Education News Roundup: Sept.10, 2012

"20111019-FNS-RBN-1755" by USDAgov/CC/flickr

“20111019-FNS-RBN-1755” by USDAgov/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Statewide results on language arts and science tests look good.
http://goo.gl/hv3NJ (SLT)

Trib looks at PTA-PTO differences.
http://goo.gl/vKTGI (SLT)

Sen. Stephenson doesn’t think Utah schools use enough technology.
http://goo.gl/EOyCr (Utah Taxpayers Association)

Chicago teachers go on strike.
http://goo.gl/Fglm5 (AP)

The restaurant reviews of the newer, healthier school lunches are starting to trickle in.
http://goo.gl/R4RSs (Beatrice, NE, Daily Sun)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah students’ scores in language arts and science on the rise
Minority kids scoring better in Criterion Referenced Tests

More than bake sales: Utah parents debate merits of PTA vs. PTO
Some are leaving for financial reasons; others claim reasons are driven by political anger.

State school chief Larry Shumway to retire

Schools, teachers preparing students for a digital world

New computer science class may be coming to a school near you
Westminster prof helps schools implement hands-on approach that aims to engage students.

Teaching service Knowmia seeks to revolutionize tutoring

District prepares kindergartners for college, careers

Elevating the conversation: Dual-immersion students, classes grow up

Leadership Academy on Chamber docket

Utah Women and Education Initiative launched

School lunches lighten up because of new guidelines from the USDA

Candy bomber delivers explosion of inspiration
Education » Kaysville students watch candy bombs fall from sky as part of studies on the Berlin Airlift

Generations honor teacher for 50 years in Riverton classroom

Board orders suspension of Timpview coach Louis Wong’s license
Finances » Suspension follows audit that found policy violations in handling of football funds.

One of Jordan transfers will be in court Tuesday
Prep Football » Senior seeking temporary restraining order against UHSAA.

Vernal boy sentenced for setting smoke bombs at school

Inappropriate story problems pulled from math workbook

Utah State Bar Partners with Utah Schools to Revitalize Civics Education

Doctor opposes any contact sports before high school

Utah has three 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools
Education » Schools recognized for excellence, making progress in academic achievement.

Older Alpine district schools retrofitted for earthquake safety

Ground broken for the new Wahlquist Junior High School

Settlement reached for cleanup of Cook’s defunct explosives plant

Washington County School District Board Members Announced

Louis Bohn, namesake of Tracy’s Louise Bohn Elementary, leaves for Utah

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Dismal news
Utah school spending sinks further

Sorry kids, schools need dress codes

Youth smoking declines

Thumbs up, thumbs down

Eagle Forum alert

Utah prep football deserves another shot on ESPN
Prep football » Game on ESPN didn’t show state’s true talent.

Dragging Public Education into the 21st Century, Kicking and Screaming

Utah Per Pupil Spending Increases in 2013, While Most States Cut

Shumway retiring

Shumway

What DIDN’T happen in California

School sports criticism justified

U.S. Needs More Charter Schools — With Better Rules

More Isn’t Better for Special Ed
A new study shows how school districts can get better results.

A Terrifying Way to Discipline Children

Analysis: Striking Chicago teachers take on national education reform

The achievement gap: By the numbers

Counselors a Resource for College-Goers, But Many Find Them Unapproachable

NATION

Presidential Nominees Serve Up Sharp Differences on Education

Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years

How Michelle Rhee Is Taking Over the Democratic Party
In a major shift, education reformers are now influential at the highest levels of the party once dominated by the teachers unions.

Studies Find More Students Cheating, With High Achievers No Exception

Some Ga. Schools Make Mandarin Mandatory

Private school vaccine opt-outs rise

Fewer BHS students participate in school lunch program

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah students’ scores in language arts and science on the rise
Minority kids scoring better in Criterion Referenced Tests

The results are in, and they’re looking up.
Higher percentages of Utah students are testing proficient in language arts and science, according to results of Criterion Referenced Tests (CRTs), given to Utah students in grades 3-11 last spring. Proficiency is also up among students in most minority groups in math, language arts and science. Utah students, as a whole, performed the same in math last school year as the year before.
“Scores are going up, student achievement is improving at the state level,” said Judy Park, state associate superintendent, “and we’re thrilled.”
Park attributed the increase to a focus on literacy and numeracy in Utah schools. She also said she believes Utah’s adoption of Common Core academic standards are helping. Utah schools have been phasing in the new standards — which describe the concepts students should learn in each grade to be ready for college and careers.
Last school year was the first year schools taught the new language arts standards, and sixth- and ninth-grade teachers taught the new math standards.
http://goo.gl/hv3NJ (SLT)

More than bake sales: Utah parents debate merits of PTA vs. PTO
Some are leaving for financial reasons; others claim reasons are driven by political anger.

