Education News Roundup: Oct. 16, 2012

"The Next Generation" by Nazareth College/CC/flickr

“The Next Generation” by Nazareth College/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

ENR hopes this is the last of the way-too-much to read editions of the roundup. But we should now be caught up both locally and nationally.

Governor’s Education Summit focuses on goal of getting 66 percent of Utahns to have post-secondary certifications or degrees by 2020.
http://goo.gl/BeiWc (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/h2QRw (DN)
and http://goo.gl/aQvbc (KTVX)
and http://goo.gl/ZeQac (KSL)
or http://goo.gl/F7Wj4 (Governor’s Office)

Sen. Hatch says more money from Utah’s energy reserves would help improve public schools.
http://goo.gl/NJuDr (Chrony)

St. George News profiles two candidates for State School Board.
Bette Ariel: http://goo.gl/XCLJn (SGN)
Barbara Corry http://goo.gl/Cs342 (SGN)

Ed Week looks at Utah’s open education resources.
http://goo.gl/g90qm (Ed Week)

There’s lots on the presidential race and education.
http://goo.gl/bFjm5 (Hechinger Report)
and http://goo.gl/Ugmwr (NPR Weekend Edition Saturday)
and http://goo.gl/d5sXB (LAT)

One of the newest Nobel economic laureates did extensive work on figuring out how to place kids in the right schools.
http://goo.gl/9x5Jg (Forbes)

Adieu aux les devoirs?
http://goo.gl/s74QT (France 24)

And, because you’ve been so kind to put up with these two monster roundups, here’s the latest on marshmallows (http://goo.gl/Ov0C0, Time), Flamin’ Hot Cheetos (http://goo.gl/HgPVH, Chicago Tribune), and Stephen Colbert’s quick and cheap solution to America’s education problem (http://goo.gl/tkF3j, The Colbert Report).

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Guv’s education plan elicits cheers, questions
Schools » State leaders still working out details on the costs to implement.

Hatch: Energy resources would boost schools

State school board: Bette Arial vows to be ‘outspoken voice’ for education

State school board: Barbara Corry runs on experience, as a unifier

Common Core Drives Interest in Open Education Resources
Spurred by the adoption of common-core standards by nearly every state, the movement for open digital resources is growing as educators realign curricula

The launch: Parents prepare for child’s transition to independence

Ugly incident during East-Woods Cross girls soccer match offers schools, athletes a teaching opportunity

Cache school district to auction off old LDS church in River Heights

School district launches program to prevent car accidents involving teens

Oakridge fourth-grader serves up a winning healthy recipe
Country’s kitchen » Lahav Ardi met Barack and Michelle Obama as an award for his cooking skills.

Bryant teacher’s day made better with school supplies
OfficeMax » Company donates millions of dollars in pens, pencils and larger items to classrooms.

Family volunteers to help out Park City schools

Color 5K raises money for elementary school

OPINION & COMMENTARY

With our national scores falling, it is about time we fix education

We need educators on Ogden School Board

Fremont coach knew athlete’s character

Public Schools: Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Schools will change despite election

School Reform, But From Whose Perspective?

Romney Ed. Adviser Casts Doubt on Future of NCLB Waivers

The Imaginary Teacher Shortage
Forty years and a million more teachers later, student performance is unchanged. Yet Obama and Romney both say schools need more staff.

Want to Ruin Teaching? Give Ratings

Do we need a new charter revolution?

Charting a Future for Catholic Education
Some schools are creating a new model for religious instruction.

How Recent Education Reforms Undermine Local School Governance and Democratic Education

How Escalating Education Spending Is Killing Crucial Reform

The Word – Meducation

NATION

Ed in the Election: Obama and Romney advisors debate education spending

School Choice: A Subject Both Candidates Support

Experts’ views about Obama and Romney on education

Seeking Aid, School Districts Change Teacher Evaluations

How tougher classes in high school can help kids make it through college
Some 40 percent of students are failing to graduate from college in six years. A study calls for higher-quality college prep, with more advanced math, advanced placement classes, and better advising.

Arne Duncan: Need To Address The Opportunity Gap

Margaret Spellings: Too Many Still ‘Left Behind’

What Al Roth Did To Win The Nobel Prize In Economics
A Harvard professor uses economics to save lives, assign doctors and get kids into the right high school.
Forbes

Bandwidth Demands Rise as Schools Move to Common Core
School technology needs grow faster in preparation for common-core

Anti-Bullying Campaign Called Gay Indoctrination By Conservative Group

Butte schools will pay $70K to valedictorian denied free speech rights

Florida’s plan to measure students by race riles education experts

Arts education to get more emphasis under Emanuel school plan

Study gives school behavior program a good grade

Marshmallow-ology: Why Wait, When the Better Treat Might Never Arrive?
Impulse control may be a key predictor of later success, but for some kids delaying gratification makes little sense

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos inspire fanatic loyalty among kids

France’s Hollande promises pupils ‘no more homework’

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UTAH NEWS
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Guv’s education plan elicits cheers, questions
Schools » State leaders still working out details on the costs to implement.

