Education News Roundup: Oct. 15, 2012

Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Larry K. Shumway gave his annual State of Education speech on Tuesday, October 9 at the Open Classroom in Salt Lake City.

Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction Larry K. Shumway gave his annual State of Education speech on Tuesday, October 9 at the Open Classroom in Salt Lake City.

Today’s Top Picks:

After an extended job- and family-related absence, ENR is back with a vengeance today. You will note a general lack of national stories. We’ll catch up on those tomorrow. There’s plenty of local stuff to read today.

What can Utah, or any other state, do to keep state chiefs in office longer?
http://goo.gl/lm9Zh (SLT)

State Board selects Martell Menlove to succeed Larry Shumway as State Superintendent.
http://goo.gl/VF8lO (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/OP3dG (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/VYxfD (DN)
and http://goo.gl/Cv70s (OSE)
and http://goo.gl/pPbfP (PDH)
and http://goo.gl/RbMgn (KSTU)
and http://goo.gl/B2dNd (MUR)

Superintendent Shumway delivers his final State of Education speech.
http://goo.gl/17PVd (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/CLE05 (DN)
and http://goo.gl/ACQSR (KSL)
and http://goo.gl/ndA8I (KCPW)
His line, “The last shall never be first,” picks up traction in the Tribune.
http://goo.gl/2t7tj (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/AaxuT (SLT)

Governor’s Education Summit was held today.
http://goo.gl/ggnaR (KCPW)

Congratulations to Utah Teacher of the Year Sara Hacken.
http://goo.gl/cR5uN (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/JJpnv (PDH)

KUER and the Utah Foundation look at education and the election.
http://goo.gl/sv18t (KUER)
and http://goo.gl/WfZt9 (Utah Foundation)

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

UTAH

Can Utah slow state education superintendent turnover?
Education » Most schools bosses last no more than five years in high-pressure position.

Martell Menlove picked as state schools superintendent
Education » Martell Menlove, Utah’s deputy superintendent, will take the helm in January.

Schools boss: ‘We can’t be first if we are always last.’
Education » State superintendent says Utah public education can only move ahead with more funding.

Governor Holds Education Summit

Utah’s new Teacher of the Year honored for bringing history to life
Education » Sara Hacken, who teaches 7th-and 8th-graders in Orem, is always looking for new ways to engage students

Juan Diego named best biology teacher of the year
Connecting » Instructor uses pop culture to help kids learn anatomy, physiology.

Utah Priorities Project: Public Education

Cooke makes big promise on ed funding, gives few details
Debate » Herbert warns proposal would require a tax increase.

Utah guvs talk education, more at WSU’s Institute of Politics kickoff

Cash-strapped, crowded schools eye ways to help all students

Jordan Board of Education candidates crunching numbers
Elections » School district’s board hopefuls worried about student growth, lack of resources.

Utah’s ed board still wrestling with data sharing
Education » Utah law is unclear on status of student achievement info.

State education leaders creating new rule following football finance missteps
Education » Discussion follows financial missteps in high school football program.

‘Dual immersion’ language education coming to Cache Valley elementary schools

Utah legislators urge teachers to stop shunning technology
Summit » Educators and legislators say the future of education is digital, allowing individuals to learn at their own pace and style.

A Utah CEO’s passion for education turns into big business
School Improvement Networks’ online best-practice videos are a hit in schools.

Utah education technology company gains national attention

Daynes-U. program reviving music in Utah schools
Education » Interactive online piano lessons boost students’ skills in math and reading.

High school, jr. high drama teachers coordinating education

Former Timpview coach gets suspension reduced to one year

Drill team disillusionment: Sky View students, parents speak out on adviser embezzlement case

American Fork students spend summer in science labs

School choice backers screen controversial film “Won’t Back Down”

District goes to lengths for at-risk students

Utah teen refugees encouraged to pursue higher education
Speakers at U. conference encourage high school students to dream big and go to college.

Ben Lomond foreign exchange student says he’s learning peace

Pros slice & dice culinary skills for high school students at career fair

Fourth-graders get hands-on education at Great Salt Lake

Lakeview Academy students collaborate for ‘Pushing Up the Sky’

American Fork school offers before- and after-school activities

Preventing concussions: Do new Utah policies go far enough?
Concussions » A better understanding of head injuries’ long-term effects is forcing change aimed at ensuring young athletes’ safety.

Two West Jordan players taken to hospital with concussions

East High knee to opponent’s head caught on video

Jordan school district explains lunch regulations to hungry students

Morgan students climb hill to avoid mock flood

White House honors St. George teen’s 4-H work

Foster grandmother honored for her service

Utah junior high honored for outreach to students in all situations

West Jordan school remembers classmates gone too soon
Tribute » Students to honor Sierra Newbold and Daniel Allen with bench and plaque.

Three years after death, heroic teacher not forgotten
Memorial » An American Fork High School band teacher is remembered through music at U. of U.’s upcoming concert.

Stansbury H.S. gives students shunned at school dance a second opportunity to party

Utah’s first lady aims to set reading record
Literacy » Utah participates in national reading campaign designed to close the achievement gap.

Lava Ridge Student Council makes a difference

Students find sense of community at Shakespeare competition

Bountiful students try their hands at service

High school students spend time serving in Africa

Utah Students Help Utah Food Bank

Centerville Jr. High cheer squad welcomes kids of all abilities
The Sparkle Effect » Grant from group helped kids with Down syndrome join the team.

Man’s best friend trained as guide dog at Ben Lomond High classroom

4-H brings out hobbies, friends for junior high students

East faces possibility of more sanctions
Prep football » Region 6 board of managers is set to meet on Tuesday about ineligible players.

Walk to schools will soon be safer in Kaysville, thanks to fundraising efforts

Community helps junior high raise funds for marquee project

PTA raises thousands for playground shades
Community boosts Arrowhead Elementary project

Timberline Middle School celebrates 10 years

New school boundary meetings

Making the most of parent-teacher conferences

Learning from Singapore’s school success

What we can learn from Finland’s education system

New, fairer ways to identify and develop great teachers

Murray schools open enrollment starts Dec. 3

Nature Center offers classes for teachers

Percussion for compassion: Students beat drums to beat back bullying

A Look Back: Schoolchildren in Utah from late 1800s to 1900s

OPINION & COMMENTARY

School funding
The last shall never be first

Xs and Os. Dollars and cents

Thumbs up, thumbs down

Beehives and Buffalo Chips

Dead last is not where Utah education funding should be

Records quest continues in Cottonwood coach case
Editor’s column » Documents may show there’s more to story of Josh Lyman’s resignation.

Teacher Evaluation: Don’t Bind Principals’ Hands

What the candidates didn’t debate: Do we really need more teachers?

Granite teacher union backs McAdams for mayor

Utah Music Teachers Association state conference at Weber State University

False claims levied against Davis district

‘Tear down that education wall’

Senate Journal: October 12, 2012

It’s Menlove

Digital Learning Summit snippets

Evaluating (and paying) teachers more effectively

Put children first: Don’t hide classroom-level data from public

It’s broken, so fix it

LDS and education

Pick your battles

The education equation

School lunch standards

School lunch is not the culprit in our children’s obesity

Shane Story should continue the work with school board

Shane Story’s attitude is to ‘do what it takes’

Scott Handy has an educator’s perspective

Davis school board needs Smith, Clark, Bone

New school will give students a better learning environment

History education in Utah a bit lacking

Multiple ways exist to improve education

Dazed and Gifted
At the most elite public high schools, students have access to scientific gear more common at private research universities.

NATION

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

Can Utah slow state education superintendent turnover?
Education » Most schools bosses last no more than five years in high-pressure position.