As in hundreds of schools across the state, parents at Muir Elementary in Bountiful mingled, sold colorful T-shirts and discussed plans for the year ahead as part of a back-to-school night.
Unlike at other schools, two major Utah political players also attended, watching quietly as Muir parents voted to switch their parent volunteer group from a Parent Teacher Association, or PTA, to a Parent Teacher Organization, known as a PTO.
“We’re excited to become independent,” PTO President Shelly McKenna told about 100 parents gathered at the school recently, “so I hope everyone is, too.”
A school-choice lobbyist in attendance left pleased with the parents’ decision, while a state PTA advocate departed disappointed.
Many parents — occupied with kids, work and life — know little about the intricacies of PTAs and PTOs. But the one letter difference between the two words holds significant meaning for those involved at the top levels of state politics. PTAs, which are present in more than half Utah’s schools, are connected to the state and national PTAs. By contrast, PTOs are independent groups, financially and politically.
http://goo.gl/vKTGI (SLT)

State school chief Larry Shumway to retire

SALT LAKE CITY — After three years on the job, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Larry Shumway announced Friday that he will retire effective Jan. 1, 2013. An immediate search will begin to find a replacement.
Shumway, 58, of Stansbury Park, took over the position from Patti Harrington in July 2009 after having served as deputy state superintendent, the head of educator licensing at the Utah State Office of Education, superintendent of the Tooele School District, as well as director of alternative schools and programs in the Davis School District.
http://goo.gl/MIdaF (DN)

http://goo.gl/K97QG (OSE)

http://goo.gl/HyxFv (KSL)

http://goo.gl/jZ5lr (KCPW)

Schools, teachers preparing students for a digital world

SALT LAKE CITY — Twenty years ago teachers could confidently say that if they taught students the curriculum they would be ready for life after high school, whether that was moving directly into the workforce or into college working toward a degree and career.
Today, in addition to math, English and science, schools are including technology in the subject matter, as both a tool to lean and a tool to be learned. Adding to the challenge is the need to overcome economic differences among students (and schools) as costly tech-driven learning becomes a regular part of the day.
“Knowing that some of my students don’t have technology does change some things I do with assignments,” Travis Steed said. He is a teacher at the Dual Immersion Academy charter school, a Spanish-English dual language elementary school in Salt Lake that teaches kindergarten through eighth grade.
Steed estimated that 20 percent of his students don’t have Internet access.
http://goo.gl/ZCU0i (DN)

New computer science class may be coming to a school near you
Westminster prof helps schools implement hands-on approach that aims to engage students.

Michael Corbett recently began a computer class he teaches with an unusual request: Step away from the computers.
His Lehi Junior High students instead walked in teams to the front of the room, where they presented their findings from a project in which they interviewed family and friends about their technology needs and researched which computers would fit them.
The lesson was a new approach for Corbett.
“I think they’re learning more about really what makes up a computer,” Corbett said, “because of what they’re having to find out rather than me saying, ‘This is a computer. This is what the parts are and this is what they do.’ ”
Corbett is one of several Utah teachers this year piloting a new way of teaching computer science that could soon explode in the state thanks to a $790,000 grant awarded to Westminster College by the National Science Foundation.
http://goo.gl/VKmaV (SLT)

Teaching service Knowmia seeks to revolutionize tutoring

There’s a new player in the online education world, an upstart intending to shake up a lucrative global industry.
San Francisco-based Knowmia uses video lessons uploaded by teachers to provide home tutoring options. The service also allows teachers to upload self-made video content they can assign as homework. Using Knowmia, struggling students can find teachers whose style suits them, then work at home on catching up at school.
Knowmia was founded by Ariel Braunstein and Scott Kabat, two members of the team that launched the Flip Video line of pocket camcorders. Knowmia enters a field dominated by Khan Academy, a popular digital repository of educational video content and classroom reporting tools. Khan’s not-for-profit library of free video lessons is free to users and is funded by donations.
http://goo.gl/5W9V8 (DN)

District prepares kindergartners for college, careers

SANDY — The first week of school wrapped up for kindergarteners in the Canyons School District with students talking about what they want to study in college.
Wearing her graduation robes, Sprucewood Elementary School teacher Cathy Graham said getting kids thinking about college now will help them understand why it is important to go to class and learn.
The unusual teaching garb and discussion is part of the district’s new emphasis on having students career and college ready by the time they graduate from high school.
http://goo.gl/CXtsf (KSL)

Elevating the conversation: Dual-immersion students, classes grow up

FARMINGTON — In Profesora Jo Carmiol’s classroom at Farmington Junior High School, flags from Spain, Costa Rica and Mexico hang on the wall next to motivational posters and quotes from Socrates translated into Spanish.
But Carmiol wasn’t teaching Spanish on Thursday. Instead, her students were loudly cheering on their classmates as they competed in a boys vs. girls quiz about Utah’s geography, rushing to identify features like Lago Powell and the Cordillera de Wasatch on an image of the state projected on the wall.
“As long as you talk in Spanish, you can talk all you want,” said seventh-grade student Cassidy Bauco.
Bauco, like the rest of her classmates, has been using a second language since she was in the first grade to learn subjects like math, history and now junior high social studies. With Spanish-, French- and Chinese-speaking elementary students getting older each year, Davis School District is venturing into uncharted territory for Utah and the next inevitable step in language education this fall: junior high immersion programs.
http://goo.gl/h84Ml (DN)

