Education News Roundup: March 5, 2013

"First grade reading..." by Woodleywonderworks/CC/flickr

“First grade reading…” by Woodleywonderworks/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Education backpack bill advances.
http://goo.gl/FoWRe (DN)

So does the early education reading bill.
http://goo.gl/vXNPP (DN)

The bill to raise taxes for education, however, does not.
http://goo.gl/deJai (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/qgmYD (DN)
and http://goo.gl/e0ZRD (OSE)
and http://goo.gl/obQDt (KUTV)
and http://goo.gl/ISpxU (KSL)

How helpful is CTE in keeping boys in school?
http://goo.gl/jzB9F (Ed Week)

Sequester hits schools on military bases and Indian reservations.
http://goo.gl/3bjhB (WaPo)

Study says you can identify good and bad teachers early in their careers and they tend not to change much.
http://goo.gl/eHC0c (Ed Week)
or a copy of the study
http://goo.gl/pX1UO

————————————————————
TODAY’S HEADLINES
————————————————————

UTAH

Bill to create online student information profile clears committee

Early education reading bill clears Senate committee

Plan to up taxes on rich to boost education dies

New plan unveiled to fund public preschool with private dollars

Gov. Herbert, GOP jump on natural gas bandwagon Politics » Dem leader criticizes governor for marginal efforts to tackle air pollution.

Millville residents concerned about new school’s impacts

Texting tip line helps students communicate concerns to schools

Layton High theater teacher makes final curtain call after 36 years Dennis Ferrin will continue to direct and design sets for local groups.

Utah teen creates film on albinism

Northern Utah students show off science and engineering knowledge at annual fair

Tabiona second-graders get head start with iPad grant

Long Trips Prove Tiresome for Athletes

Parents see camp issues differently

Lone Peak students walk to district, deliver petition supporting former coach

Alleged drug dealer gets aggressive at Utah school

Catholic educators suspended for allegedly drinking in front of students

Keene ISD school board reviews 44 applications for superintendent

Adults Looking To Get GED Need To Do Get Moving Fast

Tender Heartbeats provides defibrillator to Edgemont Elementary

Davis County teens invited to summit

Students of the Month Honored by St. George Exchange Club

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Flat tax failure

Armed Teachers: Should Parents Have the Right to Know?

Career Technical Education Linked to Boys’ High School Survival

Appeals Court Upholds Dog-Sniff of Student Backpack

Suit to be Dismissed Between National PTA, Parent Company of PTO Today

NATION

Sequester-related education cuts hitting schools on reservations, military bases

GOP K-12 Leader Gets Earful on Policy
Kline hears concerns on budget, waivers

States Tackle School Safety After Sandy Hook Shootings

Best and Worst Teachers Can Be Flagged Early, Says Study Educators’ rankings don’t move much

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s teacher tenure and evaluation reforms ruled unconstitutional

Federal judge rules against DeKalb school board

California lawmaker seeks rights for transgender students

Tax dollars in Arizona classrooms lowest in 11 years

Video game invades classroom, scores education points World domination through learning? An alliance of educators and innovators are using a version of ‘SimCity’ to stem students’ boredom and electrify future U.S. scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

High school sports livestreaming sent to governor

McGraw-Hill textbook unit sale now an all-cash deal

————————————————————
UTAH NEWS
————————————————————

Bill to create online student information profile clears committee

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers on Monday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would create a one-stop shop for student performance information.
SB82 would create a comprehensive online learning profile for each student, referred to as a Student Achievement Backpack, that could be accessed by educators and parents. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, said the Student Achievement Backpacks will provide a holistic view of a student’s progress, allowing for diagnosis of a student’s needs in a timely manner.
“It adds transparency to what our education system is doing,” Stevenson said. “This provides a one-stop collection point for student education.”
http://goo.gl/FoWRe (DN)

Early education reading bill clears Senate committee

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to create uniform goals for elementary reading improvement programs was advanced Monday by the Senate Education Committee.
SB260 would amend provisions related to public school early education programs in kindergarten through third grade, as well as require the Education Interim Committee to study the reading ability of half-day kindergarten students compared with full-day students.
http://goo.gl/vXNPP (DN)

