Education News Roundup: Nov. 4, 2013

French Duel Immersion Program at Foxboro Elementary

French Duel Immersion Program at Foxboro Elementary

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

The parent review panel is looking at questions for the upcoming computer-adaptive tests in Utah.
http://goo.gl/Mynuk4 (SLT)

Sen. Mayne says it’s time to help struggling schools in Utah.
http://goo.gl/TYV7Hm (KSTU)

Teacher turnover rate is rising in Ogden.
http://goo.gl/JJAeI6  (OSE)

ENR adds his kudos to those of the Standard-Examiner for Superintendent Menlove.
http://goo.gl/Mtwj1S  (OSE)

Sen. Stephenson writes twice about dual immersion.
http://goo.gl/MQmhCU  (Utah Taxpayers Association)
and http://goo.gl/ncGKtR  (Grand Forks, ND, Herald)
Gregg Roberts and Ofelia Wade just write about it once.
http://goo.gl/1tZy2O  (Grand Forks, ND, Herald)

U.S. public investment in infrastructure (e.g., schools and roads) is at its lowest post-war level now.
http://goo.gl/tLx14U  (Financial Times)

Hmmmm. Turns out Hans and Franz (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5Zk2vUmjpk) may have been right … at least when it comes to getting kids to be more active.
http://goo.gl/JREUI3  (Reuters)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah parents scrutinizing high-stakes exam questions
Utah officials preparing adaptive exams that are unique to each student.

Lawmakers work to help Utah schools that received poor letter grades

Ogden School District teacher departures at 7-year high

Initiative makes preschool available to more children

Educators discuss technology

Voters to weigh in on Jordan School District bond Tuesday

District optimistic bond will pass

Provo School District to hold open houses on bond issue

Cache County School District prepares for bond election

Ogden Preparatory Academy celebrates successes

Nebo teacher honored for putting in hours to teach debate class

Wilson Elementary promotes science, technology, engineering, art and math through STEAM Fair

Mother claims extreme bullying incident against her son was mishandled by school

More Teens Seeking Help For Cyberbulling

Alleged robbers arrested at gunpoint in front of Bountiful High

UVU puts on scavenger hunt for Westridge students

Group of Utahns take fourth in national competition for future farmers

Elation as A.F.H.S. Marching Band crowned regional champion, goes on to nationals

Strong lives begin with investment in early childhood development, report says

Homeless student rate in United States hits record 1.1 million

Inequality in education across United States result of poverty

OPINION & COMMENTARY

‘Outing’ kids to their parents better than silence

Yes on school bond

The winners and the losers

Thumbs up, thumbs down

The Tale of Two Districts:
Association Endorses Washington County School Bond and Opposes Jordan School Bond

What’s Right with Utah Public Education – Tens of Thousands of Utah Students are Becoming Truly Bilingual

Dual language immersion is best of both worlds
Utah’s dual language immersion program gives elementary students the chance to become fluent in traditional languages as well as critical languages such as Mandarin Chinese. The first schools to begin dual immersion now have fifth-graders in the program.

In Utah, foreign language immersion becomes the norm
It is Utah’s quest to give all students the chance to become linguistically proficient and culturally competent by mainstreaming Dual Language Immersion programs for students of diverse abilities, across all socioeconomic categories and in large and small communities throughout the state.

Education reforms, Obamacare destabilize state budgets

AP courses worthwhile, but college credit not sure thing

Utah science scores not comparable with a nation’s

Suicide prevention

Stop bullying

Dual immersion for deaf children?

Contraceptive education

Catholic Scholars Urge Bishops to Oppose Common Core

Poverty in America Is Mainstream

Ninth Grade: The Most Important Year in High School
Freshman year is essential in deciding whether a student drops out or stays in school.

Congress Passes EpiPen Bill to Fight Allergy Attacks in Schools

Will Studying Math Make You Richer?
A Fed study says yes. You should be smart enough to be skeptical—especially if you studied math.

NATION

Colorado Is Asking Taxpayers for $1 Billion to Help Schools

Koch group, unions battle over Colorado schools race

US public investment falls to lowest level since war

Fla. gets more than 19,000 comments on standards

Common Core’s Promise Collides With IEP Realities
Special education teachers struggle to make sure individualized education programs align with standards

Critics worry Common Core results to become part of national database

Criminal Case Puts Focus on Bullying Laws

Thieves swipe school-issued iPads
As tablets and laptops land in young hands, thieves are targeting schools and students.

Schools near Fort Riley, other Army posts facing review

Military Bases Open Their Doors to Home-schoolers

The Education Faculty

Report: Idling motors outside schools are dangerous

Strength training may boost kids’ activity: study

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah parents scrutinizing high-stakes exam questions
Utah officials preparing adaptive exams that are unique to each student.

