Education News Roundup: Aug. 8, 2012

"CHEER 2009" by Neys/CC/flickr

“CHEER 2009” by Neys/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Governor says a better economy in Utah will raise education funding.
http://goo.gl/9NWDH (OSE)

Trib profiles Pacific Heritage Academy.
http://goo.gl/e3Mt6 (SLT)

Trib editorial board backs up on Common Core.
http://goo.gl/xuniM (SLT)

Sen. Urquhart challenges public and higher ed to come up with a $3,000 degree.
http://goo.gl/QXjSw (Blog)

Ed Week looks at technology vs. teachers.
http://goo.gl/FHUyU (Ed Week)

Reuters looks at “cost shifting” in schools, that is, from taxpayers to fees.
http://goo.gl/DRGXr (Reuters)

It’s official. Competitive cheerleading is not a sport.
http://goo.gl/qB35J (Reuters)
and http://goo.gl/8DuPP (Ed Week)
or a copy of the ruling
http://goo.gl/3I4G3

Zowwie. A $60 million high school football stadium in … wait for it … yep, Texas.
http://goo.gl/yqSbf (FoxSports)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Guv: Better economy could help education funding

Utah Charter school will blend Pacific Island culture, education Pacific Heritage Academy will weave Pacific Islander culture into its lessons.

Making a Difference
Jamie Goebel named the ‘Best Teacher in Washington County 2012’

American Fork Jr. secretary is glue that holds school together

Copper Hills students may soon grow their own lunches

Concussions and youth football: How big is the risk?

Anti-bullying campaign encourages action from bystanders

Utah Withdraws From Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Developing Common Core Tests

District hires new Parley’s Elementary principal David Gomez to take Michele Wallace’s former position

Canyons District announces open enrollment window for 2013-14

Quarters for Christmas program gives Utah Education Foundation $130,000

OPINION & COMMENTARY

More to learning than just textbooks

Keep the cursive

Correction

Utah Colleges: How About a College Degree for $3000?

Indoctrinating children

Don’t let the best teachers get away

National Education Association: Put students first

Average Is Over, Part II

Common Core now a federal education threat For real freedom, we need to return as much local control as we can.

What’s In Store for Common Core?

Business Opportunities Seen in New Tests, Low Scores

The looming ‘classroom cliff’

Three core values of science, engineering and how ed reform contradicts them

School reform gets cool
It’s no longer just for nerds

On teachers unions and sexual predators

Eligibility hits home at high schools
Diverse landscape of secondary education offers myriad problems, solutions

Infographic: A Closer Look at the NCLB Waivers

NATION

Can Technology Replace Teachers?
Quality debated as districts tap tech over teachers

Teachers union leaders to lawmakers: Education reform should happen with us, not to us

Legislative-Control Fights Up Ante on K-12 Policy Changes made after elections in 2010 could spread

Bernanke Says Financial Education Boosts Economy

The school where learning is a game
Inside a classroom in New York, students playing games aren’t goofing off. They’re on task — explorers on a mission to prove that game theory and game mechanics are the best tools for students in the 21st century.

Teachers put to test by digital cheats
Smartphone access, information superhighway open new avenues for plagiarism and sharing of answers — while offering educators new tools for patrolling student work

Competitive cheerleading not a sport, federal appeals court rules

Monroe Baptist minister criticizes Jindal on voucher plan

Puerto Rico Schools Embrace Bilingualism

Sending your kid back to school? It’s going to cost you

How To Play It-Booking retail profits on back to school

Looking at the benefits and drawbacks of extending the school year for children

Columbus school board waives attorney-client privilege in attendance probe

Allen H.S. unveils $60 million football stadium

Teachers criticise Cameron’s Olympic school-sport remarks Head teachers’ leaders have called the prime minister’s comments on school sport “extremely unfair”.

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UTAH NEWS
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Guv: Better economy could help education funding

LAYTON — Improving Utah’s economy will bring in revenues, which in turn will generate additional funds for education, said Gov. Gary Herbert.
“We did that last year and were able to bring $200 million of new funds into education. If the economy continues to grow as I hope with the next budget cycle we can put another $150 million or so into education,” Herbert said Tuesday.
The governor spoke to about 200 members of the Northern Utah Chamber Coalition at Weber State University Davis campus.
The coalition, which was formed four years ago, consists of the chambers of commerce from Brigham City, Cache County, Ogden-Weber and Davis County, The group works together on issues that cross county boundaries, like transportation, education, economic development and tourism.
Herbert was asked how the state can generate more funds for education.
Herbert said lawmakers have two choices: Raise taxes or find ways to improve the economy.
Herbert favors improving the economy over raising taxes.
http://goo.gl/9NWDH (OSE)

Utah Charter school will blend Pacific Island culture, education
Pacific Heritage Academy will weave Pacific Islander culture into its lessons.

