Education News Roundup: Feb. 20, 2013

"Junior Year" by flickr.com/photos/amanda_munoz/CC/flickr

“Junior Year” by flickr.com/photos/amanda_munoz/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Suicide prevention bill advances.
http://goo.gl/Zvuy1 (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/rk2iO (DN)

So does the Carson Smith Scholarship bill.
http://goo.gl/d5pFm (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/VxZjl (DN)

Utah ranks 11th in the nation for seniors earning AP credit.
http://goo.gl/Oz6tM (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/NFCVf (DN)
and http://goo.gl/ChAfR (KCSG)
and http://goo.gl/ce2Ir (AP, as in Associated Press, not Advanced Placement) and http://goo.gl/oXYVv (WaPo) and http://goo.gl/ZOccv (Ed Week) or http://goo.gl/qdd6c (USOE) or http://goo.gl/qDnmd (AP, as in Advanced Placement, not Associated Press)

Federal Equity and Excellence Commission discusses how to close the achievement gap.
http://goo.gl/StvKD (WaPo)
and http://goo.gl/PyIrP (CSM)
and http://goo.gl/YLlWI (AP)
and http://goo.gl/ymbFv (McClatchy)
and http://goo.gl/TuZvv (Stateline)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah death puts bullying, suicide in spotlight for lawmakers
Education » Bills would require schools to warn parents of suicide threats, bullying or hazing.

Parents to Utah lawmakers: Don’t forget special-needs kids
Education » Parents lobbied legislators to expand scholarships for special needs students.

Internet safety bill advanced by House committee

Special elections to all be in November if governor signs bill

State School Board member Pyfer not a fan of Senate Bill 110

Economy rebounding, but legislators playing it safe
Budget » Lawmakers say tax collections don’t account for the whole picture.

Tax talks unnerve some Utah investors, charities
Debate » Putting cap on itemized deductions, altering tax breaks could curb the incentive to give.

Utah teens rank 11th in country for passing Advanced Placement tests

Logan Board of Ed hosting public hearing on potential bond election

Orem tackles bullying in schools

Documentary featuring Roy High bomb plot hero airing Wednesday night

Candy Bomber speaks to local students and families

Utah choir students to perform in Germany

Nebo School Board fills vacancy

Tooele School District to hold math workshop for parents, students

‘Parent Program’ engages parents, high schoolers in Driver’s Education

High School Honor Band Concert set for Feb. 23

Canyons District accepting Teacher of the Year nominations

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Grads of International Baccalaureate lurk among conservatives

Utah’s unique resources — youth and education

Hug a child, then harangue state leaders on education

The good, bad and ugly about mercenary educators

Taking a harder look at Head Start

Tax benefits children

The Faux Empiricist
The president declares the pre-K science is settled. It is no such thing.

Higher standards are crucial to students’ success

Five habits of great students: Lessons from top-ranked STEM school

NATION

Education panel: To close achievement gap, urgent state, federal action needed

Superintendents decry attacks on K-12 education
Questions emerge about political micromanaging of public schools

Sen. Mike Johnston unveils bill to revamp school finance in Colorado

Some ‘Cyber Schools’ Falling Short Of Their Sales Pitch

Teachers Ditch Student Desk Chairs for Yoga Balls

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah death puts bullying, suicide in spotlight for lawmakers
Education » Bills would require schools to warn parents of suicide threats, bullying or hazing.

Just months after a Bennion Junior High student killed himself in front of his peers, lawmakers are taking on two increasingly prominent issues in Utah: bullying and teen suicide.
The Senate Education Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved SB184, a bill that would require schools to notify parents if their children threaten to commit suicide or are involved in bullying or hazing. In such situations, the bill would require schools to get parents to sign statements acknowledging the notifications, to ensure that parents and schools fully connect, said bill sponsor Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City.
http://goo.gl/Zvuy1 (SLT)

http://goo.gl/rk2iO (DN)

Parents to Utah lawmakers: Don’t forget special-needs kids
Education » Parents lobbied legislators to expand scholarships for special needs students.

