Education News Roundup: Oct. 17, 2012

"Reading Again" by Holtsman/CC/flickr

“Reading Again” by Holtsman/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

State revenue picture looking good.
http://goo.gl/Yf3ZP (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/WRtW3 (UP)
and http://goo.gl/ZJ5DB (OSE)
and http://goo.gl/oPYIA (PDH)
and http://goo.gl/bZSDX (CVD)

Dunno about the rest of you, but ENR had a hard enough time remembering the differences between gamete cells and zygotes the first time he took human reproduction.
http://goo.gl/PQ68G (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/htHnc (KSL)

Logan Herald looks at the Tami Pyfer-Alan Shakespear State Board of Education race.
http://goo.gl/JK3yx (LHJ)

Trib looks at UEA.
http://goo.gl/fDS7b (SLT)

Ed Week blogger looks at Open High School of Utah.
http://goo.gl/m5iXA (Ed Week)

Should there be a Consumer Reports for ed tech stuff?
http://goo.gl/PYpHS (Ed Week)
or a copy of the paper
http://goo.gl/vg62f

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

State revenues expected to grow by as much as $100M Utah’s financial picture looking up across the board, analysts say.

Lawmaker to propose sex education for parents Sex ed » Legislator wants state to help parents teach children.

Two Utah Board of Education candidates view funding as major issue in state

Teacher training, political discussions and … the Jazz Bear?
Education Association » Leaders hope new tactics will draw parents, non-teachers to annual conference.

Enrollment numbers up slightly
Elementary schools hit harder with enrollment than secondary schools

Granite District students to share blogging talents

School lunches getting healthier under new USDA guidelines

Westlake High band to honor director’s son with original work

Snow Springs students learn to prevent bullying

Fitch Rates Murray City School District’s (UT) $42.2MM GO Bonds ‘AAA’; Outlook Stable

East’s wins are safe; coach suspended
Prep football » East’s coach will miss the next two games.

Coach: Soccer player to apologize for kneeing opponent

Teen Voice: New officials at Logan High say they are open to new ideas

Study: Some teens, tweens reading less

Bands battle weather, each other at Davis Invitational

Donation program for Davis schools fills minds and cars

New school boundary meetings

Provo School District special education to hold classes for parents

The flipped classroom: turning learning on its head

Boredom at school: Is stress the cause?

Small sleep gain yields huge benefit for behavior, learning in kids

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Lesson Not Learned

Getting Schooled this Election

Maybe YOUR child can lag behind: another bite at NCLB waivers

Education reform in France: No Student Gets Ahead

School sports damage

Open Ed. Resources Encourage Teachers to Tinker

A Right to Choose Single-Sex Education
For some children, learning in girls-only or boys-only classes pays off. Opponents of the idea are irresponsible.

Dual Enrollment Linked With Significant College Advantage

At Debate, Obama, Romney Link Education to Economy

Why Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts education plan backfired

Effects of Inequality and Poverty vs. Teachers and Schooling on America’s Youth

NATION

New Tools Seek to Evaluate Ed-Tech Products ‘Consumer Reports’ for K-12 proposed

Amazon looks to get Kindle to schools, workers

Kansas State Board of Education to change how students test scores are reported

Ed laws face ‘stiff uphill battle’ in election

Gates drops in to keep tabs on Colorado education investment

Ex-U.S education official knocks school closings as ‘destabilizing’

1.45M Education Blogs Pulled Offline After DMCA Takedown Notice

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UTAH NEWS
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State revenues expected to grow by as much as $100M Utah’s financial picture looking up across the board, analysts say.

The Utah Legislature’s budget forecasters are projecting state tax revenues will grow by $100 million in the coming year as the state continues to climb out of a deep recession.
Analysts projected solid job growth and an increase in wages and retail sales in the coming year. Andrea Wilko, chief economist with the Utah Legislative Fiscal Analyst’s Office, told lawmakers that the Beehive State should recover all of the jobs lost during the recession by the middle of 2013.
“Our state indicators are coming in quite strong,” Wilko said, although she cautioned against basing assumptions off the first few months of the fiscal year.
Still, Wilko told lawmakers that analysts were projecting that corporate and income taxes are expected to bring in an estimated $70 million more than was anticipated in May. Under Utah’s Constitution, those funds are earmarked for public and higher education.
http://goo.gl/Yf3ZP (SLT)

http://goo.gl/WRtW3 (UP)

http://goo.gl/ZJ5DB (OSE)

http://goo.gl/oPYIA (PDH)

http://goo.gl/bZSDX (CVD)

Lawmaker to propose sex education for parents Sex ed » Legislator wants state to help parents teach children.

