Education News Roundup for June 20, 2012

Cheerio in Milk by Michael Bentley/flickrToday’s Top Picks:

Legislature’s special session set to get underway at about 3 this afternoon.
http://goo.gl/Zt7aV (DN)
and http://goo.gl/ItgsV (CVD)
and http://goo.gl/htSm4 (PR)
and http://goo.gl/n3WVO (KUTV)
and http://goo.gl/zLWF9 (KTVX)
and http://goo.gl/e89j7 (KSTU)
and http://goo.gl/lhqnF (KNRS)

Utah Broadband Advisory Council issues its first report.
http://goo.gl/ITKV9 (UBAC)

GAO finds charter schools are enrolling fewer disabled students.
http://goo.gl/kuQbp (NYT)
and http://goo.gl/f3MIS (WSJ)
and http://goo.gl/X58Tl (Ed Week)
or a copy of the report
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-543

Six states join on career training.
http://goo.gl/4P6lR (AP)

Gallup poll finds confidence in schools dropping.
http://goo.gl/xuVUF (Gallup)
and http://goo.gl/yCGT2 (Politico)
and http://goo.gl/0JtKv (AP)

So … Lucky Charms, Old El Paso refried beans, and Batman Fruit Flavored Snacks are worth $74 million to schools?
http://goo.gl/mrLVV (Star-Tribune)

And CNN takes a crack at dispelling the myth that the school year is tied to America’s agrarian past.
http://goo.gl/f5WVs (CNN)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Special session to increase liquor licenses may just be a start

State Revenue Projections Mostly on Target for 2012

South Summit moves to tentative 2013 budget The school district doesn’t plan on making employee cuts this year

LGBT families urge district to rethink decision on book Emotions flare at meeting where they are not allowed to speak.

Granite School Buses Incorporating Cameras

Creekside Elementary teacher uses abacuses to teach math

Cosgriff teacher wins national award

‘Grandma Joyce’ dedicates her life to students

Utah mom who sparked Amber Alert at school charged Court » DA says Utah law precluded filing felony kidnapping charges.

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Allow book on library shelves

Careless accounting won’t fly with overburdened taxpayers

Red Meat pundits have trouble setting record straight

Utah’s Revenue Projections Looking Good … Maybe

‘Schindler’s List’ producer too hot for Montana high school?

Mayors pull the (parent) trigger

Former students curious about school’s time capsules

Utah Broadband Advisory Council Report
A report on the discussions, findings, and accomplishments of the Council during its inaugural year: June 2011‐May 2012

Winning campaign issue? Charter schools

Common Standards Released for Career and Technical Education

Why Einstein Was Not Qualified To Teach High-School Physics

6 Tips for the Successful Online Teacher

An Analysis of the Use and Validity of Test-Based Teacher Evaluations Reported by the Los Angeles Times: 2011

NATION

Charter Schools Still Enroll Fewer Disabled Students

States form coalition to boost career training

For Many Latino Students, College Seems Out of Reach
But some K-12 schools, colleges, and nonprofits are succeeding in helping such students make the leap from high school to higher education

Bridging the digital divide in America’s rural schools

Confidence in U.S. Public Schools at New Low
Confidence also at new lows for organized religion, banks, and TV news

New venture fund to focus on CPS education reform
Teachers union protests idea as pushing privatization of schools

College Board sets up 857 desks on National Mall

Indian Americans top in income and education

AMA supports requiring obesity education for kids

Studies Dispute Benefits of Brain Training

Box tops net millions for education, one dime at a time
The humble box tops clipped from Cheerios, cake mixes and more raised more than $74 million this school year.

School’s out for summer … but why?

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UTAH NEWS
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Special session to increase liquor licenses may just be a start

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers are meeting in a special session Wednesday to look at boosting the number of restaurant liquor licenses available.
But there may be more action to come on the issue during the 2013 Legislature.
“It’s going to need an eventual resolution,” Gov. Gary Herbert’s spokeswoman, Ally Isom, said Tuesday. “The governor feels this is a step in the right direction. It may not be the ultimate solution, but it is something to mitigate the current circumstances.”
The issue is one of six Herbert is asking lawmakers to deal with in the special session set to begin at 3 p.m. Also on the agenda is covering a $25 million shortfall in the education budget caused by a calculation error, as well as several technical fixes to legislation passed in the last session.
http://goo.gl/Zt7aV (DN)