One thing’s for sure: Everyone wants to boost the number of Utah adults with college degrees or certificates to 66 percent by the year 2020.
The only questions are whether an ambitious plan to put Utah on that track will work and whether state leaders will be willing to pay for it.
Hundreds of lawmakers, education and business leaders gathered at Salt Lake Community College on Monday for the Governor’s Annual Education Summit, where Gov. Gary Herbert and other leaders outlined a plan for how to get to that 66 percent — a goal experts say Utah must meet to keep its economy prosperous and fill future jobs. Now, nearly 43 percent of Utah adults go on to earn postsecondary degrees or certificates.
To boost that percentage, the Governor’s Education Excellence Commission has set goals that 90 percent of third-, sixth-, and eighth-graders test proficient in math and reading; Utah’s high school graduation rate swells to 90 percent; and 80 percent of Utahns enroll in programs to earn post-secondary degrees or certificates.
http://goo.gl/BeiWc (SLT)

http://goo.gl/h2QRw (DN)

http://goo.gl/aQvbc (KTVX)

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

http://goo.gl/F7Wj4 (Governor’s Office)

Hatch: Energy resources would boost schools

Hill Airforce Base and energy were hot topics for Sen. Orrin Hatch when he spoke at the Hinckley Institute of Politics on Monday.
Hatch, who is running for his seventh term for U.S. Senate, said he fought to protect the base in northern Utah.
“We have worked very hard to make sure that Hill is not mistreated,” Hatch said. “It’s a $5 billion a year facility … There are about 24,000 highly skilled workers up there. It’s no secret that during the Clinton years they tried to move all or most of the facilities at Hill to California, and we stopped that.”
Hatch said one of his most important issues is energy.
“Utah is a land filled with energy, and if we could get the permits from this administration to do the things we know we can do with energy, we would reap billions of dollars that would go to our school systems, and we wouldn’t have near the problems we have today,” Hatch said.
http://goo.gl/NJuDr (Chrony)

State school board: Bette Arial vows to be ‘outspoken voice’ for education

ST. GEORGE – Among the many campaigns that will come to a head on Nov. 6, is the race for who will represent District 15 – Iron and Washington counties – on the Utah State School Board.
Bette Arial, of St. George, is one of the candidates vying against Barbara Corry for District 15’s seat.
Arial is a former member of the state school board, having served from 1997-2001. Additional experience in the field of education includes being a Dixie State College Trustee and adjunct instructor of dance and dance education, and a member of the PTA.
http://goo.gl/XCLJn (SGN)

State school board: Barbara Corry runs on experience, as a unifier

ST. GEORGE – While much attention has been given to particular political races for local, state, and national offices, some races become eclipsed in their wake. One such race is for the Utah State Board of Education District 15 seat, representing Iron and Washington counties.
The two candidates involved in the race are Bette Arial of St. George and Barbara Corry of Cedar City.
Corry’s name may be familiar to people in the education community, particularly in Iron County where she served on the county school board from 1991 to 2011. She has held high-level positions in the Utah School Board Association over the last decade, and has served on the Utah High School Activities Association Board of Directors. Additionally, she has held positions in a myriad of related organizations, culminating in 35 years of experience in the realm of public education.
http://goo.gl/Cs342 (SGN)

Common Core Drives Interest in Open Education Resources
Spurred by the adoption of common-core standards by nearly every state, the movement for open digital resources is growing as educators realign curricula

In Utah, the state department of education is pulling together textbooks aligned to Common Core State Standards made up entirely of open educational resources, or OERs. South Dakota officials have created a repository of open education materials aligned to the common core for teachers. And at the national level, the education organization Achieve has launched a set of rubrics designed to help educators evaluate both the quality of OERs and their alignment to the common standards.
“I think the common core has been a catalyst for OER—for examining it, for discussing and developing and adopting OER,” says Reginal J. Leichty, a partner in EducationCounsel, a Washington-based education law and policy-consulting firm. “There are windows for policy change, and common core has just by its nature necessarily caused this conversation to begin.”
Spurred by the adoption of common-core standards by nearly every state the movement for open education resources is seeing a surge in interest as districts re-evaluate and realign their curricula. OERs, which are free to use, remix, and adapt, also engage teachers more fully in curricula, allowing them to more easily differentiate instructional materials for students, advocates of the movement say.
http://goo.gl/g90qm (Ed Week)

The launch: Parents prepare for child’s transition to independence

Brooke Morgan’s career plans grew out of the balance beam and vault. The 17-year-old from Southlake, Texas, plans to become a physical therapist, to help others recover from injuries like she had as a competitive gymnast.
Jared Dickson, 17, of Oak Harbor, Wash., plans to become a dentist, but right now he’s working on scholarships to help pay for college.
As these two stand on the brink of adulthood, they have concrete ideas about what they need to do next to reach their goals. Many parents and children pondering what comes after high school don’t have a plan. Not planning, experts agree, is bad news for future success, even though plans may change. But how does one prepare and what’s realistic in a tight and changing job market, where continued education and training are more important than they have ever been?
A recent Gallup poll found a very high number of parents think their children will graduate from high school; 96 percent strongly or mostly “know” it. That’s higher than the national reality, 73 percent, according to Education Week. Those same parents, though, are far less sure their children will find a good job later — 38 percent are certain and 28 percent nearly so.
“Whatever a high school diploma meant when today’s parents were in high school, it doesn’t mean that any more,” said Jeff Livingston, college and career readiness expert for McGraw-Hill Education. It’s the beginning of education, not the end.
http://goo.gl/CE8qA (DN)