In no uncertain terms, the majority of Utahns and the governor rejected a bill to scale back sex education in schools earlier this year.
But lawmakers aren’t done with sex education just yet. A proposal to increase sex education for parents will get its first public hearing Wednesday.
The Education Interim Committee on Wednesday is scheduled to discuss a bill that would require the state school board to develop a sex education training program for parents. The idea is that parents could then use the information they learned, along with an online program, to teach their kids about the birds and the bees in the privacy of their own homes.
The bill wouldn’t change sex education offerings in schools, and it would be free and voluntary for parents. But the bill would address an argument often cited by opponents of HB363 earlier this year — that schools should teach sex education because not all parents have the desire or knowledge to teach it themselves.
http://goo.gl/PQ68G (SLT)

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

Two Utah Board of Education candidates view funding as major issue in state

Voters from around Cache Valley will be among those deciding this November if they want to keep incumbent Tami Pyfer as their representative on the Utah Board of Education or elect Alan Shakespear to replace her.
http://goo.gl/JK3yx (LHJ)

Teacher training, political discussions and … the Jazz Bear?
Education Association » Leaders hope new tactics will draw parents, non-teachers to annual conference.

Many parts of the Utah Education Association’s upcoming annual convention will be no surprise: teacher trainings, opportunities to meet political candidates and awards.
Other parts, however — such as hands-on learning activities for kids, workshops for parents and teachers, and a visit from the Jazz Bear — might not seem so familiar.
In what represents a new approach for the convention, UEA leaders are aiming to attract not just teachers this year, but also kids, parents and community members. Mike Kelley, UEA spokesman, said the union hopes to entice more people to walk through the doors of the two-day convention, which starts Thursday.
http://goo.gl/fDS7b (SLT)

Enrollment numbers up slightly
Elementary schools hit harder with enrollment than secondary schools

Despite estimated enrollment numbers falling below original projections, class sizes in the Park City School District are still growing due to budget cuts. The district projected for 4,450 students total in all schools this year, but actual enrollment numbers as of Oct. 1 came in at 4,419 students. That’s a district-wide growth in enrollment of 0.4 percent from last year, a slower growth rate than the past few years which experienced approximately 2 percent growth year to year.
While class sizes may be less impacted in secondary schools Ecker Hill Middle School, Treasure Mountain Junior High School and Park City High School numbers are up dramatically in Park City’s elementary schools.
According to district data, elementary schools saw a 4.2 percent increase in student enrollment, compared to a 2.3 percent drop in enrollment in secondary schools.
http://goo.gl/jJnO6 (PR)

Granite District students to share blogging talents

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Granite School District is recruiting seniors from every high school in the district to provide their perspectives about issues and events.
The district will select students to generate original content for the Senior Experience Blogging Corps. The bloggers will work within their school’s community to document the events, individuals and stories pertinent to the 2012-13 school year.
Along with journalistic pieces, the bloggers will share their own insights and observations as they progress through their last year of high school. The students’ work can be viewed at seniorbloggingcorps.org.
http://goo.gl/30LGk (DN)

School lunches getting healthier under new USDA guidelines

Remember those delicious peanut butter bars at school lunch? They are gone forever and so are the fresh baked cinnamon rolls and the puffed rice squares. With new, stricter food guidelines, food allergies and more children to feed, school lunch has had to change with the times.
“The latest change to our federal guidelines from the USDA is the mandatory half cup of vegetables or fruit on each tray,” said Lori Catmull, food service coordinator for Nebo School District, which is celebrating National School Lunch Week this week along with schools around the country. “Our meal patterns have five components to meet the guidelines. Grains, meat or meat substitute, fruits, vegetables and milk are served at every lunch.”
Although it costs more, Nebo School District includes fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible to help entice children to eat healthier.
http://goo.gl/0ydNb (PDH)

