offered for free, said Brandon Turley, GED course coordinator for the college’s St. George campus.
http://goo.gl/7Pxu1 (SGS)

Students explore health care professions

CEDAR CITY – As the need for health care professionals shows signs of increasing, high school students from communities throughout Utah got hands-on experience in the medical field for three days this past week as they conducted “surgeries” on real human organs and acted out emergency scenarios during the 14th annual Health Career Exploration Camp on the Southern Utah University campus.
Lecia Langston, a regional economist for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, said health care was one of the few industries in Utah that continued to grow during the height of the recession, although it did not grow at a normal rate.
http://goo.gl/fYAO4 (SGS)

Ogden-Weber Tech students take part in golf ball catapult competition

OGDEN — In the 12th century, warriors in what is now Europe camped outside enemy fortresses for days, constructing trebuchets, large catapult-type weapons the aggressors would load and fire, hurling the toxins of the day inside the walled courtyards of castles.
Popular flinging things included putrid garbage, dead and diseased cows, and decomposing corpses that carried highly contagious plagues.
At this week’s Ogden-Weber Tech manufacturing camp, teachers wisely opted to arm their students with golf balls.
“The trebuchets of the Middle Ages were the first way to deliver chemical weapons,” said Wayne Layton, a sheet metal instructor at Ogden-Weber Applied Technical College. “But we have the students build trebuchets to teach them the different parts of manufacturing.”
http://goo.gl/B4ftw (OSE)

Teen to be sentenced in Bountiful High bomb incident

FARMINGTON, Utah — The high school student convicted of setting off a bomb in Bountiful High will be sentenced on Monday.
Chris Andrew Perry, 18, and a 16-year-old sophomore girl set off four incendiary devices on April 11. Perry pleaded guilty in May.
No one was hurt by the explosions.One of the devices was set off at the school, which caused school officials to put the school into lock-down for about 90 minutes.
http://goo.gl/jdPci (KSTU)

Three retire from Mapleton Jr.

Robyn Card, Pauline Edmunds and coach Linda Jones Lewis are retiring after a combined 87 years.
http://goo.gl/uD89P (PDH)

Kids receive books, reading encouragement at Family Book Festival

SALT LAKE CITY — If cozying up to superheroes and cartoon characters, taking home a bag of candy from a candy buffet and a bag full of books doesn’t convince kids to read, then what will?
Thousands of families pledged to make summer fun and summer reading part of the agenda at the KSL Family Book Festival Saturday, and kids were aptly rewarded.
http://goo.gl/QwFYN (KSL)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Commentators throwing stones from a glass house
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

Commentators on K-TALK’s conservative Red Meat Radio have spent a lot of time talking about the Solyndra scandal, involving the alternative energy technology company given a $500 million loan guarantee by the Obama administration and then went bankrupt, leaving the U.S. government holding the bag.
It’s an issue repeated time and again by conservative talk shows.
But I bet you won’t hear local conservative commentators talking about Digital Bridge.
That’s the company given a $5 million contract by the Utah State Office of Education to develop technology to assess the progress of students in public schools. That company also went bankrupt, leaving the state holding the bag for about $3 million.
http://goo.gl/7950A

Tribune proud to honor Utah’s student journalists
Scholarships » Students throughout state impress with accomplishments.
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Michael A. Anastasi

It was Joseph Pulitzer, father of the Pulitzer Prize, who first called for the education of journalists at the university level. The innovative, visionary newspaper publisher saw journalism as a “noble profession and one of unequaled importance.” The endowment he established after his death was in part directed to establish not only his famous prizes, but journalism scholarships as well. “I desire to assist,” he wrote, “in attracting to this profession young men of character and ability, also to help those already engaged in the profession to acquire the highest moral and intellectual training.” I think that explanation works quite well for us, too. Each spring, The Tribune awards about three dozen scholarships to students throughout Utah who are studying journalism. In addition to funding two scholarships at each of the state’s public universities, and at Salt Lake Community College, The Trib recognizes many young women and men who are graduating from high school and excelled as leaders in journalism there. I always find myself impressed and often amazed by their accomplishments. We’d like to share them with you:
http://goo.gl/RNtbL

At the crossroads of education reform
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Scott Odell, program assistant for the Partnership for Educational Revitalization in the Americas at the Inter-American Dialogue