Surrounded by smiles and applause, Martell Menlove accepted the job last week as Utah’s top school boss in a scene that some say plays out all too often: a new superintendent stepping in every few years.
Being the state’s No. 1 education official certainly is a heavy load, with 41 school districts, about 1,000 schools, nearly 600,000 students and the nation’s lowest per-pupil spending. But, in light of outgoing Superintendent Larry Shumway’s retirement after a little more than three years on the job, some education leaders are searching for ways to make the post more attractive for the long haul.
Debra Roberts, state school board chairwoman, said it would be nice to see superintendents stay for five to eight years.
“Anything below five, it’s hard,” Roberts said, “because you want to create a long-term strategic plan. But these poor superintendents just get worn out because the pressure is so intense.”
http://goo.gl/lm9Zh (SLT)

Martell Menlove picked as state schools superintendent
Education » Martell Menlove, Utah’s deputy superintendent, will take the helm in January.

Martell Menlove, the state’s current No. 2 man in education, will become Utah’s next state schools superintendent.
“I am humbled by the opportunity,” an emotional Menlove said upon learning he nabbed the job, “and yet [I] know that I have prepared myself well for a number of years to step into this position, and though there is some anxiety, I’m anxious to work and start moving forward.”
The state school board voted unanimously to hire Menlove for the job after publicly interviewing him and two other finalists on Monday, and then deliberating in closed session for about 90 minutes.
Menlove, 60, has worked as state deputy superintendent for the last three years under Superintendent Larry Shumway, who is retiring after this year. Before that, Menlove served as superintendent in the Box Elder and Rich districts. He has also worked as a principal, school counselor and teacher in Utah since 1976.
http://goo.gl/VF8lO (SLT)

http://goo.gl/OP3dG (SLT)

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

http://goo.gl/Cv70s (OSE)

http://goo.gl/pPbfP (PDH)

http://goo.gl/RbMgn (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/B2dNd (MUR)

Schools boss: ‘We can’t be first if we are always last.’
Education » State superintendent says Utah public education can only move ahead with more funding.

State Superintendent Larry Shumway on Tuesday implored lawmakers to invest in public education and to leave partisan politics out of schools.
“We cannot have the best school system in the country and be the lowest in the country in funding,” said Shumway in his fourth and final State of Education address before his Jan.1 retirement. “We can’t be first if we are always last.”
Shumway delivered his speech to a room full of teachers, administrators and others connected to public education who burst into applause after Shumway’s comments about the need to better fund schools. His warning that children won’t benefit if control of public education is transferred to the Legislature or governor’s office, instead of being overseen by the State Board of Education, also drew cheers from some.
http://goo.gl/17PVd (SLT)

http://goo.gl/CLE05 (DN)

http://goo.gl/ACQSR (KSL)

http://goo.gl/ndA8I (KCPW)

Governor Holds Education Summit

A high school education is not enough. That was the message being echoed at the Governor’s Education Summit Today (Monday) at Salt Lake Community College. Educators, lawmakers and members of the business community met to discuss the challenges facing Utah’s education system, and what needs to be done to increase the number of Utahns receiving post-secondary degrees.
http://goo.gl/ggnaR (KCPW)

Utah’s new Teacher of the Year honored for bringing history to life
Education » Sara Hacken, who teaches 7th-and 8th-graders in Orem, is always looking for new ways to engage students

Orem • Emily Wright thought studying history was a waste of time before she became a student in Sara Hacken’s classroom at Lakeridge Junior High.
“In elementary school, I found history boring and pointless. Dead people were dead. Who cared?” said Wright, now in ninth-grade.
But then came Hacken’s class, where the teacher brought the Great Depression to life through games. She assigned students a make-believe identity and gave them an income for their journey back to the 1930s. Students planned menus using ration stamps. They struggled to keep businesses afloat. They worried about paying mortgages. Some students ran for office, while others smuggled alcohol during the prohibition era in an attempt to make some dough.
That innovative teaching idea and others are in part what earned Hacken the title of Utah’s Teacher of the Year for 2013, an honor unveiled Friday night at a banquet in Salt Lake City honoring Utah’s district and charter school teachers.
http://goo.gl/cR5uN (SLT)

http://goo.gl/JJpnv (PDH)

Juan Diego named best biology teacher of the year
Connecting » Instructor uses pop culture to help kids learn anatomy, physiology.

Draper • Christine Celestino wasn’t a fan of anatomy class when she was a student. Memorizing Latin and Greek names of muscles didn’t hold her attention.
Then how does the doctorate-holder find herself teaching anatomy and other biology classes at Juan Diego?
“I think because I didn’t really like it so much when I was younger is why [students] seem to like the way I teach it now,” Celestino said. “I teach it in a way I would have liked when I was taking it.
“I try to figure out ways to make it interesting and relatable, to keep their attention. Otherwise, memorizing a bunch of Latin names is just terrible.”
http://goo.gl/pXOF0 (SLT)

Utah Priorities Project: Public Education

Utah spends less per student in its public schools than any other state. Not just a little less – 15% less than Idaho, the next on the list. Utah’s been at the bottom since 1988.
There are several reasons for that last-place ranking, but the most important is the high ratio of children to adults in Utah – 20-percent more kids as a proportion of the population than most other states.
The Utah Foundation looks at the funding picture a little differently. It measures what’s called funding effort – how much does the state spend on schools compared to the combined income of everyone in the state. By that measure, Utah was in the top ten – until recently.
Utah Foundation president Steve Kroes says, “We saw that top-ten-in-the-nation ranking for funding effort decline over the rest of the 90’s and into the 2000’s until we hit a low of 33rd in the nation in 2007, so well below average. And this came from a series of property tax cuts, income tax cuts and sharing the formerly earmarked income tax with other things in the state budget.”
http://goo.gl/sv18t (KUER)

http://goo.gl/WfZt9 (Utah Foundation)

Cooke makes big promise on ed funding, gives few details
Debate » Herbert warns proposal would require a tax increase.

As governor, Democratic candidate Peter Cooke said Thursday he would push Utah from last in the nation in per pupil spending to 30th in his first term — a bold promise, but one scant on details — and Gov. Gary Herbert said it would mean raising taxes.
Cooke said it wouldn’t require a tax hike. He said he could find the money needed — about $2 billion — by making education a priority and squeezing more efficiency out of government.
“How I’m going to do that is … by looking at every piece of budget there possibly is and find ways to really cut back in other expenditures. We have to somehow find ways to meet that challenge,” Cooke said after his final debate with Herbert. “If you want a detailed plan, I’ll get that to you right after I become governor.”
“I think you see with my opponent he wants to have some kind of plan to have a plan and some kind of government program to solve the problems,” Herbert said of Cooke.
Herbert argued that the best way to pay for the needs of Utah’s growing student population is by keeping taxes low and growing the economy and to get more state control over federal lands in the state and revenues from those lands.
http://goo.gl/9eQjN (SLT)

http://goo.gl/v3kDv (KUTV)

Utah guvs talk education, more at WSU’s Institute of Politics kickoff

OGDEN — One current and three former Utah governors showed up Wednesday — either in person or electronically — to kick off Weber State’s new Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics & Public Service, and to answer questions from students and faculty.
Walker, Utah governor from November 2003 to January 2005, was there in person. The Ogden native and Weber State graduate founded the institute in hopes students will be inspired to seek leadership positions in Utah and across the nation.
“Creating the Walker Institute at Weber State University combines two passions of mine: education and politics,” Walker said.
Also present were Gov. Gary R. Herbert, in office since 2009, and Norm H. Bangerter, who served from January 1985 to January 1993. Appearing electronically via Skype was Michael O. Leavitt, governor from January 1993 to November 2003.
http://goo.gl/XYxwA (OSE)

Cash-strapped, crowded schools eye ways to help all students

SALT LAKE CITY — Guillermo Mendoza bumps three kindergarten classmates as he leaps to his feet to stretch his hand as high as he can. Standing, he is barely taller than the kids seated next to him at M. Lynn Bennion Elementary in downtown Salt Lake. His enthusiasm draws the teacher’s attention, and she calls on him. The class, 28 in all, huddles together on the carpeted steps of the kindergarten meeting area, vying for a chance to speak.
Their teacher, Jill Newby, smiles warmly at her students, but she worries about them. Her classroom includes English language learners from China, refugees from Myanmar and children who live at the Women in Jeopardy domestic violence shelter a few blocks away.
“In such a large class,” she notes, “meeting the unique needs of the individual student becomes difficult.”
Among parents and teachers, class size reduction is a popular approach to raising student achievement. Large-scale studies link small classes to improved teacher morale, an 18 percent higher graduation rate for low-income students and a two-thirds reduction in the black-white achievement gap. However, reducing class size from 30 to 20 means hiring 50 percent more teachers at an average cost of $39,000 — an expensive measure anytime, but especially challenging during a recession.
http://goo.gl/5ejgR (DN)

http://goo.gl/Kh0eq (KSL)

Jordan Board of Education candidates crunching numbers
Elections » School district’s board hopefuls worried about student growth, lack of resources.

