Education News Roundup: April 19, 2013

"Google Fiber Space" by Rodney T/CC/flickr

“Google Fiber Space” by Rodney T/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Chrony looks at the U’s Masters of Science for Secondary School Teachers Program.
http://goo.gl/aFCnU (Chrony)

What does Google Fiber mean for Provo Schools?
http://goo.gl/lDdDu (KSL)

Rep. Bishop talks about the public land grand bargain, including what it means for SITLA.
http://goo.gl/IY8vJ (KUER)

There’s continuing coverage of the GOP (Grand Old Party) and CCS (Common Core Standards).
http://goo.gl/wvO7q (Wash Times)
and http://goo.gl/lV0rN (WaPo)
and http://goo.gl/9u4IC (Christian Post)

Study finds schools should ask, what kind of parent are you: help seeker, school helper, or potential transformer?
http://goo.gl/kcr7l (Ed Week)
or a copy of the study
http://goo.gl/VpqwN (Public Agenda)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Programs facilitate new ways of teaching

Provo schools among first to use Google Fiber

Bishop Working for Public Lands Solution

Syracuse High students really dive in to learn about marine-related careers

Utah students sit in hot seat at FCCLA competition

Edith Bowen students learn about plants, health, sustainability with new greenhouse

‘Excited to be a part of this’: Parents meet Hillcrest dual language immersion teachers

Mathnasium: Where kids go to work out their brains

Concentration camp survivor promotes families, freedom Las Vegas resident addresses local high schools on historical evils of bullying

Pine View High students to recognize ‘Day of Silence’

Utah leaders rallying for better educated public

Awards show honors best high-school musicals Theater » Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre High School Musical Awards.

Bon Jovi holds school of rock for college, high school students

‘Trashy’ outfits: Students’ fashion shoot features throw-away creations

Let the games begin! Students participate in track meets

Two receive Horatio Alger scholarships

Swim coach’s attorney: Juror was threatened

Provo School District Rethinking Parental Notifications

Teacher hopes LEGO Muppets make it to market

Davis Head Start registration open

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Bishop’s deal
Talk must be backed by trust

Common Core questions

Criminalizing Children at School

Will the assessment consortia wither away?

The Education BLOB Strikes Back

NATION

Common Core opens a Republican rift over education standards

USDA Sifts Comments on School Vending Machines, ‘A La Carte’ Items

Parents Need Differentiated School Engagement, Study Finds

Attorney accuses lawmakers of libeling Wyoming schools chief

Panel Affirms Firing of Calif. Teacher over Porn

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UTAH NEWS
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Programs facilitate new ways of teaching

To improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education, you have to improve the teachers. At least, that is the stance the College of Science has taken by creating the Center for Science and Mathematics Education and two master’s programs aiming to raise a better generation of science and math teachers.
The Masters of Science for Secondary School Teachers Program has been around since the 1970s, but it received a serious overhaul in 2009, said Hugo Rossi, director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education and MSSST program chair. The change is at last reaping success as teachers graduate and bring their new knowledge and techniques to Utah classrooms.
The program used to have a 50 percent graduation rate and is now in the upper 90s because of the change suggested by Maggie Cummings, an MSSST graduate who helps run the program. MSSST is for full-time teachers, so cohorts were created during summers and nights, which are more accommodating for teachers’ schedules. The program also works with the State Office of Education to determine what kind of science or math will be emphasized.
http://goo.gl/aFCnU (Chrony)

Provo schools among first to use Google Fiber

PROVO — Teachers and administrators at Provo City Schools are excited about the possibilities the recently announced “Google Fiber” could bring to their students. Schools will be among the first organizations to obtain access to the superfast giga-bit network.
Many educators have said that with the new network, the learning styles and techniques will increase, not only for the students, but for educators as well.
http://goo.gl/lDdDu (KSL)

Bishop Working for Public Lands Solution

Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT-1) is hoping that a regional approach to resolving the status of public lands in Utah might work better than the county-by-county approach that’s been tried before. Bishop has been meeting with local government leaders and representatives of environmental groups, hoping to work out a plan that he can get through Congress. He chairs the House Subcommittee on Public Lands. The plan, he says, is to designate lands for preservation as wilderness and lands where development and revenue would be the primary goal.
http://goo.gl/IY8vJ (KUER)

