Education News Roundup: August 7, 2013

"20111019-FNS-RBN-1642" by USDAgov/CC/flickr

“20111019-FNS-RBN-1642” by USDAgov/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

Jordan trims back a bit on its bond request.
http://goo.gl/3x0pUK (DN)
and http://goo.gl/1Aycvo (KTVX)
and http://goo.gl/ssYQlz (KSTU)

Salt Lake District OKs a tax increase.
http://goo.gl/F5Kqmz (SLT)

About 15 percent of Utahns speak a language other than English at home (percentage goes way up if you have teenagers and count texting as a foreign language).
http://goo.gl/yT5b8C (SLT)
or a copy of the report
http://goo.gl/oMrhFN (Census Bureau)

In a first, eight California districts get an NCLB waiver. Waivers had only gone to states before this.
http://goo.gl/Os1ERw (WSJ)
and http://goo.gl/YLlVq0 (WaPo)
and http://goo.gl/mljWBv (AP)
and http://goo.gl/n7WPIA (Ed Week)
and http://goo.gl/SH9Zzl (SF Chronicle)
or http://goo.gl/rNWLkN (ED)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Jordan School Board trims bond to $495 million, calls for public vote

Salt Lake City School District board votes to increase taxes Officials want extra $3.2M to keep class programs, raises.

Fewer Utahns struggle with English than residents nationally Census » New data may challenge the stereotype of new immigrants not willing to learn the language.

Indiana Avenue — the changing face of Salt Lake City’s west side Cultures blend in neighborhoods flanking Indiana Avenue, which are the most diverse in the state.

Utah ranks 6th in U.S. in economic contributions of public lands

Logan district to participate in Universal Breakfast program this year

Utah Job Corps centers reach out to more female students

Canyons District to hold middle school orientations

Kane Schools Foundation presents “Cowboy Trails” Horseback Adventure

OPINION & COMMENTARY

School of No Thought

Utah’s school language programs drawing praise

What to expect of Common Core

Utah Personalizes Learning With Portable Records

American education’s path back to greatness The Common Core has the power and potential to move American education into the 21st-century.

Outcry against Common Core standards unwarranted

The Obama Setback for Minority Education Steady gains for black and Hispanic students under No Child Left Behind have come to a virtual standstill.

Why School Choice Is Failing
It takes more than vouchers to create a successful, productive market in education.

School-Choice Legislation Wins Big in States This Year

Are we in the middle of a writing revolution?
Technology has changed how we communicate in writing.

NATION

Eight California Districts Get No Child Left Behind Waivers Reprieve Marks First Given Below State Level

States Train Teachers on Common Core

States’ Common-Core To-Do Lists Topped by Tests, Curricula

Education experts debate Common Core at Statehouse

Under New Standards, Students See Sharp Decline in Test Scores

Judge rules R.I. Board of Education must hold NECAP discussions in public

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UTAH NEWS
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Jordan School Board trims bond to $495 million, calls for public vote

WEST JORDAN — Faced with crowded and aging facilities, the Jordan School Board on Tuesday gave unanimous approval to a bond resolution that would raise $495 million for new schools and renovations.
The decision will now be placed before voters in November, with the average Jordan School District homeowner facing $240 in additional annual property taxes over a five-year period.
“I don’t think there’s anybody that’s very excited about a $495 million bond, as individuals or even as the board, but I don’t think this board has a choice,” school board member Lynn Crane said prior to the vote.
“We know what’s happening in the school district. We know how many children are coming into the school system. If we are a responsible board, we have got to figure out a way to provide reasonable housing and good opportunities and facilities to be able to educate these children,” Crane said.
http://goo.gl/3x0pUK (DN)

http://goo.gl/1Aycvo (KTVX)

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

Salt Lake City School District board votes to increase taxes Officials want extra $3.2M to keep class programs, raises.

Salt Lake City School District officials voted Tuesday to increase property taxes, but not without dissent.
The school board voted 6-1 to raise an additional $3.2 million for next school year, which officials said is needed to give employees raises and maintain school programs.
Owners of a $250,000 home will pay $27.50 more annually.
Freshman board member Michael Clara said he had a problem with the information provided for the tax increase.
http://goo.gl/F5Kqmz (SLT)

Fewer Utahns struggle with English than residents nationally Census » New data may challenge the stereotype of new immigrants not willing to learn the language.

