Education News Roundup: Oct. 23, 2012

"Reading Chair" by Brit/CC/flickr

“Reading Chair” by Brit/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Here are four words you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see so close together: “heated school board race.”
http://goo.gl/RzXKe (SLT)

Snow Canyon High has suffered its share of tragedies lately.
http://goo.gl/hcoKu (SGS)

Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Ogden School District.
http://goo.gl/zpaqb (OSE)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Cooke writes about education.
http://goo.gl/lP6Vf (PDH)

Education debate breaks out at foreign policy debate.
http://goo.gl/wFa8K (The Hill)

Wall Street Journal rounds up education issues on state ballots.
http://goo.gl/35kO7 (WSJ)

Should state superintendents be elected? 13 of them (AZ, CA, GA, ID, IN, MT, NC, ND, OK, SC, WA, WI, WY) are.
http://goo.gl/gILhj (Stateline)

Survey finds more than half of the nation’s teachers have been in the business for less than 10 years.
http://goo.gl/ovcvW (Hechinger Report)
or a copy of the survey
http://goo.gl/75Udt

ENR sends a big shout out to America’s statistically most-likely readers: high school kids and college-age adults.
http://goo.gl/oo98x (Reuters)
or a copy of the survey
http://goo.gl/fktB9

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Concerns in Canyons School District brings heat to upcoming election Education » Improving communications, teacher morale are among topics discussed in race for school board.

Snow Canyon High hit with more tragedy

Suit alleges dying first-grader was ignored by Ogden school officials

UHSAA says East, Timpview decisions stand Prep football » Class 4A schools launch criticism of UHSAA but also can’t agree.

High school football: East, Mountain View will donate proceeds of controversial 4A play-in game to charities

East soccer player to meet with Woods Cross player she kneed in face

School district cancels auction for old River Heights church, city expresses interest in property

High-schoolers learn about finances from Zions Bank employees

Students suggest better ways to grade teachers

Student hit by vehicle outside East High

Fire at American High School under investigation

Saratoga Springs school locked down after threat

Utah Prison Inmates Donate Pumpkins To Local School

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Don’t Settle on Education

Is fining public schools for athletics appropriate?

Prep football problems

Belnap, Story worked for improvement in Ogden schools

Reminder: School board races are non-partisan

Bullying not a step to success

‘How Children Succeed’ — Q&A with Paul Tough

10 great education tweets from debate

Forget Education, The Big Play With The iPad Mini Is Video Advertising

Should schools ban Halloween costumes, celebrations?

Review of The Way of the Future: Education Savings Accounts for Every American Family

NATION

Obama makes unexpected push for improved math and science education during final debate

Obama Finding Teacher Support Secure, If Tepid Policy rifts complicate Obama-teacher dance

Schools Face Test From Voters

Should State Education Chiefs Be Elected?

Survey: Today’s teaching force is less experienced, more open to change

Blended Learning Models Generating Lessons Learned A variety of models for mixing face-to-face education and online instruction are generating lessons learned

Idaho seeks disclosure of reform ads’ backers

North Carolina to outlaw student cyberbullying of teachers

School finance case to focus on demographics shift

Miami-Dade school district wins Broad Prize, top national education award Five-time finalist Miami-Dade school district competed with three other urban districts, including Palm Beach County Public Schools.

Biggest readers in U.S. teens or 30-somethings: survey

How The iPad Mini Could Be A Massive Success For Apple In The Classroom

Twitter “Saturday School” For Teachers

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UTAH NEWS
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Concerns in Canyons School District brings heat to upcoming election Education » Improving communications, teacher morale are among topics discussed in race for school board.

There’s been no shortage of controversy in the Canyons School District since its bitter split with the Jordan School District in 2009.
Some constituents have accused Superintendent David Doty of treating teachers unfairly. The district has tussled with the State Office of Education over testing policies. And others in the community have suggested the district’s administration needs to improve its communication with parents.
So it’s no surprise that the race to choose three new members for the Canyons Board of Education on Nov. 6 has become heated.
http://goo.gl/RzXKe (SLT)