They volunteered for it, but the week ahead will likely feel like a long one for 15 Utah parents.
The Parent Review Committee will sit at computers from 9 a.m. until 4 or 5 p.m. each day at the Utah Office of Education, reading exam questions and flagging any that raise cultural, ethical, moral or political concerns.
“We’ll try to not make it replicate solitary confinement,” joked Judy Park, deputy superintendent of Utah’s schools. “But no doubt, it is probably going to be one of the longest weeks of their lives.”
The Parent Review Committee was mandated by the Legislature to stand in for Utah’s parents in vetting the questions students in third through 11th grades (and some 12th-graders) will be asked next spring on new computer adaptive tests.
http://goo.gl/Mynuk4  (SLT)

Lawmakers work to help Utah schools that received poor letter grades

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah –Utah lawmakers gathered Monday to talk about how they can help schools that received poor letter grades in September.
All Utah schools received their first letter grades in September as part of a new state law.
Granger High School in West Valley City was one of the worst performing schools in the state, receiving an overall D grade on its report card.
Senator Karen Mayne said she sees the grade as a call to action. In an effort to make a change, Mayne invited several of her colleagues from Capitol Hill to take a field trip to Granger High to give them a sense of what’s working and what’s not working.
Mayne said several unique factors were not taken into account during the state grading process. She said Granger High is one of the most diverse schools in Utah. More than half of the students who go there speak a language other than English, and many students come from families who are struggling financially.
While Mayne does take issue with the grading system itself, she said it’s time for her colleagues to help her struggling school succeed.
http://goo.gl/TYV7Hm  (KSTU)

Ogden School District teacher departures at 7-year high

OGDEN — The percentage of teachers choosing to leave jobs with the Ogden School District is at a seven-year high, according to district numbers.
At the end of the 2012-2013 school year, 108 teachers chose to leave district employment, for personal or professional reasons, or because of retirement. The teachers who left were 15 percent of the total teachers employed at the end of the school year, district officials said.
That rate gives the OSD the highest voluntary teacher departure rate of any Top of Utah district, and by a significant margin. The Davis School District reported a 5.5 percent rate, which it said was an estimate. Exact percentages were provided by the Weber School District (6 percent); the Morgan School District (9.4 percent); and the Box Elder School District (9.6 percent).
So the questions are:
Why is the Ogden district’s rate more than 5 percent higher than that of other area districts?
And why is the OSD’s 2012-2013 rate 6 percent higher than its own rate from the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years?
The answers to those questions depend on whom you ask.
http://goo.gl/JJAeI6  (OSE)

Initiative makes preschool available to more children

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – About 600 children who wouldn’t have had the chance to go to preschool are now enrolled as a result of a new initiative in Salt Lake County.
Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County mayor, put forth a new initiative in July to help low-income families afford preschool for their children, and the county council gave the program a green light.
Classroom 206 at Wright Elementary School is now filled with many children who had been on a waiting list for a year. Brenda Van Gorder is the director of preschool services for the Granite School District, and she said the program has helped many people.
http://goo.gl/qZickf  (KSTU)

Educators discuss technology

ST. GEORGE — Educators from throughout the state are in St. George for the Southern Utah Educators Conference at Desert Hills High School.
http://goo.gl/Owm7gb  (SGS)

Voters to weigh in on Jordan School District bond Tuesday

SALT LAKE CITY — The largest school bond in Utah is headed into the hands of voters. Tuesday the Jordan School District’s $495-million bond will be approved or denied.
Earlier this year the school board unanimously approved the bond resolution. While some people are optimistic about the possibilities of the proposal, others say the district is over-spending.
The Jordan School District is home to more than 52,000 children and growing. District board members said money from the bond would go to renovations at several existing schools, like fixing and improving broken air conditioner units.
http://goo.gl/2wcfeL  (KSL)

District optimistic bond will pass

ST. GEORGE — Washington County School District officials remain optimistic that voters will authorize them to spend $185 million of taxpayer money when they go to the polls next week.
http://goo.gl/zOxskl  (SGS)

http://goo.gl/RkAByt  (KCSG)

Provo School District to hold open houses on bond issue

PROVO — The Provo City School District will host community open houses throughout November to discuss a proposed school reconstruction bond initiative. Interested community members are invited to attend.
http://goo.gl/jXjlh6  (PDH)

Cache County School District prepares for bond election

After more than a year of planning and one false start, the Cache County School District is holding its bond election with the hope of acquiring $129 million for building construction and remodels.
The topic of the bond has been debated not only among the members of the Cache County School District Board of Education, but also among residents within the district.
The main component of the bond is the construction of two new high schools. One would be built in Millville on 48 acres already purchased by the district for $830,000 from remaining funds of a bond issued in 2004. The site is located east of State Road 165 between 2450 South and 2700 South.
http://goo.gl/Gv0XQI  (LHJ)

http://goo.gl/jilfUW  (CVD)

http://goo.gl/hCc0C3 (CVD)

Ogden Preparatory Academy celebrates successes

OGDEN — The two multi-million-dollar buildings opened in July, and a thousand or so uniformed students arrived in late August.
In September, teachers worked with their classes to set positive momentum for the school year. The first quarter wrapped in October.
Finally, on the first day of November, Ogden Preparatory Academy held an event it had been putting off for a while. The charter school on Friday held its official ribbon cutting for the $19 million project.
http://goo.gl/nYfMM9  (OSE)

Nebo teacher honored for putting in hours to teach debate class

In April 2013, a total of 164 students participated in the Elementary Division One Policy Utah State Debate Competitions. A group of those students who participated represented Brockbank Elementary School in Spanish Fork. Preparing for this competition didn’t start there, it all started at the beginning of the school year when students participated in the debate class the school offers. In the Nebo School District, there are three schools that give their students this opportunity; this school year, a fourth will join.
“With being on a debate team in both high school and college, I felt I could use this to my advantage and start a debate class at the school where I teach,” said Kristel Peterson, a sixth grade and debate teacher at Brockbank Elementary.
http://goo.gl/mHcr6E  (PDH)