Ugly incident during East-Woods Cross girls soccer match offers schools, athletes a teaching opportunity

WOODS CROSS — Susie Clark watched in horror as her daughter fell to the ground during a high school soccer game two weeks ago, and then was kneed in the face by an opposing player.
“We were so frustrated with the whole situation,” said Clark, whose daughter is a senior center back for the Woods Cross soccer team. “We didn’t even know there was video of it.”
The video, which is circulating on YouTube, shows 17-year-old Makenzie Clark falling to the ground as East senior Petiola Manu backs away. Then Manu comes back toward Clark and hits Clark in the face with her knee as she passes.
Makenzie Clark was not seriously hurt, her mother said, but she felt frustrated that the move went unpunished in the game. The video was sent to the Woods Cross principal and the Utah High School Activities Association late last week.
http://goo.gl/WClXS (DN)

http://goo.gl/4d0yR (KTVX)

Cache school district to auction off old LDS church in River Heights

Want to buy a church?
http://goo.gl/AsgIJ (LHJ)

School district launches program to prevent car accidents involving teens

One Utah school district is implementing a new program to try to prevent car accidents with young teens.
The Jordan School District launched the “Attitude Kills Drive for School” program. Driver’s Education instructors will lean about the 21st century teen and how to communicate with them to be safe and free from distractions while driving.
Teachers say today’s teens need a quicker pace and shorter activities to keep them motivated.
http://goo.gl/y34QN (KSTU)

Oakridge fourth-grader serves up a winning healthy recipe
Country’s kitchen » Lahav Ardi met Barack and Michelle Obama as an award for his cooking skills.

Nine-year-old Lahav Ardi loves to cook for other people, but his vegetable lentil soup recipe served him up an incredible chance to go to the White House and attend the first Kids’ State Dinner.
Well, technically, it was a lunch, but the Aug. 20 event was hosted by Michelle Obama, whose husband, President Barack Obama, made a surprise appearance to the astonishment of 54 young chefs and their parents.
“It was unbelievable,” Lahav said.
The contest that Lahav entered, the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge for kids ages 8-12, is part of Michelle Obama’s campaign Let’s Move!, which has the mission to fight childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyle choices among youth.
http://goo.gl/jXJ5U (SLT)

Bryant teacher’s day made better with school supplies
OfficeMax » Company donates millions of dollars in pens, pencils and larger items to classrooms.

A teacher’s life often goes unheralded. Good teachers start their day long before the first bell and stay long after the last. Breaks turn into opportunities to catch up.
Bryant Middle School’s Adrianna Jorgensen-Bryan found herself doing just that, spending time during first-period prep last week finishing grades that were due the next day. The eighth-grade language-arts teacher looked up to see an unexpected throng of students filing into her classroom, followed shortly by a big, bright orange box.
Through the nomination of her principal, Frances P. Battle, Jorgensen-Bryan was the winner of “A Day Made Better,” an initiative by OfficeMax to help end the need for teacher-funded classrooms. The orange box contained a laminator, a camera and, most important, little necessities like pens and pencils that tend to go quickly in a school that supports both children in the Avenues and those who live in the homeless shelter.
http://goo.gl/gujlp (SLT)

Family volunteers to help out Park City schools

Tim and Joanna Chesley of Park City lead the Running with Ed relay race fundraiser for the Park City Education Foundation. The event takes a year of planning and involves a couple of thousand of people, and annually it raises about $130,000 for schools. “They wake their children up early on the big day and say, ‘It’s Running with Ed day!’ the way most of us say, ‘It’s Christmas Day!’ to our kids,” said Jennifer Billow, spokeswoman for the foundation.
Their whole family also pays for, cooks, serves and cleans up at a barbecue for 30 or more they auction off at local events. The parents also volunteer at their children’s school and other schools in the district.
http://goo.gl/WQz1W (SLT)

Color 5K raises money for elementary school

The Color Vibe 5K was held Saturday morning. The race went around Weber State University, starting and ending in the Dee Events Center. Around the course, there were four color stations where volunteers threw color packets at the runners.
The color packets were FDA-approved colored corn starch. The four colors were purple, blue, pink and yellow. After the race, each runner was given their own color packet, which many used to throw the powder at each other in the Dee Events Center parking lot during a dance party.
The money raised through the race will be given to Taylor Canyon Elementary School, which lost its funding for physical education.
http://goo.gl/zN17Y (Signpost)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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With our national scores falling, it is about time we fix education
Deseret News letter from Trent E. Kaufman

