Education News Roundup: July 12, 2013

Education News Roundup: July 12, 2013

2013 Summer Core Academy

2013 Summer Core Academy

Today’s Top Picks:

D-News looks at BYU’s math camp.
http://goo.gl/19ZcH (DN)

Nelson Laboratories CEO Jeffery Nelson named chairman of the newly organized STEM Action Center board of directors.
http://goo.gl/qZuRR (SLT)

Utah State Board of Education Member Kim Burningham writes about charter schools.
http://goo.gl/jpAiH (UPE)

Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell writes about his attendance of one of Utah’s Core Academy sessions.
http://goo.gl/Yp51o (UP)

Teacher prep programs look at new standards.
http://goo.gl/K7ewK (Ed Week)

“By 2050, about half of the American population ages under 17 is projected to be composed of children who are Hispanic, Asian, or of two or more races, the report stated. The report projected that, among children under age 17, 36 percent will be Hispanic (up from 24 percent in 2012); 6 percent will be Asian (up from 5 percent in 2012); and 7 percent will be of two or more races (up from 4 percent in 2012).”
http://goo.gl/y5ve0 (Forum on Child and Family Statistics)

Take a peek inside classrooms around the world.
http://goo.gl/FwwUa (Brain Pickings)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

40 middle school students add BYU’s Math Camp to summer equation

Ready Freddy program preps incoming kindergartners, parents for school

Goal post removal at Davis schools angers soccer parents

New Sevier School District Superintendent Sworn In

Tradewinds: Utah companies on the go, people on the move

Study shows link between medicaid spending, high school dropouts

Utah kids volunteer with United Way’s Summer of Service Volunteering » From age 5 to teenagers, kids can help out in their communities.

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Charter Schools — Concerns and Values

Teacher’s Academy

Vouching for Tolerance at Religious Schools Critics say the schools promote division. The research says otherwise.

NATION

Tougher Requirements Ahead for Teacher Prep Accrediting body poised to adopt new standards

Math, Science Popular Until Students Realize They’re Hard

Is rating schools A to F a better gauge?

Common Core, job-training education reforms will fail, says education researcher

Federal report shows drop in proportion of children in US population Annual statistics compilation forecasts increasing diversity

Financial education: Does your state make the grade?

Panel Suggests $7.7M Breakdown of Newtown Payments

Idaho lawmakers to study federal land transfer Some think management – or sale – by the state would benefit public schools.

Pakistan’s Malala celebrates 16th birthday with U.N. education appeal

Teens waiting longer to take the wheel

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UTAH NEWS
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40 middle school students add BYU’s Math Camp to summer equation

Most students are more than happy to retire their math textbooks at the end of the school year. But for 40 dedicated middle school students, this summer does not involve a break from learning.
“Math Camp is an opportunity to learn about more complex fields in math than you would learn in school,” said Jacob Grover, 12, a three-year veteran of this atypical summer camp.
Brigham Young University’s third annual Math Camp was held in June, attracting students across the Wasatch Front. For two weeks, BYU math professors led classes and activities designed to enrich student education in mathematics.
http://goo.gl/19ZcH (DN)

Ready Freddy program preps incoming kindergartners, parents for school

OGDEN — Future kindergartners sat quietly as they listened to teachers at Odyssey Elementary School give them instructions about telling a story. When it was their turn to talk, some smiled shyly as they wrapped their arms around their parents’ necks and whispered a story mixed with some giggles.
For some of the children, this was their first attempt at thinking through a story and telling it out loud.
They are taking part in the Ready Freddy kindergarten workshop, designed to help prepare the future students and their parents to be ready and excited for school.
http://goo.gl/HHZiW (OSE)

Goal post removal at Davis schools angers soccer parents

KAYSVILLE — The removal of permanent soccer goal posts by Davis School District employees while teams were practicing Tuesday in Kaysville has some soccer parents upset.
“The teams were in the middle of their practice when district guys showed up with backhoes and torches, and within 20 minutes the goal posts were gone,” said Robert Taylor, club president of Wasatch Soccer Club.
The soccer club rents the district’s fields for games and practices, Taylor said.
District officials had met with Taylor as well as with representatives from American Youth Soccer Association and South Davis Soccer Association Forza Futbol Club in April to discuss problems with the goal posts, which include an increase in claims because of injuries.
District officials plan to meet with soccer representatives several more times during the year to discuss the issue.
http://goo.gl/5qkHd (OSE)