During the 19th century, Utah gained a reputation as the “Crossroads of the West” due to its role in linking East Coast states with the Western frontier. The territory in which both the transcontinental telegraph and railroad were connected served as a proving ground for the idea that new technologies could transform the way the world communicated.
Today, with the passage of a new law expanding online education to every high school student, Utah has taken a leading role in testing whether modern technologies can dramatically improve the way children learn. Regardless of the outcome, the state’s foray into unknown territory will produce important lessons for other U.S. states and countries throughout the Americas.
Although the idea of using digital technologies to improve education is not new, large-scale implementation of programs like Utah’s is. Proponents of digital learning, including the Fordham Institute and Digital Learning Now, emphasize that while new innovations have revolutionized nearly every other professional sector — from agriculture to health care and transportation — the basic methodology for teaching children has remained largely unchanged for decades.
Yet new technologies present extraordinary capabilities that, if used wisely, could drastically improve student learning.
http://goo.gl/f4JaF

Dear Parents: Let the summer fun begin!
UtahPublicEducation.org commentary by columnist Kris Dobson

“I’m bored.” It’s still early in the summer, but I am guessing that some of you have already heard this familiar lament from your children. I have a response to suggest: “Well, if you’re bored, it’s your own darn fault!”
Maybe this is not the typical response, and it’s certainly not one the one I appreciated as a child. But this is one of many such responses my mother had ready should we dare to complain that there was nothing to do.
My mother was also a teacher, and she had a version of this principle to apply in the classroom: “The truly gifted are never bored.” She was all about providing a rich learning environment, but trusted her students to find something productive to do if they found themselves with time on their hands. More than once I found myself telling my own elementary students, “I’m not your entertainment committee!” Words straight out of my mother’s mouth.
http://goo.gl/Vur5X

Utah’s misguided land grab
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Eric C. Ewert

Recently, Utah’s Legislature passed and Gov. Gary Herbert enthusiastically signed four bills that essentially call for the “return” of federal lands to the state. Totaling some 30 million acres, the bills propose to transfer nearly all lands from the U.S. to Utah.
The bill’s proponents championed this as “wresting control from federal bureaucrats,” but what they really would do is take these lands away from their rightful owners, the American people. “Return” of these lands is such an inaccurate term anyway.
These lands never belonged to Utah to begin with but were part of the territories of the United States that then evolved into states. If any return is to happen, it ought to be to the lands’ original inhabitants, the Native Americans. They controlled these lands first. Maybe the Legislature should take up that cause: repatriation of Indian lands.
Instead, Herbert invited 10 governors to a “Western Roundtable” and to join him in a “land transfer crusade.” Only two showed up and neither supported Herbert’s agenda. Later, knowing it to be unconstitutional, Arizona’s Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill similar to Utah’s land-grab statute.
http://goo.gl/CWIhj

Those left behind, dropouts
Deseret News letter from Gregg Rosann

What an inspiration it was to read about Favor Mbaogu and 14 other teenage refugees who graduated from high school last week. (“Teenage refugees overcome obstacles to graduate in Utah,” June 5.) Their stories of resilience demonstrate that, with hard work and the support of our families and communities, we can all overcome great obstacles.
Of course, it is also important to remember those who have not yet made it across the finish line. There is no hard data on refugee graduation rates in Utah, but the Utah Department of Education reports more than 50 percent of English language learners who began high school in 2007 dropped out before receiving a diploma.
We cannot leave these young neighbors behind.
http://goo.gl/PQ5ge

Common Core’s influence
Deseret News letter from JaKell Sullivan

The truth behind the Common Core state standards debate is revealed in the methods used by the Obama administration to influence states.
President Obama bypassed Congress granting No Child Left Behind waivers to states if they would adopt Common Core standards with assessments and data tracking. Stimulus money is the incentive. Forty-five states have taken or applied for the bait.
In September 2011, Sen. Marco Rubio wrote a letter to the Obama administration detailing their violation of three federal laws using such methods. He stated, “this initiative is an overstep of authority that undermines existing law, and violates the constitutional separation of powers.”
To Utah’s elected leaders:
http://goo.gl/vFYuw

Book may persuade, advocate a lifestyle
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Michal Anne Bouwhuis

With the recent fuss over the book “In Our Mothers’ House,” and Charles Trentelman’s resultant column of June 14, “children show adults how to handle this gay book thing,” I found myself thinking that any professing of my beliefs would be made to come across as absurd. We live in a day and age when truth is becoming so obscured that we are made to look like fools when we stand up for it. This age of “political correctness” makes us come across as hate-mongers when we “call a spade a spade.”
In the beginning there was Adam and Eve who were told to “multiply and replenish the earth.” It was never “Adam and Steve.” While I have nothing against gay people as individuals, and I know of many I respect, I think it is semantics to say this “harmless” book is not advocating a lifestyle. Anything that is written is written for the intent to persuade, and if it is not, it still has the power to do so. Mr. Trentelman uses the example of how our thinking has come around to accept interracial marriage.
Thank heavens it has! And I advocate accepting all people regardless of race or sexual preference. However, we are not talking apples to apples. A man and a woman regardless of race will always be able to create life.
Regardless of the evolution of society’s state of mind, one truth will always remain, “two fathers” or “two mothers” will never be able to perpetuate our society. It is a shame that young children have to have this imposed upon their innocent young lives and be faced with “matter-of-factly” accepting it as “normal,” as Mr. Trentelman describes it.
http://goo.gl/9bvNA

