Education News Roundup: Nov. 13, 2012

"Anti-Bully Artwork" by artworksbytb/CC/flickr

“Anti-Bully Artwork” by artworksbytb/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Provo Herald previews legislative hearings on school funding.
http://goo.gl/NDYpB (PDH)

Davis School District sued over “In Our Mothers’ House.”
http://goo.gl/giqKw (SLT)
or http://goo.gl/3kvNV (ACLU)

Congratulations to Utah’s newest Blue Ribbon Schools, Canyon Crest Elementary, Dixie Sun Elementary, and Quail Hollow Elementary.
http://goo.gl/bTq5h (ED)

Georgia Department of Education looks to brand public schools (it’s a marketing thing, not a cattle thing).
http://goo.gl/4vFGL (AP)

What will the fee increase to $120 mean for students who need to take the GED?
http://goo.gl/aLN8t (Columbus Dispatch)

Is Yale giving up on teacher ed?
http://goo.gl/7taoG (Yale Daily News)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at the other side of this year’s lunchroom wars: Just how nutritious are those lunches parents send from home?
http://goo.gl/I9RGE (STP-D)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Legislature to talk alcohol and education funding

Davis School District sued over flap about lesbian mothers book Education» A Kaysville mother is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court alleging the district violated her family’s constitutional rights.

State Auditor Investigates Misused Money In High School Sports

School psychologist to help parents, educators handle bullying Abuse » Psychologist to offer advice to educators and parents.

Big Water K-8 Students Some of the Best in State

University of Utah Science Day attracts students

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Celebrates 314 Schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools Seven principals honored with Terrel H. Bell Award for outstanding leadership

Pulitzer Prize-winning author gives lessons on WWII

Alpine schools commemorate Veterans Day

Sky View honors veterans in annual assembly

Author Shusterman engages students at Weber High

LHS students may perform at inauguration

2012 Student Count report: Utah school district enrollment data

Seniors invited to free lunch Thursday

Bountiful High club rounds up food with help of neighboring schools

Literacy bags help preschoolers, parents at Sunrise

2013 state radon poster contest winners announced

‘White Christmas’ kicks off holidays at Lone Peak High School

Local host families needed for students

Homeless students lag in math, study shows

West Virginia judge orders home instruction of unvaccinated student

OPINION & COMMENTARY

The winners and the losers

Timpview’s fiasco means new fundraising rules for school programs

Charter school lessons for every school

The new status quo education alliance

Utah public education

Ogden needs to improve relationships with teachers

More deaf/blind schools needed

School Choice Victories

How Teachers Will Use E-Readers to Catch Cheaters Tricks for catching plagiarizers online are old hat. But now teachers have ways to monitor the time it takes a student to read a text.

NATION

GA Superintendent Barge launches branding campaign

Justices deny appeal over SC religious classes

Labor, Charter Forces Notch State-Level Election Wins State policy impact parsed

Charter schools narrowly win approval in Washington Initiative 1240, the measure that will allow 40 charter schools to open in Washington state, has passed.

Area school boards move to denounce state education chief Bethlehem Area and Salisbury Township districts say Ron Tomalis’ policies favor charters at the expense of traditional public schools.

Luna calls election defeat ‘bump in the road’

Firestorm Erupts Over Virginia’s Education Goals

TEA seeks extra funding to prevent cheating on state exams

Blended PD Emphasizes Differentiated Instruction Educators say a hybrid approach to training will help teachers differentiate instruction

What Does Poverty Mean to Children?

GED test to triple in price
Exam’s $120 fee could be a roadblock

Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning

Diverse Charter Schools
Popular, controversial, and a challenge to run successfully

David McCullough’s heroes of history

Future of Ed. Studies unclear

Teacher accused of turning student into lesbian

George Lucas’ Promise to Invest in Education Prompts Speculation ‘Star Wars’ creator advocates digital learning

The worst school lunches may surprise you

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UTAH NEWS
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Legislature to talk alcohol and education funding


Lawmakers also are set to discuss transparency in education funding on Wednesday. Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, is planning on presenting a proposal to the Legislature’s education interim committee that would seek to increase the transparency in money being spent in Utah’s classrooms.
Thatcher is aiming to bring to light deeper details in how education dollars are being spent. The first-term senator explains that he currently can see how much a teacher is paid on a district budget, which is available to the public, but he isn’t able to see why that teacher is receiving the compensation.
http://goo.gl/NDYpB (PDH)

Davis School District sued over flap about lesbian mothers book Education» A Kaysville mother is the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court alleging the district violated her family’s constitutional rights.