Wilson Elementary promotes science, technology, engineering, art and math through STEAM Fair

The students and faculty at Wilson Elementary used their half-day of school to reinforce concepts in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, or STEAM.
The STEAM Fair was held during the school’s minimal day on Friday. Grades rotated around different parts of the school participating in various activities.
“We are a STEAM school. We have these half-days where the students go home early. On these half-days, we wanted the whole school to have the opportunity to do something that incorporates all those STEAM aspects,” said Andrea Lindstrom, a first-grade teacher at Wilson who helped organize the STEAM Fair. “Today, we were incorporating the drums and rhythms and how that ties into electricity and circuits. It’s tying those elements together.”
http://goo.gl/8lz0mo  (LHJ)

Mother claims extreme bullying incident against her son was mishandled by school

HOOPER — A mother says her 8-year-old son was threatened with his life by another 8-year-old at school. And now, she says, her son is the one being punished for the incident.
Jaime Morris said her son, Kache, was told by another boy at Hooper Elementary School on Tuesday that he would break into his house, kill his dogs and steal his video gaming system.
She said Wednesday, following another altercation, that the other boy told her son he was going to grab a knife and come to his home and stab him.
Morris said she’s angry about the incidents because the boy making the threats was only suspended for a few days, despite a knife being found in his possession on Thursday. She was also upset that her son was told that he’d have to switch to a different classroom.
http://goo.gl/TgJzq4  (OSE)

More Teens Seeking Help For Cyberbulling

More young adults are opening up about cyber bullying.
A new poll by AP, NORC and MTV found that 44% reported seeking help from their family, up 9% from 2011.
Sixty-six percent of those who did say it made the situation better.
Tragic cases like that of 12 year-old Rebecca Sedwick are also putting the spotlight on cyberbullying and pressure on parents to monitor their children’s online behavior.
http://goo.gl/D1i2Qe  (KUTV)

Alleged robbers arrested at gunpoint in front of Bountiful High

BOUNTIFUL — Three men who thought they could collect a debt using knives and a gun found their tires slashed and themselves arrested in full view of students finishing their day at Bountiful High School.
“We took two of them down at gunpoint as Bountiful High School got out,” said Bountiful Police Sgt. Andrew Bryson.
The two men arrested on Orchard Drive were Carlos Ivan Reyes, 21, and Anthony Douglas Kinyon, 32. Within minutes, officers then arrested the third suspect, Tony Alan Butler, 42. Butler, who had a black eye, was found at 100 E. 500 South after a resident saw him jump a fence, Bryson said.
All three were booked on Thursday in the Davis County Jail each on one count of aggravated robbery. Butler and Kinyon were also booked on drug charges. Butler is also booked on possession of a firearm by a restricted person.
http://goo.gl/zbghsh  (OSE)

UVU puts on scavenger hunt for Westridge students

Thirty hands shot up when Anne Arendt of UVU asked Westridge Elementary School sixth graders if they enjoyed a math scavenger hunt Friday. That’s 100 percent of Chris Fuhriman’s class who spent the morning at UVU, doing math problems and having fun with it.
“They have been really, really excited,” he said. “It has been cool to watch them see that college is something they are looking forward to. They may have thought it was all sitting and reading textbooks. They have been really enthralled. They are just eating it up.”
Arendt, an assistant professor in technology management at UVU, coordinated the event.
http://goo.gl/E03JLS  (PDH)

Group of Utahns take fourth in national competition for future farmers

COALVILLE, Utah – A local group of the Future Farmers of America went a long way in a national competition recently.
The group from Coalville was one of 42 teams in a parliamentary procedure competition, where students had to demonstrate their knowledge of parliamentary law and use the correct procedures.
http://goo.gl/mCVqeq  (KSTU)

Elation as A.F.H.S. Marching Band crowned regional champion, goes on to nationals

Members of the American Fork Marching Band returned home safely Sunday with smiles on their faces, after making a clean sweep in the Bands of America Regional Championships at Dixie State University in St. George.
http://goo.gl/BdwqYx (PDH)

Strong lives begin with investment in early childhood development, report says

SALT LAKE CITY — The first-grader is trying to sound out tiny words like “in” and “the,” but it’s hard because she doesn’t know all the letters. She’s especially mixed up with capital I and T, her brow furrowed as she debates which one to guess. A volunteer tutor waits a few beats before telling her it’s a T and helping her make the sound.
Few things are as important to a child’s future as ability to read, according to a KIDS COUNT policy report released Monday by The Annie E. Casey Foundation. But even getting to that point is a process that involves lots of steps. “The First Eight Years” report highlights the need to invest in children from the beginning of their lives across diverse areas that include cognitive skills and social, emotional and physical development.
The report says years of research shows kids who enter kindergarten lagging in language and cognition have no hope of catching up unless they are healthy and have strong social and emotional skills.
http://goo.gl/7v8IoY  (DN)

http://goo.gl/iOkFWn  (CVD)

http://goo.gl/Azdhor  (WaPo)

http://goo.gl/CKPWdk  (Ed Week)

A copy of the report
http://goo.gl/lfdgcQ  (AEC Foundation)

