Education News Roundup: Sept. 25, 2012

"Kindergarten..." by SFA Union City/CC/flickr

“Kindergarten…” by SFA Union City/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

KSL takes a look at the Common Core.
http://goo.gl/7Fy71 (KSL)
and http://goo.gl/RdEL2 (DN)

Governing magazine checks in on Utah’s open textbook project.
http://goo.gl/u3TXW (Governing)

Is your kindergartener on track to succeed in college or at a career? There’s a standardized test for that.
http://goo.gl/zEUFu (Reuters)

How does the school nurse’s role change in an era when nearly one out of five children are obese?
http://goo.gl/eF0Q0 (WSJ)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Education Nation: Common Core a blueprint for success

States Continue Plugging Into Digital Textbooks

Utah middle schoolers use Post-its to take down bullies Education » Sunset Ridge Middle School students stood up for a classmate who was targeted by remarks.

Springville High School crowns a special homecoming queen

Roy Junior High honors custodian who lost battle with cancer

ASUU Civic Engagement Conference

Utah Exceeds National Average In AP Exams

‘Grit’ becoming an indicator for educational success

Less salt is on the menu in Davis County Health » The Utah Department of Health is helping increase heart wellness by cutting back sodium.

How do you spell read? Bee raises money for adult literacy Project Read » Helps some of the 21K adults who can’t read in Utah County.

Mascots play for charity at Lehi High School

Sky view students rebuild ‘SV,’ now want to raise money to restore lights

Provo High’s football field gets new scoreboard

Former Sky View drill team adviser accused of embezzlement

New movie ‘Won’t Back Down’ makes the case for education reform

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Free tutoring helps

Unequal compulsion in education

American Fork H.S. Band to join the University of Utah’s Wind Ensemble for a special concert for Heather Christensen

Education reform and conservative confusion

Shane Story a good asset for Ogden School Board

What do SAT, ACT scores really mean?

SAT Scores Are Down Again. Let’s Celebrate.

Miller to Duncan: Waivers May Offer Too Much Leeway On Grad Rates

Common Core Reaches Into Science Classes, Survey Finds

Close reading of text: Has the Pioneer Institute misread the Common Core?

Schools’ expectations should be colorblind Lower academic standards hurt everyone

How Self-Expression Damaged My Students
A former South Bronx teacher recalls how his own idealism kept his class from learning how to write.

NATION

Five-year-olds put to the test as kindergarten exams gain steam

Why Students Who Underperform, Fall Behind or Fail Classes Drop Out of School

Retired military leaders want junk foods out of schools

School Nurses’ New Role in Children’s Health

No charges for former leader of Ohio schools Prosecutors find no evidence of crimes Stan Heffner was accused of ethics violations.

iPad, laptop tryouts seen as steps toward a digital bookbag at NH schools

President Obama: I ‘Goofed off’ too Much in School

Bush: ‘Only Measurement That Matters Is Student Learning’

Education Nation — starkly different visions from Obama, Romney

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UTAH NEWS
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Education Nation: Common Core a blueprint for success

NEW YORK CITY — Monday marks the beginning of the NBC News education summit in New York. KSL anchor Nadine Wimmer is out there with the best of the best educators in the United States, including a teacher from Utah, to bring you the latest in developments in education from the summit, and how they affect Utah, along with other important issues that have an impact on our children’s chances for success in learning.
In an effort to improve our nation’s education system and make students better prepared for college and careers, a new set of standards is now sweeping across classrooms throughout the United States. It’s an approach call the Common Core and it has been heavily discussed at the Education Nation summit.
Utah began implementing Common Core two years ago. In fact, a Utah teacher took a sabbatical to help write the curriculum. The methodology is changing the way teachers teach and students learn.
http://goo.gl/7Fy71 (KSL)

http://goo.gl/RdEL2 (DN)

States Continue Plugging Into Digital Textbooks

In the 21st century, the concept of hardcover textbooks—dog-eared, highlighted and recycled through the generations—seems positively quaint. And yet, it’s still the norm for most American students, despite the penetration of new technology (think iPods, Kindles and smartphones) into almost every other realm of everyday life. States are coming around on digital textbooks, though, according to a new report from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), and a few are setting themselves up as early models for best practices.
As of September 2012, 22 states have endorsed digital textbooks in some official capacity, such as funding flexibility or the launching of an online open education resource. But that means that more than half of states have not—and the United States still spends a combined $5.5 billion on core instructional content, according to SETDA, much of which is tied to physical learning materials. The Obama administration has promoted the adoption of virtual textbooks and even called on states to move students to all digital materials by 2017.
“If we want American students to be the best prepared to compete in the 21st century economy,” Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, told Stateline in April, “we can’t allow a majority of our students to miss out on the opportunities of digital textbooks.”
And according to SETDA, several states have taken the lead in that movement.