South Jordan • Funding classrooms and programs. Keeping up with student growth. Retaining high-quality teachers.
Those issues — and others — have become key discussion points in the race for who will sit next on the Jordan School District’s Board of Education following November elections.
Candidates running for the school board spoke about balancing the demands of a fast-growing district at a meet the candidates night this week at Elk Ridge Middle School. The district is the fourth largest in Utah, with 50,581 students and counting. Of the district’s seven-member school board, four of the seats are up for re-election next month.
http://goo.gl/0Pbz1 (SLT)

Utah’s ed board still wrestling with data sharing
Education » Utah law is unclear on status of student achievement info.

The state school board on Friday backed off earlier plans to direct principals to share teacher achievement data with parents.
The board had planned to change state rule to encourage principals to share classroom-level data with parents who asked for it, but not share that information with the general public. But the board decided Friday not to change state rules yet, saying that state law appears to offer conflicting instructions when it comes to the matter.
The problem? Board members say some parts of state law seem to indicate that teacher evaluation data (which could include class achievement data) should remain private, while other parts of the law say that classroom-level achievement data should be publicly released. Also, education leaders worry that disclosing classroom-level achievement data could compromise student privacy if a class is small.
http://goo.gl/prlJo (SLT)

State education leaders creating new rule following football finance missteps
Education » Discussion follows financial missteps in high school football program.

Following controversy over the handling of sports finances in some school districts, the state school board began work Friday on a new rule to guide the use of such cash.
The proposed rule would define any money donated by booster clubs or other groups and individuals to schools as public money subject to the same rules as all other public funding.
That means records of how the money is spent would be public, and the money would have to be spent in accordance with state bidding laws. Donors would be allowed to direct their money toward specific schools and programs, but not a specific employee, student, vendor or brand name.
Districts would also have to create their own policies addressing the collection, deposit and review of cash receipts, as well as donations, fundraising and spending.
http://goo.gl/QAGwz (SLT)

‘Dual immersion’ language education coming to Cache Valley elementary schools

The classroom is full of first-graders, only 6 or 7 years old. The teacher at the front of the room is speaking to them in Mandarin Chinese, using animated facial expressions. The students respond to her questions in Chinese, sometimes in complete sentences. On the board and on the walls are Chinese characters with pictures next to them to explain their meaning.
http://goo.gl/2abFO (LHJ)

Utah legislators urge teachers to stop shunning technology
Summit » Educators and legislators say the future of education is digital, allowing individuals to learn at their own pace and style.

Sabrina Ng, 17, goes to school every day for four hours. Instead of studying multiple courses at once, she takes them one by one. She uses online courses in a classroom setting, with individualized assistance from teachers, to help her whiz through her course materials.
At this time last year, she didn’t think she could graduate on time. Now, she’s graduating early.
What changed? She left her shared learning experiences behind at Highland High School and started an individualized, technology-based approach to learning at Innovations High School that she thinks has made all the difference.
Learning situations like Ng’s are what brought legislators and educators from across the state together at Utah’s Digital Learning Summit on Tuesday at the new Innovations High School, near 1700 South and State Street.
http://goo.gl/jMvox (SLT)

A Utah CEO’s passion for education turns into big business
School Improvement Networks’ online best-practice videos are a hit in schools.

Chet Linton is passionate about teachers, and they seem to feel the same way about the training products his surging Utah company markets to schools.
At a recent press conference announcing a business/education initiative to improve education in Utah, Linton choked up during his presentation when he got to the part about teachers.
“I’m not an educator, I’m a crazy entrepreneur who gets a little passionate,” said Linton, CEO of the School Improvement Network of Midvale. “We need to help them be effective.”
It’s that fire, plus management savvy and good strategic timing, that have propelled Linton’s company to the forefront in delivering teacher professional development materials to schools around the country.
http://goo.gl/xC6m5 (SLT)

Utah education technology company gains national attention

SALT LAKE CITY — An educational technology company from Utah is getting attention from all over the country. A lot of it is thanks to a contract it’s entered into with the state of Utah.
The people at iSchool Campus do not set curriculum or make lesson plans. Instead, they provide networks and devices to students and teachers to make the lessons more effective.
Company COO David Nilsson said, “Those devices, typically, are iPads, but we also provide iMac Labs and other laptops depending on the age (of the students) and the need of the school.”
http://goo.gl/7jwnw (KSL)

Daynes-U. program reviving music in Utah schools
Education » Interactive online piano lessons boost students’ skills in math and reading.

Children at Washington Elementary School haven’t gotten much of a break in life.
Nearly all of them come from poor households where parents speak 90 or so languages and dialects among them. Some of the children live in homeless shelters.
A few, though, are getting the chance to experience the joys of music by learning to play the piano — and early testing shows it is helping their math and reading scores.
Children at Washington and two other elementaries in the Salt Lake City district are taking after-school piano lessons through an easy-to-use Web-based program set up by Daynes Music Co. and developed by the University of Utah.
http://goo.gl/djhr4 (SLT)

High school, jr. high drama teachers coordinating education

Vertical alignment is not a new rock group. Nor is it a basketball player going for the net.
It is about creating a unified system of teaching a subject so a student going into junior high school becomes a part of a team that lasts through high school, rather than just someone who happens to be studying a subject.
The idea is getting emphasis in the drama departments of American Fork High School and American Fork Junior High School. Kenneth Wright, the new drama teacher at the junior high, has been friends with Neal Johnson, the high school drama teacher, for about 10 years. Both say that helps lay a foundation for coordination.
http://goo.gl/Xy3Vn (PDH)

Former Timpview coach gets suspension reduced to one year

PROVO — Former Timpview High School football coach Louis Wong was granted a six-month reduction on an 18-month suspension of his teaching license on Friday, following a closed door meeting of the Utah state board of education.
Earlier this summer the state board held a two-day hearing focusing on appeals from the former coach to be able to keep his teaching license. On Sept. 7 board members suspended his license for 18 months. According to board secretary Lorraine Austin, the board reconsidered its decision and decided to follow the recommendation of the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission, which recommended no more than a yearlong suspension.
Wong will have to reapply for his license through the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Commission with the stipulation that the state board approve the commission’s decision.
http://goo.gl/Hhh8K (PDH)

Drill team disillusionment: Sky View students, parents speak out on adviser embezzlement case

Parents and Vistauns from the Sky View High School drill team are speaking out about a recent financial scandal involving a former drill team adviser. While some say a school administrator did not want to pursue the case, officials contend they did everything they were supposed to do.
http://goo.gl/3L4OJ (LHJ)

American Fork students spend summer in science labs

If high school students had to write essays about what they did over summer vacation, three American Fork High School students would have an unusual answer — they spent eight weeks of the summer doing science research at the University of Utah.
Hailey James, Christian Abo and Nikole Rhodes were among 16 students chosen to further their education.
“It is a statewide program,” James said. “They chose 16 from all over the state. American Fork and Skyline had the most kids. It was rare to have three kids from the same school, especially a public school.”
http://goo.gl/Zjruf (PDH)

School choice backers screen controversial film “Won’t Back Down”

For years, Utah school choice proponents have voiced their cause at the Capitol.
On Thursday, they took their message to a markedly different venue: a Salt Lake City movie theater where they hosted a free screening of “Won’t Back Down,” a star-studded movie with a politically controversial point of view.
“We always look for opportunities to inspire and empower parents to be more involved with their schools for the benefit of their students,” said Judi Clark, executive director of Parents for Choice in Education which co-hosted the movie with Parent Revolution, a California-based group sponsoring similar screenings across the country.
It’s a film, however, that’s drawn criticism from some who say it unfairly places blame for problems in education on teachers and their unions, and advocates for an unproven solution.
http://goo.gl/jpFIy (SLT)

District goes to lengths for at-risk students

Alpine School District officials are detailing how far they go — including court intervention — to help the students struggling most.
Paul Rasband, who heads up student services, oversees the district crisis team, disciplinary hearings, custody issues involving schools and juvenile court programs. He gave a special report to elected officials this week detailing efforts for at-risk students.
http://goo.gl/wNVPD (PDH)

Utah teen refugees encouraged to pursue higher education
Speakers at U. conference encourage high school students to dream big and go to college.