A Kaysville parent sued the Davis School District on Tuesday, alleging her children’s First Amendment rights were violated by a school committee’s decision earlier this year to remove a book about lesbian mothers from shelves of elementary libraries.
Students can read the picture book, In Our Mothers’ House, by Patricia Polacco, only if they have a permission slip signed by parents. The policy decision brought applause from parents who felt the story wasn’t appropriate for young children and criticism from opponents who believed it was unjustified censorship and hurtful to gay and lesbian families.
Tina Weber, who has three children in the Davis district, is named as the lead — and so far only — adult plaintiff in the class-action complaint filed in Salt Lake City’s federal court against the district.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah is representing Weber on the case. The Utah Library Association, Utah Pride Center, Ogden OUTreach Resource Center, Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) are also lending support, said John Mejia, legal director for the ACLU of Utah.
http://goo.gl/giqKw (SLT)

http://goo.gl/3kvNV(ACLU)

State Auditor Investigates Misused Money In High School Sports

High School sports programs are not getting a good grade when it comes to keeping track of cash flow.
According to the State Auditor Office some schools get a C- because of lack of documentation and inadequate oversight.
http://goo.gl/jC3YO (KUTV)

School psychologist to help parents, educators handle bullying Abuse » Psychologist to offer advice to educators and parents.

Utah school psychologist Ben Springer has been researching the causes and effects of bullying for years.
Although there are no easy solutions, Springer will highlight how Utah parents and educators can handle the complex issue.
The public workshop will be held 7 p.m. Wednesday at The McGillis School in Salt Lake City.
“The biggest glitch is there’s not a unified definition of bullying,” said Springer, who works at the Park City School District. “It’s not teasing.”
http://goo.gl/WqYg9 (SLT)

Big Water K-8 Students Some of the Best in State

Big Water, UT – Big Water School Principal Gerry Rankin reports that Big Water’s Kindergarten through 8th grade students are some of the top in the state when it comes to math, language, and science proficiency, according to scores released by the Utah State Office of Education (USOE).
Rankin says that compared to Utah schools similar in size and composition to Big Water School, K through 8, Big Water ranked first state wide in mathematics, second in Language Arts, and fourth in science.
http://goo.gl/LgwnE (Lake Powell Life)

University of Utah Science Day attracts students

SALT LAKE CITY — Besides sounding impactful, destructive tornadoes, anthrax and forensic dentistry are all deeply rooted in science. Professors and business leaders at the University of Utah hoped to instill the importance of each, among other influential topics, in young students Saturday, during one of the school’s biggest recruitment efforts of the year.
“We have been telling our kids since they were little that they were going to college,” said Robyn Tenney of Hooper. She woke up early and braved snow-covered roads to give her son, Taylor, a sophomore at the Academy for Math, Engineering and Science, a glimpse at what college is all about.
http://goo.gl/fzOzR (DN)

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

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Celebrates 314 Schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools Seven principals honored with Terrel H. Bell Award for outstanding leadership

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today will honor 314 schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools at an awards luncheon at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or for their progress toward significantly improving student academic achievement levels. The schools—264 public and 50 private, are among more than 7,000 that have received the coveted award over the past 30 years.

Utah
Canyon Crest Elementary School
Dixie Sun Elementary School
Quail Hollow Elementary School
http://goo.gl/bTq5h (ED)

Pulitzer Prize-winning author gives lessons on WWII

OGDEN — Students got a new look at World War II last week as they got to learn from three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Atkinson.
Atkinson was in Ogden courtesy of the Ogden School Foundation. He delivered a lecture Thursday night on his World War II series to about 900 guests who paid as much as $1,500 per table to attend.
Ogden and Ben Lomond high school history students were treated to a lecture Friday morning.
He also spent some one-on-one time with 10 students Friday morning. The students were winners of a contest in which they wrote essays about the United States’ attack on North Africa in 1942 and whether they thought it was a good idea.
http://goo.gl/N7YxA (OSE)

Alpine schools commemorate Veterans Day

ALPINE — Timberline Middle School and Alpine Elementary School joined thousands of groups across the nation recently in honoring and remembering the men and women who have served the United States in wars throughout history.
The entire week prior to Veterans Day the students at Timberline were able to listen to patriotic music in the halls between classes, and view patriotic videos during lunch time.
http://goo.gl/qMUC5 (PDH)

Sky View honors veterans in annual assembly

SMITHFIELD — Despite the bleak weather, the spirit of the Sky View studentbody was not diminished as they held their annual Veterans Day assembly.
Conducted in the school’s basketball gym, the students piled into the bleachers as veterans from around the community sat in folding chairs on the court, divided by the part of the military they served with.
http://goo.gl/A88qs (LHJ)