Plan to up taxes on rich to boost education dies

Robin Hood apparently would not be popular in the Utah Legislature. Lawmakers shot down efforts Monday to raise taxes on the rich — and also on oil and gas companies — to give more to education.
The House Revenue and Taxation Committee rejected HB225, which would have provided an estimated $113.8 million more a year for education by raising taxes by that much on the rich.
“People recognize that the people with greater ability to pay should pay more,” said Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, sponsor of the bill. But Connor Boyack, president of the Libertas Institute, said, “I view this as a discrimination bill” against the rich, and said it would hurt state economic development.
Utah’s income tax — which goes entirely for education — now is 5 percent of taxable income. King’s bill would have raised that to 6 percent for income between $250,000 and $1 million, and 7 percent for amounts more than $1 million.
http://goo.gl/deJai (SLT)

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

http://goo.gl/e0ZRD (OSE)

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

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

New plan unveiled to fund public preschool with private dollars

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawmaker believes the fight to close Utah’s educational achievement gaps begins in preschool, and he’s proposing a whole new way to pay for it.
Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, said his bill would create public-private partnerships in which private investors would contribute the money necessary to expand high-quality preschool programs for at-risk children. The investors get tax incentives, but would invest with the understanding that their funds would be repaid only if the programs are successful in improving student performance and resulting in cost savings to the state.
“It enables us to expand now, immediately, on these programs with contracts between our private investment community and the school districts that will provide these services,” Osmond said.
If passed by the Legislature, SB71 could be implemented as early as the next academic year, Osmond said, adding that he already has received $10 million in commitments from private investors in the banking sector. Goldman Sachs, he said, was among those committed to the program.
http://goo.gl/JRUHg (DN)

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

http://goo.gl/pF54g (KSL)

Gov. Herbert, GOP jump on natural gas bandwagon Politics » Dem leader criticizes governor for marginal efforts to tackle air pollution.

After weeks of protests and criticism over pollution and inversions, Gov. Gary Herbert and legislative leaders jumped Monday on the natural gas bandwagon — literally — to promote its increased use as a motor fuel to help clean Utah’s air.
They held a press conference inside a natural-gas-powered school bus — not near it, but in it — to unveil and explain several bills they say will help reduce pollution.
“It’s clearly the fuel of the future,” Herbert said in the driver’s seat of both the bus and the push for the legislation. “It’s a step in the right direction. It’s not going to solve all our problems with air quality and inversion” but will start the state moving toward remedies.
The press conference unveiled SB275, which would encourage and allow interlocal agreements for local governments to join together to bond, or borrow, to buy new natural gas powered vehicles or convert their current fleets. It could also help finance more fueling stations and maintenance facilities.
http://goo.gl/Zs84W (SLT)

http://goo.gl/ZLm5e (DN)

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

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

http://goo.gl/pcB5k (KUTV)

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

http://goo.gl/WuL8C (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/L06HJ (KUER)

http://goo.gl/BdcbN (Utah Senate Site)

Millville residents concerned about new school’s impacts

MILLVILLE – Worried residents are expressing concern with the announcement of a new high school. When the family of deceased landowner Oscar Monson sold property to the Cache County School District for a new high school, residents and city officials were shocked at how quickly the school board decided to approve the new facilities.
“From the time we were notified from the school district that we were in consideration for a new high school we only had six days before it became official,” said Mayor Mike Johnson. “It’s pretty overwhelming and the way it was communicated really left a bad taste in the community’s mouth. This is not something a little city like Millville planned for.”
It’s not all bad. Aside from the short notice, Johnson said he remains hopeful that the school can be an asset to the community and is determined to work with the school district the best he can.
http://goo.gl/EHrFQ (CVD)

Texting tip line helps students communicate concerns to schools

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah students have quicker, more convenient to share safety concerns with school administrators. Thanks to the Safe To Talk Foundation, students can send an anonymous text message to alert officials about cheating, drug use or anything else that’s making them feel unsafe.
Safe To Talk, which is currently in operation at about 1,000 schools across the country, is an organization run by donations. The idea behind it, director Kevin Santiago said, is to give kids an easy way to talk.
“If we can get the kids to feel like they’re safe to have that initial talk, the counselors can then walk them through all the difficulty of ‘should I talk about this?'” Santiago said.
To use the program, a student types in his or her district’s quick code number in the “send to” box. Then the student uses a password of the “@” symbol and types in school’s name before writing their message and hitting “send.”
The text messages go to the tip line office, and are then sent to the student’s school counselor and administration. The phone number they came from is blocked.
http://goo.gl/BCJyj (KSL)

Layton High theater teacher makes final curtain call after 36 years Dennis Ferrin will continue to direct and design sets for local groups.