Syracuse High students really dive in to learn about marine-related careers

SYRACUSE — For 21 students in Jordan Denos’ AP biology class at Syracuse High School, spring break was not about sleeping in, slaying video-game villains or forgetting lessons learned during the previous term.
No. Spring break, earlier this month, was about traveling to the Catalina Island Marine Institute for five days of science camp, kayaking with dolphin escorts and swimming with 50 or so leopard sharks, as well as learning the hard way not to taunt a sports-challenged bison.
“There are different activities schools have for sports teams and band trips, but I really haven’t seen anything for kids who are more academically oriented,” said Denos, who teaches the school’s advanced placement biology class for juniors and seniors.
“I’ve taught a lot of marine biology, but Utah is a place where you don’t get hands-on experience. So I found this opportunity that seemed financially doable, and I thought it would be a good experience for students to see different jobs out there in the science world.”
http://goo.gl/GQ3QK (OSE)

Utah students sit in hot seat at FCCLA competition

LAYTON — Hundreds of students from across the state of Utah gathered at the Davis Conference Center on Thursday to share the knowledge they have gained in the subjects of family and consumer sciences.
The Utah Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America held its annual conference, where middle school and high school students competed in 28 subject areas ranging from culinary arts and nutrition to interior design and childhood education.
Students who participated also emphasized the leadership, communication and service skills they learned while participating in the program.
http://goo.gl/8woCT (OSE)

Edith Bowen students learn about plants, health, sustainability with new greenhouse

First-grader Sterling Collyer grabbed a garden hose and sprayed down the soil at the greenhouse at Edith Bowen Laboratory School on Thursday, and her friends lent a hand.
The girls are getting ready to plant corn and other assorted veggies — such as peas, lettuce and herbs — at the new Little Blue Goes Greenhouse. The greenhouse, built by USU students, is a place where children can learn about food, health, sustainability and stewardship, teachers said.
Collyer said she wants to work at the greenhouse so she can learn how to plant “and maybe eat corn on the cob and plant a big, giant tomato!”
The idea for a greenhouse began when USU student Ethan DeVilbiss, also an Edith Bowen graduate, set out to build a raised bed garden and hoop-house by applying to the university for a Blue Goes Green grant — a way for students to implement their own environmentally sustainable projects. DeVilbiss was granted approximately $4,300 for the small project.
http://goo.gl/s76K1 (LHJ)

‘Excited to be a part of this’: Parents meet Hillcrest dual language immersion teachers

Parents received more information about the upcoming dual language immersion program at Hillcrest Elementary on Wednesday and met the two instructors who will teach the English half of the classes.
Erin Rubino and Rebecca Landa were introduced as the teachers selected for the English component of the dual language program classes for first grade and second grade, respectively.
“We just want to say we’re so super excited to be a part of this. We got to visit a dual language school two days ago, and we just keep writing down ideas and talking about what we want to incorporate,” Rubino said. “So we’re really excited and just really want this to go far.”
http://goo.gl/mxnH9 (LHJ)

Mathnasium: Where kids go to work out their brains

LINDON — There are three types of people in the world — those who can count and those who can’t.
Perry Lalliss, Mathnasium director and owner, is out to change the misplaced perception that there is a “can” and “can’t.”
“We want people to really understand math,” he said. “We really are here for number mastery rather than for memorization.”
His mathematics learning center franchise is located in Lindon at 135 S. State St. with tables and tutors ready and waiting for members who need help. Students at Mathnasium range from second graders to seniors in high school.
http://goo.gl/Jhcj1 (PDH)

Concentration camp survivor promotes families, freedom Las Vegas resident addresses local high schools on historical evils of bullying

ST. GEORGE — World War II’s concentration camps are a thing of the past but the personal memories of their human atrocities are not, a camp survivor told Washington County high school students Thursday.
Las Vegas resident Stephen Nasser lived through the Holocaust’s dark days in the Auschwitz and Muhldorf camps. He has made it his mission to tell people about the Nazi cruelty toward other people and the dangers of perpetuating bully behavior of any type.
Nasser visited Desert Hills High School on Wednesday and spoke to student assemblies at Hurricane High and Pine View High on Thursday, while also following up on a previous address at Hurricane Middle School.
http://goo.gl/3Rngp (SGS)

Pine View High students to recognize ‘Day of Silence’

Pine View High School students will be among those at more than 100 high schools, colleges and universities around the nation participating in the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s Day of Silence on Friday to bring awareness to bullying.
The Day of Silence is a peaceful protest to call attention to bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, according to the network. In the 2009 National School Climate Survey conducted by the network, nearly nine out of 10 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students reported verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school.
http://goo.gl/zFUpb (SGS)

Utah leaders rallying for better educated public

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert and other Utah leaders are rallying behind a push for more Utah residents to continue their education past high school.
That plan has been under way for a few years, but supporters now say it has helped bring education issues into public view.
Some say reaching that goal could be a herculean task, and education leaders concede that they have yet to nail down all the specifics.
http://goo.gl/jPDCU (PDH)

Awards show honors best high-school musicals Theater » Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre High School Musical Awards.