The grassy farmland off Redwood Road in Salt Lake City was once a gang hang-out. A vacant barn on a lot near 1000 North drew troublemakers. Drug activity wasn’t unusual outside apartment complexes in the area, a reality neighbors in the surrounding blocks lined with quiet single family homes hoped would change.
Now those hopes have been realized: A new charter school scheduled to open in a few weeks has not only changed the face of the neighborhood but is changing the way education will be offered to Utah’s Pacific Islander community.
After four years of planning, construction is furiously wrapping up on a 33,000-square-foot facility that will open as the Pacific Heritage Academy on Sept. 5.
http://goo.gl/e3Mt6 (SLT)

Making a Difference
Jamie Goebel named the ‘Best Teacher in Washington County 2012’

Unlike many of her counterparts in education, Jamie Goebel didn’t really plan on being a teacher.
Originally a student of communication, Goebel received her bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in advertising and went to work as a media buyer for an advertising agency in Salt Lake City. She loved her job, but when she married and had her first child she quickly learned that her current professional schedule simply wasn’t conducive to having a family.
Her realization coincided with she and her husband’s decision to move to Paige, Ariz. The driving force behind their decision? To be closer to the lake.
In Paige, the couple opened a little café, but after a while Goebel decided there had to be something more.
“I wanted to do something where I could make a difference to more than just people’s pocketbooks,” Goebel says, while seated in the living room of her Santa Clara home.
She went back to school to earn another degree, this time studying to become an elementary school teacher. Eleven years later, Goebel says she hopes she is truly making a difference in the lives of her students.
http://goo.gl/HnX44 (St. George Magazine)

American Fork Jr. secretary is glue that holds school together

When a horse is not performing well, he or she may — at least figuratively — be sent to the glue factory. It’s not a favorable comment.
For a human, however, a comparison to glue can be quite complimentary.
Terese Hansen, the administrative secretary at American Fork Junior High School, has recently been compared to glue. Principal Shane Farnsworth nominated her as the Alpine School District Employee of the Year for the school, and that nomination was confirmed.
http://goo.gl/PfgV3 (PDH)

Copper Hills students may soon grow their own lunches

WEST JORDAN — Copper Hills High School students may soon be able to grow their own school lunches.
A 1,500-square-foot greenhouse is being built at Copper Hills High. Alongside it, a botany, science and horticulture classroom is going in for students who want to study in those fields.
Nutrition services is also looking at the greenhouse as an opportunity to teach young men and women about the importance of growing food and tracking everything that food is exposed to from ground to table.
http://goo.gl/x1lZg (DN)

Concussions and youth football: How big is the risk?

SALT LAKE CITY — Over the past couple of years, there has been a lot of attention on former NFL players and the effects of concussions — injuries that are always serious, and sometimes deadly.
That attention has since trickled down to the beginning stages of the game: pee-wee and high school football. When it comes to team sports in Utah, football is the biggest cause of traumatic brain injury.
From kick-off to the final play, there is something about football that just draws you in. There’s the drama, the speed, the athletics; and for many there is a huge thrill in watching the explosive, and often violent, hits.
But while the sport can be super fun for the spectator, it’s a little less fun for the guy getting his bell rung.
http://goo.gl/AdGeG (KSL)

Anti-bullying campaign encourages action from bystanders

SALT LAKE CITY — In the third annual conference on Anti-bullying, advocates are launching a new campaign to prevent both face-to-face and online harassment. The message for young people at a national summit to stop bullying is: “Don’t’ Be a Bystander.”
Incidents of bullying across the nation have continued to rise, and now the White House is backing the new campaign.
“It’s going into somebody’s heart and you’re potentially wounding someone in a way that they’re going to remember for a lifetime,” said Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama.
The new Anti-bullying campaign is urging those who witness bullying to do something. In Utah, the state office of education is taking a similar message to all the school districts.
http://goo.gl/dRn4Z (KSL)

Utah Withdraws From Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Developing Common Core Tests

The Utah state school board on Friday voted 12-3 to withdraw from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium — one of two state-based consortia working off of $360 million in federal Race to the Top money to have outside companies develop assessments that test the Common Core State Standards, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Utah’s withdrawal means the state won’t have a say in the composition of these tests anymore. But it can still choose to test students with SBAC’s exams when they’re ready for primetime. By withdrawing from the consortium, however, Utah will be able to select its Common Core-based tests without prior connection to any one group, which some say could have been perceived as a conflict of interest.
http://goo.gl/m4H3F (HuffPo)

