Education News Roundup: Sept. 24, 2012

"Untitled" By Bg5000/CC/flickr

“Untitled” By Bg5000/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Utah sees AP participation and scores move up.
http://goo.gl/zaUYO (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/0V4oT (DN)
and http://goo.gl/9Gphi (PDH)
and http://goo.gl/ndGCU (CVD)
and http://goo.gl/DLDWM (KTVX)
and http://goo.gl/djyvY (KSL)
and http://goo.gl/K1qgQ (Ed Week)
or http://goo.gl/MnoOy (USOE)

New York Times looks at the education referendum vote coming up in Idaho.
http://goo.gl/SuHj1 (NYT)

Education Nation gets underway.
http://goo.gl/MtrCR (Hechinger Report)
and http://www.educationnation.com/

————————————————————
TODAY’S HEADLINES
————————————————————

UTAH

More Utah high school students taking, passing AP exams Education » The statistics mean students are more often earning college credit before entering their first year at a university.

Lawmaker unhappy with search for state superintendent

Report documents improvements in Ogden School District

Code of ethics plan derailed in Canyons School District

Utah teacher excels in the classroom, gets invited to national conference

‘Best Idea’ grant taking Utah students to nature’s classrooms Education » Field trips to Timpanogos, Sundance, elsewhere teaches earth sciences.

Utah students connect with Kenyans through service project Education » Service project includes writing to pen pals, collecting supplies.

Alpine’s Mountainville Academy selected for awards

School tries new way to get kids walking

Most secondary school students can’t write well

Alpine district clarifies two diploma options

Pleasant Grove teacher arrested for alleged student sex abuse

McDonald’s employees join students in week of service

Local elementary schools raise $35,000 in funds

School combines fitness with fundraising Fiddler students take part in walkathon

TV preview: Two Utah students to be featured in PBS’ ‘Broadway or Bust’ series

Westlake High FFA students learn leadership

Schools place pinwheels for world peace

Elementary principal skydives for students exceeding goal

In education and life, character counts

Education enrichment: Helping your children learn more effectively

Enrichment education: School expectations, by grade

Education enrichment: Building literacy at home

Expeditionary learning model lets students learn by doing

PB&J sandwich debate: Should allergies lead to nut ban?

Utah students invited to enter radon poster contest

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Closing gaps

Movie on ‘reforming’; schools distorts reality

Writing weakness

Educating Utah’s students the Steve Jobs way

Yes, more with less

A Gold Star for the Chicago Teachers Strike After 10 years of top-down disruptions, teachers showed the power of collective action by those who work in schools.

Fighting the Education Blob
In Won’t Back Down, even liberals learn to fight the teachers’ union.

A federal education agenda

NATION

What Do Teachers Deserve? In Idaho, Referendum May Offer Answer

Teachers’ Unions Court G.O.P.

JCPS student-assignment plan upheld

Education Nation

Public Television Takes Role in Curbing Dropout Rates

Bill Nye warns: Creation views threaten US science

At School, Overweight Children Carry A Heavy Burden

Town turns tables on school prank

————————————————————
UTAH NEWS
————————————————————

More Utah high school students taking, passing AP exams Education » The statistics mean students are more often earning college credit before entering their first year at a university.

More Utah students are taking Advanced Placement course exams and the state’s teenagers are outperforming their peers across the nation on the tests, data released on Monday from the College Board shows.
A total of 20,449 Utah students took more than 33,000 AP exams in 2012 — a 10.5 percent increase in the number of Utah test-takers from 2011.
Of those who took the test, approximately 68 percent earned passing scores, which earns them college credit. The number of Utah students who passed their AP exams in 2012 is up by 11 percent from last year, according to the Utah State Office of Education.
http://goo.gl/zaUYO (SLT)

http://goo.gl/0V4oT (DN)

http://goo.gl/9Gphi (PDH)

http://goo.gl/ndGCU (CVD)

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

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

http://goo.gl/K1qgQ (Ed Week)

http://goo.gl/MnoOy (USOE)