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

http://goo.gl/htSm4 (PR)

http://goo.gl/n3WVO (KUTV)

http://goo.gl/zLWF9 (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/e89j7 (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/lhqnF (KNRS)

State Revenue Projections Mostly on Target for 2012

Overall, the state’s fiscal analysts say revenue is right about where lawmakers expected it to be. But Senator Lyle Hillyard – who chairs the Executive Appropriations Committee – says the state won’t really know how much revenue is available to spend until August when all budget holes are filled.
“The concern I always have is when we hear a figure, for example, if we end up at the end of the year with a 30 million dollar surplus, that’s generally as high as we go. It’s usually less than that that we have to spend, said Hillyard, “So my comment is, when we look at these figures, don’t spend anything too quickly.”
Sales, individual, corporate, and severance tax revenue are all exceeding expectations. That means the General Fund and the Education Fund should be in good shape.
http://goo.gl/BzQIX (KUER)

South Summit moves to tentative 2013 budget
The school district doesn’t plan on making employee cuts this year

The South Summit School District will have to take $400,000 from its reserve fund to balance its budget for the 2012-2013 school year. Fortunately, the school district had enough in its reserve fund to cover the extra expenditures, according to South Summit Business Administrator Kip Bigelow, adding that they aren’t planning on cutting any personnel at this point.
A budget hearing will be held Thursday to finalize the 2012 budget and approve a tentative 2013 budget,” Bigelow said. “Most everything is in place. Revenues are going to be down just a little bit and so to balance the budget we will be using a little bit of the reserves from last year. If we don’t start generating more revenue we’ll have some major decisions in front of us in the next few years.”
http://goo.gl/gLI8a (PR)

LGBT families urge district to rethink decision on book
Emotions flare at meeting where they are not allowed to speak.

Brigitte Bowles, a lesbian mother of four teenagers and a special education teacher, has faced moments of adversity while living in conservative Davis County.
Her children have been careful about disclosing their mother is gay. But over the years, Bowles said, her kids have lost friends as a result of her sexual orientation.
Such painful incidents helped draw Bowles to a Tuesday meeting of the Davis Board of Education. She joined about a dozen representatives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities who hoped to introduce themselves to board members in the wake of a recent decision to remove a book about lesbian mothers from shelves of elementary school libraries.
Students can read the book, In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco, only if they have a permission slip signed by parents — a requirement that many in the LGBT community, including Bowles, consider hurtful.
http://goo.gl/ytJZG (SLT)

http://goo.gl/z5rI0 (DN)

http://goo.gl/Tyt44 (OSE)

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

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

Granite School Buses Incorporating Cameras

Granite School District will soon install cameras on many of their buses.
They say that about 50% of their 175 buses have cameras already, but they want them all to be equipped with an extra set of eyes.
The cameras are meant to watch more than just the 12,000 students in the district that ride the bus. They watch the bus drivers too.
http://goo.gl/pSJuc (KUTV)

http://goo.gl/g76lD (KTVX)

Creekside Elementary teacher uses abacuses to teach math

KAYSVILLE — Creekside Elementary first-grade teacher Rachel Jones began using abacuses with her students several years ago after hearing about another school district who used them with younger students and improved their math scores in the process.
When she was asked by Davis School District to help implement the Utah State common core standards for first-graders district-wide, she figured other first-grade classrooms could also benefit from using the simple math tool.
The small calculating tool created centuries ago is used to perform simple mathematical processes and costs around $12. Jones knew the price tag for purchasing 6,000 abacuses for all of the first graders in Davis School District was not in the budget.
Usually made with a wood frame and beads sliding on wires, Jones found a way to make a simple abacus for $1, using donated corrugated plastic for the frame and simple bamboo skewers to hold colored pony beads.
http://goo.gl/ySqai (OSE)

Cosgriff teacher wins national award

SALT LAKE CITY — On June 11, Jim Larson finally got the news he had been waiting for: He was named from among the three state finalists to win the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Larson, who teaches middle school math and science at J.E. Cosgriff Memorial Catholic School, was chosen for the award in the science category. He applied for the award last fall and learned he was a finalist in September.
http://goo.gl/RWYoI (IC)

‘Grandma Joyce’ dedicates her life to students

Joyce Beverley has volunteered at Bennion Elementary school for more than 15 years. During her multiple shifts a week, she provides direct student instruction and teacher support, and has become lovingly known as “Grandma Joyce.” She stays active with the kids, recently hiking all over Hogle Zoo with kindergarteners on a field trip.
http://goo.gl/OZIjz (SLT)

Utah mom who sparked Amber Alert at school charged
Court » DA says Utah law precluded filing felony kidnapping charges.