Mohamud Shego, 16, recently came to Utah from Atlanta, Ga., where he lived for 10 years after fleeing Kenya as a young refugee. Shego is now a sophomore at Cottonwood High School. He loves learning and being a role model for his peers, but he’s forced to watch as some of his struggling refugee friends drop out of high school.
“I want them to succeed and have a better life,” Shego said. “But I mean, it’s what it is. Everybody has their own future.”
In Utah — where about 1,000 new refugees are resettled each year — young refugees are dropped right into high school.
http://goo.gl/IzpR6 (SLT)

Ben Lomond foreign exchange student says he’s learning peace

OGDEN — Foreign-exchange students typically visit other parts of the world to gain cultural experience and language skills.
But Victor Akuraga Shaakaa, who is a junior at Ben Lomond High School, wants to take the feeling of peace back home with him.
The 15-year-old native of Jalingo, Nigeria, said peace is something he could give his community in the form of seminars he’ll teach on the subject and shared experiences.
http://goo.gl/IHA3w (OSE)

Pros slice & dice culinary skills for high school students at career fair

OGDEN — Culinary arts is considered an art form, say several expert chefs instructing 200 students from across Top of Utah at a career fair Wednesday.
Students carved apples into intricate designs, arranged food on a plate so it looked appealing and made sure their lettuce was rolled up in the right shape before they started chopping.
Those were just a few of the skills taught by practicing chefs during the event, sponsored by the Utah Restaurant Association and Sysco Intermountain Food Services, and held in the Ogden Marriott.
Students from ProStart, a program designed for high school students to learn the basics of the food service industry, were invited to the event.
Most of the 200 students attending were from Layton, Northridge and Clearfield high schools in Davis School District; Bonneville and Fremont high schools in Weber School District; and Ogden High School in Ogden School District.
http://goo.gl/jXtby (OSE)

Fourth-graders get hands-on education at Great Salt Lake

SYRACUSE — Teresa Anderson’s fourth-grade class spent Wednesday morning on Antelope Island playing in the water and learning about the Great Salt Lake.
“They like digging in the sand, getting in the water, and they learn a lot,” said Anderson, a teacher at Buffalo Point Elementary. “I don’t know that they would say that’s their favorite thing, but it really gives them a lot of knowledge and connects to the curriculum that we have in science.”
All Buffalo Point fourth-graders visited the state park either Tuesday or Wednesday to learn about the Great Salt Lake, its rich plant life and the animals that depend on it.
http://goo.gl/NGFPT (DN)

Lakeview Academy students collaborate for ‘Pushing Up the Sky’

An array of colorful costumes showcased students’ portrayals of birds, forest animals and Native Americans in Lakeview Academy’s “Pushing Up the Sky.”
The recent play offered all 100 of the Saratoga Springs school’s third-graders an opportunity to collaborate while bringing a Native American legend to life on stage.
http://goo.gl/UzEVH (PDH)

American Fork school offers before- and after-school activities

AMERICAN FORK — They saw a need, filled it and have invited others to join in.
The staff of the newly opened Aristotle Academy in American Fork realized there was a need for before- and after-school care among its students. Some also wanted to be involved in activities prior to the opening of each school day. So they created a Boys and Girls Club at the school, reportedly the only club of its type in north Utah County. Realizing that other parents may have the same needs for constructive activities for their students in off-school hours, have invited the public to join in.
After-school sessions are the most popular. Creative writing is held on Mondays, ballroom dance and choir both meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, mad science is on Wednesdays; French Club is held on Fridays, with French immersion on Wednesdays. Chess and table tennis are held daily. Some new classes may be added in January.
About 45 families are involved.
http://goo.gl/MHWUv (PDH)

Preventing concussions: Do new Utah policies go far enough?
Concussions » A better understanding of head injuries’ long-term effects is forcing change aimed at ensuring young athletes’ safety.


“Do [concussions] affect Utah? Yeah, they do,” said Lisa Walker, a teacher and certified athletic trainer at Springville High School.
State-specific concussions data are hard to come by, but nationwide, concussions were the most commonly diagnosed sports injury in 2010-11, according to a National Children’s Hospital survey.
http://goo.gl/Nhznj (SLT)

Two West Jordan players taken to hospital with concussions

A sophomore football game was halted in the fourth quarter after two players for West Jordan High were taken to the hospital for concussions they sustained during play.
West Jordan coach Mike Morgan said one of the boys would be released from the hospital Wednesday night but another boy was going to stay in the hospital overnight for further evaluation. Morgan said he visited both boys after hearing the news.
West Jordan was the visiting team at Alta High School in Sandy. Morgan was at another game at West Jordan High when the injuries occurred.
http://goo.gl/ry2cj (SLT)

http://goo.gl/XHl1V (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/dG5Md (KSL)

East High knee to opponent’s head caught on video

SALT LAKE CITY — Shocking video of high school sportsmanship at its worst has recently come to light, showing an East High player taking a knee to a Woods Cross player’s face.
This incident happened about two weeks ago, but the video is just now coming to light. The parents of the player who was kneed in the face say behavior like this needs to be stopped.
KSL talked with East High’s principal, the athletic director at Woods Cross, and the Utah High School Athletic Association, and everyone agrees that the actions of East High player are unacceptable and dangerous.
http://goo.gl/Zv3RS (KSL)

Jordan school district explains lunch regulations to hungry students

SOUTH JORDAN — Local school districts are doing more to help students understand the new school lunch guidelines, after many complained that they were hungry.
After the United States Department of Agriculture cut the calorie count for school lunch and added more fruits and vegetables, many students complained that they weren’t getting enough food and they were still hungry.
The Jordan School District produced a video to help the students understand the reason for the mandatory diet changes. They also made posters for the middle and high school students, clearly showing the new fruit and vegetable requirements. They say confusion and rumors led to students not knowing what they could take at lunch, and this should help.
http://goo.gl/YZGsu (KSL)

Morgan students climb hill to avoid mock flood

MORGAN — If the East Canyon, Lost Creek, Echo or Rockport dams above Morgan Valley ruptured, students in the city below would have 25 minutes to get away from the approaching flood, said Ken Adams, Morgan County Schools superintendent.
That grim scenario prompted Morgan County schools to hold an emergency evacuation drill Wednesday for about 1,800 students. The shoulder-to-shoulder procession of Morgan preschool, elementary, middle and high school students wound its way up 100 South until the crowd reached Wilkinson Construction Company, 1200 E. 100 South, at the top of the hill.
http://goo.gl/LOH65 (OSE)

White House honors St. George teen’s 4-H work

A St. George high school student is one of 12 FFA and 4-H members that the White House is honoring as a Champion of Change.
Kaydn Ence is being recognized in an event Tuesday morning for his work to make his community a better place.
White House officials say Ence took action when he found a company wasn’t going to expand operations in his hometown because of a lack of technological training in the community.
Officials say Ence responded by setting up 4-H robotics clubs across his county and fundraising to buy robotics kits for the groups.
http://goo.gl/xwhnn (SLT)

http://goo.gl/3X6uD (SGS)

Foster grandmother honored for her service

SPANISH FORK — As a foster grandmother at Brockbank Elementary School, almost 90-year-old Marie Hansen was recently honored by the Utah County Foster Grandparents for her 19 years of outstanding service.
Hansen is a foster grandma in Marcy Noorda’s first-grade class. Hansen is going into her 20th year as a foster grandma and her sixth year in Noorda’s classroom. Hansen spends an average of 20 hours of week in Noorda’s classroom, and she said she looks forward to spending time with the children each day.
http://goo.gl/FA9vk (PDH)

Utah junior high honored for outreach to students in all situations

BOUNTIFUL — A Utah junior high school earned the national school of the year title from the National Association of Middle School Principals and Lifetouch.
At Mueller Park Junior High, educators help kids during a tough transition, and at the beginning of this school year, they were honored for their work by the competition sponsors.
http://goo.gl/mytaz (KSL)

West Jordan school remembers classmates gone too soon
Tribute » Students to honor Sierra Newbold and Daniel Allen with bench and plaque.