District hires new Parley’s Elementary principal
David Gomez to take Michele Wallace’s former position

The Park City Board of Education hired a new principal for Parley’s Park Elementary School at its meeting Tuesday morning. David Gomez will replace Michele Wallace, the former principal who left the school district last month to take a position in Huntsville, Ala. as the Challenger Elementary School principal.
http://goo.gl/GNJRn (PR)

Canyons District announces open enrollment window for 2013-14

SANDY — Canyons School District has slightly altered the time frame to submit requests to attend a school other than the one assigned by geographic boundaries.
The school open-enrollment application window for the 2013-14 school year started Aug. 1. Applications will be taken until Nov. 1.
http://goo.gl/YL5ty (DN)

Quarters for Christmas program gives Utah Education Foundation $130,000

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah schools had a chance to celebrate Christmas early this year when KSL presented a check for $130,000 this morning.
All of the money was donated through KSL’s “Quarter’s For Christmas” program. The money will be used throughout the school year for students in need.
The amount raised in the fundraiser was significantly higher than the previous year which will ensure that more students can have the funding they need. The KSL “Quarter’s For Christmas” program has been providing shoes for students for over 40 years, and they are excited to continue doing so in future years.
http://goo.gl/PD2b5 (KSL)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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More to learning than just textbooks
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

UVU’s first ever Chinese Summer Days camp taught elementary school students Chinese on Monday and Tuesday, but not with textbooks, essays or quizzes.
Instead, the kids learned about Chinese language and culture through music, dance, poetry and food. The camp, designed especially for dual immersion language program students, is meant to enhance the education they are already receiving during the school year. Parents get involved, too.
While two days may not seem long enough to get a grasp of China, it’s a great start.
http://goo.gl/9axbo

Keep the cursive
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

In a board of education meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah education officials discussed whether to continue teaching cursive handwriting at schools. State associate superintendent Brenda Hales said some may think children don’t need cursive because proficiency with electronic devices is increasingly seen as more important than proficiency in writing cursive. But Hales believes it is nevertheless an important skill.
How the abolition of an efficient form of handwriting could be seriously contemplated is beyond us. According to Edward Tenner, a technology and culture historian, learning and teaching cursive is not “retro sentimentality or neo-Luddism.” Learning cursive is valuable for brain development in youngsters. It strengthens the connections between hand and brain.
http://goo.gl/B7TzS

Correction
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

Tuesday’s Tribune editorial “Children lose out” erroneously stated that the Utah State Board of Education has decided to withdraw from a group of states working to adopt Common Core school standards. In fact, the board voted to withdraw from a consortium of states working on tests based on Common Core standards.
http://goo.gl/xuniM

Utah Colleges: How About a College Degree for $3000?
Commentary by Sen. Steve Urquhart

Texas is kicking higher education butt by offering college degrees—start to finish—for $10,000. Awesome. That is opportunity! But, here’s my idea: Utah should see the Lone Star State’s bet and raise it one. Or, rather, lower it one.
My challenge to myself, my legislative colleagues, our visionaries in the Utah higher education system and our friends in public education is to develop college degrees for less than $10,000. Much less. And, while we’re at it, let’s see if we might even raise the quality of the educational experience.
Can the Legislature figure this out? Probably not. We don’t have the expertise. But, rather than a top-down mandate, we can work with each institution to (1) see if they’re interested in the challenge and, if so, (2) get them the tools they’ll need to get it done.
http://goo.gl/QXjSw

Indoctrinating children
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Bill Forbes

Recently, the Texas GOP added a plank to its platform that “calls for an end to the teaching of ‘critical thinking’ in public schools” (“Texan pledges to protect golf from the U.N.,” Tribune, Aug. 3).
Hand in glove with that effort are the “patriot camps” for children in grades 1-6, many sponsored by Glenn Beck’s conservative 9/12 Project (a little right of the tea party), that indoctrinate children in the ways of conservatism. They are being organized across the nation, including Utah.
Put the two movements together, and the focus is to raise a generation that is politically indoctrinated and unable to use critical thinking skills to analyze things for themselves. Can you think of any countries with political systems, past or present, who had this same philosophy?
http://goo.gl/L7254

