Education News Roundup: Dec. 5, 2013

Northwest Middle School eighth grade math class.

Roger Haglund’s eighth grade math class at Northwest Middle School.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visits Northwest Middle School to see how they turned around academic performance.

http://goo.gl/Kjw8sn (SLT)

and http://goo.gl/Snmn1G (CVD)

and http://goo.gl/2VCgzf (KUTV)

Utah State Board of Education will take up the issue of educator misconduct tomorrow.

http://goo.gl/ADr8H2 (DN)

and http://goo.gl/3GCW8x (KSL)

Logan offers stipend to its employees.

http://goo.gl/ov1B6M (LHJ)

Davidson professors are working on online AP classes.

http://goo.gl/m5yr8f (NYT)

and http://goo.gl/RZCqdw (WaPo)

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

Tech, teacher bonuses, data help transform Utah middle school Education » With students for just two years, ‘We work like our hair is on fire,’ principal says.

State School Board to review teacher misconduct policies

Logan School District to give employees extra holiday stipend

Local journalists join father asking Canyons School District to release security video

New GED Tests Focus on College, Career Readiness

Parents concerned about lockdown protocol after Tooele incident

Snow causes icy commute, canceled school

Gov. Herbert spotlights WSU science building on state budget

Utah third-graders ready to ‘read to learn’ with new dictionaries

Area high schools prepare Christmas shows

Signing Santa Claus brings cheer to students from school for deaf

A + Teacher of the Week

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Plan selected for OHS pool not in community’s interest

Teachers Union Blame Game

The Most Notable Education Stories of 2013 The year in review

Wall Street is designing the future of public education as a money-making machine Why are finance types investing in local school board elections? Just follow the money

NATION

Cabinet official wants nation, Nevada to examine commitment to education Education secretary pays daylong visit to Las Vegas

Oklahoma Gov. Fallin signs executive order supplementing Common Core standards in education Gov. Mary Fallin signed an executive order Wednesday aimed at increasing academic rigor and addressing concerns of federal intrusion into the state’s education system.

Professors in Deal to Design Online Lessons for A.P. Classes

How one school turned homework on its head with ‘flipped’ instruction

Glenda Ritz says movement afoot to oust her as ed board chairwoman

State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax

Child killed in Idaho school bus accident, four more hurt

These Days, School Lunch Hours Are More Like 15 Minutes

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UTAH NEWS

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Tech, teacher bonuses, data help transform Utah middle school Education » With students for just two years, ‘We work like our hair is on fire,’ principal says.

The 780 students at Northwest Middle School face myriad challenges.

                Ninety-two percent come from low-income homes and 87 percent are ethnic minorities. Nearly two-thirds don’t speak English at home.

                And yet, three years after receiving a $2.3 million multiyear school-improvement grant, the west-side Salt Lake City school has risen from the bottom to the top tier of Utah junior high and middle schools in student achievement.

                The remarkable turnaround at Northwest is drawing national attention: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is touring the school on Thursday and engaging parents, students and educators in an hourlong discussion.

                “In a short amount of time, not decades, you had radically, radically different results,” he said at the school Thursday morning. “I want to hear that story, about how you guys have done this.”

http://goo.gl/Kjw8sn (SLT)

http://goo.gl/Snmn1G (CVD)

http://goo.gl/2VCgzf (KUTV)

State School Board to review teacher misconduct policies

                SALT LAKE CITY — The stories are particularly alarming: teachers intoxicated in the classroom, teachers physically or verbally abusing children and teachers carrying on inappropriate or sexual relationships with their students.

                But as state education officials review individual cases of misconduct, questions arise about what actions are necessary and when, if ever, a former educator should be allowed back into the classroom.

                During Friday’s Board of Education meeting, the board is scheduled to receive recommendations from the Utah Professional Practices Advisory Committee, which reviews cases of teacher misconduct, as well as recommendations from a task force charged with examining teacher licensing policies.

http://goo.gl/ADr8H2 (DN)

http://goo.gl/3GCW8x (KSL)

Logan School District to give employees extra holiday stipend

                Employees of the Logan City School District will receive a one-time stipend in time for the holiday season. The Logan City Board of Education approved the holiday stipend during its last meeting.

                “As we’re finalizing our audit, it has been determined that there is a surplus this year,” said Marshal Garrett, superintendent of the Logan City School District. “And as has been traditional, this board has always directed the administration to review to see how much of that could go back as a one-time stipend to our employees.”

                The stipend amount will be 1 percent of the employee’s yearly salary, with a minimum of $25, and will be added to the payroll disbursed before the holiday break.

http://goo.gl/ov1B6M (LHJ)

Local journalists join father asking Canyons School District to release security video

                SALT LAKE CITY — A local organization of journalists has joined a Cottonwood Heights man in calling on Canyons School District to release security camera footage of an altercation between students.

                According to court documents, Roger Bryner filed a records request with the school district after his son was involved in a fight at school. His request was denied by district officials, who claimed the video constituted an “educational record” and was protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.