Leadership Academy on Chamber docket

PROVO — Of the numerous events and workshops provided by the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Leadership Academy is probably one of the most important ones to strengthen and build up business leadership in the area, according to Val Hale, chamber president.
“This has been going for several years and includes a number of components,” Hale said. Some of those components will be new and others will be introduced again to the academy, including a business mentoring program.
The academy meets once a month for five months, with discussion on a new topic each month. According to Hale one of the best features of the academy is the opportunity to mingle with important leaders in the community and learn from them.
http://goo.gl/SyoQ8 (PDH)

Utah Women and Education Initiative launched

After years of extensive research and an in-depth report outlining why fewer women are graduating from college in Utah than anywhere else in the country, a new tool for women and colleges has been put in place.
The Utah Women and Education Initiative has recently been put in place and is a continuation of the Utah Women’s College Task Force that was created by Gov. Gary Herbert in 2011 to make recommendations on what actions should be taken to increase the number of women attending and graduating from college in Utah. Last week it launched its website, a place where both women and colleges can go to get information about the resources available to them.
http://goo.gl/pS8rg (PDH)

School lunches lighten up because of new guidelines from the USDA

Kids should see fewer tater tots and more broccoli on their school lunch trays this year, thanks to new United States Department of Agriculture guidelines unveiled last January. Now, schools must serve fruits and vegetables each day, offer only fat-free and low-fat milk varieties, reduce unhealthful fats and sodium, and limit calories based on the age of children being served.
If the thought of all that crunchy, low-calorie food makes you miss the good old mac and cheese days, you might enjoy an activity being sponsored by Public Insight Network. Entrants pick traditional favorites from USDA’s list of school lunch recipes, serve them up to friends and family, then tell about the meal and share photos online.
http://goo.gl/4feGJ (DN)

Candy bomber delivers explosion of inspiration
Education » Kaysville students watch candy bombs fall from sky as part of studies on the Berlin Airlift

Students at Morgan Elementary School in Kaysville stared at the sky on Friday and waited for the bombs to fall.
Piece by piece, students watched “bombs” — candy-filled parachutes — drop down to the ground near their school from a helicopter hovering above. And for a minute, they imagined what it was like to be a child living in Germany, watching treats fall from the sky from American soldiers who sent down candy from airplanes to children in war-torn Berlin.
Friday’s expedition for Kaysville students was part of a visit from Col. Gail Halvorsen, the famous Salt Lake City born “candy bomber,” who came to Morgan Elementary on Friday to reenact portions of his post-World War II experience during the Berlin Airlift — complete with a flying helicopter and 800 candy bombs.
Halvorsen, 91, earned his name by flying 126 airlift missions in Berlin for the U.S. Air Force.
http://goo.gl/eG8IB (SLT)

http://goo.gl/l70Ao (OSE)

Generations honor teacher for 50 years in Riverton classroom

RIVERTON — When family, friends and Riverton Elementary students welcomed Linda Warwood to a surprise assembly in her honor Friday, her first reaction was the same as it’s been for the past 50 years: to make sure her class was taken care of.
Warwood appeared stunned as she paraded her class into the room of cheering students, live bagpipe music and camera flashes. She paused for only one hug as she made sure the 5- and 6-year-olds in her care were accounted for and seated in orderly rows.
http://goo.gl/0OScy (DN)

http://goo.gl/nyStv (KUTV)

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

http://goo.gl/cH3IJ (KSTU)

Board orders suspension of Timpview coach Louis Wong’s license
Finances » Suspension follows audit that found policy violations in handling of football funds.

The teaching license of Louis Wong, a Timpview High School football coach who resigned this year in the wake of allegations of fiscal irresponsibility and policy violations, will be suspended for 18 months, the state school board decided Friday afternoon.
The decision came after several votes showed board members held differing opinions about the seriousness of Wong’s actions.
“It was a compromise,” said board chairwoman Debra Roberts of the 18-month term. “Some wanted a longer period, and some wanted a lesser period.”
http://goo.gl/sv2oN (SLT)

http://goo.gl/5h2a5 (PDH)

One of Jordan transfers will be in court Tuesday
Prep Football » Senior seeking temporary restraining order against UHSAA.

At least one of the Jordan football transfers from California who is suing the Utah High School Activities Association for athletic eligibility will be in court next week.
Clifford Betson, a receiver who came to Jordan from Salesian High in Richmond, Calif., has a hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday for a temporary restraining order against the UHSAA. If the order goes through, Betson would be eligible to play for the No. 1-ranked Beetdigger football team for up to 10 days or until a preliminary injunction is filed.
Both Betson and fellow senior Dynamite-Jones Fa’agata were denied eligibility at a UHSAA hearing Tuesday. They had filed hardship waivers after moving from the Bay Area to live with their uncle Stuart Tua. They testified that they were trying to escape violence in their communities. Tangikina Tua, Stuart’s wife, is the legal guardian for both boys.
http://goo.gl/S2pxU (SLT)

