Education News Roundup: Sept. 20, 2012

"MG_2253" by Saul Mora/CC/flickr

“MG_2253” by Saul Mora/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Will Utah fund preschool?
http://goo.gl/QIsvp (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/rv5bp (DN)
and http://goo.gl/cxXb0 (MUR)

Is class size reduction money reducing class size in Utah?
http://goo.gl/Sjjjp (UP)

Education Interim Committee discussion the state superintendent selection process.
http://goo.gl/W1mBc (DN)

North Carolina makes it easier for teachers to fight online slams.
http://goo.gl/URYfM (WSJ)

Are U.S. schools resegregating.
http://goo.gl/BR0HV (NYT)
and http://goo.gl/ntssh (Ed Week)
or a copy of the report
http://goo.gl/eIgkx

What’s scarier for Harry Potter than He Who Must Not Be Named? Apparently it’s the fiscal cliff and sequestration.
http://goo.gl/ZBvV4 (Reuters)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Lawmaker pitches state-funded preschool proposal At-risk kids » Program would focus on students bound for special education classes.

Utah’s Class Size Reduction Program ‘Basically a Sham’

Sen. Howard Stephenson criticizes process to select new state superintendent

Utah lawmakers continue push for ownership as public lands war gains traction

Prof. urges math makeover

Census snapshot: Utah’s culture makes it stand out Young, white and married with children, state slowly changing to look more like the U.S.

Health dept. says 20 percent of Utah kids overweight

Got an idea to fight childhood obesity in Utah?
Grants » UnitedHealthcare wants to fund your ideas for youth-led programs.

Rowland Hall students take wild ride on gravity cars Education » Sophomores at the private school built and raced their own gravity cars within a five-hour time frame.

One of Jordan transfers could have another shot to play football

Smith’s donates $611,000 to Utah schools

Wilson Elementary awarded Walmart grant for book club

Car slams into parked school bus in Roy

Call prompts school lockdown
East Elementary event lasts only a few minutes

Football players visit students with special needs

How to pack school lunches and save money

Debate over teacher accountability heats up

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Good news to read

As the chalk dust settles in Chicago . . . part one

A balanced policy about public lands in Utah? Not so far.

Options limited to finance Chicago teachers contract

The Education Upstarts

Schools chief loves Twitter — 29 (plus 3) times a day

Research-Based Options for Education Policy Making: Teacher Evaluation

NATION

Teachers Fight Online Slams

Segregation Prominent in Schools, Study Finds

What’s Driving Dropout Rate For Black, Latino Men?

After teachers strike, doubts about implications

Next School Crisis for Chicago: Pension Fund Is Running Dry

Why Kids Should Grade Teachers
A decade ago, an economist at Harvard, Ronald Ferguson, wondered what would happen if teachers were evaluated by the people who see them every day—their students. The idea—as simple as it sounds, and as familiar as it is on college campuses—was revolutionary. And the results seemed to be, too: remarkable consistency from grade to grade, and across racial divides. Even among kindergarten students. A growing number of school systems are administering the surveys—and might be able to overcome teacher resistance in order to link results to salaries and promotions.

Research Alliances Link Scholars and Educators

Nashville parents explore taking over schools Never-before-used state triggers law allows public schools to be converted into charters

Pot could be tax windfall, but skeptics abound

Fiscal cliff fears hit Scholastic’s schools revenue

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UTAH NEWS
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Lawmaker pitches state-funded preschool proposal At-risk kids » Program would focus on students bound for special education classes.