Lawmaker unhappy with search for 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.
http://goo.gl/KxS0v (KSL)

Report documents improvements in Ogden School District

OGDEN — The Ogden School District is celebrating good news from a state report that documents the improvement of key district schools.
The report is posted on the Utah Office of Education website, at www.schools.utah.gov/main. (Click on the green icon for Public School Data, PDS Gateway for the information.)
It is the 2012 version of the same report that in 2011 named the Ogden School District’s Dee Elementary as the worst school in the state in terms of student language arts proficiency.
“Last year, we were at the bottom,” said district Superintendent Brad Smith. “This year (Dee is) 390 out of 543 (in language arts). We are moving in the right direction.”
The data is based on end-of-level tests that students took at the end of the last school year.
http://goo.gl/3sCTd (OSE)

Code of ethics plan derailed in Canyons School District

SANDY — The Canyons Board of Education tabled discussion of a new Code of Ethics last week after board members expressed concerns about ambiguity and potential illegality in the code’s language.
The debate centered on two provisions in the proposed code. The first allows for the board, with a two-thirds majority, to removed from office a member whose continued and willful violation of the code constitutes “high crimes and misdemeanors or malfeasance in office.”
The second provision says that board members should respect the “division of labor” in the district by not dealing directly with district employees. That directive is potentially in conflict with an earlier provision in the code, which says board members should “seek systematic communications between the board and students, staff and all elements of the community.”
While some members of the board were clear in their support or opposition to the proposed code, others, such as board president Tracy Cowdell and boardmember Mont Millerberg, expressed frustration over the way the discussion of a code of ethics had dragged on.
http://goo.gl/QY8QQ (KSL)

Utah teacher excels in the classroom, gets invited to national conference

FARMINGTON — Mary Jo Naylor’s 6th grade class enthusiastically recites the powerful poem “Invictus.”
“Out of the night that covers me,” they say in unison. “Black as a pit from pole to pole.”
Poetry fills an important role in Naylor’s classroom.
“I use poetry like this as a way to teach vocabulary, to teach the beauty of the language, to teach ideas that they are not going to hear,” Naylor said.
Teaching is in her DNA. Her grandmother, mother and father all worked in education. “I really like children,” she said. “And I feel like I have a talent with children.”
Mrs. Naylor’s passion for teaching is evident. However, she has one big frustration: the size of her classes.
http://goo.gl/eXN3C (KSL)

‘Best Idea’ grant taking Utah students to nature’s classrooms Education » Field trips to Timpanogos, Sundance, elsewhere teaches earth sciences.

Melinda Morriss realizes her fourth-grade students at Franklin Elementary School in Provo sometimes have a difficult time connecting with her “environments of Utah” lesson plan.
The majority of the young students in her class can only relate to the urban environment around their Provo city homes.
A program started by rangers at Timpanogos Cave National Monument this year is helping Morriss’ students experience firsthand what their teacher is talking about.
http://goo.gl/MZxUB (SLT)

Utah students connect with Kenyans through service project Education » Service project includes writing to pen pals, collecting supplies.

Holladay• Students clapped, danced and sang in Swahili to the beat of an African drum at Cottonwood Elementary on Friday as they marked the beginning of a year-long cultural exchange and service project with a school in Samburu, Kenya.
The project includes writing to pen pals, collecting and sending supplies overseas, and learning about Kenyan culture in the classroom. Those projects, and others, will be completed throughout the year, culminating in an African festival later this year to celebrate the success of the student’s newfound friendship with children in Samburu.
Along with the entertainment of an African-themed dance group from Repertory Dance Theatre, students at a Friday assembly learned about the serious side of their service project.
http://goo.gl/LbjgV (SLT)

Alpine’s Mountainville Academy selected for awards

The national spotlight is on Mountainville Academy in Alpine as the public charter school has been selected for honors in two separate education programs.
In May the Washington, D.C.-based Character Education Partnership named the school as a 2012 National School of Character. Then in September the school learned of its selection to receive a $13,500 grant from the Daniels Fund to be used for SMART Boards.
http://goo.gl/of0pB (PDH)