A Utah mother who prompted an Amber Alert after police say she took her daughter from a West Valley City elementary school has been charged with misdemeanor counts of custodial interference and trespassing.
Prosecutors filed two class B misdemeanors counts against Venus Athena Barker on Tuesday in West Valley City Justice Court. The 38-year-old woman is scheduled to be arraigned July 17 before Judge Brendan McCullagh.
In March, an Amber Alert was issued for 10-year-old Aliyah Kay Crowder, after the girl was taken from Silver Hills Elementary School, 5770 W. 5100 South. Officials said Barker did not have legal custody of the girl when she allegedly walked into the school’s cafeteria at lunchtime, grabbed her daughter and began walking out of the building.
Authorities said Barker was stopped by a school secretary and that Barker handed over false paperwork claiming she had checked the girl out of school.
http://goo.gl/yBRyz (SLT)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Allow book on library shelves
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

The children’s book, “In Our Mother’s House,” which features a family headed by same-sex parents, should be allowed on elementary school library shelves.
Davis School District officials have restricted the book by keeping it off shelves and allowing its circulation only if students present a signed parental permission slip. While that means that technically the book is not banned, it does attach an undeserved negative stigma to the children who want to check out the book.
As lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union have pointed out, the First Amendment generally protects student access to books in school libraries, even if the school administrators disagree with viewpoints presented.
Even if the majority of parents within the Davis School District area disagree with the placement of this book that features a household headed by a same-sex couple, that is not a valid reason to restrict the book.
http://goo.gl/OVj9E

Cal Grondahl editorial cartoon
http://goo.gl/KlOuz

Careless accounting won’t fly with overburdened taxpayers
Park Record editorial

“If you take care of the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves.”
That old Depression-era saying may seem clichéd when we are constantly bombarded with news about deficits of millions and trillions of dollars. But maybe that is the problem.
This week, a spokesperson for the Utah State Office of Education shrugged off a $25 million accounting error as small potatoes, saying the state will probably be able cover it with end-of-the-year carryover funds. A couple of years ago, Summit County found itself in a similar situation and borrowed $1.6 million from its rainy-day fund to plug a deficit.
http://goo.gl/VM4xy

Red Meat pundits have trouble setting record straight
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist PAUL ROLLY

It’s getting harder and harder for our right-wing friends on the radio and in the Legislature to set the record straight. Sometimes it takes erasers, magic markers and scissors.
After I pointed out last week that conservative legislators on K-TALK’s Red Meat Radio were a bit selective when criticizing government contracts or loan guarantees gone bad, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, called me out.
Weiler, one of the conservative legislators who went on a lengthy diatribe about the federal loan guarantee to the alternative energy company Solyndra, didn’t like my recent characterization of his rationale.
The Solyndra bankruptcy cost about $500 million. Republicans like to blame Obama since he was president when the deal was awarded.
I pointed out that those same conservatives don’t talk about Digital Bridge — a company that received a contract through the Utah Office of Education to supply software monitoring of student progress — which also went bankrupt.
That cost the state about $3 million, which had a bigger impact on Utah’s budget than Solyndra did on the federal budget.
Weiler said I was comparing apples to oranges since Obama picked Solyndra and Digital Bridge was chosen through a competitive bid process.
http://goo.gl/jpgXV

Utah’s Revenue Projections Looking Good … Maybe
Utah Policy commentary by columnist Bob Bernick

Congratulations, State of Utah.
New revenue estimates say the current budget year should end with either a $30 million deficit or (more likely) a $60 million surplus.
These are only estimates, and will be updated in November, when Gov. Gary Herbert puts the final touches on his budget recommendations to the Legislature.
The current fiscal year ends June 30, in just a few weeks.
If the estimates are on the positive side, after some mandatory siphons (like to the Rainy Day Fund), lawmakers and Herbert will have those monies to spend or save in the 2013 Legislature.
http://goo.gl/4eCRO

‘Schindler’s List’ producer too hot for Montana high school?
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Sean P. Means