Author Shusterman engages students at Weber High

Weber High School students were treated to a special event recently when young adult author Neal Shusterman visited the Pleasant View school.
Shusterman gave a school assembly in the afternoon on Nov. 1 and a presentation open to the public that evening, as well as a book signing. Students were engrossed by Shusterman’s personable and well-delivered presentation, organized by the tireless school librarian, Joann Christensen.
Questions about where the ideas for his books come from is one thing Shusterman addressed. “The Eyes of Kid Midas,” for example, came from his experience as a summer camp counselor; to distract the kids in his cabin, he told a story about a pair of magic sunglasses. Years later, he wrote this idea into a novel.
http://goo.gl/gQ9zU (OSE)

LHS students may perform at inauguration

A group of students at Logan High School have the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., to perform at a festival and participate in the presidential inauguration.
However, the cost of the trip may keep the students from going.
Every two years, the band, choir and orchestra at Logan High School take a trip individually to participate in national festivals and competitions.
http://goo.gl/TWi0a (LHJ)

http://goo.gl/xieH0 (CVD)

2012 Student Count report: Utah school district enrollment data

A recent report puts enrollment at Utah public schools exceeding 600,000 students, creating a 2.2 percent growth since 2011. You can read more about the report from Deseret News staff writer Ben Wood.
Highlights of the 2012 Student Count report:
http://goo.gl/46qPv (DN)

Timberline Shakespeare group ranks high at competition

Timberline Middle School’s drama and dance students recently “brought home the gold” by placing high in competition at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City in October.
Drama teacher Chad Fortie along with dance teacher Ashley Leonard worked to groom their 80 participating students for the three-day competition. The group was rewarded with several awards and scholarships.
The Timberline group earned the first place sweepstakes award in the Stratford Division which was made up of 18 junior highs and middle schools that participated in the event. Points in the competition were presented by festival judges based on the final rankings in each performance.
http://goo.gl/9xOOh (PDH)

Seniors invited to free lunch Thursday

OGDEN — The Ogden and Ben Lomond high school key clubs will host a senior citizen Thanksgiving lunch at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the commons area at Ogden High School, 2828 Harrison Blvd.
The lunch is free, and the groups look forward to serving many seniors in the Ogden area.
http://goo.gl/HfF6T (OSE)

Bountiful High club rounds up food with help of neighboring schools

BOUNTIFUL — Every month, the Bountiful Community Food Pantry serves 600 to 700 families living between North Salt Lake and Farmington, and while that number is continually growing, food donations the pantry receives annually are decreasing.
In September, the pantry’s total food donations were 20,000 pounds less than in September 2011, said Lorna Koci, director of the food pantry.
http://goo.gl/t4kP3 (OSE)

Literacy bags help preschoolers, parents at Sunrise

PROVO — While Sunrise Preschool students bring their backpacks with them to school each day, it’s the backpacks they are taking home that are helping both students and parents learn skills for the future.
Through a donation by a local LDS Relief Society, Sunrise Preschool, which is attached to Peaks Elementary School, received several backpacks for students.
http://goo.gl/UsHTX (PDH)

2013 state radon poster contest winners announced

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Radiation Control announced the three state winners for the 2013 National Radon Poster Contest.
First place went to 13-year-old Tucker Nixon from American Fork Junior High School. His entry was titled “Keeping Homes Safe One Test at a Time.” Eric Anderson from Summit Academy in Draper placed second with his poster “Radon: The Invisible Monster.”
http://goo.gl/RYvkS (DN)

‘White Christmas’ kicks off holidays at Lone Peak High School

The chill is hitting the air just in time for the musical “White Christmas” to open at Lone Peak High School in Highland. According to director Jim Smith, this play is a perfect way to kick off the holiday season.
http://goo.gl/3eoQk (PDH)

Local host families needed for students

LAYTON — Host families are needed to provide homes for foreign exchange students for both the current and future school years.
Forte Exchange is looking for families willing to host students between ages 15 and 18.
http://goo.gl/qSYUg (OSE)

Homeless students lag in math, study shows

SALT LAKE CITY — Studies show that students who are homeless or move around a lot have lower math and reading skills. So, what are educators in Utah doing to help homeless students in the state?
Researchers from the University of Minnesota followed more than 26,000 students for five years. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the impact of homelessness can last for years.
Canyon School District Homeless Education Liaison Connie Crosby said, “We know every time they move, they lose about six months, academically.
http://goo.gl/upccr (KSL)