Many conservative Utah lawmakers have long resisted the idea of state-funded preschool for financial, ideological and social reasons.
But one Republican lawmaker plans to challenge that attitude this coming legislative session with plans to run a bill to create a preschool program aimed at students at risk of academic failure.
“We have to start talking about solving long-term problems with long-term solutions,” said Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan.
Osmond said the state now spends more than $370 million a year on special education, a cost that could be shaved with earlier help for some children.
http://goo.gl/QIsvp (SLT)

http://goo.gl/rv5bp (DN)

http://goo.gl/cxXb0 (MUR)

Utah’s Class Size Reduction Program ‘Basically a Sham’

For 15 years lawmakers putting money into a special elementary school class size reduction program has been a real political boon.
A frustrated mom or dad confronts a legislator and he just quotes how much cash the state has put into lowering the number of kids in the overcrowded classroom and, perhaps, a vote can be saved.
But GOP House members and a dozen or so Republican legislative candidates were told Wednesday that the state’s class size reduction program is basically a sham.
For some time the “unrestricted” monies given to local school districts and charter schools has been going into those entities general fund accounts, with little or no real class size reduction coming from it.
CSR monies are not wasted. They are just going into other areas where local education administrators feel there is greater need – which could be teacher salaries, supplies, bus service and so on.
This is not groundbreaking news. Various legislative audits over the years, since the first real CSR plan was first started in 1997, have shown similar results.
But Wednesday House GOP leaders want to brief their incumbents seeking re-election in two months and give their GOP candidates some background so they can fight against Democratic challengers who seem to be hitting the GOP majority hard on rising class sizes.
http://goo.gl/Sjjjp (UP)

Sen. Howard Stephenson criticizes process to select new state superintendent

SALT LAKE CITY — Echoing criticisms made last week, Sen. Howard Stephenson expressed concerns Wednesday with the way the state school board is searching for a new superintendent.
Stephenson told the Education Interim Committee, which he co-chairs, that he is concerned the board is acting too hastily in its search for a new top education official.
Stephenson, R-Draper, referred to a statement that he, along with three other Republican lawmakers, released last week. He took particular issue with the short window the board’s selection committee had established to receive applications for the post as well as the board’s intent to make its decision in mid-October — before the election and swearing-in of new board members.
“This window for application is only two weeks, whereas before it was a longer window,” he said. “That’s a concern.”
http://goo.gl/W1mBc (DN)

Utah lawmakers continue push for ownership as public lands war gains traction

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s public lands fight against the federal government is beginning to gather steam on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers were briefed Wednesday about efforts to establish a commission to help navigate policymakers through the fray.
“It’s kind of like eating an elephant,” said Kathleen Clarke, director of the Public Lands Coordinating Office. “Where do you start?”
Clarke said her office is working in consultation with a number of experts on the establishment of the commission, which would provide guidance and answers as the state moves forward its demands to have the government cede authority to Utah over the control of federal lands.
“It has become very clear to us that this is not just a Utah battle,” she told members of the Legislature’s Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Interim Committee.
http://goo.gl/PJiQL (DN)

http://goo.gl/Mv4ih (KUTV)

Prof. urges math makeover

Undergraduate students, U math professors and high school teachers joined together at the Aline Wilmot Skaggs Biology Building to hear the words of a renowned math teacher speak Wednesday.
Herb Clemens, a professor at Ohio State University, talked about the importance of having mathematicians and math teachers become the leaders and voices of the national math curriculum in the United States. Specifically, he wants to implement mathematicians’ voices in the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, which will set the standard for public school curriculums. He also emphasized the importance of math teachers acting as professionals and gaining respect.
http://goo.gl/fbPsj (Chrony)

Census snapshot: Utah’s culture makes it stand out Young, white and married with children, state slowly changing to look more like the U.S.

In its annual statistical snapshot of Utah, the U.S. Census Bureau reports the state still has the nation’s youngest population, the most households consisting of married couples with children, most stay-at home moms, second-highest fertility rate and racially is overwhelmingly white.
But it also shows that Utahns are slowly becoming more like the rest of the nation. Residents’ median age rose slightly over the past year, the percentage of married couples and children shrank a bit, the fertility rate declined, stay-at-home moms decreased and the population became more diverse.
“We’ll never be the same as the nation because of the cultural differences here,” says Pam Perlich, a senior research economist at the University of Utah. “We are and will be for the foreseeable future the heart of the Mormon culture region.”
She said the changing face of Utah may be lagging national trends “by a couple of generations.”