Westlake High band to honor director’s son with original work

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Westlake High School band will honor its director’s deceased son with an original composition.
The band has commissioned the work by renowned composer Samuel Hazo to honor the memory of Garrett Mangelson, son of Westlake band director Brek Mangelson, who died last summer in an accident in his home. The work will premiere in December at the band’s holiday concert.
http://goo.gl/BXrwx (DN)

Snow Springs students learn to prevent bullying

LEHI — Teaching kids positive solutions to problems and conflicts is the main focus of a new anti-bullying program at Snow Springs Elementary.
Assistant principal Megan Menlove said the Tough Kid Bully Blockers program includes a series of skill lessons focusing on prevention. Topics include recognizing types of bullying, teasing blockers, rumor blockers, giving put-ups and not put-downs, cooperating with others and stop and cool down problem solving.
Teachers will spend 15 minutes each week teaching the anti-bullying curriculum.
http://goo.gl/oQ4I9 (PDH)

Fitch Rates Murray City School District’s (UT) $42.2MM GO Bonds ‘AAA’; Outlook Stable Business Wire via MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO — Fitch Ratings has assigned an ‘AAA’ rating to the following Murray City School District (the district), Utah general obligation (GO) bonds:
–$33 million GO bonds, series 2012A;
–$9.4 million GO refunding bonds, series 2012B.
In addition, Fitch affirms the following ‘AAA’ rating:
–$5.5 million GO bonds, series 2002.
The Rating Outlook is Stable.
http://goo.gl/jOO5M

East’s wins are safe; coach suspended
Prep football » East’s coach will miss the next two games.

Woods Cross • East football coach Brandon Matich won’t be on the sidelines this Wednesday against Logan or for the first playoff game against Westlake.
The No. 1-ranked Leopards have one consolation: At least there are playoffs in their future.
The program got to keep its undefeated season after reporting three ineligible players to the Region 6 principals Tuesday, but it got a number of other sanctions for the violations. The most visible punishment will be Matich’s absence from the next two games, but the penalties also include a $1,500 fine and a one-year probation for the school that will force it to forfeit any future games played with an ineligible athlete, no matter the circumstances.
The sanctions, by a 5-1 vote with Bountiful the lone vote against, will go hand in hand with a new process for determining eligibility, which will involve principal Paul Sagers and Matich.
The Utah High School Activities Association will conduct a training seminar to teach all coaches at East its policies.
http://goo.gl/otaAk (SLT)

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

http://goo.gl/cQaU1 (KSL)

Coach: Soccer player to apologize for kneeing opponent

The ramifications of an incident that happened two weeks ago at a girls high school soccer game are still being felt.
A YouTube.com video captured the moment when an East High soccer player kneed a Woods Cross player in the face.
East High’s principal reviewed the video and talked with the player and says the player admitted to her actions, adding that she got carried away during the heated game.
The teen also said she was out of line and will apologize to the Wood’s Cross player.
http://goo.gl/TqpBJ (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/prcL8 (Yahoo Sports)

Teen Voice: New officials at Logan High say they are open to new ideas

Logan High School has a new administration this year with Shane Ogden as the principal and James Peacock and Jill Lowe as assistants.
http://goo.gl/ZFU2Q (LHJ)

Study: Some teens, tweens reading less

SALT LAKE CITY — As some kids get older, they tend to stop reading much outside of school. It may be due to embarrassment, or other reasons.
One British survey found a year-on-year drop in the number of 8- to 16-year-olds choosing to pick up a book outside of school. Just three in 10 now read every day compared with four in 10 seven years ago.
Crescent View Middle School library and media specialist James Wilson says kids get busy.
http://goo.gl/KWbqr (KSL)

Bands battle weather, each other at Davis Invitational

KAYSVILLE — Within minutes of stepping onto the football field, Provo High School mellophone player Cade Brimhall felt his hat torn from his head by a stiff wind.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Brimhall said afterward. “If I had picked up my hat when it fell off, we would have been docked points.”
Provo High was one of 33 schools from Utah and Idaho competing Tuesday at the 2012 Davis Cup Invitational Marching Band Competition, and Brimhall was one of countless student musicians trying to ignore the increasingly bothersome elements.
http://goo.gl/jwRWf (DN)

