Education News Roundup: May 12, 2013

2013 Living Traditions FestivalToday’s Top Picks:

State Charter Board looks at school performance.
http://goo.gl/4zbYW (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/HLeI7 (KCSG)

State GOP convention will look at Common Core tomorrow.
http://goo.gl/8Drlu (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/otjST (DN)
and http://goo.gl/tLV4R (KSL)

Common Core commentary:
http://goo.gl/L0o54 (Rep. Powell in the D-News, pro)
http://goo.gl/bkRDU (Jeanne Whitmore, Aristotle Academy, in the Herald, pro)
http://goo.gl/MgwlK (Oak Norton, father of five, in the Herald, anti)
http://goo.gl/LVMuO (Sol Stern and Joel Klein in the WSJ, pro)

And how the Common Core is playing out on the national scene:
http://goo.gl/AW87u (Ed Week)
and http://goo.gl/kmRbn (CSM)
and http://goo.gl/92TQg (CSM)

Utah Policy looks at state revenues and Utah’s ability to fund education.
http://goo.gl/D7z1i (UP)
or a copy of the report
http://goo.gl/Xzb9Q (Utah Legislature)

Weber District will absorb Ogden’s adult ed programs.
http://goo.gl/O5i5Y (OSE)

Congratulations to new Iron Superintendent Shannon Dulaney
http://goo.gl/pBVsw (SGS)

Ogden cutting its number of reading coaches.
http://goo.gl/PX6fO (DN)
and http://goo.gl/YdDua (OSE)
and http://goo.gl/ncLup (KSL)

And this may be a long list of links, but at least it includes a Letterman top 10 reasons for becoming a teacher.
http://goo.gl/7X098 (Late Show)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah charter schools under new performance scrutiny
Eighty-one charter schools are evaluated on academics, finances and governance.

GOP delegates to consider Common Core resolution
Education » But some Republicans express reservations.

Lawmakers Consider Five Year Plan for Future Revenues and Spending Needs

School officials report on class size reduction

Weber district to absorb Ogden district’s adult ed program

National PTA head visits Utah, talks of boosting membership
Schools » Leader urges Utahns to reach out and get involved.

Utah Charter School Nurtures Entrepreneurial Spirit

Education special and digital libraries

ICSD names new superintendent

Utah schools to get record amount of school land trust money

New $10 million Utah STEM education program gets rolling
Schools » Program aims to improve science, tech, engineering, math education.

Miss America visits Utah to promote STEM education

Utah Company Encouraging Computer Programming Education For All

Salt Lake School District: Status quo will take a tax increase
Education » Officials say money is needed for programs, employee raises and retirees.

Ogden School Board faces anger over cutbacks

Ogden School District to cut reading coaches by 10 percent

Parents bake up support for media specialists

Study: More high school students saving for college as costs rise

In lieu of a diploma: There are still options for those who don’t finish high school

Students lacking tech skills, finding problems completing online applications

Draper’s Corner Canyon High will annually reconsider out-of-boundary students
Education » Canyons District links permits to attend Corner Canyon High to enrollment.

Millard County residents plea with school board to keep gyms
Transparency » School board accused of making unpopular decision behind closed doors.

2 Twitter accounts target gay, minority students at Lone Peak High

Recess program gets kids involved and stops conflicts

Bullying in schools: ‘Enough is enough’
Students challenge district policy

Layton elementary students get the beat to ‘Give Bullying the Boot’

Gun school for southern Utah teachers: Free training on a firing range
Concealed carry » Orderville educator wants to be armed for crisis saying “it could happen here.”

Utah parents push for gun ‘sanity’
Violence » Gun-control activists target schools, Legislature so Sandy Hook ‘‘doesn’t happen here.’’

Alpine School District students build home only out of American Made products

American Fork senior honored for education, service

A day of Krypto helps students prepare for the future

Orem High footballer in coma, but doctors expect to awaken him soon
Heart attack » Ben Smith collapsed at practice, coach saved his life with CPR.

Health officials: Unvaccinated students need to stay home

Whooping cough hits north Utah County schools

Pertussis outbreak reported at Bountiful school

Needle in a bicep: Are you vaccinated?

Students, parents rally behind Rowland Hall teacher battling lung disease
After retiring for health reasons, he gets a boost from an auction of his art.

Viewmont High students crown special-needs students as prom royalty

Canyons School District Special Education Field Day

Campbell named DHS principal

Richard Holmes is the New Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education

South Sanpete School Administrators

Springville second-graders want your money — for a good cause

Former Utah teacher ordered to stand trial for allegedly having sex with student
Courts » Stephen Niedzwiecki, 33, began having sex when the girl was 15.

Syracuse teacher pleads not guilty to heroin possession

Route to new school across 11400 South too dangerous, parents say

Neighbors: Student parking is threatening our safety

Police, district deny fault after children left at Lagoon following field trip

4 schools locked down after student flees with BB gun

Highway patrol rewards Clearfield students for wearing seat belts

Utah students to perform at Carnegie Hall

Jordan Valley School performs The Little Mermaid
Showtime » Special-needs students use adaptive technologies, focus on their strengths.

Syracuse students perform musical Fame JR.
School play » Syracuse students put on musical “Fame JR.”

Six teachers, 22 schools receive arts-education grants

Utah Kids Invent ‘Fanny Pack Airbag’

Washington County Association for Gifted Children

Weber School District teacher to end 38-year career

Teacher honored by Weber School District

Retirement party

Provo district announces summer lunch program locations

More than 1,300 grade-schoolers participate in annual Wellsville Mile

Sky View students place in Utah Envirothon competition

Trash means cash for elementary school

Portrait of an orphan — Salem art students draw Ghanaian orphans

Artists, students team up for chalk creation

‘Lemonade Day’ event set at school

Thumb wars

St. George Exchange Club: April 2013 Students of the Month

A + Teacher

Free GED program at Stevens-Henager

Will efforts to strengthen teaching profession push minorities out?

Texas college prep experiment shows modest promise for helping remedial students

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Cost of learning
District must tax; Legislature won’t
The adults of Weber district

Stopping bullies

Thumbs up, thumbs down

Utah Republicans should embrace Common Core

Common Core standards better than what Utah has now

Common Core poses ‘real threat’ of loss of privacy

Change the purpose of education

The value of prep sports

Some tips on AP tests

How digital learning can save a student’s education

Hatch and STEM

We must get serious about raising revenue for schools

Mail in ballots to decide library bond, Ogden pools issue

Incompetence in Ogden schools is sliding downhill

Deficit means Ogden district must make cuts

Ogden district would need to raise taxes for Obamacare

Sequester the reason for Ogden district cuts?

Ogden district may have too many administrators

District’s ’empower through education’ now seems skewed

Smith ‘messes with the quality’ of education

Adult education helps predict children’s success

Consolidate Weber and Ogden school districts

Superintendent sees price tags, not values

Reading coaches help many to succeed

Librarians teach students to do quality research

Oppose common core in schools

Forced to pledge

High school blues

Adult ed students preferred neighborhood schools

Home schooling is another option

Clothes getting shorter, more revealing

Conservatives and the Common Core
The curriculum standards adopted by 45 states require students to read America’s Founding texts.

Tracking Measures, Growing Headwinds for Common Core, and Prospects for Administration Policy Proposals

The revolution is here

A Quick Look At “Best High School” Rankings

Why Private Schools Are Dying Out
A few elite institutions at both the grade-school and college levels are doing better than ever. But their health conceals the collapse of private-sector options in the U.S.

Study: Math Skills at Age 7 Predict How Much Money You’ll Make
Kids who were better at reading and math at age seven ended up in a higher socioeconomic class age 42, regardless of what other advantages they had.

Top Ten Reasons I’ve Decided To Become a Teacher

NATION

Common Core Supporters Firing Back

Common Core promises new tests. Will they be better than the old ones?
Even before teachers have switched to new Common Core curriculum, new assessment tests are in the works. Teachers hope they’ll be better than the current fill-in-the-bubble ones.

L.A. Unified bans suspension for ‘willful defiance’
Zero tolerance policies adopted after Columbine lower achievement and disproportionately affect African Americans, supporters say.

Leader of Teachers’ Cheating Ring in Memphis Gets 7-Year Term

Common Science Standards Face Capacity Issues
Carrying out standards may be slow

40 States Probed Alleged Cheating on Tests, Federal Report Finds

Testy Battle Over Tests

How Could a Sweet Third-Grader Just Cheat on That School Exam?

Tight budgets limit Wyo school safety options

Diplomas Elusive for Many Students With Learning Disabilities

Lack of sleep blights pupils’ education

Transgender student: ‘Do the right thing, Red Lion’
The school board did not respond to Issak Wolfe during the meeting, but the solicitor said later they are still talking with the ACLU.

Steve Jobs’s Widow Steps Onto Philanthropic Stage

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah charter schools under new performance scrutiny
Eighty-one charter schools are evaluated on academics, finances and governance.

For the first time, the State Charter School Board has evaluated Utah’s 81 charter schools in three key areas — academics, finances and governance — creating a baseline for comparing the schools next year.
Not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.
Kim Frank of the Utah Charter Network, a nonprofit advocate for schools, said she appreciates the board setting high standards.
“But I don’t appreciate more bureaucracy and more mandate requirements of charter schools than district schools,” Frank said this week.
Charters are public schools but have more leeway in how they hire staff or design curriculum than traditional public schools. For that reason, many charter schools have been able to explore new academic territory.
Nearly 9 percent of all K-12 Utah students attend a charter school. Enrollment has shot up over the past decade from 1,526 students in 2002 to a peak of 50,785 youngsters this school year.
http://goo.gl/4zbYW (SLT)

http://goo.gl/HLeI7 (KCSG)

GOP delegates to consider Common Core resolution
Education » But some Republicans express reservations.

