Education News Roundup: Feb. 11, 2013

"Apophysis-070817-1055" by Mike Nelson Pedde/CC/flickr

“Apophysis-070817-1055” by Mike Nelson Pedde/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Provo Herald looks at education funding in Utah.
http://goo.gl/uzrzT (PDH)

Head of GE Foundation advocates businesses advocating for education.
http://goo.gl/U3k5D (UP)

Rep. Bishop speaks against common core, NCLB.
http://goo.gl/mSLmN (SLT)

ENR’s youngest son is a sophomore at Weber State and not in K-12, so he’s excused from the ‘sex ed for parents’ bill, right?
http://goo.gl/A2gt1 (PDH)
and http://goo.gl/j1G2W (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/Ev4Ah (DN)
and http://goo.gl/JeVmg (SLCW)
and http://goo.gl/prK15 (KTVX)
and http://goo.gl/kriFn (KSL)
and http://goo.gl/azvms (KSTU)

D-News looks at early college high schools.
http://goo.gl/HXDww (DN)

Trib looks at health insurance for high school athletes.
http://goo.gl/vas7P (SLT)

New York Times looks at the reauthorization of ESEA.
http://goo.gl/6rsYR (NYT)

Ed Week wonders if MOOCs are possible at the K-12 level.
http://goo.gl/5kFpq (Ed Week)

No. ENR is not making this up. No. The source for it is not “The Onion.”: Actor Steven Seagal trains Arizona posse on school security.
http://goo.gl/x0ugR (Reuters)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Education is lawmakers’ No. 1 priority, but how?

Investment in Education Vital for American Competitiveness

Bishop visits Legislature with bigger-isn’t-better message

‘Sex ed for parents’ bill rolls forward to Senate

Bill requiring schools to conduct seismic studies fails in House

Bill advances, requiring scholarship recipients to step it up

No Felons on School Board

Youth leaders take concerns about tobacco use to Utah Capitol

Elementary Students Rally For Clean Air

A path forward: Finishing high school with college degree

Top of Utah school districts to teachers: Enter rehab before arrest, conviction

Ogden School board, officials earn honor for professional development

Ogden city may use eminent domain for Dee Elementary

American Fork group wants to restore downtown school building

Injured Utah athletes’ families fear future without insurance
UHSAA » Families of injured athletes fear a policy change that would eliminate catastrophic insurance.

Columbine survivors trying to help Sandy Hook kids

Ex-school custodian pleads guilty to abuse
Burditt to be sentenced in June

Kearns High student to face felony for Twitter threat

Bullying in Utah

Girl says bullying rampant at Payson Junior High

‘It’s empowering our youth,’ says coach about anti-bullying program

Famous motivational speaker to start anti-bullying campaign in Utah

Successful suicide prevention curriculum made available online

With no budget, no pay, Bishop may turn to ‘begging’

Utah charter schools drop in rankings despite improvement

Semifinal judging of more than 800 Sterling Scholar nominees begins Tuesday

Utah Valley University mistakenly offers full scholarships
Scholarship snafu » Utah Valley University apologizes.

Riverside Elementary teacher focuses on math, creativity in classroom

Young chess players participate in Nebo tournament

Survey: 1 in 4 U.S. teens have sexted

Principals compete to get fit; bring students in on challenge

Hurricane Middle School student returns to class after hair color dispute

State asks schools to keep students in for recess

Davis/Morgan Head Start sponsors a petite pirate invasion at Treehouse

Two teens ask special needs boys to Sweetheart Ball

Greenwood Elementary students become gators

Students taste-test potential new school lunch foods

Pathway from poverty: Pioneering program helps low-income children get degrees, IBM jobs

7th-grader sends Hello Kitty into space

Catholic school requires only girls to take no-swearing oath

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Education still critical

Finding clearer pathways to degrees that land jobs

Unsafe schools

Beehives and Buffalo Chips

Thumbs up, thumbs down

Utah lawmakers want fiscal transparency for schools, but not themselves

The winners and the losers

Schools headed for disaster

Schools should be allowed to discuss ‘sexting’

Be Honest About Charter School Funding

Air Quality and Utah’s Public Education ‘Catastrophe’

Statistics don’t matter if it’s your kid’s school

Armed teachers?

More kids, pay less

Eliminate assistant to the assistant’s assistant

The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools

Warnings from the Trenches
A high school teacher tells college educators what they can expect in the wake of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.

The missing piece in education reform? Dads

Hazelwood at 25

Should Introverts Be Graded on Classroom Participation?

NATION

Holding States and Schools Accountable

Teachers press Obama to keep promises as spending cuts loom

How Obama Is Wielding Executive Power In 2nd Term

Roundtable on Education Issues to Watch in 2013

Virtual Educators Critique Value of MOOCs for K-12
Wide-open e-courses are a hot topic in higher ed.

Georgia students struggle on test tied to common core math course

State education influenced by corporations

Outside groups trying to influence L.A. school board races
The Coalition for School Reform has raised more than $1.5 million, mostly from a small group of wealthy donors who helped fund past campaigns. Separate campaigns are being paid for by unions.

Erskine Bowles: U. S. Debt Threatens Education and Innovation Leadership

Rise Early And Shine: Teachers And Students Try Out Longer School Days

Bridging The Divide
Learning Community of Teachers Works Across Sectors

School Health Clinics Expand To Serve Communities

Local Students Want Separate Prom That Bans Gays

Actor Steven Seagal trains Arizona posse on school security

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UTAH NEWS
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Education is lawmakers’ No. 1 priority, but how?

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s voters are told every election by nearly every candidate that education will be their top priority once they are elected to office. The promise is easy to make and usually is sincere. The problem comes in the how. How can lawmakers keep that promise to make Utah’s children their top priority when so many other needs of the state are demanding their attention?
“I don’t care about what anyone says, money talks,” said Kory Holdaway, government relations director for the Utah Education Association. “At the end of the day you have to look at what we are making our top priority.”
Lawmakers tend to agree. Every time the subject of improving education comes up the talk of money begins. Leaders in the Legislature are quick to point out that they intend to fund the growth in public education this year — at a cost of $75 million — and that they intend to fix the accounting error the state board of education made in last year’s budget, which resulted in a $25 million hole. Anything on top of those two items, though, are on hold as lawmakers wait to see what money is available toward the end of the session.
http://goo.gl/uzrzT (PDH)

Investment in Education Vital for American Competitiveness

The head of the General Electric Foundation spent Wednesday meeting with elected officials and business leaders to reinforce the connection between an educated workforce and the ability to thrive in the global marketplace.
Bob Corcoran, the president and chairman of the GE Foundation, shared three recommendations for the business leaders that gathered from across the state:
1. Help Prosperity 2020
2. Be a lightning rod on educational issues
3. Be a steel rod; be the extra rebar that helps decision makers withstand the pressure
http://goo.gl/U3k5D (UP)