When Busby Berkeley started filming “Babes in Arms” in 1938, 18-year-old Mickey Rooney and his co-star, 16-year-old Judy Garland, were prime high-school age.
The movie was the first of four “Hey kids, let’s put on a show!” films that suggested pulling together a musical production was an easy solution to a problem. High-school music and drama departments across the nation know better, but they still stage an annual musical despite the inevitable blood, sweat and tears.
Dozens of Utah students will be celebrated for their contributions to musical theater during the annual Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards — a show based on a similar format as the Tony and Oscar awards. The Saturday event, sponsored by Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre (UFOMT), takes place on the stage of Utah State University’s Kent Concert Hall in Logan.
http://goo.gl/k6Tz4 (SLT)

Bon Jovi holds school of rock for college, high school students

SALT LAKE CITY — Attention, class.

The Bon Jovi Because We Can 2013 Tour rolled though the Energy Solutions Arena Wednesday night. For about 15,000 to 20,000 people, it was two hours of music and nostalgia by a band that most have been following for 30 years, backed by an incredible stage show.
But for a select group of high school and college students, it was a 12-hour day of learning firsthand what it’s like to put on a large-scale rock show. Bon Jovi created the Because We Can internship program, giving students at each tour stop the chance to become crew members for a day, working behind the scenes with Bon Jovi’s management and production crews.
http://goo.gl/mMDZ3 (DN)

‘Trashy’ outfits: Students’ fashion shoot features throw-away creations

Taking items normally thrown away, students at Mountain Crest High School are creating outfits that are ready for fashion magazines.
Students in Alana Lange’s Fashion Strategies class are working on recycling and redesign projects, designing outfits out of materials such as table cloths, playing cards and other miscellaneous items.
“We’re trying to teach them that clothes are not disposable — not to just buy new things when you need something. Just take what you have, repurpose it, redesign it, make it something special and unique,” Lange said. “They’ve taken garbage — things that people have discarded — and tried to turn their trash into treasure and make a cool design.”
http://goo.gl/1kzRx (LHJ)

Let the games begin! Students participate in track meets

The 36th annual Hershey’s Track and Field Games are a sure sign of spring. Children in third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades have been running around playground perimeters for weeks building up their speed and endurance. The games are part of the largest youth sports program of its kind in North America with more than 400,000 participants last year, according to the Hershey’s website.
http://goo.gl/Dqpik (PDH)

Two receive Horatio Alger scholarships

CLEARFIELD — Two Clearfield High School seniors, Makenna M. Hill and Yajaira K. Peralta, have received $5,000 Horatio Alger Utah Scholarships made possible with support from the Rocky Mountain Power Foundation.
The two were among 17 students selected statewide based on their dedication to community service and strength of character in overcoming personal obstacles to achieve academic excellence.
http://goo.gl/gIYfL (OSE)

Swim coach’s attorney: Juror was threatened

OGDEN — A juror in the Jamie Waite trial who may have been threatened in the parking lot of the courthouse is the centerpiece of a motion for a new trial for Waite.
The former Ben Lomond High School swim coach was sentenced last week to 210 days in Weber County Jail. Waite, 37, was convicted at trial in March of four counts of forcible sexual abuse for a sexual relationship with one of her 17-year-old charges on the boy’s swim team.
The Ogden 2nd District Court jury only deliberated 90 minutes March 1 after three days of testimony in finding Waite guilty as charged in a three-month sexual entanglement with the teen.
http://goo.gl/SrEiT (OSE)

Provo School District Rethinking Parental Notifications

The Provo School District is re-evaluating its parent notification policy, after a girl, 14, went missing this week…and her parents weren’t called until the school day was nearly over.
District spokesman, Dr. Greg Hudnall, says budget shortages have reduced prompt notifications as a priority, over the years.
But changes are being promised, in the wake of this week’s incident.
http://goo.gl/R2LqD (KNRS)