West Virginia judge orders home instruction of unvaccinated student

A West Virginia judge has ordered schools in Randolph County in West Virginia to continue providing home instruction for a unvaccinated student seeking a religious exemption, the AP reports.
West Virginia is one of only two states that do not allow exemptions for religious reasons. The other is Mississippi.
The controversy occurs as several states move to tighten exemptions.
http://goo.gl/Fc2kD (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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The winners and the losers
Deseret News commentary by columnist Jay Evensen

Loser: After irregularities were uncovered at Timpview High School recently, the Utah state auditor decided to examine four more high schools handling of athletics and activities funding. What they found was not encouraging. Each had different ways to handle funds and different internal controls, and in some cases, those rules were routinely ignored. The auditors office issued a statement that said it believes similar problems exist in every district. The state school board is researching ways to make financial rules and regulations uniform statewide. That sounds like a great idea.
http://goo.gl/vOt34

Timpview’s fiasco means new fundraising rules for school programs Deseret News commentary by columnist Amy Donaldson

SALT LAKE CITY — The beginning of every sports season brings a new wave of them.
Youngsters selling discount cards, cookie dough, wrapping paper, and candy. They beckon us to support car washes, bake sales and concession stands.
They’re teenagers who need financial help to buy uniforms, attend camps and pay participation fees. Sometimes they’re working to pay for a special trip, but often they’re hoping just to cover the expenses of a new football, basketball or drill team season.
But big changes are coming in the way high school athletes are allowed to raise money to support athletics and activities that are affiliated with public schools. The biggest changes, however, will be in how the schools they attend can solicit money from communities, especially big donors, and how school officials manage that money.
This time last year state officials were blissfully unaware there were any financial issues regarding fundraising and donations. In fact, some districts and many state officials weren’t aware that Utah high schools were raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to support extracurricular activities until one high school’s troubles became every district’s cautionary tale.
http://goo.gl/hUUCJ

Charter school lessons for every school
Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

This paper has been sitting on my desktop for several weeks, but election day’s votes to expand charters in Washington (state) and Georgia reminded me that I’d meant to post it.
The author is a Harvard economics professor and the founder and director of the university’s Education Innovation Laboratory. Wikipedia, for what that’s worth, describes him as “the youngest African-American to ever receive tenure at Harvard, a 2011 MacArthur Fellow, and one of black America and Harvard’s rising stars.” In other words, this guy’s got credentials. Much of his research, moreover, has focused on the barriers to achievement that lie outside the control of teachers: family income, family involvement, etc. That’s one reason I found his focus on charter schools so interesting.
http://goo.gl/xaMWV

The new status quo education alliance
Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

Education pundits continue to debate why Indiana’s reforming school chief, Tony Bennett, was defeated at the polls. There are two theories, and it looks like they’re both right.
One theory is that Bennett was taken down by common core opponents. According to this scenario, many of the votes for Democrat Glenda Ritz, who was strongly backed by the teacher’s union, were directed at the common core and not Bennett’s support for educational choice, including charters and vouchers for poor kids.
http://goo.gl/uUKks

Utah public education
Deseret News letter from Fred Ash

During the election, several candidates said that Utah’s public education students perform among the worst in the nation. The truth is that our students test above the national average in reading, math and science. They are ranked 10th in the nation in the percentage of seniors passing AP tests with a 3 or better, and they consistently score above the national average on the ACT.
It is not our public school students who are performing so poorly — it is the people who are supposed to be supporting the system. The fact that Utah spends less dollars per student than any other state in the nation isn’t all that bad when one considers that there is only one other state that compares to Utah in the number of students per capita.
http://goo.gl/kmdRn

Ogden needs to improve relationships with teachers
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Fred Civish

The re-election of Don Belnap and other members of the Ogden School Board leaves one major problem to be solved. To their great credit, members have instituted policies which have resulted in higher state test scores, and improved graduation rates. As an end result, this is the purpose of education.
How it is done, however, is equally important, and a check of teachers transferring to other districts proves their goal to “improve relationships with teachers,” shows they are falling far behind in this area. Anyone doubting how discouraged most teachers in the district are need only talk privately to any teacher to discover this board does not practice employee friendly relationships. Many, many more teachers are looking for jobs elsewhere.
http://goo.gl/L9X6h

More deaf/blind schools needed
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Savannah J.A. Davidson

It has come to my attention that Utah does not own more than two known deaf schools, one in Ogden being a deaf/blind combination. I feel this is unfair because some deaf or blind children live farther from the schools, which means they have to wake up earlier than normal just to be taken to their blind/deaf school. Also, some blind or deaf children have other disabilities, which may interfere with walking or other forms of transportation. Furthermore, I believe that people will save more money on gas and transportation that they could spend on the much needed education that a person’s child can now obtain.
http://goo.gl/sG1XW

