Education News Roundup: July 16, 2013

Map of School Trust Lands in Utah

Map of School Trust Lands in Utah

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

D-News follows up on Sen. Osmond’s notion of ending compulsory education.
http://goo.gl/pXhbQ (DN)

State Trust Lands investment earnings announced.
http://goo.gl/t3Pmz (KUER)

Rep. Bishop remains in the mix as ESEA reauthorization continues.
http://goo.gl/0mnJP (Ed Week)

Annual report on school spending is out. It’s down.
http://goo.gl/D0DGv (Stateline)
or a copy of the report
http://goo.gl/Boc8t (NCES)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah lawmaker calls for end of compulsory education

Utah Treasurer Announces Record Earnings for Public Schools

Daily reading, writing and arithmetic can fight off ‘summer slide’

Superintendent discusses education reform

Nearly 300 gather as 4-H state contests get underway at USU campus

Veteran Ogden teacher sent to prison for sex abuse

Unknown charges filed in Jordan High hazing case

Granite School District to serve free lunch to kids through summer

Davis School District Halts Plans to Cut Bus Stop

Civics Central: Salt Lake County to consider giving $350,000 grant for preschool education

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Home is key to kids’ obesity

Common Core education has a federal agenda

Lawmakers May Debate Testing, Teacher Evaulations in NCLB Renewal

Review of National Charter School Study 2013

NATION

School Spending Per Student Down in 2010-2011

Why Poor Students’ College Plans ‘Melt’ Over The Summer

Teachers Say Tech Helps Student Writing, But Encourages Shortcuts

California holds out against Obama’s education vision The state has made a rare break with the administration, refusing to follow its lead on evaluating teachers, in a standoff that reflects a union’s lasting influence.

Here today, gone tomorrow: Retailers pop up for back-to-school

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah lawmaker calls for end of compulsory education

SALT LAKE CITY — Compulsory education laws have resulted in parents disengaging themselves from the responsibility to oversee the education of their children and have caused schools to falter under the burden of being all things to all people.
Those points are among the arguments made by Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, in an article posted Friday on the blog of the Utah State Senate, in which Osmond called for the end of compulsory education in the state.
“Some parents act as if the responsibility to educate, and even care for their child, is primarily the responsibility of the public school system,” Osmond wrote. “As a result, our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to do everything from behavioral counseling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education, as well as ensuring full college and career readiness.”
http://goo.gl/pXhbQ (DN)

Utah Treasurer Announces Record Earnings for Public Schools

Utah schools will be getting a little extra boost from the School LAND Trust Program. The state treasurer announced Friday that school trust fund investments received record earnings, pushing the total value over 1.6 billion dollars at the end of the state’s fiscal year in June.
The amount of money available for schools to spend this year is a record 37.8 million dollars. That’s 8.5 million more than the previous year. The money comes from proceeds of land resources and income from investments. State Treasurer Richard Ellis manages those investments, and he says the extra earnings can mostly be attributed to market gains.
http://goo.gl/t3Pmz (KUER)

Daily reading, writing and arithmetic can fight off ‘summer slide’

KEARNS — Megan Seewar likes basketball and writing, occasionally argues with her sister and is president of her local Torch Club, a student leadership and service group based out of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
In the fall, she’ll be a sixth-grade student at Oquirrh Hills Elementary School in Kearns. But while most of her classmates are enjoying an educational break during the summer months, Seewar spent Monday morning practicing reading, writing and arithmetic at Oquirrh Hills Elementary School with a handful of her classmates.
“In the mornings I usually don’t do anything but watch TV,” she said. “This gets me out of the house.”
Seewar is part of a 10-week summer school program at Oquirrh Hills, in which approximately 60 students meet daily from 8 a.m. to noon. The program offers instruction and practice in the traditional three R’s of education, as well as music, art, science and physical fitness in an effort to help students be better prepared when classes resume in the fall.
http://goo.gl/qMLK3 (DN)

Superintendent discusses education reform

Riverside Unified School District Superintendent Rick Miller joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and other community leadersin Washington, D.C., on July 15 to discuss partnership opportunities between cities and the U.S. Department of Education to foster effective approaches to education reform.
Participating city leaders are part of a new mayors’ education reform task force, co-chaired by Chris Coleman, National League of Cities’ First Vice President and mayor of Saint Paul, Minn., and Ralph Becker, Second Vice President and mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah. Coleman and Becker formed the task force in March 2013 to explore how city leaders may be involved in local education reform efforts.
http://goo.gl/6R0DL (Riverside [CA] Press-Enterprise)

Nearly 300 gather as 4-H state contests get underway at USU campus

4-Hers from all over Utah took their best shot at the Logan Shooting Range on Monday afternoon to help mark the start of the Utah State University Extension 4-H State Contests.
The contests, which started Monday and run through Wednesday on USU’s campus, attract nearly 300 Utah participants for a variety of competitions — from sewing to livestock judging. Winners may receive an invitation to participate in the national competition at Western National Roundup in Denver, Colo., next January.
In addition to competing, 4-H youth will engage in educational, social and service opportunities as they learn such skills as proper nutrition, rocketry, animal science and family science.
http://goo.gl/Dba7U (LHJ)