UTAH
Given the unlimited capacity of the Internet, some see the Web as a perfect home for resources that will stoke the endless pursuit of knowledge. Utah policymakers have placed themselves among those believers after the Office of Education announced in January that the state would create “open textbooks” in core subjects like language arts, science and math. School districts began adopting them at the start of this school year. That decision came on the heels of a two-year pilot project for online science textbooks in collaboration with Brigham Young University. The resources will be housed online by CK-12, a non-profit group that supports the adoption of open-source learning materials. Every summer, local teachers will update the content, and the districts can decide whether to distribute them electronically (via PDF or HTML, for example) or print them physically for students.
The expected cost-savings are substantial. According to a state analysis, one $80 textbook (used for six years) for a sample size of 5,000 students would be a $400,000 investment for a school district. Paying four teachers to work 60 hours over the summer to update a digital textbook, at $30 an hour, over six years would cost a district $152,000. And preliminary research from Utah’s two-year pilot project suggests that students learned as much from their online textbooks as they did from the traditional ones.
http://goo.gl/u3TXW (Governing)

Utah middle schoolers use Post-its to take down bullies Education » Sunset Ridge Middle School students stood up for a classmate who was targeted by remarks.

After three weeks at Sunset Ridge Middle School, one young girl received a cruel welcome.
A nameless bully placed a Post-it note on her back that read, “Caution: Wide Load.” She discovered the note, missed her bus and came to school counselor Julie Scherzinger’s office sobbing.
When the West Jordan teen left Scherzinger’s office earlier this month, the counselor sent text messages to 24 student ambassadors, told them about the situation and encouraged them to take a stand.
And that’s exactly what the student leaders did.
Throughout the evening, students frantically exchanged texts and Facebook posts about the bullying incident. The next day at school, more than 1,000 students stood up against bullying by covering themselves and the school with Post-its that read “Not in our school,” “Stop the hate” and “Time to change.”
http://goo.gl/UL9T3 (SLT)

Springville High School crowns a special homecoming queen

SPRINGVILLE — Tesha Credille was crowned the 2012 homecoming queen at Springville High School. She is a beautiful, kind, talented cheerleader who is the most popular girl in the senior class, and she has Down syndrome.
“When Tesha was born 19 years ago I guess we weren’t really sure what to expect,” said her mom Kathy Credille, who is an nurse specializing in labor and delivery. “When I asked her dad if he was scared he asked which one of our children doesn’t have special needs – Tesha just has a diagnosis and she may be our easiest child to raise. Our goal has just been to help her find and develop her own talents and achieve her potential which is the same goal we have had for our other children.”
http://goo.gl/n0B8a (PDH)

Roy Junior High honors custodian who lost battle with cancer

ROY — Roy Junior High School students were somber and respectful, and some shed tears as they honored one of their own Monday evening. Students paid tribute to former custodian Scott Fairborn, who lost his battle with liver cancer Aug. 30.
Fairborn was a popular face at the school, and students watched as he worked through his cancer fight that began in 2010.
The staff and students wanted to honor him in their own way. They decided to plant a tree and fly a special flag in Fairborn’s honor.
http://goo.gl/CmAZA (OSE)

ASUU Civic Engagement Conference

Mark Bouchard received the ASUU Advocate of Higher Education Award for his work with as chairman of Prosperity 2020, a group of Utah business leaders who want to improve education in the state.
Michael Merrill, associate director of the ASUU Government Relations Board, presented the award to Bouchard at a dinner Friday, as part of the Civic Engagement Conference put on by the board.
http://goo.gl/X7esG (Chrony)

Utah Exceeds National Average In AP Exams

There’s good news for students across Utah. New data shows more of them are not only taking Advanced Placement exams, but more are passing as well. Nearly two-thousand more students took the exam this year, and there’s an eleven-percent increase in the number of students who received passing grades. Officials with the College Board tell “Deseret News” the new figures show more kids want to go to college.
http://goo.gl/rvUzg (MUR)