Bishop visits Legislature with bigger-isn’t-better message

Rep. Rob Bishop was the last of Utah’s four representatives to address the current session of the Utah Legislature, but his message didn’t deviate much from the thematic elements broached by his House colleagues: bigger — especially when it comes to government — isn’t better.
The Republican told the Utah Senate Monday that great caution should be observed with the federal government’s push for common core — a set of education standards that would tie federal money to local districts. Participation is voluntary by the states, but Bishop said it was a “hook” designed to drag the state into answering to the federal government.
“They’re trying to get you to buy into this,” Bishop said. “If you go through their program and buy into their waiver of No Child Left Behind … you should be concerned.”
He added: “I say that as an old teacher who wants freedom more than anything else.”
http://goo.gl/mSLmN (SLT)

‘Sex ed for parents’ bill rolls forward to Senate

SALT LAKE CITY — The Senate Education Committee has given its approval to a bill that would require the state to create an online course for parents who want to teach their children about sex.
On Monday the committee voted to send a bill to the full body of the Senate that calls on the State Office of Education to create an online program to give parents the tools needed to teach sex education to their own children should they choose to not enroll their kids in a school’s course.
“I think we need to send a message as policy makers that parents are the first that need to take responsibility, not just in sex education but in all education,” said Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, the chief sponsor of the legislation.
http://goo.gl/A2gt1 (PDH)

http://goo.gl/j1G2W (SLT)

http://goo.gl/Ev4Ah (DN)

http://goo.gl/JeVmg (SLCW)

http://goo.gl/prK15 (KTVX)

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

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

Bill requiring schools to conduct seismic studies fails in House

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would have required school districts to conduct seismic studies on older facilities before bonding for new construction failed by one vote in the House Monday.
“I don’t think it’s too much to ask these school districts to look at these older buildings,” the sponsor of HB278, Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, said. “If we could save just one child in this state in the event of an earthquake, then I think we’ve done our job.”
But several representatives questioned the need to spend tax dollars on the studies.
http://goo.gl/LUmvm (DN)

http://goo.gl/D36m2 (SLT)

Bill advances, requiring scholarship recipients to step it up

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah college students who have received Regents’ and New Century scholarships may soon be required to take a heavier class schedule and maintain a higher GPA in order to continue receiving aid.
Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, introduced SB101 this week, proposing that college students be required to enroll in 15 credits and keep up a 3.33 GPA in order to qualify. The bill passed a hearing by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday, and represents an increase from the previous requirements of 12 credits and a 3.0 GPA.
http://goo.gl/I3jW4 (DN)

No Felons on School Board

The House passed a bill 47-27 Thursday intended to keep felons convicted of sex crimes against children from running for a local or state school board.
The sponsor of HB64, Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Salt Lake City, said she was contacted by many people in her district concerned about a school board candidate on the 2012 ballot who had been convicted of sex abuse against a child.
That candidate, Richard Wagner Jones, lost his bid for a seat on the Granite School District board after his status as a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty in 1990 to sex abuse of a child became public.
http://goo.gl/HXb5r (KSL)

Youth leaders take concerns about tobacco use to Utah Capitol

SALT LAKE CITY — Kasia Rampton knows there doesn’t have to be smoke for tobacco to be dangerous.
Kasia, 12-year-old student at Millcreek Junior High School in Bountiful, has heard all about smokeless tobacco products such as dissoluble strips, sticks and orbs.
“The strips look like melt-away breath mints, like Listerine strips,” the seventh-grader said. “The sticks look like toothpicks, and the orbs look like regular breath mints.”
The new products are easy for students to conceal, Kasia said.
“Since so many of our cities have banned smoking in public areas, people have turned to smokeless tobacco, but they are also still smoking, increasing the negative health effects,” she said.
Kasia was one of six students chosen to speak Friday at the Capitol during a rally against tobacco use.
http://goo.gl/ekmNe (DN)

Elementary Students Rally For Clean Air

Elementary students held a rally for clean air in their own parking lot Friday.
Students at Emerson Elementary in Salt Lake City wanted to send a message to parents who picked up their kids from school, to turn off their cars while waiting.
http://goo.gl/Wm511 (KUTV)

A path forward: Finishing high school with college degree

WEST JORDAN — In May, Travis Butterfield will earn his associate degree from Salt Lake Community College with credits to spare, a milestone on his path to a planned career in reconstructive surgery.
Assuming, of course, that he graduates from high school first.
“I still need to finish high school gym,” he said. “It’s the only thing holding me back from graduating.”
Butterfield is a senior at ITINERIS Early College High School, a charter school located on the Jordan campus of Salt Lake Community College. There, Butterfield and his classmates split their time between courses at ITINERIS and college classes across the parking lot at the college, earning their way to a high school diploma and an associate degree simultaneously.
http://goo.gl/HXDww (DN)

Top of Utah school districts to teachers: Enter rehab before arrest, conviction

Teachers who enter rehab for substance abuse issues are less likely to lose their job than teachers arrested for being under the influence or possessing an illegal drug, officials say.
“We do know people have issues in their lives and that some people need assistance,” said Christopher Williams, community relations director for Davis School District.
“It is always better for them to seek professional help than getting caught by law enforcement and jeopardizing their jobs because they didn’t take care of it sooner.”
The majority of the district’s 3,000-plus teachers are “awesome teachers who we don’t have to worry about getting themselves” in situations like what recently happened at Buffalo Elementary School in Syracuse, Williams said.
http://goo.gl/14p7I (OSE)

Ogden School board, officials earn honor for professional development

OGDEN — The Ogden School Board and two district officials have earned a top honor in a program that promotes professional development.
The seven-member school board, along with Superintendent Brad Smith and business administrator Eugene Hart, have completed Level 1 of Master Board requirements on a website developed by the Utah School Boards Association.
Of Utah’s 41 school districts, no other can boast 100 percent board, superintendent and business manager participation.
http://goo.gl/J96D7 (OSE)

Ogden city may use eminent domain for Dee Elementary

OGDEN — A new Dee Elementary School in Ogden may require the city to take some inner-city homes through eminent domain.
The city council has approved a resolution that authorizes the city to enter into an interlocal agreement with the Ogden School District for the property acquisition and development of a new Dee Elementary School, which would be built on
5 acres west of Liberty Park, on the west side of the 2100 block of Madison Avenue.
As part of the agreement, the school district would transfer the existing Dee School site, at 550 22nd St., to the city Jan. 1, 2016. The city would then develop new inner-city housing at the site.
http://goo.gl/TL4vj (OSE)

American Fork group wants to restore downtown school building

AMERICAN FORK — “Your help is needed to restore a gem” — that’s the heading of a letter going out from the Timpanogos Arts Foundation seeking funds to do an architectural study on the former Harrington School in downtown American Fork.
On the north side of city hall, the school has been vacant for many years and is far from a gem in its current state. It is privately owned by Dr. Carl Bell and there have been several proposals to put it to use, but none has come to fruition.
http://goo.gl/6ISIj (PDH)

Injured Utah athletes’ families fear future without insurance
UHSAA » Families of injured athletes fear a policy change that would eliminate catastrophic insurance.