Far fewer Utahns than the national average struggle with English, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Tuesday. The findings may challenge stereotypes sometimes used in heated immigration debates about how hard new arrivals work to learn English.
Only 14.9 percent of Utahns speak a language other than English at home, well below the national average of 20.9 percent. And nearly two-thirds of them — 64.4 percent — report that they also speak English “very well,” better than the 58.2 percent average nationally.
Among those Utahns who speak another language at home, just 4.1 percent of them speak no English at all, well below the national average of 7 percent. And 14.2 percent of them speak English “not well,” again better than the 15.4 percent national average.
http://goo.gl/yT5b8C (SLT)

A copy of the report
http://goo.gl/oMrhFN (Census Bureau)

Indiana Avenue — the changing face of Salt Lake City’s west side Cultures blend in neighborhoods flanking Indiana Avenue, which are the most diverse in the state.

Salt Lake City’s Indiana Avenue runs west near 800 South and 900 West to Redwood Road right between Poplar Grove and Glendale — west-side working-class neighborhoods often maligned or just ignored.
The place may appear a little rough on the edges, but there is an undeniable pulse to the community that teems with cultural diversity. It doesn’t look like Salt Lake City’s east side and some say it shouldn’t because it is being shaped by its own cultural influences — with its own special flavor.
Salt Lake City’s so-called River District — which includes Glendale and Poplar Grove, as well as the neighborhoods of Fairpark and Rose Park — is a landing pad for immigrants.
Latino immigrants began arriving in the Indiana Avenue area 50 years ago. They were followed by Pacific Islanders. Now, they are among the community stalwarts who are welcoming new Latino immigrants as well as Africans, Asians and eastern Europeans.

About one-third of the population is 17 years old or younger, according to the Community Data Project. Some 90 percent of students at Glendale Middle School qualify for free or subsidized lunch, which means the household income is less than $43,600 for a family of four. Many make much less than that.
http://goo.gl/6sgDQL (SLT)

Utah ranks 6th in U.S. in economic contributions of public lands

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s vast public lands are a bone of political contention for top elected officials, but they put the state at No. 6 in the country for the economic contributions generated by energy development and recreation.
A new report released by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Policy Analysis provides a state-by-state analysis of the economic impacts that stem from lands managed by the agency, which oversees 20 percent of the nation’s acreage.
Utah’s numbers in energy and recreation put it behind oil-rich Texas, which came in at No. 1, and No. 5 California, a hot spot for energy development as well as a tremendous draw for visitors. It placed well ahead of its Western neighbors, with the exception of New Mexico, which came in third.
http://goo.gl/6TOiDA (DN)

Logan district to participate in Universal Breakfast program this year

Starting Aug. 22, all K-12 students in the Logan City School District will be able to eat breakfast at their schools for free.
The district recently announced its participation in the Universal Breakfast Program. This is the first time the district has participated in this federal program.
“We feel that breakfast is an important meal, and we want to make sure that everyone has that opportunity to have breakfast if they’d like to participate,” said Paul Guymon, the child nutrition manager in the district.
The program started as a pilot program in 1966 and was made permanent in 1975. It is currently in more than 89,000 schools and institutions across the country.
http://goo.gl/gzZaoW (LHJ)

Utah Job Corps centers reach out to more female students

CLEARFIELD — A locally run, federal training program is reaching out to young women in an effort to help them find career success and self-fulfillment.
Utah’s two Job Corps centers announced a campaign Tuesday to recruit a record number of new female students. After a four-month national enrollment freeze that ended in April, the program has 213 openings available to income-qualified prospective students.
The freeze prevented the program from adding new students, explained Issa Arnita, director of corporate communications for Centerville-based Management & Training Corp. — which manages and operates 18 Job Corps centers in 15 states.
http://goo.gl/t5YzA7 (DN)

http://goo.gl/0mOCDc (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/h5vu2t (KSL)

Canyons District to hold middle school orientations

SANDY — The Canyons School District will host half-day orientations for students new to middle school on Aug. 15-16.
This year, Canyons middle schools have planned orientations for both the sixth- and seventh-grade classes, which this year will move into the middle school simultaneously. The seventh-graders will attend orientation on Thursday, Aug. 15 and sixth-graders are invited for Friday, Aug. 16.
http://goo.gl/2oo2l5 (DN)