Utah Republicans plan to consider a resolution asking state leaders to drop new Common Core academic standards at their convention Saturday.
The resolution’s supporters say it’s an important step toward educating Utahns about the standards, which they say are “un-American” and will lower the quality of education in Utah. It’s a resolution, however, that many state education leaders oppose and of which even a number of Republicans are wary.
The state school board adopted the standards in 2010, along with most other states, in an effort to better prepare students for college and careers. The standards, developed as part of a states-led initiative, outline the concepts and skills students should learn in each grade in math and language arts, while leaving curriculum (or how the standards should be taught) up to local schools and teachers. They are now being used in Utah schools.
The resolution, however, calls the Core “inferior nationally-based standards” and claims the Core binds Utah to the standards. It also says “‘student behavior indicators’ — which includes testing for mental health, social and cultural (i.e. religious) habits and attitudes and family status — are now being used for Common Core tests and assessments.”
They’re all points state education leaders have refuted.
http://goo.gl/8Drlu (SLT)

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

http://goo.gl/tLV4R (KSL)

Lawmakers Consider Five Year Plan for Future Revenues and Spending Needs

Without raising taxes, over the next five years Utah State government will have enough money coming in to adequately run the state and meet borrowing obligations, a new study by the Legislature’s fiscal analyst says.
But there won’t be enough money coming in to adequately address transportation needs.
And the single greatest source of state government revenues – federal grants and aid – is uncertain, considering the mood in Washington, D.C., sequestration and such.
The Legislature’s budget experts gave the first of its kind report to the Executive Appropriations Committee on Tuesday afternoon.
The “five-year plan” study – perhaps inappropriately named considering the infamy of the old USSR’s five-year economic plans that consistently incorrectly predicted how that Communist-run economic system would operate – may show that estimated revenue collections, based with the basic obligations of state government, are in good shape.
But there’s a growing belief among some civic and political leaders that Utah’s financial efforts in public and higher education aren’t cutting it anymore.
http://goo.gl/D7z1i (UP)

A copy of the report
http://goo.gl/Xzb9Q (Utah Legislature)

School officials report on class size reduction

SALT LAKE CITY — Public school officials on Wednesday presented the first of what is expected to be an annual report on the use of state class size reduction funding to members of the Education Interim Committee.
The reporting follows the passage of HB318 during the most recent legislative session, which requires school districts and charter schools to report on and create plans for how certain funds are being used to reduce class size.
“We have taken the bill and attempted to interpret what is meant there,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove told members of the committee. “We’ve indicated that if (school districts) choose to apply for class size reduction funds in the 2014-15 school year, they will then have to develop a plan of how they will use these funds.”
http://goo.gl/DgqJq (DN)

Weber district to absorb Ogden district’s adult ed program

OGDEN — Weber School District Superintendent Jeff Stephens learned of a neighboring district’s decision to eliminate its adult education program Thursday morning, when the Utah State Office of Education emailed him a letter.
The letter said that, because the Ogden School District had dropped its program, effective June 28, state officials were, “… therefore asking the Weber School District to assume full responsibilities,” Stephens said, quoting from the letter.
The letter also said that resources for the 2013-14 school year would be reallocated so the Weber School District would be getting $267,945 to help cover costs of absorbing the Ogden district program.
http://goo.gl/O5i5Y (OSE)

National PTA head visits Utah, talks of boosting membership
Schools » Leader urges Utahns to reach out and get involved.

PROVO • The soon-to-behead of the National PTA told Utah members Thursday he believes it’s possible for the group to reverse a trend of declining membership in some states and misconceptions about its politics.
National PTA President-Elect Otha Thornton emphasized that the PTA — which has 117,000 members in Utah — is a nonpartisan group that tells its members to vote, but not how to vote. And he said it is possible to re-build membership numbers in some parts of the country.
He said the power of the PTA comes from parents joining together to advocate for what’s best for children. He said it’s not enough just to recruit more parents and teachers to existing PTAs; he urged members to reach out to new schools and communities.
“PTA participation gives us the courage, confidence and collective voice to confront the most pressing issues, like school violence or funding [cuts], that are preventing our children from reaching their true potential,” Thornton told hundreds gathered for the opening session of the Utah PTA Leadership Convention at Brigham Young University on Thursday.
http://goo.gl/wIXEw (SLT)

Utah Charter School Nurtures Entrepreneurial Spirit

A new charter school in Utah wants to equip students in kindergarten through ninth grade with a solid foundation in business.
Students’ daily lessons are peppered with concepts like sales and marketing, finance and entrepreneurship, says first-grade teacher Tammy Hill. “And that plays into leadership and improved math skills. And finance plays into every part of their lives.”
About 580 students attend Highmark Charter School in a suburb just north of Salt Lake City. They earn play money by turning in homework on time and performing chores. They’re encouraged to make items and sell them to each other.
http://goo.gl/CiOII (KUER)

Education special and digital libraries

SALT LAKE CITY — This week on Sunday Edition we took a closer look at the value of a college diploma in today’s economy. Plus, find out why all of our schools could use more parent volunteers. And in this digital age it may seem like libraries are obsolete. Doug Wright explains why he is not on that page.
http://goo.gl/LHXbV (KSL)

ICSD names new superintendent

CEDAR CITY — Shannon Dulaney, who worked for the Iron County School District from 1997 to 2010, will return to Cedar City to become the first woman to serve as the district’s superintendent.
The appointment was announced Wednesday, one day after the ICSD Board selected Dulaney to replace retiring superintendent Jim Johnson.
http://goo.gl/pBVsw (SGS)

Utah schools to get record amount of school land trust money

Utah schools can expect more than $30 million in School Land Trust Program money this summer — a record distribution, said Margaret Bird, director of the School Children’s Trust.
Each year, all Utah public schools get part of the dividends and interest earned on the permanent State School Fund — a more than $1.3 billion pot of money generated from trust lands throughout the state. Individual schools typically get anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $100,000 each, depending mostly on enrollment.
http://goo.gl/soJPF (SLT)

New $10 million Utah STEM education program gets rolling
Schools » Program aims to improve science, tech, engineering, math education.

Fewer than six weeks after the governor signed it into law, a $10 million program aimed at improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in Utah is getting off the ground.
The governor has so far appointed 10 of 11 members of a board to run the new STEM Action Center, with about half representing businesses and half representing education. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), which oversees the center, has also nominated scientist and entrepreneur Carol Curchoe George as state science advisor. The position will be paid for by the governor’s office, not out of the bill’s funds, said Sophia DiCaro, GOED deputy director.
The center is also working to hire three staff members, including an administrative assistant to be paid $14.92 to $24.79 an hour; an executive director to be paid $41.50 to $52.89 an hour; and a program manager at $31.13 to $43.11 an hour. Those positions will be funded by the bill, HB139.
http://goo.gl/Dlbj4 (SLT)

Miss America visits Utah to promote STEM education

SALT LAKE CITY — Reigning Miss America Mallory Hagan said too many students in the United States are not being exposed to the exciting careers that come from education, particularly in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
“There are so many kids across the nation who don’t have a favorite subject, who don’t enjoy going to school,” Hagan said Friday during a STEM event at the Salt Lake Chamber. “If we want to continue to be a world leader, we have got to set our students up for success. We can’t become stagnant as a country.”
http://goo.gl/BcXLs (DN)

Utah Company Encouraging Computer Programming Education For All

Utah students are learning how to control their future by controlling the technology that runs our everyday lives.
While it is usually considered an important skill set to master a second language while you are in school, one Utah company is giving of their time and resources to push the importance of a language they say is defining our future – computer programming.
“It’s a fundamental skill,” says Aaron Skonnard, CEO of Pluralsight. “Learning how to control technology should be as fundamental of a skill as reading and writing. If they don’t have a basic understanding of how some of these things work, they’re going to be at a major disadvantage.”
http://goo.gl/lYr0t (KUTV)

Salt Lake School District: Status quo will take a tax increase
Education » Officials say money is needed for programs, employee raises and retirees.

Salt Lake City School District officials are recommending a property tax increase to maintain school programs and provide a cost-of-living increase to employees.
Under the proposal, homeowners would pay $12.65 more per $100,000 of home valuation yearly, raising an additional $3.6 million for the 2013-14 school year, said Janet Roberts, district business administrator.
The single-family home median price in Salt Lake City ranged from $139,000 in the 84101 ZIP code to $393,000 in 84103 in the first quarter of 2013, according to Urban Utah Homes and Estates, a real estate company.
http://goo.gl/0jRRQ (SLT)

Ogden School Board faces anger over cutbacks

OGDEN — Parents, librarians, former principals and teachers, and a few current students crowded into the Ogden School District’s board meeting Thursday night, many awaiting their chance to express their disappointment to the board and district officials about recent cost-cutting actions sparked by a $2.7 million budget deficit.
Most speakers urged district officials not to dismiss the district’s 20 certified media specialists. A few spoke with anger about Superintendent Brad Smith’s decision to end the district’s adult education program, which will now be administered by Weber School District.
Others were upset about the district’s dismissal of part-time reading coaches, whose jobs are being restructured and replaced with a lesser number of openings for staff assistants. A few asked how the district expected to keep good teachers’ aide when it had cut back their hours enough to disqualify them for health insurance.
Still others came to ask for Smith’s dismissal, after learning from the district’s website that policy requires the board to vote at the first meeting in June on whether it wants to reapprove the current superintendent’s employment.
http://goo.gl/9Tbf1 (OSE)

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

Ogden School District to cut reading coaches by 10 percent

OGDEN — Part-time reading assistants are the latest casualties in Ogden School District’s ongoing efforts to close a budget deficit in the face of federal sequestration and rising costs.
Superintendent Brad Smith said between 20 and 25 of the district’s 250 early reading interventionists and staff assistants will likely be cut to save money. The remaining reading coaches will no longer be a fixture at elementary schools but will be distributed based on school size and reading proficiency, Smith said.
“We’re going to look at how we deploy them across our district instead of deploying one unit per school,” he said.
The announcement follows the recent closing of Ogden’s community swimming pools and the elimination of about 20 library media specialist positions.
http://goo.gl/PX6fO (DN)

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

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

Parents bake up support for media specialists

OGDEN — Amy Jamison felt mixed emotions Wednesday as she surveyed tables packed with colorful cupcakes and other bake sale treats.
“It’s all for you and the other librarians,” said a Bonneville Elementary School student just tall enough to hug Jamison around the thighs. “It’s so you can stay.”
Jamison, on the faculty at Bonneville Elementary, is one of the Ogden School District’s 20 certified media specialists/librarians told in late April their jobs were being eliminated as a cost-cutting measure. All school media centers will be staffed with non-benefited part-time assistants starting next school year. Ogden School District Superintendent Brad Smith has said the plan is expected to save the district $990,000 in wages and benefits.
http://goo.gl/gvaMI (OSE)

Study: More high school students saving for college as costs rise

Magna • For Cyprus High School senior Alexius Artez, going to college has always been a goal, but she didn’t actually start thinking about how she was going to pay for it until her junior year.
“I was really set on the U. [University of Utah] and then things started to become reality,” Artez said. “I was like, there’s no way I can pay for that.”
So she’ll attend Salt Lake Community College this fall instead, where tuition will be $2,924 compared with $6,511 at the University of Utah.
Rising tuition coupled with shrinking state support are the financial realities of higher education today, forcing many students to turn to student loans and making it all the more important to get students and families thinking about how to pay for college earlier.
http://goo.gl/ePZZv (SLT)

In lieu of a diploma: There are still options for those who don’t finish high school

For high school seniors, the end of May brings graduation and plans for either college or a career. However, for some seniors, this time of year only brings questions and uncertainty because they will be unable to graduate.
According to the Utah State Office of Education, the graduation rate for the 2011-12 school year was 78 percent. While this may not seem very high, it has steadily increased over the years. In 2008, the graduation rate was only 69 percent.
For those students who don’t make the cut and can’t walk across the stage with their classmates, are there other options? Local educators say yes.
http://goo.gl/c8hMo (LHJ)

Students lacking tech skills, finding problems completing online applications

SALT LAKE CITY — Technology is changing the college admissions process, but not all students are benefiting.
Utah schools are trying to address the digital divide facing some students who want to go to college, but may not be tech savvy. The digital divide has two issues: one is the high ratio of students to school counselors, and the other is the influx of refugees, immigrants and other first-generation college students who may not have Internet access or web skills.
In terms of student to counselor ratio, Lillian Tsosie-Jensen at the State Office of Education said the average in Utah is one to 356 and can be as high as one to 600 in larger schools.
http://goo.gl/UdGST (KSL)

Draper’s Corner Canyon High will annually reconsider out-of-boundary students
Education » Canyons District links permits to attend Corner Canyon High to enrollment.

