Education News Roundup: Oct. 4, 2013

Artwork by Woodrow Wilson Elementary students.

Artwork by Woodrow Wilson Elementary students.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

New study finds education a key factor in ending poverty.
http://goo.gl/WqBQ7q  (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/Yuokwm  (DN)

Pam Perlich discusses the new demographics of Utahns, including those in public schools.
http://goo.gl/WLMmYj  (SLT)

Utah State Board of Education Member Dave Thomas discusses Common Core in Cedar City. (Common Core in Cedar City: Is that C to the fourth in algebraic terms?) http://goo.gl/YDIjsj  (SGS)

New Scholastic poll finds big support for Common Core among teachers.
http://goo.gl/X8xjvz  (USAT)
or a copy of the survey:
http://goo.gl/UM4ccM (Scholastic)

But there are still others who don’t like it.
http://goo.gl/HwM8yD  (NBC)

NBC’s annual Education Nation begins Sunday.
http://goo.gl/8lGgvq  (Ed Week)
or http://www.educationnation.com/

Science 2.0 founder Hank Campbell discusses the PR person’s conundrum: How do you get people to remember good news when it’s bad news that gets remembered. He uses U.S. science scores and understanding of sciences as a launching point.
http://goo.gl/hAIISU (USAT)

And stay tuned this weekend for the announcement of Utah’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.

————————————————————
TODAY’S HEADLINES
————————————————————

UTAH

Utah poverty study shows school key to breaking cycle Workforce Services is seeking policy solutions to curb the impact of intergenerational poverty statewide.

Economist: Utah must change to meet minorities’ needs Future » Many leaders are blind to growing pockets of poverty, diversity.

Proponents say Utah has control over Common Core

School tutors parents on how to teach their kids

School district looks at new policy after aide pushes autistic teen out of classroom

Draper police get federal grant for new school resource officers

Fast Forward finishes green space

Utah first lady, Mayor Ralph Becker help with reading record

Logan High student earns grand prize from Zions Bank

A+ Teacher, October 2

Sky View High School holds parent teacher conferences

OPINION & COMMENTARY

The science of good news
Why are the positives being treated as if they’re negatives?

Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?

NATION

Teachers praise new standards for classroom learning Most teachers endorse new learning standards being rolled out by states and the federal government, a survey of about 20,000 teachers finds.

Parents, teachers join pockets of rebellion against Common Core

Wisconsin hearing repeats debate over Common Core school standards

Government Shutdown Pulse Check: For Education, Worst is Yet to Come

Building a District Culture to Foster Innovation What is the ‘secret sauce’ in a district’s way of operating that allows good ideas to flourish?

Will technology improve teacher-student relationships, or hurt them?

Teacher status around the world: how the US stacks up The first-ever Global Teacher Status index finds significant disparities in how teachers are viewed. In China, teachers are as respected as doctors; in the US, they’re more often compared with librarians.

Recession Continues for Classrooms as School Funding Lags

Facebook and Md. schools partner to combat bullying The social media service will provide direct channels for educators to report abuse

School meals face rules on fat, meat, veggies – but no limits on sugar

Coming Soon to NBC: Education Nation

————————————————————
UTAH NEWS
————————————————————

Utah poverty study shows school key to breaking cycle Workforce Services is seeking policy solutions to curb the impact of intergenerational poverty statewide.

Education is one prime ingredient in any formula to break the cycle of poverty that can follow a family from generation to generation, new Utah data indicates.
A report on poverty and public assistance published Thursday reveals, for example, that less than 1 percent of those trapped in intergenerational poverty earned a college degree. The state average, by contrast, is 19.5 percent.
Education is key to interrupting the cycle, said Jon Pierpont, executive director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. So the question for leaders to answer is: “What do we do policy-wise for the children being born into this situation” to ensure a good education?
The facts and figures being collected in the second year of the ongoing study “Intergenerational Poverty, Welfare Dependency and the Use of Public Assistance in Utah” are aimed ultimately at helping come up with those policy solutions.
http://goo.gl/WqBQ7q  (SLT)

http://goo.gl/Yuokwm  (DN)

Economist: Utah must change to meet minorities’ needs Future » Many leaders are blind to growing pockets of poverty, diversity.