Don’t let the best teachers get away
USA Today editorial

School districts across the USA are laying off teachers this summer — a pattern that has become an annual rite in some places where budgets are shrinking and enrollments are dropping.
About the only upside to the cutbacks is the opportunity they offer to winnow out low-performing teachers and leave the best talent in the classroom. But in too many districts, that’s not happening. The result? When students return to school over the next few weeks, they’ll find some of the best teachers gone and some of the worst still in their classrooms.
In four major cities, the top teachers leave schools at about the same rate as the least successful teachers, according to a study released last week by TNTP, a non-profit educational advocacy group formerly known as The New Teacher Project. Many schools don’t even try to keep what the report calls these “irreplaceables.” Schools fail to value or reward their most valuable players more than their least successful teachers. The consequences are devastating.
http://goo.gl/MZUpb

National Education Association: Put students first
USA Today op-ed by Becky Pringle, secretary-treasurer of the National Education Association

With the release of its new report, The New Teacher Project has helped focus attention on one of our nation’s most valuable assets: the dedicated professionals who educate our children. The National Education Association agrees that attracting and retaining great teachers must be a top priority, and it will only become more urgent over the next decade, when we’ll need 1.6 million new teachers, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Given the scope of this challenge, a narrow focus on peripheral issues, such as seniority, is a distraction from the hard work at hand. This challenge requires us to work together and hold everyone accountable for the success of our children — not only educators but also principals, parents and the public officials who provide resources.
Every teacher has an impact on young lives, so NEA members are working through local affiliates to ensure that every teacher is “irreplaceable.”
http://goo.gl/eE5hC

Average Is Over, Part II
New York Times commentary by columnist THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

A big mismatch exists today between how U.S. C.E.O.’s look at the world and how many American politicians and parents look at the world — and it may be preventing us from taking our education challenge as seriously as we must.
For many politicians, “outsourcing” is a four-letter word because it involves jobs leaving “here” and going “there.” But for many C.E.O.’s, outsourcing is over. In today’s seamlessly connected world, there is no “out” and no “in” anymore. There is only the “good,” “better” and “best” places to get work done, and if they don’t tap into the best, most cost-efficient venue wherever that is, their competition will.
For politicians, it’s all about “made in America,” but, for C.E.O.’s, it is increasingly about “made in the world” — a world where more and more products are now imagined everywhere, designed everywhere, manufactured everywhere in global supply chains and sold everywhere. American politicians are still citizens of our states and cities, while C.E.O.’s are increasingly citizens of the world, with mixed loyalties. For politicians, all their customers are here; for C.E.O.’s, 90 percent of their new customers are abroad. The credo of the politician today is: “Why are you not hiring more people here?” The credo of the C.E.O. today is: “You only hire someone — anywhere — if you absolutely have to,” if a smarter machine, robot or computer program is not available.
Yes, this is a simplification, but the trend is accurate. The trend is that for more and more jobs, average is over.
http://goo.gl/wFdee

State Budgets Appear Stable, but Concerns About ‘Uncertainty’ Remain
Education Week commentary by columnist Andrew Ujifusa

Believe it or not, states are only a few months away from the start of their 2013 legislative sessions, and of course preparations get underway well before those official start dates. So how does the budget picture look for states going into next year, and what are the implications for K-12?
A new summer report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, released Aug. 7, says that the overall picture is stable and slowly improving for states in general, but that unemployment remains high in many states and fears about developments at the federal level and abroad (like European debt woes) could easily make the picture dark and stormy once again.
“State budgets remain susceptible to any economic shocks. The uncertainty at the federal budget level and Medicaid spending are a concern,” said William Pound, executive director of NCSL, in a statement accompanying the report’s release. “The bottom line: State budgets still face considerable challenges.”
http://goo.gl/taZ1i

A copy of the report
http://goo.gl/pWLmW

Common Core now a federal education threat
For real freedom, we need to return as much local control as we can.
Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel editorial

A funny thing happened to the Common Core education standards that originated with the National Governors Association and were intended for voluntary adoption by states. They were hijacked by the Obama administration, which fully intends for them to become mandatory federal standards. There is a proposal to make Title I dollars contingent on a state’s adoption of the standards, and already the administration has required states to sign on in order to get No Child Left Behind waivers.
“This administration has an insatiable appetite for federal overreach,” Indiana Superintendent of Public Education Tony Bennett told a tea party gathering. “The federal government’s involvement in these standards is wrong.”
http://goo.gl/M4wno

What’s In Store for Common Core?
National Education Writers Association commentary by Glen Baity