School Choice Victories
Wall Street Journal commentary by columnist JASON L. RILEY

Election Day was a bad one for Mitt Romney but a good one for education reformers in Washington state and Georgia and for anyone who believes in the primacy of school choice.
Voters in Washington approved Initiative 1240, allows for the creation of up to 40 new charter schools. Washington is one of 10 states with no charters, and voters had rejected three previous ballot initiatives to allow them. It passed, 51-49.
In Georgia, voters approved Amendment 1, which will allow a state entity to authorize new charter schools. Currently, local school boards, often controlled by teachers unions who are hostile to school choice, serve as gate keepers. Unions dislike charter schools because many of them aren’t organized and aren’t forced to operate under collective-bargaining agreements. Under the amendment, which was approved, 59-41, a state commission would be allowed to green-light new charter schools, which should pave the way for more of them.
http://goo.gl/cxydB

How Teachers Will Use E-Readers to Catch Cheaters Tricks for catching plagiarizers online are old hat. But now teachers have ways to monitor the time it takes a student to read a text.
The Atlantic commentary by Alan Jacobs, Clyde S. Kilby Professor of English at Wheaton College

These are tough times for plagiarists and would-be academic cheaters. That may seem a counter-intuitive statement, given how much material is online, just waiting to be copied-and-pasted, and how many services are ready to write your papers for you for a nominal (or not so nominal) consideration. But just as authoritarian governments can use Twitter to spy on their rebellious citizens, so too professors can turn online tools against their students. And now digital reading has become the newest frontier of scholarly surveillance, the newest tool for those of us who like to stand at the center of the academic Panopticon.
http://goo.gl/qNads

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NATIONAL NEWS
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GA Superintendent Barge launches branding campaign Associated Press via Atlanta Journal Constitution

ATLANTA — Georgians often bemoan the quality of their public schools. But state Superintendent John Barge, fresh off a defeat in a debate over expanding charter schools, wants to change public perception.
Taking a cue from corporate America, the state Department of Education on Tuesday will launch a marketing campaign titled “Georgia’s Future. Now!”
The campaign comes with Georgia still trailing the national average in many standardized test measures, while Atlanta schools continue under the shadow of alleged cheating on those same tests in recent years. And Barge continues to face questions about his leadership from some of his fellow Republicans.
Those realities, the superintendent said, require an aggressive response.
http://goo.gl/4vFGL

Justices deny appeal over SC religious classes Associated Press via Columbia (SC) The State

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal over a South Carolina program that allows high school students to earn elective credit toward graduation through off-campus religious courses.
The high court on Tuesday denied the appeal from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
In July, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court decision in favor of the program, saying Spartanburg District 7 properly accommodated religion without establishing it and acted within the First Amendment.
Video from around the world
The 2007 policy allows students to earn up to two credits for off-campus religious courses offered by private educators.
http://goo.gl/Wt6wO

Labor, Charter Forces Notch State-Level Election Wins State policy impact parsed Education Week

On an Election Day filled with dozens of state races and ballot measures with big implications for the nation’s public schools, state teachers’ unions and charter school champions had plenty to cheer in the aftermath, even as tax measures that would help pay for schools suffered setbacks in some places.
Union efforts were instrumental in overturning a trio of high-profile laws in Idaho that included limits on teachers’ bargaining rights, along with pay based in part on student performance. And they were a key part of the coalition that successfully pushed for passage of a temporary tax measure deemed crucial to school funding in California.
Likewise, charter advocates were poised to celebrate the passage—after three previous failed attempts—of a ballot measure allowing charter schools in Washington state, along with a new law in Georgia that likely will increase charters’ growth.
But labor supporters stumbled in their effort to enshrine collective bargaining in the Michigan Constitution. And they saw Republicans grab control of the Wisconsin Senate—a move that appears likely to ensure a voucher-program expansion in that state and the continuation of collective bargaining changes enacted under GOP Gov. Scott Walker, whom unions tried unsuccessfully to unseat earlier this year.
http://goo.gl/PTLIj

Charter schools narrowly win approval in Washington Initiative 1240, the measure that will allow 40 charter schools to open in Washington state, has passed.
Seattle Times

By a slim margin, Washington voters have approved Initiative 1240, which will allow up to 40 charter schools to open here over the next five years.
The outcome makes Washington the 42nd state in the nation to allow charters, 20 years after Minnesota passed the nation’s first charter-school law.
http://goo.gl/DOOHg