In many Salt Lake City neighborhoods, most young children now are minorities, live in poverty and speak a language other than English at home. Utah’s future depends on their success, but overwhelmingly white, wealthier leaders in the state may not even realize the challenges those youth face.
“We’re living in two very different worlds,” Pam Perlich, senior research economist at the University of Utah, told a luncheon Thursday sponsored by the Utah Association of Latino Journalists.
She challenged journalists to show that those different worlds exist, and that institutions and services that worked well for the older, mostly white baby boom generation may not work well for today’s diverse youth.
“Unless we have a recognition on the part of people in our community of these very diverse conditions from one neighborhood to the next,” she said, “then we are setting up ourselves for not adequately preparing the next generation.”
Perlich said that with a big wave of immigration in the 1990s and early 2000s, most growth in Salt Lake City was from minorities. For example, the capital gained about 10,750 minority residents between 2000 and 2010, while its overall population grew by only 4,700. So without minorities and immigrants, Salt Lake City would have lost population.
Perlich said half of preschoolers on the city’s west side now are minorities, compared to a statewide rate of 25 percent — so statewide averages mask diversity present in many places. School data show that children in Salt Lake City report speaking 100 different languages in their homes, she said, and more than 75 percent in west side areas receive free lunch — so they live in poverty.
http://goo.gl/WLMmYj  (SLT)

Proponents say Utah has control over Common Core

CEDAR CITY — While many groups are in an uproar over the new Common Core curriculum, a program opponents say forces states to follow federal mandates, Utah School Board Member David Thomas of Weber and Davis counties says Utah still maintains control.
“It’s a federal program but each state will have its own flavor,” Thomas said. “We do have control over what we accept and don’t accept.”
Thomas, a former Utah senator, tried to ease the fears and concerns of the more than 150 community members who attended a Thursday town hall meeting to hear about the Common Core program.
“There’s just a lot of false information and half-truths out there and this meeting was meant to clear up the confusion and help parents understand this program and what it is and that the state does still maintain control,” said Eric M. Kirby, Executive Director for the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service at Southern Utah University.
http://goo.gl/YDIjsj  (SGS)

School tutors parents on how to teach their kids

KAYSVILLE — A school in Davis County is offering tutoring — not for students but for parents who want to help their children learn to read and write.
Endeavour Elementary School Principal Beth Johnston said she’s heard the same question over and over again from parents: “How can I help my child at home besides just reading with them?”
Johnston said teachers and administrators brainstormed and came up with an idea to have the parents become the students for one day.
http://goo.gl/xIVquM  (KSL)

School district looks at new policy after aide pushes autistic teen out of classroom

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — The Tooele School District is implementing a new policy that will dictate how much force a teacher can use in the classroom, and the move comes after the parents of an autistic teen were outraged to learn an aide pushed him out of a classroom at Stansbury High School back in February.
The teen’s mother, Kelly Fergusson, said the incident has harmed her son.
“He doesn’t feel safe,” she said. “He’s afraid to be around the special education teachers and he shouldn`t feel that way.”
Months later, the high school hallways look a little different now to Stansbury High School sophomore Ethan Fergusson, who now takes most classes at his home in Tooele.
http://goo.gl/6YRPc9  (KSTU)

Draper police get federal grant for new school resource officers

Schools in Draper should be a little bit safer this year after the city’s police department received a grant for new school resource officers.
The $250,000 grant comes from the federal government and will partially pay for the salary and benefits of officers assigned to Corner Canyon High School and Draper Park Middle School. Both schools opened for the 2013 year, according to police.
http://goo.gl/DIUpIh  (SLT)

http://goo.gl/qWzrkY  (KTVX)