Homeless student rate in United States hits record 1.1 million

The number of homeless students has raised to record 1.1 million, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education.
“During the 2011-12 school year, there were 1,168,354 homeless students enrolled in preschool or K-12, a 10 percent increase over the previous year,” according to an article from Think Progress.
http://goo.gl/wMy4oJ  (DN)

Inequality in education across United States result of poverty

American education is the land of the unequal, according to recent study from the National Center for Educational Statistics, and poverty is to blame.
“(The study) attempts to rank how individual states compare internationally and ends up showing a wide gap between the highest-performing states and the lowest,” according to an article from The Atlantic.
http://goo.gl/ZrwJwP  (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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‘Outing’ kids to their parents better than silence
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

As children grow up, some struggle with their sexual identity. For many of them, it is a struggle made harder by their parents.
That fact is behind a backlash against Utah’s anti-bullying law. State legislators passed the law earlier this year requiring schools to notify parents if their children are involved in a bullying incident or have acknowledged contemplating suicide.
The law sprang from a high-profile case last year in which a 14-year-old gay student shot and killed himself at Bennion Junior High School in Taylorsville. The boy’s parents said he had been a victim of bullying at the school, but they were never told about it.
The concern with the law is that the school’s reporting of a bullying incident may be the first time the parents hear their child may be gay. In an ideal world, it should be the children themselves who deliver that news – in their own way and on their own timetable.
But it’s not an ideal world.
http://goo.gl/HTlxbQ

Yes on school bond
(St. George) Spectrum editorial

Crowded hallways. Buildings in need of repair. A need for space for additional classrooms.
http://goo.gl/cLLlQc

Letters to the editor
http://goo.gl/mSjRMw  (SGS)

The winners and the losers
Deseret News editorial

Winner: As one Canyons School District official told the Deseret News, it does little good to provide healthy lunches if students don’t like them. With that in mind, a number of Utah districts are finding ways to make nutrition fun, using games, themes and chef stations. The idea is to meet new federal guidelines for nutrition without having children reject what is prepared. Stir fry from a chef station sounds better than mystery meat any day.
http://goo.gl/P4Brml

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

Thumbs up: To State Superintendent Martell Menlove, who takes his responsibility overseeing Utah schools seriously. Menlove has been an active figure of late, serving on a panel in Ogden that addressed educational issues and taking a bus ride with students in North Salt Lake as part of National School Bus Safety Week.
http://goo.gl/Mtwj1S

The Tale of Two Districts:
Association Endorses Washington County School Bond and Opposes Jordan School Bond
Utah Taxpayers Association commentary

Your Taxpayers Association endorsed Washington County School District’s $185 million bond, while opposing other bond proposals on the November ballot. The endorsement is a result of the District’s commitment to using cost saving measures to house the growing number of students within the District. The Association is confident that the District’s tilt up construction method saves tax dollars substantially over masonry construction.
The estimate is that the tilt up construction used by Washington County School District saves between ten and twenty-five percent over other methods. The District has done
so without sacrificing pleasing aesthetics.
http://goo.gl/MQmhCU

What’s Right with Utah Public Education – Tens of Thousands of Utah Students are Becoming Truly Bilingual
Utah Taxpayers Association commentary by Sen. Howard Stephenson

Throughout the United States, public schools have traditionally focused on teaching foreign languages to secondary students. As a result, second language fluency has been modest at best. Brain researchers have learned that acquiring a second language as an adolescent or adult is significantly more challenging than learning the language as a child because the child’s brain has more language plasticity. Consequently, children pick up a second language more quickly, do not have an English accent in the second language, and don’t have to mentally translate between English and the second language.
Until recently, critical languages of Asia and the Middle East have not been taught in U.S. public schools. “Critical language” is a term used to designate languages for which there is large demand for language professionals but little supply. They are also deemed “critical” to national security and economic growth by the U.S. State Department and Defense Department.
Utah’s Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program provides elementary students the opportunity to become fluent in traditional languages such as Spanish and critical languages
such as Mandarin Chinese.
http://goo.gl/MQmhCU

Dual language immersion is best of both worlds
Utah’s dual language immersion program gives elementary students the chance to become fluent in traditional languages as well as critical languages such as Mandarin Chinese. The first schools to begin dual immersion now have fifth-graders in the program.
Grand Forks (ND) Herald op-ed by Howard Stephenson, a Republican, represents a Salt Lake City district in the Utah Senate
DRAPER, Utah — For an additional annual cost of just $33 per student, tens of thousands of Utah students are becoming truly bilingual.
Throughout the United States, public schools traditionally have focused on teaching foreign languages to middle and high school students. As a result, second language fluency has been, at best, modest.
Brain researchers have learned that acquiring a second language as an adolescent or adult is significantly more challenging than learning the language as a child because the child’s brain has more language plasticity. Consequently, children pick up a second language more quickly, do not have an English accent in the second language and do not have to mentally translate between English and the second language.
http://goo.gl/ncGKtR

In Utah, foreign language immersion becomes the norm
It is Utah’s quest to give all students the chance to become linguistically proficient and culturally competent by mainstreaming Dual Language Immersion programs for students of diverse abilities, across all socioeconomic categories and in large and small communities throughout the state.
Grand Forks (ND) Herald op-ed by Gregg Roberts, world languages specialist and dual language immersion specialist at the Utah State Office of Education, and Ofelia Wade, director of Utah’s Spanish Dual Language Program