One by one, parents of children with special needs tearfully approached lawmakers Tuesday with two messages: thank you and we need more help.
“We don’t expect you to give us the moon,” said Cheryl Smith —one of a number of parents who urged lawmakers Tuesday to support SB103 to expand Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarships, a program named after her son Carson, now 14. “We [take out a second] mortgage [on] our house and sell our cars because we’re so desperate as parents to make sure our kids have the best life.”
It was a message the Senate Education Committee took to heart Tuesday, voting unanimously to advance SB103 to the Senate floor. The scholarship, which was started in 2005, awards an average of $5,400 to students with special needs to help them attend private schools. The bill would put about $400,000 to $500,000 more toward the program next school year and additional money in following years, based on a formula, allowing it to grow to serve more students over time.
http://goo.gl/d5pFm (SLT)

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

Internet safety bill advanced by House committee

SALT LAKE CITY — As educational technology evolves, policy to protect children needs to evolve with it.
That was the case made by Rep. Eric Hutchings, R-Kearns, as he presented a bill Tuesday to the House Education Committee that would require software to filter objectionable material on any school-issued device.
HB206 would revise state law to include content filters on handheld and portable electronic devices with Internet capability, such as tablets and smartphones, as those technologies are increasingly used by schools as an educational tool.
http://goo.gl/nmrdV (DN)

Special elections to all be in November if governor signs bill

SALT LAKE CITY — Special elections will all be held in November, effective July 1 this year, if legislation that cleared the Senate on Tuesday becomes law.
Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, said SB 34 is geared to reduce the number of special elections that can be held in any given year, ranging from bond proposals to special district elections.
http://goo.gl/WbXIA (OSE)

http://goo.gl/AdCoR (LHJ)

State School Board member Pyfer not a fan of Senate Bill 110

LOGAN— A lot of bills impacting public education are making their way through the Utah Legislature and State School Board member Tammy Pyfer of Logan said some of the measures are positive.
However, on KVNU’s Crosstalk show Monday, Pyfer said she is against Senate Bill 110, which would send state money not to the school district but all of the money would go to the principal. Pyfer said the principals would have to devise their own budget, hire their own teachers, have to be the human resources department, and serve as groundskeeper as well. She says principals do not want to be CEO’s.
http://goo.gl/KD8j6 (CVD)

Economy rebounding, but legislators playing it safe
Budget » Lawmakers say tax collections don’t account for the whole picture.

Utah’s economy is continuing its climb out of the recession, new revenue figures show, but legislative leaders are cautioning that impending budget cuts in Washington make it too early to rejoice.
“Don’t go out and celebrate and say we’ve got tons of money,” said Senate budget chairman Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan.
Income, sales and other taxes have come in nearly 11 percent higher than forecast for the first seven months of the fiscal year, according to the most recent figures released this week.
The new revenue figures from the Utah State Tax Commission come days ahead of the Legislature and governor’s anticipated release of their new budget forecast for the coming year, which will be the numbers used to build the budget for state programs.

Income tax, which is earmarked to fund education, came in 13.7 percent higher than expected and sales tax revenue was 5.5 percent ahead of forecast figures.
http://goo.gl/UB52M (SLT)

Tax talks unnerve some Utah investors, charities
Debate » Putting cap on itemized deductions, altering tax breaks could curb the incentive to give.

With the average Utahn giving 10.6 percent of their income to philanthropic causes, any talk of tampering with charitable tax deductions is sure to make some local investors and nonprofits queasy.
Last week, Congress resumed its conversation about the role charitable giving should play in the tax code, with dozens of witnesses testifying before the House Ways and Means Committee. President Barack Obama and some Republicans have suggested capping tax breaks for the top 20 percent of taxpayers, arguing it would be fairer and could simplify tax filings. Others say limiting the deduction would severely cut into a charities’ bottom lines.
Brent Andrewsen,a shareholder at the law firm Kirton McConkie, said his estate-planning clients are watching the discussion closely.

Nelson said many local nonprofits are a critical part of the social safety net.
“We’ve seen an increased reliance on nonprofits to meet needs that the federal and state governments are unable or unwilling to do,” said Nelson. “Private dollars are crucial to the success of those programs.”
Case-in-point is early childhood education in Utah. Salt Lake Community Action Program runs 75 Head Start sites in Salt Lake and Tooele counties. The program serves about 2,400 preschool children from families living well below the poverty line, while another 1,000 kids are on a waiting list, said Head Start community partnership manager Joni Clark.
Although about 90 percent of its funding comes from federal sources, Clark said the organization would feel any decline in private donations.
http://goo.gl/FxsUK (SLT)