Debbie Margo looked forward to her daughter’s freshman year at Draper’s new Corner Canyon High School, but now it’s not going to happen.
After an enrollment glitch, the Canyons Board of Education voted this week to continue its policy of evaluating each year, based on enrollment, the number of permits given to out-of-boundary students.
The 283 such students admitted this year, and parents such as Margo, thought the permits were guaranteed to remain valid until graduation.
http://goo.gl/ureXJ (SLT)

Millard County residents plea with school board to keep gyms
Transparency » School board accused of making unpopular decision behind closed doors.

Delta • In this rural Utah town, there isn’t a Gold’s Gym on every corner. Kids work out at the school or county gym, building roads toward athletic scholarships or away from grim realities.
“A lot of these kids don’t come from great homes,” said Luke Beckstrom, a volunteer junior high wrestling coach. “I have kids come to meets with no food. For some of them, programs like this are the only thing going to keep them out of jail.”
The fear of losing the gyms led community activists to a file lawsuit on Tuesday asking for judicial review of several closed meetings’ legality and a restraining order asking for the Millard County School District to halt any demolition of buildings. A judge signed the restraining order later that day.
Many residents, though, are angry about the decision-making process used to erect the new workout facilities and potentially demolish the old ones.
http://goo.gl/IBHhx (SLT)

2 Twitter accounts target gay, minority students at Lone Peak High

HIGHLAND — Two anonymous Twitter accounts appear to target gay and minority students at Lone Peak High School, and the mother of one of the targeted students is speaking out against cyber bullying.
Students at Lone Peak High School seem to be aware of the incident, but many of the students have not seen the tweets or the Twitter account.
“They would take pictures of the minorities here and say things about them on Twitter — like, some pretty racist remarks about them,” said student Matthew Johnson.
However, the account had several followers who are Lone Peak students. The tweets have not been included due to their offensive nature, but a mother who saw them is campaigning for justice.
http://goo.gl/N32DS (KSL)

Recess program gets kids involved and stops conflicts

MIDVALE — Fifth-grader Bethany Prescott is a leader among students in her school.
Wearing a purple T-shirt with the words “Playworks Junior Coach” written across the front she and other junior coaches patrol recess activities daily at Copperview Elementary as part of a recess initiative designed to encourage physical activity and prevent bullying.
They monitor other young students in their volleyball, tennis, basketball or double-Dutch jump rope games, looking for conflicts in play groups or kids who might be left out.
http://goo.gl/wtTpk (DN)

Bullying in schools: ‘Enough is enough’
Students challenge district policy

“I don’t feel safe at school anymore.”
Those were the words of two high school students who attend separate schools in the Washington County School District after they decided to speak up after experiencing what they say is repeated bullying.
Dixie High School sophomore Sadie Oliphant, 16, and Hurricane High School junior Jennifer Gaspardo, 18, submitted a petition with more than 300 signatures addressed to the school district in April, asking district officials to update its bullying policy as well as emphasize the importance of upholding the policy in each school.
http://goo.gl/Bqycg (SGS)

Layton elementary students get the beat to ‘Give Bullying the Boot’

LAYTON — Enormous grins adorned the faces of students at Lincoln Elementary School as they vigorously beat upon drums.
The activity was a reward for the students’ efforts collecting used footwear for the program “Give Bullying the Boot.”
Over a period of three weeks, students were asked to donate used shoes — usable or not. Students brought shoes for recycling or donation to those in need through a partnership with two organizations: Excuse Me While I Change the World and Safe to Talk Foundation.
http://goo.gl/0CzoF (OSE)

Gun school for southern Utah teachers: Free training on a firing range
Concealed carry » Orderville educator wants to be armed for crisis saying “it could happen here.”

Wasatch Front teachers had their concealed-weapons crash course over Christmas. Now, five months after the Sandy Hook slayings, Utah’s leading gun lobby is offering a second concealed-training session for educators who plan to carry guns on campus — this time in St. George and with a live ammo shooting range.
The Utah Shooting Sports Council will put on this weekend’s gun school for free, saying it wants to help all school employees better protect their students and themselves. Similar classes have drawn fresh interest across the nation since the Dec. 14 slaughter of 20 first-graders in Newtown, Conn., and the subsequent National Rifle Association call for armed teachers to tighten security.
http://goo.gl/fJUUy (SLT)

http://goo.gl/Ab42Y (MUR)

Utah parents push for gun ‘sanity’
Violence » Gun-control activists target schools, Legislature so Sandy Hook ‘‘doesn’t happen here.’’

Miriam Walkingshaw’s world of creating wedding flowers and handpicked serenity shattered last summer when a gunman dressed for war strode into a Colorado movie theater and slaughtered 12 people, including a 6-year-old girl, during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
“I had a 6-year-old at the time, and, of course, he loves Batman,” she says. “This is only one state away. It felt very close to home.”
The mass shooting that also injured 58 prompted Walkingshaw to research Utah’s gun policies. “I realized this can happen here.”
Five months later, “horrified” by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Walkingshaw decided it was time to speak out.
“So many friends and family members told me not to. ‘This is the price we pay for gun rights and there’s nothing we can do,’ ” she recalls hearing. “That horrified me even more. It really motivated me.”
Turns out Walkingshaw had company — primarily among parents with young children — despite Utah’s entrenched gun culture and well-worn Western mind-set that abhors regulation.
The result: Utah Parents Against Gun Violence — a grass-roots group with roughly 40 members and 150 Facebook followers — whose aim is to fight for common-sense gun policy and “sanity” on Utah’s Capitol Hill.
http://goo.gl/RD9Wz (SLT)

Alpine School District students build home only out of American Made products

LEHI, Utah – Students in the Alpine School District are taking the idea of home work to a whole new level.
High School students built two homes within the district.
Every year Alpine School District high school students build the homes for their Building Construction class, but this year one of the homes was built almost entirely out of materials produced in America.
http://goo.gl/fjgd6 (KTVX)

American Fork senior honored for education, service

AMERICAN FORK — Hailey James is quiet and unassuming, yet this petite American Fork High School senior was recently selected as one of two Utah students who are the United States Presidential Scholars.
“She’s quite an amazing young lady — she is going to be our valedictorian this year,” American Fork High School assistant principal Dan Biolo said.
Backtrack a bit, not only is she a U.S. presidential scholar, she has a full ride scholarship to Harvard, works as a tutor, volunteers for Big Brothers Big Sisters, takes a full academic load with AP chemistry, physics and biology courses, helps her younger brother and sister with their homework, teaches the adult gospel doctrine class for her church and does household chores. Oh, and she has a crush.
http://goo.gl/Cbr1m (PDH)

A day of Krypto helps students prepare for the future

ROY —One student peeked over the edge of the stairs, raised his hands and dropped a simple case made only of paper and tape containing a raw egg.
Another student stood in the middle of a ring with her creased and folded paper airplane and catapulted it into the air.
And still another hovered over their numbered cards, brows furrowed, trying to come up with the right mathematical equation first.
It was all part of the 22nd Annual Math & Science Olympiad, featuring 640 third- through sixth-graders from the Weber School District who traveled to Roy High School to compete in games as diverse as Krypto, Set, Tile Trials, the float-a-glider and the egg drop.
http://goo.gl/YYZHd (DN)

http://goo.gl/220NG (OSE)

Orem High footballer in coma, but doctors expect to awaken him soon
Heart attack » Ben Smith collapsed at practice, coach saved his life with CPR.

An Orem High School football player who collapsed during practice remained in a medically induced coma Friday, but doctors expected soon to wake him.
When sophomore Ben Smith opens his eyes, he will be told he can thank his coach, Tyler Anderson, for still being alive.
Alpine School District spokeswoman Rhonda Bromley said doctors are “crediting Coach Anderson’s quick actions in performing CPR for saving Ben’s life” shortly after the student athlete collapsed Thursday afternoon during wind sprints.
Paramedics relieved Anderson and other coaches and continued CPR, then rushed the boy to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Doctors later discovered Ben has a heart condition that led to his collapse.
http://goo.gl/NyN23 (SLT)

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

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

Health officials: Unvaccinated students need to stay home

Some unvaccinated Utah Valley children have been ordered away from local public schools, perhaps for weeks.
Whooping cough, which is highly contagious and potentially fatal to small children, has broken out in Alpine School District.
“We have issued exclusions,” health department spokesman Lance Madigan said. An exclusion is a health department legal order. “Those kids that are not vaccinated are required to stay home from school. That is one thing the parents accept when they choose not to vaccinate.”
http://goo.gl/144Ml (PDH)

Whooping cough hits north Utah County schools

Parents of children in Alpine School District are being warned that whooping cough is spreading among students.
The Utah County Health Department has issued a warning to parents of students at Westlake High in Saratoga Springs and other schools, a spokesman told the Daily Herald.
http://goo.gl/DSJQA (PDH)

http://goo.gl/8Jr1C (KUTV)

Pertussis outbreak reported at Bountiful school

BOUNTIFUL — Parents of students at Viewmont High School were notified Monday of a pertussis outbreak at the school.
The Davis County Health Department reported three confirmed, one probable and two possible cases of whooping cough at the school.
http://goo.gl/hHlFK (KSL)

http://goo.gl/J4JwC (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/6udz2 (KNRS)

Needle in a bicep: Are you vaccinated?