School tries new way to get kids walking

CLEARFIELD — Officials at Antelope Elementary School are trying a new way to get kids moving instead of sitting during breaks. So far, they say the program has been wildly successful.
The school, which is in the Davis School District, has a walking path which, at times, didn’t get enough use. That is, until school officials started the new program to get kids walking.
Principal Gwen Hill said, “This is just one more way of letting them experience a kind of activity that they could do throughout their life.”
Hill says each student gets a punch card, and if the student gets enough punches on that card, they can get a small charm for their necklaces.
http://goo.gl/vz0RA (KSL)

Most secondary school students can’t write well

Only about one-fourth of middle-school and high school students in the United States write at a proficient level, according to a new report on the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2011 writing test.
Beside showing that a large majority of U.S. students are not proficient in writing, test results highlighted a gender gap in writing proficiency. Female students scored much higher than males at both grade levels, revealing a gender gap for writing much larger than the better-known mathematics gender gap that favors male students.
http://goo.gl/V5h3h (DN)

Alpine district clarifies two diploma options

Alpine School District is clarifying the two diploma choices available to a few students.
To selected struggling students, Alpine offers two graduation choices. The district requires 28 elective credits to graduate, which is more than the 24 required by the state of Utah. Board members here recently sent a proposed policy change back to committee, saying the language needed to be tweaked to be more clear.
“A couple of board members feel that it needs to be explained that one is a basic diploma and one is an Alpine School District diploma,” said district spokeswoman Rhonda Bromley.
But that does not mean students have a choice, most of the time. Only students in the district’s alternative high school may choose the easier diploma.
http://goo.gl/Pxa4Y (PDH)

Pleasant Grove teacher arrested for alleged student sex abuse

PLEASANT GROVE — Police have arrested a teacher at a private school in Pleasant Grove for allegedly having sexual relations with two students.
According to Pleasant Grove detective Ryan Armitstead, 27-year-old Broch DeGraff was arrested Wednesday after two victims were identified. DeGraff taught at the Liahona Preparatory Academy, which Armitstead described as an LDS-themed private school that serves students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Armitstead said the alleged victims were teenage girls. Authorities learned of the incidents after one of the girls reported the alleged abuse.
DeGraff was booked into jail Wednesday on two first-degree felonies and six second-degree felonies, all forcible sexual abuse.
School spokeswoman Ganel-Lyn Condi said DeGraff was terminated as an employee in August when the investigation began. She also said parents were notified of the incident Aug. 10. Condi added that the school was founded by DeGraff’s parents and is oriented around LDS principles but not operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
http://goo.gl/TeMj7 (PDH)

http://goo.gl/21kDe (KUTV)

http://goo.gl/vzdBT (KSL)

http://goo.gl/5hMRY (KSTU)

McDonald’s employees join students in week of service

KEARNS — Red T-shirts surrounded Kearns Junior High School Friday as students joined several McDonald’s employees in an effort to give custodial aid.
The short-staffed custodial group was in need of help as the 400 windows outside the school had not been cleaned in years.
“We are able to do the insides every year, the outsides have been three to four (years),” said associate custodian Greg Kiethly. “Kearns is really windy and dusty so they get dirty really quick.”
Kiethly has been cleaning the junior high for eight years. On Friday he had extra helping hands from 30 McDonald’s volunteers and 15 junior high students who worked together to give Kiethly and the rest of the custodial staff a break.
http://goo.gl/cjWrS (DN)

http://goo.gl/5EOvd (OSE)

Local elementary schools raise $35,000 in funds

SMITHFIELD— Birch Creek, Summit and Sunrise elementary schools raised $35,000 at their third annual Tri School Trot, a fundraising run for the three schools.
Prior to the Sept. 14 event, students from each school went door to door to ask neighbors, friends and family for money pledges for each lap they walked or ran around the Sky View High School track.
http://goo.gl/wtc6H (CVD)