They were only kindergartners.
Sierra Newbold loved to draw, dance and play on her soccer team, Orange Crush. Daniel Allen enjoyed making crafts, dinosaurs and anything connected to Disney’s “Cars.”
Both were students at West Jordan Elementary School. Both had their lives taken too soon. And that’s left a void in the hearts of their classmates, who started a new school year still trying to comprehend the loss of friends who died so young.
Students will gather Friday to honor Newbold and Allen at a ceremony outside the school, 7220 S. 2370 West. A memorial bench will be dedicated to Sierra, 6, who was kidnapped and murdered on June 26. Nearby, a memorial plaque will be unveiled for Daniel, 7, who died Aug. 25, 2011, after a two-year battle with brain cancer.
http://goo.gl/nQaK5 (SLT)

Three years after death, heroic teacher not forgotten
Memorial » An American Fork High School band teacher is remembered through music at U. of U.’s upcoming concert.

David Checketts and Heather Christensen first crossed paths as part of the University of Utah’s marching band while in college. They later worked together collaborating in their musical careers following graduation. She was a woodwind instructor at American Fork High School, and he was a composer with his own music company.
Checketts and Christensen were not the best of friends, but they did share a strong connection through music. Checketts called her a “kindred spirit.”
That’s why he was profoundly affected by her death in a bus crash three years ago. Losing a musician he respected inspired him to compose a concert celebrating Christensen —a performance titled “Transitions,” which will take place Oct. 23 at the University of Utah.
http://goo.gl/L9gN9 (SLT)

Stansbury H.S. gives students shunned at school dance a second opportunity to party

STANSBURY PARK, Utah – Stansbury High School threw a second Homecoming dance Friday night, called “Take 2”, after a controversial decision at the first dance left many unable to attend.
Friday students responded. They showed up excited and ready to party.
http://goo.gl/wAzOd (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/N1Gbi (KSL)

Utah’s first lady aims to set reading record
Literacy » Utah participates in national reading campaign designed to close the achievement gap.

Wearing a ladybug tiara and with a ladybug doll in tow, Utah’s first lady Jeannette Herbert read Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad to a class of second-graders at Jackson Elementary in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
The day’s event was part of a national effort to close the achievement gap — a campaign started by Jumpstart’s Read for the Record in 2006 —and to see how many children can commit to reading the same book in one day. Last year 2.2 million students across the nation read the same book during one week, and this year American children again will try to break a reading record by collectively finishing the picture book at the end of the day Thursday.
http://goo.gl/9coZ2 (SLT)

Lava Ridge Student Council makes a difference

The 27 members of the Lava Ridge Intermediate Student Council have been busy this year developing new projects and ideas to better their school.
Lava Ridge Intermediate has always had a student council, and the group currently has two advisers, Caroline Harris and Sue Schulthies.
http://goo.gl/6X6rL (SGS)

Students find sense of community at Shakespeare competition

Last weekend, students from Salem Hills High School traveled to Cedar City for the 36th annual Shakespeare Competition. More than 100 schools from throughout the state attended the two-day event, including Spanish Fork High, Maple Mountain High and Salem Hills High.
http://goo.gl/aVxtt (PDH)

Bountiful students try their hands at service

BOUNTIFUL — It isn’t yet winter, but the students at Washington Elementary School are already excited for spring.
“We are going to be so proud of ourselves,” said 10-year-old Kaelie Schwab.
She and 43 other fifth-graders planted 130 tulip and crocus bulbs in the otherwise dirt-filled planters in front of their school on Friday. It was part of a Good Deeds Challenge, started by the Rocky Mountain Care Foundation, that aims to bring a love of community service to elementary school-age children.
http://goo.gl/tXumZ (DN)

High school students spend time serving in Africa

Confirming your place in the active high school life going on around you as you start your senior year is difficult enough without making a conscious choice to leave your friends and spend a portion of the summer in a Third World country working so hard you have blisters and aching muscles.
Nine Lone Peak High School seniors made the choice to give up the “easy” life to head to Ethiopia and Kenya before the school year began.
http://goo.gl/DwDAj (PDH)

Utah Students Help Utah Food Bank

The Utah Food Bank received a helping hand from members of the 4H Saturday.
Dozens of students gave up their Saturday to help package and sort pounds of meat that will go to people in need.
http://goo.gl/RIT2X (KUTV)

Centerville Jr. High cheer squad welcomes kids of all abilities
The Sparkle Effect » Grant from group helped kids with Down syndrome join the team.

Centerville • The cheerleaders, stacked two high to form a tunnel, chant “Go Chargers, go Chargers, go!” as volleyball team members run beneath them as they are introduced.
Eighteen cheerleaders cheer, volleyball players pound the floor, kids and parents in the stand clap, the noise is deafening as Centerville Junior High prepares to play South Davis Junior High. In the thick of this organized chaos are four Centerville Junior High students with Down Syndrome.
Those four junior high students — eighth grader Colton Beck, 13; eighth grader Mary Lee, 14; eighth grader Caleb Monsen, 13; and seventh grader Maegan Lindsey, 12 — are not sitting in the stands, they aren’t sitting at all. They are on the court with the other 14 cheerleaders, dressed out in cheerleading garb preparing to cheer their team to victory.
http://goo.gl/29DCw (SLT)

Man’s best friend trained as guide dog at Ben Lomond High classroom

OGDEN — Friday was almost like any other day in Erica Lyon’s film-making class at Ben Lomond High School.
The lights dimmed, with students clustered around computers and Lyon walking around giving them help, as a yellow Labrador retreiver followed closely at her heels.
Wait — a yellow Labrador in a high school classroom?
Griffin, a yellow Lab guide dog in training, has become the norm around Lyon’s film-making and fine arts classes.
This is not the first time Lyon has trained a guide dog — this is her fourth — but her first yellow Lab. She trained the others as a high school and middle school student, so having a dog in school isn’t new for her, but doing it as a teacher is a little different.
http://goo.gl/7wPGt (OSE)

4-H brings out hobbies, friends for junior high students

Cross country and crafts may not initially appear to have much in common. But they are both offerings of the new 4-H after school clubs at American Fork Junior High School. Participants can choose from among volleyball, Zumba, chess and beginning or intermediate guitar.
Principal Shane Farnsworth wrote a grant in conjunction with Orem and Mount Nebo junior high schools to obtain the program. The schools got funding for three years.
http://goo.gl/Lh9bL (PDH)

East faces possibility of more sanctions
Prep football » Region 6 board of managers is set to meet on Tuesday about ineligible players.