Snow Canyon High hit with more tragedy

SANTA CLARA — News that another classmate had died hit hard this weekend for students at Snow Canyon High School.
Fifteen-year-old Whitney Webb died Saturday at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Webb was unable to recover from injuries sustained when she was buried in sand in an accident at Snow Canyon State Park on Friday.
As students dealt with the news when they returned to school Monday, many were reminded of similar tragedies — 16-year-old Kreg “KJ” Harrison Jr. drowned on June 20 while swimming with friends at the Havasupai Indian Reservation inside the Grand Canyon and last December, 17-year-old Francisco Flores died after sustaining a head injury in a bicycle accident.
http://goo.gl/hcoKu (SGS)

Suit alleges dying first-grader was ignored by Ogden school officials

OGDEN — More details have emerged in the allegations in a wrongful death lawsuit against Ogden School District.
In new filings in 2nd District Court, the suit now alleges Horace Mann Elementary School officials essentially ignored first-grade student Jose Eduardo Flores Bedolla for possibly two hours or more when he complained of illness Oct. 29, 2010.
Officials left a message with a relative to come take him home, it reads, instead of letting a respiratory therapist examine him or giving any thought to summoning an ambulance.
The suit claims when a teacher, who was also a respiratory therapist, noticed the 7-year-old’s poor condition and offered to check his vital signs, she was told “not to touch him,” the suit states.
http://goo.gl/zpaqb (OSE)

UHSAA says East, Timpview decisions stand Prep football » Class 4A schools launch criticism of UHSAA but also can’t agree.

The Utah High School Activities Association took time Monday afternoon to hear the frustration and disappointment from the schools that weren’t happy with Friday’s rulings on East and Timpview football.
But East still is taking the field Tuesday afternoon for a play-in game against Mountain View. And Timpview will still visit Logan on Friday.
After reviewing the complaints about its decision, the five-member UHSAA trustees panel decided it was within its rights to make Timpview forfeit every game it played an ineligible player and make East forfeit all but one. And with the Class 4A playoffs beginning in less than a day, the folks who don’t like it are going to have to live with it.
http://goo.gl/Rk8Za (SLT)

http://goo.gl/QPFoT (DN)

http://goo.gl/42iCC (OSE)

http://goo.gl/ze06D (PDH)

http://goo.gl/DBTuN (KUTV)

http://goo.gl/Nsxj1 (KSL)

http://goo.gl/yCj6F (KSTU)

High school football: East, Mountain View will donate proceeds of controversial 4A play-in game to charities

OREM — East and Mountain View will meet on the football field Tuesday afternoon — the result of nearly two weeks of controversial hearings.
Both find themselves in their respective playoff spots thanks — at least in part — to a ruling by a panel of UHSAA Board of Trustee members last Friday.
Instead of resenting the spotlight that will shine on the first game of the 4A state playoffs, however, the Bruins and Leopards hope to use the attention to benefit others.
As soon as the decision put the teams in a play-in game, Mountain View principal Blaine Edman called East principal Paul Sagers to see if he wanted to play for something on top of being able to play in the next round.
The Bruins had decided to donate their half of the proceeds from the game to a scholarship fund set up in memory of two former Mountain View graduates, Nigel Olsen and Carlos Aragon, who were killed in Afghanistan in 2010 while serving in the Marine Corps.
http://goo.gl/tKHPg (DN)

http://goo.gl/Vlw2n (KSL)

East soccer player to meet with Woods Cross player she kneed in face

It’s made headlines in Yahoo! and Huffington Post, among others. A knee to the face during a dead ball that caused thousands of YouTube viewers to gasp.
And now, East soccer player Pati Manu is looking to redeem herself for a five-second clip that’s been making the rounds on the pathways of the Internet.
East’s season is over, and Manu is a senior who doesn’t participate in any community sports, so Region 6 can’t truly sanction her. But officials at East have already had her apologize publicly on television and to her team.
Next week, Manu will meet with Makenzie Clark, the Woods Cross player that she kneed in the face. Afterward, the East and Woods Cross teams will meet and discuss sportsmanship, East principal Paul Sagers said.
http://goo.gl/kMsmU (SLT)

School district cancels auction for old River Heights church, city expresses interest in property

In an unexpected turn of events, a public auction for the old River Heights LDS church building was canceled by the Cache County School District on Monday.
http://goo.gl/cIpWr (LHJ)

High-schoolers learn about finances from Zions Bank employees

HYRUM — Teaching financial literacy to high schoolers has become more and more important in the recent years of economic turmoil. So much so that many high schools are now requiring a personal finance class to graduate.
http://goo.gl/QQ40H (LHJ)