School combines fitness with fundraising Fiddler students take part in walkathon

CEDAR CITY — Fiddler Elementary School has been encouraging students during the month of September to be healthy and get exercise as well as being safe while doing it — especially if they walk or ride their bicycles between home and school.
Principal Mike Moyle said this month the faculty has been teaching students how to get their heart rate up during exercise as well as eating healthy foods and practicing good sleeping habits. That teaching came together during the school’s annual walkathon fundraising event, which took place all day Thursday.
http://goo.gl/2wUbi (SGS)

TV preview: Two Utah students to be featured in PBS’ ‘Broadway or Bust’ series

For musical theater students, traveling to New York City is comparable to a pilgrimage to Mecca. Two Utah high school graduates not only enjoyed the bright lights of Broadway, but were invited to hone their craft at intensive workshops with nationally recognized stage performers.
Peter Lambert, from Alta High School, and Malia Morley, from Hillcrest High, also competed for the Jimmy Award, named after famed Broadway theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander — or Tony Jr., as the high school equivalent of a Tony Award has been called.
And their week-long “theatrical boot camp” has been documented in a nationally broadcast PBS prime-time series, “Broadway or Bust,” with the final segment airing on KUED Sunday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m.
http://goo.gl/DUHgR (DN)

Westlake High FFA students learn leadership

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Besides showing prize-winning animals and projects at the recent Utah State Fair, the Westlake High School Future Farmers of America served as teachers, introducing young children to agriculture.
The 12 students who represented the Westlake FFA chapter spent a day guiding students 12 and younger through the “Little Hands on the Farm” exhibit, giving their temporary farmhands a chance to learn how their food is produced and earn a healthy treat.
http://goo.gl/Exqvp (PDH)

Schools place pinwheels for world peace

MIDVALE — Midvale Middle School students decorated their campus yard with pinwheels to promote world peace on International Peace Day. All students made pinwheels with their thoughts on promoting world peace on one side, and illustrations on the other.
http://goo.gl/wKi33 (DN)

Elementary principal skydives for students exceeding goal

SALT LAKE CITY — On Friday, the principal of Emerson Elementary paid up on a promise he made to his students. He told them if they could raise $13,000 for the school’s PTA, he would skydive.
The students met that goal and cheered on Dan Bergman as he landed on Friday morning. Bergman admitted that he had never done anything like skydiving, but wanted to follow up on his promise to the students.
http://goo.gl/NxmgK (KSL)

In education and life, character counts

Kewauna Lerma is a successful college student, on track to graduate. A few years ago, in her first year of high school, her GPA was 1.8 and she was arrested for punching a police officer. She credits character education with making the difference. Ira Glass of This American Life spoke with Lerma, who changed her life with the support of OneGoal, a nonprofit organization working in Chicago schools to help students build character.
With the national conversation on education focused on cognitive skills and academic test scores, new research suggests non-cognitive skills might make the difference in school and life success. Educators and researchers use many different words to refer to this skill set, including executive function, perseverance, leadership and character.
Paul Tough, former editor of The New York Times Magazine, discusses his research on these skills in his new book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character.
http://goo.gl/aeiPZ (DN)

Education enrichment: Helping your children learn more effectively

Emily Bradshaw has always tried to create an atmosphere that encourages learning in her home, reading nightly with her young family, encouraging their studies and designing activities to broaden their horizons. She became even more involved three years ago, when a contract stalemate between teachers and the state caused Hawaiian schools to close every Friday. Bradshaw and some neighbors in the Oahu town of Laie decided to step in.
“For a whole year, almost every Friday, the teachers were on leave without pay, which meant kids were not in school,” Bradshaw said. “In a community where most families require two incomes to survive financially, this left kids at home, in front of the TV and out of luck.” To fill the void, Bradshaw and some friends created what they called Furlough School for kids who lived in the neighborhood.
“I taught creative writing, my friend taught math games, another friend taught ASL,” she said. “It was really like being in a one-room school house with kids of all ages. For one morning a week, I thought it was very rewarding to be engaged in this kind of community effort.”
Most parents won’t need to replace school curriculum as Bradshaw did, but there are many things parents can do at home to help their children learn more effectively at school.
http://goo.gl/N8Fh1 (DN)