Forty-six states plus the District of Columbia have pledged to use the Common Core standards, and all but five states are involved in collaborative efforts to develop related assessments. Yet while supporters see Common Core as a watershed, much needs to go right for the initiative to bear fruit. What are the key questions journalists need to ask?
http://goo.gl/cKJsz

Business Opportunities Seen in New Tests, Low Scores
Education Week commentary by columnist Jason Tomassini

If the chart above appears only to be a mess of undecipherable bubbles, look more closely. The man who prepared it, Robert Lytle, a head of Parthenon Group’s Education Center of Excellence, sees a business opportunity.
I’ll explain. The chart shows all 50 states plotted based on two factors: the state’s change in per-student education spending, and the difference between how many students scored “proficient” on state tests vs. national tests. The size of each bubble is based on population. A state like California, a populous state that is slashing its education budget but rates its students relatively in line with the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests, goes in the bottom left. A state like Tennessee, where education spending increased between 2008 and 2012 but state test scores wildly overrate students compared with NAEP, goes in the upper right.
It’s in the states in the upper right that the best business opportunity—for both for-profit and non-profit investors, publishers, vendors, and, most importantly, education service providers—can be found, Lytle said.
Those states are among the few actually finding some money. Those are also the states most likely to perform poorly on the upcoming assessments based on the Common Core State Standards, adopted by 45 states.
http://goo.gl/sNSYB

The looming ‘classroom cliff’
CNN commentary by Adam Frankel,
executive director of Digital Promise, a national initiative chartered by Congress to advance innovation in education

At a time when the country is focused on the “fiscal cliff” that will come when huge tax increases and spending cuts kick in at the end of the year, America is also heading toward a “classroom cliff” in our nation’s schools.
In 2014 and 2015, the first tests will be administered to assess how students are measuring up to the Common Core State Standards – new college and career-ready standards that have been adopted by 45 states and three territories. The result of those tests, many educators believe, will be a disaster.
http://goo.gl/X2tPY

Three core values of science, engineering and how ed reform contradicts them
Washington Post commentary by Arthur H. Camins, director of the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at the Stevens Institute of Technology

President Obama and countless reports all says that improving science and engineering literacy and ensuring a next generation of U.S. scientists and engineers are vital to our future. With the notable exceptions of creationists and climate change deniers, there is little opposition to making this an educational priority. However, current education policies at the state and federal levels contradict the core values of science and engineering are therefore likely to inhibit rather than catalyze progress.
Three values are at the heart of the practice of science and engineering and are central to discovery and innovation: searching for uncertainty, recognition of ambiguity and learning from failure. Therefore, it makes sense to nurture these values in school. In sharp contrast, popular education policies ignore ambiguities in assessment data and punish failure as determined by uncertain evidence. Unless checked, the latter will undermine the former.
http://goo.gl/Spcvp

School reform gets cool
It’s no longer just for nerds
New York Post commentary by columnist NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY

Maggie Gyllenhaal, the ultimate hipster actress, stars in “Won’t Back Down,” an education-reform drama that hits theaters next month. When did school choice became cool?
The film is the tale of two parents (one a teacher) who decide to save their own kids and many others by taking over a failing school in a poor Pittsburgh neighborhood.
This follows “Waiting for ‘Superman,’” the 2010 documentary that depicted the fortunes of those desperately competing for a place at a charter school — from the same progressive filmmaker who gave us “An Inconvenient Truth.”
In fact, a whole lot of 20- and 30-somethings across the political spectrum now believe something’s seriously flawed in our public-education system. (You can bet Gyllenhaal wouldn’t have taken the role otherwise.) But why the sea change?
Start by “blaming” Teach For America — which for decades now has placed recent graduates from top colleges as teachers in some of America’s worst public schools.
http://goo.gl/kFdgf

On teachers unions and sexual predators
Washington Post commentary by columnist Valerie Strauss

Under the headline “Campbell Brown: Teachers Unions Go to Bat for Sexual Predators,” the former NBC and CNN reporter writes a tale in The Wall Street Journal about teachers unions that are so darn awful, she says, that they protect members who are sexual predators.
The teachers unions, according to Brown, are “resisting almost any change aimed at improving our public schools.” And, she says, that “perhaps most damaging to the unions’ credibility is their position on sexual misconduct involving teachers and students in New York schools.”
Unfortunately for Brown — and also for those being defamed by this nonsense — she’s wrong about the union position.
Much is being made by Brown critics that in her piece she did not disclose piece that her husband, Dan Senor, is on the board of Michelle Rhee’s anti-teachers union organization StudentsFirst. She should have, and it is not sexist to say so. But this is the least of the problems with this mess.
Without any evidence, she claims that teachers unions have allowed sexual predators to stay or return to the classrooms, and that the unions somehow control arbitrators who are chosen to deal with such cases. They don’t and they don’t.
http://goo.gl/E05dA