Students suggest better ways to grade teachers

SALT LAKE CITY — Nikhil Goyal says the learning stopped in third grade when his class began to prepare for state mandated math and English tests. Worksheets replaced science projects and “all the fun and joy in it just evaporated.” Goyal, now 17, says it was his own love of learning that drove him to write and publish his first book “One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School.”
Goyal aims to revolutionize education in the U.S., a goal that includes developing holistic systems of evaluation for students as well as teachers. He says the current system overemphasizes student test score gains and fails to help teachers and students grow. For example, he says that instead of improving their own work and that of their students, some of his teachers instruct kids to strive for low scores each September, to create the appearance of academic growth when they take the test again in June.
http://goo.gl/sK4fi (DN)

Student hit by vehicle outside East High

SALT LAKE CITY — A student was hit by an SUV outside East High School in Salt Lake City this morning.
It happened at 800 South and Douglas Street.
Police say the student was crossing the street, about 20 yards away from a crosswalk, when he was hit. He was in pain but was talking when emergency crews transported him to a hospital. His injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
http://goo.gl/I8yZd (KSL)

http://goo.gl/1kSvi (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/dGGd3 (SLT)

http://goo.gl/Syo8f (DN)

Fire at American High School under investigation

AMERICAN FORK – A fire at American Fork High School Sunday afternoon has been ruled suspicious.
American Fork Fire Battalion Chief Doug Bateman says that there were reports of two boys in the area of the fire. Fire officials haven’t determined an exact cause and haven’t tracked down any potential suspects.
The fire burned some pole vaulting mats and their protective cover at the north end of the track but didn’t impact any buildings. Initial estimates put damage between $15,000 and $20,000.
http://goo.gl/onIa7 (PDH)

Saratoga Springs school locked down after threat

Sage Hills Elementary spent a little more than an hour in a lockdown late Monday afternoon after police received rumors of a shooter in the area.
According to Alpine School District spokeswoman Rhonda Bromley, police notified the school about a potential situation in the area sometime before 4 p.m. Students had already been dismissed for the day, but faculty members and a student choir then remained in lockdown mode until around 5 p.m. Bromley did not have details about the police investigation, but said she had heard that police did not locate any potential suspects.
http://goo.gl/tEIgo (PDH)

http://goo.gl/eTa1K (KUTV)

Utah Prison Inmates Donate Pumpkins To Local School

Utah prison inmates are giving back to local students with a special Halloween delivery.
Students at the Kauri Su Hamilton School For Disabilities were able to pick out their own pumpkin on Monday.
http://goo.gl/qjHOm (KUTV)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Don’t Settle on Education
(Provo) Daily Herald op-ed by gubernatorial candidate Peter S. Cooke

Outgoing Utah State School Superintendent Larry Shumway said last week that Utah “cannot have the best school system in the country and be the lowest in the country in funding. We can’t be first if we are always last.”
Utah has the potential to be a leader in K-12 education, higher education, and economic growth for all Utah families. Right now, it isn’t. It’s time for our state government to lead us to greatness.
For more than a decade, the governor and Republican legislators have said we don’t have the money to fund education. They’ve blamed our dead last ranking in per pupil spending on the recession and the federal ownership of lands. They’re wrong.
http://goo.gl/lP6Vf

Is fining public schools for athletics appropriate?
Deseret News letter from David Shorten

I admit to following, with cynical fascination, the drama of East High’s emotional roller coaster ride as chauffeured by UHSAA. I am still not sure if one or more members of the football team were ineligible.
TV accounts seemed to indicate the problem was “paper work” and not actual academic or residency issues, while the Deseret News article was emphatic that ineligibility was the issue.
I do have one serious issue that I wish to raise: If East and Timpview High Schools are public schools funded with public monies, where does UHSAA get off taking money appropriated and budgeted for the education of students as a fine? What programs will now be short changed $6,000 (East), and $1,500 (Timpview)?
http://goo.gl/Ot3O9

Prep football problems
Deseret News letter from David Henze

I grew up playing football in Salt Lake City. I remember the days when the youth teams were organized by geographical areas that coincided with the high school boundaries. It was fun to play against the same guys all the way through high school.
In reading about the fiasco with East and Timpview, I think we are overlooking the bigger issue. The problem is not that there are suspensions and then revocations of the suspensions. Those are the symptoms of the problem. The problem is kids being recruited and transferring to play on better teams.
As a society, we have become so caught up in sports we forget the reason behind competition.
http://goo.gl/DDQV3