Suggestions to put a stop to bullying
(St. George) Spectrum letter from Garey L. Bearden

Bullies are in the news. They have always been with us, and they are not going away.
When laws are enacted to control or punish bullies, they find new ways to intimidate their victims both mentally and physically. Historically, there has been only one way to deal with a bully. Stop being a victim. No matter how frightened you are of a person’s ability to hurt you physically, you must stand up to them and refuse to be intimidated.
Why?
http://goo.gl/Yq36y

Keystone State Kop-Out on Education
Nearly two years of Republican dominance in Pennsylvania fails to deliver school vouchers.
Wall Street Journal commentary by columnist DAVID FEITH

The recent Wisconsin recall election showed that even voters in blue states are willing to reward leaders who take on entrenched government unions. Have Pennsylvania Republicans missed the memo?
The question is raised by Pennsylvania’s continued failure to enact school vouchers, even as Harrisburg has been run for two years by Republicans who campaigned on school choice. Gov. Tom Corbett has talked the talk, calling education “the civil rights issue of the 21st century,” blasting a system in which “some students are consigned to failure because of their ZIP codes,” and identifying vouchers as his top educational priority. But with legislators’ summer break approaching on June 30 (and elections dominating the calendar after that), vouchers are already off the table. Apparently the fury of teachers unions would be too much for the Keystone State to bear.
Last October, Pennsylvania’s Senate passed a bipartisan voucher bill to throw an immediate lifeline to low-income students in the worst 5% of schools, with roughly 550,000 low-income kids becoming eligible within three years. Eight months later, Speaker Sam Smith and Majority Leader Mike Turzai—both Republicans who claim to support choice—haven’t brought the bill up for a vote in the House.
http://goo.gl/L7tsL

School Is For Everyone: Celebrating Plyler v. Doe
Huffington Post commentary by Anthony D. Romero, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union

Jocelyn came to the United States when she was six years old, brought by a single mom who wanted her to go to school and have a better life than she did. Today, at age 14, Jocelyn is an honors student in Alabama, where she hopes to become the first in her family to graduate from high school, and to one day become a doctor. Jocelyn is striving to live the American Dream.
Thirty years ago, on June 15, 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court in Plyler v. Doe held that the Constitution guarantees all children, regardless of immigration status, equal access to a basic public education. This week on the ACLU Blog of Rights, we celebrate Plyler’s legacy in today’s struggles over access to education and immigrants’ rights.
At issue in Plyler was a 1975 Texas law withholding funds to educate kids who were not “legally admitted” into the United States, and allowing school districts to deny them enrollment. Some school districts took up the invitation to kick their students out of school, while others–like the district in Tyler, Texas–decided to charge them tuition (in Tyler’s case, a fee of $1000 per year).
http://goo.gl/XBgpB

Better Schools, Fewer Dollars
Wall Street Journal op-ed by MARCUS A. WINTERS, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute

Here’s what looks like a policy dilemma. To attain the economic growth that it desperately needs, the United States must improve its schools and train a workforce capable of competing in the global economy. Economists Eric Hanushek, Dean Jamison, Eliot Jamison, and Ludger Woessmann estimate that improving student achievement by half of one standard deviation—roughly the current difference between the United States and Finland—would increase U.S. GDP growth by about a full percentage point annually. Yet states and the federal government face severe budgetary constraints these days; how are policymakers supposed to improve student achievement while reducing school funding?
In reality, that task is far from impossible. The story of American education over the last three decades is one not of insufficient funds but of inefficient schools. Billions of new dollars have gone into the system, to little effect. Luckily, Americans are starting to recognize that we can improve schooling without paying an additional dime. In fact, by unleashing the power of educational choice, we might even save money while getting better results and helping the economy’s long-term prospects.
Over the last four decades, public education spending has increased rapidly in the United States. According to the Department of Education, public schools spent, on average, $12,922 per pupil in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available. Adjusting for inflation, that’s more than double the $6,402 per student that public schools spent in 1975.
Despite that doubling of funds, just about every measure of educational outcomes has remained stagnant since 1975, though some have finally begun to inch upward over the last few years.
http://goo.gl/YckjJ