SALT LAKE CITY — Monolingualism is the illiteracy of the 21st century. On today’s world stage, multilingual skills and cultural competence have taken the lead roles, as the 21st century showcases the emerging professionals of a future competitive global workforce.
Thus, it is Utah’s quest to give all students the chance to become linguistically proficient and culturally competent by mainstreaming Dual Language Immersion programs for students of diverse abilities, across all socioeconomic categories and in large and small communities throughout the state.
Utah’s statewide initiative is a lofty, ambitious and unprecedented effort to improve language skills in ways that address the state’s business, government and education needs.
http://goo.gl/1tZy2O

Education reforms, Obamacare destabilize state budgets
Deseret News op-ed by JaKell Sullivan, mother of two

In March 2009, President Barack Obama gave governors $53.6 billion from the “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund” contained in the federal stimulus package. The money was to be used in exchange for the adoption of four federal K-12 education reforms. These reforms constitute a massive new education entitlement program similar to Obamacare, and a dismantling of local control over education.
Governors were directed to spend the funds “quickly” in order to bolster the economy. This directive has allowed the federal government to remake K-12 education in three years time without public knowledge, without using our representative form of government and without vetting the ongoing costs to states.
The US Department of Education’s website details the four federal education reforms that 46 states are almost done implementing:
http://goo.gl/sJhYQj

AP courses worthwhile, but college credit not sure thing
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Kristine Hansen, professor of English at Brigham Young University

I join The Tribune in congratulating the 22,088 Utah students who took Advanced Placement courses and exams last spring (“AP high point,” Our View, Sept. 29). I took AP English and AP chemistry in high school, and I consider my AP teachers among the five most influential of my entire life.
However, after 37 years teaching college English (32 at BYU), I’ve learned that AP courses are best considered as preparation, not substitutes, for college courses. I caution high school students and parents who think to shave time and costs from college by loading up on AP courses and paying $89 each for AP tests. Buyer beware! You may not get what you think you’re paying for.
It’s true that many universities waive first-year courses on the basis of AP test scores of 3, 4, or 5. But college courses evolve, and AP courses and tests seldom evolve in sync with them, so The Tribune editors’ statement that “AP credits are accepted virtually anywhere” is simply not true.
http://goo.gl/ySGkLH

Utah science scores not comparable with a nation’s
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Rudi Kohler

The Trib editorial (“Science scores a bright light for Utah schools,” Our View, Oct. 29) gives praise to Utah eighth-grade students for their relative performance in international tests for science and math.
While credit is merited, it needs to be put into perspective. The comparison was made between a demographically favored state of about 3 million population against entire nations and Canadian provinces, most of which are many time larger.
http://goo.gl/aa6Qs9

Suicide prevention
Deseret News letter from Callie Allan

Suicide and mental illness are prevalent in young teens today, with suicide being the third leading cause of death among teens 15-19 years old. Suicide isn’t regarded as a big issue in the world, which concerns me.
Canyons School District is holding a seminar for parents to teach the signs that their child may be struggling.
http://goo.gl/LGkR7o

Stop bullying
Deseret News letter from Shauna Sampson

If parents knew more in depth of what went on in certain aspects of their children’s lives, a lot of bullying could be stopped.
When anyone today hears the word “bully,” it automatically has a negative connotation in their mind. But how many of us actually know what it is like to be bullied so badly you want to kill yourself? Not a lot of people know what that is like.
http://goo.gl/10JuYY

Dual immersion for deaf children?
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Curt Radford

As a deaf person, I was thrilled to see an article about the dual-immersion program at Bridger Elementary. It makes sense that there has been a “positive effect” on the children. Over the years I have been trying to convince parents, government officials, and school administrators that the dual-immersion approach could also be used with deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Several studies have found that deaf students with stronger American Sign Language (ASL) skills demonstrate stronger English literacy skills (e.g., reading comprehension, written narratives) than their peers with weaker ASL skills. There are also several studies comparing deaf children born to deaf parents (with presumably native ASL proficiency) with deaf children born to hearing parents (with presumably non-native ASL proficiency) and concluded that deaf children born to deaf parents outperform those deaf children born to hearing parents on different English tasks.
Having access to language is critical for any child, and it makes sense the dual language immersion is successful. If speech and hearing were such an important factor in language development then every child who could hear and speak well would have excellent English skills. You and I know this is not the case. Therefore, children should have opportunities to learn language in different modalities including a visual language such as ASL.
http://goo.gl/RvV38l

Contraceptive education
Deseret News letter from Brittany Christensen

A study done in Utah showed that one in four Utah teens had Chlamydia sometime during 2012. We need to start implementing a comprehensive sex education program that includes both abstinence and contraception.
By age 19, 70 percent of Americans have had intercourse. A multitude of studies show that abstinence-only programs increase the rate of teens having sex and the rate of those teens not using any form of contraception. Our state legislature is working on a bill that requires schools teach abstinence-only, or drop their sex education program altogether.
http://goo.gl/GWFeOu

Catholic Scholars Urge Bishops to Oppose Common Core
Education Week commentary by columnist Catherine Gewertz