Many Gov. Gary Herbert supporters are using a famous adage to justify their voting choice: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” They refer to economic indicators that have remained strong through the economic downturn.
However positive, we should consider these data points as lagging indicators, because they are best at measuring the impact of the decisions of past administrations. Predictive indicators, on the other hand, are much more indicative of a current administration’s efforts to take a long-term approach to policy making.
Utah’s most important predictive indicator is the state of our education system; the quality of Utah’s graduates will determine the quality of our future workforce.
http://goo.gl/noXJi

We need educators on Ogden School Board
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Elizabeth Carlin

Some years ago a large study of successful people who came out of at-risk neighborhoods was done. Three common factors were found:
1) There was a religion, 2) the school was considered a safe place and 3) there was a caring adult in their childhood.
Schools can provide two of these unless the stress level for the adults in the school is high. With stress, one finds adults with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.
http://goo.gl/v8uBF

Fremont coach knew athlete’s character
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Becky Anderson

Albert Einstein said, “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment.”
Oct. 11, there was an letter to the editor blasting Coach Melaney for calling Brock Smith the best basketball player to ever roam the halls of Fremont and called on him to write an apology to another player (“Jared Jensen beats many in prep basketball”).
In a turbulent world full of teens posed with difficult decisions everyday, and more and more of them choosing the path of least resistance or worse, a path that infringes on the liberties of others, I would hope that we have not become small minded enough to believe that what makes someone “the best” at basketball or anything else can be boiled down to a stat line.
http://goo.gl/72C3f

Public Schools: Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Education Week op-ed by Malbert Smith III, Jason Turner, and Steve Lattanzio (Malbert Smith III is the president and co-founder of MetaMetrics. Jason Turner is the director of professional development at MetaMetrics, and Steve Lattanzio is a research engineer at the company.)

This year, Gallup’s Confidence in Institutions survey revealed a disheartening lack of faith in U.S. public schools. The percentage of participants indicating “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in public K-12 education fell to an all-time low of around 29 percent—a drop of 29 percentage points from 1973, when Gallup first began including public schools in its survey and public confidence in schools measured 58 percent.
Unfortunately, faith in the public schools has been steadily eroding since 1973. But are things really this dismal?
We recently mapped performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and high school dropout rates against the backdrop of public confidence in education. As our analysis illustrates, performance data on these dimensions is improving while public confidence is declining. In fact, NAEP scores for both 4th and 8th grade have been trending upward since the 1970s. Compared with an average scale score of 219 in 1973 for 4th graders, 2008’s average scale score of 243 represents significant progress in math performance.
http://goo.gl/32S2k

A copy of the white paper
http://goo.gl/kiwto

Schools will change despite election
Washington Post commentary by columnist Jay Mathews

Thankfully the presidential campaign has avoided arguments over education. There is still time for the two candidates to slug it out over non-cognitive skills or regression analysis, but that seems as likely as the Redskins (despite my pre-season hopes) getting to the Super Bowl.
Our failure to politicize education policy is a blessing. Smart people in both parties may explore the best ways to help children learn without offending the ideologues at party central. We will need such tolerance even more after the election because no matter who wins, the school-saving schemes the parties favor are due for major adjustments.
Watch any school board meeting, educator conference or TV education panel and you see reality nibbling away at our favorite theories of teaching and learning. The changes will be messy and confusing enough without the two parties picking sides.
Here is the bipartisan consensus of the moment: We should give third- through eighth-graders as well as tenth-graders a long, detailed standardized test each spring and put heavy weight on the results. All states use test score averages to rate schools. In about half the states, high school students risk graduation if their scores aren’t high enough. Several states and some big cities are moving toward evaluating teachers at least in part on how well their students score.
http://goo.gl/6hmxy

School Reform, But From Whose Perspective?
Education Week op-ed by Cheryl Scott Williams, executive director of the Learning First Alliance

Public K-12 schooling is a popular subject in all forms of media these days, with the majority of coverage highly critical of both the professionals who work within the system and the performance of the students with whom they work. Prominent national leaders from government, corporations, and philanthropic organizations, having positioned themselves as “reformers,” hold the bully pulpit in not only proclaiming education professionals as inadequate in ability and practice, but also in controlling access to significant resources to define and support reform efforts.
Those of us who have spent our careers in public education have always welcomed interest and enthusiasm from those outside the profession when that involvement focuses on unique perspectives and skill sets they can bring to the learning environment, including financial support, assistance with new technologies, participation in career days, and internship opportunities for students. We also welcome open discussion and the sharing of experience that can contribute to new ways of thinking about the challenges we face in our daily work with students.
But the tone, language, and proposals for change currently articulated by the most prominent “reformers” at the national level reveal both a lack of knowledge and experience of the daily realities of even the most successful public schools and a total lack of respect for the professionals now working in public education. A New York Times article by Michael Winerip last year provided insight into the genesis of the worldview of these “reformers.” It was chilling in its revelation of our country’s movement toward endowing decisionmaking by only a privileged ruling class of leaders whose experience in no way reflects the background or upbringing of the majority of Americans.
What Mr. Winerip discovered is that the most prominent K-12 education “reformers” today are products of private education, either for their entire precollegiate schooling, or in part: from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; to former District of Columbia Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee; to Microsoft co-founder and Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates; to “Waiting for ‘Superman’ ” producer-director Davis Guggenheim; to, most prominently, President Barack Obama. The list could be expanded to include many others.
http://goo.gl/SqKN7