Music appreciation: Songs about school
CNN commentary by columnist Jordan Bienstock

With students around the country anticipating – and then celebrating – that final bell before summer, there is one song that is absolutely inescapable this time of year.
“No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks.” (All together now) “School’s out for summer!”
So it seems like the perfect opportunity to delve into some music appreciation, specifically songs about schools:
We might as well start with the inspiration for this list. Alice Cooper’s hard rock ode to the end of the school year helped make the band a mainstay of mainstream culture for 40 years and counting.
http://goo.gl/bzZu2

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Districts Experiment With ‘Weighted’ Funding
Student numbers, needs drive dollars
Education Week

Before this school year, creating a budget for schools in the Boston school district would regularly expose a tangle of competing interests.
The district had multiple ways of funding its schools. Some schools were allocated staff members based on student counts; other schools, which had been granted some budget autonomy, were given a pot of money based on enrollment. In tough budget years, cuts were made across the board—except in some schools, which couldn’t operate with those reductions and ended up having money restored. Years of such adjustments created wide funding disparities among schools.
But in 2011, the 57,000-student district made a shift to a more uniform way of funding schools based on the numbers and types of students they served, with extra money, or “weights,” given for students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, enrolled in special education, learning English, or academically off track, among other factors. Instead of being forced to hire a certain number of staff members with that money, principals got flexibility in how to spend those funds.
In moving to a “weighted student-funding formula,” Boston joins other districts, such as Baltimore, Denver, Rochester, N.Y., and New York City, that believe this method better serves student needs and creates more transparency and fairness in district finances. And in a time of tight budgets, some also say this funding method creates a process where cuts can be managed around an individual school’s needs, instead of coming by decree from the central office.
http://goo.gl/vjIuG

Mayors back parents seizing control of schools
Reuters

Hundreds of mayors from across the United States this weekend called for new laws letting parents seize control of low-performing public schools and fire the teachers, oust the administrators or turn the schools over to private management.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday unanimously endorsed “parent trigger” laws aimed at bypassing elected school boards and giving parents at the worst public schools the opportunity to band together and force immediate change.
Such laws are fiercely opposed by teachers’ unions, which stand to lose members in school takeovers. Union leaders say there is no proof such upheaval will improve learning. And they argue that public investment in struggling communities, rather than private management of struggling schools, is the key to boosting student achievement.
But in a sign of the unions’ diminishing clout, their traditional political allies, the Democrats, abandoned them in droves during the Orlando vote.
http://goo.gl/Agiyt

Obama proposal to raise dropout age falls flat
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — President Barack Obama’s call for states to raise the minimum age at which students can drop out of high school seems about as popular as a homework assignment on Friday afternoon.
Since the president urged the change in his State of the Union speech in January, only one state has raised its dropout age to 18, and that won’t take effect for five years.
Even legislators in Obama’s home state of Illinois wouldn’t go along with his proposal, despite an endorsement from the governor. They quickly dumped the issue into the limbo of a special study commission after it became clear there wasn’t enough money to support it.
http://goo.gl/P40RD

L.A. teachers approve deal that reduces pay, shortens school year

Members of United Teachers Los Angeles have approved a one-year labor contract that would shorten the school year and reduce pay in exchange for the preservation of more than 4,000 jobs, the union announced Saturday.
The vote tally was 58% in favor of the contract and 42% opposed. Roughly two-thirds of all union members cast ballots. UTLA represents nurses, librarians, counselors, psychologists and psychiatric social workers in addition to classroom instructors.
The school board approved the one-year pact last Tuesday. Under the agreement, teachers would forfeit up to 10 days of pay and the 2012-13 school year could be reduced from 180 days to 175. It would be the fourth straight academic year shortened because of budget cutbacks. More than 1,300 UTLA members still would lose their jobs because of declining enrollment, reduced state and federal funding and program cuts.
Last year, 86% of teachers casting ballots voted to approve a similar deal.
http://goo.gl/ecbkE

State of Alaska sets new education standards
Fairbanks (AK) Daily News Miner

FAIRBANKS — Alaska’s Board of Education and Early Development adopted new standards in language arts and mathematics to be put to use in classrooms across the state.
The new standards extend from kindergarten through 12th grade and were designed so graduating seniors will need no remediation courses in college, the workplace, the military or trade schools, according to a press release from the Department of Education.
The new English and language arts standards include not only reading, writing and understanding vocabulary but also a focus on oral language. It will add speaking and listening standards to the pot with discussion of academic topics in one-on-one, small group and classroom settings.
The new math standards set out to prepare young students for harder math principles and prepare high school students for higher learning and careers.
http://goo.gl/jIJCP