Fast Forward finishes green space

Students at Fast Forward Charter High School have a brand new field for their physical education classes.
Fast Forward put the final touches on its new green space Wednesday. The school purchased the quarter acre lot located northwest of the school in May and has been working all summer to get the space ready for use.
Previously, the students at Fast Forward were using a field on the Bridgerland Applied Technology College’s west campus for their PE classes. However, last year BATC asked Fast Forward to no longer use the facilities due to liability issues.
The land itself was purchased for $100,000, a sum that was saved up over the course of the school’s 10-year existence. The school also had to spend an additional $25,000 to landscape the property into a usable space, but donations made the additional fee possible.
http://goo.gl/9TVb8M  (LHJ)

Utah first lady, Mayor Ralph Becker help with reading record

Utah First Lady Jeanette Herbert and Mayor Ralph Becker helped some Salt Lake City school children aim for a reading world record Thursday.
Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, is a world-record-breaking campaign that brings together children and adults to read the same book on the same day, This year’s book was “Otis,” by Loren Long.
Herbert and Becker read the book out loud to children at Mountain View Elementary as part of the record attempt.
http://goo.gl/LlW73y  (SLT)

http://goo.gl/b2khkn  (DN)

Logan High student earns grand prize from Zions Bank

LOGAN – At Logan High School’s Thursday morning pep rally, one student received a surprise scholarship from Zions Bank. Addiel Gutierrez, a senior, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship account as part of Zions Pays for A’s program. The program pays students for A grades on their report cards and enters them to win scholarship savings accounts. Gutierrez was the grand prize winner in the state of Utah.
“We are happy with Addiel’s effort,” said Rafiel Gutierrez of his son. “He’s worked really hard and we are proud of him.”
http://goo.gl/Mws11H  (CVD)

A+ Teacher, October 2

Amber Anderson teaches fifth grade at Willow Elementary School in Grantsville, and she is FOX 13 News’ A + Teacher of the Week.
Parents said Anderson helps students truly understand what they’re learning, and they said she is always willing to help.
http://goo.gl/oaGqAd  (KSTU)

Sky View High School holds parent teacher conferences

Sky View High School will be conducting parent teacher conferences from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Monday in teacher classrooms.
http://goo.gl/61FMZw  (LHJ)

————————————————————
OPINION & COMMENTARY
————————————————————

The science of good news
Why are the positives being treated as if they’re negatives?
USA Today op-ed by Hank Campbell, founder of Science 2.0

When I tell you that adult science literacy has nearly tripled in the past 25 years, that should be considered a good thing. And when I tell you that funding at the National Institutes of Health has gone up 50% since 2001, that is also a good thing.
Yet we rarely hear about the positives. As in politics, good news in science is apparently bad for business. If pundits can show that science funding increases have slowed or that American kids are not scoring well on tests, it gives them a way to lament the decline of America.
But is it true?
A recent national poll by the Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine found that it’s all about perceptions — and apparently the wrong ones.
When asked how U.S. students were doing on standardized tests compared with students in other developed nations, most of those surveyed ranked American kids at the bottom. Actually, they fall right in the middle of the pack.
So it’s not surprising that when it comes to science education, we often read that “teaching to the test” is bad. But then we read that American kids scored poorly on international tests and are in danger of being left behind unless test scores improve.
http://goo.gl/hAIISU

Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?
New York Times Magazine commentary by EILEEN POLLACK, professor of creative writing at the University of Michigan