AMERICAN FORK — Peter Backman, 11, of Highland, flinched as he received a shot in the arm from Nurit Bassett, a nurse with the Utah County Health Department.
“Ah, dang! That was quick!” he blurted out as he relaxed his arm.
But he had three more shots to go.
Backman was at the vaccination clinic with his mother, Angie Backman, held at Forbes Elementary in American Fork on Friday afternoon. The clinic, organized and staffed by the Utah County Health Department, was offering school vaccinations to kids as well as adult vaccinations to older people, including the pertussis, or whooping cough vaccine.
http://goo.gl/Q6Y3Z (PDH)

Students, parents rally behind Rowland Hall teacher battling lung disease
After retiring for health reasons, he gets a boost from an auction of his art.

Learning is work: It’s a philosophy, personal mantra and now magnum opus of lifelong learner, teacher and artist Peter Hayes. And students and friends want to ensure he’s around a long time to champion it.
In February, the Rowland Hall High School biology teacher stepped away from the classroom after 18 years at the school to tend to his health after being diagnosed with a life-threatening lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Difficult as it was, Hayes said, even the decision to leave taught him something.
http://goo.gl/hf5x4 (SLT)

Viewmont High students crown special-needs students as prom royalty

BOUNTIFUL — Two of Viewmont High School’s special-needs seniors were recently crowned as first attendants for the junior prom.
Seniors Rachel Graybill and Russell Taylor received enough anonymous nominations by the students to be put on the ballot, then received the most votes from their senior classmates.
http://goo.gl/7NvES (OSE)

Canyons School District Special Education Field Day

SANDY, Utah – Hundreds of kids in Canyons School District special education program spent the day competing in their own Sports Day.
The participants range from students in wheelchairs to those with mild cases of autism and each competed in racing events, challenge courses and dancing!
http://goo.gl/AaOFE (KTVX)

Campbell named DHS principal

Sharla Campbell, assistant principal at Dixie High School for the past eight years, has been named the new DHS principal.
She replaces Larry Bergeson, who was recently named Washington County School District superintendent.
http://goo.gl/pY0y3 (SGS)

http://goo.gl/P9xXW (KCSG)

Richard Holmes is the New Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Washington County School District Board of Education is pleased to announce the selection of Richard Holmes, Current Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction, K-12, as the new Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education replacing Marshall Topham who will retire after more than 33 years of service with the District.
http://goo.gl/0NYWe (KCSG)

South Sanpete School Administrators

The South Sanpete School Board has announced the following administrative appointments:
http://goo.gl/c8dsw (MUR)

Springville second-graders want your money — for a good cause

SPRINGVILLE — Often, students are encouraged to learn new skills and find ways to help solve problems in real-life. When teacher Becky Jorgensen was looking for a service learning project, she wanted something where her second-grade students could really make a difference.
“I remembered seeing an email asking for donations for a yard sale that was being held to raise funds for our school counselor’s son,” Jorgensen said. “I saw that this 2-year-old boy needed a wheelchair and asked my students if they would like to raise money for him. They were excited about doing something to help.”
Jorgensen considered having her class help collect items for the yard sale, but she felt that wouldn’t get her students as involved as she hoped. She talked to her young students and asked them what they could do to help raise money for a wheelchair.
http://goo.gl/VHWFD (PDH)

Former Utah teacher ordered to stand trial for allegedly having sex with student
Courts » Stephen Niedzwiecki, 33, began having sex when the girl was 15.

A former Kaysville charter school teacher and Weber State University adjunct faculty member accused of forcible sodomy of a teen was ordered this week to stand trial on the charges.
Stephen Niedzwiecki, 33, is charged with eight counts of forcible sodomy, all first-degree felonies, along with one count of attempted rape and two counts of forcible sexual abuse, all second-degree felonies.
This week, 2nd District Judge Michael Allphin ordered him to stand trial after he heard testimony from the alleged victim during a preliminary hearing. No trial date has been set.
http://goo.gl/H22M6 (SLT)

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

http://goo.gl/m5xXu (OSE)

http://goo.gl/EZNe9 (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/qPOQ7 (KSL)

http://goo.gl/i2RKS (KSTU)

Syracuse teacher pleads not guilty to heroin possession

FARMINGTON — A third-grade teacher has entered not guilty pleas to charges related to possession of heroin.
Claudia Reaney, 49, appeared in 2nd District Court on Tuesday. She is charged with one count of second-degree felony possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.
Another hearing has been set for June 25.
http://goo.gl/1pIqP (OSE)

Route to new school across 11400 South too dangerous, parents say

SANDY — Some parents in the Canyons School District say they’re concerned about the walk their children may have to take to get to a new elementary school next fall.
Curt and Heidi Davenport live in Cranberry Hill on the border of Sandy and Draper. Currently, their kids are bused to a school several miles away. But next year, the kids will attend Crescent Elementary at 11100 S. 230 East, which is much closer to their home.
The Davenports say they’re thrilled about having a school closer to home, but they’re concerned that their children will be expected to walk just under a mile and a half and cross 11400 South to get to the school.
http://goo.gl/uXIgZ (DN)

http://goo.gl/lQg2N (KSL)

Neighbors: Student parking is threatening our safety

LEHI — Amanda Nielsen’s voice quivered as, with tears in her eyes, she told Lehi council members about her 2-year-old boy getting streptococcus pneumoniae in February and the amount of help she needed to care for him.
“We had to have home health nurses there. They couldn’t get a place to park. Kids on the Move therapists had the same problem,” Nielsen said.
Sometimes the medical caregivers have to park as far as a quarter of a mile away and walk into the neighborhood, which is located just north of Lehi High School, to get to the Nielsens’ home. High school students were taking up all the parking on her street.
Nielsen has found a solution, but she’s hoping the city council can come up with something more permanent.
http://goo.gl/LxJLc (PHD)

Police, district deny fault after children left at Lagoon following field trip

FARMINGTON — Granite School District and the West Valley City Police Department are both denying responsibility after two 10-year-old boys were left alone at Lagoon following a department-sponsored school field trip.
The field trip was an end-of-year event for the Safety Patrol sponsored by the West Valley City Police Department in conjunction with the Honorary Colonels Association, a nonprofit devoted in part to developing interest in and understanding of city law enforcement. Transportation to the park for students from about 20 different schools was provided by the Granite School District.
When the time came for students to leave the park, two boys could not be located.
http://goo.gl/kcPC1 (KSL)

4 schools locked down after student flees with BB gun

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Four schools were briefly put in lockdown Friday afternoon after a BB gun was found in a student’s backpack.
The principal at the alternative Granite Peaks High School was checking student backpacks for tobacco about 12:10 p.m. when she found drugs and a BB gun in the backpack of a 17-year-old senior student, said Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley.
http://goo.gl/tJ6sa (DN)

http://goo.gl/la7eV (OSE)

http://goo.gl/6kRFX (KSL)

Highway patrol rewards Clearfield students for wearing seat belts

CLEARFIELD — Students at Clearfield High School experienced a sweeter-than-usual departure from school grounds Thursday.
The Utah Highway Patrol, with help from Clearfield High student body officers, handed out more than 1,000 Creamies ice cream bars to students wearing seat belts as they left school.
The Creamies were distributed to reward students for reaching 95 percent seat belt usage — as observed by UHP in April as a part of its Zero Fatalities “Don’t Drive Stupid” program, said UHP Sgt. Ted Tingey.
http://goo.gl/JdJS3 (OSE)

Utah students to perform at Carnegie Hall

Since Carnegie Hall opened in 1891, a Who’s Who of icons have performed at the legendary New York venue, including pianist Vladimir Horowitz’s sold-out 1965 recital and Groucho Marx’s 1972 appearance at the twilight of his career.
On Tuesday, May 21, the Crescent Super Band, a group of 72 Utah students from the American Fork youth bands, will get their turn.
The trip has been 13 months in the making, with the help of sponsors such as Legacy Music Alliance and Merit Medical Systems, which donated $75,000 for travel expenses.
The young musicians — high-school age and younger — are ready.
http://goo.gl/kXZnT (SLT)

http://goo.gl/45ksS (KSL)

Jordan Valley School performs The Little Mermaid
Showtime » Special-needs students use adaptive technologies, focus on their strengths.

Jordan Valley School had a lot of fun under the sea.
Well, not literally in water, but in late April the school put on a production of “The Little Mermaid” with colorful costumes, dancing and singing.
“It’s one of the most unique things I’ve ever seen,” said Caitlin Barney, Jordan Valley School’s music therapist.
The school in Canyons District serves students with severe disabilities. This year’s spring production marks the fourth year of what’s becoming a favorite program for the students, teachers and parents.
http://goo.gl/t1oRa (SLT)

Syracuse students perform musical Fame JR.
School play » Syracuse students put on musical “Fame JR.”

Syracuse • Leg warmers, suspenders, big belts, sparkles, blue eye shadow and waist-high blue jeans filled the stage at Syracuse Arts Academy April 24 through 26. The middle school’s production of the musical Fame JR. looked like a flash back to the 80s.
Drama teacher Melissa Burke chose Fame JR. for her spring theater performance. Burke said that as she was deciding which play for her drama class to perform she looked at the individual talents of her students. She thought Fame JR. was the perfect fit to showcase the singing, dancing and acting abilities of her students.
http://goo.gl/8aQrd (SLT)

Six teachers, 22 schools receive arts-education grants

Six Utah teachers and 22 schools and school districts across Utah will receive $65,100 in arts education grants, announced Wednesday by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums.
Grants are given to provide funding for comprehensive arts-education projects, either with an artist or by accessing the services of an artistic company. The projects may be thematic and focus on a core curriculum area (math, science, language arts or social studies, for example) through dance, theater, music, storytelling, film and video, visual arts or creative writing.
The Arts & Museums division awarded six teacher-initiated project grants of $500 each. These are designed to help teachers and administrators learn more about an artistic discipline.
Here are the recipients of the grants, and the amounts they will receive:
http://goo.gl/AQ6Vz (SLT)

http://goo.gl/RB9Ya (KCSG)

Utah Kids Invent ‘Fanny Pack Airbag’

Park City, UT – Someone forgot to tell RoboThunder they are only kids. The Park City based robotics team invented a “fanny pack airbag” to protect senior citizens when they trip or fall.
They came up with the idea while competing in Utah’s FIRST LEGO League – a global robotics and innovation competition for kids ages 9-14 and they won first place for their invention in the project category at the 2013 World Festival Competition recently.
http://goo.gl/62q0c (KTVX)