U.S. kids getting more ADHD drugs, fewer antibiotics
Reuters

NEW YORK – The number of drugs dispensed to U.S. minors has dropped slightly over the past decade, bucking the rise in prescriptions to adults, according to a government report out Monday.
Antibiotics use fell by 14 percent, suggesting efforts to curb rampant overuse of the drugs “may be working,” researchers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) write in the journal Pediatrics.
Experts say antibiotics are commonly used to treat infections caused by viruses, although they only work against bacteria. That has fueled the growth of drug-resistant superbugs.
The new report also found an uptick in the use of some drugs in children, with stimulants for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, leading the pack.
From 2002 to 2010, the use of ADHD drugs grew by 46 percent — or some 800,000 prescriptions a year. The top drug dispensed to adolescents was the stimulant methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, with more than four million prescriptions filled in 2010.
“What the article is suggesting is that the number of children that we are treating for attention deficit disorder has gone up,” said Dr. Scott Benson, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and a spokesperson for the American Psychiatric Association.
http://goo.gl/80Igv

A copy of the study
http://goo.gl/0VFJ8

As gender roles change, are men out of step?
CBS Sunday Morning

Summer break at Kenyon College in Ohio . . . peaceful and quiet, no hint of the firestorm of few years ago when the dean of admissions said the unthinkable: College girls are doing a lot better than boys.
“Gender politics are alive and well in this country, let there be no doubt,” said Dean Jennifer Delahunty, who laid it all out in a 2006 opinion piece in The New York Times exposing the widening gap in achievement.
“There’s a kind of anti-intellectualism of young men that really bothers me,” Delahunty said, “that it’s not cool to be smart. That it’s not cool to be engaged. That it’s not cool to do your homework. That bothers me.
“Not only do they not enroll in college at the same rate as women, they don’t graduate from college at the same rate. They don’t retain at the same rate.”
The numbers don’t lie: Male college enrollment has been sliding for more than four decades – and it’s expected to just get worse.
Sociologist Michael Kimmel – the go-to guy when it comes to guys – talks of the “boys crisis.”
http://goo.gl/SZNME

The Enlightened Classroom
School districts are using solar power to cut their energy bills—and cope with budget cuts.
Wall Street Journal

Solar power has long been touted for its environmental impact. But now it has a new role: saving teachers’ jobs.
School districts across the country are turning to solar power to cut their electricity costs. With the money they’re saving, they are able to retain more teachers and programs in the face of budget cuts. As a bonus, some schools are using solar installations to teach kids about renewable energy.
More than 500 K-12 schools in 43 states have installed solar panels, many of them over the past three years as solar-power costs have fallen by more than one-third, according to estimates by the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group in Washington, D.C., and GTM Research, a Greentech Media Inc. unit in Boston.
http://goo.gl/wCWdQ

District: Texas teacher had kids hit alleged bully
Associated Press via San Antonio (TX) Express News

SAN ANTONIO — A Texas teacher will lose her job after ordering more than 20 kindergartners to line up and hit a classmate accused of being a bully, a district spokesman said Friday.
The teacher at a suburban San Antonio school is accused of orchestrating the slugfest after a younger teaching colleague went to her last month seeking suggestions on how to discipline the 6-year-old, according to a police report from the Judson Independent School District.
Both teachers at Salinas Elementary were placed on paid administrative leave, though the one who allegedly arranged the punishment will not work for the district next school year, said district spokesman Steve Linscomb. Prosecutors are reviewing the allegations and will determine whether formal charges will be filed in 30 to 60 days.
http://goo.gl/sFq32

High schools cracking down on end-of-the-year pranks
USA Today

The end of the school year is bringing out the class clowns.
Graduating seniors at Connecticut’s Simsbury High School plopped four goats on the rooftop of a school entryway. At Heritage High in Brentwood, Calif., near San Francisco, they smeared paint on walkways and chained a lamb to a light pole. And at Herndon High in suburban Washington, D.C., they slicked up school floors and staircases with baby oil.
No one has dropped a horse, Animal House style, in Dean Wormer’s office just yet — but there has been a Bluto-inspired cafeteria food fight at Texas’ Smithville High School and similar food fights — along with unleashed snakes, rats and insects — at three high schools in Keller, Texas.
At Indiana’s Cascade High, students plastered 12,000 Post-it Notes. Departing seniors at suburban Pittsburgh’s Freedom Area High put up 3,000 balloons inside the school during a midnight raid.
It’s unclear whether there are more school pranksters this year, or they’re merely more audacious and getting more exposure on YouTube and other social media websites.
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