Utah teens rank 11th in country for passing Advanced Placement tests

Utah ranked 11th in the nation for its percentage of high school students who passed Advanced Placement exams last year – down one spot from the year before.
In all, about 22.2 percent of Utah’s Class of 2012 passed AP exams, according to a report released Wednesday by the College Board. That’s up from 20.7 percent among the Class of 2011 and up from 18.5 percent in 2002.
“These results show that more Utah students are better preparing themselves for college and careers,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove in a news release, “and that’s good news for those students and for our collective future.”
Students who earn scores of 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams may often earn college credit for their efforts.
http://goo.gl/Oz6tM (SLT)

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

http://goo.gl/ChAfR (KCSG)

http://goo.gl/ce2Ir (AP, as in Associated Press, not Advanced Placement)

http://goo.gl/oXYVv (WaPo)

http://goo.gl/ZOccv (Ed Week)

http://goo.gl/qdd6c (USOE)

http://goo.gl/qDnmd (AP, as in Advanced Placement, not Associated Press)

Logan Board of Ed hosting public hearing on potential bond election

A regular meeting of the Logan Board of Education is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 20 starting at 6 p.m. in the Logan High School Auditorium. The meeting is a public hearing to discuss the district’s potential Voted Leeway and Bond election.
http://goo.gl/sjPVf (CVD)

Orem tackles bullying in schools

Orem city officials sent love to victims of bullying this Valentine’s Day by dedicating the month of February to raising awareness of bullying.
Orem mayor James Evans signed an official proclamation counseling city residents to become aware of the bullying problem in public schools and to “Be Cool, Not Cruel” this month.
According to a 2009 U.S. Department of Justice survey, 46.3 percent of adolescents responded that they had been physically assaulted at least once during the previous year. This figure represents physical violence in which approximately 10 percent reported being injured. However, recent events such as the suicide of Utah teen David Phan and the Newtown school shooting have propelled bullying into lethal crisis consideration.
Utah Valley University public relations students developed the “Be Cool, Not Cruel” campaign in response to a national scholarship contest organized by the Public Relations Student Society of America.
http://goo.gl/z7f4S (Universe)

Documentary featuring Roy High bomb plot hero airing Wednesday night

ROY — About 13 months ago, Roy High School student Megan Wehrman told Principal Gina Butters in secret of concerns that two fellow students might be plotting to blow up the school and the 1,500 students inside.
Wednesday night, Wehrman, now 18, finally shares her story with the world.
“The Path to Violence,” part of an After Newtown initiative at PBS, plays at 9 p.m. on KUED Channel 7.
http://goo.gl/KKDT3 (OSE)

Candy Bomber speaks to local students and families

None of the children who heard Gail Halvorsen, known as the Candy Bomber, speak at Reagan Academy on Tuesday night were born when Operation Little Vittles took place. But the children were enthralled learning how Halvorsen and others helped raise the morale of children in war-torn Berlin, Germany.
“I came to speak today because children are our future,” said Halvorsen. “We must learn from our past to get the most out of our future. The children of Berlin didn’t care that they were eating dried potatoes and dried milk — all they wanted was to be free. They gave me a lesson on freedom. Our future depends on our young.”
http://goo.gl/pYf69 (PDH)

Utah choir students to perform in Germany

SALT LAKE CITY – The students at the Madeleine Choir School are getting the opportunity to perform around the world.
Every year, students get a chance to perform in historical locations around the world, usually in Europe.
“I’ve been on the tour before, the Italy tour, and it was a lot of fun. You’re always around you friends, you get to sing a bunch of songs you’ve been working on for months and it just a great experience all in all,” said seventh grader Keenan Lins.
http://goo.gl/2CvK5 (KSTU)

Nebo School Board fills vacancy

SPANISH FORK — The Nebo School Board at its meeting last week voted in Shannon Acor as its newest member. Acor is replacing Rod Oldroyd, who resigned after serving on the board for six years representing the Springville area.
Oldroyd resigned due to obligations to his family, career, and ecclesiastical calling as stake president in the LDS Church.
Acor is currently the Springville High PTA president and served on the Springville Junior PTA and Community Council, as well as the Art City Elementary Community Council.
http://goo.gl/A4S3U (DN)

Tooele School District to hold math workshop for parents, students

TOOELE — The Tooele County School District will hold math workshops for parents and students.
The workshops are Thursday, March 7, from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Tooele High School, 301 W. Vine St.
http://goo.gl/k3db2 (DN)

‘Parent Program’ engages parents, high schoolers in Driver’s Education

ST. GEORGE – The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is now offering the Driver’s Education Parent Program. This program is a one-time presentation where students enrolled in driver’s education bring their parents or guardians to learn about safe driving and Utah’s graduated driver license laws.
http://goo.gl/xgtHr (SGN)

http://goo.gl/V0Bix (KCSG)