Layton • When theatergoers arrived for a production of “Titanic: The Musical” at Layton High School several years ago, they were handed boarding passes with the name of a passenger on the doomed voyage. At the end of the play, they found out if their traveler lived or died.
“It was really quite a somber moment and people left thinking about what happened there,” theater teacher and artistic director Dennis Ferrin said. “That was gratifying to me.”
For 36 years, Ferrin’s creativity and teaching skills have inspired thousands of young performers and helped make the Layton High School theater program a hit. Now, he’s ready for his next act.
Ferrin, who turns 66 this month and lives in Centerville with his wife, will retire from teaching at the end of the school year but his theater career will still be going strong. He will continue to direct and design sets for Utah theater groups, including the CenterPoint Legacy Theatre in Centerville and Ogden’s Terrace Plaza Playhouse and The Ziegfeld Theater.
http://goo.gl/fGltp (SLT)

Utah teen creates film on albinism

NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah – A Woods Cross Sophomore, with albinism, made a short film about her disorder to answer most peoples questions. The film is now getting international attention at a film festival in Qatar.
What is albinism? Only one in 20,000 people people have it, so for many, there are more questions than answers.
Megan Palmer has albinism.
http://goo.gl/UPcJK (KTVX)

Northern Utah students show off science and engineering knowledge at annual fair

More than 100 students from throughout Cache and Rich counties participated in the second annual Cache County Science and Engineering Fair at Utah State University on Saturday.
The students, grades first through 12th, submitted projects based in science and engineering and were judged for a variety of prizes.
http://goo.gl/xdr8X (LHJ)

Long Trips Prove Tiresome for Athletes

How many people can say they enjoy sitting for four hours on a bus to eastern Utah? Athletes at Juan Diego Catholic High School do this two to four times each season.
With the recent region change, teams travel as long as four hours to Union and Uintah High Schools in eastern Utah. When JD teams are scheduled to play those schools during the school week, it can cause students to fall behind on their sleep and their homework.
With so many athletes on each team, several players must often double up in the seats, which many find very uncomfortable. Often, teams return to the school around one in the morning.
http://goo.gl/00AK8 (Juan Diego Speaking Eagle)

Tabiona second-graders get head start with iPad grant

TABIONA – Becky Lefler’s second-grade class at Tabiona School felt like they were playing games as they tapped away on their new iPads. The sleek tablets are fun and engaging and intuitive for children to use, and the students were fully involved in them. It wasn’t until one of the five girls in Lefler’s class came up to the teacher to show off her score of 100 percent on a spelling test that the real aim of the iPads in the classroom – learning – was revealed.
Lefler recently introduced four iPad minis to her students in Tabiona. The iPads were bought thanks to a grant from the 100% For Kids Utah Credit Union Education Foundation. They supplemented another tablet already introduced in the class to give every student access to the learning software.
Lefler said Tabiona Principal Bob Park told teachers about the grant opportunity. Lefler applied for it in November, and was surprised this February to find out her class was one of the programs awarded a grant by the foundation.
http://goo.gl/NLZzm (Uintah Basin Standard)

Parents see camp issues differently

As detailed in the Herald article published on March 1, a group of parents submitted a 42-page document to Alpine School District officials specifying 28 counts of alleged misconduct by McGeary.
Nineteen of the allegations were related to the team camp at the College of Eastern Utah and the youth camps conducted at the school each summer.
McGeary and his participating staff members were paid for coaching during these activities.
The spokesman for the parent group, Dan McDonald, said in the complaint that the manner in which McGeary advertised and conducted these activities violated district regulations and also some state laws governing ethics for public employees.
http://goo.gl/Pc3Nz (PDH)

http://goo.gl/ky9EY (KTVX)