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

New Sevier School District Superintendent Sworn In

Board President Clint Johnson swore in Cade Douglas, the new Superintendent of Schools for the Sevier School District, on Tuesday. Attending the meeting were Steven Wall and Barbara Crowther of Sevier County. They assisted the Board with official procedures related to the special elections after which the Board adopted a resolution finding and Promulgating the results of a special bond election and a special voted local levy election held in the School District on June 25.
http://goo.gl/8Xult (MUR)

Tradewinds: Utah companies on the go, people on the move

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development said Jeffery Nelson, president and CEO of Nelson Laboratories, has been named chairman of the newly organized STEM Action Center board of directors. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Nelson will oversee the progress of STEM education throughout the state.
http://goo.gl/qZuRR (SLT)

Study shows link between medicaid spending, high school dropouts

SALT LAKE CITY — A recent study has discovered a correlation between medicaid spending and high school drop out rates.
A report released in July by the Alliance for Excellent Education analyzed the statistics state by state, and the numbers showed how high school drop out rates affect medicaid expenses in the long run.
The state of Utah alone could save more than 11 million dollars in Medicaid spending if the rate of high school dropouts was decreased by 50 percent.
http://goo.gl/RI6Zs (KSL)

Utah kids volunteer with United Way’s Summer of Service Volunteering » From age 5 to teenagers, kids can help out in their communities.

Young volunteers assembled welcome packets for the faculty and staff of Woodrow Wilson Elementary Thursday, helping with the school’s plan to surprise them with candy and supplies in the fall.
The project was organized at the school as part of the United Way of Salt Lake City’s annual Summer of Service, a program that connects kids ages 5 to 18 and their families with volunteer opportunities in the Salt Lake City area.
http://goo.gl/6ylCp (SLT)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Charter Schools — Concerns and Values
Utah Public Education commentary by Utah State Board of Education Member KIM R. BURNINGHAM

In Utah, charter schools have been operating for 14 years. Over those years, many observers have asked my opinion of these schools. Some asking are vociferous opponents; others are supporters. My typical answer is: “Some charter schools are excellent; some are not good.” This opinion is based on my direct and long experience:
http://goo.gl/jpAiH

Teacher’s Academy
Utah Policy commentary by Utah Lt. Governor Greg Bell

I really enjoyed geometry. So seeing 4th-graders learn how to figure area and volume of boxes was fascinating. The question came from real life: A company needs to ship its products in boxes. Which box would be the most efficient, thus making the most profit. The kids worked on it in small groups and then discussed it as a class. The teacher brought into the discussion concepts of profit, loss, efficiency, working together, and that there are many ways to figure most problems out. Impressive! By the end of the lesson, the students really grasped volume and area, and they understood how it is used in real life applications. This is the way to teach math. My interest in math was certainly stifled because it was rarely put in a context that made these abstract concepts seem useful to me.
Monday, Box Elder High School, home of the Bees, swarmed with teachers–young, old, and in-between attending a Teacher Core Academy. Using some precious personal days, teachers come to these Academies in Brigham City and in fifteen others places throughout the State for four days each summer. They come to share best teaching practices, but mostly they come to learn how to teach the new and more rigorous Utah Core standards in math and language arts. Like the experience I described above, the teaching ideas were really stimulating and fun.
http://goo.gl/Yp51o

Vouching for Tolerance at Religious Schools Critics say the schools promote division. The research says otherwise.
Wall Street Journal op-ed by JAY P. GREENE, professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas

On President Obama’s recent visit to Ireland, he offered a surprising explanation of the enduring tensions there: “If towns remain divided—if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs—if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation.” Given his use of the word “we,” it is hard to avoid the conclusion that this is also how the president views religious “schools and buildings” in the United States.
Like much of the Democratic Party leadership, Mr. Obama supports allowing families to use public funds to attend the school of their choice, including charter schools, but strongly opposes the inclusion of private religious schools among the options. Opponents of voucher programs that include religious schools often cite “separation of church and state” concerns.
But constitutional objections to public funds flowing to religious schools were removed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris a decade ago. The court held that vouchers pose no constitutional threat if the money goes to religious schools by parents’ choice rather than directly from the state. Vouchers represent government support for education—whether that education occurs in a religious setting or not is up to parents.
Perhaps the president and other Democrats oppose vouchers because they fear—as the president’s remarks in Ireland suggest—that religious schooling undermines social cohesion.
http://goo.gl/BNczX

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Tougher Requirements Ahead for Teacher Prep Accrediting body poised to adopt new standards Education Week