‘Grit’ becoming an indicator for educational success

SALT LAKE CITY — Xochitl Gonzalez, a junior at West High School in Salt Lake City, takes advanced placement classes, participates in sports and other school activities and gets good grades.
She says it’s not because she’s a whiz kid. it’s because she works hard, she perseveres, and she’s got what some would call “grit.”
“I wouldn’t consider myself the smartest person,” Gonzalez said, “but I am very determined; and if I do what they tell me to do I will learn.”
According to new research, Xochitl’s success after high school may have less to do with her IQ and everything to do with that grit — perseverance and passion for long-term goals.
http://goo.gl/reUHf (KSL)

Less salt is on the menu in Davis County Health » The Utah Department of Health is helping increase heart wellness by cutting back sodium.

Pizza and pasta. Soups and sandwiches. Cheese and chips.
These sound like tasty treats, but they are packed with sodium — an instigator for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
That’s why the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is helping Davis County get salt off of their menus and out of their schools and care facilities.
It’s a program that’s piggybacking off previous initiatives elsewhere in Utah.
Starting in April 2011, UDOH’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program partnered with the Utah Food Bank to lower the sodium content in more than 24,000 senior meal boxes.

To get the low-salt initiative going, three major employers in Davis County have been recruited: the Davis County jail and its food vendor, Davis Behavior Health and Davis School District, according to Bonnie Athas, a manager and dietician from Davis County Health Department.
That means senior center and Meals on Wheels clients will be affected, as well as the employees in the Davis County jail system. The students throughout Davis school district are already being fed low-salt meals. The district is on the task force mostly for moral support.
http://goo.gl/eaoZd (SLT)

How do you spell read? Bee raises money for adult literacy Project Read » Helps some of the 21K adults who can’t read in Utah County.

Provo • Spelling and salad greens: Neither is usually a crowd-pleaser.
But at the Project Read Adult Spelling Bee in Provo last week, the energy in the room rose as more than 100 people waited to hear the correct spelling of the first word — “radicchio,” a red chicory used in salads.
“R-a-d-i-c-c,” host Logan Wilkes started, earning an enthusiastic “Wooo!” from the competing teams, who were following along and comparing written answers.
Wilkes’ next letter, an “h,” met with a disappointed “oooo.” He finished up the word with an “i-o” and the teams moved onto “bibulous,” “risibility,” “arolium” and more, donating money for clues like help from experts and use of smart phones.
The competition was light-hearted, but it raised money for a serious cause, said Project Read executive director Shauna K. Brown. More than 21,000 adults in Utah County alone need help with basic reading skills, she said.
http://goo.gl/gm5z3 (SLT)

Mascots play for charity at Lehi High School

LEHI — Sport mascots’ jobs require them to build the excitement of the home crowd, pose for pictures in poorly ventilated costumes, interact with fans and dance with cheerleaders, but they never get to actually play in the game.
Until now.
On Monday, at the 9th annual Lehi Mascot Bowl, NBA, NFL, pro soccer, baseball, hockey and collegiate team mascots got on the field and mixed it up in a charity football game against the Lehi 8th-grade team.
“This is our favorite game of the year,” Wendy Wilkins, whose son, Seth, is on the Lehi team, said.
She said rather than get nervous about playing in front of so many fans Seth was excited and focused on which mascot he most wanted to tackle.
The Mascot Bowl is sponsored by DECA, a club that teaches entrepreneurship and leadership to students, and the sports marketing team.
http://goo.gl/c0LfS (PDH)

http://goo.gl/6CUS7 (KSL)

http://goo.gl/ycV42 (KSTU)

Sky view students rebuild ‘SV,’ now want to raise money to restore lights

Students at Sky View High School are hoping to bring back an old tradition just in time for their homecoming game.
Earlier this summer members of the Sky View football team and student government worked to reconstruct the “SV” on the hill east of the Smithfield high school. Now, they’re hoping to add lights that would be lit up at halftime of the homecoming game.
http://goo.gl/sY87j (LHJ)