Lone Peak students walk to district, deliver petition supporting former coach

HIGHLAND — Walking two miles in Monday’s frigid wind seemed like a small thing for the Lone Peak students to do for a man they say taught them to be better people.
Nearly 50 Lone Peak students gathered after school ended at 12:25 p.m. and walked two miles from the high school to the Alpine School District offices to deliver a petition and a message to Superintendent Vern Henshaw.
http://goo.gl/n9q8f (DN)

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

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

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

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

Alleged drug dealer gets aggressive at Utah school

A 21-year-old Salt Lake City man was charged with a first-degree felony after he allegedly followed a girl into her school trying unsuccessfully to deal her some drugs.
On Feb. 26, the man approached a 15-year-old girl who was walking on 600 West on her way to school. The man first tried speaking to her in Spanish, and when she replied that she didn’t speak Spanish, he continued following her. The girl tried walking away faster, but he continued until she sprinted to the school’s entrance.
Court documents allege that the man followed her in and pulled out a small amount of heroin, asking if she wanted to smoke with him in the bathroom. She told him no, and the man grabbed her by the arm. She pulled away from him and ran upstairs to her classroom.
http://goo.gl/xx3K8 (SLT)

Catholic educators suspended for allegedly drinking in front of students

TOOELE — The principal and a priest at a catholic school in Tooele have allegedly been suspended, accused of drinking margaritas during school, in front of students.
On Monday, St. Marguerite Catholic School, located at 15 S. 7th Street, and the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City released a statement to parents saying only: “Several individuals have been suspended pending a thorough investigation of the alleged incident.”
Parents of students at the school said one of the individuals is Principal Marcella Burdden, and another is Father Samuel Dinsdale, a priest at the school.
http://goo.gl/y8jKX (KSL)

Keene ISD school board reviews 44 applications for superintendent

The Keene ISD school board talked Monday night about selecting a new superintendent and an architect for an expansion project at the high school.
The specially called meeting was for the purpose of reviewing the applicants for the position of superintendent.
The board received 44 applications by the March 1 deadline from educators in four states wanting to succeed longtime Superintendent Wanda Smith, who announced in December that she is retiring after 28 years with the district, a tenure recognized by the Texas Legislature as the longest serving female superintendent in the state.
“We have applications from Utah, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Texas,” said school board vice president Geri Montgomery, chairing the meeting in the absence of president Sheri Hadley.
http://goo.gl/uG3JI (Keene, TX Star)

Adults Looking To Get GED Need To Do Get Moving Fast

If you are an adult looking to get your GED equivalency, you need to get the process moving quickly. KSL.com reports that educators in Utah say that the tests are going to change a lot starting next year. Now, people have to take five tests, but starting in January, you will only have to take four but they will be harder.
http://goo.gl/tdDlG (MUR)

Tender Heartbeats provides defibrillator to Edgemont Elementary

PROVO — When Marty Evans registered her children at Edgemont Elementary School in north Provo, one of the first things she asked was whether the school had a defibrillator available.
Her daughter, who is in first grade this year, has heart problems and she hoped the school would be prepared.
“She spends seven hours of her day here,” she said. “To have this safety device and understand that it would be right here in this school and people would be trained to use it is great. This is a life-changing device for my child that has a serious heart defect.”
Enter Tender Heartbeats.
The nonprofit organization is made up of five moms who each have a child with a congenital heart defect. They arranged for the donation of an automated external defibrillator to Edgemont. They have also placed three other AEDs — all made available through donations — since mid-February.
http://goo.gl/4mWYh (PDH)

Davis County teens invited to summit

BOUNTIFUL — All Davis County teenagers are invited to participate in the 13th annual Davis Youth Summit on March 16 at Viewmont High School, 120 W. 1000 North.
The purpose of the summit is to provide a constructive safe event where teens can learn self-help skills and techniques for dealing with negative peer pressure. Participants will also engage in community service and network with other teens.
http://goo.gl/adLE4 (DN)

Students of the Month Honored by St. George Exchange Club

ST. GEORGE, UTAH – All the students that are honored throughout the year are seniors and are recognized for their scholastic achievements, community involvement, and leadership at their respective school. One student from the eight students honored from each high school throughout the school year as a Student of the Month will have the opportunity to become Student of the Year from their school and receive a college scholarship to the college of their choice from the St. George Exchange Club.
http://goo.gl/r6MGl (KCSG)

————————————————————
OPINION & COMMENTARY
————————————————————

Flat tax failure
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Linda Johnson