Heber City » These hands once squeezed Xbox controllers and braced falls from skateboards, folded and threw newspapers, grabbed tight to wrestlers and slammed them to the mat.
But now when Dale Lawrence gingerly lifts his left hand off the joystick that controls his wheelchair to softly greet a stranger, the simple action indicates progress, the result of two hard years of physical therapy.
Three times a week, the former Wasatch High wrestler makes the 45-minute trip from this quiet Utah valley to South Jordan for a few hours of exercise and workouts with machines that pump electrodes into his body. By the time early February comes around, the 20-year-old has exhausted the 15 sessions his family’s insurance covers each year.
That’s when catastrophic insurance takes over.
“They pick up what mine doesn’t,” his mother, Kelly Giles, said of the policy the Utah High School Activities Association has carried since the mid-1990s. “Otherwise he wouldn’t be able to go back because we wouldn’t be able to afford it.”
http://goo.gl/vas7P (SLT)

Columbine survivors trying to help Sandy Hook kids

AMERICAN FORK — As survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy are getting ready to sing at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, there is little talk about the difficult road to their post-traumatic recovery.
When the Columbine High School students were finally allowed to return to their school, weeks after the massacre in 1999, they were greeted by countless bins of mail of solidarity from around the world. As students went through the heaps of mail, Amber Wright, a senior at the school, found a small card written by a second-grader. In it, she discovered the healing power of a child’s simple words, which played a significant role in her uphill psychological battle.
“It was called ‘Sometimes I Feel,'” Wright said. “It described some different feelings that a child had had. They were sad feelings — but honest.”
Wright, who now lives in American Fork, said she was so traumatized after the Columbine shooting that it was hard for her to even go out.
http://goo.gl/QYCTP (PDH)

Ex-school custodian pleads guilty to abuse
Burditt to be sentenced in June

ST. GEORGE — A former head custodian at Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School pleaded guilty Friday in 5th District Court to felony counts of forcible sexual abuse and dealing in materials harmful to a minor.
The plea is part of an agreement with prosecutors that dismisses additional charges of abuse, lewdness and attempted voyeurism involving minor-aged girls.
Richard Burditt, 44, will be sentenced in June after completing presentencing evaluations that include an assessment of his sexual interests and development to help the judge determine the appropriate penalty.
http://goo.gl/gcSfI (SGS)

Kearns High student to face felony for Twitter threat

KEARNS — Police say a 17-year-old boy will face felony charges for saying on Twitter that he was going to blow up Kearns High School.
Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal says a caller who was apparently from Washington, D.C. reported the Twitter post about 9 a.m. Thursday. Hoyal says school police checking it out found a photo of explosives attached, and put the school on lockdown.
http://goo.gl/9dHgF (OSE)

http://goo.gl/eMf3R (KUTV)

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

Bullying in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — In this Sunday Edition: A pervasive problem that can happen to anyone anywhere: bullying. We’ll take an in depth look at the problem and how Utah communities can unite to find solutions.
http://goo.gl/RAvqe (KSL)

Girl says bullying rampant at Payson Junior High

PAYSON, Utah – A father says his complaints about bullying at Payson Junior High School did nothing to protect his daughter.
He says he transferred his 14-year-old daughter out of the School because its leaders failed to take action.
His daughter says some of the bullying took place in a classroom, “I raised my hand and asked what day it was and he said, ‘The day I’m going to murder you.'”
The girl says the alleged bully continued with more threats, “He came up to me and he whispered in my ear, ‘I have a knife in my backpack.’ He told me he was going to follow me home and meet my parents,” she continued.
http://goo.gl/nKhfp (KTVX)

‘It’s empowering our youth,’ says coach about anti-bullying program

ST. GEORGE — In a week-long effort to fight against bullying, Friday was deemed “Be a friend Friday.” One program for southern Utah athletes has taken that motto to heart.
The program is Student Athletes Against Bullying (SAAB) and it has been implemented throughout several St. George middle schools.
http://goo.gl/qVspF (KSL)

Famous motivational speaker to start anti-bullying campaign in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — Internationally-renowned motivational speaker Nick Vujicic has chosen Utah as the place to begin his national teen suicide and teen bullying prevention campaign.
Vujicic discussed the idea with Gov. Gary Herbert during his last visit to Utah.
Pastor Greg Johnson with Standing Together helped organize the events that will occur March 7 – 9.
http://goo.gl/kYOVG (KSL)

Successful suicide prevention curriculum made available online

PROVO — “Bully-cide” is a new term being used to describe when someone takes their own life as a result of being bullied.
It’s a problem that will take a united effort to combat, and one Utah educator is making it a bit easier for everyone to access a successful suicide prevention curriculum he helped to create.
Dr. Greg Hudnall, associate superintendent of the Provo City School District, has spent hundreds of hours speaking to thousands of people all over the state about suicide prevention. His reasons are personal.
http://goo.gl/eVoyF (KSL)

With no budget, no pay, Bishop may turn to ‘begging’

Washington » Congress passed the much-heralded rule recently that would hold members’ paychecks hostage if they don’t pass a budget. And while there are many millionaires who might not even flinch at the idea, there are others who could take a serious hit.
Take Rep. Rob Bishop.
The Utah Republican is a former high school teacher who relies on his federal paycheck to pay for his apartment in Washington, home in Brigham City and anything else. He says should the House not pass a budget, it will be “difficult” for him personally.
Bishop’s teaching pension would cover his mortgage payment for his Utah home, but he might have to cut out other expenses, like buying his favorite beverage, Dr Pepper.
http://goo.gl/wE0wV (SLT)

Utah charter schools drop in rankings despite improvement

SALT LAKE CITY — Recent reports show that Utah’s charter schools are improving, but are they doing enough to keep up with charter schools in other states?
Utah’s overall score from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools went up ten points from last year, settling at 131. Despite the rise in score, Utah dropped from 12 to 20 in comparison to other states. Alliance officials say this isn’t because of any mistakes Utah is making, but because other states are dramatically improving.
http://goo.gl/ucppZ (KSL)

Semifinal judging of more than 800 Sterling Scholar nominees begins Tuesday

After months of hard work preparing a portfolio, much waiting and two rounds of interviews, Anisa Mughal was astounded to hear her name called as the 2012 General Sterling Scholar for the Wasatch Front region.
“I’m completely overwhelmed,” she told the Deseret News after the awards ceremony last March. “I wasn’t expecting the best.”
Leaving with the prestige of her award and more than $4,000 in scholarships, Mughal, now a graduate of Skyline High School, has gone on to the University of Pittsburg to study in its pre-med program.
On Tuesday, the process will begin again for more than 800 high school students as judges gather at Ben Lomond High School in Ogden, Copper Hills High School in West Jordan and Timpview High School in Provo to consider which of this year’s Sterling Scholar nominees will proceed to the finals competition and ultimately be named among the Sterling Scholars of 2013.
http://goo.gl/uJ6C  (DN)

http://goo.gl/4ZPCO (DN)

Utah Valley University mistakenly offers full scholarships
Scholarship snafu » Utah Valley University apologizes.