Provo High’s football field gets new scoreboard

PROVO — Plans for a new stadium at Provo High School have been in the works for some time, but for now they’ll settle for a new scoreboard on the football field.
When the new Provo recreation center is complete next year, the school will lose some indoor facilities like public restrooms because they’re located in the city pool building, which will close. Principal Jeff Schoonover said the new scoreboard was the first step toward a new facility. A committee of alumni and current school parents raised thousands of dollars through a the newly organized Bulldogs Remember committee. The committee came together to help celebrate Provo High School’s 100th birthday and to see what they could do to help their alma mater.
The scoreboard came in at approximately $28,000 with the remainder of the funds to be used at Schoonover’s discretion for the school. The scoreboard lights went on for the first time at Friday’s homecoming game.
http://goo.gl/7TmEE (PDH)

Former Sky View drill team adviser accused of embezzlement

After a lengthy audit of Sky View High School’s financial records and an intensive investigation by the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, a former drill team adviser has been charged with theft and forgery.
According to court documents, Jackie Lynn Hansen, formerly Jackie Johnson, is accused of embezzling nearly $14,000 in 3 1/2 years.
Hansen was employed at Sky View from October 2007 to April 2011. She now resides in Salt Lake City.
http://goo.gl/mHPfd (LHJ)

New movie ‘Won’t Back Down’ makes the case for education reform

During a pivotal scene in the new movie “Won’t Back Down,” actresses Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter stand atop a grassy hill and talk about public education in Pennsylvania. In the background children play on the well-manicured playground of a posh private school.
Gyllenhaal plays Jamie, a single mother who scrapes by with part-time work selling used cars and tending bar. Frustrated by inner-city Adams Elementary School’s widespread apathy for the needs of her dyslexic daughter, Jamie is spearheading a grass-roots petition to seize control of the failing school from the school district.
http://goo.gl/JPEVD (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Free tutoring helps
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

The Lehi Rippy Literacy Center is offering a deal almost too good to be true. But it is true.
The center provides free tutoring in reading, math and English. Youngsters from 4 years to high school age are welcome to get help with their academics through the coaching of volunteer tutors.
And you don’t have to be a Lehi resident, either. Students from American Fork, Saratoga Springs and Eagle as well as Lehi residents.
http://goo.gl/pAmAu

Unequal compulsion in education
(Provo) Daily Herald commentary by columnist Randy Wright

Did you know that the State of Utah allows school districts to set their own graduation requirements? The state requires 24 class credits for a diploma, but it lets individual school boards require more. Alpine School District requires 28 credits. Students in that district must take additional electives.
Whatever happened to equal protection?
I just found out about this on Monday. Alpine spokeswoman Rhonda Bromley said the additional credits are required because it’s “an Alpine School District diploma,” not a mere state diploma — as if that’s a mark of prestige.
Sounds more like a mark of discrimination. Some students must clear a higher bar than others. Students in ASD’s East Shore alternative program, for example, need only 24 credits.
http://goo.gl/VnmLs

American Fork H.S. Band to join the University of Utah’s Wind Ensemble for a special concert for Heather Christensen Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist David Burger

On Oct. 23, the American Fork High School Band will join the University of Utah’s Wind Ensemble for a special concert in honor of Heather Christensen, former AFHS assistant band director and School of Music alumna who passed away in a bus accident in 2009.
In her honor, U of U alum David Checketts wrote a piece callaed “Transitions” for solo clarinet and wind ensemble.
Clarinetist Myroslava Hawryluk will join the U of U Wind Ensemble to debut this special work, directed by Scott Hagen. at 7:30 p.m. at Libby Gardner Hall on campus.
http://goo.gl/Bhbl4

Education reform and conservative confusion Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

A few of the comments on this blog have hinted that I’m trying to spearhead either a libertarian or a right-wing educational crusade. Nope. When it comes to reforming education, I fall more into the “we’re all right and we’re all wrong” camp. I guess that’s some variation on “a plague on both their houses,” but more sympathetic.
I just read an article in National Affairs entitled “A Federal Education Agenda.” It coulda’, shoulda’ been subtitled: “Why Conservatives are so Confused”. And yes, no surprise, one of the authors is American Enterprise Institute’s Rick Hess. If it sometimes seems that I’m on a one woman crusade to bring his analysis to a new audience, well, guilty as charged.
I am going to post excerpts from this article in at least a couple of posts, to keep from running too long.
http://goo.gl/Tbn9M

Shane Story a good asset for Ogden School Board
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Joyce Wilson