Donation program for Davis schools fills minds and cars

LAYTON — Teachers in Davis County are hoping drivers choose Chevron or Texaco when their vehicles need fuel this month.
Chevron kicked off its Fuel Your School campaign Tuesday morning by delivering scientific calculators to every student in Kathy Johnson’s sixth-grade classroom at Crestview Elementary.
The company plans to donate up to $500,000 in classroom supplies directly to teachers — $1 for every eight gallons or more fuel purchased during October.
Johnson requested the calculators through the online charity DonorsChoose.org, and Chevron used the Fuel Your School funds to fulfill her wish.
http://goo.gl/t3y1U (OSE)

New school boundary meetings

Public input meetings to discuss the boundaries for the new middle school in Eagle Mountain were held Oct. 16 and continue tonight at Eagle Valley Elementary School and Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hidden Hollow Elementary School.
http://goo.gl/M7ir2 (PDH)

Provo School District special education to hold classes for parents

PROVO — The Provo School District special education team will hold a night of classes to educate parents on what is available for the needs of children with disabilities.
The free event will be held Oct. 24 at Provo Peaks Elementary School, 665 E. Center. Registration is from 4:45–5:30 p.m., and classes are between 5 and 7:45 p.m. Dinner for children and adults will be served between 5:30 and 7 p.m.
http://goo.gl/IsXbK (DN)

The flipped classroom: turning learning on its head

Classroom flipping is an education strategy that is catching on at schools around the country. The traditional learning model — in which a teacher lectures during class time, and students do assignments at home — is reversed in a flipped classroom.
Students in a flipped classroom watch videotaped lectures at home and work through assignments at school. There, the teacher is present to keep students on task, answer questions, and create interactive learning activities between pairs or groups of students.
http://goo.gl/2rPpy (DN)

Boredom at school: Is stress the cause?

SALT LAKE CITY — Conventional wisdom tells us kids feel bored at school because they are under-challenged, under-motivated or poorly taught. A 2012 report from the Association for Psychological Science Association says the classic signals of boredom might be telling a different story, according to an Education Week blog by Sarah D. Sparks.
http://goo.gl/SYK7T (DN)

Small sleep gain yields huge benefit for behavior, learning in kids

Parents of children with behavior problems in school may want to investigate a free and study-proven tool to improve behavior and alertness. Research published this week in the journal Pediatrics found that getting as little as a half hour more sleep makes a big difference.
http://goo.gl/dCom2 (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Lesson Not Learned
Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Katharine Biele

Here comes the education establishment again pretending it’s fixing a problem without addressing the elephant in the room. Some key legislators were just thrilled at the opening of Innovations High School in Salt Lake City because, wow, kids could just get online here and work to their hearts’ content and only have to spend four hours a day on campus. The problem is that Innovations just popped up. It’s not a charter school and somehow managed to avoid all hoops that other district programs had to negotiate. Maybe it’s about money. There were concerns that for-profit online companies were siphoning bucks from the district. But while the idea of more and better online learning has merit, the district’s other high schools aren’t being brought along, and remain in the virtual dark ages.
http://goo.gl/qAvz9

Getting Schooled this Election
Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Eric Peterson

A University of Utah forum will host Lily Eskelsen Vice President of the national teachers’ union the National Education Association to discuss how the fate of public education may change after this election.
Elections decide winners and losers out of candidates all over the country vying to represent their communities. But it’s not just politicians who win or lose, this election could prove a crucial contest also for our country’s public education system. Will teachers’ union be punished by conservative politicians or a Mitt Romney presidency?
Are there reforms that can be made to improve educators’ performance? Is there more than can be done to hold bad teachers accountable or is it matter of funding and planning? You can lob these questions and more at NEA boss Eskelsen at this free public forum being held Thursday by the U’s Hinckley Institute of Politics.
http://goo.gl/xArUO

Maybe YOUR child can lag behind: another bite at NCLB waivers Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