Hollywood producer Gerald Molen – whose credits include the Oscar-winning “Schindler’s List” and the LDS missionary story “The Other Side of Heaven” – is claiming officials scratched a commencement speech he was going to give at a Montana high school, because he’s a conservative.
Molen wrote a letter to the local paper, the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Mont., complaining that he was told he could not speak to graduating seniors at Ronan High School – but was only told after he had driven there, 90 minutes from his home in Bigfork, Mont.
Molen told The Hollywood Reporter that the reason the school officials gave for his cancelation was that he was “a right-wing conservative.”
http://goo.gl/UbdKa

Mayors pull the (parent) trigger
Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

I’ve written before about parent “trigger” laws that give parents the power to close failing schools. On Saturday the U.S. Conference of Mayors voted unanimously to endorse trigger laws.
http://goo.gl/30wYG

Former students curious about school’s time capsules
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Janet L. Preece

My kids and all of their friends are all grown now, but still treasure their days at Wasatch Elementary (June 19, “Wasatch elementary School demolished for new building”).
One of the fondest memories is making time capsules that they buried under the big pine tree out in the front of the school. Are they going to open those or make them part of the new school? The kids would really like to know. They meant so much to all of the kids. We would all like to know what will be done with them. All the kids want to say, “Thank you, Miss King.”
http://goo.gl/73ihj

Utah Broadband Advisory Council Report
A report on the discussions, findings, and accomplishments of the Council during its inaugural year: June 2011‐May 2012
Utah Broadband Advisory Council analysis

The Utah Broadband Advisory Council (the “Council”) was formed in June 2011 and convenes on a monthly basis to discuss the status of broadband adoption and deployment in the State of Utah. This Report summarizes the deliberations and findings of the Council as of May 2012 and is intended to provide Governor Gary R. Herbert, the Utah State Legislature, and other interested parties an overview of the Council’s recommendations and policy guidance.
Utah has received national recognition for its extensive broadband infrastructure and high broadband adoption rate. According to a 2011 report published by the U.S. Department of Commerce entitled Exploring the Digital Nation: Computer and Internet Use at Home, Utah ranked #1 of all states in average home broadband adoption. The following report, compiled by the Utah Broadband Project, details the programs and organizations that have contributed to these accomplishments and highlights the recommendations made by the Council to continue coordinating efforts to expand broadband access and use throughout Utah.
http://goo.gl/ITKV9

Winning campaign issue? Charter schools
USA Today op-ed by Richard Whitmire, co-author, with Gaston Caperton, of the just-released The Achievable Dream: College Board Lessons on Creating Great Schools

As a veteran education reporter, I have some advice for parents listening to Mitt Romney and Barack Obama debate this issue. Tune out the phony disagreements such as school vouchers (which are unlikely to make a difference) and instead focus on where the two agree: Launch more great charter schools.
Four years ago, a push to ramp up approval for charters, which are publicly funded but independently run schools, would have been somewhat rash. Even the high-flying charters, where inner city kids showed impressive academic growth, had weaknesses: teacher burnout, a shortage of great school leaders and an addiction to foundation funding that impeded rapid expansion.
But recent developments give charter schools promise that warrants the blessings of Romney and Obama.
http://goo.gl/Zznbm

Common Standards Released for Career and Technical Education
Education Week commentary by columnist Catherine Gewertz

You’ve heard tons about the common standards in mathematics and English/language arts that have been adopted by all but four states. You’ve heard, also, about the science frameworks that are intended to support shared standards in that subject. Now there are common standards in career and technical education.
Released this week at the National Career Clusters Institute, the “Common Career Technical Core” is an attempt to ensure that career and tech-ed standards are of top quality in all states.
Their design was led by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, or NASDCTEc. The organization says it sought input from about 3,500 people in 42 states and the District of Columbia, including those in higher education, K-12, and business, to shape the standards.
The standards are divided up into 16 career clusters that represent different industries, and subsets of pathways within each cluster.
http://goo.gl/rJfAe

A copy of the standards
http://goo.gl/cPZzR

Why Einstein Was Not Qualified To Teach High-School Physics
KPIU commentary by Charles Wheelan, who teaches public policy at Dartmouth and the University of Chicago

Strict licensing laws can end up excluding some really excellent service providers from a profession. I had always used the hypothetical example that when Albert Einstein retired to Princeton, New Jersey, he would have been legally barred from teaching high school physics (because he lacked courses in first-aid, among other things).
When my wife tried to make a mid-career switch to teaching math in the Chicago Public Schools, I no longer needed a hypothetical example. I realized that licensing had the potential to be every bit as harmful in practice as I’d been saying it was in theory.
My wife Leah graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth. She was a computer science major with an emphasis on math. She worked in the software industry, built a company, and then sold it. She seemed, in every respect, perfectly qualified to teach middle-school math.
http://goo.gl/hm4zl