Belnap, Story worked for improvement in Ogden schools
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Melisa Harrison

I would like to commend the Ogden City School District, including teachers, administrators, principals, school board members, Superintendent Smith, and various community leaders for the amazing progress in student test scores, graduation rates, and new programs in the Ogden City School District. A lot has happened over the last year and the results are very impressive.
There are many needs and challenges that face the district in educating our children.
http://goo.gl/rR6MF

Reminder: School board races are non-partisan
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Jonathan LaFontaine

Paul Prier, a candidate for the Davis County School Board, was quick to cry foul when several campaign signs for opposing candidates appeared in a local faculty room of an elementary school, but apparently the term “non-partisan” is lost on him.
In his YouTube video about is candidacy, he has an “R” by his name showing his political party. School board races are non-partisan and no political party should be mentioned in the discussion.
So, it’s time for someone to cry foul to Mr. Prier for politicizing the school board race he is in.
http://goo.gl/AyG7u

Bullying not a step to success
(Provo) Daily Herald letter from Bob Womack

Natalie Tobler’s Thursday letter defending bullying sheds light on a huge part of the problem. Maybe she can explain why countries such as Sweden, Italy and Armenia have virtually eliminated bullying while countries such as Portugal, Latvia and Estonia have the highest incidences of bullying in the world (WHO statistics). Speaking of Portugal, perhaps she can make sense of why Spain, right next door to Portugal, has a very low incidence of bullying. In the early 1960’s my school days were filled with bullying incidents. I have fought bullies on behalf of victims all my life. My best friend and I met in the first grade and are still close. He was a small child and was the target of bullying by two second graders. I was big enough to correct the problem. I have never bullied innocent victims but have been guilty of bullying the bully. The thought that allowing your child to be the victim of bullying might lead to his or her success is absurd.
http://goo.gl/zYlhj

‘How Children Succeed’ — Q&A with Paul Tough Washington Post commentary by columnist Valerie Strauss

Here is a conversation I had by email with Paul Tough about his new book, “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character.” Tough is an author and speaker who worked as an editor for both The New York Times Magazine and Harpers Magazine and as a reporter and producer for the public-radio program “This American Life.” Tough’s also wrote “Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to Change Harlem and America.” Both books were well-received.
http://goo.gl/vUWr3

10 great education tweets from debate
Washington Post commentary by columnist Valerie Strauss

Monday night’s debate between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney was supposed to be exclusively about foreign policy, but education came up anyway (though not, it should be noted, in any illuminating way.) Here are some of the best tweets about the debate and education:
http://goo.gl/xNPU9

Forget Education, The Big Play With The iPad Mini Is Video Advertising Forbes commentary by columnist Anthony Wing Kosner

There will be a lot in today’s Apple product announcement that will highlight how the company is the leader in tablets for the education market. Along with the liklihood of a new version of its iBooks software, the star of the show, the iPad Mini (or Air or just iPad), is definitely aimed (in its lower price points) at schools.
But getting more iOS table devices into the hands of children for educational purposes is only part of the story, and I would argue, the less important part. The bigger strategic move here is to increase Apple’s overall share of the tablet market and establish a larger potential audience for iPad optimized advertising. That Google is rumored to be coming out with a new tablet on Monday, the Nexus 10, outflanking Apple on the high end (in both screen size and pixel density) shows where the battlefield moving.
Today is Apple’s day, so let’s leave Google to the side for now. It is well known that mobile has created a crisis in advertising. Although the industry can see how the correlation of location-based data with social and other data sources can lead to highly targeted and relavent advertising, the reality has been that “traditional” display ads have not been very effective on mobile and the rates are generally 5-10% of what can be charged for the equivalent on the desktop (which itself is a fraction of the price of print ads).
The one bright spot in mobile advertising is rich media—video and/or animation with interactivity—which provide an entertainment experience and seem to be much more appealing to tablet users than banner ads.
http://goo.gl/JRMb2

Should schools ban Halloween costumes, celebrations?
(Portland) Oregonian commentary by columnist Helen Jung