The following is a look at some other findings in the new data.
“One of every four preschool-age kids is a minority. In Salt Lake County, it’s one out of three. Nationwide it’s 49 percent. In Salt Lake City, it’s 50 percent. And if you look at Salt Lake City’s river district, it’s approaching 80 percent,” Perlich said.
“When the old baby boomers begin dying off, they will be replaced by this much more diverse and multicultural and multilingual and multiethnic demographic. It’s a generational shift,” Perlich said.
http://goo.gl/jgEkk (SLT)

Health dept. says 20 percent of Utah kids overweight

SALT LAKE CITY — Information released Wednesday from the Utah Department of Health shows 20 percent of children in Utah are at an unhealthy weight and nearly 10 percent of those are obese.
During the past school year, over 4,000 students from 69 randomly selected schools were weighed and measured to help determine the extent of childhood obesity.
“We are finding that one in five of our students in elementary schools are an unhealthy weight,” said Patrice Isabella, a nutrition coordinator at the Utah Department of Health. “The most alarming finding is the increase in the overweight status among boys from first, to third, to fifth grade.”
http://goo.gl/mCPxM (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/RmuuZ (SLT)

http://goo.gl/udrh4 (MUR)

Got an idea to fight childhood obesity in Utah?
Grants » UnitedHealthcare wants to fund your ideas for youth-led programs.

Schools and community-based nonprofit organizations can apply for grants of up to $1,000 from UnitedHealthcare to fund efforts to fight childhood obesity.
Programs must include an activity — walking, running or hiking — in which kids count their steps. They must also include a service component — where youth increase awareness, provide help or otherwise advocate solutions.
http://goo.gl/3smM8 (SLT)

Rowland Hall students take wild ride on gravity cars Education » Sophomores at the private school built and raced their own gravity cars within a five-hour time frame.

Sophomores at Rowland Hall got to know the wild side of physics on Wednesday when their teachers surprised them with a one-day, beyond-the-classroom project: Building gravity cars.
“It’s a car that has no motor, no brakes, primitive steering, and that’s all to take you down the hill,” said art teacher Gary Lindemann, adding gravity is the project’s motor and enthusiasm is the fuel.
As students studied their cars gaining kinetic energy while speeding down a sidewalk near their school, the exercise taught them about both gravity and physics.
http://goo.gl/pC31t (SLT)

http://goo.gl/UQ2Sf (DN)

One of Jordan transfers could have another shot to play football

Although a trial is scheduled in November for Dynamite-Jones Fa’agata’s lawsuit against the Utah High School Activities Association, the teenager’s attorney is still fighting for him to take the field for the Jordan football team this season.
Fa’agata, who came from the Bay Area in California this spring from Encinal High School, was denied a hardship waiver and athletic eligibility by the UHSAA weeks ago, and a District Court judge refused to grant an order that would have allowed him and fellow transfer Clifford Betson to play.
But since the original hardship waiver was filed, Fa’agata’s mother, Lisi Fa’agata, has moved to Utah, which attorney Laura Lui hopes can give Fa’agata another shot with the UHSAA and in the courtroom. Lui filed documents for a new waiver at the end of last week, which were also copied to the Tribune.
UHSAA legal counsel Mark Van Wagoner said the original panel which heard Fa’agata’s case would be reconvened next week. Lui has also filed a motion for Judge Keith Kelly to reconsider the ruling on the temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
http://goo.gl/DLq8q (SLT)

http://goo.gl/6gRY4 (DN)