6 Tips for the Successful Online Teacher
THE Journal commentary by columnist Richard Rose

In recent intake interviews with new students of education at West Texas A&M University, I found that teaching online is the new Holy Grail for many young K-12 educators. They dream about how wonderful it would be to spend part of their day working from home in their bunny slippers and to conduct meaningful interactions with students via Skype while preparing dinner. To this group, teaching online means never having to be anywhere at any particular time, never having to wear uncomfortable “professional clothes,” and never being asked a question without having time to research the answer.
After two decades in online teaching in both the corporate world and higher education, I regret to report that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the network connection. While online teaching offers many rewards for instructors, it takes a special set of skills and attitudes to excel at it. And these are emphatically not the same skills and attitudes that make an exceptional classroom teacher. Here’s the mindset it takes to be a successful online teacher:
http://goo.gl/TO2iN

An Analysis of the Use and Validity of Test-Based Teacher Evaluations Reported by the Los Angeles Times: 2011
National Education Policy Center analysis

For the second time, the Los Angeles Times published results of statistical testing examining the variation in teacher and school performance in the LA Unified School District. The resulting ranking system was found to be inaccurate due to the unreliable methodology.
http://nepc.colorado.edu/files/rb-latimesii.pdf

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Charter Schools Still Enroll Fewer Disabled Students
New York Times

Charter schools in most states continue to enroll proportionately fewer students with disabilities than traditional public schools, a new government report shows.
Across the country, disabled students represented 8.2 percent of all students enrolled during the 2009-10 year in charter schools, compared with 11.2 percent of students attending traditional public schools, according to a Government Accountability Office analysis of Department of Education data.
In the previous year, 7.7 percent of students in charter schools had disabilities, compared with 11.3 percent in traditional public schools. Data covered students ages 6 to 21 in the 40 states that have charter schools.
Critics of charter schools, which are financed with taxpayer money but typically enjoy more autonomy than district public schools, have said the charters skim the best students from their communities and are less likely to enroll students with special needs.
http://goo.gl/kuQbp

http://goo.gl/f3MIS (WSJ)

http://goo.gl/X58Tl (Ed Week)

A copy of the report
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-543

States form coalition to boost career training
Associated Press

More than a year after the release of a Harvard University report encouraging the development of more pathways to careers for young adults, a coalition of six states has begun taking steps toward offering viable alternatives for students beyond attending a four-year college.
The Pathways to Prosperity report by Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education concluded millions of students are being shortchanged in preparation for a successful career by a one-size-fits-all approach that encourages everyone to earn a bachelor’s degree.
The researchers noted that while most jobs now require some higher education, just a third of those created in the coming years are expected to require a bachelor’s degree or higher. The same amount will need an associate’s degree or occupational credential. The report’s authors urged the U.S. to place a greater emphasis on occupational instruction.
Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee announced Tuesday they have formed a network to build alternative tracks leading to a successful career. They’ll be working with the Pathways to Prosperity Project at Harvard and Jobs for the Future to connect employers with educators and policymakers.
http://goo.gl/4P6lR

For Many Latino Students, College Seems Out of Reach
But some K-12 schools, colleges, and nonprofits are succeeding in helping such students make the leap from high school to higher education
Education Week

The college-application process is hard enough. Between studying for admissions tests, writing essays, and filling out financial-aid forms, many students find it overwhelming.
Now consider how much harder it might be if English is not your first language, no one in your family has gone to college, and you don’t have enough money to visit campuses, let alone pay tuition.
That’s the situation for many Latino students. And experts and advocates say those barriers, in large part, explain why they trail other Americans in completing higher education.
Just 37 percent of adult Hispanics have completed some college coursework or an associate degree. This lags behind the postsecondary attainment of Asians, whites, and blacks, each of which have rates above 50 percent. That’s not to say there hasn’t been progress. Over the past decade, Latino adults’ educational attainment has increased significantly, and the number of Hispanics with a bachelor’s degree has risen 80 percent from 2.1 million to 3.8 million, according to research by Excelencia in Education, a Washington-based national nonprofit that advocates for Latino success in higher education.
http://goo.gl/BEU4i