Last summer, researchers at Yale published a study proving that physicists, chemists and biologists are likely to view a young male scientist more favorably than a woman with the same qualifications. Presented with identical summaries of the accomplishments of two imaginary applicants, professors at six major research institutions were significantly more willing to offer the man a job. If they did hire the woman, they set her salary, on average, nearly $4,000 lower than the man’s. Surprisingly, female scientists were as biased as their male counterparts.
The new study goes a long way toward providing hard evidence of a continuing bias against women in the sciences. Only one-fifth of physics Ph.D.’s in this country are awarded to women, and only about half of those women are American; of all the physics professors in the United States, only 14 percent are women. The numbers of black and Hispanic scientists are even lower; in a typical year, 13 African-Americans and 20 Latinos of either sex receive Ph.D.’s in physics. The reasons for those shortages are hardly mysterious — many minority students attend secondary schools that leave them too far behind to catch up in science, and the effects of prejudice at every stage of their education are well documented. But what could still be keeping women out of the STEM fields (“STEM” being the current shorthand for “science, technology, engineering and mathematics”), which offer so much in the way of job prospects, prestige, intellectual stimulation and income?
As one of the first two women to earn a bachelor of science degree in physics from Yale — I graduated in 1978 — this question concerns me deeply. I attended a rural public school whose few accelerated courses in physics and calculus I wasn’t allowed to take because, as my principal put it, “girls never go on in science and math.”
http://goo.gl/3ZwxXH

————————————————————-
NATIONAL NEWS
————————————————————-

Teachers praise new standards for classroom learning Most teachers endorse new learning standards being rolled out by states and the federal government, a survey of about 20,000 teachers finds.
USA Today

A large majority of K-12 teachers say that new learning standards now being implemented in most states will improve students’ thinking skills, a new survey suggests.
A poll of more than 20,000 teachers, out today from the children’s publisher Scholastic Inc., finds that about three-fourths of teachers think the standards known as Common Core will improve students’ abilities to reason and think critically. Only 8% say Common Core will have a negative impact on the classroom as schools retool to comply with the new standards.
Common Core is designed to replace the USA’s patchwork of state standards in math and reading, with goals that emphasize critical thinking and a more thorough understanding of a few key topics.
http://goo.gl/X8xjvz

A copy of the survey:
http://goo.gl/UM4ccM

Parents, teachers join pockets of rebellion against Common Core NBC News

The Common Core has been billed as the future of education across America, but in small-town Tennessee, Teresa Hartsfield has traded it in for a century-old text.
The Lawrenceburg mom pulled her 10-year-old son Bailey out of public school in protest over the new national academic standards that are being voluntarily implemented in 45 states and Washington, D.C. She is now 11 weeks into a home-schooling program.
“I saw a train wreck coming,” Hartsfield said, reeling off a list of complaints about the Common Core — it’s backed by the federal government, the standards are too tough, it abandons old-school rote learning for show-your-work models.
“We’re teaching out of 1920 spelling books,” she said proudly of her efforts at home. “Yes, it’s memorization. You can’t do this without memorization.”
While Bailey is tackling fourth-grade vocabulary, state lawmakers in Nashville are still grappling with the ABCs of the Common Core.
Three years after the Legislature adopted the standards with little hand-wringing — and a check from the federal Race to the Top program — growing controversy has the politicians taking a second look. Two days of hearings were held last month, even though 35,000 educators have already been trained.
http://goo.gl/HwM8yD

Wisconsin hearing repeats debate over Common Core school standards Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Madison — While more rigorous academic standards are applied at public schools in Wisconsin this year, lawmakers and citizens debated the guidelines at a standing-room-only hearing Thursday, with some continuing to question if the rules were a federal intrusion into local schools.
Tony Evers, state superintendent, and Emilie Amundson, director of the Common Core State Standards Team, once again defended the grade- and subject-specific goals in reading and math as being superior to Wisconsin’s previously weak and scatter-shot standards.
“Let me say clearly that I was not coerced by the federal government to adopt the Common Core, and I didn’t adopt the Common Core in order to qualify for a (federal) Race to the Top grant,” Evers said to members of the select legislative committees formed last month on the heels of a national pushback to the standards.
But critics, including citizens with views aligned with the tea party, appeared unconvinced.
One woman from Wisconsin Family Action testified that the “slickly marketed” standards would drive textbook publishers to “indoctrinate students with liberal, un-American teaching.”
“These were developed by people whose best interest was not Wisconsin’s children,” said Julaine K. Appling, president of the Madison-based conservative group.
The debate over Common Core in Wisconsin follows similar debates in states such as Michigan, Louisiana and Florida.
http://goo.gl/16G7eS