Smith’s donates $611,000 to Utah schools

Smith’s Food & Drug Stores has contributed $1 million to schools in the grocery chain’s multi-state operating area, with Utah schools receiving more than $611,000.
Since 2000, Smith’s has gifted a total of $15.4 million to schools, kindergarten through high school, throughout the West.
http://goo.gl/vySJL (SLT)

http://goo.gl/aVLB9 (OSE)

Wilson Elementary awarded Walmart grant for book club

The students at Wilson Elementary School love to read, and the teachers and parents at Wilson are working hard to make sure their love for literature is fostered.
That started with a new testing program. Thanks to teachers Lindsey Bohon and Marina Terry, the DIBELS program was introduced in the classrooms at Wilson and raised the overall reading scores by 15 percent. DIBELS, or Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, are a set of assessments used for universal screening progress monitoring in kindergarten through sixth grade. These assessments help educators identify students who may need additional literacy instruction to become more proficient readers.
Now the Wilson PTA is working to provide opportunities for students to expand their literacy skills outside the classroom through a book club.
http://goo.gl/LSe7B (PDH)

Car slams into parked school bus in Roy

ROY — A car crashed into a parked school bus at 3550 West and 5500 South, about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
The driver had been travelling east on 5500 South, near Roy, and the Weber County Sheriff’s Office believed the driver was using or was about to use her cellular phone, Lt. John Morrow said.
The car struck the rear driver side of the Weber School District bus, which was empty at the time.
http://goo.gl/sRw33 (OSE)

http://goo.gl/rWG19 (KSTU)

Call prompts school lockdown
East Elementary event lasts only a few minutes

CEDAR CITY — A domestic violence call involving a possible gun near East Elementary School prompted a temporary lockdown of the school Wednesday at about 1 p.m.
Sgt. Jimmy Roden, Cedar City Police Department Public Information Officer, said the proximity of the call — in the area of 100 North 200 East — was close enough to East Elementary to warrant the school lockdown.
“The suspect was never at East Elementary and the lockdown was simply a precaution,” Roden said. “The suspect was detained at his home and the lockdown was lifted.”
http://goo.gl/lffvE (SGS)

http://goo.gl/TdXAy (KCSG)

Football players visit students with special needs

Riverton High School football players visited special needs students at The Kauri Sue Hamilton School in Riverton Wednesday. The players sang their fight song and gave out football T-shirts for the students to wear every Friday in support of the team.
The school serves special needs students in the Jordan School District.
http://goo.gl/fTfYG (DN)

How to pack school lunches and save money

Packing your child’s school lunches can be an effective way to save cash, according to a blog by Equifax.
Instead of relying on the deli for meat, buy it in bulk. Cooking and cutting meat on your own can save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on additional labor.
Use different grains and varieties of bread. Tortillas, pitas and sandwich thins can change things up for your child so they don’t get bored of the same thing every day.
http://goo.gl/3H2eX (DN)

Debate over teacher accountability heats up

The Chicago teacher’s strike has polarized debate on the controversial topic of teacher evaluation.
On one side of the debate, education reformers say decisions about teacher compensation and job security should be closely tied to the test performance of their students. On the opposite side, teachers and their unions say such evaluations can penalize the best teachers, reduce access to top teachers in poverty-stricken areas, and turn classrooms into places where teaching to the tests trumps true learning.
http://goo.gl/MLnwW (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Good news to read
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

The writing is on the wall: Volunteers make a difference. And thanks in part, to several tutoring programs, more students in the Ogden School District can read that message.
Last year the school district and Read Today launched a pilot program to improve reading comprehension for students at Ogden elementary schools. The effort was a collaboration of the AmeriCorps volunteer group, KSL, the United Way of Northern Utah and a program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Monday the district held a celebration with free food, dancing, games, awards and prizes for hundreds of students and their families associated with five schools: Dee, James Madison, Grammercy, Odyssey and T.O. Smith. These were the schools that saw the most improvement in reading scores.
While administrators, teachers and parents helped achieve this mark, the backbone of the program was the volunteer tutors who were recruited through the LDS Church and area businesses to read with students.
http://goo.gl/ePd9P