High School Honor Band Concert set for Feb. 23

CEDAR CITY – Nurturing young and fledgling musicians from high schools across the intermountain west is a rich and rewarding experience, and when such gifted teenagers fuse together with members of SUU’s Wind Symphony, the result can only be an entertaining and enlightening event.
Southern Utah University’s Department of Music is set to host the High School Honor Band, which culminates with a free concert at Cedar City’s Heritage Center Theater on Feb. 23. This concert begins at a special time, 5:30 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.
http://goo.gl/JIiqm (ICT)

Canyons District accepting Teacher of the Year nominations

SANDY — Parents of Canyons School District students can nominate their child’s teacher as their respective school’s Teacher of the Year. The district honors teachers at each of its schools.
http://goo.gl/QeRTO (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Grads of International Baccalaureate lurk among conservatives
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

A warning to Utah Eagle Forum president Gayle Ruzicka, Orem Republican Sens. Margaret Dayton and John Valentine, and other patriots stamping out the socialist spies seeking to infiltrate the minds of our innocent youths: You have a mole in your midst.
Ruzicka, Dayton and Valentine all have tried to protect Utah schoolchildren from — parents, hide your children’s eyes — the International Baccalaureate program.

But the Eagle Forum and its minions now will turn to the House to vilify the program, which is in several Utah high schools and enjoys rave reviews from its graduates, teachers and parents.
One of those graduates of the I.B. program, that harbinger of socialist, anti-American ideas, is Chris Bleak.
And who is Chris Bleak?
He is the former executive director of the Utah Republican Party, who later served as chief of staff of the Utah House of Representatives under its Republican leadership and now is executive director of the Utah Public Charter School Association, not exactly a socialist institution.
http://goo.gl/VDr0P

Utah’s unique resources — youth and education
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by Rep. Brad Wilson

Education is one of the most important public policy areas that the Legislature reviews each year.
Public education makes up the largest portion of the state budget in part because nearly a third of our state’s population is under the age of 18.
Each year the Legislature is charged with not only allocating money to the public education budget, but also with evaluating the direction and effectiveness of the education system.
Recently, a group made up of business and community leaders came together with a plan called Prosperity 2020. Recognizing Utah’s unique resource in our large youth population, the plan is designed to deploy the best-educated workforce into technology related fields to propel Utah’s enduring prosperity with a bright, motivated workforce.
http://goo.gl/3SF6r

Hug a child, then harangue state leaders on education
(Logan) Herald Journal op-ed by Thad Box of Logan

Once when I was feeling sorry for myself I asked a wise uncle what was the worst moment of his life. Long before seat belts or child seats he was taking his family for a ride in a rusty old Ford. A rear door bounced open and his toddler son fell out. The worst moment of his life was watching his little boy bounce down the road in the rear-view mirror. He added quickly, “The best moment of my life was when that bloody little rascal jumped up and came running to me.”
My uncle never finished elementary school. He never owned a new car. He didn’t own the house he died in. But he knew what his priorities were. His children finished high school. That “bloody little rascal” sent his children to college and now employs other people in his construction company. When my uncle died, his family were respected members of the community. To him, learning and service took priority over material possessions.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert says education his No. 1 priority. So has every governor of Utah in the past few decades. But somewhere near the end of each Legislative session a compromise budget gives schools a little more money and directives having more to do with a legislator’s pet bias than education. We the people of Utah sit quietly, letting our children fall from schools with rusting doors and spread blood down the road of life. It’s time to stop the bleeding.
http://goo.gl/TBpH4

The good, bad and ugly about mercenary educators
(Provo) Daily Herald commentary by Jeanne Whitmore, founder and CEO of American Fork charter school Aristotle Academy

The rise of charter schools in Utah has also increased the number of educators who are working as consultants. These school leaders don’t have their primary allegiance to the school but to their company bosses or future income.
Imagine if you are the third wife of a man, and you realize he has his eye out for the fourth. This is how the parents and charter school boards often feel when they hire a consultant to lead the school.
As consultants, they know they could be fired at any time. Therefore, they have to constantly look for future lines of work and build relationships with everyone they do business in order to have a robust network of contacts, which can lead to ethical dilemmas. The charter school leader may not be as tough when negotiating a contract with a lease holder when that lease holder could steer future work to him from start-up charter schools.
http://goo.gl/4aF03