A group of more than 100 Catholic scholars have signed a letter to the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops condeming the Common Core State Standards and urging the church leaders to resist adopting them, or abandon the standards if implementation has already begun implementation.
The letter’s 132 signatories include professors in many disciplines, including theology, philosophy, political science, and architecture. And they come from not only Catholic universities, such as Fordham University, but also private and public nonsectarian institutions like Princeton University and Texas State University. Bringing the scholars together is Gerard V. Bradley, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, who is circulating the letter, dated Oct. 16.
The letter notes something we reported to you last year—that the common core has caught on strongly in Catholic schools. More than 100 dioceses and archdioceses have embraced the standards in math and English/language arts. But Bradley and his co-signers argue that those educators are doing “a grave disservice to Catholic education in America.”
The signatories align themselves with the arguments of University of Arkansas professor Sandra Stotsky and Stanford professor emeritus R. James Milgram, who consider the new standards lacking in rigor sufficient to prepare students to do well in college.
http://goo.gl/bzaIcc

A copy of the letter
http://goo.gl/5SqNdb  (Meetup)

Poverty in America Is Mainstream
New York Times op-ed by MARK R. RANK, co-author of the forthcoming book “Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes our Fortunes”

Few topics in American society have more myths and stereotypes surrounding them than poverty, misconceptions that distort both our politics and our domestic policy making.
They include the notion that poverty affects a relatively small number of Americans, that the poor are impoverished for years at a time, that most of those in poverty live in inner cities, that too much welfare assistance is provided and that poverty is ultimately a result of not working hard enough. Although pervasive, each assumption is flat-out wrong.
Contrary to popular belief, the percentage of the population that directly encounters poverty is exceedingly high. My research indicates that nearly 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 will experience at least one year below the official poverty line during that period ($23,492 for a family of four), and 54 percent will spend a year in poverty or near poverty (below 150 percent of the poverty line).
Even more astounding, if we add in related conditions like welfare use, near-poverty and unemployment, four out of five Americans will encounter one or more of these events.
In addition, half of all American children will at some point during their childhood reside in a household that uses food stamps for a period of time.
Put simply, poverty is a mainstream event experienced by a majority of Americans.
http://goo.gl/4GtEkZ

Ninth Grade: The Most Important Year in High School
Freshman year is essential in deciding whether a student drops out or stays in school.
Atlantic commentary by MICHELE WILLENS, journalist, playwright, and the editor of Face It: What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change

Educators are increasingly focusing on the ninth grade as the year that determines whether a young person will move on or drop out of school. According to research published in the journal Education, ninth graders have the lowest grade point average, the most missed classes, the majority of failing grades, and more misbehavior referrals than any other high-school grade level. Ninth grade has increasingly become a “bottleneck” for students: A joint report from Princeton University and the Brookings Institution found “in 1970, there were 3 percent fewer tenth graders than ninth graders; by 2000, that share had risen to 11 percent.”
“More and more of us are realizing that it’s the make or break year for many 14- and 15-year-olds,” says Jon Zaff, director of the Center for Promise at Tufts University. “It’s a time when the cognitive, emotional, and physical are all coming together. The schools are likely new environments, and the students have more autonomy and more homework.”
Not only are youths entering the intimidating institution that is high school, they are experiencing the usual adolescent angst and depending on poor decision-making skills.
http://goo.gl/1IVoeH

Congress Passes EpiPen Bill to Fight Allergy Attacks in Schools
Education Week commentary by columnist Ross Brenneman

Congress passed a bill today(!) that would help fund school efforts to fight allergy attacks.
The U.S. Department of Education currently offers grant money to states in which schools are taking steps to prepare for asthma attacks. Under the newly passed H.R. 2094, though, the department would prioritize those funds to benefit states wherein schools also prepare for allergy attacks by having a stock of epinephrine (EpiPen), and staff trained to use it.
The U.S. House of Representative passed the bill in late July, but other, um, legislative priorities have taken up Congress’ time during the intervening months. But as Alyson Klein details at Politics K-12, the Senate education committee approved the bill this week, and the full Senate followed swiftly through a vote of unanimous consent.
http://goo.gl/YLqNba

Will Studying Math Make You Richer?
A Fed study says yes. You should be smart enough to be skeptical—especially if you studied math.
Atlantic commentary by columnist DEREK THOMPSON

Students who advance further in high school math have higher wages and are less likely to be unemployed, according to a new study from the Cleveland Fed. So when Noah Smith and Miles Kimball say there is a “math person” in all of us, listen up.
The study shows that advancing past Algebra II correlates strongly with finishing high school, graduating from college, and thriving in the workforce.
http://goo.gl/yYHAPI

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Colorado Is Asking Taxpayers for $1 Billion to Help Schools
New York Times

DENVER — In one poor school district in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, students take classes in a bus garage, using plastic sheeting to keep the diesel fumes at bay. In another, there is no more money to tutor young immigrants struggling to read. And just south of Denver, a district where one in four kindergartners is homeless has cut 10 staff positions and is bracing for another cull.
For decades, schools like these have struggled to keep pace with their bigger and wealthier neighbors. On Tuesday, Colorado will try to address those problems with one of the most ambitious and sweeping education overhauls in the country, asking voters to approve a $1 billion tax increase in exchange for more school funding and an educator’s wish-list of measures.
The effort has touched off a fevered debate in a state that two decades ago passed one of the nation’s strictest limits on taxes and spending. It is emerging as the latest test of whether Democrats can persuade voters to embrace higher taxes by tying them to school funding.
Outside money is pouring into the state.
http://goo.gl/V8NuDR