Washington County Association for Gifted Children

WASHINGTON COUNTY – A group of concerned adults, parents, and teachers have been working for months to organize the Washington County Association for Gifted Children and affiliate it with the Utah Association for Gifted Children. Anyone interested in participating, helping the cause, or just listening and learning is invited to join in on the meeting Thursday, May 16 at 5 p.m. in the St. George Public Library: Community Room A.
http://goo.gl/I5ryB (SGN)

Weber School District teacher to end 38-year career

WEST HAVEN — The students Weber School District teacher Lynette Grow first taught when she began teaching in 1975 are now in their mid-40s. That thought humbles Grow, who has been teaching third- and fourth-graders for 38 years now.
Grow figures she has taught more than 1,000 students now.
“It brings a huge smile to my face to think I had a part of their learning and growing up, and hopefully I set them on the right path,” said Grow, who at age 59 has opted to close her classroom door for the final time and retire at the end of this school year.
http://goo.gl/6zVZr (OSE)

Teacher honored by Weber School District

RIVERDALE — People have asked Tanya Tremea if she ever gets tired of teaching first grade at Riverdale Elementary School. After all, she has been teaching there for 26 years.
Her quick answer is always a firm, “No.” She says she loves what she does and sees each day as a new opportunity.
It’s that positive attitude that got her named teacher of the year in Weber School District this year.
http://goo.gl/G8Ufe (OSE)

Retirement party

On Monday Maple Mountain High School will hold an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. in the high school library, honoring Rita James, who is retiring after more than 30 years of service in Nebo School District.
http://goo.gl/gvvxM (PDH)

Provo district announces summer lunch program locations

PROVO — Children who don’t have enough to eat at home won’t be going hungry when school gets out.
The Provo City School District Summer Child Nutrition Program will begin on June 3. Children 18 years and younger get breakfast and lunch for free. The meal must be eaten in the school cafeteria. Their parents may purchase a meal; breakfast costs $2 and lunch is $3. The menu may change depending on product availability.
http://goo.gl/x9clC (PDH)

More than 1,300 grade-schoolers participate in annual Wellsville Mile

More than 1,300 students from all over the southern part of the Cache County School District pumped their legs as they took part in the Wellsville Mile on Tuesday.
The famous annual tradition attracted fourth- and fifth-grade students from Canyon, Lincoln, Heritage, Millville, Mountainside, Providence, River Heights, Nibley and Wellsville elementary schools.
The Wellsville Mile is in its 33rd year.
http://goo.gl/nDolU (LHJ)

Sky View students place in Utah Envirothon competition

Two teams from Sky View High School placed in the Utah Envirothon competition in late April in Richfield. The school’s FFA team won first place in the FFA division, while the Envirothon team won second place overall.
The Envirothon is an environmental practices competition that is based on subjects such as rangeland, wildlife, soils, water quality and forestry.
http://goo.gl/eC1At (LHJ)

Trash means cash for elementary school

A local elementary school has tripled its P.E. budget by recycling.
The district provides between $150 and $200 a year for Eagle Valley Elementary to buy balls and physical education equipment for students. P.E. teacher Joel Huebner was looking to expand that budget through donations, when three years ago, he bought Capri Sun drink pouches for his child’s soccer team and saw an ad on the package about schools being paid to recycle drink pouches and chip bags through a company called TerraCycle.
http://goo.gl/CLnW6 (PDH)

Portrait of an orphan — Salem art students draw Ghanaian orphans

SALEM — For the average American child, obtaining the latest toy or game ranks high on their priority list, but for orphaned children in Ghana, owning a drawing of themselves seems the equivalent to owning the moon. The art department at Salem Hills High School volunteered their services to participate in The Memory Project, where students draw or paint portraits for orphans or disadvantaged children all over the world.
The mission of The Memory Project is to provide a memento that encompasses a childhood memory, and reflects the idea that each child is as unique as a piece of art. SHHS students recently finished up the portraits for an orphanage in Ghana.
http://goo.gl/SxArB (PDH)

Artists, students team up for chalk creation

SALT LAKE CITY — Brothers Jared and Dan Nielsen helped create an 8-by-20-foot chalk art mural of current pop culture characters with the help of several students at the Salt Lake Arts Academy.
The purpose was to create a time lapse video for the school and its annual gala.
http://goo.gl/nzLGW (DN)

http://goo.gl/yyt6m (KSL)

‘Lemonade Day’ event set at school

SOUTH WEBER — HighMark Charter School is hosting Lemonade Day to give students a chance to apply classroom topics to the world of work.
The event will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the school, 2467 E. South Weber Drive, South Weber.
http://goo.gl/ATjxO (OSE)

Thumb wars

Aspen Elementary will be trying to break a Guinness World Record by having the most people in a consecutive thumb war for 5 minutes on May 24 at 10:30am. The students have been working for this the whole year by setting a reading goal and surpassing the goal of 1,500,000 minutes read. “Thumbs up for Reading” has been the theme, along with “Going the Distance,” and Aspen’s students have Gone the Distance and a Thumbs Up for each one of them! There is also a dance festival at 9:30 a.m. and field day at 12:30 p.m., and all day is Spirit Day.
http://goo.gl/9QBwG (PDH)

St. George Exchange Club: April 2013 Students of the Month

ST. GEORGE – The St. George Exchange Club honored seven local students as Students of the Month for April 2013.
http://goo.gl/MJxtD (SGN)

A + Teacher

Melanie Fisher teaches fifth grade at Bluffdale Elementary, and students say she makes math and all learning fun by offering rewards.
http://goo.gl/IuGQf (KSTU)

Free GED program at Stevens-Henager

OGDEN — Stevens-Henager College offers a free GED certificate program to students who did not earn their high school diplomas.
For information on the program details and area campuses at which the program is offered, call 801-622-1567, extension 1002.
http://goo.gl/Dr4Bb (OSE)

Will efforts to strengthen teaching profession push minorities out?

A growing number of states are looking at policies to raise the academic bar for students entering teaching programs. But on most measures being considered — from GPAs to test scores — minority candidates tend to do less well than their white peers, said a story in Education Week. That has policy-watchers worried that such plans will result in a K-12 work force with fewer black and Latino teachers.
That runs against efforts to increase numbers of minority teachers. A 2011 report from the Center for American Progress called for stepping up recruitment of teacher candidates of color. Nationally, students of color make up more than 40 percent of the public school population, but teachers of color comprise only 17 percent of the teaching force.
http://goo.gl/CFbB8 (DN)

Texas college prep experiment shows modest promise for helping remedial students

The push is on to make college degrees a reality for more students, and the need for remedial courses on U.S. campuses has increased as a result. That makes college more expensive, and might not be helping.
About 40 percent of traditional-age college students and nearly 60 percent of those who attend community college must take at least one remedial course, according to a study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
http://goo.gl/j2z3p (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Cost of learning
District must tax; Legislature won’t
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.”
— The Red Queen, in Through the Looking Glass
The Salt Lake City School District finds itself in much the same predicament as Alice, who, in the Lewis Carroll classic, runs “very fast for a long time” but remains in the same spot.
The district received a 2 percent funding increase this year from the Legislature, whose members were enthusiastic about what they touted as the largest boost in education funding in many years. But that meager increase does not allow the public schools in the capital city to continue to provide current service to children without a tax increase.
What legislators were so proud to call a funding increase does little in most districts but pay for necessary cost increases in retirement benefits for school employees.
http://goo.gl/TrRIv

The adults of Weber district
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

We appreciate the efforts of the Weber School District to take on the responsibilities of maintaining adult education for those students who are involved in the program. The commitment follows Ogden School District Superintendent Brad Smith’s decision to quit the program, which serves about 250 students who are seeking a high school diploma.
Many of these are, as Sharilyn Gerber, a teacher and member of the Weber School Board said, “the poorest of the poor.” The decision by Smith put many of these students in limbo. Smith argues that the program was an excessive diversion from the duties of Sarah Roberts, principal of George Washington High School, the alternative school where adults received their classes.
At that point the Utah State Office of Education emailed Jeff Stephens, Weber School District superintendent, asking his district to “assume full responsibilities.” The state will provide the Weber district $267,945 to assist in covering the costs.
Stephens has his work cut out for him in order to start the adult education classes by July 1.
http://goo.gl/Aq6OV

Cal Grondahl editorial cartoon
http://goo.gl/X54It

Stopping bullies
(St. George) Spectrum editorial

It wasn’t all that long ago that a mention of the word “bully” would generate thoughts of a burly boy or tall girl on the playground pushing and shoving a smaller, weaker classmate. Those images included bruises and scrapes, blemishes to show the violence.
These days, bullying has changed dramatically. The attack often is less on the physical body — although that still happens as well — as it is an attack on a person’s mental health. Whether it’s being called names in the hallway or being shunned in the lunchroom or being called out in any number of ways on social media sites, bullying takes a tremendous toll on the victim.
People who are bullied sometimes try to endure the psychological pain inflicted by aggressors. Sometimes victims go into a shell from which they sometimes don’t emerge. Some even choose to take their own lives rather than endure the anguish.
We need to find better strategies to make the bullying stop.
http://goo.gl/n67yT

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

Thumbs up: To Emery Young, an eighth-grade student at Mount Ogden Junior High. Emery’s efforts to save the jobs of Ogden School District media specialists netted her an interview with Superintendent Brad Smith, the man who plans to fire the teachers.
http://goo.gl/FJUQS

Utah Republicans should embrace Common Core
Deseret News op-ed by Rep. Kraig Powell

Utah Republicans stand at a crucial crossroads of education policy. As Jane Austen’s endearing Mr. Bennet solemnly informed his daughter Elizabeth, “An unhappy alternative is before you.”
On April 12, the Republican National Committee passed a resolution condemning the Common Core State Standards as “an inappropriate overreach to standardize and control the education of our children,” and “a nationwide straitjacket on academic freedom and achievement.”
In contrast, on May 2, the Utah State Board of Education unanimously passed its own resolution praising the Common Core’s mathematics and English standards adopted in Utah for their “academic rigor” and “career and college ready outcomes.” The Board’s resolution asks Utah’s governor, members of the Legislature and political party delegates to resist the demands calling for withdrawal from the Common Core, and to support teachers, parents and students in a successful transition to the new core standards.
Several thousand delegates of the Utah Republican Party will gather in Sandy this weekend for their annual state convention. One of the items scheduled for consideration is a resolution similar to the April RNC measure, condemning the Common Core standards as an “unproven experiment on our children” that will promote an “inferior, un-American curriculum.” The proposed Utah GOP resolution calls on the governor, state legislators and the state school board to withdraw from — and discontinue use of — the Common Core standards.
As Utah’s Republican delegates consider the competing proposals from these ardent suitors, they would do well to remember the genesis of the recent educational standards movement.
http://goo.gl/L0o54

Common Core standards better than what Utah has now
(Provo) Daily Herald op-ed by Jeanne Whitmore, the founder of Aristotle Academy, a charter school in American Fork

This was the first year that Utah taught and tested on the new Common Core Standards (http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards) in math and English. Utah has always had core standards in math and English, but this year the standards were the same for virtually the entire nation.
The concept of standards is fairly simple: a list of things students should be able to do or know by grade level. Unfortunately for the Common Core Standards Initiative many people are attacking it with false and misleading information. The opponents of the core are taking this simple idea and trying to make it into a large federal government conspiracy to track our children and take over local education. So for the record, the CCSI is only a list of things your student should know.
http://goo.gl/bkRDU

Common Core poses ‘real threat’ of loss of privacy
(Provo) Daily Herald op-ed by Oak Norton of Highland, a father of five.