Veteran Ogden teacher sent to prison for sex abuse

OGDEN — A veteran Ogden schoolteacher has been sentenced to prison for sexually abusing two 13-year-old boys.
Scott Ray McMurray, 58, was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison by 2nd District Judge Ernie Jones. McMurray pleaded guilty to 11 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and three counts of attempted sodomy on a child, first-degree felonies, in June.
Jones sentenced McMurray to 15 years to life in prison on all 14 of the counts but ordered that all the sexual abuse counts run concurrent with each other and that the attempted sodomy counts also run concurrent with each other. But he ordered that the concurrent sexual abuse counts run consecutive to the concurrent attempted sodomy counts.
http://goo.gl/yUoeo (DN)

http://goo.gl/3xvuB (OSE)

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

http://goo.gl/jrR9I (KSL)

Unknown charges filed in Jordan High hazing case

WEST JORDAN — Criminal charges have been filed in 3rd District Juvenile Court related to a hazing investigation involving members of the Jordan High School wrestling team.
But Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill on Monday would not say how many students were charged, or describe the nature of the charges nor even if the charges are felonies or misdemeanors. He said his office considers such information as protected.
Sandy police also refused to discuss details of the case.
http://goo.gl/zDA9G (DN)

Granite School District to serve free lunch to kids through summer

SALT LAKE CITY — Granite School District is serving lunch to students even though school is out for the summer.
Children 18 years of age and under can eat free of charge, while adults above that age can pay $3.50 each for a meal.
The program serves lunch Monday through Friday during the summer, except on July 4 and July 24.
http://goo.gl/z0HBT (KSTU)

Davis School District Halts Plans to Cut Bus Stop

SYRACUSE, Utah – A group of Utah parents concerned over their kids’ safety are breathing a sigh of relief– at least temporarily.
The Davis School District had plans to eliminate a bus stop forcing their kids to walk on a busy road. The change would affect dozens of children just two weeks before they head back to class at Sand Springs Elementary.
“There’s no sidewalk there, they have to walk out on the street to get there,” said Mike Lamborn
Parents gathered over the weekend to plead their case to ABC 4 Utah.
http://goo.gl/hZD4i (KTVX)

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

Civics Central: Salt Lake County to consider giving $350,000 grant for preschool education

Here’s your weekly roundup of what local city councils, school boards and other government entities are tackling during regularly scheduled meetings. Government agencies have until 24 hours before a meeting to post their agendas, so check back as this schedule will be updated. All meetings are open to the public, and citizens are welcome to voice their opinions during designated times. If you do wish to speak at a particular meeting, you may need to sign up in advance.
Salt Lake County Council • Will consider Mayor Ben McAdams’ proposal to provide a $350,000 grant to United Way of Salt Lake to make high-quality preschool education available to 150 underprivileged children entering kindergarten; Tuesday, July 16, 9 a.m., Room 2003, North Building, County Government Center, 2001 S. State.
http://goo.gl/coSsb (SLT)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Home is key to kids’ obesity
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

Apparently, sugary drinks and fatty junk food will be out of the nation’s schools next summer. OK, perhaps that is a good idea. Childhood obesity is a big problem right now. According to a Utah Department of Health report, nearly a quarter of Utah third-graders are either overweight or obese. There are similar problems in other grades.
Besides the health factor, being too heavy carries social costs. Heavier children tend to be teased or bullied more, their self-esteem is harmed by cultural appraisal of their bodies. If we can do something to make some children healthier by avoiding poor nutrition choices, that’s a good thing.
But let’s be realistic here: Replacing a deep chocolate chip cookie with an apple, or soda pop with apple juice, is not going to be the main key in improving children’s health. That is a responsibility left to the home.
http://goo.gl/aXarv

Cal Grondahl editorial cartoon
http://goo.gl/QK3oj

Common Core education has a federal agenda
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Ereita Zimmerman

On Sept. 25, 1998, Rep. Bob Schaffer placed in the congressional record an 18-page letter that is known as Marc Tucker’s “Dear Hillary” letter. It lays out the master plan of the Clinton administration to take over the entire educational system to serve the national economic planning of the workforce.
Tucker’s plan was implemented in three laws passed by Congress and signed by Pres. Clinton in 1994: the Goals 2000 Act, the School-to-Work Act and the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
http://goo.gl/c3gfY

Lawmakers May Debate Testing, Teacher Evaulations in NCLB Renewal Education Week commentary by columnist Alyson Klein

Big news of the week is that the U.S. House of Representatives may consider a long-stalled bill to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. (It’s set for possible floor consideration on Thursday, according to the House schedule.)
UPDATE: House leaders are doing intensive outreach on the bill today. Advocates say it looks like the vote count is going to be close. If GOP leaders don’t have enough support, they could pull the bill from consideration this week. After all, there are two other bills scheduled. “They have a back-up bill and a back-up to the back-up,” one advocate said.
The bill, which was written by U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn, the chairman of the House education committee, would give states and districts far more latitude when it comes to accountability and spending, but it would leave some federal role in place. The bill got only GOP support in committee.