Kane Schools Foundation presents “Cowboy Trails” Horseback Adventure

The Kane Schools Foundation for Students Board of Trustees is thrilled to announce a new kind of fundraising event to benefit students, one that captures the essence of our local communities. “Cowboy Trails and Cowboy Tales” is a two day, three evening horseback ride and camp adventure into the ruggedly beautiful heart of Kane County, Utah.
Conducted with generous assistance from local ride experts at Red Rock Ride LLC, and accompanied by local cowboy and Kane School District Superintendent Robert Johnson, participants will be guided on spectacular backcountry rides each of the two days, and treated to hot showers, hearty dinners, evening entertainment and comfortable cabins at night.
The adventure will take place October 7-9, 2013. An itinerary, contact information and complete details are available on the Cowboy Trails website “Cowboy Trails and Cowboy Tales”. The cost of the two day long rides, cabin/cot and seven meals is $1500 before August 1, 2013. Because of the nature of the rugged landscapes and to enhance the experience for each participant, the ride is limited to 20 experienced riders.
http://goo.gl/8A1j3v (SUN)

Cowboy Trails website
http://goo.gl/hwFBG8

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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School of No Thought
Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Katharine Biele

Kory Holdaway may wish he’d never gone through that revolving door from the legislature to lobbying. The Republican now works for the Utah Education Association, and finds himself in the firestorm surrounding Common Core. Otherwise known as a socialist plot emanating from the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization, Common Core seeks to raise standards across the board in a nation that’s falling behind academically. About 100 people protested at the state Board of Education last week, claiming that CC creates a “monopoly of thought.” “I’m dumbfounded that [they] are still opposed to setting standards that are common as a nation and then letting states decide what the curriculum in those states are going to be,” Holdaway told the Deseret News.
http://goo.gl/94pYCW

Utah’s school language programs drawing praise
(Provo) Daily Herald op-ed by Duane Jeffery, emeritus professor of biology at Brigham Young University

Almost certainly I am preaching to the choir here — but perhaps we can expand the size of the choir.
I refer to the Time magazine article (July 29) lauding Utah’s youthful but very promising program for teaching foreign languages to elementary school children (and eventually progressing right on through high school). It is unusual to see Utah’s education system praised in the national press, but this article is unabashedly complimentary.
A big surprise is that many of the programs are teaching not Spanish, German or French — the ones we most commonly have associated with our schools. Instead the featured language is Mandarin, the language spoken by more of Earth’s population than any other.
http://goo.gl/do6X97

What to expect of Common Core
Deseret News op-ed by Chuck Ormsby, a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Lowell

Regarding the recent debate in the Deseret News between Sandra Stotsky (“This is why I oppose Common Core,” July 25) and Jennifer Johnson (“Clarifying criticism of Common Core,” Aug. 6), let me give a perspective from the trenches.
I currently teach calculus I and II at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and coordinate the calculus I program for approximately 65 percent of incoming science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students (nearly 400 freshmen). I also served as a school committee member for a Massachusetts suburban school for six years (2003-2009), during which time I focused heavily on the K-8 mathematics curriculum (where I believe many of the problems in mathematics education originate). I am not an expert on the Common Core standards, so I am commenting on a statement of “fact” that both sides in this debate seem to agree on.
It appears that Common Core standards set an expectation that students will achieve some reasonable level of competency in algebra through algebra II, but no expectation of competency in, or even a basic familiarity with, trigonometry.
http://goo.gl/mpjrvg

Utah Personalizes Learning With Portable Records Education Week commentary by Tom Vander Ark, author of “Getting Smart: How Personal Digital Learning is Changing the World,” and Robyn Bagley, Parents for Choice in Education Chair

In October, Digital Learning Now! published Data Backpacks: Portable Records & Learner Profiles . The paper makes the case for portable academic K-12 transcript that follows students grade to grade and school to school. In addition to demographic information, state testing data, and supplementary student supports, the paper recommended tracking additional information in order to represent a more holistic picture of student achievement–such as a gradebook of standards-based performance data and a portfolio of personal bests–and better capture the student’s progression at any moment in time. Since this data would follow students to each new learning experience, learning could be tailored to meet their individual needs from the first lesson rather than the extra time teachers must spend diagnosing student needs and abilities.
Robyn Bagley, Parents for Choice in Education, saw the paper and knew Utah’s existing data system infrastructure gave them a big head start on a portable record. She talked to a champion of Ed Tech policy and personalized learning, Senator Jerry Stevenson who agreed to sponsor a bill. Together they were able to knock out this groundbreaking legislation in one session, placing Utah schools one step closer to tailoring education to the individual needs of the student by providing those closest to them with access to meaningful data.
The Student Achievement Backpack bill, Utah Senate Bill 82, was signed into law in March. It provides for access by a student’s parent/guardian or school/district to the electronic record. The bill gives schools until June 30, 2017 to fully incorporate the expanded record into their student information system.
http://goo.gl/gYNTlt