Bridging the digital divide in America’s rural schools
Hechinger Report

YODER, Colo. — Surrounded by farmland and ranches, Colorado’s Edison School sits off an unpaved road, with tumbleweeds blowing across its dirt parking lot. As recently as a few years ago, many families relied on solar or wind power instead of electricity; today, many still haul home their water from wells. Principal Rachel Paul estimates that 25 to 30 percent of her students don’t have Internet access at home.
Yet at Edison—where about three-quarters of the 120 K-12 students are eligible for free- or reduced-priced lunch—there are as many computers as there are students. On one recent day, Paul Frank’s fourth- and fifth-graders started off by learning about latitude and longitude on Google Maps and ended sprawled around the classroom on laptops, putting together presentations about the Midwest. While one student searched for photos of famous people born in Minnesota and Wisconsin, another used Google to find out Nebraska’s annual rainfall.
Frank and administrators in the two-school district, located an hour east of Colorado Springs in Yoder, Colo., have big technological ambitions. They want to infuse technology into every inch of the curriculum, from using iPods to help elementary students practice reading to mandating that high-school seniors take a computer-science course to graduate.
It’s not about improving test scores—last year, every single one of Edison’s elementary students was deemed proficient on the state’s math exam. Instead, the goal is to expand the students’ horizons and prepare them for college and the workplace, where technological literacy will no doubt be assumed.
http://goo.gl/2fgIS

Confidence in U.S. Public Schools at New Low
Confidence also at new lows for organized religion, banks, and TV news
Gallup

PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ confidence in public schools is down five percentage points from last year, with 29% expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in them. That establishes a new low in public school confidence from the 33% measured in Gallup’s 2007 and 2008 Confidence in Institutions polls. The high was 58% the first time Gallup included public schools, in 1973.
In addition to public schools, this year’s Confidence in Institutions survey finds record lows, all by one percentage point, in Americans’ confidence in the church or organized religion (44%), banks (21%), and television news (21%).
Gallup has asked Americans to say how much confidence they have in a variety of U.S. institutions since 1973, including annually since 1993.
http://goo.gl/xuVUF

http://goo.gl/yCGT2 (Politico)

http://goo.gl/0JtKv (AP)

New venture fund to focus on CPS education reform
Teachers union protests idea as pushing privatization of schools
Chicago Tribune

A new venture fund devoted to education reform efforts in Chicago’s public schools is being proposed by a group of civic leaders under the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
A group of 20 midcareer professionals brought together by the council from the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors hopes to create the fund as a way to better prepare Chicago Public Schools students to compete in the global economy.
But even as the group, which includes Sonya Anderson of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Paul Bauerschmidt of CME Group and Gillian Darlow, a principal at the Civic Consulting Alliance, announced the proposed $10 million nonprofit at a downtown event Tuesday at the InterContinental Chicago hotel, the Chicago Teachers Union passed out leaflets outside the hotel protesting the venture.
Critics of reform efforts in Chicago say many of the well-funded initiatives to fix CPS involve opening more privately run charter schools and closing down the district’s traditional neighborhood schools.
http://goo.gl/i5EaG

College Board sets up 857 desks on National Mall
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — While schools across the country are letting out this week, class is in session on the National Mall. That is where the College Board set up 857 student desks in the blazing sun Tuesday.
The empty desks – one for each student who drops out each hour of every school day, according to the College Board – are part of its “Don’t Forget Ed!” campaign. For the launch Wednesday, College Board representatives including college-aged students will circle the seats on the Mall, asking passersby to sign petitions urging the presidential candidates to say more about education reform.
http://goo.gl/qrYA7

Indian Americans top in income and education
New York Daily News

Washington — Indian Americans are the highest-income and best-educated people in the United States and the third largest among Asian Americans who have surpassed Latinos as the fastest-growing racial group, according to a new survey.
Asians as a whole too are better educated and earn more than the general US population, according to the Pew Research Centre report on “The rose of Asian Americans” released Tuesday.
Indians, who now number 3.18 millions, the third largest after the Chinese (4 million) and the Filipinos (3.4 million) have a median household annual income of $88,000, much higher than for all Asians ($66,000) and all US households ($49,800).
Median annual personal earnings for Indian-American full-time, year-round workers are $65,000, significantly higher than for all Asian Americans ($48,000) as well as for all US adults ($40,000).
Seven-in-ten (70 percent) Indian Americans ages 25 and older, have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree; this is higher than the Asian-American share (49 percent) and much higher than the national share (28 percent), the survey found.
http://goo.gl/Qpstj