Area school boards move to denounce state education chief Bethlehem Area and Salisbury Township districts say Ron Tomalis’ policies favor charters at the expense of traditional public schools.
Allentown (PA) Morning Call

Fed up with what they perceive as a series of unfair laws targeting public school funding and testing, two local school boards are considering resolutions denouncing state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis and his agency.
The Bethlehem Area School Board’s Human Relations Committee decided Monday to seek support among other Lehigh Valley school boards and local state lawmakers for a regional resolution against Tomalis, saying he has tilted the agency toward charter schools and away from school districts.
Bethlehem has a backer, the Salisbury Township School District. Bethlehem plans to vote on its resolution in January with or without additional support, said Bethlehem board President Michael Faccinetto.
http://goo.gl/OFqQz

Luna calls election defeat ‘bump in the road’
(Boise) Idaho Statesman

Teachers throughout Idaho will get bonuses to recognize last year’s work despite the defeat of Idaho’s merit pay law in the Nov. 6 election, Idaho schools Superintendent Tom Luna said Monday, but about $50 million set aside for other Students Come First programs this fiscal year could fall by the wayside.
Among the casualties could be the second half of $13 million in technology funding earmarked for the state’s 115 school districts and money set aside for hiring new math and science teachers. However, Luna said, the 2013 Legislature could agree to direct that money to districts anyway, and he will advocate for those programs.
Luna met with reporters Monday afternoon, speaking publicly for the first time since his sweeping school-reform package was rejected by voters in the Nov. 6 election.
He said he is committed to continuing work toward school reform and collaborating with stakeholders including the Idaho teacher’s union and others who opposed the three laws he shepherded through the Legislature in 2011.
http://goo.gl/L2kc3

Firestorm Erupts Over Virginia’s Education Goals NPR All Things Considered

As part of Virginia’s waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities.
Virginia Democratic state Sen. Donald McEachin first read about the state’s new performance goals for schoolchildren in a newspaper editorial.
“And I was shocked to find that the state board of education [was] putting in place permanent disparities between different subgroups — Asians at the top, African-Americans at the bottom,” says McEachin.
http://goo.gl/ZmevD

TEA seeks extra funding to prevent cheating on state exams Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN — As the state ratchets up its new student testing program over the next few years, the Texas Education Agency wants to beef up security to prevent cheating. The agency will ask the Legislature for $1 million to help investigate irregularities in test results and conduct random audits.
In a request to lawmakers, Education Commissioner Michael Williams asked for the funding to “create a special investigations unit that would be in charge of reviewing reports that suggest serious testing irregularities” or other security violations involving the new STAAR test.
His request said if the money is allocated, the TEA will be able to resume audits of randomly selected schools, a practice that was discontinued because of funding cuts imposed on the agency.
http://goo.gl/BMg11

Blended PD Emphasizes Differentiated Instruction Educators say a hybrid approach to training will help teachers differentiate instruction Education Week

Officials in the 24,100- student Academy School District 20 school system in Colorado Springs, Colo., came to this conclusion in the spring of 2011: If blended learning is one of the biggest trends in education, it should offer a way for teachers to practice the approach themselves.
Using federal Title II, Part A funds, the district offered a professional-development course that combined four online modules, including Moodle, which took teachers through a series of online tutorials and face-to-face activities over six months in 2011-12. It then expanded the blended learning model to many of its 2012 summer institute courses for teachers, and has begun offering a round of professional development to another batch of teachers—31, roughly the size of the waiting list—in 2012-13.
“The training put us in touch with what our students go through,” said Wanda Lepillez, a 4th grade teacher at the 568-student Academy International Elementary School, who took part in the inaugural training. “It has changed my teaching forever.”
The more she learned, added Ms. Lepillez, “the more I began to see the possibilities.”
http://goo.gl/hI6KM

What Does Poverty Mean to Children?
NewsHour

Child poverty has reached record levels with over 16 million children affected. 1 in 13 Americans are jobless, and many children are growing up with little hope for their future.
“I was surprised by how things can change so fast,” says 14-year-old Roger, one of the children profiled in the film. “You can go from doing okay, not having to go hungry, to this: going hungry and having to pay all your bills and not being able to [buy food], on the verge of being homeless again.”
In Poor Kids, which premieres next Tuesday on PBS, Frontline spent months following six children who are growing up against the backdrop of their families’ struggles against financial ruin. Filmmaker Jezza Neuman traveled to the Quad Cities, a great American crossroads along the border of Iowa and Illinois, to explore the lives of children living in the suburbs of the nation’s heartland. We asked the children what being poor in America really looks like through their eyes.
http://goo.gl/jtr8G