Vernal boy sentenced for setting smoke bombs at school

VERNAL — A 16-year-old boy has been sentenced to up to 30 days in a detention center for setting off three smoke bombs at Uintah High School in Vernal.
The teen also was ordered to pay $1,100 in fines and $200 in restitution for damage to the school after admitting to allegations of attempted aggravated arson, assault and criminal mischief in the Aug. 22 incident.
http://goo.gl/IlojM (OSE)

http://goo.gl/4hVqG (PDH)

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

Inappropriate story problems pulled from math workbook

SALT LAKE CITY — Two questions in a Granite School District math workbook have been pulled by the district after a teacher noticed they were in poor taste.
A math teacher first noticed the questions in a workbook that accompanies a textbook and notified the district of them Thursday. One problem, about interest rates, was a scenario about a loan shark and the other involved a serial killer.
Administrators have taken steps to remove the problems from the workbook. Both were about midway through the workbook, and not set to be assigned until much later in the year. The workbook was developed in collaboration with Jordan School District, and the districts used national shareware math resources.
http://goo.gl/tmqTf (KSL)

Utah State Bar Partners with Utah Schools to Revitalize Civics Education

The Utah State Bar is preparing to kick off its statewide Civics Education Program in elementary, junior high and high school classrooms across the state in honor of Constitution Day on September 17.
Already more than 200 teachers and classrooms have signed up to participate in the program, while attorneys and judges – including Justice Christine Durham of the Utah Supreme Court and Judge Dee Benson of the Federal District Court for the District of Utah – have generously volunteered their time to the program.
http://goo.gl/fF4tG (UP)

Doctor opposes any contact sports before high school

SALT LAKE CITY — Hitting might be part of the game in some sports, but one doctor believes that young people under 14 years old should not play any contact sports.
In the last few years, physicians have been learning more about the long-term effects of playing sports, especially about concussions. Dr. Robert Cantu, a neurosurgeon at Emerson University’s department of surgery and leading voice opposing contact sports, is calling youth head injuries a crisis.
In his new book, “Concussions and Our Kids”, Cantu explains why helmets are no guarantee of safety.
http://goo.gl/zBnmt (KSL)

Utah has three 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools
Education » Schools recognized for excellence, making progress in academic achievement.

Three Utah schools have been named 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Education announced on Friday.
Canyon Crest Elementary School in Provo, Dixie Sun Elementary School in St. George and Quail Hollow Elementary School in Sandy are being honored for overall excellence and for improving student progress in several academic areas.
The schools were among 269 across the nation to receive the designation, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a news release.
http://goo.gl/v0mSE (SLT)

Older Alpine district schools retrofitted for earthquake safety

When the “big one” finally happens in north Utah County some forward-thinking members of the Alpine school board and the district’s Building and Grounds Committee will be resting a bit easier when it comes to several older schools and how they might endure the tremors.
In 2006, the school board commissioned a survey of the durability and safety of the area’s older schools during an earthquake, with up to as many as four engineering firms taking part. The firms did detailed examinations of the structures and presented the results to the district along with their recommendations to fix the buildings.
After a bond was voted on and approved by area residents in the fall of 2011, work began on four schools in Orem, Lehi and Alpine. Included in the round of seismic retrofitting were the older, less durable sections of the Westmore Elementary in Orem (built in 1950), Sego Lily Elementary in Lehi (built in 1956), Cherry Hill Elementary in Orem and Alpine Elementary in Alpine (both built in 1965).
http://goo.gl/DNUva (PDH)

Ground broken for the new Wahlquist Junior High School

FARR WEST — Officials on Friday broke ground for the new Wahlquist Junior High and plan to have the building ready for students by fall 2014.
If the new school’s basic shape looks familiar, you may have seen it before as you pass by Orion Middle School or South Ogden Junior High.
“The basic footprint is very similar, but it will have its own unique design and look,” said Jeff Stephens, Weber School District superintendent.
http://goo.gl/Bcj5P (OSE)

Settlement reached for cleanup of Cook’s defunct explosives plant

LEHI — Emergency cleanup of dangerous blasting agents at a now-defunct explosives plant in Utah County has been completed, and the Environmental Protection Agency wants its check from the property’s owner.
The material was once stored in a pair of 20,000-gallon tanks at the Cook Lehi plant and chemical agents like it have been used in bombs for domestic terrorist attacks, including at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
EPA completed remediation at the site, which occupied 480 acres of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands property leased by Cook Slurry Company, owned by Merrill Cook and operated from 1979 to 1999.
Cook, a former two-term Republican congressman from Utah, blamed the demise of the plant on declining gold prices, an interruption in his business supply chain and his tenure in Congress, which he said required his resignation as an officer or director of the company.
In a Tuesday agreement reached in U.S. District Court in Utah, the EPA agreed to allow the school trust lands administration to settle its bill with the federal agency for $316,000, in contrast to $672,000 initially sought as payment.
http://goo.gl/TiuQE (KSL)