Romney Ed. Adviser Casts Doubt on Future of NCLB Waivers
Education Week commentary by columnist Michele McNeil

In the first substantive remarks from the Mitt Romney campaign on No Child Left Behind waivers, adviser Phil Handy indicated that the flexibility granted this year to 33 states and the District of Columbia would be in serious jeopardy if the former Massachusetts governor wins the presidency.
In a substantive 90-minute debate at Teachers College, Columbia University that featured some pointed arguments and sparring, Handy squared off against Jon Schnur, an education adviser for President Barack Obama. The debate, co-sponsored by Education Week, filled in many of the blanks for those who wanted to know more about Romney’s positions on education.
On the issue his campaign has been most silent on — the fate of the waivers the U.S. Department of Education and Secretary Arne Duncan have granted so far from NCLB—Handy didn’t outright say Romney would get rid of them. But he broadly hinted at it.
http://goo.gl/MDV7d

The Imaginary Teacher Shortage
Forty years and a million more teachers later, student performance is unchanged. Yet Obama and Romney both say schools need more staff.
Wall Street Journal op-ed by JAY P. GREENE, professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas

Last week’s presidential debate revealed one area of agreement between the candidates: We need more teachers. “Let’s hire another hundred thousand math and science teachers,” proposed President Obama, adding that “Governor Romney doesn’t think we need more teachers.”
Mr. Romney quickly replied, “I reject the idea that I don’t believe in great teachers or more teachers.” He just opposes earmarking federal dollars for this purpose, believing instead that “every school district, every state should make that decision on their own.”
Let’s hope state and local officials have that discretion—and choose to shrink the teacher labor force rather than expand it. Hiring hundreds of thousands of additional teachers won’t improve student achievement. It will bankrupt state and local governments, whose finances are already buckling under bloated payrolls with overly generous and grossly underfunded pension and health benefits.
http://goo.gl/UbbJ3

Want to Ruin Teaching? Give Ratings
New York Times op-ed by DEBORAH KENNY, chief executive and founding principal of Harlem Village Academies

AS the founder of a charter school network in Harlem, I’ve seen firsthand the nuances inherent in teacher evaluation. A few years ago, for instance, we decided not to renew the contract of one of our teachers despite the fact that his students performed exceptionally well on the state exam.
We kept hearing directly from students and parents that he was mean and derided the children who needed the most help. The teacher also regularly complained about problems during faculty meetings without offering solutions. Three of our strongest teachers confided to the principal that they were reluctantly considering leaving because his negativity was making everyone miserable.
There has been much discussion of the question of how to evaluate teachers; it was one of the biggest sticking points in the recent teachers’ strike in Chicago. For more than a decade I’ve been a strong proponent of teacher accountability. I’ve advocated for ending tenure and other rules that get in the way of holding educators responsible for the achievement of their students. Indeed, the teachers in my schools — Harlem Village Academies — all work with employment-at-will contracts because we believe accountability is an underlying prerequisite to running an effective school. The problem is that, unlike charters, most schools are prohibited by law from holding teachers accountable at all.
But the solution being considered by many states — having the government evaluate individual teachers — is a terrible idea that undermines principals and is demeaning to teachers. If our schools had been required to use a state-run teacher evaluation system, the teacher we let go would have been rated at the top of the scale.
http://goo.gl/jneaX

Do we need a new charter revolution?
Fordham Institute commentary by Kathleen Porter-Magee, Senior Director of the High Quality Standards Program at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

When charter schools first emerged twenty years ago, they represented a revolution, ushering in a new era that put educational choice, innovation, and autonomy front and center in the effort to improve our schools. While charters have always been very diverse in characteristics and outcomes, it wasn’t long before a particular kind of gap-closing, “No Excuses” charter grabbed the lion’s share of public attention. But in this rush to crown and invest in a few “winners,” have we turned our back on the push for innovation that was meant to be at the core of the charter experiment?
It’s become increasingly obvious that charters have hit a wall in their quest to put their students on the path to college. Of course, the top charter management organizations got this level of attention the old fashioned way: they earned it. The best CMOs—like KIPP, Uncommon Schools, and Achievement First—have done amazing work. The teachers work long hours and do—often quite literally—whatever it takes to give students the kinds of opportunities they’ve had.
But, while charters have made important strides, it’s become increasingly obvious that they’ve also hit a wall in their quest to put their students on the path to college. While the best among them have been able to get more and more students to hit proficiency targets, there are no charter schools—to my knowledge—that have figured out how, at scale, to prepare all students for the rigors of college and careers. Yet, over the next few years, as statewide assessment and accountability systems align to the Common Core, charters are going to be held accountable not for catching kids up, but for adequately preparing them for what comes next.
http://goo.gl/RkU1F

Charting a Future for Catholic Education
Some schools are creating a new model for religious instruction.
City Journal commentary by Sean Kennedy, author of “Building 21st Century Catholic Learning Communities: Enhancing the Catholic Mission with Data, Blended Learning, and Other Best Practices From Top Charter Schools.”