Utah Valley University has apologized to more than 300 high school seniors for an “unfortunate technical glitch” that left them believing they had won full-tuition scholarships to the Orem university.
Letters were sent to 344 students in early January, under the signature of President Matthew Holland, offering them the Exemplary Scholarship, a four-year award that waives tuition charges.
But it turns out that only 40 of the students qualified for the scholarships, which are offered to students who score at least 27 on the ACT exam and have grade point averages of at least 3.7.
The university realized its mistake two or three weeks after the initial letters to the students.
http://goo.gl/71F8a (SLT)

Riverside Elementary teacher focuses on math, creativity in classroom

ST. GEORGE — For the past 10 years, Riverside Elementary fourth-grade teacher Amy Gubler has pursued her love of teaching while continuing to expand her own education in an effort to provide the best educational experience for her students.
Gubler worked for five years at Washington Elementary School before moving to Riverside.
“I’ve always liked working with kids and I wanted to do something to make a difference and give back,” she said.
Gubler has taught several different grades in her career. She said her biggest goal is to leave her students with a lasting impression and a desire to learn.
http://goo.gl/zpbNf (SGS)

Young chess players participate in Nebo tournament

More than 220 students from kindergarten through junior high arrived at Cherry Creek Elementary on Saturday morning to compete in the Nebo School District Chess Tournament. Some wore school chess club shirts and many carried water bottles and Gatorade to keep up their strength through six games that could last 50 minutes each.
http://goo.gl/nWOck (PDH)

Survey: 1 in 4 U.S. teens have sexted

CLINTON — Approximately 25 percent of teenagers have sent a sexually explicit image of themselves to another person.
In addition, approximately 50 percent of teens have received a sexually explicit image from someone else, even when they did not want or ask for the image.
Those figures, according to various national surveys, including the National Institutes of Health and the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, are the reason a local neuropsychologist has created an online diversion program aimed at educating teens about the dangers of sexting and how to engage in safe cellphone practices.
Dr. Adam Schwebach, a neuropsychologist at the Neuropsychology Center of Utah and president of www.courteducationonline.com, said 90 percent of students in one local high school who took the online diversion course said they didn’t realize sexting was illegal. In 2009, Utah passed a law defining sexting between minors as a misdemeanor crime.
http://goo.gl/gHRuc (OSE)

Principals compete to get fit; bring students in on challenge

MURRAY — Principals at 15 schools throughout the Salt Lake Valley are going head-to-head in a challenge that will test their hearts.
Each has pledged to exercise, eat healthy and incorporate wellness into their lives for at least the next 100 days, during the Intermountain Heart Institute’s My Heart Challenge. The same challenge pitted a dozen city leaders against each other last year, resulting in healthier mayors and communities county-wide.
http://goo.gl/t4XQO (KSL)

Hurricane Middle School student returns to class after hair color dispute

HURRICANE — A Hurricane Middle School student who was removed from class last week for dying her hair red was allowed to rejoin her classmates Monday.
Fifteen-year-old Rylee MacKay returned to class after administrators determined that her hair color would not be distracting to students.
MacKay was removed from class last Wednesday, telling The Spectrum that she was approached by Vice Principal Jan Goodwin and told her hair looked purple and pink in the sunlight.
On Monday, that must have changed, although Rylee had only washed her hair each day like normal, said Rylee’s mother, Amy MacKay.
“All they said was that it didn’t look pink anymore and that she could return to class,” Amy MacKay said, adding that she was unsure if she would pursue the matter further to try and change the district’s dress code, which states that, “Extreme hairstyles are prohibited. Hair color should be within the spectrum of color that grows naturally.”
http://goo.gl/HmMZP (SGS)

http://goo.gl/lPA6t (OSE)

http://goo.gl/MjJQ9 (PDH)

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

http://goo.gl/7864U (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/Bc8xb (HuffPo)

State asks schools to keep students in for recess

Air pollution along the Wasatch Front has forced many school children indoors for recess this winter, following guidance from Utah’s state asthma program.
Alpine School District has one of the highest percentage of schools in the state signed up for emergency alerts from the Division of Air Quality. State officials are touting the district’s success with the program as an example for the rest of the state to follow. They are encouraging not only school principals but parents to sign up for the alerts so they can better monitor whether it is safe for children to be outside.
http://goo.gl/fQ4Zf (PDH)

Davis/Morgan Head Start sponsors a petite pirate invasion at Treehouse

OGDEN — It’s not every day that pirates bake cakes, have tea or make craft projects, but Thursday night was the exception at the Treehouse Children’s Museum as families from the Davis/Morgan Head Start program participated in a pirate diversity night.
This is the second year for the free event and about 700 people participated.
Christine Ipsen, family and community partnership manager for the program, said they try to hold family events once per quarter, but the Treehouse event is one of the biggest.
http://goo.gl/m99ae (OSE)

Two teens ask special needs boys to Sweetheart Ball

LAYTON, Utah — Two Northridge High School teens decided to ask special needs students to their school’s Sweetheart Ball, and their dates were thrilled.
Jordan Dyett said the idea came to her when her friend Devin Register told her he was sad he hadn’t been asked to the dance.
http://goo.gl/I1ahL (KSTU)

Greenwood Elementary students become gators

AMERICAN FORK — As part of a rebranding of Greenwood Elementary School, the students have chosen a new mascot. They will be known as the “Greenwood Gators.” Previously they had been called the explorers.
“As we have tried to change the school and the reputation, I met with the School Community Council, PTA and parents,” said Principal Jason Benson. “They felt we needed a new start. We have had so many changes and so much progress. They wanted to rebrand ourselves, plus it built community.”
The school also adopted a mission statement, which will be posted for all to see.
“It talks about confidence and academic success,” Benson said. “We had teachers talk to the students about it. Some didn’t even know what the word confidence meant.”
“Greenwood Elementary is committed to developing confident students who achieve their highest potential through experiences which build a foundation of academic success and instill a passion of life-long learning,” says the mission statement.
http://goo.gl/wxclp (PDH)

Students taste-test potential new school lunch foods

SANDY — Students around the country have been pretty vocal about their school lunches since new USDA guidelines went into effect under the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. Now, 160 students from various schools along the Wasatch Front will have a say in what is served at schools during a Food Fair in which they tasted new offerings.
A school food purchasing co-op called UCARE sponsored the event, where students tried items like whole grain products, protein, fruits, vegetables, new pizza and a number of Utah’s Own products.
http://goo.gl/brE1P (DN)