Washington County School District Board Members Announced

St. George, UT – The Washington County School District Foundation Board members for 2012/13 have been announced. They are working on many projects for the upcoming school year.
The Foundation helps to support the 25,000 students of Washington County School District. The Foundation Board members work to fund programs not fully supported by tax dollars by bringing community resources to students, teachers and schools.
http://goo.gl/WyvKw (KCSG)

Louis Bohn, namesake of Tracy’s Louise Bohn Elementary, leaves for Utah
Contra Costa (CA) Times via Oakland (CA) Tribune

TRACY — Dr. Louis Bohn, the namesake of Louis Bohn Elementary, will be leaving his favorite school behind.
Bohn, 92, and his wife Elizabeth are moving to Salt Lake City to be closer to family, but not before Tracy’s school family wishes them a warm good-bye.
Louis Bohn retired in 1983 from the district job of assistant superintendent for personnel, but he and his wife have stayed close to the district.
http://goo.gl/c4IfG

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Dismal news
Utah school spending sinks further
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

It’s hard to put a happy face on the news that Utah’s per-pupil investment in the state’s children, which has been dead last among all states for many years, dropped another 8 percent in the past four years.
But count on Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, to try.
Stephenson, coyly avoiding the issue of Utah’s perennially dismal spending on public schools, said a new report on state education expenditures just shows that “our efforts have reduced the otherwise dramatic impact that could have resulted in Utah” from the Great Recession.
What Stephenson never admits and again ignores is that Utah’s schoolchildren have been struggling for decades in a continuous recession created by the Legislature’s stinginess. A national recession simply pushed them further into a deficit of commitment that has kept them far below the next-lowest state in terms of resources that could provide them an adequate education.
Stephenson is right that 21 states cut spending even more than did Utah. But those states were ranked far above Utah in per-pupil investment in education long before 2008.
http://goo.gl/ULNsK

Sorry kids, schools need dress codes
(Logan) Herald Journal editorial

It’s hard for school kids to respect a dress code when they see adults all around them clothed in ways that would land them (the kids) in the principal’s office.
Short shorts, skin-tight jogging outfits, enticingly displayed tattoos, T-shirts with provocative messages and caps galore are standard garb among Cache Valley adults — some even on the job. So it’s no wonder a few Logan High School students were grousing when school opened this year to what appeared to be a crackdown on dress code violators.
Some compared the school’s zealous application of the rules to the unwavering, morality based dress restrictions at Brigham Young University. And they’ve complained that other trends at the school — such as considering cancelation of Homecoming week events on Monday this year to accommodate Mormon students observing “Monday home evenings” — seem to be aimed at establishing a religious regime or sorts.
School dress codes are important.
http://goo.gl/llx6d

Youth smoking declines
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

The percentage of Utah high school students who smoke cigarettes continues to decline, according to the Utah Health Department. That’s important progress because most smokers report that they took up the habit before they were 18 years old. In 1999, some 11.9 percent of Utah high school kids said they smoked cigarettes. That rate has been cut in half, with 5.9 percent reporting in 2011 that they smoked. That’s good news for individual health and for the cost of health care. Unfortunately, there still are about 220,000 Utahns who smoke, and four of five of them say they want to quit. About 12,000 smokers took advantage of free cessation programs over the past year. It’s hard to say whether the graphic TV ads about the health effects of smoking or the Legislature’s increasing the tobacco tax by $1 a pack in 2010 have together made the difference, but we suspect both could have contributed to the declining smoking rate. Still, the use of tobacco products causes an estimated $663 million in health-care expenses and lost productivity in the Beehive State in a year.
http://goo.gl/NXZSN

Thumbs up, thumbs down
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

Thumbs up: To the Utah Women and Education Initiative, which was formed with the goal of having more Utah women graduate from college. A larger goal is that by 2020, 66 percent of Utahns have a post-secondary degree.
Thumbs up: To six Ogden High School students who are determined to take advantage of that school’s International Baccalaureate program. The students took early-morning classes and summer classes to reach that admirable goal.
Thumbs down: To a Nebraska school district that is trying to force a deaf preschool boy, 3, from signing his name the way he does because school bureaucrats think it too closely resembles a weapon and the schools have a “zero tolerance” policy against weapons. We’re not making up this ridiculous example of political correctness run amuck.
http://goo.gl/NBXyw

Eagle Forum alert
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

Better get your pitchforks out and head to the state Capitol for a confrontation. Herbert has been appointed to the Education and Workforce Committee of the National Governors Association (NGA).
That means our governor will be looking at issues involving education in a forum that has the word “national” in it.
All Utah County children could be at risk.
And to make matters worse, he was appointed by the chairman of the NGA, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat.
http://goo.gl/f6MJf

Utah prep football deserves another shot on ESPN
Prep football » Game on ESPN didn’t show state’s true talent.
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Kyle Goon