The happiest day in my daughter’s life so far was last Halloween. Dressed like Snow White, she flounced around in her poofy yellow skirt all the way to preschool where she, Belle, Batman and the other kids screamed in pure delight at each other.
There was one girl, I remembered, who wasn’t in costume.
Whether her parents forgot, don’t celebrate Halloween, or didn’t have the money or the time to put a costume together, I don’t know. But she just looked sad and out-of-sorts as she walked around one end of the playroom by herself, while the girls in their princess dresses twirled around and fell laughing to the ground. She is in the background of one of my pictures from that day, her eyes downcast and her hand on the back of her head, walking just a few feet behind my curtseying daughter.
So when Principal Brian Anderson talks about the feeling of exclusion that Halloween dress-up can cause for some kids, I literally have a picture of it.
http://goo.gl/cKAcz

Review of The Way of the Future: Education Savings Accounts for Every American Family National Education Policy Center analysis by Charisse Gulosino (University of Memphis), Jonah Liebert (Teachers College, Columbia University)

The Way of the Future: Education Savings Accounts for Every American Family
Matthew Ladner
The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice
The Friedman Foundation recently published a report promoting Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). Like conventional vouchers, ESAs provide parents with public funds to purchase approved educational services, including private schools, online education, private tutors and higher education. The report presents ESAs as the optimal vehicle to bring Milton Friedman’s school voucher idea into the 21st century. While calling ESAs “the way of the future,” it lacks fundamental information to guide policymakers on their design, implementation, financing, and sustainability. These details ultimately determine the equity, efficiency and cost effectiveness of this proposal. For example, ESAs raise serious equity concerns: affluent parents could, if the policy allows, supplement their vouchers to purchase high quality educational services inaccessible to low-income families. This is indeed allowed in Arizona’s ESA program, the only existing ESA policy in the United States. Open to legal challenge, the report’s plan advocates using ESAs to sidestep prohibitions in state constitutions against supporting religious organizations with public funds. Unaddressed but relevant peer-reviewed evidence on school choice policies suggest that the claimed academic and economic benefits of ESAs are speculative and overstated. The absence of details and evidence in the report suggests it is ideological rhetoric rather than a workable policy proposal.
http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-ESA

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Obama makes unexpected push for improved math and science education during final debate The Hill

President Obama brought up the importance of improving math and science education in the U.S. multiple times during Monday’s final presidential debate, arguing that it would boost job growth and keep America competitive globally.
Obama unexpectedly made education one of his top talking points during Monday’s foreign-policy-focused debate and even mentioned it in his closing remarks. The president attempted to illustrate a link between America’s strength in math and science education with the country’s ability to maintain its spot as a top economic power.
Near the beginning of the debate, Obama said he wanted to hire more math and science teachers because the U.S. has fallen behind in these two subject areas and additional teachers “can make a difference.” He claimed that his GOP challenger Mitt Romney previously told teachers this wouldn’t help grow the economy.
http://goo.gl/wFa8K

Obama Finding Teacher Support Secure, If Tepid Policy rifts complicate Obama-teacher dance Education Week

Ask Antonio White what he thinks of Race to the Top—President Barack Obama’s signature K-12 initiative—and the Florida teacher will tell you the competitive-grant program is a “difficult pill to swallow.” Merit pay for teachers based partly on student test scores is “a joke,” he says. He’s also not a fan of expanding charter schools, or of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
Still, Mr. White, like thousands of educators around the country, has spent months making calls and knocking on doors, trying to persuade voters to support a president with whom he has sharp disagreements on a host of issues central to his profession.
The 20-year classroom veteran says he’s grateful to Mr. Obama for pouring billions of dollars into saving teachers’ jobs and investing in early-childhood education. And he’s very worried about GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s plan to turn more than $25 billion in federal education funding for special education and disadvantaged children over to parents, who could then spend the money at any school they choose, including a private school. That could ultimately undermine the public system, Mr. White said.
“As far as education is concerned, [Mr. Obama] is the only hope we have,” said Mr. White, who teaches computer technology at Jose Marti MAST Academy in Miami-Dade County in a phone interview.
His outlook doesn’t come as a surprise to Jeffrey Henig, a professor of political science and education at Teachers College, Columbia University.
http://goo.gl/t64Vr