As the chalk dust settles in Chicago . . . part one Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

. . . many difficult issues remain unresolved. Since school districts around the country are grappling with the same problems, here’s a quick run-down. I’m going to start with the money issues, and discuss some of the unresolved education policy issues in a second post.
http://goo.gl/yIeYS

A balanced policy about public lands in Utah? Not so far.
Deseret News letter from Rachel Carter

Alan Matheson’s recent My View (“Utah needs a balanced public lands policy,” Sept. 13) contained some nice rhetoric on balance in public lands policy. But actions speak louder than words, and Gov. Gary Herbert’s public lands actions lately have been anything but balanced — and Utah taxpayers are paying the price.
It’s ironic that Matheson, the governor’s senior environmental advisor, complains about “expensive lawsuits” in federal lands management just months after Herbert filed 22 lawsuits against the U.S. seeking over 10,000 “road” claims crossing designated wilderness, national parks and national monuments. A similar lawsuit over a single route in Salt Creek has already cost the state and San Juan County more than $1 million — to no avail. How is it balanced to waste taxpayer money in this way?
Nor is the Herbert’s support of HB148 — the Transfer of Public Lands Act, which the governor signed into law in March — a balanced approach.
http://goo.gl/yWzsB

Options limited to finance Chicago teachers contract Reuters analysis by Karen Pierog

CHICAGO – Chicago public school teachers returned to their classrooms on Wednesday but thorny questions remained over how Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the cash-strapped school system will pay for the tentative contract that ended a strike of more than a week.
The three-year contract, which has an option for a fourth year and which awaits a ratification vote by the 29,000-member Chicago Teachers Union, calls for an average 17.6 percent pay raise over four years and some benefit improvements.
Average teacher pay is now about $76,000 a year, according to the district, which pegged the annual cost of the new contract at $74 million a year, or $295 million over four years.
The $5.16 billion fiscal 2013 budget approved by Chicago Board of Education last month closed a $665 million deficit by draining reserves and levying property taxes at a maximum rate, while also slashing administrative and operational spending.
But that budget included no teacher salary raises with the understanding the budget would be amended once a contract was in place, according to a spokeswoman for the district. The increase agreed in the tentative contract with teachers called for a 3 percent increase in year one.
http://goo.gl/ufACo

The Education Upstarts
The Atlantic analysis by Rachael Brown, Bellwether Education Partners

Education policy has long featured two players—the government and teachers unions. But in recent years, a new generation of activists has stepped up to lobby legislators and drive the conversation. A rundown of worthy upstarts.
http://goo.gl/pS1CZ

Schools chief loves Twitter — 29 (plus 3) times a day Washington Post commentary by columnist Valerie Strauss

A growing number of school superintendents around the country spend part of their day on Twitter, and one of the most prolific — if not the most — is Joshua P. Starr, superintendent of the high-achieving
On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Starr tweeted 29 times, and retweeted three other tweets. True, it was one of his busier days on Twitter, but he tweets every day, clearly seeing social media as a way to reach the public.
He’s not the only superintendent on Twitter. The August editions of the magazine School Administrator, the publication of the American Association of School Administrators, included an article titled “What Superintendents Can Learn From Twitter,” which says, “Twitter is helping superintendents overcome the isolation of the office.”
http://goo.gl/CptF9

Research-Based Options for Education Policy Making: Teacher Evaluation National Education Policy Center analysis by William J. Mathis, University of Colorado

This brief is the first in a series summarizing important issues in education policy research. William Mathis discusses different types of methods for teacher evaluation and points out the importance of using a combination of methods, of including all stakeholders in decision-making about evaluation systems, and of investing in the evaluation system.
http://goo.gl/rzvis

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Teachers Fight Online Slams
Wall Street Journal