Between the two sides of the Common Core debate, proponents of Common Core have consistently failed the first test of any new government program — follow the money.
If you had a great idea, would you spend the money to create a product and push it untested into a national market? No, you would pilot test it against similar products. Common Core was pushed into the states by the federal government’s Race to the Top grants, which are the equivalent of bribes. If you contractually agreed to adopt Common Core standards, database tracking and computer adaptive assessments, you had a chance at getting money from the feds.
So what’s the real agenda behind Common Core?
http://goo.gl/MgwlK

Change the purpose of education
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by Lynn Stoddard, author of four books and many articles on how to improve public education

It is a disturbing fact that Utah spends less per student in our public schools than any other state, but we spend more than the national average to incarcerate prisoners in jail.
We could reduce the tax burden for prisons and spend more for education, if nearly every child grew up with a firm resolve to be a “contributor” rather than a “burden” to society. Is this possible? The answer is yes, if we have the courage to change the purpose of public education.
At the present time, the main purpose of education is for students to be standardized, uniform or “common,” in a limited number of school subjects, mainly reading, writing and math.
Should this be the main purpose of education?
http://goo.gl/bMVki

The value of prep sports
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by Phil Russell, retiring Ogden High School teacher/coach/athletic director

When coaches, teachers, bankers, lawyers or any professionals get together, they always talk about their high school days. Why? Bcause it was the finest times of their lives.
The conversations are filled with “remember when?” These “remember when” memories promote parents to want their children to have the same experiences that they cherished in high school.
http://goo.gl/5I6Iz

Some tips on AP tests
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by Sarah Stratford, a junior at Davis High School

At long last, the final page of the most exciting compilation of words you have ever read has come to a close. You have reached the end of your AP textbook.
Your head is crammed full of an entire course of information that you’ve consumed in nine months. And now is the time for the AP exams to begin!
Advanced placement classes are college-level courses that are available to high school students. By taking an AP class, it is possible for a student to earn college credit if they pass the exam near the end of the school year. There are currently 34 different AP courses and exams available, according to the “AP Bulletin for AP Students and Parents.”
This year, the testing “season” began at 8 a.m. May 6 and will end on Friday, May 17.
Many students may be experiencing taking an AP exam for the first time. But have no fear as we offer a few tips for successful AP testing.
http://goo.gl/UKLSo

How digital learning can save a student’s education
Sutherland Institute commentary by Public Policy Director Derek Monson

Do you want a plan to give second chances to children who struggle to learn? To empower children struck by tragedy (e.g., a major injury or illness) to continue their education? To provide advanced learners the chance to reach new academic heights, improve public education for all children through modern-day innovation, and increase access to higher education?
Two words: digital learning.
http://goo.gl/usZ1g

Hatch and STEM
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Sen. Howard Stephenson

Thomas Burr’s “Hatch bill seeks immigrants’ DNA” (Tribune, May 7) covers many important amendments that Sen. Orrin Hatch proposed last week, but it did not detail one very important amendment that deserves more attention.
Hatch jointly filed a bipartisan amendment that would increase existing fees on companies that hire foreign workers to fill vacant high-skilled positions, which employers would happily do. Those fees would be used to establish a national fund to help Utah and other states strengthen science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
The amendment would address our skilled labor needs in two ways.
http://goo.gl/4uyRD

We must get serious about raising revenue for schools
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Warren Hill

Rep. Stephen Handy’s May 5 guest commentary, “Columnist wrong on public lands issue,” made several statements which deserve a response. In particular, he stated that the Legislature is trying to do what’s best for the citizens of Utah and that they deserve our trust. However recent actions by the Legislature would seem to belie that statement. These include trying to pass a school voucher issue, trying to limit what the GRAMMA act covers, and recently, letting anyone obtain a concealed weapons permit without any background check whatsoever.
The main point of Mr. Handy’s commentary is that the purpose of the Legislature’s passing the bill to try and obtain part of existing federal lands within the state is to use the money that may be generated from such lands to put towards school funding. He states that this is the only way that we can adequately fund our schools and he goes on to say that we can’t tax ourselves to get to parity. What he does not say is, how we are going to fund our schools if the federal government does not cede these lands back to the state? He also doesn’t say what we are to do in the meantime, even if eventually we are to get these lands, as the school population continues to go up every year.
http://goo.gl/Tdft2

Mail in ballots to decide library bond, Ogden pools issue
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Terri McCulloch

As president of the Weber County League of Women Voters, I want to encourage all citizens to participate in the all-mail special election on June 25. There are two issues being voted. The Weber County Library board is seeking a $4.5 million bond to improve the library system throughout Weber County. A new southwest branch will be built on donated land in Roy. This branch will house the libraries’ administrative and support services. Other locations will be remodeled to support increased use. This does not involve raising taxes.
The other issue to be on the ballot is that of raising taxes to facilitate operating the swimming pools at the high schools in Ogden School District.
http://goo.gl/8eMGW

Incompetence in Ogden schools is sliding downhill
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Larry R. Hall

The letter of May 13, “Administrators turn blind eyes to troubles,” by the Ogden High student is significant. When a responsible young student becomes aware of irresponsible administrators, we know something is very wrong.
As a proud teacher for Ogden city schools for 26 years, and after working with five different superintendents, I thought I’d seen it all. Recent policies are destructive to the extreme. Although the blunders originated at the top, they have crawled downhill. Adults have taken sides, as it suits their needs; but when students begin to suffer, it’s time for a change.
http://goo.gl/ipLrb

Deficit means Ogden district must make cuts
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Pat Scalise

It seems like every day, in the letters to the editor section, someone is criticizing Superintendent Smith. Ogden School district is running on a deficit, folks. We have a budget to contain. We may not approve of the cuts he is suggesting, I know, as an educator, I cringed at the suggestion of losing our wonderful librarians. But, where do we cut? I’m certain that firing all of the coaches would cause riots.
I don’t remember reading any smart suggestions of ways to make wise cuts. I am sure I would have remembered if someone had suggested we raise taxes.
http://goo.gl/aXyXw

Ogden district would need to raise taxes for Obamacare
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Richard K. Brimhall

Brad smith saved Ogden city $1,000,200, which President Obama would force on Ogden city to raise taxes with Obamacare. Why not contact Obama and leave Brad alone?
In my opinion, Obama would change USA to USSA by forcing us to be a socialist country.
http://goo.gl/tPP9z

Sequester the reason for Ogden district cuts?
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Cal Udy

Media specialists and staff assistants are being dropped and hours cut. Is this old news? Let’s talk about why.
I attended a meeting on May 10, with a staff assistant in the Ogden School District HR offices. This lady has 23.8 years of dedicated full-time service and just had her hours cut for this coming year to 5.2 hours. This means a substantial loss of income, approximately 38 percent and all benefits. This cut will have a negative impact on her life for many years to come, including loss of in level of retirement benefits.
What was the justification for this upheaval? Sequester!
Congressman Bishop Is this true? If these cuts in the OSD are created by partisan gridlock, then why Representative Bishop are you not working to solve this problem in Utah Education? Why are YOU not looking after the needs of your congressional district and our state?
http://goo.gl/0DtkG

Ogden district may have too many administrators
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Chuck Putnam

I have some concerns with the decisions the Ogden superintendent and the board are making. I know the budget needs to be cut but are they making the best decisions for our children or for their pockets? Since Brad Smith has been in charge, there have been so many changes in positions and creation of district positions that I have lost count.
This was supposed to improve our test scores. Where is the data to prove that this has helped? I am not opposed to change if it is making a difference. I don’t feel that the changes have been beneficial to our children. How many district administrators do we really need? Why do we need almost as many administrators as Weber School District when we are a much smaller district?
Why are we creating more district positions when they have no face time with the children?
http://goo.gl/ldwDO

District’s ’empower through education’ now seems skewed
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Debera Probert

The Ogden School District mission states: Empower excellence through education. All students have access to high quality instruction and are supported in their effort to exceed the basic standards.
Our students had access to 20 highly qualified media specialists. Now these specialists will be replaced with non-certified staff assistants. In a 2008 study done by Syracuse University, it was stated that higher test scores were linked to having certified media specialists. Will having less qualified staff be the best answer in achieving that vision we have for our students to exceed the basic educational standards?
http://goo.gl/anXSl

Smith ‘messes with the quality’ of education
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Kathy Rhees

I‘m not one to voice my opinion on politics and such but that has recently changed. I can whole-heartedly say that I am extremely angry with a group of individuals and the head of them is the superintendent of Ogden School District, Mr. Brad Smith. He and his associates have no idea what in the world they are doing to my children’s and many others’ educations. They have gone through the million-dollar-plus budget that was in place when they came into their positions like it was water.
They forced a contract that not all agreed upon and now they eliminating of the media specialists. Are you stinking kidding me! They aren’t just librarians, they help students excel in reading, writing and college prep work. If they had read that data they would have known that.
http://goo.gl/xr3zJ

Adult education helps predict children’s success
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Renee Quick-Ratchford

I am very concerned about the superintendent of our city schools making the unilateral decision to just discontinue a program that is beneficial to our community and that does not impact his budget. One of the best predictors of children’s success in school is the education level of the parents. By improving this measure in the parents, we improve the education prospects for our current students.
Whose kids do you think are in your schools, Mr. Smith?
http://goo.gl/MTFC7

Consolidate Weber and Ogden school districts
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Oland Thompson