Schools Face Test From Voters
Wall Street Journal

Voters in five states will decide next month whether to raise taxes to help fund public schools, part of a slew of ballot initiatives this year that reflect the intensifying nationwide battle over how to run government-funded schools.
Arizona, Missouri and South Dakota have tax-increase measures on ballots, while California is offering voters dueling proposals. Oregon has an initiative to redirect to schools some money that corporations receive as tax rebates. That is the largest number of education-tax initiatives to appear on state election ballots in two decades, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The proposed tax measures will test public appetite for spending more on education after many states slashed such funding to fill fiscal holes created, in large part, by the recession. In 35 states, this year’s elementary- and secondary-school funding per pupil remains below the 2008 level, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank.
http://goo.gl/35kO7

Should State Education Chiefs Be Elected?
Stateline

If it were up to Walter Dalton and Pat McCrory, they’d have a little less company on the ballot in North Carolina this year. In particular, they wouldn’t be sharing space with candidates for State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Dalton and McCrory are opposing gubernatorial nominees, but they agree on one thing: The governor ought to be able to appoint the state’s top education official.
It doesn’t appear that wish will be granted anytime soon — making the office appointive would require a constitutional amendment. But the proper role of the schools chief is central to the campaign of Democrat June Atkinson, who currently holds the position in North Carolina, and to some of her counterparts across the country.
Some 13 states currently make their top education official subject to a popular vote. And in virtually every one of those states, there are critics who ask why such an office should be so deeply involved in politics.
http://goo.gl/gILhj

Survey: Today’s teaching force is less experienced, more open to change Hechinger Report

More inexperienced teachers are in today’s classrooms than ever before and they are more open than their veteran colleagues to performance-driven options for how they’re evaluated and paid, according to the results of a new survey conducted by the Boston-based nonprofit Teach Plus.
For the first time in decades, more than 50 percent of the nation’s teaching force is comprised of teachers who have been in the classroom under 10 years, Teach Plus found in “Great Expectations: Teachers’ Views on Elevating the Teaching Profession,” which looks at the changing demographics of U.S. teachers.
From “Seven Trends: The Transformation of the Teaching Force,” by Richard Ingersoll and Lisa Merrill (May 2012) The national survey asked 1,015 new and veteran teachers their views on some of the most contentious issues in U.S. public education, like teacher evaluations and class size, to see if attitudes are shifting with an influx of newer teachers.
Despite differences in experience, teachers are generally united when it comes to working conditions. The majority of both newbies and veterans agree that class sizes should not be increased, even if doing so would provide districts with more funding to raising salaries. The two groups are also in agreement about keeping the school day shorter and said that increasing pay is key to elevating public respect for the profession.
http://goo.gl/ovcvW

A copy of the survey
http://goo.gl/75Udt

Blended Learning Models Generating Lessons Learned A variety of models for mixing face-to-face education and online instruction are generating lessons learned Education Week

Since blended learning exploded onto the K-12 scene with promises of personalized and student-centered learning, it has proliferated into dozens of different models, with educators continually tweaking and changing those methods to find the perfect balance of face-to-face and online instruction to meet the needs of their students.
Interest in blended education remains high, spurred partly by research offering support for advocates’ claims that blended learning is more effective than either online or face-to-face instruction on its own.
But more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of the evolving blended learning models, including best practices and which models work best for which types of students, said Susan D. Patrick, the president and chief executive officer of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, or iNACOL, an advocacy and research group based in Vienna, Va.
“The more we know about the variety of blended learning models in K-12 education, the more we know we don’t know everything that’s out there,” she said.
http://goo.gl/ja4jp

Idaho seeks disclosure of reform ads’ backers Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review

BOISE – Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa went to court Monday, seeking to force a defiant secret-donations group to reveal the source of more than $200,000 spent on statewide TV campaign commercials backing three controversial school reform measures.
The lawsuit, filed in 4th District Court in Ada County, asks the court to declare that Education Voters of Idaho is a political committee subject to Idaho’s Sunshine law, and order it to file campaign finance reports disclosing donors.
“The voters made it clear, when they passed the Sunshine initiative, that public disclosure is an essential element of Idaho elections,” Ysursa said in a statement. “The citizens want to know where the money comes from and how it’s spent. That’s been the policy and the law of this state for 38 years. My job is to enforce that law.”
John Foster and Debbie Field, co-founders of Education Voters of Idaho, maintain that because it’s a 501(c)4 nonprofit, it’s exempt from Idaho’s campaign finance disclosure laws, but the state says otherwise. Ysursa said that when the group failed to respond to the state’s demands for disclosure, he headed to court.
http://goo.gl/U32my

http://goo.gl/c0GzT (AP via Idaho Statesman)