East football coach Brandon Matich wasn’t the only one who sat out Friday’s game at Highland.
Matich held out several players after issues over their eligibility were raised during the last week, he said during a meeting late Saturday night at East High School.
“It was one of the hardest challenges of my life, but I accepted responsibility because we’re in this business for kids,” Matich said.
East could be facing more sanctions due to playing ineligible athletes. The school will get its chance to defend itself when the Region 6 board of managers meets Tuesday morning. The board will be considering possible penalties based on information presented during the meeting.
http://goo.gl/UctFV (SLT)

http://goo.gl/Wep7n (DN)

Walk to schools will soon be safer in Kaysville, thanks to fundraising efforts

KAYSVILLE — Students will have a safer walking route to Snow Horse Elementary School and Centennial Junior High in the near future because of a small group of dedicated mothers.
Seven women have worked relentlessly for nine months to raise $31,000 to fund half of the cost of installing a sidewalk so children can walk safely to school.
http://goo.gl/S9cac (OSE)

Community helps junior high raise funds for marquee project

When the PTA at Salem Junior High School took on the project of raising money for the new school’s marquee, they had no idea of the number lurking on the price tags. An average, multi-functioning cache of light bulbs can run anywhere from $5,000 to $35,000.
Salem Junior High PTA was quick to meet the challenge.
http://goo.gl/5VHTw (PDH)

PTA raises thousands for playground shades
Community boosts Arrowhead Elementary project

SANTA CLARA — In a community-wide effort, the Arrowhead Elementary PTA recently raised $30,000 to help purchase and install of large sun shade structures to cover the school’s playgrounds.
http://goo.gl/GwSMD (SGS)

Timberline Middle School celebrates 10 years

Timberline Middle School celebrated its 10th birthday this school year with a special assembly featuring a video production recounting the history of Alpine’s school buildings for all the students
http://goo.gl/y41xs (PDH)

New school boundary meetings

Public input meetings to discuss the boundaries for the new middle school in Eagle Mountain will be held Oct. 16 to 18 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. On Tuesday, the boundary meeting will be at Pony Express Elementary School, on Oct. 17 at Eagle Valley Elementary School and on Oct. 18 at Hidden Hollow Elementary School.
http://goo.gl/xjFo8 (PDH)

Making the most of parent-teacher conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are meant to strengthen the partnership between a child’s most important mentors. In the best cases, that’s exactly what happens, but parent-teacher conferences can be tricky. When things aren’t going well at school, they can turn into blame sessions that leave everyone — child included — feeling frazzled.
A new report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows discrepancies in what parents and teachers say about the conferences and about the relationship betweens schools and parents in general.
http://goo.gl/ffNoc (DN)

Learning from Singapore’s school success

Singapore is “one of Asia’s great success stories, transforming itself from a developing country to a modern industrial economy in one generation,” said a report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which comprises a group of nations (including the United States) working together for global economic development. “During the last decade, Singapore’s education system has remained consistently at or near the top of most major world education ranking systems,” the report said.
http://goo.gl/uuL80 (DN)

What we can learn from Finland’s education system

We’ve all heard plenty about how students in several Asian nations continually outperform their U.S. counterparts on international tests for science, reading, and — especially — math. There is only one Western nation near the top of those rankings year after year, and Finland is an intriguing case. The Finn’s don’t approach education with the drill-and-kill ferocity employed in Korea and Singapore, nor with the emphasis on endless testing familiar to U.S. students.
http://goo.gl/0TD0W (DN)

New, fairer ways to identify and develop great teachers

Policy makers, parents and teachers want — and students deserve — fair, meaningful evaluations. Here are several new ways educators are exploring to evaluate teachers and help them improve.
http://goo.gl/TMNV3 (DN)

Murray schools open enrollment starts Dec. 3

MURRAY — Open enrollment for students for the 2013-14 school year will begin Monday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 a.m. at the district office.
http://goo.gl/OqzfS (DN)

Nature Center offers classes for teachers

OGDEN — Ogden Nature Center will offer workshops for child care workers and teachers of pre-kindergarten through second grade.
The $40 course includes curriculum guides and carries four re-licensure points.
http://goo.gl/aQALm (OSE)

Percussion for compassion: Students beat drums to beat back bullying

BOUNTIFUL — The Human Rights Education Center of Utah on Monday brought the NO-Bully Beat on the DrumBus to D. R. Tolman Elementary School to educate against bullying.
The NO-Bully Beat is one of the HREC’s art-based bullying prevention programs, according to the organization’s website.
http://goo.gl/9Cjpa (DN)

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

A Look Back: Schoolchildren in Utah from late 1800s to 1900s

The Salt Lake Tribune occasionally presents images from its archives or from the Utah State Historical Society in a special series called A Look Back. Today’s installment is a collection of images of school children and their classes in the late 1800s to the turn of the 20th century.
http://goo.gl/br4A1 (SLT)

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

School funding
The last shall never be first
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

It is time to stop being proud of the fact that Utah’s schools aren’t as bad as they might be, given the low levels of state funding they get, and start being ashamed of the fact that they are not as good as our students, our families and our businesses have every right to expect.
Utah’s leaders have long focused on the silver lining. They have bragged, with some justification, about the fact that our schools have been able to somewhat overcome the fact that they place dead last, year after year, in per-pupil funding by posting good test scores and running acceptable graduation rates. It was a testament, it was rightly argued, to the strong families and dedicated teachers who value education and make the best of whatever situation they find.
But, as time goes by, it becomes more and more difficult to put lipstick on this pig.
http://goo.gl/2t7tj

Xs and Os. Dollars and cents
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

The Utah State Board of Education has begun work on new rules that will require money donated to school programs from booster clubs, other groups or individuals be tracked and allocated according to all the rules that keep public school finance decisions open to the public. The board acted in response to a scandal involving the Timpview High School football team, where its coach resigned and had his teaching license suspended after he was accused of mismanaging donations. One result of that investigation was the conclusion that such funds lack a clear paper trail that could have confirmed the suspicions, or exonerated the coach. That was not the only case where proper fiscal controls could have prevented problems. These new rules cannot come too soon.
http://goo.gl/8W2sT

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

Thumbs up: To the punch-card system in place at Antelope Elementary School in Clearfield. For each quarter-mile students run on the track, they earn reward charms, such as a tennis shoe charm for 10 laps, or 10 punches in the card.
Thumbs down: To national reading scores on the SAT college-entrance exam, which have sunk to a 40-year low. Perhaps it’s time to put the novel, “Ivanhoe,” or something else that requires deep concentration, back on school reading lists?
Thumbs down: To school board candidates’ campaign signs that were illegally stored in at least one Davis County elementary school. That’s a big no-no, and the signs were removed from the inappropriate storage place.
http://goo.gl/HzZfp

Beehives and Buffalo Chips
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

Beehive to Orem’s Northridge Elementary School PTA for organizing the school’s participation in International Walk to School Day. Parents and children raised awareness on foot, on scooters and on bicycles for safer pedestrian routes and more daily exercise. Children were able to practice their safety skills.
http://goo.gl/ZBbu2

Dead last is not where Utah education funding should be
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Peg McEntee

Sometimes it takes a guy who’s walking out the door to tell the truth: Utah will never have a top-tier public education system until lawmakers open their closed fists and raise Utah above its current standing as the state that ranks dead last in per-pupil spending.
State Superintendent Larry Shumway got it right in a pre-retirement speech this week when he said Utah “can’t be first if we are always last.”
How long, every Utahn should ask, can public education continue the largely excellent work it does without the unalloyed backing of lawmakers, the governor’s office, business owners and taxpayers?
http://goo.gl/AaxuT

Records quest continues in Cottonwood coach case
Editor’s column » Documents may show there’s more to story of Josh Lyman’s resignation.
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Lisa Carricaburu

For Granite School District, the story ended May 30 with Cottonwood High School football coach Josh Lyman’s resignation.
On that date, the district ended its probe into allegations the coach who also taught physical education had inappropriate contact with a female student. Granite therefore produced no formal report about the allegations. Separately, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office determined Lyman would face no criminal charges.
The Salt Lake Tribune, however, is not yet ready to concede the story is over. Lacking a conclusive report or findings of fact in the case, we believe it’s our job to learn as much as we can about the context of Lyman’s resignation and the case, which is arguably a matter of intense public interest.
That’s why our quest for records created during the investigation continues, nearly five months after Granite closed the case.
http://goo.gl/PMXdH