After years spent trying to shield students from online bullying by their peers, schools are beginning to crack down on Internet postings that disparage teachers.
Schools elsewhere in the U.S. have punished the occasional tweeter who hurls an insult at a teacher, but North Carolina has taken it a step further, making it a crime for students to post statements via the Internet that “intimidate or torment” faculty. Students convicted under the law could be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished with fines of as much as $1,000 and/or probation.
The move is one of the most aggressive yet by states to police students’ online activities. While officials have long had the ability to regulate student speech at school, the threat of cyberbullying teachers, which typically occurs off-campus, has prompted efforts to restrain students’ use of the Internet on their own time.
School officials in North Carolina and elsewhere say the moves are necessary to protect teachers in an age when comments posted online—sometimes by students pretending to be the teachers they are mocking—can spread quickly and damage reputations.
The North Carolina law makes it a crime for a student to “build a fake profile or web site” with the “intent to intimidate or torment a school employee.”
http://goo.gl/URYfM

Segregation Prominent in Schools, Study Finds New York Times

The United States is increasingly a multiracial society, with white students accounting for just over half of all students in public schools, down from four-fifths in 1970.
Yet whites are still largely concentrated in schools with other whites, leaving the largest minority groups — black and Latino students — isolated in classrooms, according to a new analysis of Department of Education data.
The report showed that segregation is not limited to race: blacks and Latinos are twice as likely as white or Asian students to attend schools with a substantial majority of poor children.
Across the country, 43 percent of Latinos and 38 percent of blacks attend schools where fewer than 10 percent of their classmates are white, according to the report, released on Wednesday by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles.
And more than one in seven black and Latino students attend schools where fewer than 1 percent of their classmates are white, according to the group’s analysis of enrollment data from 2009-2010, the latest year for which federal statistics are available.
http://goo.gl/BR0HV

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

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

What’s Driving Dropout Rate For Black, Latino Men?
NPR Tell Me More

A new report says barely half of Latino and Black men graduate from high school in four years. Host Michel Martin discusses the dropout rate and what’s being done about it. She speaks with John H. Jackson of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and Pilar Montoya of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.
http://goo.gl/iQcnr

After teachers strike, doubts about implications Associated Press

CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel secured an extension of Chicago’s school day and empowered principals to hire the teachers they want. Teachers were able to soften a new evaluation process and win some job protections.
As students returned to the classroom Wednesday after a seven-day teachers strike, both sides found reasons to celebrate victory. But neither the school-reform movement nor organized labor achieved the decisive breakthrough it had sought. And whether the implications extend beyond Chicago may depend on the next case having a similar cast of characters and political pressures.
Unions hoped the walkout would prove they were still relevant, and some reform groups were disappointed with the city’s concessions.
At times, the contract talks seemed overshadowed by personalities, with the mayor and union leaders occasionally trading insults and questioning each other’s motives.
Still, everyone involved in the dispute emerged with an achievement to trumpet: Teachers said the strike sparked an important national conversation about school reform.
http://goo.gl/s1q4W

Next School Crisis for Chicago: Pension Fund Is Running Dry New York Times

One of the most vexing problems for Chicago and its teachers went virtually unmentioned during the strike: The pension fund is about to hit a wall.
The Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund has about $10 billion in assets, but is paying out more than $1 billion in benefits a year — much more than it has been taking in. That has forced it to sell investments, worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year, to pay retired teachers. Experts say the fund could collapse within a few years unless something is done.
“There’s a huge crisis,” said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a nonpartisan research organization in Chicago that works on fiscal issues. “The problem does not get easier by waiting. The problem gets bigger, and starts to become an insurmountable obstacle.”
Teachers in Chicago, as in many cities, do not earn Social Security credit for their years in the classroom.
http://goo.gl/c1Axu