Washington — A panel tapped by the national accreditation body for teacher preparation has finalized a set of standards that, for the first time, establishes minimum admissions criteria and requires programs to use much-debated “value added” measures, where available.
The action promises to have major ramifications for how programs select, prepare, and gauge the success of new teachers. Already, programs planning to seek the seal of approval from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation say the standards are significantly more demanding than those used by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, one of two accreditors that preceded CAEP.
“These standards, when you get down to it, are really different, and they are much more challenging,” said Michael J. Maher, the assistant dean of the education school at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. “Even as a college that’s been NCATE-accredited and made our way through that process, we clearly see some new things we’re going to have to do.”
http://goo.gl/K7ewK

Math, Science Popular Until Students Realize They’re Hard Wall Street Journal

Math and science majors are popular until students realize what they’re getting themselves into, according to new research.
In a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, researchers Ralph Stinebrickner of Berea College and Todd R. Stinebrickner of the University of Western Ontario say that college students are fleeing from math, physics, chemistry and the like after dipping into some classes.
The researchers surveyed 655 students entering Berea College, a private liberal arts college located in Kentucky, in the falls of 2000 and 2001. The students were asked about their beliefs pertaining to majors 12 times during each year they were in school, the first time prior to starting college. The questions covered a variety of topics, including their certainty of graduating with a particular major, their anticipated grade point average and the amount of work they expected to do each day.
The researchers found that while math and science majors drew the most interest initially, not many students finished with degrees in those subjects. More students dropped out of math and science majors and fewer students switched into them than any other area of study, including professional programs, social sciences, humanities and business.
http://goo.gl/z1fpO

A copy of the paper
http://goo.gl/RM3Md (NBER)

Is rating schools A to F a better gauge?
Cincinnati Enquirer

Ohio will debut high-tech state report cards this summer to rate public schools and districts.
Gone are the sometimes-ambiguous labels the state used to hang on schools, from “Excellent with Distinction” to lowly “Academic Emergency.”
New are letter grades – from A to F – attached to a variety of measurements of student and school performance, everything from four- and five-year graduation rates to literacy improvements in kindergarten through third grade.
Parents and taxpayers should like the new report cards, state officials say, because grades are easier to understand than labels. Besides, the new report cards will be more specific and detailed about the grades schools and districts earn, said John Charlton, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education.
“It’s something that parents can spend time with and find out what areas their schools are strong in and what areas they are weak in,” he said. “ It’s up to parents and taxpayers … to help us keep these schools accountable.”
Educators say they like the new report card, too. But they’re a little leery.
http://goo.gl/e9WPu

Common Core, job-training education reforms will fail, says education researcher Athens (GA) Banner-Herald

The Common Core curriculum reform most states have signed on for is doomed to failure, predicted a pro-choice academic scholar Thursday in Athens.
But the movement will still increase federal control over public schools, said Jay Greene, head of the University of Arkansas’ department of education reform.
“It’s politically inevitable that efforts will collapse, be hijacked by the establishment or become an empty shell,” Greene said in a talk at Athens Country Club sponsored by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.
http://goo.gl/jSiFB

Federal report shows drop in proportion of children in US population Annual statistics compilation forecasts increasing diversity Forum on Child and Family Statistics

The number of children living in the United States declined slightly, as did the percentage of the U.S. population who are children, according to the federal government’s annual statistical report on the well-being of the nation’s children and youth. The percentage of children living in the United States who are Asian, non-Hispanic increased, as did the percentage of children who are of two or more races, and the percentage of children who are Hispanic. The percentages of children who are white, non-Hispanic, and black, non-Hispanic declined.
By 2050, about half of the American population ages under 17 is projected to be composed of children who are Hispanic, Asian, or of two or more races, the report stated. The report projected that, among children under age 17, 36 percent will be Hispanic (up from 24 percent in 2012); 6 percent will be Asian (up from 5 percent in 2012); and 7 percent will be of two or more races (up from 4 percent in 2012).
These and other findings are described in America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2013. The report was compiled by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, which includes participants from 22 federal agencies as well as partners in several private research organizations. The forum fosters coordination, collaboration, and integration of federal efforts to collect and report data on children and families.
The report, the 16th in an ongoing series, presents key indicators of children’s wellbeing in seven domains: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.
Among the findings in this year’s report:
http://goo.gl/y5ve0

Financial education: Does your state make the grade?
Money Magazine

NEW YORK – The Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College has graded all 50 states on their efforts to teach the ABCs of financial literacy to high school students.
The assessments are based primarily on published reports covering state-by-state measures, along with reviews of state legislation going back more than a decade. (For an expanded version of this report card, visit the financial literacy center’s website.)
Should you find your state’s grade disappointing, the center’s director, John Pelletier, suggests you start by raising the issue with your local high school principal or school board.