Enrichment education: School expectations, by grade

The greatschools.org website includes a thorough list of knowledge and skills children should know at each grade level from kindergarten to fifth grade. Families can use this abbreviated version to design activities that support development of grade-appropriate academic and character skills. If children haven’t hit all of these targets by the end of the school year, summer is a great time to work on areas that need strengthening.
http://goo.gl/oKy0L (DN)

Education enrichment: Building literacy at home

Building literacy at home
• Start reading with your young children and keep reading together even after your children can read on their own.
http://goo.gl/4TWY9 (DN)

Expeditionary learning model lets students learn by doing

Learning by doing is the mantra of schools using a model developed by Expeditionary Learning, a chartered nonprofit affiliated with Outward Bound.
At schools that follow the model, students create in-depth projects suggested by their own curiosity. A set of values originated by German educator Kurt Hahn, founder of the Outward Bound outdoor leadership programs, forms the core philosophy for expeditionary learning. More than 45,000 students attend expeditionary learning schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia. They include traditional public schools, charter schools and private schools.
http://goo.gl/mKWcK (DN)

PB&J sandwich debate: Should allergies lead to nut ban?

SALT LAKE CITY — An increasing number of children are allergic to peanuts, sparking some school districts to ban the nut entirely from school grounds. But when a lunchroom supervisor recently confiscated a homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich from a child in Viola, Ark., it sparked a heated debate that has raged on Facebook, news sites and blogs.
“Denise Clifton-Jones started the discussion when a teacher noticed her son, Jenkins, had brought a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat in the lunch room. The teacher took the sandwich, helped him get a lunch tray and sent home a note explaining the no-peanut products policy, which was discussed at the school’s open house before school began,” Area Wide News reported.
http://goo.gl/7YJne (DN)

Utah students invited to enter radon poster contest

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah students can use their artistic talents to promote awareness of the risks of indoor radon.
Students have until Oct. 15 to enter the 2013 National Radon Poster Contest.
http://goo.gl/9wMWr (DN)

————————————————————
OPINION & COMMENTARY
————————————————————

Closing gaps
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

The achievement gap in Utah schools is wide enough for nearly half of Latino students to fall through. That’s the percentage of Latinos who drop out of high school before graduating. The gap usually refers to differences in standardized test scores between white and minority students, but there is also a gap in understanding between the two groups. That gap is what the Davis School District is trying to bridge with its outreach program involving local leaders of Latino and minority groups and parents of all Davis District students. The district sponsored A Parent Equity Night: Bridging the Achievement Gap with speakers from the black and Latino communities and a district administrator. It’s important for a school district to do more than urge teachers to be inclusive. Davis seems to be willing to go beyond the classroom to help parents help their children.
http://goo.gl/4QLLy

Movie on ‘reforming’; schools distorts reality Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, president of the Utah Education Association

The movie “Won’t Back Down,” soon to be released in theaters, is a fictional account of parents seeking to transform a school in Pittsburgh. The movie producers proclaim the movie is “inspired by actual events.” The movie could not be further from the truth and I am compelled to set the record straight.
The lead actress, Maggie Gyllenhaal, says that the movie is “not ultra-realistic in style or even in terms of the story that it tells.”
“Won’t Back Down” is based on a process referred to as the “parent trigger,” which purports to empower parents by allowing them to take control of a school. Who wouldn’t support such an idea? But before jumping on this bandwagon, it is wise to dig deeper into the actual events and facts surrounding parent-trigger laws.
So far, parent trigger has a 100 percent failure rate, has pitted parents against parents and has torn school communities apart where it has been tried. The first parent-trigger attempt took place in Compton, Calif., in 2010 and is the supposed basis for this movie.
Contrary to the movie portrayal of a parent-led group which later contacts an outside organizer for support, Compton was entirely organized by outside operators.
http://goo.gl/zhXtI