Taking a harder look at Head Start
Deseret News commentary by columnist Mary McConnell

In his State of the Union Address President Obama called for a major expansion of preschool programs, though where he planned to find the money wasn’t quite as clear. It’s hard to quarrel with programs designed to give disadvantaged kids a boost, which is one reason why Head Start has proved virtually sacrosanct. Trouble is, the evidence suggests that a program costing about $8 billion a year, or $10,000 per child . . . doesn’t deliver on the promise implied in its name.
Brookings Institution education analyst Russ Whithurst – who holds a Ph.D. in child psychology and devoted most of his career to preschool education – has published a rather damning review of the evidence, “Can We Be Hard-headed about Preschool: A Look at Head Start.”
http://goo.gl/7rM6C

Tax benefits children
Deseret News letter from Steve Glaser

We all know that Utah’s schools are last in funding. Classes are so large that students receive little individual attention, and their education suffers. Our whole state would benefit from better schools, so even though I don’t have children, I would be willing to pay higher income taxes.
This brings me to a genuine question for parents: You have a bigger stake in our schools than I do. Why do you want the state income tax deduction for children? It saves you $171 a year. Most families (not all, but most) could pay this by cutting out luxuries such as cable TV. I know that if I had children, I would rather forgo replacing my car for a few extra years if that meant my kids would get a better education.
So why do you want the deduction?
http://goo.gl/YlDzY

The Faux Empiricist
The president declares the pre-K science is settled. It is no such thing.
National Review commentary by columnist Rich Lowry

The least-plausible sentence in the English language is “We know this works,” when those words are spoken by President Barack Obama.
He said them the other day in his State of the Union address about early-childhood education. President Obama called for universal preschool funded by the federal government in cooperation with the states. He cited “study after study” showing that investment in pre-K pays for itself several times over by creating better outcomes for children.
He said this about two months after the release of a devastating report on the ineffectiveness of the federal government’s already existing $8 billion-a-year pre-K program, Head Start. The study wasn’t published by The Heritage Foundation. The Kochs didn’t fund it. It was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, which presumably doesn’t have a right-wing agenda or bristle with hostility toward children.
http://goo.gl/NKJRO

Higher standards are crucial to students’ success
White Plains (NY) Journal News op-ed by Peter W. Cookson, Jr., Senior Fellow at Education Sector

For most K-12 students, school is about to become a lot more intense. By next year, rigorous new benchmarks aimed at raising achievement in English and math will be in place in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
These benchmarks — known as the Common Core State Standards — are intended to improve academic standards and promote deeper learning. Unfortunately, they’ve also created quite a bit of controversy.
Essentially, the Common Core will allow educators to meaningfully assess student progress across participating states.
These new rigorous standards represent a critical step toward more accountable and continuously improving schools.
But critics claim that the Common Core will hurt struggling students by exposing their academic shortcomings, thus discouraging them and increasing their likelihood of dropping out.
These critics couldn’t be more wrong. Evidence consistently shows that higher standards help all students, regardless of the state in which they live or their academic abilities.
http://goo.gl/r3q3F

Five habits of great students: Lessons from top-ranked STEM school
Washington Post commentary by Jonathan Olsen and Sarah Mulhern Gross, who team-teach an integrated humanities program to ninth grade students at High Technology High School in Lincroft, NJ

When U.S. News ranked our high school as the best science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) high school in the nation, our students were recognized as being the smartest students in the nation in the four cornerstone subject areas recently lauded by President Obama in his State of the Union address. Regardless of your feelings about high school rankings, we know that our school is filled with some of the brightest kids we’ll ever come in contact with. Over the last two years, almost 30% of our graduating seniors attended Ivy League colleges, including the over a dozen alumni who are currently on Princeton’s campus. These numbers don’t include the many students accepted at prestigious schools like MIT, Stanford, and the University of California, Berkeley. With their high test scores, 100% college acceptance rate, and well-publicized #1 ranking comes a frequently asked question: Why are these students so smart?
It only takes a cursory glance to notice some of the traits that make them stand out. As our students finish their history quiz and pack up their pencil cases, they quietly settle into their seats and begin to read. Some take out novels, others large non-fiction tomes, and still others are paging through the newspaper. A student asks if he can work on a letter to Congress about genetically modified food instead of reading today. An upperclassmen sneaks into the back of the room and silently picks through the classroom library shelves, wordlessly indicating that she is borrowing a book. A sophomore knocks on the door and asks if he can have a copy of the newspaper to bring to lunch. Nothing listed above is limited to gifted and talented students. They are habits that all students should be embracing and parents and schools need to foster at every grade level in order for the next generation to be successful.
The qualities many label as smart are actually learned habits, fostered by the parents, faculty, and administration who value them. How can schools and parents ensure that their own students are smart? We’ve noticed our students possess five habits that all children should be encouraged to pursue.
http://goo.gl/mbJfA