Utah: A
Requires high school students take at least a one-semester course devoted to personal finance.
Includes personal-finance topics in the state’s K-12 instructional guidelines, requires local school districts to implement these standards, and requires financial literacy instruction as a high school graduation requirement.
Utah requires public schools to give information to kindergarten students about the state’s financial literacy education requirements and information on how to open a Utah Educational Savings Plan account. Utah also allows students to test out of the high school financial literacy course requirement.
http://goo.gl/tSXjO

Panel Suggests $7.7M Breakdown of Newtown Payments Associated Press

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Families of the 26 children and educators killed in the Connecticut school shooting last year would receive $281,000 each under preliminary recommendations made by advisers to a committee tasked with dividing up $7.7 million in donations.
The families of 12 surviving children who witnessed the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School would each get $20,000; two teachers who were injured would get $150,000 between them.
A community foundation was asked to divide up $11.4 million that was raised with the help of the United Way. The foundation previously decided to divvy up $7.7 million to the families and survivors and to have committees decide on uses for the remainder of the donations, including whether to use some of it for future mental health care and other needs.
http://goo.gl/nsOoR

http://goo.gl/D73Ef (Reuters)

Teens waiting longer to take the wheel
CNBC

For the parents of today’s teens, getting a driver’s license was a rite of passage often considered crucial to everything from dating to working — and feeling like an adult.
For today’s teens themselves? Not as much.
The percentage of teens with a driver’s license has fallen significantly over the past few decades, and experts suspect there’s no one explanation for the shift. Instead, they cite a host of reasons, including everything from high gas and insurance prices to more of a willingness to let Mom and Dad drive you around.
“The numbers suggest that fewer teens are wanting to drive,” said Karl Brauer, senior director of insights at Kelley Blue Book.
http://goo.gl/NNjE0

Idaho lawmakers to study federal land transfer Some think management – or sale – by the state would benefit public schools.
(Boise) Idaho Statesman

The legislative committee assigned to study the transfer of federal lands will get down to work at the Statehouse next month.
At issue is the management whether state management of the lands would yield more money for Idaho’s public school endowment.
The 2013 Legislature authorized a study of a public lands transfer. That’s why a legislative “interim committee” has been assembled to look at the issue and make recommendations in 2014.
But the 2013 Legislature also passed a resolution essentially going on record in support of just such a transfer.
According to that resolution, the preponderance of federal lands in Idaho has “substantially damaged” the state’s ability to fund public education.
The resolution also spells out the financial parameters for the sale of federal lands: 95 percent of proceeds would go to federal debt relief, and 5 percent would go to the state’s public school endowment.
Idaho’s public lands push is modeled after similar legislation approved by the Utah Legislature, which is demanding the transfer of some 20 million acres of federal land by December 2014.
http://goo.gl/ZxAhU

Pakistan’s Malala celebrates 16th birthday with U.N. education appeal Reuters

UNITED NATIONS – In her first speech since the Taliban in Pakistan tried to kill her for advocating education for girls, Malala Yousafzai celebrated her 16th birthday on Friday at the United Nations, appealing for compulsory free schooling for all children.
Wearing a pink head scarf, Yousafzai told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and nearly 1,000 students from around the world attending a Youth Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York that education was the only way to improve lives.
“Let us pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution,” she said.
Yousafzai was shot in the head at close range by gunmen in October as she left school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, northwest of the country’s capital Islamabad, after campaigning against the Islamist Taliban efforts to deny women education.
She presented Ban with a petition signed by nearly 4 million people in support of 57 million children who are not able to go to school and demanding that world leaders fund new teachers, schools and books and end child labor, marriage and trafficking.
http://goo.gl/NiWYP

How Children Learn: Portraits of Classrooms Around the World A revealing lens on a system-phenomenon both global in reach and strikingly local in degree of diversity.
Brain Pickings

Since 2004, Julian Germain has been capturing the inner lives of schools around the world, from England to Nigeria to Qatar, in his large-scale photographs of schoolchildren in class.
http://goo.gl/FwwUa

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

July 16:
Federal Funds Commission meeting
8 a.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2013/html/00002457.htm

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

July 17:
Education Interim Committee meeting
9 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2013/html/00002446.htm

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

August 8:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/Mu36l

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