Government Shutdown Pulse Check: For Education, Worst is Yet to Come Education Week

We’re more than 12 hours into the government shutdown. What’s the impact on school districts, states, and general Edu-land so far? Mostly a lot of watching, waiting—and nervously looking ahead to the fiscal fight that’s around the corner later this month: raising the federal debt ceiling.
For now, school districts and states still aren’t feeling major effects from a short-term shutdown.
“Right now we’re not seeing anything,” said John Barge, the state schools’ chief in Georgia. He noted, for example, that states can still access their federal Race to the Top grant money. He added that, longer term, there might be some ramifications.
http://goo.gl/TVTkpK

Building a District Culture to Foster Innovation What is the ‘secret sauce’ in a district’s way of operating that allows good ideas to flourish?
Education Week

In the 13,200-student Albemarle County school district in Virginia, many students spend their summers in “maker spaces,” building spaceships out of cardboard or participating in computer-programming workshops to learn how to code.
Teachers spend big chunks of their time imagining how learning environments can be transformed to improve academic performance, turning in proposals with their ideas to the superintendent.
For her part, Superintendent Pamela R. Moran reaches out to partners in the business community to determine what initiatives can help drive innovation in the district, which encompasses the area outside the city of Charlottesville.
“The factory school model of the 20th century [was] designed to mimic what factories needed in their workers,” Ms. Moran said. “Now, [the workforce] wants kids who can really work through issues to generate solutions that work without being dependent on someone at the top to solve it for them.
“If we don’t change our environment, we’re not going to create workers who can go out and fill the variety of roles that we need.”
http://goo.gl/mgywmA

Will technology improve teacher-student relationships, or hurt them?
Hechinger Report

School districts from the sprawling Los Angeles Unified to the tiny Nome Public Schools in Alaska have embraced technology in the classroom based on the promise that it can improve learning by increasing student engagement.
A game which allows students to use a virtual scalpel to prod and poke muscles and blood vessels in the human body, for instance, is likely to be more attractive to a ninth grade biology class than an anatomy lecture.
Couple such a game with an instant feedback mechanism that provides real-time data on the student’s performance and that’s further enticement to schools to bring more devices into the classroom. Proponents of such individualized instruction say the technology allows teachers to assess how their students are doing in class more accurately, showing teachers how to help students in a more targeted fashion.
But is expanding access to iPad, laptop, and smart phone screens in school taking away from human interaction between teachers and students? And does it actually lead to more learning?
http://goo.gl/GhWoMd

Teacher status around the world: how the US stacks up The first-ever Global Teacher Status index finds significant disparities in how teachers are viewed. In China, teachers are as respected as doctors; in the US, they’re more often compared with librarians.
Christian Science Monitor

Debate about how to keep up with countries that perform best on international tests has been percolating for years in the United States. Now there’s a new comparison to consider – one that ranks 21 countries on the status of teachers, a factor that experts say can influence the effectiveness of education.
China tops the first-ever Global Teacher Status Index, with Israel coming in last. The US ranks ninth – beating out No. 13 Finland, a country that often ranks high in comparisons of student performance.
The index is based on surveys comparing teaching to other professions and how much respect the public says teachers get from students. The report also includes the context of teacher pay, the degree to which parents encourage children to become teachers, and public opinion on pay-for-performance policies. The Varkey Gems Foundation, a London-based nonprofit devoted to improving education for disadvantaged students, released the index Wednesday evening.
In the US, “there is consensus that we need to not just improve the status but also the performance of the profession,” and the two go hand-in-hand, says Tom Carroll, president of the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future, in Washington.
http://goo.gl/yrDTMl