It’s time for the people of Utah to go back to our old tax system and give up the failed 5 percent flat state income tax that is responsible for a lot that’s gone wrong with the state the past few years:
• Lack of school funding: Why not be among the best instead of the worst?
http://goo.gl/g4LOq

Armed Teachers: Should Parents Have the Right to Know?
Education Week commentary by columnist Francesca Duffy

A Utah lawmaker has proposed a bill that would allow parents to find out if their children’s teachers are carrying firearms at school, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. Under the bill, parents would also have the right to have their children reassigned to an unarmed teacher.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Utah is one of the few states that allow teachers with valid permits to carry concealed weapons into public schools. Representative Carol Spackmann Moss, who introduced the parental-notification bill, called the measure a “parents’ rights bill,” not a “gun bill.” She cited a recent state poll finding that nearly 60 percent of respondents strongly or somewhat favored allowing teachers to carry firearms in the classroom, while 82 percent said parents should have the right to know whether or not their teacher has a gun.
The bill is already generating polarized reactions.
http://goo.gl/XH3l7

Career Technical Education Linked to Boys’ High School Survival Education Week commentary by columnist Caralee Adams

Making the case for career technical education, researcher James Stone III presented findings today that show enrollment in CTE is a strong predictor of staying in high school—especially for boys.
Earning three or more CTE credits within a focused sequence of courses was second only to 9th grade students’ grade point average as the strongest variable affecting high school survival for boys. While CTE “did no harm” to girls’ high school engagement, it did not produce a similar positive effect on females.
The results were “stunning,” said Stone, a professor and director of the National Research Center of Career and Technical Education at the University of Louisville, at the National Policy Seminar of the Association of Career and Technical Education in Crystal City, Va., today.
“We have a boy problem. Boys are less likely to finish high school, go to college, finish college, go to graduate school, or finish grad school,” said Stone, noting that 75 percent of D’s and F’s are given to male students. “We are driving them out. We are not giving them things that engage them.”
http://goo.gl/jzB9F

Appeals Court Upholds Dog-Sniff of Student Backpack Education Week commentary by columnist Mark Walsh

A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a dog-sniff of a student’s backpack for illegal drugs at school.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, in St. Louis, held unanimously that that the five-minute dog-sniff of student belongings in a high school classroom while students were not present did not violate the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The panel was not in full agreement that separating backpacks and other belongings from students for the dog-sniff constituted a “seizure.” But assuming it was, “we conclude that the seizure was part of a reasonable procedure to maintain the safety and security of students at the school,” the court said in Burlison v. Springfield Public Schools.
http://goo.gl/OZKzN

A copy of the ruling
http://goo.gl/74hig (8th Circuit Court)

Suit to be Dismissed Between National PTA, Parent Company of PTO Today Education Week commentary by columnist Michele Molnar

A lawsuit between the National Parent Teacher Association and School Family Media Inc., the parent company of PTO Today, is to be dismissed today in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago because the two parties have reached a settlement, according to a joint statement released by the two organizations.
No damages will be paid, the release indicated, and “both parties are pleased that they were able to resolve differences and avoid the necessity of a trial.” The suit was dismissed with prejudice, which means it cannot be brought back to court.
On Sept. 26, 2012, the non-profit National PTA filed suit against School Family Media Inc., the Wrentham, Mass.-based for-profit parent company of PTO Today, alleging trademark infringement, false advertising, deceptive trade practices, and other claims.
In addition to operating the PTO Today website and distributing a free PTO Today magazine to every K-8 school in the country, the company sells PTO Today Plus, a package of services for running a PTO organization.
An underpinning of the lawsuit was whether PTO was attempting to trade on PTA’s name recognition and reputation, possibly confusing the public by referring to PTA when talking about itself.
http://goo.gl/cwG0j

————————————————————-
NATIONAL NEWS
————————————————————-

Sequester-related education cuts hitting schools on reservations, military bases Washington Post