For the past four years I have had the distinct pleasure of serving on the Ogden School Board with Shane Story.
The Ogden School Board has divided some our responsibilities into committees assignments of which Mr. Story is the chair of the personnel committee. He has brought private business experience in this area to the board which has been a tremendous benefit to the district. This committee has the responsibility to develop the plan for employee evaluations (for all district employees) as well as performance-pay. Not an easy or simple task by any means.
Mr. Story has been an instrumental asset as the Ogden School Board and District have pursued programs that are and will continue to bring about significant student achievement within the district especially with many of our most at-risk students.
http://goo.gl/T2Hxy

What do SAT, ACT scores really mean?
Washington Post commentary by columnist Valerie Strauss

The big news in the world of college entrance exams — that would be the SAT and the ACT — is that the scores from the high school class of 2012 were disappointing.
Newly released reading scores on the SAT hit a four-decade low, and writing scores edged down too, while math scores were essentially unchanged from last year. SAT average scores have declined by 20 points since 2006, when the test was revised to include a writing section.
ACT scores for the 2012 high school class were released in August and the national results were essentially the same as in 2011, meaning no real progress.
So what does it all mean? On one level, a lot. On another, pretty much nothing.
http://goo.gl/0RB8l

SAT Scores Are Down Again. Let’s Celebrate.
Bloomberg commentary by columnist Tobin Harshaw

Bloomberg News’s Janet Lorin reports that American high-schoolers bombed on the SAT this year, with the average critical reading score falling 1 point to 496 from a year earlier, the lowest since data became available in 1972. The average score for writing dropped 1 point to 488, the lowest since the section was added in 2006. (Math scores held steady.) The College Board, which administers the test, also found that only 43 percent of seniors were prepared for college.
Hooray!
Here’s why: More students, particularly minorities, are taking the test. In all, 755,000 minority students took the 2012 test — up from 600,000 in 2008 — making up 45 percent of test-takers. In addition, 458,000 of the students reported that they did not speak English as their first language, and 36 percent of test-takers did not have a parent who attended college.
http://goo.gl/34FwY

Miller to Duncan: Waivers May Offer Too Much Leeway On Grad Rates Education Week commentary by columnist Alyson Klein

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Education committee, is worried that the department isn’t holding states’ feet to the fire when it comes to monitoring graduation rates in states that have received waivers from parts of the No Child Left Behind Act.
In fact, Miller wrote Secretary of Education Arne Duncan a letter last Friday, saying, basically, that he’s worried that states are trying to wiggle out of the graduation reporting regulations that former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings put in place just before she left office in 2008. Those rules required states to use a uniform metric for calculating grad rates.
http://goo.gl/iAHih

Common Core Reaches Into Science Classes, Survey Finds Education Week commentary by columnist Erik Robelen

The Common Core State Standards aren’t just changing instruction in math and English language/arts, a new survey data suggest. They’re also finding their way into a lot of science classrooms.
A majority of science teachers surveyed see some benefit coming out of this intersection, even as some worry that pressure from administrators to infuse science lessons with math and literacy takes time away from the core content of their disciplines.
The new data, collected by the National Science Teachers Association, provide an early glimpse into how the common core is touching science teachers (grades 6-12) and their students. As some readers may be aware, the intersection is quite explicit with the ELA standards, which include a section at the end titled “Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.”
http://goo.gl/qbYat

Close reading of text: Has the Pioneer Institute misread the Common Core?
Fordham Institute commentary by Kathleen Porter-Magee, Senior Director of the High Quality Standards Program

The Pioneer Institute released a report last week entitled How Common Core’s ELA Standards Place College Readiness At Risk. As the title suggests, this is the latest in a series of Pioneer broadsides against the Common Core. Readers who find their way through the reflexive criticism and confusing presentation will be rewarded with some genuine insights into how to get implementation right. Unfortunately, because that guidance is buried deep amidst a sea of misrepresentations and sometimes inflammatory rhetoric, it is unlikely to further the discussion of how best to implement the CCSS.
The authors hammer home their message with all the subtlety of a wrecking crew. The authors hammer home their message with all the subtlety of a wrecking crew: The Common Core English language arts expectations are poor—far lower in terms of content, clarity, and rigor than the Massachusetts English language arts standards, they clearly believe—and their adoption in states across the country “places college readiness at risk.”
The reality—as evidenced by the substance of the report, if not its title—is far more nuanced. And the authors of this report, Mark Bauerlein and Sandra Stotsky, have much to contribute to the discussion of how best to implement the CCSS.
For starters, and despite the promotional material Pioneer has issued surrounding this publication and its associated event, Huck Finn is not in at risk of disappearing from high school English class. At least not any more so today than it was the day before forty-six states and the District of Columbia adopted the CCSS for English language arts. This implication that it, and other classic works of literature, are headed for the dustbin of ELA history rests on Bauerlein’s and Stotsky’s false assertion that the Common Core mandates that English teachers in grades 6-12 devote a minimum of 50 percent of their instructional time to informational texts.
That is simply not true.
http://goo.gl/ucxh1