A copy of the report
http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/asianamericans/

AMA supports requiring obesity education for kids
Associated Press

CHICAGO — The American Medical Association on Wednesday put its weight behind requiring yearly instruction aimed at preventing obesity for public schoolchildren and teens.
The nation’s largest physicians group agreed to support legislation that would require classes in causes, consequences and prevention of obesity for first through 12th graders. Doctors will be encouraged to volunteer their time to help with that under the new policy adopted on the final day of the AMA’s annual policymaking meeting.
Another new policy adopted Wednesday says the AMA supports the idea of taxing sugar-sweetened sodas as one way to help pay for obesity-fighting programs. But the group stopped short of a full-fledged endorsement. Some doctors think soda taxes would disproportionately hurt the poor and disadvantaged. Others said taxes shouldn’t be used to force people to make healthful decisions they should be making on their own.
http://goo.gl/RXF2w

http://goo.gl/mdlav (AMA)

Studies Dispute Benefits of Brain Training
Education Week

While programs to improve students’ working memory are among the hottest new education interventions, new studies are calling into question whether exercises to improve this foundational skill can actually translate into greater intelligence, problem-solving ability, or academic achievement.
Working memory is the system the mind uses to hold information during decisionmaking and analysis. As much as half of the variation in individual intelligence can be explained by differences in working-memory capacity, research shows. Working memory has come to be considered by researchers and educators as a key leverage point in boosting brainpower overall—and programs designed to strengthen it are already finding their way into some schools and homes.
But a systematic review of 23 studies on working-memory training programs, published online last month by the journal Developmental Psychology, found such training produced few long-term benefits to working-memory skills and no improvements to other cognitive skills like verbal ability, attention, word decoding, or arithmetic.
And a randomized, controlled study to be published online next week in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, found that improving on a key task used in working-memory training did not lead to improvements on any of a battery of 17 cognitive-ability measures, including problem-solving intelligence, multitasking, and perception speed.
http://goo.gl/JSqCI

Lervag and Hulme study
http://goo.gl/axM47

Redick, Shipstead, Harrison, Hicks, Fried, Hambrick, Kane, and Engle study
http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2012-16236-001/

Box tops net millions for education, one dime at a time
The humble box tops clipped from Cheerios, cake mixes and more raised more than $74 million this school year.
Minneapolis Star Tribune

About 700 million — yes, million — box tops poured into a General Mills processing center this school year, marking record-high participation in Box Tops for Education, a school fundraiser that has exploded to become the biggest in the nation.
The program, launched in 1996, has paid out nearly half a billion dollars to more than 90,000 schools. Born in Minnesota’s back yard, it’s in the midst of a major growth spurt: School payouts zoomed from $33 million to $74 million in just the past five years.
Cheerios box tops have been joined by 240 products, from Kleenex anti-viral tissues to gluten-free cake mixes. And parents can acquire virtual box tops by doing everything from watching an online Ford commercial to participating in a consumer survey.
While some critics charge that it’s one more example of corporate marketing seeping into the nation’s schools, volunteers who run the programs say cutting box tops for 10 cents a crack is a relatively simple way to raise money for cash-strapped classrooms.
http://goo.gl/mrLVV

School’s out for summer … but why?
CNN

The reasons why America’s students enjoy around two months off every summer probably aren’t based on some archaic, farm-based education schedule, as many people believe.
They’re more likely the result of what was happening in American cities.
Flash back to the mid-1800s. Students in rural communities were needed to help with farm work, to be sure – but not in the summertime. Spring was the planting season, and fall was the harvesting one; summer might’ve been a great time to study, as it wouldn’t have been interrupted by work involving crops.
But in U.S. cities, where students were taught throughout the calendar year, some of the education experts and doctors of the day believed too much schooling placed a stress on kids. And there were several factors that made summertime the ideal time for a break.
http://goo.gl/f5WVs

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CALENDAR
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USOE Calendar
http://tinyurl.com/5x9oh9

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

June 20:
Education Interim Committee meeting
10:30 a.m., House Building Room 30
http://goo.gl/ta285

Special Session of the Legislature
3 p.m., Capitol Building
http://le.utah.gov/session/2012S4/2012s4.htm

July 12:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://1.usa.gov/Axtt5K

August 3:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

August 14:
Executive Appropriations Interim Committee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://goo.gl/E0hoC

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