Education News Roundup: Jan. 29, 2013

Utah State Capitol

Utah State Capitol

Today’s Top Picks:

School finance transparency bill gets out of committee favorably.
http://goo.gl/hWfxV (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/wbEwA (DN)

D-News looks at the college and career ready concept.
http://goo.gl/FLQce (DN)

Granite students do Art Night Live.
http://goo.gl/IyiGh (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/BNfAm (DN)
and http://goo.gl/cWLSw (KSTU)

Want a grant? You got evidence for what you want to do?
http://goo.gl/heZ7V (Ed Week)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Lawmakers advance school spending transparency bill
SB128 » Proponents say it will help public understand the school system; critics question value, feasibility of revealing so much data.

Push is on to prepare students for college and careers

Dems vow attention to issues important to Latinos Politics » Education —and low graduation rates — will be a priority for minority party.

Utah art students compete to create masterpieces Education » “Art Night Live!” featured 57 students from eight high schools who competed for scholarship money.

Junior high art teacher provides unique gallery for students

Sky View Latino group sells tamales to raise money for college educations

15-year-old girl only two years away from medical school

Trial set for ex-Cottonwood High coach charged with assault

More snow for the morning commute, schools experiencing delays

School Safety Meeting Tonight

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Class sizes too big

School Choice Regulations: Red Tape or Red Herring?

Review of The Education Choice and Competition Index

NATION

Ed. Dept. Raises Evidence, Research Ante in Grant Awards Ed. Dept. takes step to broaden standards for other aid contests

Lockdowns The Norm For Schools With Frequent Threats

Senate to debate 4 new teacher union bills

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UTAH NEWS
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Lawmakers advance school spending transparency bill
SB128 » Proponents say it will help public understand the school system; critics question value, feasibility of revealing so much data.

Utahns might be able to look up exactly how much their schools spend on what — from teachers to textbooks to programs — if a bill that gained initial approval Monday becomes law.
The Senate Education Committee unanimously approved SB128 after nearly an hour of debate, with a number of conservatives praising the idea and some within the education community questioning the price tag and usefulness of such a move.
Bill sponsor Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, said his bill would simply require the financial data school districts already report and collect to be displayed on the Utah Public Finance website.
http://goo.gl/hWfxV (SLT)

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

Push is on to prepare students for college and careers

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah education officials want two-thirds of the state’s adults holding a post-secondary degree or certificate by the year 2020, up from the 43 percent of adults who currently have a degree.
To get there, the state is working to implement the Common Core State Standards — a set of benchmarks designed to better prepare students for college coursework. But the purpose of the goal extends beyond college and into the workforce, and it sets up a debate in the state Legislature that will impact how parents and children are educated in Utah.
http://goo.gl/FLQce (DN)

Dems vow attention to issues important to Latinos Politics » Education —and low graduation rates — will be a priority for minority party.

Senate and House Democrats met with Latino media outlets and community leaders on the first day of the legislative session as a part of a continued outreach the minority party has been pushing to build upon heavy Latino support in the 2012 elections.
Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, was the only new Hispanic elected in the past election — the remaining two in the House and one in the Senate were re-elected Democratic incumbents. There are no Latino Republicans in the Legislature
Romero said she wanted the community to know she was pushing hard on education issues — noting her district struggles with Latinos dropping out at high rates.
http://goo.gl/6NP4A (SLT)

Utah art students compete to create masterpieces Education » “Art Night Live!” featured 57 students from eight high schools who competed for scholarship money.