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

http://goo.gl/2sHUP (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/dH0vw (KSL)

http://goo.gl/c9Nrk (KSTU)

Pathway from poverty: Pioneering program helps low-income children get degrees, IBM jobs

By the time Trudon Exter walks through the metal detectors at the front doors of Brooklyn’s Paul Robeson High School, he’s been commuting for more than two hours. To get to school by 8 a.m. from his home in Queens, he rides two buses and a subway through some of New York City’s toughest neighborhoods.
http://goo.gl/cjlgW (DN)

7th-grader sends Hello Kitty into space

ANTIOCH, Calif. — A California seventh-grader has sent her Hello Kitty doll more than 90,000 feet above the planet — into near space — for a science project.
http://goo.gl/QGaFo (KSL)

Catholic school requires only girls to take no-swearing oath

NORTH ARLINGTON, New Jersey — A New Jersey Catholic school has opened a pledge not to swear on school grounds to male students after the school was criticized for what some called a sexist approach to solving the swearing problem.
Girls at Queen of Peace High School in North Arlington were asked at the beginning of the month to take an oath not to swear for 30 days — because “we want ladies to act like ladies,” according to Lori Flynn, the teacher who launched the campaign.
http://goo.gl/pBq1B (KSL)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Education still critical
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

Utah lawmakers are wondering how much money they’ll have to fund public education in Utah. The dysfunctions that plague national politics in Washington D.C. — its massive debt and promises of belt-tightening that are later procrastinated — can lead state lawmakers guessing as to whether Utah’s finances will be in the black or the red. This year the fiscal cliff and scheduled budget cuts could affect Utah. Budget numbers will come out on Feb. 19. There’s a good chance the state will have a deficit.
Nevertheless, it’s critical that Utah lawmakers make sure that our state’s educational needs are met. Frankly, Utah needs more funding in education. Compared to most other states, our funding is poor. Our schools have grown at an annual rate of 2.2 percent the last few years. Legislators work hard to find ways to meet the increases, and we appreciate that. However, there needs to be a renewed effort to brainstorm more ways to increase money for schools.
The Republican leadership is very cool to a tax hike. We understand those concerns. The economy is still struggling. However, there are long-term implications when Utah’s education spending remains relatively low compared to the rest of the nation.
http://goo.gl/EHoyd

Cal Grondahl editorial cartoon
http://goo.gl/MzfXc (OSE)

Finding clearer pathways to degrees that land jobs
Deseret News editorial

As we consider what kind of higher education will provide a path to prosperity, it would be wise to remember the oft-provided guidance to investors: past performance is not a guarantee of future returns. Proliferating colleges in the mold of the research university may have worked for previous generations, but that elaborate model is now failing — especially as higher education has a responsibility to reach students from every strata of a more diverse population. Its costs are hyper-inflated, its quality increasingly suspect and its relevance to the world of work increasingly tenuous.
The real innovations in higher learning will emerge from institutions relentlessly focused on lowering the cost of high-quality instruction that leads to measurable achievement in work and life.

Consequently, we fully support legislation (SB 169) proposed by Sen. Stuart Reid that assigns a blue ribbon task force the responsibility to identify systemic reforms that can help provide a more seamless alignment between public education, higher education and the needs of a global marketplace for talent.
http://goo.gl/YVUeC

Unsafe schools
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

There could be hundreds of schools in Utah that would be dangerous places for children to be in an earthquake. But nobody really knows. That’s because legislators and some school officials are afraid of what they might find out. But HB278 could provide that information — and a first step toward making all schools safer. The legislation would require school districts to get a seismic assessment of schools built prior to 1975 before they issue general obligation bonds for school construction or renovation. It’s not as strong a measure as Utah children deserve — many schools built after 1975 are unsafe, and the bill requires only a cursory evaluation — but it would be a start we hope would lead to more thorough assessments and retrofitting. After all, the State Capitol where legislators and the governor and their staffs work has had seismic upgrade. Don’t our children deserve as much protection?
http://goo.gl/lmJWu

Beehives and Buffalo Chips
(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

Buffalo Chip to Utah Valley University for planting dreams in the hearts of some 300 high school students by offering them full-ride, four-year scholarships, and then three weeks later crushing them. Blame it on a “clerical error” that identified students with ACT scores of at least 27 but failed to weigh the other criterion, a minimum 3.7 GPA. The offer letters included a glowing note from university president Matt Holland, calling recipients “the brightest and most promising prospective students” who were singled out for “stellar academic performance.” Correction: You are actually a dim bulb. Sorry, kid.
Beehive to Spanish Fork High School senior Paige Stodtmeister, for tutoring special needs students. It all started when she was attending Spanish Fork Junior High in ninth grade, and it’s grown from there. Paige organized The Youth Activity Group in which she celebrates the other students’ birthdays, takes them to school activities such as sporting events and dances, helps them develop art skills and otherwise makes them feel included.
Buffalo Chip to the unnamed 17-year-old who tweeted that he was going to blow up Kearns High School in Salt Lake County. The tweet circulated around the nation for awhile until a person from Washington, D.C., called police. The kid was soon found, and protested that it was all a joke. Unfortunately for him, the days are long gone when students could get away with singing, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school / We have tortured every teacher, we have broken every rule.” Nowadays, this sort of thing brings a felony charge.
http://goo.gl/3JoKU

Thumbs up, thumbs down
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

Thumbs up: To Weber State University student Jessica Brooks, 15. She’s getting ready to graduate and preparing to start medical school, all before she receives her driver’s license.
http://goo.gl/x7vjA

Utah lawmakers want fiscal transparency for schools, but not themselves
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

The Utah Senate unanimously passed a bill that would require school districts to report their expenses on a public site.
While the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Daniel Thatcher, said on the Senate floor it is “the greatest bill of all time,” there was concern expressed by the education community that the numbers do not tell the whole story of what is happening in the schools. Simply reporting raw expenditure data could create public misunderstandings.
No matter. The “greatest bill of all time” seems to have no resistance from Republicans or Democrats, and it is now in the House of Representatives.
But when former Sen. Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County’s new Democratic mayor, last year introduced SB117, which would have required the Legislature to publish on its website when money was taken from the Education Fund, the response from his colleagues was a resounding “Nooooooooo.”
http://goo.gl/wCMOT

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

Loser: About 300 high school students received letters last month telling them they were being offered full scholarships to Utah Valley University because of their stellar academic performance, but the letters were sent in error. Officials blame a clerical error that considered only ACT scores and not grade point averages. The school has waived deadlines for these students to apply for other scholarships. That probably won’t make up for the shock they felt at receiving the follow-up letter telling them the first letter was in error.
http://goo.gl/bhCvA

Schools headed for disaster
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Judy Mahoskey, a 2012 recipient of the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education