The Window Rock School District, in the heart of the Navajo nation in Arizona, is proposing the unthinkable: closing three of its seven schools as a result of the federal sequester.
The schools are among 1,600 public schools on Native American reservations and military bases that are feeling the impact of federal cuts now, months before the rest of the country’s classrooms see the effect of reduced dollars from Washington.
“We may have to close those schools — we don’t have any other avenues at all,” Superintendent Debbie Jackson-Dennison said, adding that she will cut five administrators, 25 support staff and 35 certified teachers by the end of May.
School bus routes, vital in a large rural setting, will be reduced beginning this month, guaranteeing some children will ride an hour to and from school. The school closures are expected by Aug. 1, creating overcrowding in remaining schools, she said.
http://goo.gl/3bjhB

GOP K-12 Leader Gets Earful on Policy
Kline hears concerns on budget, waivers
Education Week

Burnsville, Minn. – School superintendents, school board members, and other educators in Rep. John Kline’s congressional district outside the Twin Cities are casting a wary eye at the continuing budget uncertainty back in Washington—and urging the House education committee chairman to put a premium on funding for special education, as well as to push for as much flexibility with federal funds as possible to help them weather any drop in federal aid.
Superintendents who spoke to Mr. Kline at a round table here last week, just days before “sequestration,” or cuts to the federal budget, were set to kick in, are keenly aware that Congress has yet to finalize its spending bills for this fiscal year, making it difficult for school districts to plan. Many superintendents begin hammering out their budgets for the coming school year in March.
District Visit
The home visit was part of a constituent-contact routine for the top GOP lawmaker in the House on education issues, who regularly conducts such sessions back in his home district to get a sense of how federal policy is playing outside Washington—and to seek input from local leaders in crafting national legislation.
http://goo.gl/A9qsF

States Tackle School Safety After Sandy Hook Shootings Stateline

In recent weeks, the South Dakota legislature has been rattled over a bill that aims to make schools safer by introducing “school sentinels” — teachers, administrators, security guards or community volunteers who would carry guns to protect their schools.
“If you have not heard about the sentinels bill, it’s probably time to come out of hibernation,” state Senator Craig Tieszen joked last week, according to the Argus Leader.
The plan, which school districts could adopt voluntarily, passed both chambers of the legislature, despite protest from the state’s school board association and most Democrats, and is headed to Governor Dennis Daugaard.
South Dakota is among several states considering new school safety laws in the wake of the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 young students and six adults dead.
http://goo.gl/1AoHe

Best and Worst Teachers Can Be Flagged Early, Says Study Educators’ rankings don’t move much Education Week

Washington – New teachers become much more effective with a few years of classroom experience, but a working paper by a team of researchers suggests the most—and least—effective elementary teachers show their colors at the very start of their careers.
“This is a fundamentally different time period for teachers, when we know they are going through changes,” said lead author Allison Atteberry, a research associate in the Center on Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. She discussed preliminary results of the study at a research meeting on K-12 and postsecondary education held by the Washington-based National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, known as CALDER, on Feb. 21.
“We know less about how these value-added measures work in the early career,” she added.
http://goo.gl/eHC0c

A copy of the study
http://goo.gl/pX1UO

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s teacher tenure and evaluation reforms ruled unconstitutional New Orleans Times Picayune

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education overhaul dealing with teacher tenure and evaluations was ruled unconstitutional Monday by a Baton Rouge judge. The judge had previously upheld three sections of the act, but reversed his ruling after agreeing to review the case at the request of both sides.
Judge Michael Caldwell of the 19th Judicial District Court of Baton Rouge reversed the ruling he made in December that upheld changes to teacher tenure, pay for performance and evaluation and school board control over local schools.
Caldwell previously ruled that one section of the law dealing with local superintendent involvement with school board decisions was unconstitutional. On Monday, he made clear that, after reviewing the case, all four sections were in fact unconstitutional.
Caldwell agreed with the Louisiana Federation of Teachers that he had misread part of the legislation before his previous ruling. He then said the entirety of the law must be declared unconstitutional because it violates the “single object” section of the state Constitution, which says any bill brought before the Legislature must contain only one “aim or purpose of enactment.”
http://goo.gl/Pg5WB

Federal judge rules against DeKalb school board Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A federal judge refused to prevent the replacement of six DeKalb County school board members who lost their seats over a threatened loss of accreditation, and now Gov. Nathan Deal must find appointees to mend the torn district.
Deal suspended two-thirds of the DeKalb board last week. The ruling Monday by U.S. District Judge Richard Story allows the governor to name replacements while the lawsuit for control over Georgia’s third largest school system continues, perhaps to the Georgia Supreme Court.
Now the governor is facing pressure from parents, politicians and the public to quickly name successors. With only three members remaining on the school board, the district is all but paralyzed and major financial and personnel decisions are delayed.
http://goo.gl/GlZ5Y