Writing weakness
Commentary by Charter Solutions President Lincoln Fillmore

Today the DNews reports on the disappointing and concerning national writing assessment. Only about a quarter of students, fewer boys than girls, can write proficiently.
When I was a teacher, I taught that writing was just thinking on paper. The lack of ability to write effectively is an indicator that the overall quality of education is not providing children with the necessary thinking skills to be as successful as it should.
http://goo.gl/VK43n

Educating Utah’s students the Steve Jobs way KSL commentary by Daniel Burton, a lawyer

SALT LAKE CITY — While Americans are waiting to receive the first shipments of the iPhone 5, the Chicago teachers’ union strike continues into its second week. The teachers’ union is seeking a 29 percent salary increase over four years. For Chicago teachers who currently make an average of $74,839, compared to median household income in Cook County of $45,922, the increase would put teachers at an income level almost twice that of their students’ parents.
Meanwhile, those parents are at wits’ end trying to contain the more than 4,000 students running footloose and fancy free across Chicago while school is out. It’s enough to create empathy for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanual.
What makes the strike most suspect, though, is not the union’s salary demands, but its opposition to merit pay.
http://goo.gl/Fovh5

Yes, more with less
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Joy Pullmann

Re “Better scores: Utah can only do so much with less” (Our View, Sept. 11):
Utahns should be proud that their state is improving educational results while keeping its rank as the nation’s lowest state in per-pupil spending. Utah should not worry about falling behind other states in the spending race.
Although Tribune editors seem not to like this fact, research has consistently shown that increasing education spending does not increase education quality.
http://goo.gl/OrJEp

A Gold Star for the Chicago Teachers Strike After 10 years of top-down disruptions, teachers showed the power of collective action by those who work in schools.
Wall Street Journal op-ed by KAREN LEWIS AND RANDI WEINGARTEN (Ms. Lewis is president of the Chicago Teachers Union. Ms. Weingarten is president of the CTU’s national union, the American Federation of Teachers.)

After more than a decade of top-down dictates, disruptive school closures, disregard of teachers’ and parents’ input, testing that squeezes out teaching, and cuts to the arts, physical education and libraries, educators in Chicago said “enough is enough.” With strong support from parents and many in the community, teachers challenged a flawed vision of education reform that has not helped schoolchildren in Chicago or around the country. It took a seven-day strike—something no one does without cause—but with it educators in Chicago have changed the conversation about education reform.
These years of dictates imposed upon teachers left children in Chicago without the rich curriculum, facilities and social services they need. On picket lines, with their handmade signs, teachers provided first-person accounts of the challenges confronting students and educators. They made it impossible to turn a blind eye to the unacceptable conditions in many of the city’s public schools.
Teachers and parents were united in the frustration that led to the strike. Nearly nine out of 10 students in Chicago Public Schools live in poverty, a shameful fact that so-called reformers too often ignore, yet most schools lack even one full-time nurse or social worker. The district has made cuts where it shouldn’t (in art, music, physical education and libraries) but hasn’t cut where it should (class sizes and excessive standardized testing and test prep). The tentative agreement reached in Chicago aims to address all these issues.
Chicago’s teachers see this as an opportunity to move past the random acts of “reform” that have failed to move the needle and toward actual systemic school improvement. The tentative agreement focuses on improving quality so that every public school in Chicago is a place where parents want to send their children and educators want to teach.
http://goo.gl/AZHs6

Fighting the Education Blob
In Won’t Back Down, even liberals learn to fight the teachers’ union.
National Review commentary by columnist John Fund