In an earlier post I talked about the political firestorm that erupted when newspapers broke the story that the Obama administration had approved a No Child Left Behind waiver for Virginia set that set different, and lower, standards for minority kids.
Virginia state officials quickly backtracked. But it turns out that they had lots of company.
http://goo.gl/1mtDG

Education reform in France: No Student Gets Ahead Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

First, let me acknowledge that I stole this title from Elizabeth Price Foley. It was her post on Instapundit that alerted me to an article from the European edition of the Wall Street Journal highlighting the Socialist government’s latest education reform proposal.
http://goo.gl/pj0ba

School sports damage
Deseret News letter from Natalie Tobler

High school sports are typically viewed as a positive activity for high school kids to release stress while they do something they love. But high school sports are poisoning the minds of young men and young women everywhere.
High school sports creates heightened levels of aggression in its players. This means mothers are less caring and nurturing and fathers are more detached and violent. After high school athlete’s glory days are over, they become a waste, wishing they were in the past, not focusing — or even really trying — on their future, or even present.
High school sports are damaging good families and society.
http://goo.gl/7QNbV

Open Ed. Resources Encourage Teachers to Tinker Education Week commentary by columnist Katie Ash

Educators often argue that they need more control over the development of the curriculum they are teaching. Open education resources may be the answer, said several educators during presentations at the Open Education Conference here in Vancouver on Tuesday.
“The nature of using [open educational resources] allows teachers to do what they do best—to tinker, to teach, to change, to evolve—all in response to students,” said Sarah Weston, the technology and curriculum director at the Open High School of Utah.
Teachers at the Open High School create their own courses and curricula entirely from free and open resources. While it can be challenging to pull together so many disparate resources to form a comprehensive course, it also has its benefits, said Weston. “It encourages constant revision,” she said.
http://goo.gl/m5iXA

A Right to Choose Single-Sex Education
For some children, learning in girls-only or boys-only classes pays off. Opponents of the idea are irresponsible.
Wall Street Journal op-ed by KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON And BARBARA MIKULSKI (Ms. Hutchison, a Republican, is the senior senator from Texas. Ms. Mikulski, a Democrat, is the senior senator from Maryland.)

Education proponents across the political spectrum were dismayed by recent attempts to eradicate the single-gender options in public schools in Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Maine and Florida. We were particularly troubled at efforts to thwart education choice for American students and their families because it is a cause we have worked hard to advance.
Studies have shown that some students learn better in a single-gender environment, particularly in math and science. But federal regulations used to prevent public schools from offering that option. So in 2001 we joined with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Susan Collins to author legislation that allowed public schools to offer single-sex education. It was an epic bipartisan battle against entrenched bureaucracy, but well worth the fight.
Since our amendment passed, thousands of American children have benefited. Now, though, some civil libertarians are claiming that single-sex public-school programs are discriminatory and thus illegal.
http://goo.gl/ooVk6

Dual Enrollment Linked With Significant College Advantage Education Week commentary by columnist Caralee Adams

New research shows students who get a taste of college while still in high school are much more likely to continue their education and complete a degree.
Jobs for the Future, the education research nonprofit based in Boston, conducted an extensive study following 32,908 Texas high school students who graduated in 2004 for six year. Half participated in dual enrollment programs and half did not. The two groups had similar academic and social backgrounds.
http://goo.gl/UkKD0

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

At Debate, Obama, Romney Link Education to Economy Education Week commentary by columnist Michele McNeil

During their second duel of this campaign, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday night framed the issue of education as an economic one.
The first question at the town-hall style debate at Hofstra University, in Hempstead N.Y., came from a college student who asked what the candidates were going to do to make sure a good-paying job awaited him upon graduation.
http://goo.gl/bDsBo

Why Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts education plan backfired Hechinger Report commentary by columnist Sarah Butrymowicz