Koch group, unions battle over Colorado schools race
Politico

It isn’t often that the Koch brothers’ political advocacy group gets involved in a local school board race.
But this fall, Americans for Prosperity is spending big in the wealthy suburbs south of Denver to influence voters in the Douglas County School District, which has gone further than any district in the nation to reshape public education into a competitive, free-market enterprise.
The conservatives who control the board have neutered the teachers union, prodded neighborhood elementary schools to compete with one another for market share, directed tax money to pay for religious education and imposed a novel pay scale that values teachers by their subjects, so a young man teaching algebra to eighth graders can make $20,000 a year more than a colleague teaching world history down the hall.
Conservatives across the U.S. see Douglas County as a model for transforming public schools everywhere. But with four of seven seats on the board up for grabs in Tuesday’s election, reformers find themselves fending off a spirited challenge from a coalition of angry parents and well-funded teachers unions. The race has been nasty and pricey, too; spending from all parties is likely to hit at least $800,000.
http://goo.gl/LRF4nP

http://goo.gl/heg9Qn (Denver Post)

US public investment falls to lowest level since war
Financial Times

Public investment in the US has hit its lowest level since demobilisation after the second world war because of Republican success in stymieing President Barack Obama’s push for more spending on infrastructure, science and education.
Gross capital investment by the public sector has dropped to just 3.6 per cent of US output compared with a postwar average of 5 per cent, according to figures compiled by the Financial Times, as austerity bites in the world’s largest economy.
Republicans in the House of Representatives have managed to shrink the US state with their constant demands for spending cuts, even though their uncompromising tactics have exacted a political price, with their approval ratings in Congress at record lows.
Democrats control the White House and the Senate and made no substantial concessions in October’s battle over the government shutdown but Mr Obama is still far from one of the main economic goals of his presidency.
The figures underline how across-the-board budget cuts are threatening future growth, as the axe falls heavily on federal investments that boost output, rather than transfers such as pensions and healthcare for the elderly.

Public investment picked up at the start of Mr Obama’s term – temporarily rising to its highest level since the early 1990s – because of his fiscal stimulus. But that has been more than reversed by subsequent cuts. The biggest falls are in infrastructure, especially construction of schools and highways by states and municipalities.
Federal funding for research and development has only fallen modestly so far but will decline much further under any budget path that continues sequestration. That threatens a fundamental source of productivity growth for the whole global economy because so many scientific breakthroughs are funded by US bodies such as the National Institutes of Health.
Although the intuition of most economists and businesspeople is that failure to invest in infrastructure will be bad for growth, the evidence is quite mixed, and it is hard to pin down what the “correct” level of public investment should be.
Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research at the Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities said: “Schools and transportation networks – these things are fundamental building blocks of a state’s economy. If a state’s unable to make investments in these things then its long-term growth will suffer.”
http://goo.gl/tLx14U

Fla. gets more than 19,000 comments on standards
Associated Press via Education Week

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to review the state’s new school standards triggered an avalanche of comments, suggestions and protest from parents, teachers and residents.
When the Florida Department of Education finally stopped accepting comments on Thursday at midnight, more than 19,000 had been filed. Three public hearings were also held around the state that went on for hours as some critics derided the standards as anti-American or part of a strategy to force school children to take more high-stakes testing.
Scott asked for the hearings and review of the standards amid a growing backlash, much of coming it from conservative activists and the Republican Party of Florida.
The question now is whether or not state officials will alter — or abandon outright — the standards based on the flood of comments.
http://goo.gl/MYfosP

Common Core’s Promise Collides With IEP Realities
Special education teachers struggle to make sure individualized education programs align with standards
Education Week

One of the most promising elements of common academic standards for students with disabilities, say experts in special education, is that they offer explicit connections from one set of skills to another.
That is particularly important for students served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. For years, the law has pushed schools and districts to provide students access to the same academic curriculum available to the general school population. One way to do that, the law says, is through “standards-based” individualized education programs, or IEPs, instead of educational plans that focus mostly on skills that do not connect to a cohesive academic goal.
But the promise of the Common Core State Standards now being implemented by all but four states is colliding with the reality that teachers are struggling to encapsulate actionable goals in an IEP.
http://goo.gl/ZqsEb8

Critics worry Common Core results to become part of national database
(Missoula, MT) Missoulian

HELENA – As Montana public schools students take English and math assessment tests linked to new Common Core standards, the state and school districts will keep records of the test results.
Critics of the standards say they’re concerned that these and other student data, under rules related to Common Core, could become part of a national database on students.
“The (federal government) may make requests of data, and we have to provide it,” says Debra Lamm, a private education consultant from Livingston. “I’m not saying they have it right now today, but from everything I’ve pieced together, it appears to me they will have access to student-level data.”
State and local school officials say the only “student-level data” from Montana that are or will be provided to the U.S. Department of Education are aggregate information, showing how schools, school districts, demographic groups within schools and the state as a whole performed on tests or other programs.
An individual student’s information is not transmitted to the feds, they say.
http://goo.gl/3PQRqE