I am impatient with our Legislature. After years of politely asking its members to acknowledge and address the problems in the education funding formulas, which the public overwhelmingly supports, I can barely be anything less than snarky.
Seriously, lawmakers, why don’t I see any bills to attend to serious immediate and long-term education funding? Laudably, Rep. Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, and Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake, have each suggested some tweaks to add a trickle to the education budget, but what we really need is an overhaul of our current tax system.
The millions of education dollars lost when we moved to the flat tax has proved disastrous, and Utahans clearly support doing whatever it takes to address education needs.
http://goo.gl/2uO4P

Schools should be allowed to discuss ‘sexting’
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Krystal K. Baker, a secondary education teacher in the Nebo School District

A recent national survey found that 20 percent of teens between the ages of 13 and 19 have sent or posted a nude photo, two-thirds of which were sent to a romantic partner. Fifteen percent of teens admit to having forwarded sexual images to other recipients. The average age for sending a “sext message” is 12, and the typical age for receiving a first sext message is 10.
As a public educator in a secondary school setting I have observed the widespread practice of “sexting” among teens. Teens casually and openly discuss sexts they have sent or received and the distribution of sexual images of themselves and peers via social networking sites. In accordance with policies set by the Utah State Board of Education, teachers are responsible for reporting inappropriate activities that have occurred at the school.
While the sexual images are very rarely generated at school, the transmission and ensuing cyberbullying often are.
I do not believe that a majority of students are naive, but I do believe they often don’t understand the magnitude of the implications surrounding a quick, naughty text message or forwarded image.
http://goo.gl/gxdJw

Be Honest About Charter School Funding
Utah Taxpayers Association commentary

School districts don’t like competitors, especially ones who receive taxpayer money. Of late, the most common sign of this dislike has been their repeated attempt to pin responsibility for the districts’ property taxes tax on charter schools. Representative Kraig Powell’s HB 264 is the latest example. HB 264 would require the property tax notice to include a line item describing the amount of local property taxes that go to charter schools.
There are two problems with HB 264. First, charter schools have no authority to impose property taxes. Second, no property taxes go to charter schools. If anything, school districts should have to explain why they continue to receive funding tied to students who’ve left the district to attend a charter school.
http://goo.gl/DUztA

Air Quality and Utah’s Public Education ‘Catastrophe’
Utah Policy commentary by columnist Bryan Schott

Recently Utah’s Democratic leaders called the state’s public education system a “catastrophe.” Do you agree with that assessment, or are they overstating the problem?
http://goo.gl/99n4b

Statistics don’t matter if it’s your kid’s school
KSL commentary by Guy Bliesner, school safety and security administrator for the Bonneville School District in Idaho Falls, Idaho

SALT LAKE CITY — According to The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and WeatherImagery, your child is more than twice as likely to be struck by lightning than be the victim of a school shooting.
But if the unthinkable should occur, and your child is a victim, the statistics are suddenly irrelevant.
What are the concrete steps that you and your school should take?
http://goo.gl/SF50x

Armed teachers?
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Liz Montague

Having been a classroom teacher for 34 years, when I read “Utahns cool with guns in school” (Tribune, Jan. 24), my jaw (and spirits) dropped: “Nearly six out of 10 Utahns believe teachers should be allowed to pack firearms in the classroom.”
Take a moment to think back on your own years in school. Who were the teachers who most influenced your life? What was the classroom atmosphere like where you learned most?
Were you allowed to ask questions, have debates with classmates, honestly discuss your thoughts and ideas in a safe and open forum where the aim was to learn to listen to all views with respect, and to challenge your own thinking if the views had solid evidence to support them?
Democracy — civilization — depends on gaining these skills.
Think of those same respected teachers with guns. Has the balance of power shifted?
http://goo.gl/63zpx

More kids, pay less
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Kelly Francis

Every year, I get a kick watching state legislators’ creative ways to increase funding for public education. Look at the personal-exemption tax credit.
State law dictates that the more children you have, the less you pay to educate them. A family with eight kids gets a whopping $22,800 discount from taxable income while a couple with no children gets none. This isn’t rocket science, folks.
http://goo.gl/JIyIf

Eliminate assistant to the assistant’s assistant
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Ed Venstra

I read the Feb. 5 guest commentary by Ron Smith, “New ideas for funding education need consideration,” and found it quite interesting. All of his ideas are good, but there are a couple I thought were great.
Tax revenue from a legalized lottery would be a great source of income for schools. I think his best idea is the one in which he says, “Turn schools over to teachers and eliminate layers of administration in the process.”
I don’t mind paying taxes for schools. I have grandkids in public schools, but I believe it’s getting out of hand.
The school dilemma we are experiencing in Utah has a very easy solution. We need to eliminate the assistant to the assistant’s assistant. Plain and simple. We are top heavy in administration. After we pay all of these high-salaried officials, there’s not much left for students and teachers. Classrooms are not getting a big enough piece of the pie.
http://goo.gl/rlnZ0

The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools
New York Times op-ed by DAVID L. KIRP, professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley

WHAT would it really take to give students a first-rate education? Some argue that our schools are irremediably broken and that charter schools offer the only solution. The striking achievement of Union City, N.J. — bringing poor, mostly immigrant kids into the educational mainstream — argues for reinventing the public schools we have.
Union City makes an unlikely poster child for education reform. It’s a poor community with an unemployment rate 60 percent higher than the national average. Three-quarters of the students live in homes where only Spanish is spoken. A quarter are thought to be undocumented, living in fear of deportation.
Public schools in such communities have often operated as factories for failure. This used to be true in Union City, where the schools were once so wretched that state officials almost seized control of them. How things have changed. From third grade through high school, students’ achievement scores now approximate the statewide average. What’s more, in 2011, Union City boasted a high school graduation rate of 89.5 percent — roughly 10 percentage points higher than the national average. Last year, 75 percent of Union City graduates enrolled in college, with top students winning scholarships to the Ivies.
As someone who has worked on education policy for four decades, I’ve never seen the likes of this. After spending a year in Union City working on a book, I believe its transformation offers a nationwide strategy.
http://goo.gl/uOndz

Warnings from the Trenches
A high school teacher tells college educators what they can expect in the wake of No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top.
Academe commentary by Kenneth Bernstein, a retired, award-winning social studies teacher who lives near Washington, DC.