Ask Mitt Romney to name his signature education initiative as governor of Massachusetts and he’ll likely answer that it was the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program. The scholarship, established in 2004, covers tuition at in-state public colleges and universities for students who score in the top 25 percent of their district on the state’s 10th-grade math and English standardized tests.
“I got more hugs on Adams Scholarship day than I did at Christmas,” Romney said in a May speech about education. “And parents—more than once—told me that they had been worried they would not be able to afford college and that the scholarship would make a difference. Here in America, every child deserves a chance. It shouldn’t be reserved for the fortunate few.”
The cost of college is one of the major barriers for many poor students, so it seems logical that paying for their tuition would help more of them graduate from college. But research into the Adams Scholarship and the 12 others like it across the country suggests that these programs do little to improve college access because they typically go to students who already plan to attend college. If anything, these researchers say, the scholarships can widen existing income and racial gaps in college attendance.
A study released this summer by Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government found that Massachusetts students were likely to use the scholarship to attend a state school with fewer resources than private schools they might have gone to otherwise. The result? Students who use the scholarship actually take longer to graduate—and they are less likely to graduate at all.
“This is a very unusual example of a situation in which we make money available to students, and they actually end up worse off,” said report co-author Joshua Goodman, an assistant professor of public policy at the Kennedy School.
http://goo.gl/9g7y6

Effects of Inequality and Poverty vs. Teachers and Schooling on America’s Youth Teachers College Record analysis by David C. Berliner, Regents’ Professor Emeritus in The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College of Arizona State University

Background/Context: This paper arises out of frustration with the results of school reforms carried out over the past few decades. These efforts have failed. They need to be abandoned. In their place must come recognition that income inequality causes many social problems, including problems associated with education. Sadly, compared to all other wealthy nations, the USA has the largest income gap between its wealthy and its poor citizens. Correlates associated with the size of the income gap in various nations are well described in Wilkinson & Pickett (2010), whose work is cited throughout this article. They make it clear that the bigger the income gap in a nation or a state, the greater the social problems a nation or a state will encounter. Thus it is argued that the design of better economic and social policies can do more to improve our schools than continued work on educational policy independent of such concerns.
Purpose/Objective/Research Question: The research question asked is why so many school reform efforts have produced so little improvement in American schools. The answer offered is that the sources of school failure have been thought to reside inside the schools, resulting in attempts to improve America’s teachers, curriculum, testing programs and administration. It is argued in this paper, however, that the sources of America’s educational problems are outside school, primarily a result of income inequality. Thus it is suggested that targeted economic and social policies have more potential to improve the nations schools than almost anything currently being proposed by either political party at federal, state or local levels.
Research Design: This is an analytic essay on the reasons for the failure of almost all contemporary school reform efforts. It is primarily a report about how inequality affects all of our society, and a review of some research and social policies that might improve our nations’ schools.
Conclusions/Recommendations: It is concluded that the best way to improve America’s schools is through jobs that provide families living wages. Other programs are noted that offer some help for students from poor families. But in the end, it is inequality in income and the poverty that accompanies such inequality, that matters most for education.
http://goo.gl/dKzyY

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NATIONAL NEWS
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New Tools Seek to Evaluate Ed-Tech Products ‘Consumer Reports’ for K-12 proposed Education Week

Washington – A number of services have cropped up over the years to help schools answer a question that, in an age of information overload, scarce resources, and new technology, is becoming central to how they move forward: What works?
Whether it’s aggregating the most trustworthy studies on education or culling user reviews on products, as Yelp does with restaurants, none of these available services, both privately and publicly financed, has gained national scale. But a new proposal from two economists is perhaps the most ambitious—or, if you ask some of its potential users, flawed—attempt at creating a Consumer Reports for education technology to address the lack of independent evidence available on such products’ efficacy.
The proposal is called Edu Star, a technology tool that would allow schools to conduct rapid, randomized evaluations of education products, collect and analyze the results, and publish the data to the public. By doing so, schools would make better-informed purchasing decisions, and entrepreneurs would have evidence that their products worked, the economists hope.
“Not surprisingly, when no one knows what works, schools are unlikely to buy, and innovators are unlikely to create,” the economists, Aaron Chatterji, a professor at Duke University, and Benjamin Jones, a professor at Northwestern University, write in a discussion paper sponsored by the Hamilton Project, an economic-policy initiative of the Brookings Institution.
http://goo.gl/PYpHS