American education’s path back to greatness The Common Core has the power and potential to move American education into the 21st-century.
New York Daily News op-ed by KATHRYN WYLDE, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City

This week, New Yorkers are likely to suffer a mix of disappointment and frustration when the state releases the results of the rigorous new testing regime that New York State has adopted as it joins the national Common Core movement to raise standards of American education.
Kentucky, the first state to adopt Common Core-aligned testing, saw its initial scores drop by as much as 33 points, or nearly 50%. State and city leaders have said repeatedly that they expect a similar result in New York. We should resist knee-jerk reactions and focus on the potential to improve economic prospects for the next generation.
With the harsh reality of test results, there is a tendency to blame educational failures on teachers (or their unions), administrators, elected officials, economic deprivation or even the tests themselves. In fact, we all share responsibility for the failures of public education and it is time to face up to how far our country has fallen behind those societies around the world where education is the top priority. Our state was right to adopt the higher standards of the Common Core as the first step in restoring American education to its former greatness.
Poor test results will come as no surprise to employers in New York City.
http://goo.gl/DGBiFc

Outcry against Common Core standards unwarranted Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review editorial

Obamacore. It’s not about health care. It’s a label applied by reactionary folks who oppose Common Core educational standards because the president supports them. Note the lack of rigor in that analysis.
Though the process of states voluntarily adopting tougher standards in reading and math began in 2009, vocal opposition only recently arose. Fanned by the fevered preachings of broadcaster Glenn Beck and others, a conspiracy theory was hatched that Common Core was really a plot to:
A: Turn all kids into reliable liberals.
B: Collect detailed data on all children for use in future national or international plots.
C: Yank local control from education once and for all.
D: All of the above.
During the spring, campaigns sprouted around the country to stop Common Core. In April, the Republican National Committee officially condemned it with hyperbolic fervor. The timing of this protest couldn’t be worse. Transition work has been underway for a long time. Millions of dollars have been spent. Implementation begins this coming school year.
On Monday night, the Coeur d’Alene School District board approved curricula to align with the state’s Common Core standards, which the state Board of Education adopted in 2010. The Legislature gave final approval in 2011. The curricula were developed by local teachers. Neither the standards nor the curricula require the approval of the federal government.
http://goo.gl/uWPwxo

The Obama Setback for Minority Education Steady gains for black and Hispanic students under No Child Left Behind have come to a virtual standstill.
Wall Street Journal op-ed by PAUL E. PETERSON, professor of government at Harvard University

Should federally mandated school accountability and testing requirements be abandoned? With Congress actively considering a major revision of No Child Left Behind, that question has moved to the top of the national education agenda. The Obama administration, teachers unions and some Republicans are joining forces to gut core provisions of the education law that was one of the Bush administration’s crowning achievements.
No Child Left Behind, which began in 2002, focused on the low performance of African-American and Hispanic students. It required that all students, no matter their race or ethnicity, reach proficiency by 2014. Since minority students had the longest road to travel, schools placed special emphasis on their instruction, and measured the quality of their instruction by ascertaining their performance on standardized tests.
Each school was required to report annual test-score results for every student in grades three through eight. (High-school students took only one test in four years.) Although all schools were tested, No Child requirements bore most heavily upon schools that received federal compensatory education dollars, which typically had substantial percentages of minority students.
http://goo.gl/B2mVxq

Why School Choice Is Failing
It takes more than vouchers to create a successful, productive market in education.
National Review op-ed by Michael Q. McShane, research fellow in education-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute

Milwaukee, Wis., is home to the nation’s oldest and largest school-voucher program, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. After starting with just over 300 students in 1990, the program enrolled almost 25,000 students last school year. With open-enrollment programs, magnet schools, and a small number of charter schools, Milwaukee is one of the most “choice-rich” environments in America.
What has been the result? On the 2011 NAEP, a test given to a nationally representative sample in every state and to a select group of large districts, Milwaukee eighth-graders scored a 254 in math and 238 in reading. To put those numbers in some context, on those same tests the averages in Chicago were 270 and 253, respectively, and the large-city averages for the whole test were 274 and 255. On the NAEP, 10 points equates approximately to one year of knowledge, meaning that even compared with their peers only in other big cities, Milwaukee students are two grades below average in math and almost two grades below in reading.
For those of us who believe in school choice, these are some disappointing numbers. Does this mean that school choice is the wrong policy or that the market forces that have increased quality and lowered prices in every other sector of human society somehow don’t apply to education? I don’t think so. Rather, “school choice” has done less to create a market than many of its proponents believe.
School-choice policy — frankly, education reform writ large — is fundamentally about creating high-quality seats for students in schools. School choice has only three levers to pull to make that happen.
http://goo.gl/Ti7t2v

School-Choice Legislation Wins Big in States This Year Education Week commentary by columnist Andrew Ujifusa

From creating new tax-credit scholarship programs to expanding existing school voucher programs, an increasing number of states have been active on school-choice issues this year, writes Elaine Povich in a good write-up for Stateline. Using data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, Povich writes that 13 states have either created new school-choice programs or expanded their existing ones this year. That’s a marked increase from 2012, when eight states created or expanded school-choice programs. In 2011, seven states did so.
Using NCSL’s bill-tracking tool, you can break down the data even further to show that five states (Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin) expanded existing voucher programs this year. And eight states enacted tax-credit scholarship or tax-deduction legislation. Povich focuses on the creation of Alabama’s tax-credit program this year, a school-choice push that generated a lot of controversy that I covered back in March. South Carolina also created a new tax-credit scholarship program this year, while North Carolina was the only state to initiate a new voucher program in 2013.
http://goo.gl/cgl1s3

Are we in the middle of a writing revolution?
Technology has changed how we communicate in writing.
USA Today op-ed by Gene Budig, past president of three major state universities, & Alan Heaps, former vice president at the College Board in New York City

We are in the midst of a writing revolution. But, unfortunately, it is not receiving the attention it deserves. And without that attention, it will wither and we will lose a golden opportunity to better our political, social and cultural worlds.
Just recently we were reminded of the dynamic state of writing when the Pew Research Center released The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught.
Here is one of the report’s major conclusions: “digital technologies are shaping student writing in myriad ways… social networking sites, cell phones and texting, (are) generally facilitating teens’ personal expression and creativity, broadening the audience for their written material, and encouraging teens to write more often in more formats than may have been the case in prior generations.”
This phenomenon is the democratization of writing and it should not be underestimated.
http://goo.gl/CC2h09

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Eight California Districts Get No Child Left Behind Waivers Reprieve Marks First Given Below State Level Wall Street Journal

The Obama administration said Tuesday it will allow eight California school districts, including Los Angeles, to sidestep key provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law, marking the first time it has granted such waivers to individual districts instead of states.
The decision by Education Secretary Arne Duncan is another sign of the eroding power of No Child Left Behind, the once popular George W. Bush-era education initiative that expanded the federal role in public education but has since been assailed as rigid and unworkable.
The move allows the California districts to skirt several No Child-law mandates, including one that requires all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014 and one that mandates chronically low-performing schools pay for private tutoring for students. In exchange, the districts agreed, among other things, to evaluate teachers based, in part, on student test scores.
http://goo.gl/Os1ERw

http://goo.gl/YLlVq0 (WaPo)

http://goo.gl/mljWBv (AP)

http://goo.gl/n7WPIA (Ed Week)

http://goo.gl/SH9Zzl (SF Chronicle)

http://goo.gl/rNWLkN (ED)

States Train Teachers on Common Core
Stateline

Hardly a week goes by without controversy about Common Core, the academic standards for English and math that nearly all states have adopted. The standards for each grade level are intended to prepare every high school graduate for college or a career.
In just the last week:
* The Michigan state legislature held a second debate on the standards.
* Georgia officials learned the state could lose about $10 million in federal funding for its decision to delay tying teachers’ pay to student performance.
* Indiana announced it was dropping out of one of two groups developing standardized tests aligned to the Common Core.
* Ohio lawmakers introduced a bill to repeal the state’s adoption of the standards.
Despite the brouhaha, most states are plowing ahead. (see map)
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia adopted the standards in both math and English and agreed to test students on them by the 2014-15 school year; Minnesota adopted them for English only. Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia have not adopted the standards.
Twenty states are scheduled to implement the Common Core for the first time in the upcoming school year. Seven states and the District of Columbia already have implemented the English and math standards, while Minnesota has implemented the English standard.
http://goo.gl/wtlZDe