You are a college professor.
I have just retired as a high school teacher.
I have some bad news for you. In case you do not already see what is happening, I want to warn you of what to expect from the students who will be arriving in your classroom, even if you teach in a highly selective institution.
No Child Left Behind went into effect for the 2002–03 academic year, which means that America’s public schools have been operating under the pressures and constrictions imposed by that law for a decade. Since the testing requirements were imposed beginning in third grade, the students arriving in your institution have been subject to the full extent of the law’s requirements. While it is true that the US Department of Education is now issuing waivers on some of the provisions of the law to certain states, those states must agree to other provisions that will have as deleterious an effect on real student learning as did No Child Left Behind—we have already seen that in public schools, most notably in high schools.
http://goo.gl/uVH5T

The missing piece in education reform? Dads
CNN commentary by Christopher Brown (executive vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative) and Vincent DiCaro (vice president of development and communication of the National Fatherhood Initiative)

There is no shortage of answers about how to improve our nation’s schools, including more charter schools, school vouchers, standardized testing, lower teacher-student ratios and performance-based hiring, pay and promotion of teachers.
However, what we find lacking in almost every debate about education reform is the role of families – especially fathers – and the support they can and should provide to ensure children’s educational success.
If parents, educators and reformers are to make a difference in improving children’s educational success, we must expand our definition of education reform. We must move beyond the myopic focus on education systems and implement tactics that include a more prominent place for parent involvement in schools.
http://goo.gl/O5VdH

Hazelwood at 25
Education Week op-ed by Frank D. LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center

When 18-year-old high school senior Krystal Myers tried to speak out about what she perceived as heavy-handed religious indoctrination by her Lenoir City, Tenn., public school, she got a lesson in “Hazelwood justice.”
School administrators removed her column, “No Rights: The Life of an Atheist,” from the student newspaper. Justifying the decision, the district superintendent explained that the article would be “distracting” because it might provoke “passionate conversations.”
How we got to a place where passionate conversations about social and educational issues became a distraction from the school day—and not a central purpose of the school day—is the story of Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier.
Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that a Missouri principal did not offend the First Amendment when he removed articles about teen pregnancy, divorce, and other so-called mature topics from a high school newspaper. By a 5-3 vote, the court ruled that, when students use an expressive “forum” provided by their schools, administrators are free to censor their speech on any basis “reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.”
The decision was legally dubious from the start.
http://goo.gl/I2anX

Should Introverts Be Graded on Classroom Participation?
Education Week commentary by columnist Liana Heitin

In the Atlantic, teacher Jessica Lahey makes an argument for continuing to calculate classroom participation into student grades, despite complaints from the parents of introverted students.
According to Lahey, these parents assert that she’s “not meeting their child’s unspoken educational needs” or that she’s “causing serious emotional trauma by requiring their child to speak up in school.” Lahey, a self-described extrovert who is married to one introvert and mother to another, remains undeterred.
http://goo.gl/lXcOC

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Holding States and Schools Accountable
New York Times

As Congress contemplates rewriting No Child Left Behind, President George W. Bush’s signature education law, legislators will tussle over a vision of how the federal government should hold states and schools accountable for students’ academic progress.
Enlarge This Image
At a Senate education committee hearing on Thursday to discuss waivers to states on some provisions of the law, Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, forcefully urged the federal government to get out of the way.
“We only give you 10 percent of your money,” said Mr. Alexander, pressing John B. King Jr., the education commissioner for New York State. “Why do I have to come from the mountains of Tennessee to tell New York that’s good for you?”
Dr. King argued that the federal government needed to set “a few clear, bright-line parameters” to protect students, especially vulnerable groups among the poor, minorities and the disabled.
“It’s important to set the right floor around accountability,” Dr. King said.
Despite repeated efforts over the last five years, Congress has failed to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Act, the law that governs all public schools that receive federal financing.
http://goo.gl/6rsYR

Teachers press Obama to keep promises as spending cuts loom
Reuters

WASHINGTON – The largest teachers union in the United States is telling President Barack Obama not to back down from promises he made in his January inauguration speech as the country prepares to begin a decade of billions of dollars in federal spending cuts.
Obama will give his annual State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, in which he will likely spell out practical steps for accomplishing goals he presented last month.
In a letter sent to Obama on Friday, the president of the National Education Association, Dennis Van Roekel, said the inaugural address laid out a “clear agenda – to support and lift up the hopes, dreams and rights of all Americans.
http://goo.gl/lpdBS

How Obama Is Wielding Executive Power In 2nd Term
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — This is what “Forward” looks like. Fast forward, even.
President Barack Obama’s campaign slogan is springing to life in a surge of executive directives and agency rule-making that touch many of the affairs of government. They are shaping the cost and quality of health plans, the contents of the school cafeteria, the front lines of future combat, the price of coal. They are the leading edge of Obama’s ambition to take on climate change in ways that may be unachievable in legislation.
Altogether, it’s a kinetic switch from what could have been the watchword of the Obama administration in the closing, politically hypersensitive months of his first term: pause.

Among recent actions:

-The government proposed fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits in almost all food sold in schools, extending federal nutritional controls beyond subsidized lunches to include food sold in school vending machines and a la carte cafeteria lines. The new proposals flow from a 2010 law and are among several sidelined during the campaign.
The law provoked an outcry from conservatives who said the government was empowering itself to squash school bake sales and should not be telling kids what to eat. Updated regulations last year on subsidized school lunches produced a backlash, too, altogether making the government shy of further food regulation until the election passed. The new rules leave school fundraisers clear of federal regulation, alleviating fears of cupcake-crushing edicts at bake sales and the like.
-The Justice Department released an opinion that people with food allergies can be considered to have the rights of disabled people. The finding exposes schools, restaurants and other food-service places to more legal risk if they don’t accommodate patrons with food allergies.
http://goo.gl/PdWRa

Roundtable on Education Issues to Watch in 2013
Bloomberg

Education writers Dana Goldstein, Anya Kamenetz, Alyson Klein, and Andrew Rotherham, discuss federal funding for early education, rising racial and socioeconomic segregation, digital learning, school choice, teacher preparation, Common Core Standards, and “Elementary and Secondary Education Act” waivers and reauthorization. They talk with Jane Williams on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg EDU.”
http://goo.gl/8y0wF

Virtual Educators Critique Value of MOOCs for K-12
Wide-open e-courses are a hot topic in higher ed.
Education Week

When 200 students sign up for a course, educators normally think of ways to split up the classroom into more manageable sizes. But for the University of Miami Global Academy, an online high school run by the University of Miami, building a class with hundreds of students was all part of the plan when it launched its first “massively open online course,” or MOOC, in November. The six-week, noncredit course—a virtual seminar designed to help high school students prepare for the SAT II subject test in biology—used virtual-conferencing software to allow students to interact with the teacher in real time.
Students from as far away as China signed up for the biweekly sessions, and feedback about the course has been positive, said Craig Wilson, the head of school for the Miami Global Academy, a private, online-only middle and high school that serves 143 students from the United States and 20 other countries.
“We’re still exploring [the MOOC course model],” Mr. Wilson said. “I think that most institutions are still trying to find the best way to apply the massively-open-online-course platform to the audience they serve.”
MOOCs have been hailed by their evangelists as a revolution in virtual education that will open doors to teachers and curricula not otherwise available to a mass audience. They have garnered so much attention in higher education that the online news site Inside Higher Ed named the approach the top educational technology trend of 2012.
And now, the trend is showing up in K-12 environments such as the Miami Global Academy, although at a much slower rate than the idea has taken off in colleges and universities.
http://goo.gl/5kFpq