A copy of the report
https://varkeygemsfoundation.org/teacherindex

Recession Continues for Classrooms as School Funding Lags Bloomberg

As she hands out student papers to juniors in her English class at Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, teacher Jessica West tells them she needs their help grading.
She has 216 students this year, up from 150 in past years. One class has 39. “I just realized, time-wise, I can’t do it on my own,” she said.
Tulsa’s public-school class sizes have swollen after state education cuts that linger amid the economic recovery. Oklahoma is one of 34 states spending less per pupil in kindergarten through 12th grade this year than six years ago, when adjusted for inflation, the Washington-based Center on Budget & Policy Priorities said in a report. Oklahoma’s 23 percent reduction was deepest, followed by Alabama, Arizona and Kansas.
“It is a recipe for massive, wasted human potential,” said Jonah Edelman, founder and chief executive officer of Stand for Children, a Washington-based public-education advocacy group. “It is a diminishment in the quality of K-12 education at a time when students need to make it to post-secondary education to get a decent-paying job.”
Facing declining revenue in the longest recession since the 1930s, states closed cumulative budget gaps of $600 billion in the five years that ended in fiscal 2012, according to an April report by the budget center. As the largest cost in many state budgets, school spending took a hit. U.S. school districts have cut 324,000 jobs since 2008, according to the center.
http://goo.gl/VYxruF

Facebook and Md. schools partner to combat bullying The social media service will provide direct channels for educators to report abuse Baltimore Sun

Facebook and Maryland’s school systems will pilot an initiative next year that should help make it easier to have offensive or hurtful language on the social media site taken down.
The effort to combat cyber bullying was started by Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who announced the new initiative, called the Educator Escalation Channel, at a meeting Thursday with school district superintendents.
Under the initiative, Facebook will help educate school systems on better ways to combat cyber bullying and give them a channel to the social media giant to report offensive behavior.
http://goo.gl/iFzIb6

School meals face rules on fat, meat, veggies – but no limits on sugar Center for Investigative Reporting

Almost everything about a school cafeteria meal has a regulation. The federal government caps the amount of fat and salt in breakfasts and lunches. It sets minimum standards for servings of fruit, vegetables, grains, milk and meat.
But one widely used and often-overused product has no official limits: sugar.
As Congress faces increased scrutiny over subsidies to the sugar industry, nutritionists and anti-obesity crusaders are focusing on the amount of sugar in school meals – and asking whether regulations governing school lunches deliberately exclude limits on sugar to favor a powerful industry.
http://goo.gl/WaUNh1

Coming Soon to NBC: Education Nation
Education Week

NBC News Education Nation takes place early next week in New York City. The Oct. 6-8 event is the network’s fourth annual series of star-studded panel discussions on education issues. It includes packages on NBC News shows and is preceded by student and teacher town hall meetings on Oct. 6.
“Education Nation has established itself as the nation’s largest conversation about the state of education in America, and this year we continue to elevate the dialogue by tackling the question of ‘what it takes’ from the bottom up,” NBC News Managing Editor Antoine Sanfuentes said in a press release.
Among the participants listed for the main summit events are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; John E. Deasy, the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Goldie Hawn (does she really need any other introduction?); Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel; and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.
http://goo.gl/8lGgvq

http://www.educationnation.com/

————————————————————
CALENDAR
————————————————————

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

October 4:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
8:15 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspxpr

October 9:
2013 Governor’s Education Summit
3:30 p.m., Utah Museum of Fine Arts
http://www.uen.org/govedsummit/index.php

October 10:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/Mu36l

October 15:
Executive Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2013&com=APPEXE

October 16:
Education Interim Committee meeting
9 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2013&com=INTEDU

Related posts:

Comments are closed.