I am a concerned parent of a student of the Ogden School District. In recent editions of the Standard-Examiner we have seen several cost cutting measures that the Ogden City School district is undergoing. As I read what is happening, I wonder why we have an Ogden City School district at all. I recall when I attended Ben Lomond High school there was a general referendum to consolidate the Ogden and Weber school districts.
I ask myself after several decades of a school district in title 1 status and repeated NCLB failures on different schools why are we allowing the mismanagement of the district to continue? I propose that the Ogden City School District has had ample time to improve student education as a Title 1 district and clearly is still failing or the current cutting of media specialists and reading tutors wouldn’t be necessary.
Please explain to me how the reduction in force will positively effect the student experience?
http://goo.gl/OA8yq

Superintendent sees price tags, not values
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Derk Koldewyn

Brad Smith, it appears, is one of those men that Oscar Wilde described as “knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing.” I am a product of the Ogden School District; I learned to read early, at home, but my lifelong love of reading came mainly from Phyllis Dixon Shaw, the librarian at Horace Mann Elementary and one of the two “Dixon sisters” (the other being Dot Harrison at Grandview Elementary) who, among many other innovations, were responsible for beginning the first gifted and talented programs in Ogden.
http://goo.gl/uYMcd

Reading coaches help many to succeed
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Judith Joy

For over 25 years, I worked as an advisor/recruiter for all the health professions at Weber State University. One of the glaring differences in applications to our programs (radiology, nursing, medical technology, health information, respiratory therapy, health sciences, dental hygiene and emergency medicine) was real academic skills.
http://goo.gl/112yW

Librarians teach students to do quality research
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from JaNae Kinikin

I was distressed to hear about the firing of the library media specialists in the Ogden School District. As a university librarian, I am concerned that students in the schools in this district will not learn the information skills that are needed to be successful college students. It is not uncommon at the reference desk at my library to work with students who have no idea how to find a book or articles to support the research papers they have written. Yes, they write the papers before conducting any research.
http://goo.gl/y0W2C

Oppose common core in schools
(Provo) Daily Herald letter from Thomas M. Hover

Opposing Common Core will keep the education of our children on the local and parental level. Supporting Common Core will give the Federal Government control over what and how our children learn. There is good reason 81% of the recent The Daily Heralds survey indicates Utah school districts should stop using Common Core standards.
http://goo.gl/27ktY

Forced to pledge
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Alex Burnett

Last year, the Utah Legislature required all high schools in addition to elementary schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day. As a student at Bingham High, I have never talked to a fellow student who enjoys saying the pledge every single day.
Most students don’t even pay attention to what they are saying or don’t even say it at all. If a student doesn’t want to stand and say the pledge, they need a note from their parents! Yeah, that makes sense.
Doesn’t the pledge say “with liberty and justice for all”? Students should not be forced to say the pledge.
http://goo.gl/0lify

High school blues
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Erin Dority

I’m an 18-year-old high school senior. As graduation quickly approaches, you will find me in school — eight hours a day, five days a week — fighting to hold on to the last bit of desire I have to actually be there.
With high school such a big time commitment, you’d think I would have fond memories. I do reminisce about great teachers, friends, and sporting events, but more often I think of the overcrowded classrooms and the demolition derby we call the back parking lot. I feel insignificant in my classroom of 42 students.
Our school districts should focus on cutting school sizes.
http://goo.gl/npcuA

Adult ed students preferred neighborhood schools
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from William R. Ormond

The Ogden district is doing a great disservice to the Ogden community by abolishing its adult education program. We presently have over 200 students working on their adult high school diplomas or preparing to take the GED.
The majority of these students live within the Ogden district and enjoy being able to walk to or take short commutes to attend school at our several sites.
Mr. Smith and the administrators of the district feel that our adult ed program is a distraction from the focus of improving the proficiency of the district’s high schools, yet a lot of these people are parents of students who attend the district schools.
http://goo.gl/Lbm1h

Home schooling is another option
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Lisa C. Jackson

I would like people in the area to know that there are a great number of home educators in Weber and Davis Counties. We have monthly meetings to support and befriend one another, to discuss and plan group events, curricula, organization, and how we educate our kids. We can get the curricula guidelines from the state online for free at, uen.org, or we can choose our own curriculum, and there are multiple curricula online. We give our kids great academic educations.
Our kids do have many friends and are not socially behind public schooled kids. Our kids get to go on many fun learning adventures and even do fun large group events to learn and enjoy one another with lots of other kids and their parents.
http://goo.gl/2aWoM

Clothes getting shorter, more revealing
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Mykle Dopp

To me, clothes these days are just getting shorter. Schools have to yell at kids to keep them from wearing short and skimpy clothes. Now, it is a game as to how much of our body can we show and not get into trouble.
I am in junior high and there are still people who walk the halls with see-through clothes. It is disturbing to me, so I find a friend to look at instead of looking at these sights. It is just ridiculous.
http://goo.gl/wXdH1

Conservatives and the Common Core
The curriculum standards adopted by 45 states require students to read America’s Founding texts.
Wall Street Journal op-ed by SOL STERN, author of “Breaking Free: Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice,” AND JOEL KLEIN, executive vice president at News Corp.

Although the two of us have disagreed about several school-reform issues, we strongly believe that the Common Core State Standards, voluntarily adopted by 45 states, is one of the most promising education initiatives of the past half century. If implemented properly, they can better prepare students for college-level work and to gain the civic knowledge that is essential for democracy to prosper.
All Americans, including conservatives, should applaud these standards, which celebrate the country’s foundational documents and enable students to share the heritage of Americans.
Unsurprisingly, the adoption of common educational standards is opposed by some hard-liners on the educational left. The Common Core’s call for coherent, content-based math and literacy standards threatens to undo the watered-down version of progressive education thinking that has dominated the public schools over the past half-century. Indeed, progressive education philosophy opposes any set curriculum for the schools. Progressives tend to favor pedagogical approaches in the classroom such as “child-centered” instruction and “teaching for social justice,” rather than rigorous academic content.
Much more puzzling has been the fervid opposition to the Common Core by some conservatives, including tea party activists, several free-market think tanks and, most recently, the Republican National Committee.
http://goo.gl/LVMuO

Tracking Measures, Growing Headwinds for Common Core, and Prospects for Administration Policy Proposals
Analysis by Whiteboard Advisors

87% ofInsiders say ESEA will not be reauthorized until at least 2015.
71 % of Insiders do not think Congressman Cantor’s interest in K‐12 will increase the likelihood of any educational legislative activity this year.
64% of Insiders believe the recent anti‐Common Core resolution from the RNC is somewhat or very significant.
63% of Insiders believe states will implement some sort of moratorium on Common Core stakes.
77% of Insiders believe there will be 15 or fewer states in the PARCC Common Core assessment consortium by 2015.
http://goo.gl/GjTfB

The revolution is here
Washington Post commentary by Jeff Bryant, an Associate Fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future

“It’s always hard to tell for sure exactly when a revolution starts,” wrote John Tierny in The Atlantic recently. “I’m not an expert on revolutions,” he continued, “but even I can see that a new one is taking shape in American K-12 public education.”
In the piece titled, “The Coming Revolution in Public Education,” Tierney pointed to a number of signs:
* Teachers refusing to give standardized tests, parents opting their kids out of tests, and students boycotting tests.
* Legislators reconsidering testing and expressing concerns about corruption in the testing industry.
* Voucher and other “choice” proposals being strongly contested and voted down in states that had been friendly to them.
http://goo.gl/Qfgxh

A Quick Look At “Best High School” Rankings
Albert Shanker Institute commentary by senior fellow Matthew Di Carlo

Every year, a few major media outlets publish high school rankings. Most recently, Newsweek (in partnership with The Daily Beast) issued its annual list of the “nation’s best high schools.” Their general approach to this task seems quite defensible: To find the high schools that “best prepare students for college.”
The rankings are calculated using six measures: graduation rate (25 percent); college acceptance rate (25); AP/IB/AICE tests taken per student (25); average SAT/ACT score (10); average AP/IB/AICE score (10); and the percentage of students enrolled in at least one AP/IB/AICE course (5).
Needless to say, even the most rigorous, sophisticated measures of school performance will be imperfect at best, and the methods behind these lists have been subject to endless scrutiny. However, let’s take a quick look at three potentially problematic issues with the Newsweek rankings, how the results might be interpreted, and how the system compares with that published by U.S. News and World Report.
http://goo.gl/SOe4r

Why Private Schools Are Dying Out
A few elite institutions at both the grade-school and college levels are doing better than ever. But their health conceals the collapse of private-sector options in the U.S.
Atlantic commentary by CHESTER E. FINN JR., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Private education as we have known it is on its way out, at both the K-12 and postsecondary levels. At the very least, it’s headed for dramatic shrinkage, save for a handful of places and circumstances, to be replaced by a very different set of institutional, governance, financing, and education-delivery mechanisms.
Consider today’s realities. Private K-12 enrollments are shrinking — by almost 13 percent from 2000 to 2010. Catholic schools are closing right and left. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, for example, announced in January that 44 of its 156 elementary will cease operations next month. (A few later won reprieves.) In addition, many independent schools (day schools and especially boarding schools) are having trouble filling their seats — at least, filling them with their customary clientele of tuition-paying American students. Traditional nonprofit private colleges are also challenged to fill their classroom seats and dorms, to which they’re responding by heavily discounting their tuitions and fees for more and more students.
Meanwhile, charter school enrollments are booming across the land. The charter share of the primary-secondary population is five percent nationally and north of twenty percent in 25 major cities. “Massive open online courses” (MOOCs) are booming, too, and online degree and certificate options proliferating. Public-sector college and university enrollments remain strong and now educate three students out of four. The “proprietary” (i.e. for-profit) sector of postsecondary education is doing okay, despite its tortured relationship with federal financial aid.
What’s really happening here are big structural changes across the industry as the traditional model of private education — at both levels — becomes unaffordable, unnecessary, or both, and as more viable options for students and families present themselves.
http://goo.gl/uXxSE

Study: Math Skills at Age 7 Predict How Much Money You’ll Make
Kids who were better at reading and math at age seven ended up in a higher socioeconomic class age 42, regardless of what other advantages they had.
Atlantic commentary by columnist Lindsay Abrams

PROBLEM: So far as we’re able to predict a child’s likelihood of leading a successful life, it’s no secret that the assets we’re born with (intelligence) or into (socioeconomic status) are important. But to what extent do learned abilities, like basic academic skills, fit into that equation?
http://goo.gl/6TnRO

Top Ten Reasons I’ve Decided To Become a Teacher
Late Show with David Letterman satire

http://goo.gl/7X098

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Common Core Supporters Firing Back
Education Week