Hey, ESPN. This is Utah football.
We know Friday night didn’t go as well as you hoped. It wasn’t anybody’s fault — not really.
Sure, we all had high hopes back in March, when it was announced that Skyline, the passing powerhouse from Sammamish, Wash., would come down to Cottonwood in the fall.
It made perfect sense then. Max Browne and Cooper Bateman, two of the top quarterbacks in the country, would highlight the matchup. The Colts still have mounds of Division I talent, and maybe in another situation could’ve put up a fight, or maybe even won.
No one could’ve really predicted then how the ground would shifted under Cottonwood — the coaching departures, the tragedy, the confusion.
It was clearly a team still coming together that was shredded by the USC-committed Browne and his capable receivers in a 57-25 blowout. It wasn’t exactly compelling national television, although we did learn Browne could play on Sundays in a few years.
http://goo.gl/vNdny

Dragging Public Education into the 21st Century, Kicking and Screaming
Utah Taxpayers Association commentary by Sen. Howard Stephenson

Public Education has failed to embrace modern tools for individualized learning, leaving educators with inadequate,
manual tools. However, state legislatures can successfully move the needle through competitive requests for proposals from
vendors and allowing local schools to compete to implement pilot programs.
For several years I have served as Senate Chair of the Public Education Appropriations Committee in the Utah Legislature. During that time and even before, I have witnessed the resistance of public education to accept digital learning tools. While society and the world of business moves at light speed into the 21st century, utilizing ever-improving technological tools to enhance the world of work, commerce, communications, entertainment, and family life, public education operates largely with 19th century manual tools.
Businesses and professional offices are on the cutting edge of technology, because those who aren’t are killed by their competition. Since K-12 education is a government monopoly, and is not threatened with going out of business, there is not the urgency to adopt new, more effective digital tools. Clearly, government education is too big to fail.
I have found through first-hand experience that when technology is placed in schools, it is often misused, or ignored.
http://goo.gl/EOyCr

Utah Per Pupil Spending Increases in 2013, While Most States Cut
Utah Taxpayers Association commentary

Utah is one of only 22 states to increase per student state funding of public education between FY 2012 and FY 2013. A new report by the center-left think tank “Center on Budget and Policy Priorities” (CBPP) finds that Utah’s state support of public education increased by $40 per student.
The CBPP report evaluates how states have changed their funding of public education since the beginning of “The Great Recession” in 2007. In the face of sharply decreased sales and income tax revenue, only 13 states increased per student state support for public education between FY 2008 and FY 2013, while 35 states decreased per student state aid for public education over the same time.
http://goo.gl/EOyCr

Shumway retiring
Commentary by Charter Solutions President Lincoln Fillmore

Superintendent Larry Shumway has announced his retirement.
I’ve always gotten along with Dr. Shumway. He is very good at glad-handing and keeping relationships positively. He’s a natural politician, which is important in a job that usually puts him at loggerheads with elected officials.
Because he was so good at relationships, he was good at working with charters and our movement’s representative, Chris Bleak. In philosophy, I think he wasn’t quite as strong for charters as his predecessor, but I enjoyed his attitude that districts should react to charters by improving their education. He thought it was silly for districts to take steps to marginalize or react negatively to charter students.
http://goo.gl/VgOZa

Shumway
Red Meat Radio commentary by Rep. Dan McCay and Sen. Howard Stephenson

http://goo.gl/OQV4S

What DIDN’T happen in California
Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

First, let me apologize for the radio silence. My husband is teaching at NYU Law School this semester, and the move from southern Utah to Manhattan has eaten up the week. I’ve finally unpacked my boxes and (full disclosure time) visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art twice. Meanwhile forty-one AP U.S. History essays have landed in my inbox. Maybe it’s time to get back to work.
In that spirit, I’d like to continue my posts on education reform around the country with a report from California. Here the news isn’t a new initiative, but rather an old initiative that survived a legislative challenge . . . and a defeat that may signal seismic shifts in the state’s education politicss.
http://goo.gl/Zs5Jq

School sports criticism justified
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Shane Traveller

I’ve known Brian Falslev for years and, while I cannot say he and I agree on much, I completely concur with his Soapbox letter. Those of us familiar with Brian know he was not writing out of concern for his own boy, who will have no trouble making whatever team he chooses, but out of a larger concern for the state of Cache Valley athletics in general.
I am familiar with a local coach and the disgraceful way he was relieved of his Logan High coaching duties. He was named coach of the year and won the championship, yet was then fired because he refused to play a kid that, in his opinion, was not good enough. But the kid’s dad (name withheld), donates large sums of money every year to Logan High. He made it clear to the administration that his donations would cease if his boy did not play more. The coach refused and the coach of the year was fired.
But this case is not isolated.
http://goo.gl/NPIhj

U.S. Needs More Charter Schools — With Better Rules
Bloomberg editorial

Of the 50 million U.S. students who returned to public elementary and secondary schools in recent days, more than 2 million did so at charter schools.
Just two decades after Minnesota passed the first charter law, about 5,600 of the schools have been established in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Contrary to claims of some teachers unions and education bureaucrats, this is good news.
Yet rising enrollments also point out the need for better oversight, particularly when it comes to charters’ “authorizers” — the bodies that get state permission to create the schools, draw up their founding contracts (the “charter”) and oversee their boards.
http://goo.gl/It2SE

More Isn’t Better for Special Ed
A new study shows how school districts can get better results.
Wall Street Journal editorial