Hunter High student Romnel Tan hopes to become a Catholic priest one day.
It’s a goal that led Tan to find an outlet for his passion: creating stained glass in art classes. He showcased his talent Monday during a competition at Taylorsville High that pitted some of the state’s most artistic students against each other in a four-hour race to create unique works of art.
“Art Night Live!” featured 57 students from eight high schools who used mediums such as watercolor, pastel, oil, acrylic, charcoal, pen and ink, pencil and stained glass as they competed for $1,200 in scholarship money donated by the Granite Education Foundation.
http://goo.gl/IyiGh (SLT)

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

http://goo.gl/cWLSw (KSTU)

Junior high art teacher provides unique gallery for students

PAYSON — Many times students make projects at school and then take them home, never getting the opportunity to show off their talents. But that isn’t the case for students from the Visual Arts Classes at Mt. Nebo Junior High School in Payson. Their teacher, Jordan Brun, has provided a unique place for students to display their artwork in the past five weeks.
Students displayed their work in a place they called “The Gallery in the Loft,” a unique interactive environment in the area above the Visual Arts Room at the school. Taking the spiral staircase in the back of the classroom, visitors go high above the room into the Gallery in the Loft.
http://goo.gl/8zdmC (PDH)

Sky View Latino group sells tamales to raise money for college educations

SMITHFIELD — Students from Sky View High School’s Latinos in Action class worked for two days making more than 2,000 tamales as part of a scholarship fundraiser.
http://goo.gl/6nQn4 (LHJ)

15-year-old girl only two years away from medical school

OGDEN – A 15-year-old Ogden teen is just two years away from attending medical school.
Jessica Brooke said she only has a few more semesters until she gets her degree.
“I’ve always enjoyed school,” Jessica said. “I’ve never hated going to school.”
Jessica started college when she was 12 years old, and she already has two associate degrees. She’s the youngest student at Weber State University, and she came to campus with a 4.0 GPA.
http://goo.gl/6QoJB (KSTU)

Trial set for ex-Cottonwood High coach charged with assault

SALT LAKE CITY — A trial has been set for a former assistant Cottonwood High School football coach accused of assaulting a man at a party.
A three-day trial beginning April 23 was set in 3rd District Court Monday for Eric Christian Eyre, 31, who is facing a single charge of aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury, a second-degree felony.
According to charging documents, Eyre was attending a party at 2015 S. 500 East in Salt Lake City on March 24 when his friend got into an argument with another man about spilled alcohol. Eyre and his friend were asked to leave the party.
Eyre then punched the man who was arguing with his friend and repeatedly hit the man’s head against the ground, knocking him unconscious, charging documents state.
http://goo.gl/gh0LI (DN)

http://goo.gl/Q9VjN (KSL)

More snow for the morning commute, schools experiencing delays

SALT LAKE CITY — Another day, another snowy commute in northern Utah.
Unlike the last storm, however, Tuesday morning’s winter weather was initially affecting Utah County more than Salt Lake County. Davis and Weber Counties were also experiencing delays in the morning commute due to weather.
The Provo School District has changed bus pickup for students who live above the bench areas, with the following pickup points:
http://goo.gl/99D3N (DN)

http://goo.gl/hPa9B (PDH)

http://goo.gl/4S45p (KSL)

http://goo.gl/OXG9R (KSTU)

School Safety Meeting Tonight

The Washington County School District will team up with St. George Police Department for a public meeting Tuesday.
They want to talk with the community about school safety in the wake of recent school shootings around the country.
http://goo.gl/qvokJ (SGS)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Class sizes too big
(Provo) Daily Herald letter from Matt Bonner

I’m in the seventh grade. I think the class sizes in our public schools are too big. Some of the reasons I think smaller classes would be better for us are:
First, it is hard to get individual help when you have 34-40 people in each class. The teacher has to help almost everyone and he or she is rushed to answer questions. If you had fewer students in class, you could get more individual help.
http://goo.gl/tyT8j

School Choice Regulations: Red Tape or Red Herring?
Fordham Institute analysis

Many proponents of private school choice take for granted that schools won’t participate if government asks too much of them, especially if it demands that they be publicly accountable for student achievement. Were such school refusals to be widespread, the programs themselves could not serve many kids. But is this assumption justified?
A new Fordham Institute study provides empirical answers. Do regulations and accountability requirements deter private schools from participating in choice programs? How important are such requirements compared to other factors, such as voucher amounts? Are certain types of regulations stronger deterrents than others? Do certain types schools shy away from regulation more than others?
http://goo.gl/vHSPH