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Education panel: To close achievement gap, urgent state, federal action needed
Washington Post

The nation must act urgently to close the achievement gap between poor and privileged children by changing the way public schools are financed, improving teacher quality, investing in early-childhood education and demanding greater accountability down to the local school board level, according to a report issued Tuesday by an expert panel.
Created by Congress in 2010 — with legislation sponsored by Reps. Michael M. Honda (D-Calif.) and Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) — the Equity and Excellence Commission aimed to propose ways to improve public education for poor American children. The 27-member panel included state and federal officials, civil rights activists and academics.
“This is about all levels of government,” said Christopher Edley Jr., dean of the University of California at Berkeley Law School and the commission’s co-chair. “This is a proposed agenda for everyone who’s concerned with the fate of our children and of our public education system.”
http://goo.gl/StvKD

http://goo.gl/PyIrP (CSM)

http://goo.gl/YLlWI (AP)

http://goo.gl/ymbFv (McClatchy)

http://goo.gl/TuZvv (Stateline)

Superintendents decry attacks on K-12 education
Questions emerge about political micromanaging of public schools
Topeka (KS) Capital Journal

Geary County Schools Superintendent Ronald Walker said Wednesday amplified attempts by Kansas politicians to micromanage K-12 public education threaten to damage instruction of children.
“Kansas has always performed academically in the top 10 of all states,” he said. “As bills are introduced in the current Legislature without the input of educators, the state is in jeopardy of losing ground.”
Walker’s skepticism about bills imposing budget and curriculum reform working through the House and Senate was shared by other Kansas school officials testifying to the House Vision 2020 Committee.
Controversy emerged this session about bills to limit collective bargaining rights of teachers and to prohibit automatic withdrawal from teacher paychecks of contributions to political action committees.
The Senate was expected to vote Wednesday on a constitutional amendment intended to limit capacity of the Kansas Supreme Court to order increases in state aid to Kansas public school districts. A school finance case is on appeal to the Supreme Court follwing a Shawnee County District Court ruling the state failed to fulfill its obligation to provide funding for suitable education of students.
http://goo.gl/1DrFb

Sen. Mike Johnston unveils bill to revamp school finance in Colorado
Denver Post

Colorado’s first major school finance bill in nearly 20 years would trigger new ways to calculate how state and local money pays for education and — if voters approve — add additional revenue for items like full-day kindergarten for all and preschool for at-risk kids.
Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, unveiled a draft bill on Monday that he called a “once-in-a-generation chance to get this right” and build on 10 years of education reforms.
“To give life to the system we built, we must make sure we have the resources and financial incentives to do that,” he said. “What you see laid out here is an attempt to build a financial system that matches the policy framework we’ve built.”
If passed, the complex, 144-page document would go into effect only if voters approve a statewide initiative to increase education funding — probably by anywhere from $750,000 to $1.1 billion annually.
Much of the bill deals with a new formula to determine state and local shares of education funding.
http://goo.gl/Th8E2

Some ‘Cyber Schools’ Falling Short Of Their Sales Pitch
NPR All Things Considered

Public cyber schools are popping up across the country, even for the youngest students. Many are run by the same for-profit company, which has made a big business of online education. But student test scores are falling short.
http://goo.gl/PKCQs

Teachers Ditch Student Desk Chairs for Yoga Balls
Associated Press

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — In 11 years of teaching, ditching students’ desk chairs in favor of yoga balls is one of the best decisions Robbi Giuliano thinks she ever made.
Replacing stationary seats with inflatable bouncers has raised productivity in her fifth-graders at Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School, making students better able to focus on lessons while improving their balance and core strength, she said.
http://goo.gl/7GSor

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

February 20:
Senate Education Confirmation Committee meeting
12:15 p.m., 250 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2013/html/00001192.htm

Senate Education Committee meeting
4 p.m.; 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/SEDU0220.ag.htm

House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee meeting
4 p.m.; 25 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/HEDW0220.ag.htm

February 21:
House Education Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/HEDU0221.ag.htm

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

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
3:10 p.m.; 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2013/html/00001293.htm

March 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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