Teacher hopes LEGO Muppets make it to market

SALT LAKE CITY — It started with pen-and-ink sketches, but over the past year, Quinn Rollins’ dream has inched closer to becoming reality.
The 39-year-old Kearns man is about 8,000 votes shy of advancing his quest to see The Muppets made into LEGO figurines.
“I think putting those two things together, it makes sense,” Rollins said. “The Muppets, it’s a very colorful world, and with LEGO, I think it’s a very colorful world. Really I just like the idea, and I think it would be fun. And to me it would feel like a big accomplishment more than anything else.”
The Granite School District social studies specialist, a former Bennion Junior High history teacher, has spent hours of his free time building nearly 40 miniature Muppet LEGO figurines such as Kermit, Gonzo, Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear. He painstakingly sculpts, bakes, paints and seals them. Then he posts the finished product on his CUUSOO LEGO page.
http://goo.gl/Zwybc (OSE)

Davis Head Start registration open

LAYTON — The Davis County Early Head Start and Head Start program is now scheduling registration appointments for the 2013-14 school year.
http://goo.gl/LN2VY (OSE)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Bishop’s deal
Talk must be backed by trust
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

Utah’s veteran Republican member of the U.S. House, Rob Bishop, seems to be, as Native Americans said of government negotiators in the 19th century, talking out of both sides of his mouth.
Bishop is doing the right thing in taking up the cause of former Sen. Bob Bennett to work with opposing sides in the perennial debate over public land use in Utah. Bishop said this week he wants to tone down the rhetoric — much of it his — coming from proponents of fossil-fuel development and environmentalist groups to help craft a sort of grand bargain.
He has invited conservation groups, energy companies, state and local government officials and anyone else who has an interest in preserving or using public lands to submit plans to him that he would use to craft legislation.
http://goo.gl/8PvHN

Common Core questions
Deseret News letter from Nikki Jacob

On the surface, Common Core sounds like a good idea to me, but dig a little deeper and concerns start cropping up. First, how much is this going to cost us? How will plopping our kids onto a “one-size-fits-all” conveyor belt be of any benefit? Children, just like adults, learn at different paces. If teachers are forced to teach the same thing at the same time what will happen to those children that just can’t keep the pace? Also, aren’t our teachers forced to “teach to the test” enough as it is? Why tie their hands even more? I think that the control over what is taught in Utah’s schools should belong to Utah.
http://goo.gl/sqN4U

Criminalizing Children at School
New York Times editorial

The National Rifle Association and President Obama responded to the Newtown, Conn., shootings by recommending that more police officers be placed in the nation’s schools. But a growing body of research suggests that, contrary to popular wisdom, a larger police presence in schools generally does little to improve safety. It can also create a repressive environment in which children are arrested or issued summonses for minor misdeeds — like cutting class or talking back — that once would have been dealt with by the principal.
Stationing police in schools, while common today, was virtually unknown during the 1970s. Things began to change with the surge of juvenile crime during the ’80s, followed by an overreaction among school officials. Then came the 1999 Columbine High School shooting outside Denver, which prompted a surge in financing for specially trained police. In the mid-1970s, police patrolled about 1 percent of schools. By 2008, the figure was 40 percent.
The belief that police officers automatically make schools safer was challenged in a 2011 study that compared federal crime data of schools that had police officers with schools that did not. It found that the presence of the officers did not drive down crime.
http://goo.gl/VR687

Will the assessment consortia wither away?
Fordham Institute commentary by President Chester E. Finn, Jr.

This prediction will puzzle, upset, and maybe infuriate a great many readers—and, of course, it could turn out to be wrong—but enough clues, tips, tidbits, and intuitions have converged in recent weeks that I feel obligated to make it:
I expect that PARCC and Smarter Balanced (the two federally subsidized consortia of states that are developing new assessments meant to be aligned with Common Core standards) will fade away, eclipsed and supplanted by long-established yet fleet-footed testing firms that already possess the infrastructure, relationships, and durability that give them huge advantages in the competition for state and district business.
http://goo.gl/2XKGt

The Education BLOB Strikes Back
Fox Business News commentary by columnist John Stossel

The education BLOB— that immovable jelly-like ball of teachers’ and janitors’ unions, the school board bureaucrats, PTAs, etc.—just keeps growing. As the number of students increased 96%, the number of administrative staff has increased 702%.
The BLOB eats most things that fight it. Ben Chavis founded The American Indian Charter Schools. The schools had very high test scores and they rated as the most challenging in the nation. But last month, the BLOB voted to close the chain, because Chavis broke some of its many rules.
The BLOB complains that taxpayers don’t spend enough on education. But, Neal McCluskey, the Associate Director of CATO’s Center for Educational Freedom, points out that we spend more and more— now, about $14,000 per student—for the same results.
http://goo.gl/V3G5Q