Review of The Education Choice and Competition Index National Education Policy Center analysis by David R. Garcia, Arizona State University

The Education Choice and Competition Index: Background and Results 2012
Grover J. Whitehurst and Sarah Whitfield
Brookings Institution
In this report the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution presents the results of a self-developed Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI) along with an interactive application that grades large school districts according to the ECCI. The index is composed of 13 pro choice criteria. The authors present the ECCI as a new approach to education policy, but the ideas are not new. The report repeats many of the same arguments and logic found in other pro-market publications over the past 25 years. The sole unique recommendation is to permit “popularity” to serve as an adequate standard to judge school quality and a sufficient criterion by which to direct taxpayer dollars. Yet, this recommendation also hearkens back to previous calls, common in the 1990’s, for unregulated school choice policies. The ECCI assumes benefits of market competition, but these benefits depend on how parents choose schools, and the report includes no research on how parents make school choice decisions. It is also devoid of any evidence that higher scores on the ECCI are related to the outcomes that the authors predict. In fact, the only large district with an “A” rating per the ECCI received a “D” according to its state accountability system. In essence, the report reads like an essay in support of free-market choice policies. Because of the dated assumptions and the subjective nature of the index, the study and its rankings fall short of being an effective policy tool.
http://goo.gl/43hJl

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Ed. Dept. Raises Evidence, Research Ante in Grant Awards Ed. Dept. takes step to broaden standards for other aid contests Education Week

Using the Investing in Innovation program as a building block, the U.S. Department of Education is taking the next formal step to make research and evidence far more important factors as it awards competitive grants.
The goal is twofold: to reward projects that already have established a research-based track record of success and to encourage grant winners to produce rigorous evidence detailing the extent to which their project does—or does not—work.
To make that happen, the Education Department is proposing significant changes to an arcane, bureaucratic set of rules known as EDGAR, or the Education Department General Administrative Regulations, as part of a governmentwide push to introduce more evidence into decisionmaking.
Those rule changes, which are open for public comment, will serve as an umbrella over all the department’s competitive programs, potentially governing more than $2 billion in grants. They would not apply to large, hallmark grants—such as Title I for disadvantaged students—that are given to states under a formula set by law.
But the proposed rules nonetheless signal to educators and policymakers that evidence matters.
http://goo.gl/heZ7V

Lockdowns The Norm For Schools With Frequent Threats NPR All Things Considered

Even before the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., schools have long tried to figure out how to prepare and respond in the event of a shooter on campus. Youth Radio reporter Robin Gee reports from the Bay Area on what lockdowns mean, and what they feel like to kids.
http://goo.gl/rYD1x

Senate to debate 4 new teacher union bills Associated Press via (Pocatello) Idaho State Joural

The Senate Education Committee has agreed to debate a series of bills designed to restrict the power teachers unions have in negotiating multi-year contract agreements and fighting salary cuts, setting the stage for another potentially corrosive battle with public school teachers across the state.
The committee voted along party lines Monday to introduce four new bills being pushed by the Idaho School Boards Association. ISBA Director Karen Echeverria told lawmakers the measures have overwhelming support from school board trustees representing districts big and small and are designed to give trustees more flexibility and precision to manage budgets and make other critical decisions.
For veteran lawmakers, some of the details and objectives of the bills will look familiar to the package of 2011 laws that focused on teacher contracts and bargaining and were overwhelmingly repealed at the ballot box in November.
http://goo.gl/5rx0e

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

January 29:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2013/html/00000060.htm

January 31:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2013/html/00000061.htm

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

February 13-14:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
9 a.m., 250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/Mu36l

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