Though they enrolled 5.2 million students at the height of the baby boom, Catholic schools in the United States have struggled with declining matriculation in the decades since and today have just under 2 million students. This year marks a particularly striking milestone: the first time that charter schools, nationwide, will enroll more students than Catholic schools. Charters’ growing success is not without irony, since the independently run public schools have long imitated the Catholic model: high expectations, discipline, and school uniforms.
What accounts for the decline of Catholic schools and the rise of charters? In a word, competition, though it should be noted that the playing field hasn’t been level—Catholic schools (with a few exceptions) don’t receive public funds, as charters do. Nonetheless, Abe Lackman of Albany Law School analyzed New York State data and concluded that every new charter lures students away from a nearby Catholic school.
http://goo.gl/V09nz

How Recent Education Reforms Undermine Local School Governance and Democratic Education
National Education Policy Center analysis by Kenneth R. Howe, David E. Meens, University of Colorado Boulder

Democratic policymaking and democratic education have been undermined by the passage of No Child Left Behind. This brief offers guidelines for future federal education policy that addresses the loss of local control brought on by recent reforms.
http://goo.gl/Qvfs0

How Escalating Education Spending Is Killing Crucial Reform
Heritage Foundation analysis by Lindsey Burke, Will Skillman Fellow in Education

In August 2012, the White House released the report “Investing in Our Future: Returning Teachers to the Classroom” to bolster President Obama’s call for massive new education spending. The report suggests that, absent an enormous infusion of more tax dollars, the nation’s public schools will lose teachers and programs, damaging American education. This claim ignores the fact that over the past 40 years, both teaching and non-teaching positions in public schools have increased at far greater rates than student enrollment. And, of all education jobs, teachers make up only half. Heritage Foundation education policy expert Lindsey Burke explains how another federal education bailout will act as a disincentive for state and local leaders to implement necessary reforms—and keeps taxpayers on the hook for funding policies of dubious value.
http://goo.gl/s39fq

The Word – Meducation
Satire from The Colbert Report

Since America can’t afford all the teachers it would take to give children personal attention, doctors recommend psychostimulants to improve kids’ grades.
http://goo.gl/tkF3j

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Ed in the Election: Obama and Romney advisors debate education spending
Hechinger Report

President Obama isn’t the big investor in education he has claimed to be on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney’s education advisor, Phil Handy, argued in a debate Monday with his Democratic counterpart. Obama advisor Jon Schnur countered that the math behind Romney’s budget plan virtually ensures there will be cuts to education if the former Massachusetts governor is elected.
Both Handy and Schnur used the debate to crystallize the differences between their respective candidate’s educational philosophies, which were sometimes blurred when Romney and Obama themselves debated earlier this month.
http://goo.gl/bFjm5

School Choice: A Subject Both Candidates Support
NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

The right to choose the school you want your child to attend has been the subject of court battles and bitter political debates. Still, both President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney have made school choice a cornerstone of their efforts to reform public education.
http://goo.gl/Ugmwr

Experts’ views about Obama and Romney on education
Los Angeles Times

The following are edited excerpts from telephone interviews and email exchanges with leading education analysts, writers and researchers regarding the policies and positions of the presidential candidates.
http://goo.gl/d5sXB

Seeking Aid, School Districts Change Teacher Evaluations
New York Times

LONGMONT, Colo. — In an exercise evoking a corporate motivation seminar, a group of public school teachers and principals clustered around posters scrawled with the titles of Beatles songs. Their assignment: choose the one that captured their feelings about a new performance evaluation system being piloted in their district.
Jessicca Shaffer, a fifth-grade teacher in this suburban community northeast of Boulder, joined the group assembled around “Eight Days a Week.” (Other options: “We Can Work It Out” and “Help!”)
“If we truly had 52 weeks of school a year, we still would not have enough time to do everything we have to do,” Ms. Shaffer said, sounding a common note of exasperation. “I am supersaturated.”
An elementary school literacy coach wondered whether the evaluations would produce anything other than extra paperwork. “Are they going to be giving us true feedback?” she asked. “Or are they just going to be filling out a form?”
The teachers and administrators, who gathered last month in the boardroom of the St. Vrain Valley School District for a daylong training session on evaluating teachers through classroom observations, echoed anxieties that are rippling through faculty lounges across the nation.
http://goo.gl/TikXJ

How tougher classes in high school can help kids make it through college
Some 40 percent of students are failing to graduate from college in six years. A study calls for higher-quality college prep, with more advanced math, advanced placement classes, and better advising.
Christian Science Monitor

About 4 out of 10 students at four-year colleges fail to earn a degree within six years – and timely completion rates at two-year schools are even lower.
But what if high schools had a better recipe for preparing their students to stay in college? The National School Boards Association released a study Thursday afternoon highlighting some key ingredients: more advanced math courses, challenging courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB), and better academic advising.
If students are exposed to those factors – even if they don’t earn high scores on the course exams – they are more likely to continue college after their first year, a point at which many drop out, the study notes.
http://goo.gl/lnHq9