Schools’ expectations should be colorblind Lower academic standards hurt everyone Washington Times op-ed by Jeb Bush, chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education

Closing the achievement gap in our schools is both a moral mandate and a national priority. We need all our children to meet high academic standards if we are to compete in the 21st Century global economy.
This is why plans by Washington, D.C., and some states to lower academic standards for minority and low-income students are as puzzling as they are misdirected.
By what calculation do you speed up learning by lowering expectations? This delivers a devastating message to African-American, Hispanic and low-income children that they are not as capable as other children.
Carmen Taylor, vice president of the Virginia chapter of the NAACP, said it best: “If you set low expectations for children, you devalue them and demoralize them to themselves.”
http://goo.gl/ZWBQ4

How Self-Expression Damaged My Students
A former South Bronx teacher recalls how his own idealism kept his class from learning how to write.
Atlantic commentary by Robert Pondiscio, vice president of the Core Knowledge Foundation

Every decent human impulse we have as teachers shouts in favor of not imposing rules and discipline on students, but liberating them to discover the power of their voice by sharing their stories. Of course children will be become better writers if they write personal narratives instead of book reports. Obviously children will be more engaged and motivated if they can write from the heart about what they know best, rather that trudge through turgid English essays and research papers.
Grammar? Mechanics? Correcting errors? Please. Great writing is discovery. It is the intoxicating power of words and our own stories, writing for an audience and making things happen in the world. We know this works. We all saw the movie Freedom Writers, didn’t we?
Like so many of our earnest and most deeply humane ideas about educating children in general, and poor, urban children in particular, this impulse toward authenticity is profoundly idealistic, seductive, and wrong. I should know. I used to damage children for a living with that idealism.
http://goo.gl/rAbPc

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Five-year-olds put to the test as kindergarten exams gain steam Reuters

With school in full swing across the United States, the littlest students are getting used to the blocks table and the dress-up corner – and that staple of American public education, the standardized test.
A national push to make public schools more rigorous and hold teachers more accountable has led to a vast expansion of testing in kindergarten. And more exams are on the way, including a test meant to determine whether 5-year-olds are on track to succeed in college and career.
Paul Weeks, a vice president at test developer ACT Inc., says he knows that particular assessment sounds a bit nutty, especially since many kindergarteners aspire to careers as superheroes. “What skills do you need for that, right? Flying is good. X-ray vision?” he said, laughing.
But ACT will soon roll out college- and career-readiness exams for kids age 8 through 18 and Weeks said developing similar tests for younger ages is “high on our agenda.” Asking kids to predict the ending of a story or to suggest a different ending, for instance, can identify the critical thinking skills that employers prize, he said.
http://goo.gl/zEUFu

Why Students Who Underperform, Fall Behind or Fail Classes Drop Out of School NewsHour

In the U.S., one million students leave school early each year. Ray Suarez kicks off American Graduate Week with Victor Rios, Stephanie Krauss and Adam Steltzner, three individuals who know firsthand what it’s like to be a high school dropout, but who ultimately turned their lives around and returned to get more education.
http://goo.gl/Mr9lW