Supporters of the Common Core State Standards are moving to confront increasingly high-profile opposition to the standards at the state and national levels by rallying the private sector and initiating coordinated public relations and advertising campaigns as schools continue implementation.
In states such as Michigan and Tennessee, where common-core opponents feel momentum is with them, state education officials, the business community, and allied advocacy groups are ramping up efforts to define and buttress support for the standards—and to counter what they say is misinformation.
Supporters assert that the common core remains on track in the bulk of the states that have adopted it, all but four at last count.
But the pressure is on for common-core champions to make sure their message gets through. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington last month that the private sector had to snap out of what he portrayed as its lethargy and to prevent states from reverting to inferior standards, as he contended states did a decade ago under the No Child Left Behind Act.
http://goo.gl/AW87u

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

Common Core promises new tests. Will they be better than the old ones?
Even before teachers have switched to new Common Core curriculum, new assessment tests are in the works. Teachers hope they’ll be better than the current fill-in-the-bubble ones.
Christian Science Monitor

Tests that can assess students’ mastery of skills and knowledge are as important as the Common Core standards themselves, say many educators and education reformers.
Will the tests that accompany Common Core be any better than those states are using now?
The hope is they will be, but it will be about two years before the answer is clear.
http://goo.gl/92TQg

L.A. Unified bans suspension for ‘willful defiance’
Zero tolerance policies adopted after Columbine lower achievement and disproportionately affect African Americans, supporters say.
Los Angeles Times

In ground-breaking action, the Los Angeles Unified school board voted Tuesday to ban suspensions of defiant students, directing officials to use alternative disciplinary practices instead.
The packed board room erupted in cheers after the 5-2 vote to approve the proposal, which made L.A. Unified the first school district in the state to ban defiance as grounds for suspension. The action comes amid mounting national concern that removing students from school is imperiling their academic achievement and disproportionately harming minority students, particularly African Americans.
“Now we’ll have a better chance to stay in school and become something,” said Luis Quintero, 14, a student at Augustus Hawkins High School in South Los Angeles. He attended the board meeting, along with dozens of other students and community activists who have been pushing the proposal by board members Monica Garcia and Nury Martinez.
But the vote came after an impassioned discussion over whether the proposal would give a “free pass” to students and shield them from the consequences of misbehavior.
http://goo.gl/OALJi

Leader of Teachers’ Cheating Ring in Memphis Gets 7-Year Term
New York Times

Clarence D. Mumford Sr., a former teacher and assistant principal in Memphis, was sentenced Monday to seven years in federal prison for orchestrating a scheme to help teachers cheat on certification exams.
Mr. Mumford, who worked in the Memphis City Schools district for more than two decades, initially refused a settlement offer on conspiracy and aggravated theft charges. But he pleaded guilty to the two counts of a 63-count indictment in February, and in Federal District Court on Monday, Judge John T. Fowlkes of the Western District of Tennessee handed down the prison sentence and ordered him to pay a $167,339 fine.
Prosecutors said that for 15 years, Mr. Mumford had doctored driver’s licenses and enlisted teachers to impersonate others in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee at exams that many states require for teaching licenses.
http://goo.gl/wrxdp

http://goo.gl/KgBh0 (Memphis Commercial Appeal)

Common Science Standards Face Capacity Issues
Carrying out standards may be slow
Education Week

With the completion of new standards intended to reshape science education, the real heavy lifting now begins.
First, states must decide whether to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards developed by a coalition of 26 states and several national organizations. Already, though, considerable focus is turning to laying the groundwork for the biggest task of all: bringing the standards to life at the classroom level.
The capacity challenges for states and school districts are immense as they contemplate taking on the new standards, which call for bringing greater depth to science understanding and asking students to apply that knowledge through the practices of scientific inquiry and engineering design.
http://goo.gl/QfaUB

40 States Probed Alleged Cheating on Tests, Federal Report Finds
Education Week

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that most states have looked into allegations of cheating by school officials on state tests in the past two years.
The study, released this week, found that 33 states confirmed at least one such case of cheating, and 32 reported invalidating test scores as a result of cheating.
The report was prompted by several high-profile cases of cheating on tests, such as the recent one in Atlanta. The federal government has an interest in the security and validity of state tests results because it helps fund the development of tests used for federal accountability. The GAO report says the U.S. Department of Education has funneled $2 billion toward such projects since 2002.
http://goo.gl/GFB9X

A copy of the report
http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/654721.pdf

Testy Battle Over Tests
Inside Higher Ed

The GED no longer has a lock on the market for tests that serve as the equivalent of a high school degree. Three states have switched to new competitors from Educational Testing Service (ETS) and McGraw-Hill — and many more are mulling a change.
The brewing battle between testing firms has its roots in the 2011 creation of the GED Testing Service, a for-profit corporation that is jointly owned by Pearson and the American Council on Education (ACE), the umbrella group for higher education.
http://goo.gl/GYK1Y

How Could a Sweet Third-Grader Just Cheat on That School Exam?
Wall Street Journal

When Kaci Taylor Avant got caught cheating on a test a few months back, the teacher called her mother, who was nothing less than stunned. After all, Kaci always does her homework and gets mostly As in school. Mother and daughter had already had “the talk” about how cheating was wrong. And then there’s Kaci’s age.
“I had to ask myself, ‘Wow, really? She is only 8!’ ” says her mother Laina Avant, a Paterson, N.J., network engineer.
As school-testing season heats up this spring, many elementary-school parents are getting similar calls.
The line between right and wrong in the classroom is often hazy for young children, and shaping the moral compass of children whose brains are still developing can be one of the trickiest jobs a parent faces. Many parents overreact or misread the motivations of small children, say researchers and educators, when it is actually more important to explore the underlying cause.
A growing body of research suggests responses for parents, adjusting strategies in subtle ways by each age.
http://goo.gl/9VzV2

Tight budgets limit Wyo school safety options
Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

Gov. Matt Mead’s school safety task force has three more months to devise a plan to make Wyoming schools less vulnerable to violence.
Mead has asked the group to create a blueprint to modernize Wyoming’s safety standards in all of its school districts. The task force must complete a report by August for the governor to approve. The report will then go to the Legislature’s Select Committee on Education Accountability in October. The lawmakers will then decide whether to draft a bill for the 63rd Wyoming Legislature.
Some task force members will have a teleconference today to discuss ways to get more school resource officers into schools throughout the state.
http://goo.gl/79PLS

Diplomas Elusive for Many Students With Learning Disabilities
Education Week

A state-by-state analysis of the most recent data on graduation rates for students with learning disabilities shows that while more of those students have been leaving high school with a standard diploma, many states are struggling to reach the national graduation rate average of 68 percent for students in that disability category.
Students with learning disabilities—dyslexia, dyscalculia, or auditory or visual processing disorders, for example—make up about 41 percent of the students who are covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The New York-based National Center for Learning Disabilities combed through the data collected by the federal government on students with disabilities to produce a report called “Diplomas at Risk,” which argues that despite improvement over the years, far too many students with learning disabilities, or SLDs, are dropping out of school or being shunted to an alternative certification path that leads to something other than a standard diploma.
http://goo.gl/9fs8O

Lack of sleep blights pupils’ education
BBC

Sleep deprivation is a significant hidden factor in lowering the achievement of school pupils, according to researchers carrying out international education tests.
It is a particular problem in more affluent countries, with sleep experts linking it to the use of mobile phones and computers in bedrooms late at night.
Sleep deprivation is such a serious disruption that lessons have to be pitched at a lower level to accommodate sleep-starved learners, the study found.
The international comparison, carried out by Boston College, found the United States to have the highest number of sleep-deprived students, with 73% of 9 and 10-year-olds and 80% of 13 and 14-year-olds identified by their teachers as being adversely affected.
http://goo.gl/a5htY

Bullies Turn Cyberspace Sour
One in six high school students report being victimized via e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, Web sites or texting.
Scientific American

Getting picked on is an unfortunate part of childhood. While many adults took their lumps the old-fashioned way—in person—today’s kids face an altogether different antagonist: the cyber bully.
And the practice among kids to harass and threaten each other via e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, Web sites or texting seems to be growing.
According to a 2011 survey of more than 15,000 high school students nationwide, 16 percent—about one in six—reported being electronically bullied within the previous year. The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found that girls were more than twice as likely as boys to report being a victim of cyberbullying.
http://goo.gl/4V5up

Transgender student: ‘Do the right thing, Red Lion’
The school board did not respond to Issak Wolfe during the meeting, but the solicitor said later they are still talking with the ACLU.
York (PA) Daily Record

A standing-room only crowd clapped for Issak Oliver Wolfe after he spoke to the Red Lion Area School Board Thursday night, describing how he has been hurt by the district and how he wants to help future transgender students.
Wolfe has asked the district to allow his chosen name to be read at graduation. The district has decided to allow him to wear a black cap and gown, which the male students wear, but to read his legal name, Sierra Stambaugh, during the ceremony.
“Reading my male name at graduation wouldn’t hurt anyone, but reading my female name serves no other purpose than to hurt me more,” he said.
http://goo.gl/7pDuf

Steve Jobs’s Widow Steps Onto Philanthropic Stage
New York Times

Marlene Castro knew the tall blonde woman only as Laurene, her mentor. They met every few weeks in a rough Silicon Valley neighborhood the year that Ms. Castro was applying to college, and they e-mailed often, bonding over conversations about Ms. Castro’s difficult childhood. Without Laurene’s help, Ms. Castro said, she might not have become the first person in her family to graduate from college.
It was only later, when she was a freshman at University of California, Berkeley, that Ms. Castro read a news article and realized that Laurene was Silicon Valley royalty, the wife of Apple’s co-founder, Steven P. Jobs.
“I just became 10 times more appreciative of her humility and how humble she was in working with us in East Palo Alto,” Ms. Castro said.
The story, friends and colleagues say, is classic Laurene Powell Jobs. Famous because of her last name and fortune, she has always been private and publicity-averse. Her philanthropic work, especially on education causes like College Track, the college prep organization she helped found and through which she was Ms. Castro’s mentor, has been her priority and focus.
Now, less than two years after Mr. Jobs’s death, Ms. Powell Jobs is becoming somewhat less private. She has tiptoed into the public sphere, pushing her agenda in education as well as global conservation, nutrition and immigration policy. Just last month, for example, she sat down for a rare television interview, discussing the immigration bill before Congress. She has also taken on new issues, like gun control.
http://goo.gl/54xXa

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

May 22:
Education Task Force meeting
9 a.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2013/html/00001990.htm

June 6-7:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspxpr

June 18:
Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2013&Com=APPEXE

June 19:
Education Interim Committee meeting
9 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2013&Com=INTEDU

July 11:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/Mu36l

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