States’ Common-Core To-Do Lists Topped by Tests, Curricula Education Week

On the heels of its latest survey taking states’ temperatures about the political environment surrounding the common core, the Center on Education Policy has released a report detailing how far along state education officials think they are in implementing the new English/language arts and math standards, and what they see as the biggest remaining challenges.
Officials in 30 states told CEP that at least some of their schools and districts are already using curricula aligned to the Common Core State Standards. And those in 36 of the 39 states surveyed either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the idea that the new math standards require “substantially revised” curricula. (Officials in two states disagreed with that idea, and one wasn’t sure.) In addition, 37 of the 40 responding agreed or strongly agreed that the ELA standard would require significantly different curricula than in the past.
As with the previous common-core survey, CEP received responses from deputy state superintendents over the course of this year. Among the states surveyed, 39 were implementing the common core in math and 40 were doing so with the common core ELA standards.
http://goo.gl/oQTwXH

A copy of the report
http://goo.gl/WJ0hcA (CEP)

CEP’s report on Common Core professional development http://goo.gl/xiCcVv (CEP)

Education experts debate Common Core at Statehouse Indianapolis (IN) Star

Experts for and against national Common Core education standards debated sharply Monday before Indiana lawmakers.
The first of three hearings of a legislative summer study committee on Common Core lasted more than six hours. Proponents said sticking with the standards would make Indiana students better prepared for college and careers, while opponents countered, saying the new standards don’t even match the old standards the state decided to junk in 2010.
Common Core, standards that came from a collaboration of state governors and have been adopted by all but a handful of states, became controversial earlier this year in Indiana more than two years after they were adopted by the State Board of Education.
Several conservative legislators expressed reservations that the standards, which have been strongly supported by the U.S. Department of Education under President Barack Obama, changed instruction in objectionable ways and amounted to a federal takeover of education standards.
But concerns were not limited to conservatives. Democratic state Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz has also called for caution on Common Core, suggesting a reconsideration of the new standards after a new round of public input.
http://goo.gl/nM4joC

Under New Standards, Students See Sharp Decline in Test Scores New York Times

The number of New York students passing reading and math exams dropped drastically this year, education officials reported on Wednesday, unsettling parents, principals and teachers, and posing new challenges to a national effort to toughen academic standards.
In New York City, 26 percent of students in third through eighth grade passed the state exams in English, and 30 percent passed in math, according to the New York State Education Department.
The exams were some of the first in the nation to be aligned with a more rigorous set of standards known as Common Core, which emphasize deep analysis and creative problem-solving. Last year, under an easier test, 47 percent of city students passed in English, and 60 percent in math.
City and state officials spent months trying to steel the public for the grim figures, saying that a decline in scores was inevitable and that it would take several years before students performed at high levels.
Statewide, 31 percent of students passed the exams in reading and math. Last year, 55 percent passed in reading, and 65 percent in math.
Some educators were taken aback by the steep decline and said they worried the figures would rattle the confidence of students and teachers.
http://goo.gl/FuSUPL

http://goo.gl/mwlKe3 (WSJ)

http://goo.gl/VLILvb (Daily News)

Judge rules R.I. Board of Education must hold NECAP discussions in public Providence (RI) Journal

PROVIDENCE — A Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that the state Board of Education must hold any discussion about the NECAP in open session or remove that topic from its August retreat.
Late Tuesday night, board Chairwoman Eva-Marie Mancuso said in a statement that she and Governor Chafee have agreed instead “to propose that the board schedule the retreat as a public meeting in its entirety.”
The Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit last week asking the court to enjoin the Board of Education from taking up the issue of the high-stakes testing during its two-day retreat, which was supposed to be held behind closed doors. The ACLU argued that any such discussion would violate the state’s Open Meetings Law.
On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Procaccini agreed with the ACLU, saying that any conversation about graduation requirements and high-stakes testing must be held in public.
http://goo.gl/ZwMbRo

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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

August 28:
Public Education Appropriations Committee meeting
8 a.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2013&com=APPPED
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspxpr

September 17:
Executive Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2013&com=APPEXE

September 18:
Education Interim Committee meeting
9 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2013&Com=INTEDU

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