Retired military leaders want junk foods out of schools USA Today

Several hundred retired military leaders are raising red flags about childhood obesity in the USA and its impact on finding qualified recruits, calling for junk food to be booted out of schools.
Mission: Readiness, a group of more than 300 retired generals and admirals, is releasing a new report today saying that the 40% of students who buy high-calorie, low-nutrient junk food from school vending machines and cafeteria a la carte lines consume an average of 130 calories a day from those types of foods (candy, chips, cookies, pastries). That’s roughly 5% to 10% of the calories kids and teens should eat in a day.
The analysis says that junk food adds up to 400 billion “empty” calories in a year or the calories in almost 2 billion candy bars, which would weigh almost 90,000 tons, more than the weight of the aircraft carrier Midway (70,000 tons).
All those extra calories are contributing to childhood obesity, a problem that means many young people are too heavy to serve in the military, ultimately putting national security at risk, the report says.
http://goo.gl/6phZf

http://goo.gl/8c2mp (Reuters)

A copy of the report
http://goo.gl/fXv3F

School Nurses’ New Role in Children’s Health Wall Street Journal

Amid a steady rise in the number of children with complex health problems, a push is on to establish more full-fledged medical clinics within public schools and make the school nurse a more active participant in children’s medicine.
In the past few years, school budget cuts have left students with a growing range of physical and mental health problems in the care of a shrinking number of nurses in many states. According to the National Association of School Nurses, just 45% of public schools have a full-time nurse; 25% have no nurse at all.
Meanwhile, as many as 18% of kids have a chronic health condition or problem, including attention disorders, Type 1 diabetes, epilepsy or asthma, and may require help with medication or other assistance from a school nurse.
Obesity has more than tripled among adolescents in the past 20 years, and 33% of students are obese or overweight, with related mental and physical health issues, including depression and the growing number of Type 2 diabetes cases. The number of children under age 18 with food allergies grew 18% from 1998 to 2008.
http://goo.gl/eF0Q0

No charges for former leader of Ohio schools Prosecutors find no evidence of crimes Stan Heffner was accused of ethics violations.
Columbus (OH) Dispatch

Prosecutors won’t press criminal charges against former state schools Superintendent Stan Heffner.
Heffner resigned last month after a state ethics investigation found he improperly lobbied lawmakers on legislation that could have benefitted a standardized-testing company for which he had accepted a job.
The yearlong probe also disclosed that Heffner directed two subordinates to arrange for out-of-state job interviews, the sale of his house and other personal business on state time.
“Despite our belief that Mr. Heffner acted inappropriately in both instances … we too do not find that the evidence supports probable cause to file criminal charges,” Assistant County Prosecutor Jeff Blake and Chief City Prosecutor Lara Baker wrote in a letter to state Inspector General Randall J. Meyer. “As a result, we are unable to pursue criminal prosecution.”
http://goo.gl/WcEgR

iPad, laptop tryouts seen as steps toward a digital bookbag at NH schools Manchester (NH) Union Leader

Though some school districts in the state are struggling with funding, including the city of Manchester, a growing national education trend to get a tablet or laptop into the hands of every student is cropping up in many New Hampshire school districts.
“This is out of necessity and it’s also the next stage of technology,” Keene School District SAU 29 Director of Technology Mustafa “Mo” Zwebti said.
Recently, the Keene School Board unanimously approved a plan to replace about 275 teachers’ desktop computers with iPads and to install Apple TVs and projectors in each classroom.
The $435,000 plan also funds a one-to-one pilot program at Keene High School in which some science class students also would be issued iPads. In total, 300 iPads are to be purchased.
http://goo.gl/z6Wl3

President Obama: I ‘Goofed off’ too Much in School NBC Today

President Barack Obama tells TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie that part of American students’ low performance in math, science and reading compared to other countries has to do with the diversity of our country, with some kids coming from poor families and troubled homes. He also admits that he goofed off way too much when he was in school.
http://goo.gl/UPLuI

Bush: ‘Only Measurement That Matters Is Student Learning’
MSNBC Morning Joe

Former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., talks about the progress of education reform in America, why schools need higher academic standards and the importance of differentiated pay. Bush comments on the situation in Chicago and calls the education reform in that state “abysmal” compared to others.
http://goo.gl/zISZy

Education Nation — starkly different visions from Obama, Romney NBC

Education has peeked into the forefront during the 2012 campaign for the White House with President Obama’s push for low-interest student loans – and Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s contrasting views (“shop around”) on how to pay for college. Obama has also seized on comments Romney made largely dismissing the impact of class sizes, using them for a TV ad running in battleground states.
But what’s at stake in this election when it comes to education goes beyond the sound bites. The two candidates, like on so many issues, would take starkly different approaches, if elected.
http://goo.gl/PA68a

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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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