A copy of the paper
http://goo.gl/vg62f

Amazon looks to get Kindle to schools, workers Associated Press

NEW YORK — Amazon.com Inc. has launched a service to help schools and workplaces manage Kindles used by students and employees – sending out e-books or blocking certain types of activities, for example.
Called Whispercast, the free service lets businesses and schools buy and distribute books and documents to Kindles over a wireless Internet connection. This means teachers can send out books to students in their class, and businesses can send out training materials, schedules and other documents, Amazon said. Schools can also block Kindles from accessing the Web and can prevent students from being able to make purchases on the device.
Amazon said the service lets administrators register students and employees to their organizations’ Kindle devices, assigning them into groups for classes, grade levels or corporate departments. They can then distribute content to these groups or configure the settings on the devices from one location.
http://goo.gl/TRgAi

Kansas State Board of Education to change how students test scores are reported Lawrence (KS) Journal-World

The Kansas State Board of Education agreed Wednesday to change the way statewide data about student test scores are reported, making it harder to track trends over time, especially for minority and low-income students.
But that difficulty is only expected to last another two years, until the state switches to a new set of tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards for reading and math.
In the meantime, the “State Report Card,” which is available on the agency’s website, www.ksde.org, will only reflect the scores from districts that use the standard state assessments for reading and math. Districts that use alternative tests such as the ACT Explore exam for middle and high school students will be reported separately.
http://goo.gl/sOz3z

Ed laws face ‘stiff uphill battle’ in election
(Boise) Idaho Statesman

The fears of supporters of Superintendent Tom Luna’s 2011 school reforms were realized in a new poll conducted for the Idaho Statesman.
Propositions 1 and 2 are close, with Prop 1 trailing by 4 percentage points and Prop 2 ahead by 3 points. Proposition 3 is behind by 7 points.
A relatively high number of undecideds is a bad sign for Luna, said Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker, who said those voters typically break by a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 margin for the “no” vote.
“The fact that all the results are close is misleading,” Coker said. “The truth is that all three face a stiff uphill battle. All things being equal, they are likely to lose by margins much larger than what these numbers show.”
http://goo.gl/HuuDs

Gates drops in to keep tabs on Colorado education investment Denver Post

Bill and Melinda Gates, whose foundation has poured $10 million into a Colorado program testing ways to combine new state standards and teacher evaluations, flew here this week on a semi-secret visit to assess how the work has progressed.
On Monday, they visited Eagle County, one of 13 districts participating in the Integration Project, which seeks to identify best practices for implementing a recently legislated set of education reforms.
Then the billionaire couple returned to Denver to meet with representatives from other districts and Colorado Department of Education before spending time in Denver Public Schools.
http://goo.gl/pF3mJ

Ex-U.S education official knocks school closings as ‘destabilizing’
Chicago Sun-Times

Shuttering public schools to reopen new ones won’t fix Chicago’s schools, but it will destroy communities, education historian and New York University professor Diane Ravitch said Monday during a post-strike visit to Chicago.
And charters are no silver bullet, she told members of the City Club of Chicago at a gathering that included Gov. Pat Quinn, UNO Charter head Juan Rangel, CTU president Karen Lewis and Chicago Public Schools Board Vice President Jesse Ruiz.
“This whole approach that you can fix the schools by closing them sounds a lot like Vietnam: You can save the village by bombing it,” she said. “What’s so destabilizing is the idea you can keep closing schools and opening schools, closing schools and reopening schools.”
http://goo.gl/LS0Us

http://goo.gl/DZaGU (WBEZ)

1.45M Education Blogs Pulled Offline After DMCA Takedown Notice PC Magazine

A DMCA takedown noticed issued by publishing house Pearson resulted in approximately 1.45 million education blogs being taken offline without notice, according to the service that runs them.
James Farmer, founder and CEO of Edublogs, penned a blog post last week that said its hosting company, ServerBeach, “turned off our webservers, without notice, less than 12 hours after issuing us with a DMCA email.”
At issue was an Edublogs teacher who in 2007 shared a copy of Beck’s Hopelessness Scale, a 20-question list intended to measure aspects of hopelessness. Pearson sells access to this list for $120, Farmer said, and objected to it being posted freely online.
Pearson sent a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice, which requires online hosting companies to take down infringing content in order to avoid liability.
http://goo.gl/icDBf

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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

November 13:
Executive Appropriations Interim Committee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://www.le.utah.gov/Interim/2012/html/00002224.htm

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