Teacher Evaluation: Don’t Bind Principals’ Hands
Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

Even as I’ve argued for more stringent teacher evaluations, I’ve grown increasingly alarmed by the highly rigid, paperwork-laden systems that some state legislatures and state education offices seem eager to impose.
Today’s New York Times includes a very persuasive op-ed by Harlem charter school principal Deborah Kenny, who argues that formal teacher rating systems will “ruin teaching.” She cites an example of a teacher she fired – a teacher whose students earned high scores on state exams, but who derided kids and discouraged fellow teachers. Evaluation systems based on mathematical formulas would have tied her hands.
http://goo.gl/L5rcH

What the candidates didn’t debate: Do we really need more teachers?
Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

My guess is that many of you will already have seen today’s Wall Street Journal op-ed, “The Imaginary Teacher Shortage.” The author, University of Arkansas education professor Jay Greene, argues that President Obama and Governor Romney were too quick to agree that America needs to hire more teachers (although he also points out that Romney would leave these decisions up to states.)
http://goo.gl/rGSLX

Granite teacher union backs McAdams for mayor
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Mike Gorrell

The Granite Education Association is endorsing Democrat Ben McAdams for Salt Lake County mayor.
“McAdams has been a strong supporter of public education in the Utah Legislature and he has made education a key issue in his current campaign,” said GEA Vice President Michael McDonough, referring to an education policy paper released last week by McAdams, who is currently a state senator from Salt Lake City.
http://goo.gl/wqgX1

Utah Music Teachers Association state conference at Weber State University
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist David Burger

The Utah Music Teachers Association state conference will be held on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 at Weber State University, with guest clinicians Marvin Blickenstaff, Scott McBride Smith, and Kevin Olson
http://goo.gl/MsZjG

False claims levied against Davis district
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by Chris Williams, community relations director for the Davis School District

During election season, candidates do their best to gain the attention and confidence of voters. Statistics will be shared, claims will be communicated and opinions will undoubtedly be offered.
And sometimes, as Lenin is quoted as saying, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
Such a statement is especially true if no one responds to a false claim that is circulated.
Well, such a time has come. Numerous false claims have been made with regard to the Davis School District. It’s time to respond.
Claim: The current Board of Education of the Davis School District has raised taxes five times during the last eight years.
Fact: A check of the minutes of the last eight years of Davis school board meetings shows the board voted to raise taxes three times, not five. Taxes were raised in 2007 to capture state matching funds in board and reading levies; in 2010 to recover from a legislative cut of $8 million in capital funding to construct buildings; and in 2011 to decrease class sizes in grades K-3 — that were up, in some cases, to more than 34 students.
The cost of restoring two instructional days previously taken off the school year calendar was also included in that 2011 increase. No tax increase went to pay administrative salaries.
http://goo.gl/uzsdY

‘Tear down that education wall’
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by Lynn Stoddard, author of Educating for Human Greatness

If public education is ever going to take a giant leap forward, we must tear down the great barrier that blocks significant changes. This barrier is a cultural mind-set that student achievement in reading, writing and math is the main goal and purpose of public schools. It’s a long standing, cherished tradition!
Over the years, our culture has become so entrenched in curriculum development that curriculum has become a false goal, an end in itself. We have forgotten why we want students to learn to read, write and compute. These subjects have become false goals, ends in themselves. The Common Core Curriculum is evidence that we are teaching curriculum as a false goal. The reason why we want students to become proficient in limited, isolated skills is seldom mentioned and never assessed. Instead of designing a new system of education, subject matter specialists, rather than human development professionals, continue to repair and shore up the old system.
http://goo.gl/3Nu02

Senate Journal: October 12, 2012
Utah Senate Site commentary

It was a quiet week in the Utah State Senate.
Surprising no one, the Board of Education selected Martell Menlove as the next Superintendent of Public Schools. Some of us felt the rushed process was a mistake but concede that it is the board’s mistake to make. When their selection was announced, Senator Stephenson – Senate chair of Education Appropriations – said it’s time to join forces and work together.
http://goo.gl/vRLtm

It’s Menlove
Commentary by Charter Solutions President Lincoln Fillmore

Martell Menlove has been named the new Superintendent of Public Instruction, to officially begin in that post on January 1. Dr. Menlove is a good guy who has worked cooperatively with charter schools on several issues in his role as Deputy Superintendent to Larry Shumway. He spoke out positively about a new charter school that opened this year in Box Elder County, where he is from.
http://goo.gl/W24KO

Digital Learning Summit snippets
Commentary by Charter Solutions President Lincoln Fillmore

This afternoon I’m attending the Digital Learning Summit at Innovations High School. We attendees have enjoyed a few panel discussions (legislators, students, and digital education innovators) and presentations.
Right now we’re hearing from five students who take a variety of online learning courses. A sophomore girl is fully enrolled in an online school and has been since kindergarten. Four others are a mix–one takes two online classes, one is enrolled at Open High School full-time.
http://goo.gl/J1eEa

Evaluating (and paying) teachers more effectively
Sutherland Institute commentary by Derek Monson, director of public policy

The Deseret News recently published an article discussing how educators and education researchers are investigating new ways to evaluate the effectiveness of school teachers. Those ways include: (1) rigorous classroom observation, based on specific teaching behaviors associated with student learning gains, (2) computer-adaptive testing that provides a regular, ongoing snapshot of how much a student is learning, and is a more accurate measure of how much a teacher is increasing student learning than one-time tests, and (3) student surveys about their experience in the classroom, using questions that were tested and found to accurately capture a teacher’s effectiveness.
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the article is its report on research from the Measures of Effective Teaching Project, which seeks to discover how effective teaching can be “identified and developed.”
http://goo.gl/vdbqB

Put children first: Don’t hide classroom-level data from public
Sutherland Institute commentary by Derek Monson, director of public policy

Suppose you are king of Utah for a day. Your education adviser asks you whether you think it is a good idea to make information on the performance of each classroom of public school students publicly available.
He explains to you that doing so will allow people to learn more about what makes Utah’s best teachers effective – meaning that more children will benefit from better teaching as these “best practices” are identified and spread.
He further tells you that since taxpayers pay for everything in public schools and need basic information to evaluate whether state and local education policies are effective and beneficial for children, it makes sense to open up the “education data vault” in this way.
Would you think this is a good idea?
If you said “yes,” then the Utah State Board of Education disagrees with you.
http://goo.gl/b8GpL

It’s broken, so fix it
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Trent E. Kaufman

Many supporters of Gov. Gary Herbert use a famous adage to justify their voting choice: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. They refer to Utah economic indicators that have remained strong through the national economic downturn.
However, these positive data points are lagging indicators. At best, they measure the impact of the decisions of past administrations. Predictive indicators, on the other hand, better indicate the current administration’s efforts to take a long-term approach to policymaking.
Utah’s most important predictive indicator is the state of our education system. The quality of Utah’s graduates determines the quality of our future workforce.
Prior to Herbert taking office, Utah’s fourth-graders scored above the national average in reading for 15 straight years. Since taking office, our national advantage on this predictive indicator has dissipated entirely.
http://goo.gl/us6UA

LDS and education
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Keith McBride

I applaud LDS Apostle Dallin Oaks’ warning about the effect on children of divorce, abuse, cohabitation and single parenthood (“Mormon leader decries divorce, abortion, same-sex parents,” Tribune, Oct. 6). We need strong, moral voices to keep our focus on the needs of children, who don’t have clout or votes to curry politicians’ favors.
Our prisons and homeless shelters are full of the results of poor parenting. Child-rearing is America’s future and a great moral issue.
Which is why it is surprising that the 80-percent-Mormon Utah Legislature is content with having Utah’s per-pupil funding be the lowest in the Union.
http://goo.gl/t6Wao

Pick your battles
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Johan West