Why Kids Should Grade Teachers
A decade ago, an economist at Harvard, Ronald Ferguson, wondered what would happen if teachers were evaluated by the people who see them every day—their students. The idea—as simple as it sounds, and as familiar as it is on college campuses—was revolutionary. And the results seemed to be, too: remarkable consistency from grade to grade, and across racial divides. Even among kindergarten students. A growing number of school systems are administering the surveys—and might be able to overcome teacher resistance in order to link results to salaries and promotions.
The Atlantic


In towns around the country this past school year, a quarter-­million students took a special survey designed to capture what they thought of their teachers and their classroom culture. Unlike the vast majority of surveys in human history, this one had been carefully field-tested. That research had shown something remarkable: if you asked kids the right questions, they could identify, with uncanny accuracy, their most—and least—effective teachers.
The point was so obvious, it was almost embarrassing. Kids stared at their teachers for hundreds of hours a year, which might explain their expertise. Their survey answers, it turned out, were more reliable than any other known measure of teacher performance—­including classroom observations and student test-score growth. All of which raised an uncomfortable new question: Should teachers be paid, trained, or dismissed based in part on what children say about them?
To find out, school officials in a handful of cities have been quietly trying out the survey.
http://goo.gl/hBEmt

Research Alliances Link Scholars and Educators Education Week

Washington – Long-term partnerships, rather than one-off studies, may become the new norm for researchers looking for access and districts looking for answers.
A forthcoming study commissioned by the William T. Grant Foundation, of New York City, finds more districts are developing long-term, structured relationships with researchers. It says the trend is driven by tight local budgets and an increased federal focus on making education research usable.
The study highlights potential bridges between researchers frustrated with low use of their studies by practitioners and district officials who are wary of researchers’ use of their data.
http://goo.gl/A34Ek

Nashville parents explore taking over schools Never-before-used state triggers law allows public schools to be converted into charters Nashville Tennessean

Dissatisfied parents and elected officials from West Nashville are exploring a never-before-utilized state law that would allow a public school to be converted into a parent-controlled charter school.
Under the so-called trigger law, if 60 percent of the parents or teachers at a public school sign a petition, the school board then votes on whether to approve converting the school into a charter. In Tennessee, a charter school is financed with tax dollars but privately operated by a nonprofit group.
Two meetings have been scheduled to study the law and the requirements for garnering the petitions and beginning the conversion.
http://goo.gl/WhbfI

Pot could be tax windfall, but skeptics abound Associated Press

DENVER — A catchy pro-marijuana jingle for Colorado voters considering legalizing the drug goes like this: “Jobs for our people. Money for schools. Who could ask for more?”
It’s a bit more complicated than that in the three states – Colorado, Oregon and Washington – that could become the first to legalize marijuana this fall.
The debate over how much tax money recreational marijuana laws could produce is playing an outsize role in the campaigns for and against legalization – and both sides concede they’re not really sure what would happen.
http://goo.gl/sbPRu

Fiscal cliff fears hit Scholastic’s schools revenue Reuters

Fears that the United States federal budget will fall off a “fiscal cliff”, automatic spending cuts due at the beginning of next year, is already slowing spending by schools, children’s book publisher Scholastic Corp warned on Thursday.
Scholastic, publisher of the “Harry Potter” and “The Hunger Games” series of children’s books, said revenue from the education sector fell 17 percent in the latest quarter, contributing to a wider loss than a year earlier.
The company blamed some of the revenue fall on schools holding back spending ahead of the looming fiscal cliff, nearly $1.2 trillion in across-the-broad spending cuts, offset partly by tax hikes, that will hit the U.S. economy if Congress does not agree to changes.
“Many school districts are concerned about potential automatic cuts to the federal budget,” CEO Richard Robinson said in a statement.
http://goo.gl/ZBvV4

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

October 5:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

October 11:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://1.usa.gov/Axtt5K

October 16:
Executive Appropriations Interim Committee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2012/html/00001093.htm

October 17:
Education Interim Committee meeting
2 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2012/html/00001174.htm

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