Georgia students struggle on test tied to common core math course
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Judging from students’ initial experience in a new math course, Georgia’s move to a common core of academic standards shared by 44 other states won’t be painless.
Just under 59 percent did not meet the standard set for an end-of-course test after they took a new algebra course tied to the common core.
http://goo.gl/2SO0L

State education influenced by corporations
Tulsa (OK) World

A new report sheds light on the influence of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s education foundation and its corporate backers on Oklahoma’s education leaders and latest policies.
Through public records requests, a Washington, D.C.,-based advocacy group released a report called “In the Public Interest” that shows the Foundation for Excellence in Education is writing and editing education laws and regulations in six states in ways that could benefit its private funders.
The group contends the arrangement is essentially a “pay-to-play” scheme in which corporations can influence policy and then reap the profits.
“Testing companies and for-profit online schools see education as big business,” said In the Public Interest Chair Donald Cohen. “For-profit companies are hiding behind FEE and other business lobby organizations they fund to write laws and promote policies that enrich the companies.”
http://goo.gl/tBtGm

Outside groups trying to influence L.A. school board races
The Coalition for School Reform has raised more than $1.5 million, mostly from a small group of wealthy donors who helped fund past campaigns. Separate campaigns are being paid for by unions.
Los Angeles Times

Outside groups are mounting campaigns to influence the outcome of three races for seats on the Los Angeles Board of Education.
The Coalition for School Reform has raised more than $1.5 million, mostly from a small group of wealthy donors who helped fund past campaigns.
The coalition is conducting an independent campaign in support of its preferred candidates for three open board seats in the March 5 election. Separate independent campaigns are being paid for by the teachers union, unions representing other district employees and the L.A. County Federation of Labor.
The clearest battle lines are in District 4, which stretches from the Westside to the west San Fernando Valley.
http://goo.gl/LO1Ay

Erskine Bowles: U. S. Debt Threatens Education and Innovation Leadership
Forbes

“Our decreasing investment in education puts our leadership in the world at risk.” Erskine Bowles
Erskine Bowles is known as a business and public policy leader. He is perhaps best known currently for his leading role as an advocate – along with partner Alan Simpson – for responsible debt and deficit reduction. Bowles also served five years as President of the University of North Carolina, the governing body of the 17-campus North Carolina university system.
We talked recently about the critical role of education in business growth, innovation and competitiveness, and in driving America’s global leadership. Not surprisingly, Bowles links many of our current challenges in education to a debt-saddled economy. Following are some highlights from that conversation:
http://goo.gl/cnlJc

Rise Early And Shine: Teachers And Students Try Out Longer School Days
NPR All Things Considered

It’s 7:30 a.m. on a recent weekday, the sun is still rising and the kids at Pulaski Elementary School in Meriden, Conn., are already dancing.
They are stomping, hopping, clapping and generally “getting the shakies out,” as fifth-grader Jaelinne Davis puts it.
“If we’re like hyper, if we do this, then we can get better at, like, staying mellow and stuff like that,” she says.
By 9 a.m., Jaelinne will be back at her normal school day with its core curriculum that is graded by a state test at the end of the year.
But until then, she’ll have 80 minutes of exercising, breakfast and enrichment classes. These classes such as math, computer games, robotics and hands-on science lessons are all meant to be fun, but still include a level of learning, extending the length of a typical school day.
Although kids may not like the idea of creating a longer school day, policymakers do.
http://goo.gl/zmvvj

Bridging The Divide
Learning Community of Teachers Works Across Sectors
Community College Week

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — In the continuing challenge to help students achieve proficiency in math, Samuel Simpson thinks he has found a formula for success.
It comes down to understanding and embracing each student’s learning style and creating a nurturing environment by having students work together and teach one another. It also means encouraging students to call, text or email him anytime with questions about homework or concepts covered in class.
Simpson’s pre-calculus class at All City High School, an inner-city school in this upstate New York city of 210,000 inhabitants, is the laboratory for this experiment.
As one of the first fellows of the pioneering Community Center for Teaching Excellence (CCTE), the 54-year-old Simpson is trying out innovative approaches to teaching, learning and testing this school year to help students succeed in his math classes and graduate from high school prepared for college. Outcomes of his efforts will be shared with the center, a new initiative aimed at establishing a regional knowledge base of best teaching practices to improve student success across the K-20 continuum.
http://goo.gl/2Qktl

School Health Clinics Expand To Serve Communities
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — When Maria Barrales’ children got sick, she would drive two hours south from her East Los Angeles home to the Mexican border and spend two more hours waiting to cross so she could go to an affordable doctor in Tijuana.
Now, Barrales, who does not have health insurance, can walk a couple of blocks to Garfield High School and see a modestly priced physician at a new health clinic converted from an auto shop on the school grounds.
“This is something so necessary here. A lot of people don’t have insurance, and they don’t have the means to go to Tijuana,” she said in Spanish.
The clinic is one of 14 new “wellness centers” that the Los Angeles Unified School District is rolling out this year at schools in impoverished neighborhoods in an initiative that expands the mission of traditional school-based health centers from treating only students into one that treats the general public, too.
http://goo.gl/EQoNy

Local Students Want Separate Prom That Bans Gays
(Indianapolis, IN) WTWO

A team of Valley high schoolers and parents rally for a separate prom that bans gays.
NBC 2’s Paige Preusse reports how Sullivan High School says there’s nothing legally they can do to allow it… several students and parents are taking matters into their own hands.
Several parents, students, and others who believe gays should be banned from the Sullivan High School prom met Sunday at the Sullivan First Christian Church.
http://goo.gl/hTfOP

Actor Steven Seagal trains Arizona posse on school security
Reuters

FOUNTAIN HILLS, Arizona – Action film star Steven Seagal, who racks up big body counts in his on-screen battles with bad guys, took on a new role on Saturday, training posse volunteers for controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio in how to use guns to protect schools in shooting incidents.
Arpaio, who styles himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” enlisted Seagal to train his Maricopa County posse members at a school in Fountain Hills, a suburb northeast of Phoenix, with children used as stand-ins for scared students.
Seagal, a burly martial arts expert turned actor, guided 48 volunteers through various aspects of responding to a shooting, including room-to-room searches, and critiqued their work.
“I am here to try to teach the posse firearms and martial arts to try to help them learn how to respond quicker and help protect our children,” Seagal said.
http://goo.gl/x0ugR

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

February 11:
Senate Education Committee meeting
8 a.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/SEDU0211.ag.htm

House Revenue & Taxation Committee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/HREV0211.ag.htm

Senate Health & Human Services Committee meeting
8 a.m., 250 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/SHHS0211.ag.htm

February 12:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2013/html/00000827.htm

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

February 14:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
Noon, 250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

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