Re “Utah principal apologizes after dance hemline debacle” (Tribune, Oct. 2):
In looking at the line of inappropriately dressed high school young women whom the principal turned away from the homecoming dance at Stansbury High, I was first surprised how frilly the dresses were (I just don’t keep up with the styles). Then I focused on the dresses’ length, and I was shocked, shocked! that they were a couple of inches above the knees!
I was taken back to similar skirmishes (really wars) about miniskirts in my late-1960s high school. By the early ’70s, administrators had given in, and even teachers were wearing short dresses.
http://goo.gl/5dhTf

The education equation
Deseret News letter from Don Barker

There have been many newspaper articles about basing teachers’ pay on how well their students learn. However, the most important parts of the equation are left out — that of the student and the parent/guardian. The teacher (no matter how good the teacher is) cannot make up for students and parents who do not care and should not be made wholly responsible for a student’s learning.
There are many junior high school teachers working with students who can only read on second or third grade levels. Why are there junior high students reading on such a low grade level? Why have they been passed along year after year? How can society expect them to succeed?
Without the necessary reading skills, a student is destined to fail. Is it the fault of his or her math, history, science or English teacher? No! It is the fault of the educational system.
http://goo.gl/g3Z7t

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

School lunch standards
Deseret News letter from Jonathan Ash

I was recently intrigued by the article “Students, parents, educators displeased with new school lunch standards” (Sept. 27). The article covered discontent with new school lunch nutritional policies pushed onto local school districts through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Despite creating a one size fits all nutritional standard for students across the nation, the bill had unanimous support in the Senate. With the help of Utah’s Jim Matheson, the bill also passed the House of Representatives.
Most would agree the general goal of healthier eating habits among children is admirable. However, we as citizens ought to pause to question the wisdom in allowing a single federal department to dictate the types and portions of food allowed locally in our schools.
http://goo.gl/dTMNS

School lunch is not the culprit in our children’s obesity
Deseret News letter from Pamela Cotter

School lunch is not making our kids fat. It’s what happens after 4 p.m. and on the weekends.
http://goo.gl/g0qhH

Shane Story should continue the work with school board
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Craig Pulley, Danette Pulley

With two daughters attending Ogden city schools, we are thrilled to see the tremendous progress towards proficiency that was achieved in the 2011-2012 school year. We want to sincerely congratulate the students and teachers for their hard work and say thank you to the many parent and community volunteers who support our schools. Our work is long from being finished, but it is important to stop and recognize that Ogden city schools have taken a gigantic leap towards proficiency, and hit a major milestone on the pathway towards educational excellence.
There have been several needed, necessary and difficult changes made in our district in order to realize the results of last year. The focus on academic and instructional excellence from the Ogden School District and Ogden School Board is helping to lead this charge for change.
http://goo.gl/oSbi2

Shane Story’s attitude is to ‘do what it takes’
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Ben Johnson

I’ve been a lifelong resident of Ogden and a graduate of Ogden’s schools. I’m proud of that distinction and have had the opportunity of seeing my children graduate from my same schools. Over the past couple of decades the demographics of Ogden have changed significantly. I’ve always enjoyed the diversity and different cultures represented here.
Because of our diversity, one of the predictable outcomes has been the challenges to our children’s education. In the past few years, the Ogden School District has ranked last in a number of academic areas. We have great teachers and administrators who do a wonderful job, but Ogden is different.
http://goo.gl/Nl3BX

Scott Handy has an educator’s perspective
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Tom Burton

Some good things are happening in the Ogden School District. However, questionable decisions made by the current school board have created several problems. The mission statement of the Ogden district is to “Maximize educational opportunities for all students in a safe nurturing environment.” Some of the board’s present priorities do not maximize or create a nurturing environment. Several school principals were summarily reassigned a week into the new school year, a time when administrative stability is critical in the educational setting. Several school teachers left Ogden School District before school started this year, and teachers continue to seek employment in other districts. They feel they have had little input into educational decision making.
The current superintendant and members of the school board have no public teaching experience. Decisions are often made without an educator’s perspective. Present priorities emphasize test scores, while good teachers are allowed little flexibility to include the arts and recreation into a balanced school day. Life skills are not represented nor measured by cognitive testing only. To have successful, fulfilling lives, students must be exposed to a broad and balanced school curriculum.
http://goo.gl/zTlr3

Davis school board needs Smith, Clark, Bone
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from JoAnn Hanson

Our school board members should be citizens who care about improving our schools and who put quality education for our children as their number one priority. Our economic development depends on a strong education system.
I am a mother, grandmother, and second grade teacher. I am dedicated to children and want them to have the best education possible.
I urge voters to consider voting for those school board candidates in Davis County who put quality education for our children as their top priority. I recommend voters support Barbara Smith, James Clark and Kathie Bone because they will put students first.
http://goo.gl/hsQq1

New school will give students a better learning environment
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Daniel Wakefield

I’ve recently heard that Weber School District is building a new Wahlquist Junior High School. I like that they’re building the new school because future students will be going to a newer school with a better layout and it will have more modern equipment.
The new school will give the students a better learning environment with updated technology so students can get a better education.
I wish to thank the voters for approving the bond that will provide us with a better school.
http://goo.gl/9q9LH

History education in Utah a bit lacking
(Provo) Daily Herald letter from Joshua Dalton

History is becoming a subject that is not taught in our schools. I am a junior in high school and I have always liked to learn about history. Last year I took a AP European history class and I realized that many of my fellow students knew little to almost nothing about the history of their country or any other. I started to ask my fellow students basic questions about U.S. history such as, “What war won America’s independence?” I received answers all the way from WWII to the French Revolution.
History needs to be taught more in the schools of Utah because right now many of the rising generation have no concept of what their own country stands for or what it took to create our country.
http://goo.gl/RsKjk

Multiple ways exist to improve education
Deseret News letter from Robert Holland, the Heartland Institute

Your report on education (“Here’s what’s working,” Oct. 1) provided useful information, even if it was drawn from just one magazine, The Atlantic, and covered just three ideas on improving the quality of education out of dozens that might be raised.
What is notable is that two of the ideas have to do with empowering the consumers of education, students and parents. The idea of calling on students to evaluate teachers is one that some critics might dismiss as frivolous. However, a Gates Foundation study has shown that if students are asked the right questions, they will give a good indication which teachers are effective and which ones are not. Plus, after the Chicago teacher strike shortchanged children so blatantly, the idea of students having leverage has gained appeal.
The real eye-opener was this: “Home-school your children.”
http://goo.gl/La8cq

Dazed and Gifted
At the most elite public high schools, students have access to scientific gear more common at private research universities.
Wall Street Journal book review Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of “The Faculty Lounges: And Other Reasons Why You Won’t Get the College Education You Paid For.”

Exam Schools
By Chester E. Finn and Jessica A. Hockett
(Princeton, 255 pages, $24.95)
As we try to make sure that no child gets left behind, are we keeping others from getting ahead? Or, as Chester Finn and Jessica Hockett put it in “Exam Schools”: “As the country strives to . . . close its wide achievement gaps [and] repair its bad schools . . . is it also challenging its high achieving and highly motivated students?”
This isn’t an easy question to answer. Most high-achieving students are educated in ordinary public schools, often taking the more challenging courses in an honors-track curriculum or Advanced Placement classes. But some are educated in academically selective high schools that require students to score well on tough exams just to get in. According to the criteria chosen by Mr. Finn and Ms. Hockett—principally, that schools be publicly funded and admission competitive—there are 165 such high schools in the U.S., out of 22,568.
http://goo.gl/48jHW

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

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

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

October 16:
Executive Appropriations Interim Committee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://www.le.utah.gov/Interim/2012/html/00002224.htm

October 17:
Retirement and Independent Entities Interim Committee meeting
7:15 a.m., Room 30 House Building
http://www.le.utah.gov/Interim/2012/html/00002216.htm

Education Interim Committee meeting
2 p.m., 30 House Building
http://www.le.utah.gov/Interim/2012/html/00002212.htm

November 1-2:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

November 8:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://1.usa.gov/Axtt5K

Related posts:

Comments are closed.