Eligibility hits home at high schools
Diverse landscape of secondary education offers myriad problems, solutions
ESPN commentary by columnist Eamonn Brennan

Todd Simon sees it all the time.
As an assistant basketball coach and the de facto academics coordinator at one of the country’s least traditional and most sought-after high school hoops destinations, Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev., just outside Las Vegas, Simon finds himself guzzling from a fire hose of high school academic transcripts from prospective players every year.
Many report cards are good: core classes in order, grade-point average on safe terrain, graduation prospects looking bright. Other transcripts are, well, not.
“Some of the transcripts we’ve come across, you should just see them,” Simon said. “They’re abominable.
“It’s not that kids aren’t making the grades,” Simon said. “It’s that they’re not even passing classes. Whatever it is, and it may be someone in their ear giving them bad advice, no one’s explaining to them that they’re not even going to graduate, let alone qualify [for NCAA competition].”
Which is why the NCAA’s new initial eligibility guidelines have been met with both approval and consternation among high school coaches and administrators charged with preparing athletes for what may be their best shot at a college scholarship.
At schools with the resources and academic chops, this effort comes naturally. At others, the new standards are seen as too unrealistic a measure, taken too early in a teenager’s development.
http://goo.gl/9SJbB

Infographic: A Closer Look at the NCLB Waivers
Center for American Progress analysis

The Obama administration has offered states the chance to waive some requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act in recognition that parts of the law are dated. States are required, however, to make specific reforms in exchange for increased flexibility. Here’s a look at some of these reforms and the flexibility they would provide to states.
http://goo.gl/pp5M1

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Can Technology Replace Teachers?
Quality debated as districts tap tech over teachers
Education Week

Of all the recent budget cuts made by the Eagle County, Colo., school district—the loss of 89 staff jobs through attrition and layoffs, a 1.5 percent across-the-board pay cut, and the introduction of three furlough days—none sparked as much anger or faced the same scrutiny as the decision to cut three foreign-language teaching positions and replace them with online instruction.
At a spring school board meeting, supporters of the targeted programs in French and German, as well as the affected teachers, railed against the 6,200-student district for replacing face-to-face instructors with a digital option they argued would not be as rich or as meaningful.
The highly charged response reflects the fear many teachers are beginning to feel that technology could push them out of their jobs, especially in an era of persistently tight budgets. Emerging management models that rely on a smaller number of highly paid teachers supported by new technology and a larger roster of relatively low-paid paraprofessionals are also fueling such fears.
Those worries seem likely to grow, even though younger teachers and many veterans appreciate the teaching potential of the Internet and digital devices, and educational technology advocates insist the teacher is still essential to any technology-based effort to improve schools.
http://goo.gl/FHUyU

Teachers union leaders to lawmakers: Education reform should happen with us, not to us
Michigan Live

CHICAGO – Education reform is something that should happen with teachers, not to them, leaders of the nation’s two largest teachers told a national gathering of state lawmakers, calling for a new era of collaboration to solve school problems.
“We are part of the system, we are part of the problem, and we want to part of the solution – and I am willing to do that,” National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel said.
And part of that solution and collaboration should include the two unions perhaps coming together as one, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten said.
The two labor chiefs appeared at the National Conference of State Legislatures on a panel with Eric Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Hanushek said the greater cooperation will be essential for the unions if they want to continue to exist.
http://goo.gl/5CJEQ

Legislative-Control Fights Up Ante on K-12 Policy
Changes made after elections in 2010 could spread
Education Week

The fate and scope of state education policy changes passed in the last two years may well hinge on a few hotly contested—and precariously balanced—legislatures this fall, in an election cycle that will see 44 states with lawmakers going before the voters.
In states such as Iowa and Wisconsin, where statehouse control is split between Republicans and Democrats, the stakes are immediate and concrete: a chance to extend, or scale back, dramatic changes in areas such as collective bargaining, school choice, and teacher accountability enacted after the GOP wave that swept over states in 2010.
And the November outcomes could also have broad implications in other policy areas, including debates over adequate funding, at issue in Colorado, where the legislature is also split along party lines.
http://goo.gl/nLRSZ