California lawmaker seeks rights for transgender students Associated Press via San Jose (CA) Mercury Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A California lawmaker has introduced legislation aimed at guaranteeing transgender students the right to use public school restrooms and participate on the sports teams that correspond with their expressed genders.
The bill reflects the accommodations that a number of U.S. schools are being asked to make as Americans start identifying as transgender at younger ages.
If approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s AB1266 would give young people the right “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities” regardless of what gender is listed on their school records.
http://goo.gl/ZVfMe

Tax dollars in Arizona classrooms lowest in 11 years Capitol Media Services via (Tempe, AZ) East Valley Tribune

The share of tax dollars that actually wind up in Arizona classrooms slid again last year, to the lowest level in the 12 years the state has been monitoring.
A new report Friday from the Auditor General’s Office found just 54.2 percent of every dollar schools received was used for “classroom spending.” That is down a half a percentage point from 2011 and below the peak at 58.6 percent in 2004.
That classroom spending figure includes salaries and benefits for teachers, aides and coaches. It also covers supplies such as pencils and paper, athletics, and activities like band or choir.
But that 54.2 percent figure exposes only part of the situation.

Put another way, actual real-dollar classroom spending is 10 percent less than it was three years ago. And that’s in real dollars, before accounting for inflation.
http://goo.gl/7S4ZX

Video game invades classroom, scores education points World domination through learning? An alliance of educators and innovators are using a version of ‘SimCity’ to stem students’ boredom and electrify future U.S. scientists, engineers and mathematicians.
USA Today

An unprecedented agreement between two influential foundations, leading academics, two global testing firms and the video game industry could redefine how schools teach basic skills.
Tinkering for the past several months at the Silicon Valley offices of one of the world’s largest video game developers, the alliance is pushing to develop materials based on off-the-shelf video games that will get kids ready for “college and career success,” a key, largely unmet goal of the USA’s education system.
The nation is not producing enough well-rounded scientists, engineers and mathematicians for all the high-tech jobs expected to develop — an estimated 8 million in the next five years alone.
And school is boring kids to death.
In its latest report, Indiana University’s High School Survey of Student Engagement found that 65% of students are bored “at least every day in class.” One in six reported being bored in every class.
Into that chasm this week enters GlassLab (Games, Learning and Assessment Lab), an effort that envisions using video games to spur a new generation of students to embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.
http://goo.gl/X6Wqr

High school sports livestreaming sent to governor Sioux Falls (SD) Argus Leader

PIERRE — The South Dakota House of Representative gave final approval Wednesday to a measure prohibiting exclusive contracts for school sports coverage. The bill passed 50-20 and is headed to Gov. Dennis Daugaard to sign.
Senate Bill 119 would prohibit exclusive contracts for sports coverage, such as a $10,000 deal between the Pierre School District and a local radio station.
Supporters say the plan would not prevent school districts from charging reasonable fees for that access, as long as each outlet pays the same price.
http://goo.gl/1h5ZQ

McGraw-Hill textbook unit sale now an all-cash deal Reuters

The McGraw-Hill Cos Inc (MHP.N) said the $2.5 billion sale of its textbook business to private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) is now an all-cash deal.
The company will receive $150 million in cash at closing instead of being issued $250 million of unsecured notes.
McGraw-Hill, the parent of credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s Corp, agreed last November to sell its McGraw-Hill education unit to Apollo.
http://goo.gl/w9ueJ

————————————————————
CALENDAR
————————————————————

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

March 5:
House Education Committee meeting
8 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/HEDU0305.ag.htm

March 6:
Senate Education Committee meeting
8 a.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/SEDU0306.ag.htm

Senate Business and Labor Committee meeting
8 a.m., 215 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/SBUS0306.ag.htm

House Government Operations Committee meeting
8 a.m., 20 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/HGOC0306.ag.htm

House Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2013/agenda/HREV0306.ag.htm

March 8:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
8:15 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

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

Related posts:

Comments are closed.