Does more spending lead to better outcomes for students with disabilities? According to a new study led by former school superintendent Nathan Levenson and sponsored by the Thomas Fordham Institute, the answer is no. The news that quality and money aren’t tightly linked should be welcome in cash-strapped school districts around the country.
Mr. Levenson and Fordham analyzed the special education staffing systems in more than 1,400 school districts representing about a third of all U.S. students. Then they took a closer look at 10 pairs of comparable districts in five different states.
The headline result? If districts with above-average special-ed staffing were staffed instead at the national median level, more than $10 billion annually would be saved. For example, a 10,000-student district now spending in the 90th percentile on special ed could save more than $7 million.
http://goo.gl/cPcTp

A Terrifying Way to Discipline Children
New York Times op-ed by BILL LICHTENSTEIN, an investigative journalist and filmmaker

IN my public school 40 years ago, teachers didn’t lay their hands on students for bad behavior. They sent them to the principal’s office. But in today’s often overcrowded and underfunded schools, where one in eight students receive help for special learning needs, the use of physical restraints and seclusion rooms has become a common way to maintain order.
It’s a dangerous development, as I know from my daughter’s experience. At the age of 5, she was kept in a seclusion room for up to an hour at a time over the course of three months, until we discovered what was happening. The trauma was severe.
According to national Department of Education data, most of the nearly 40,000 students who were restrained or isolated in seclusion rooms during the 2009-10 school year had learning, behavioral, physical or developmental needs, even though students with those issues represented just 12 percent of the student population. African-American and Hispanic students were also disproportionately isolated or restrained.
http://goo.gl/55vIL

Analysis: Striking Chicago teachers take on national education reform
Reuters commentary by columnists Stephanie Simon and James B. Kelleher

Chicago teachers walking picket lines on Monday, in a strike that has closed schools across the city, are taking on not just their combative mayor but a powerful education reform movement that is transforming public schools across the United States.
The new vision, championed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who used to run Chicago’s schools, calls for a laser focus on standardized tests meant to gauge student skills in reading, writing and math. Teachers who fail to raise student scores may be fired. Schools that fail to boost scores may be shut down.
And the monopoly that the public sector once held on public schools will be broken with a proliferation of charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run – and typically non-union.
http://goo.gl/cGq7C

The achievement gap: By the numbers
Washington Post commentary by columnist Valerie Strauss

There are few things education researchers say they know with certainty. But virtually nobody disputes that socioeconomic status and the educational level of parents, especially mothers, are linked to the stubborn achievement gap between students of different races and ethnicities.
Children from poor families do worse than kids from middle-class and wealthy families; children do better if their mother has a college degree, and overall, children of all ethnicities and races do better in schools with less than 25 percent of the student population from low-income families.
The issue of how much out-of-school influences affect how well a child does in school has become controversial in today’s education debate, with many reformers insisting that a great teacher can overcome much if not all of the outside factors.
http://goo.gl/Jl88L

Counselors a Resource for College-Goers, But Many Find Them Unapproachable
Education Week commentary by columnist Caralee Adams

As students try to figure out the college admissions process, it would seem their high school counselor is the logical go-to person.
Yet, a survey released last month showed that just 4 in 10 students said they received college information from their high school counselor. Students said they felt counselors were unapproachable and lacked adequate knowledge.
Just how can students best tap into the resources of their school counselor?
The National Association for College Admission Counseling suggests the following strategies for students:
http://goo.gl/P5ylr

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Presidential Nominees Serve Up Sharp Differences on Education
Education Week

During the recently concluded presidential nominating conventions, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney offered stark choices on K-12 policy while downplaying areas of agreement between their two parties—and the tensions within each party on education issues.
In Charlotte, N.C., last week, the Democrats put a relentless focus on Mr. Obama’s record of making education a federal funding priority. They cited the billions of dollars his administration steered into saving teachers’ jobs and broadening college access.
And convention speakers, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, highlighted the president’s role in encouraging states to adopt rigorous standards and warned that Republicans would slash education spending.
In Tampa, Fla., the week before, Republicans picked Mr. Romney as their standard-bearer. They pointed to Mr. Obama’s lack of support for private school choice and hammered teachers’ unions as an obstruction to the GOP vision for education reform.
But the focus on those politically charged issues, which got most of the education airtime at each party’s convention, belies the areas of agreement between many Democrats and Republicans on policies such as charter schools and performance pay for teachers.
http://goo.gl/yAe5A

Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years
Associated Press

CHICAGO — Thousands of teachers walked off the job Monday in Chicago’s first schools strike in 25 years, after union leaders announced that months-long negotiations had failed to resolve a contract dispute with school district officials by a midnight deadline.
The walkout in the nation’s third-largest school district posed a tricky challenge for the city and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said he would push to end the strike quickly as officials figure out how to keep nearly 400,000 children safe and occupied.
“This is not a strike I wanted,” Emanuel said Sunday night, not long after the union announced the action. “It was a strike of choice … it’s unnecessary, it’s avoidable and it’s wrong.”
http://goo.gl/Fglm5