Bernanke Says Financial Education Boosts Economy
Businessweek

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said financial education and planning boost the economy, and students who learn those skills are likely to save more later in life and better weather market turbulence.
“Financial education supports not only individual well- being, but also the economic health of our nation,” Bernanke said today in remarks prepared for a town hall meeting with teachers at the Fed in Washington. “Consumers who can make informed decisions about financial products and services not only serve their own best interests, but, collectively, they also help promote broader economic stability.”
Financial education “can play a key role” in promoting financial planning such as budgeting and saving for emergencies and retirement, which help households live better and be better positioned to handle financial shocks, said Bernanke, a former Princeton University professor whose wife, Anna, is a teacher.
http://goo.gl/qNYW8

The school where learning is a game
Inside a classroom in New York, students playing games aren’t goofing off. They’re on task — explores on a mission to prove that game theory and game mechanics are the best tools for students in the 21st century.
CNN

New York — At this funky middle school in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, pretty much every class period begins this way:
“What we’re going to do today is play a really cool game.”
That’s Ameer Mourad, a spiky-haired 20-something who teaches a sixth-grade class called “The Way Things Work,” which is a blend of science and math. His school, Quest to Learn (also called Q2L or just “Quest”), is one of only two public schools in the United States that bases its curriculum on game theory and game mechanics.
On this spring morning, Ameer — the kids here call teachers by their first names — didn’t spend too much time lecturing students on the topic at hand: the metric system. Instead, he launched into a board game called “Metric Mystery,” which a full-time game designer who works at the school helped create specifically for the lesson.
Sitting near a wall of lockers in this high-ceilinged classroom, with a view of the New York City skyline, one of Ameer’s students, Duke Tsapalas, is wearing soccer garb and a floppy mop of brown hair. Duke has always been a good student, but he and his mom decided he would come to Quest for sixth grade in hopes that it would be more engaging for him than a traditional classroom.
At first, his mother worried about the decision. Would he really learn more in this game-like environment? What about standardized tests and college?
“It’s frightening and new,” said Heather Church, his mom. “It’s a big roll of the dice.”
They decided it was worth the gamble.
http://goo.gl/tV5qu

Teachers put to test by digital cheats
Smartphone access, information superhighway open new avenues for plagiarism and sharing of answers — while offering educators new tools for patrolling student work
Chicago Tribune

Heloise Pechan’s heart rose when she read the essay one of her students, a seemingly uninterested high school sophomore, had turned in for a class assignment on “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The paper was clear, logical and well written — a sign, she thought, that she had gotten through to the boy.
Her elation passed quickly. What came next was suspicion.
Pechan, then substitute teaching at a McHenry County high school, went to Google, typed the paper’s first sentence (“Kind and understanding, strict but fair, Atticus Finch embodies everything that a father should be”) and there it was: The entire essay had been lifted from an online paper mill.
“I went from amazement and excitement to ‘Oh my God’ in the space of a half-second,” Pechan recalled.
That feeling is going around a lot these days. As technology puts massive computing power and the near-sum of human knowledge within a few taps of a touch screen, educators and students say young people are finding new and increasingly devious ways to cheat.
They’re going to websites that calculate the answers for their math homework. They’re snapping covert photographs of exams and forwarding them to dozens of friends. They’re sneaking cheat sheets into the memory banks of their calculators.
http://goo.gl/KFzEL

Competitive cheerleading not a sport, federal appeals court rules
Reuters

NEW YORK – Competitive cheerleading does not qualify as a sport under Title IX, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that Quinnipiac University discriminated against women, after the Connecticut school eliminated the women’s volleyball team and replaced it with competitive cheerleading.
While competitive cheerleading is “physically challenging” and requires competitors to possess “strength, agility and grace,” Quinnipiac’s program does not yet have the hallmarks of a varsity athletic sport, the court held.
http://goo.gl/qB35J

http://goo.gl/8DuPP (Ed Week)

A copy of the ruling
http://goo.gl/3I4G3

Monroe Baptist minister criticizes Jindal on voucher plan
Alexandria (LA) Town Talk

A Monroe Baptist minister lashed out Tuesday in a letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal criticizing him for pushing through a new statewide voucher plan that funnels state dollars to private and parochial schools that teach religion as science.
The Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, pastor for Preaching and Worship at Northminster (Baptist) Church in Monroe, says in his letter, “I write to you as the President of Interfaith Alliance to express my disappointment, concern and indeed, outrage at the school voucher program you have implemented in the state of Louisiana.”
The Interfaith Council is a national group consisting of ministers, rabbis, priests and religious leaders of numerous faiths who oppose government sanction of or interference in religion.
http://goo.gl/NL8Cx