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Common Core opens a Republican rift over education standards Washington Times

The Common Core system is meant to unify K-12 education standards in states across the nation.
It’s having the opposite effect within the Republican Party, as a rift grows between supporters including high-profile figures such as Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels and other Republicans who had a hand in crafting it and those who fear it’s a well-disguised federal takeover of schools.
Concern from conservatives has reached a boiling point, leading the Republican National Committee last week to adopt a resolution condemning the standards.
More than 100 parent groups and other organizations held a “Twitter rally” this week to galvanize opposition to the standards. Pundits such as Michelle Malkin and Glenn Beck are leading the charge against Common Core, and that effort is spurring action in state capitals.
http://goo.gl/wvO7q

http://goo.gl/lV0rN (WaPo)

http://goo.gl/9u4IC (Christian Post)

USDA Sifts Comments on School Vending Machines, ‘A La Carte’ Items Education Week

High school students shouldn’t have access to caffeinated or sugary drinks on campus. Snacks sold at elementary and middle schools shouldn’t have as many calories as those sold in high schools. And perhaps schools shouldn’t have vending machines or a la carte lunch lines at all.
Those thoughts are among the nearly 250,000 comments sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture over the past few months in response to the agency’s proposal for updating the nutritional standards of school vending-machine fare, items sold on a la carte lunch lines, and other foods sold at school aside from lunches and breakfasts. Comments were due by April 9.
Acting to regulate such items for the first time in decades, the USDA has suggested limiting fat, calories, and sodium in those so-called competitive foods—items that compete with highly regulated school lunches and breakfasts. The agency also wants those snacks and entrees to be made from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, or protein; and mandate that they naturally contain such nutrients as calcium and fiber.
The regulations wouldn’t apply to food sold for occasional fundraising or at after-school events.
http://goo.gl/wm01L

Parents Need Differentiated School Engagement, Study Finds Education Week

Not every parent is going to bake great cupcakes for the school bake sale, or have time to help a teacher set up a science experiment, or even have the numeracy skills to help his 8th grader with algebra homework. That doesn’t mean these parents can’t be meaningfully involved in their child’s education, according to a new report from Kansas City, Mo. public schools.
The report, “Ready, Willing, and Able?” comes from the New York City-based nonprofit Public Agenda, which interviewed more than 1,500 parents of students in five counties in the Kansas City area about what they knew about education in general and their children’s schools, how they prefer to communicate with educators, and what they hope to contribute.
Analysts identified three main types of parents, each of which a school must address to have a successful family-involvement program:
http://goo.gl/kcr7l

A copy of the study
http://goo.gl/VpqwN (Public Agenda)

Attorney accuses lawmakers of libeling Wyoming schools chief Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

A lawyer for embattled Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill threatened legal action Wednesday against legislators who published a report on the law that removed much of her power.
Emblem-based attorney Robert DiLorenzo called the report libelous and demanded Rep. Rosie Berger, who apparently sent out the document, either prove or retract eight statements concerning Hill. In a letter sent Monday, he gave Berger 10 days to comply.
“Right now, all they are trying to do is cover up and justify their votes any way they can,” he said in an interview with the Star-Tribune. “But they are not going to justify it by slander and libeling my client. Simple as that.”
No one picked up the phone when a reporter twice called Berger’s home Wednesday.
The 32-page report attempts to explain why lawmakers passed Senate File 104, controversial legislation enacted earlier this year that transferred many of the superintendent’s duties to a director appointed by the governor. The paper was prepared by House Speaker Tom Lubnau, Majority Whip Tim Stubson and House Minority Leader Mary Throne.
http://goo.gl/wsbnK

Panel Affirms Firing of Calif. Teacher over Porn Associated Press

STOCKTON, Calif. — State officials have affirmed a Northern California school district’s decision to fire a 37-year-old high school teacher accused of using a school-issued laptop to help set up pornographic websites.
A three-member panel from the state Office of Administrative Hearings said it found that numerous files on the Lincoln Unified School District laptop once used by Heidi Kaeslin were pornographic, lewd, vulgar or repugnant. It also said her conduct was immoral.
http://goo.gl/e06dw

http://goo.gl/defCt (Stockton [CA] Record)

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

May 2:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspxpr

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

May 14:
Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2013&Com=APPEXE

May 15:
Education Interim Committee meeting
9 a.m., TBD
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2013&Com=INTEDU

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