North Carolina to outlaw student cyberbullying of teachers Charlotte (NC) News and Observer

RALEIGH It will soon be illegal for a student to bully a teacher online in North Carolina, under an expansion of the state’s cyberbullying law that goes into effect Dec. 1 and may be the first of its kind in the country.
The School Violence Prevention Act of 2012 will make it a misdemeanor for students to post something online “with the intent to intimidate or torment a school employee.” It builds on a similar law passed in 2009 that criminalized online bullying of a student or a student’s parent or guardian.
Legislators say the law is necessary to keep up with the rise of students on social media.
http://goo.gl/L8sKh

School finance case to focus on demographics shift Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ dramatically shifting demographics will be the focus Tuesday as attorneys representing about 600 school districts call their first witness in a trial in which the districts are suing the state over how it funds public education.
Demographer Steve Murdock, former director of the U.S. Census Bureau and ex-state demographer of Texas, is expected to testify about the explosion in the state’s Hispanic population, which has caused public school enrollment statewide to grow by an average of 80,000 students per year.
Six lawsuits have been filed on behalf of about two-thirds of Texas school districts, which educate about 75 percent of the state’s more than 5 million students. They have been rolled into a single case that opened Monday before state District Judge John Dietz in Austin.
Legal battles over school finance are nothing new in Texas: The latest case is the sixth of its kind since 1984.
http://goo.gl/FCCiq

Miami-Dade school district wins Broad Prize, top national education award Five-time finalist Miami-Dade school district competed with three other urban districts, including Palm Beach County Public Schools.
Miami Herald

The Miami-Dade school district has won the Broad Prize, considered the top award in U.S. public education.
The district, a five-time finalist, shone for its academic gains, especially the advanced work and improved graduation rates for black and Hispanic students.
The award brings national prestige to the district and more than half a million dollars in scholarships to Miami-Dade students.
http://goo.gl/0ZIVe

Biggest readers in U.S. teens or 30-somethings: survey Reuters

WASHINGTON – The most likely book readers in the United States are high-school students, college-age adults and people in their 30s, with e-book use highest among 30-somethings, a survey released on Tuesday showed.
Seventy-eight percent of Americans had read at least one book in the previous 12 months, with the rate 83 percent among those aged between 16 and 29, according to the survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.
The survey is part of Pew’s effort to assess U.S. reading habits as e-books change the reading landscape and the borrowing services of libraries.
The highest percentage of readers by age was 88 percent, among the 18-24 age group, followed by 86 percent in the 16-17 range. Readers in the 30-39 group trailed at 84 percent.
The lowest percentage of readers was among people older than 65, at 68 percent.
http://goo.gl/oo98x

A copy of the survey
http://goo.gl/fktB9

How The iPad Mini Could Be A Massive Success For Apple In The Classroom Bloomberg via Business Insider

Julie Garcia handed Apple Inc. iPads to students in her seventh-grade pre-algebra class on a recent morning before showing the pupils how to use the tablet to graph data, hunt for correlations and record how-to videos.
A math instructor at Innovation Middle School, Garcia is one of the first to use some of the more than 25,000 iPads the San Diego Unified School District bought from Apple this year.
“It’s the cool factor,” Garcia said as she looks over the room of students tapping energetically on tablets. “They are super motivated.”
For districts around the country, though, it’s the price as much as the cool quotient that could draw them to a new, smaller version of the iPad that Apple will unveil tomorrow at an event in San Jose, California. Apple has long been a leader in education, and schools began embracing the iPad soon after its 2010 debut. Yet as fiscal budget shortfalls crimp spending all the more, schools in growing numbers are warming to the handheld devices as an alternative to more expensive laptops.
Now schools, as well as consumers, are about to get another big price break: The smaller iPad may cost as little as $249, according to Barclays Plc. That compares with $499 to $829 for the current iPad.
http://goo.gl/gQiCn

Twitter “Saturday School” For Teachers
NPR Tell Me More

Every Saturday morning, nearly 200 educators join the online conversation #satchat. They say Twitter lets them instantly discuss issues like bullying, teacher recruitment and social media with colleagues outside their districts. Host Michel Martin talks with #satchat co-founder and New Jersey public school administrator Scott Rocco.
http://goo.gl/7ZMuY

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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

November 14:
Education Interim Committee meeting
2 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2012&Com=INTEDU

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