So far, there have been 74 amendments filed. A gatekeeper panel (called the Rules Committee, for everyone who doesn’t spend their days glued to C-SPAN) will get to decide which amendments members vote on and which they don’t. The Rules Committee will be considering the amendments on Wednesday at 3 p.m., so mark your calendars. Spoiler alert: The final tally of amendments will definitely be a lot less than 74.

Some highlights:
•Portablity! Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the Majority Leader, who has taken a big interest in education issues lately, has an amendment that would call for Title I funds to follow students to the public school of their choice. (You read that right, public not private. I previewed this here.) Other lawmakers, including Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, introduced similar amendments that would also pertain to private schools.

•Teacher eval alert: There are a few amendments, including one from Bishop, that would get rid of a requirement in the bill that districts and states craft teacher-evaluation systems based on student outcomes.
http://goo.gl/0mnJP

Review of National Charter School Study 2013 National Education Policy Center review by Andrew Maul & Abby McClelland of the University of Colorado at Boulder

The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University analyzed differences in student performance at charter schools and traditional public schools across 27 states and New York City. The study finds a small positive effect of being in a charter school on reading scores and no impact on math scores; it presents these results as showing a relative improvement in average charter school quality since CREDO’s 2009 study. However, there are significant reasons for caution in interpreting the results. Some concerns are technical: the statistical technique used to compare charter students with “virtual twins” in traditional public schools remains insufficiently justified, and may not adequately control for “selection effects” (i.e., families selecting a charter school may be very different from those who do not). The estimation of “growth” (expressed in “days of learning”) is also insufficiently justified, and the regression models fail to correct for two important violations of statistical assumptions. However, even setting aside all concerns with the analytic methods, the study overall shows that less than one hundredth of one percent of the variation in test performance is explainable by charter school enrollment. With a very large sample size, nearly any effect will be statistically significant, but in practical terms these effects are so small as to be regarded, without hyperbole, as trivial.
http://goo.gl/fvGeK

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NATIONAL NEWS
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School Spending Per Student Down in 2010-2011 Stateline

Schools spent less money per student in the 2010-2011 academic year than they did the year before, even though revenues increased, according to a new report.
The National Center for Education Statistics found that after adjusting for inflation, state and local revenues per pupil increased by 0.2 percent nationwide while spending dropped by 1.6 percent.
Expenditures per student for public elementary and secondary education varied widely across the states, ranging from $6,326 in Utah to $20,793 in the District of Columbia.
http://goo.gl/D0DGv

A copy of the report
http://goo.gl/Boc8t (NCES)

Why Poor Students’ College Plans ‘Melt’ Over The Summer NPR Morning Edition

A large number of poor high school students, who say they are continuing on to college, fail to show up in the fall. The reason is referred to as the “summer melt.” Students face many hurdles over the summer including lack of resources and mentors.
http://goo.gl/hyECC

Teachers Say Tech Helps Student Writing, But Encourages Shortcuts Education Week

From Twitter to whiteboards, digital technology has “tangible, beneficial impacts on student writing” and on writing instruction, according to nearly 2,500 middle and high school teachers surveyed by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.
But those same teachers—most of whom are teaching highly capable students enrolled in Advanced Placement, honors, and accelerated courses—also worry that those same technologies are making students more likely to “take shortcuts,” more likely to let the truncated language of text messages and social media “creep” into their research papers, and less able to “produce a solid piece of writing containing a coherent and persuasive argument that synthesizes material well.”
http://goo.gl/R1kcp

A copy of the report
http://goo.gl/y265Y (Pew)

California holds out against Obama’s education vision The state has made a rare break with the administration, refusing to follow its lead on evaluating teachers, in a standoff that reflects a union’s lasting influence.
Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — California is almost always there to boost President Obama’s policy agenda as he fights fierce headwinds in Congress, working with the executive branch to carry out the administration’s vision on healthcare, renewable energy and clean air.
But when the topic shifts to overhauling education, the state has become one of the administration’s biggest headaches.
California has defiantly refused to follow the administration’s lead in grading the performance of teachers and using those measurements to reward the best teachers and punish the worst. The state is one of very few that have told Washington that under no conditions will it put in place the type of teacher evaluation system Obama has championed.
As a result, the administration has not given California a waiver from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law, leaving thousands of local schools exposed to expensive federal sanctions.
http://goo.gl/c5viQ

Here today, gone tomorrow: Retailers pop up for back-to-school Reuters

NEW YORK – Temporary stores, a money-making staple during the Halloween and Christmas seasons, are going back to school.
A growing number of retailers, including Target Corp , JanSport and Toys R Us Inc, are popping up this summer in neighborhoods, malls and college campuses across the United States to sell notebooks, clothes, bed sheets and other supplies as students prepare for a new school year.
These pop-ups typically open in empty storefronts and sell smaller selections of popular items. They are a good way for retailers to increase shopping options during busy periods, test locations and promote their brand, retail experts say.
http://goo.gl/VxKXn

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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/Interim/2013/html/00002653.htm

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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