Criminal Case Puts Focus on Bullying Laws
Stateline

Once considered a teenage rite of passage, bullying is now the subject of hundreds of state laws and a rallying cry for pundits, parents and celebrities.
The stakes are high — many teens who commit suicide experienced at least some bullying. Bullying by itself does not cause suicide, according to a research review conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But researchers found that youth who are bullied are more likely to be depressed, think about suicide and actually attempt suicide.
Coming up with a workable plan to stop bullying has proven difficult. The approaches are all over the map. For instance, Illinois requires schools to do social-emotional learning exercises to prevent bullying. During the exercises, students describe their emotions during a stressful event or recognize the emotional reactions to stress.
On the punishment side, five states don’t have any sanctions for bullying in their anti-bullying laws, while 12 states include a criminal sanction for bullies, ranging from school suspension to jail time, according to an analysis of state bullying laws from the Cyberbullying Research Center.
Montana is the only state with no law to address bullying.
The criminal side of these laws is generating controversy in Florida.
http://goo.gl/kJ2bzc

Thieves swipe school-issued iPads
As tablets and laptops land in young hands, thieves are targeting schools and students.
USA Today

For two years, the parent-teacher association at River Glen School in San Jose, Calif., scraped together donated dollars and grant money to buy technology for every classroom, hoping to close the gap between rich and poor students. Then, in one night, burglars walked away with half of what they had worked for.
“We had come so far,” said Michele Bertolone, who leads the parent fundraising committee and is the parent of a fourth-grader. “The community was excited … and the students were getting in a groove.”
Last weekend, someone took two lockable security carts from the computer lab, police said. One held 30 laptops. The other held 30 iPads. Nothing has been recovered.
Such break-ins are becoming an issue at the small but growing number of schools across the USA that are bringing more technology into the classrooms.
http://goo.gl/AR8g2f

Schools near Fort Riley, other Army posts facing review
Associated Press via Kansas City Star

TOPEKA — Army Chief of Staff Raymond Odierno is putting states and school districts on notice that the schools near Army posts, including those in Kansas, will be evaluated to determine how well they are meeting student needs.
The findings will be used as the Army considers where to station soldiers and their families. Odierno made the announcement at the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting on Oct. 21 during a discussion about meeting soldiers’ needs.
“We have to identify those schools that are underperforming, whether it be elementary schools, middle schools or high schools,” Odierno said “I’ve actually asked for an evaluation of every school outside of every Army installation.”
http://goo.gl/myc2zI

Military Bases Open Their Doors to Home-schoolers
Associated Press

ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. (AP) — A growing number of military parents want to end the age-old tradition of switching schools for their kids.
They’ve embraced homeschooling, and are finding support on bases, which are providing resources for families and opening their doors for home schooling cooperatives and other events.
“If there’s a military installation, there’s very likely home-schoolers there if you look,” said Nicole McGhee, 31, of Cameron, N.C., a mother of three with a husband stationed at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg who runs a Facebook site on military home schooling.
At Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, the library sported special presentations for home-schoolers on Benjamin Franklin and static electricity. Fort Bragg offers daytime taekwondo classes. At Fort Belvoir, Va., there are athletic events and a parent-led chemistry lab.
http://goo.gl/0gFFWQ

The Education Faculty
Inside Higher Ed

Schools of education need to improve the way they evaluate faculty members — whether on or off the tenure track — according to two reports released Friday by the American Educational Research Association.
One report, on evaluating faculty members for tenure and promotion, finds that significant changes are needed in how teaching and research are evaluated. The other report says that faculty members off the tenure track deserve “appropriate conditions of professional employment and support.”
The report on tenure-track faculty members suggested significant shifts in all parts of the evaluation process.
http://goo.gl/VpZAdx

Report: Idling motors outside schools are dangerous
Cincinnati Enquirer

When children walk into their school building, they may pass through some of the dirtiest air on their travel from home to class.
A recently published study by a researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and three other community organizations not only proves this is the case, it also points the way to reduce the exposure – simply turn off the engines of idling buses and cars.
“The concentration of air pollutants near schools often significantly exceeds background levels in the community, particularly when idling school buses are present,” said Patrick Ryan, the Children’s researcher who was the lead author of the study. “Anti-idling campaigns are frequently attempted to improve air quality, but until now, no one has evaluated how effective they are.”
http://goo.gl/LT0ok4

Strength training may boost kids’ activity: study
Reuters

NEW YORK – Whether children can and should participate in strength training has been a contentious issue. But new research suggests it is safe and may encourage young people to be more active in their everyday lives.
Researchers randomly assigned one group of 10- to 14-year-olds to strength train twice a week and others to go to their typical gym classes.
After a few months, kids who did squats, crunches and bench presses were stronger than their classmates. And boys who did strength training had upped their weekly exercise by 10 percent.
“The initial idea was that training increases children’s motivation to be physically active,” said Dr. Udo Meinhardt. He led the study at the PEZZ Center for Pediatric Endocrinology in Zurich, Switzerland.
He said the program was both simple and cheap to put in place.
http://goo.gl/JREUI3

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

November 1:
Education Task Force meeting
9 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2013/html/00003806.htm

November 6:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
9 a.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2013&Com=APPPED

November 7-8:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspxpr

November 14:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/Mu36l

November 19:
Executive Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2013&com=APPEXE

November 20:
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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