A copy of the study
http://goo.gl/uhuou

Arne Duncan: Need To Address The Opportunity Gap
NPR Tell Me More

Tell Me More is broadcasting from Miami, Florida for a special Twitter Education Forum. To kick off the program, host Michel Martin speaks with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about some of the initiatives he supports and whether he thinks America’s schools are broken
http://goo.gl/h7uQ9

Margaret Spellings: Too Many Still ‘Left Behind’
NPR Tell Me More

For a different point of view on education reform, host Michel Martin speaks with former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. She served under President George W. Bush, and is critical of some of the Obama administration’s education policies.
http://goo.gl/sLBOH

What Al Roth Did To Win The Nobel Prize In Economics
A Harvard professor uses economics to save lives, assign doctors and get kids into the right high school.
Forbes

Alvin Roth sees plenty of ways economics can make a difference in people’s lives. In contrast with the authors of bestselling books like Freakonomics, who are fascinated by obscure but intriguing questions like how to detect cheating by sumo wrestlers, Roth relishes real-world challenges. “Some say economics has all kinds of good tools and techniques, but it has an absence of interesting problems,” notes Roth, 58, who holds a joint appointment in the Harvard economics department and the business school. “I look around the world, and I see all kinds of interesting, important problems we ought to solve with the tools we have.”
In particular Roth uses the mathematical tools of game theory to find fixes for big, broken systems. Over the last 20 years he has pioneered a branch of economics known as market design. Among Roth’s accomplishments: designing networks for kidney donations and creating elegant systems that enable huge urban school districts to optimally place multitudes of students among hundreds of schools.
http://goo.gl/9x5Jg

Bandwidth Demands Rise as Schools Move to Common Core
School technology needs grow faster in preparation for common-core
Education Week

From the outside, experts, advocates, and government agencies appear to be placing more than enough attention on schools’ growing demand for better Internet connectivity.
As one example, promoting and facilitating projects to bring more broadband Web access to schools and libraries has been a major focus of the Federal Communications Commission during the more than three years Julius Genachowski has served as FCC chairman.
Meanwhile, the Washington-based Software and Information Industry Association, or SIIA, in a survey released this past summer, reports that educators are continuing to express a high desire for more robust on-campus Internet connections. And the Glen Burnie, Md.-based State Educational Technology Directors Association, or SETDA, in recommendations it issued last spring for school connectivity speeds, signaled that schools’ demand for connectivity was something that would increase exponentially rather than linearly.
But with the Common Core State Standards initiative pushing schools in 46 states and the District of Columbia to administer “next generation” assessments almost exclusively online—with an accompanying commitment to more digital resources—it’s possible schools’ demand for bandwidth could exceed even those projections.
Further, ensuring access to enough bandwidth—the common term for the measure of the rate of data consumption that is possible over a given network—isn’t always as simple as increasing funding or raising priorities. And it’s even more difficult when districts use shortsighted methods to calculate just how much bandwidth they need.
http://goo.gl/FJfTA

Anti-Bullying Campaign Called Gay Indoctrination By Conservative Group
ABC Good Morning America

A national campaign encouraging kids to befriend other kids who are different from them has come under fire from a conservative family group, which claims a pro-gay agenda is being foisted upon American children.
The American Family Association has taken issue with the annual “Mix It Up” Day organized by Teaching Tolerance, the anti-bullying project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Maureen Costello, director of Teaching Tolerance, said the group started the national campaign 11 years ago, organizing it so that schools can participate on their own terms by encouraging students to sit with those they don’t normally hang out with during lunch.
“Hey, the cafeteria is in fact where kids tend to self-segregate,” she said. “We’re trying to get them past the idea that you have to distrust people in another group. So we started Mix It Up Day. For one day, kids will be assigned to randomly sit with other people who they wouldn’t normally sit with.”
Costello said that thousands of schools and millions of children have participated in the program over the past 11 years, and another 2,500 schools have signed up to participate this year.
http://goo.gl/pKj5m

Butte schools will pay $70K to valedictorian denied free speech rights
(Missoula, MT) Missoulian

BUTTE – The Butte School District will pay $70,000 to a former Butte High valedictorian whose free speech rights were violated in 2008.
To settle a lawsuit brought against the district and won in the state Supreme Court by former student Renee Griffith, the board was informed during its monthly meeting Monday night that the district’s insurer would pay that amount for Griffith’s attorney fees.
“This is the last part of the Griffith v. School District case,” said Superintendent Judy Jonart at the meeting.
Griffith was a Butte High valedictorian who was banned from speaking at her high school graduation when she refused to take references to her religion out of her speech. Prior to making it to the Supreme Court, a Billings district court judge ruled in the district’s favor.
http://goo.gl/1qVXW

Florida’s plan to measure students by race riles education experts
FoxNews

A new policy by Florida educators to set student goals in math and reading based on their race is an “ill-advised” plan that is destined to fail, education analysts told FoxNews.com.
By 2018, Florida’s Department of Education wants 90 percent of its Asian students to be reading at or above grade level, compared to 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanic pupils and 74 percent of African-American children. In math, state educational officials want that figure to be 92 percent for Asian students, or 18 percent higher than that of African-American students and 11 percent higher than their American Indian counterparts.
“Separate but equal is not,” said Kris Amundson of Education Sector, an independent education think tank based in Washington. “I understand that this is recognition that students are beginning at different places — and that’s honest — but I think it is, at best, ill-advised to set different learning standards for students based on the color of their skin.”
http://goo.gl/sZdjk