Puerto Rico Schools Embrace Bilingualism
Fox News Latino

Puerto Rico’s academic year will begin on Wednesday with the launching of a pilot project to teach several subjects in 32 schools in English and which is intended to encompass the entire education system within 10 years.
Education Secretary Edward Moreno Alonso told the media that to those 32 schools must be added another 35 where – during the school year – educational authorities will put in place the plan whereby teachers will conduct some of their classes in English.
The 32 schools chosen for the pilot plan will teach math and science in English, while in the rest of the schools those courses will be taught in Spanish.
http://goo.gl/giME5

Sending your kid back to school? It’s going to cost you
Reuters

NEW YORK – Brooklyn’s Juliette Posner remembers the exact moment she realized just how broke public schools really are.
Her daughter Merone graduated last spring from Manhattan’s LaGuardia High School, a performing-arts mecca and inspiration for both the film “Fame” and the TV series. But one day she came home with some surprising news.
“The teacher ran out of paper,” Posner, 35, says. “They didn’t have any money for paper. I was like, ‘Really?'”
Such is the reality of U.S. public schools, which have struggled in recent years as cash-strapped states contend with gutted tax revenues. And when schools see their budgets disappear, administrators increasingly rely on another revenue source to make up the difference: Parents.
“There’s no question costs are shifting to parents,” says Helaine Olen, a mother of two, personal finance writer and author of the upcoming book “Pound Foolish.” She says that “schools are putting pressure on people to pay up during a time of severe economic hardship. Every year the ante goes up, and parents are asked to do even more.”
The different fees can run the gamut from a $5 bill to $200 or more.
http://goo.gl/DRGXr

How To Play It-Booking retail profits on back to school
Reuters

NEW YORK – With the lazy days of summer vacation dwindling, investors are starting to take a closer look at which U.S. retailers could pull ahead in the back-to-school shopping season.
It’s an annual event that spurs an estimated $83.3 billion in spending, according to the National Retail Federation, a figure that rivals only holiday shopping in terms of importance.
This year the school shopping frenzy comes with an added twist. J.C. Penney, the third-biggest U.S. department store, according to Chain Store Guide, is in the midst of a restructuring led by Chief Executive Ron Johnson, who joined the company in November 2011 after developing Apple Inc’s successful retail stores.
A new strategy of moving away from discounts and carving stores into boutiques is not yet resonating with the Plano, Texas-based company’s middle-class shoppers. Same-store sales fell nearly 19 percent in the first quarter, more than analysts had expected.
http://goo.gl/gmLQF

Looking at the benefits and drawbacks of extending the school year for children
Fox

Rick Hess and Peter Gray
http://goo.gl/ZqA1s

Columbus school board waives attorney-client privilege in attendance probe
Columbus (OH) Dispatch

The Columbus Board of Education voted unanimously last night to waive the district’s right to attorney-client privilege, allowing “transparency” by releasing private documents and conversations about altering student attendance data to the state auditor.
Officials said the unusual step to waive the district’s privilege of their attorneys to have private conversations with employees over the record-changing scandal was done at the request of the state auditor and in the spirit of full cooperation.
No one has been subpoenaed to give testimony to the state auditor, and the district has not withheld any document that the office has requested, said Larry Braverman, the district’s general counsel.
http://goo.gl/ttBp9

Allen H.S. unveils $60 million football stadium
FoxSports

ALLEN, Texas — As far as seating capacity, there are bigger football stadiums than the 18,000-seat fortress Allen High School will unveil this fall.
After all, this is Texas.
The new Eagle Stadium, located in a booming suburb just north of Dallas, will merely rank fifth in the state among facilities used for Friday night football on a weekly basis.
But it’s that $60 million price tag – $59.6 million, to be exact – that raises eyebrows even in a state where high school football is an obsession.
http://goo.gl/yqSbf

Teachers criticise Cameron’s Olympic school-sport remarks
Head teachers’ leaders have called the prime minister’s comments on school sport “extremely unfair”.
BBC News

David Cameron called for “a big cultural change” in favour of competitive sports in schools and suggested some teachers were not “playing their part”.
The Association of School and College Leaders (ACSL) said Mr Cameron failed to recognise the “huge contribution” many teachers made to school sport.
Teachers say cuts are affecting sport.
The idea of an Olympics legacy is high on the political agenda, with politicians, sportsmen and women and commentators talking of the need to ensure young people benefit from the 2012 London Games through greater involvement in sport.
http://goo.gl/mDMnd

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

August 9:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://1.usa.gov/Axtt5K

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

August 15:
Education Interim Committee meeting
2 p.m., 30 House Building
http://goo.gl/8WODJ

September 6-7:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

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