School reformers who want to change the debate over how to fix America’s public schools are successfully using a new weapon: cinema.
First came The Cartel, a 2009 documentary by former Bloomberg Television reporter Bob Bowdon. Turning a lens on New Jersey’s education system, he demonstrated how urban schools often continue to fail no matter how much money taxpayers throw at them. Then 2010 gave us Waiting for Superman, an emotionally powerful documentary by the liberal director of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. It followed several students who hoped to escape bad public schools by applying for a lottery that awarded a few scarce places in an independent charter school.
Now, this Friday will see the premiere of Walden Media’s Won’t Back Down, a feature-length film starring Academy Award nominees Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal as a teacher-parent duo who try to take over an abysmally failing public school in Pittsburgh. At a preview screening I attended, the film drew a standing ovation for its depiction of exactly how difficult it is for parents to fight the system.
But critics are also out in force.
http://goo.gl/vb43Y

A federal education agenda
American Enterprise Institute commentary by Frederick M. Hess, Andrew P. Kelly, co-editors of “Carrots, Sticks, and the Bully Pulpit: Lessons from a Half-Century of Federal Efforts to Improve America’s Schools”

The conservative approach to education policy is nothing if not confused. Conservatives cheer top-down federal standards and accountability while demanding bottom-up parental choice. They call for eliminating the federal Department of Education, but support spending on major federal education programs like Title I aid for disadvantaged students, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and student loans. They treat restoring “local control” as a panacea, while neglecting the fact that “local control” strengthens the grip of teachers’ unions. They grumble about the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act, but forget that the legislation passed with solid conservative support. They have applauded components of the Obama administration’s education policies, even as those policies have taken federal overreach to new levels.
This incoherence is bad for conservatives and bad for the country. Lacking a sound, focused approach to federal education policy, conservatives have largely ceded the work of reform to progressives, who embrace sweeping national solutions and put unwarranted faith in the wisdom of federal bureaucracies.
http://goo.gl/ksChM

————————————————————-
NATIONAL NEWS
————————————————————-

What Do Teachers Deserve? In Idaho, Referendum May Offer Answer New York Times

BOISE, Idaho — In the struggle to fix the nation’s public schools, the old red-state, blue-state idea is looking as dated as Dick and Jane. You can hear the change in the voice of Gov. C. L. Otter, a Republican here in one of the most deeply conservative corners of the country, when he expresses a brotherhood bond with Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic mayor of Chicago and former Obama administration chief of staff.
“I could empathize with Rahm and what he was going through,” Mr. Otter, better known as “Butch,” said about the recently settled teachers’ strike in Chicago during an interview here in the State Capitol.
“It’s not the teachers,” Mr. Otter said, paraphrasing Mr. Emanuel’s tough-guy script from a news conference at the height of the standoff. “It’s the union bosses.”
Chicago’s fight may be over, but in Idaho, where a three-part proposition on performance pay, tenure and technology in the classroom is roaring toward Election Day, the debate over schools has morphed into a harsh discussion about whom the voters should trust. And as Mr. Otter’s attack line shows, the political and social battle lines are blurred — neither predictably conservative nor liberal, and often tinged with emotion about what schools can and might be.
http://goo.gl/SuHj1

Teachers’ Unions Court G.O.P.
New York Times

The strike by public school teachers in Chicago this month drew national attention to a fierce debate over the future of education and exposed the ruptured relationship between teachers’ unions and Democrats like Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Over the past few years, lawmakers who have previously been considered solid supporters of teachers’ unions have tangled with them over a national education agenda that includes new performance evaluations based partly on test scores, the overhaul of tenure and the expansion of charter schools.
As these traditional political alliances have shifted, teachers’ unions have pursued some strange bedfellows among lawmakers who would not appear to be natural allies.
http://goo.gl/cL5QQ