Arts education to get more emphasis under Emanuel school plan
Chicago Sun Times

Chicago Public Schools would elevate the arts to the level of a “core subject” — with 120 minutes of dedicated weekly instruction for elementary students and “at least one certified, full-time employee” at every school, under a mayoral plan unveiled Monday.
For the first time, the number of art forms offered by CPS would be expanded to include visual art, music, dance and drama at all grade levels. High school graduation requirements would be modified to include all four.
One “certified, dedicated art instructor” for every 350 kids would give students a “comprehensive and sequential study of every art form from pre-K through 12th grade,” the plan states. In addition to its own dedicated art instructor, every school would be matched with at “least one arts partner” from the local community.
Ultimately, the city’s goal is to have every school maintain a minimum percentage of its budget for arts education. The funding floor, which has yet to be set, would be based on the school’s overall budget and per-pupil funding formula, officials said.
http://goo.gl/Y6aru

Study gives school behavior program a good grade
Reuters Health

NEW YORK – A program widely used in U.S. elementary schools to promote good behavior really does seem to make a difference, a new study finds.
The program, known as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), is already used in more than 16,000 schools across the U.S. And many state education departments have “technical assistance” centers that help schools implement the plan.
“But just because something is widely used doesn’t mean it’s effective. We have to do the research,” said Catherine P. Bradshaw, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, who led the new study.
http://goo.gl/rY5Az

Marshmallow-ology: Why Wait, When the Better Treat Might Never Arrive?
Impulse control may be a key predictor of later success, but for some kids delaying gratification makes little sense
Time

It’s the rare psychological experiment that is both informative and invariably hilarious to observe, but the “marshmallow test” — the one in which young children are asked to resist the sweet treat in front of them for the promise of a bigger, better treat later — fits the bill. Kids squirm, wriggle, sing aloud and cover their eyes to distract themselves from the temptation; they’ll even allow themselves to sniff or slyly stroke the yummy dessert, but not pick it up: their cuteness is often irresistible.
This apparently trivial challenge has serious implications, however. Children who are able to restrain themselves the longest in the marshmallow test are generally those who end up more successful later on in life: they grow up to achieve higher SAT scores (a 210 point difference), earn higher incomes, and have a lower chance of obesity, a lower risk of drug misuse and better health overall.
So, what determines which children will fall among the lucky 25% who can successfully resist the marshmallow? Is it an inherited genetic advantage that produces greater impulse control? Is delaying gratification a learned behavior? Or could children be making conscious choices about this specific task based on similar prior experiences — involving adults who promise better rewards later — of whether waiting really pays off?
Researchers led by Celeste Kidd at the University of Rochester devised a clever way to find out.
http://goo.gl/Ov0C0

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos inspire fanatic loyalty among kids
Chicago Tribune

On a recent sunny fall afternoon, students from Lake View High School streamed out of a nearby convenience store munching after-school snacks.
Some bought cookies and snack cakes. Others got soft drinks and candy. But the majority walked out of Touchdown Food Mart with crinkly orange bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos — sometimes with warm cheese sauce poured on top of the fiery red curls.
“Once you start eating them, they are kind of addicting, and you can’t help it,” said sophomore Zian Garcia. “Personally I have been eating them for years, and I cannot stop. I just have this urge to eat them.”
In the 20 years since Frito-Lay launched Flamin’ Hot Cheetos as a snack aimed at urban convenience stores, the product has inspired dozens of spicy competitors, multiple Facebook fan pages, a viral rap video and legions of loyal young fans.
But for many school administrators and public health advocates, the wild popularity of Flamin’ Hots inspires concern. To many, they’ve become shorthand for everything that is wrong with the diets of American children, whose obesity rates have tripled since 1980.
http://goo.gl/HgPVH

France’s Hollande promises pupils ‘no more homework’
France 24

French President François Hollande pledged to ditch homework on Tuesday as part of wide-ranging reforms aimed at improving standards for over-worked French pupils, especially those in disadvantaged areas. French President François Hollande potentially won the hearts of millions of future voters on Tuesday when he announced plans to abolish homework and reduce the number of pupils forced to repeat school years.
The comprehensive reforms will also increase the number of teachers across the country, boost aid to disadvantaged areas and target absenteeism. The school week would return to four and a half days rather than four – a change introduced under the former administration as a cost-cutting measure.
“Education is priority,” Hollande said at Paris’s Sorbonne University on Wednesday. “An education programme is, by definition, a societal programme. Work should be done at school, rather than at home,” in order to foster educational equality for those students who do not have support at home., he added.
He also promised incentives for teachers willing to work in “difficult areas”. Children will also be able to attend school at an earlier age in highlighted zones.
http://goo.gl/s74QT

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CALENDAR
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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

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