GED test to triple in price
Exam’s $120 fee could be a roadblock
Columbus (OH) Dispatch

Angela Surles can barely afford to buy diapers and clothes for her 1-year-old daughter.
The 22-year-old single mom from the Short North quit her job at Sears to enter a six-week course to help her get her high-school equivalency certificate, with the hope of landing a higher-paying job. Her goal is to study business at Columbus State Community College, but she is surviving on food stamps and help from her family.
“With the economy right now, everybody is struggling,” Surles said.
Surles is among the roughly 25,000 people in Ohio who will take a high-school equivalency test in the next year. But the fee to take it will triple to $120 when a new computer version replaces the paper version of the General Educational Development, or GED, test. That switch will be complete by January 2014. Test takers have until mid-August to sign up to take the cheaper paper test, one advocate said.
Surles said she and others she knows can’t afford the new price.
http://goo.gl/aLN8t

Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning NPR Morning Edition

In 1979, when Jim Stigler was still a graduate student at the University of Michigan, he went to Japan to research teaching methods and found himself sitting in the back row of a crowded fourth-grade math class.
“The teacher was trying to teach the class how to draw three-dimensional cubes on paper,” Stigler explains, “and one kid was just totally having trouble with it. His cube looked all cockeyed, so the teacher said to him, ‘Why don’t you go put yours on the board?’ So right there I thought, ‘That’s interesting! He took the one who can’t do it and told him to go and put it on the board.’ ”
Stigler knew that in American classrooms, it was usually the best kid in the class who was invited to the board. And so he watched with interest as the Japanese student dutifully came to the board and started drawing, but still couldn’t complete the cube. Every few minutes, the teacher would ask the rest of the class whether the kid had gotten it right, and the class would look up from their work, and shake their heads no. And as the period progressed, Stigler noticed that he — Stigler — was getting more and more anxious.
“I realized that I was sitting there starting to perspire,” he says, “because I was really empathizing with this kid. I thought, ‘This kid is going to break into tears!’ ”
But the kid didn’t break into tears. Stigler says the child continued to draw his cube with equanimity. “And at the end of the class, he did make his cube look right! And the teacher said to the class, ‘How does that look, class?’ And they all looked up and said, ‘He did it!’ And they broke into applause.” The kid smiled a huge smile and sat down, clearly proud of himself.
http://goo.gl/WD5gC

Diverse Charter Schools
Popular, controversial, and a challenge to run successfully Education Next

In February 2009, newly elected President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited Capital City Public Charter School in northwest Washington, D.C. They were greeted at the front entrance of the school by 5th-grade students and given a brief tour before taking a seat in the library to read The Moon Over Star to a group of 2nd graders.
This was the First Family’s first official public-school visit, just a few short weeks after President Obama was sworn into office. Obama’s enthusiastic support for charter schools was one of the things that set him apart from his Democratic predecessors and marked him as a “pro-reform” Democrat.
Even accounting for the usual political exaggeration, the president seemed pretty impressed by what he saw: “The outstanding work that’s being done here … is an example of how all our schools should be,” said Obama. “I’ve asked Arne Duncan to … make sure that we’re reforming our schools, that we’re rewarding innovation the way that it’s taking place here.”
Little noticed at the time, the school the White House chose for the visit wasn’t exactly a typical urban charter.
http://goo.gl/2mA5b

David McCullough’s heroes of history
60 Minutes

The following script is from “McCullough, Part Two” which aired on Nov. 11, 2012. Morley Safer is the correspondent. David Browning, producer.
As the post-election cheers die down or, depending on your politics, the post-election blues set in, we’d like to divert your attention, take you back to a time when this country was just becoming a country.
In the second part of our profile of the historian David McCullough which began last week, we go with him to Paris, the destination back in the 19th century for a host of young Americans, eager to learn from what was then the most important city in the world.

Morley Safer: The teaching of history has become your hobbyhorse, correct?
David McCullough: Yes.
Morley Safer: You, you, calling us historically illiterate.
David McCullough: Yes. I feel that very much so. I ran into some students on university campuses who were bright and attractive and likeable. And I was just stunned by how much they didn’t know. One young woman at a university in the Midwest came up to me after one of my talks and said that until she heard me speak that morning she’d never understood that the original 13 colonies were all on the East Coast. And I thought, “What are we doing that’s so wrong, so pathetic?” I tried it again at several other places, colleges and universities, same thing. Now, it’s not their fault. It’s our fault. And when I say our fault I don’t mean just the teachers. I mean the parents and grandparents. We have to take part. The stories around the family dinner table. I say bring back dinner if you want to improve how children get to know history.
Morley Safer: But are the teachers themselves semi-illiterate in history?
David McCullough: Well we need to revamp, seriously revamp, the teaching of the teachers. I don’t feel that any professional teacher should major in education. They should major in a subject, know something. The best teachers are those who have a gift and the energy and enthusiasm to convey their love for science or history or Shakespeare or whatever it is. “Show them what you love” is the old adage. And we’ve all had them, where they can change your life. They can electrify the morning when you come into the classroom.
http://goo.gl/ZFVQC