JCPS student-assignment plan upheld
Louisville (KY) Courrier-Journal

The Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Jefferson County Public Schools’ ability to decide where to assign its students, rejecting a legal challenge by parents who argued that state law gives their children the right to attend the nearest school.
The 5-2 ruling marks a defeat for advocates of neighborhood schools, who hoped that the court would toss out a controversial student-assignment system that aims to integrate schools by race, income and education levels, partly by requiring some students to attend more distant schools.
“Kentucky public school students have no statutory right to attend a particular school,” Justice Lisabeth Hughes Abramson wrote for the majority. “Student assignment within a school district in Kentucky is a matter that the legislature has committed to the sound discretion of the local school board.”
http://goo.gl/yWLOA

Education Nation
Hechinger Report and NBC

The Hechinger Report has teamed up with NBC to highlight examples of schools and communities that have come up with innovative solutions and have succeeded. The stories are part of NBC’s annual Education Nation Summit in New York City. The three-day event brings together more than 300 of the country’s leaders in education, government, business, philanthropy and media.
http://goo.gl/MtrCR

http://www.educationnation.com/

Public Television Takes Role in Curbing Dropout Rates New York Times

More than 100 public television stations reaching two-thirds of the nation’s viewers turned over their air on Saturday to an unusual seven-hour telethon broadcast live from WNET-TV’s Lincoln Center studio in New York.
A parade of media stars, including NBC’s Brian Williams, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, CBS’s Rebecca Jarvis and public media’s Maria Hinojosa and Ray Suarez, exhorted viewers to “call the number on your screen,” but they were not seeking membership pledges. Instead, they asked viewers to sign up to be “American Graduate Day Champions,” and connect with community organizations working on the nation’s high school dropout crisis.
The telethon was part of the fast-growing American Graduate initiative, seeded in the last year with about $5 million in grants to public television stations by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
http://goo.gl/IA9Xf

http://goo.gl/G67aL (PBS)

Bill Nye warns: Creation views threaten US science Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The man known to a generation of Americans as “The Science Guy” is condemning efforts by some Christian groups to cast doubts on evolution and lawmakers who want to bring the Bible into science classrooms.
Bill Nye, a mechanical engineer and star of the popular 1990s TV show “Bill Nye The Science Guy,” has waded into the evolution debate with an online video that urges parents not to pass their religious-based doubts about evolution on to their children.
Nye has spent a career teaching science to children and teens with good-natured and sometimes silly humor, but has not been known to delve into topics as divisive as evolution.
http://goo.gl/MI3VF

At School, Overweight Children Carry A Heavy Burden NPR Weekend Edition Sunday

One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. Significant numbers of those young people are grappling with health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Those conditions can be difficult for children to manage in any setting, but they can pose particular challenges for children during the school day.
Dr. Yolandra Hancock used to be an elementary school teacher, and it shows. She’s patient, encouraging and has an endearing way of ending her sentences with “my love” and “my sweet.”
Her patients include a 13-year-old who weighs 400 pounds; a child whose teeth are so rotted she can’t bite into carrots; and many preteens who are diabetic. Today, Hancock is examining Derek Lyles, 13. He’s 4 feet 11 inches and weighs 256 pounds.
http://goo.gl/jOEFf

Town turns tables on school prank
Detroit News

West Branch, Mich. — High school student Whitney Kropp was shocked earlier this month when she was named to the homecoming court.
Her happy surprise turned to humiliation when she learned the reason. The students thought it would be funny if the popularity contest was won by someone who was unpopular.
Kids pointed at her in the hallways and laughed. The boy who was picked with her withdrew.
Students told her that, in case she was wondering why the boy had dropped out, he was uncomfortable being linked with her.
“I thought I wasn’t worthy,” said Kropp, 16. “I was this big old joke.”
Her embarrassment was complete, but it didn’t last long.
This tiny farm town an hour north of Saginaw quickly rallied around her.
For the homecoming dance Saturday, businesses will buy her dinner, take her photo, fix her hair and nails, and dress her in a gown, shoes and a tiara.
For the homecoming game Friday, residents will pack the football stadium so they can cheer when she is introduced at halftime.
http://goo.gl/tjY55

————————————————————
CALENDAR
————————————————————

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

Related posts:

Comments are closed.