How Michelle Rhee Is Taking Over the Democratic Party
In a major shift, education reformers are now influential at the highest levels of the party once dominated by the teachers unions.
The Atlantic

CHARLOTTE — Michelle Rhee is accustomed to having to insist she’s a Democrat. “It’s funny,” she tells me, “I’m not just a Democrat — I feel like I’m a pretty lefty Democrat, and it is somewhat disappointing when I hear some people saying, ‘She’s not a real Democrat.'”
Rhee, the controversial former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor known for her hard-charging style, has worked with Republican governors to push her reform ideas in states across the country. Her ongoing pitched battle with the teachers unions has put her at odds with one of the Democratic Party’s most important traditional constituencies.
Yet there are signs that Rhee’s persona non grata status in her party is beginning to wane — starting with the fact that the chairman of the Democratic convention, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, spoke at the movie screening Rhee hosted at the convention earlier this week. Another Democratic star, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, spoke at the cocktails-and-canapes reception afterward. Across the country, Democratic officials from governors like Colorado’s John Hickenlooper to former President Clinton — buoyed by the well-funded encouragement of the hedge-fund bigwigs behind much of the charter-school movement — are shifting the party’s consensus away from the union-dictated terms to which it has long been loyal. Instead, they’re moving the party toward a full-fledged embrace of the twin pillars of the reform movement: performance-based incentives for teachers, and increased options, including charter schools, for parents.
The inroads made by the education reformers go all the way to the top — to President Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the “Race to the Top” initiative that required states to make reforms to get federal education funds — and they amount to a major shift for the Democratic Party on one of its signature issues.
http://goo.gl/OuMxb

Studies Find More Students Cheating, With High Achievers No Exception
New York Times

Large-scale cheating has been uncovered over the last year at some of the nation’s most competitive schools, like Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, the Air Force Academy and, most recently, Harvard.
Studies of student behavior and attitudes show that a majority of students violate standards of academic integrity to some degree, and that high achievers are just as likely to do it as others. Moreover, there is evidence that the problem has worsened over the last few decades.
Experts say the reasons are relatively simple: Cheating has become easier and more widely tolerated, and both schools and parents have failed to give students strong, repetitive messages about what is allowed and what is prohibited.
http://goo.gl/ZwQ7E

Some Ga. Schools Make Mandarin Mandatory
NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

Public schools in Macon, Ga., and surrounding Bibb County have a lot of problems. Most of the 25,000 students are poor enough to qualify for free and reduced lunch, and about half don’t graduate.
Bibb County’s Haitian-born superintendent Romain Dallemand came into the job last year with a bag of changes he calls “The Macon Miracle.” There are now longer schools days, year-round instruction, and one mandate nobody saw coming: Mandarin Chinese for every student, pre-K through 12th grade.
“Students who are in elementary school today, by 2050 they’ll be at the pinnacle of their career,” Dallemand says. “They will live in a world where China and India will have 50 percent of the world GDP. They will live in a world where, if they cannot function successfully in the Asian culture, they will pay a heavy price.”
This school year, Dallemand is rolling out Mandarin in stages, a few sessions a week, with the youngest kids starting first. In three years, it will be at every grade level.
http://goo.gl/PWrPQ

Private school vaccine opt-outs rise
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Parents who send their children to private schools in California are much more likely to opt out of immunizations than their public school counterparts, an Associated Press analysis has found, and not even the recent re-emergence of whooping cough has halted the downward trajectory of vaccinations among these students.
The state surveys all schools with at least 10 kindergartners to determine how many have all the recommended immunizations. The AP analyzed that data and found the percentage of children in private schools who forego some or all vaccinations is more than two times greater than in public schools.
More troubling to public health officials is that the rate of children entering private schools without all of their shots jumped by 10 percent last year, while the opt-out figures held steady in public schools for the first time since 2004.
Public health officials believe that an immunization rate of at least 90 percent in all communities, including schools, is critical to minimizing the potential for a disease outbreak. About 15 percent of the 1,650 private schools surveyed by the state failed to reach that threshold, compared with 5 percent of public schools.
http://goo.gl/iaxdj

Fewer BHS students participate in school lunch program
Beatrice (NE) Daily Sun

From Aug. 22 to Aug. 27, lunch program participation at Beatrice High School had dropped nearly 40 percent from 547 students to 339.
“I just can’t stand how they limit the foods that we like to eat,” sophomore Jessup Workman said.
Some complaints began early in the school year because of the new federal meal restrictions placed on the lunch programs. Meat, grains and calorie limits have gone into effect causing protest from the high school students.
Beatrice senior Travis Eubanks has created a blog dedicated to the new federal restrictions titled School Lunches Suck at schoollunchessuck.blogspot.com.
Eubanks has documented his lunches taking pictures of meals served at school breaking down each item.
http://goo.gl/R4RSs

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

September 13:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://1.usa.gov/Axtt5K

September 18:
Executive Appropriations Interim Committee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://goo.gl/E0hoC

September 19:
Education Interim Committee meeting
2 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2012&Com=INTEDU

October 5:
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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