Future of Ed. Studies unclear
Yale Daily News

Undergraduates hoping to pursue careers in education may be running out of options as the University continues to phase out what remains of the Education Studies track.
Yale canceled the Teacher Preparation track in 2010, citing budgetary issues and the pre-professional nature of the training program as reasons behind its termination, but continued to offer a series of courses under the Education Studies umbrella. The University’s decision to end Teacher Preparation caused then-Director of Education Studies Jack Gillette to resign, and professor Linda Cole-Taylor took over, currently running the track and teaching the majority of its courses. But Cole-Taylor will also leave the University at the end of the fall after negotiations with the University to change the program fell through.
“We are going to be making some new appointments to continue offering Education Studies,” Yale College Dean Mary Miller said. “It’s actually a transition rather than a phasing out, making a transition to a non-certification program, and I actually think we have a lot of exciting opportunities ahead of us.”
http://goo.gl/7taoG

Teacher accused of turning student into lesbian Fort Lauderdale (FL) Sun Sentinel

A teacher at Deerfield Beach High School is fighting the Broward school district over its handling of an accusation that she possibly contributed to a young girl’s homosexuality.
Juliet Hibbs, a straight woman currently on medical leave, was investigated last year for misconduct after the girl’s parents made those allegations to the school’s principal. However, the district cleared her and no action was taken.
“I was shocked by the charges” and the principal’s decision to have the district pursue the matter, said Hibbs, 47, who is now filing a case with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the school system.
According to the district’s investigative report, the incident began last year while the student was in Hibbs’ class. She was suddenly barraged with incendiary messages from her stepdad on her Twitter feed after he discovered the girl’s orientation.
“As each message came, she got smaller … I watched her get destroyed,” Hibbs said, who reported the incident as child abuse and cyberbullying.
The girl, 18 at the time, never returned home.
The parents told investigators they were upset that Hibbs had not told them about their daughter’s orientation. They accused her of possibly contributing to their daughter being gay and believed Hibbs had told the girl to not come home.
http://goo.gl/1eUUZ

George Lucas’ Promise to Invest in Education Prompts Speculation ‘Star Wars’ creator advocates digital learning Education Week

George Lucas’ announcement that a majority of the proceeds from the sale of his film company will be funneled into education philanthropy has sparked speculation among educators about where the new influx of money might be directed.
The creator of “Star Wars” has a history of involvement in education, and it may provide some clues for those who hope to gain financial support for innovative ideas and for those who believe particular topics in education, such as technology or the arts, need additional emphasis.
Chris Tebben, the executive director of the Portland, Ore.-based Grantmakers for Education, a membership organization for public and private education-related philanthropies, said traditionally philanthropists give to education in areas in which they themselves have been successful.
For Mr. Lucas, a pioneer in technology and digital animatronics in his filmmaking and a gifted storyteller, that could mean bolstering technology, interactivity, and student-centered learning in education, as well as communications and storytelling skills, Ms. Tebben said.
http://goo.gl/LDPp0

The worst school lunches may surprise you St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The fourth-grader in my field trip group had been looking forward to her lunch for more than an hour.
She described it to me on the bus, but I still wasn’t prepared for when I actually saw it.
It came out of a yellow cardboard box. The Kraft Oscar Mayer Lunchable had nacho chips, congealed processed cheese dip, salsa, a Capri Sun fruit punch and a mini candy bar. The list of “ingredients” took up nearly an entire side of the box.
It had 510 calories, about as many as a McDonald’s Big Mac (550), of which 220 were from fat. The lunch was heavy on carbohydrates, fat, sodium and sugar with few nutrients. Classic empty calorie food. This was going to fuel her learning for the day? But as I looked around I saw few children pulling out apples, carrot sticks or bananas from their sack lunches. There were bags of chips, pizza slices, varieties of Lunchables and cans of soda.
This was not a scene from an impoverished neighborhood with limited access to wholesome foods.
These were the lunches middle-class parents packed.
While the overall quality of school lunches has improved as the USDA revised standards earlier this year, how do we revise food standards in our own pantries?
http://goo.gl/I9RGE

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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

December 7:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

December 13:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://1.usa.gov/Axtt5K

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