                The school district’s decision was upheld in district court, and Bryner’s case will now go before the Utah Court of Appeals.

                On Wednesday, the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists filed an amicus brief with the court calling for the video to be released.

http://goo.gl/2DKnAR (DN)

http://goo.gl/7VOcre (KSL)

New GED Tests Focus on College, Career Readiness

                Next year, thousands of Americans will take the GED test and obtain a certificate that’s equal to a high school diploma.  But come January 1st the test will be a much different experience. The GED Testing Service has announced a new exam for 2014 that focuses more on college and career readiness and less on high school completion.

                Marty Kelly is the education coordinator for alternative and adult education and GED testing services at the Utah State Office of Education.  She says the content of this new series of tests is geared more toward critical thinking.

                “In the past it’s been regurgitation of information,” Kelly says. “But now it is taking it to the next level. How would you apply this math equation to this type of a situation? Can you critically think and convey those thoughts concisely?”

http://goo.gl/0avElA

Parents concerned about lockdown protocol after Tooele incident

                TOOELE COUNTY — Following a three-school lockdown in Tooele County Tuesday, one mother fears her daughter faced an unnecessary risk, especially if a dangerous situation had materialized.

                “I just want something done,” said Christina Thompson, whose daughter is a senior at Stansbury High School. “I don’t want anything happening to the kids.”

                As it turned out, no students were in danger, and the lockdown was lifted after an hour, but the district and police are taking a close look at lessons they might learn from the lockdown.

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

Snow causes icy commute, canceled school

                SALT LAKE CITY — Motorists were warned to expect a slick-in-spots and potentially slow commute Wednesday morning.

                Cold air moving in from the north sent a chill down the Wasatch Front following Tuesday’s snowstorm. While the snowfall overnight was not as strong in many places as Tuesday, wet roads froze, creating slick spots.

                …

                Uintah County Schools were canceled Wednesday due to the severe snow fall and bad weather conditions. Many of the kids took advantage of the snow day and went sledding near the Dinaland Golf Course.

http://goo.gl/a918p2 (KSL)

Gov. Herbert spotlights WSU science building on state budget

                PROVO — Gov. Gary Herbert unveiled a $13.3 billion budget for the 2015 fiscal year on Wednesday, which includes funding for a new science building at Weber State University as well as approximately $169 million in new revenue for the state’s public school systems.

                …

                As he outlined the budget, the governor spent most of his time talking about education. He said the budget anticipated $338 million in new funds for the coming fiscal year, and the majority of that is going to education.

                He noted the state public school system is expected to grow by more than 10,000 students next year, but he said there is $64 million in the budget to address those new students as well as funding to raise the weighted pupil unit (WPU) — the formula used to fund most public school programs — by $61.6 million.

http://goo.gl/B9YbCe (OSE)

http://goo.gl/f2bs5c (UPC)

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

http://goo.gl/MDb97I (KUER)

Utah third-graders ready to ‘read to learn’ with new dictionaries

                SALT LAKE CITY — More than 70 third-graders at Nibley Park School excitedly thumbed through brand-new dictionaries with their names on them Wednesday morning.

                After a dictionary chase contest to find the word “lexicon,” the students had time to flip through their dictionaries. Some bounced from definition to definition, while others wondered at the periodic table. Some students, such as Nathaniel Bronson, tried to copy the alphabet in sign language.

                Third-grader Joel Clemens looked up the word “birthday” and read about the presidents of the United States. He recently finished reading all 50 books in the “Magic Tree House” series and said he sometimes finds words he doesn’t know.

                “I try to sound it out or something. I’ll use my dictionary to look up words I don’t know, so I can learn more words,” Joel said.

                The dictionaries were distributed by the Sugar House Rotary Club as part of a nationwide dictionary project.

http://goo.gl/oyEckq (DN)

Area high schools prepare Christmas shows

                With choirs caroling, drummers drumming and dancers swirling in colorful costumes, local high schools will showcase their performing arts groups during the holiday season.

http://goo.gl/QU2hfq (PDH)

Signing Santa Claus brings cheer to students from school for deaf

                SALT LAKE CITY — Students from the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf spent time with a Santa Claus who communicated in sign language at City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, Wednesday.

http://goo.gl/JsLeXp (DN)

A + Teacher of the Week

                Grace Davis teaches second grade at Endeavor Hall Charter School in West Valley City, and she was named FOX 13 News’ A + Teacher of the Week.

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

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Plan selected for OHS pool not in community’s interest

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Charles E. Putnam

                OSD board members who voted against plan C pool option, thanks! (Nov. 30, “Board selects plan C for OHS pool upgrade”).

                As a parent of an OHS swim team member, I understand the draw board members had for plan C, but it appears that there is a lack of research and common sense.  Plan C is great if all you care about is having the prestige of 8 lanes, and this appears to be the allure most board members got caught up in.

                However, the real loss with plan C is to the community and to OHS. Plan C strips revenue brought in by swimming lessons, family use, private swim teams like Piranhas. Also, OHS will no longer be able to use it for PE classes.

http://goo.gl/MKByCT

Teachers Union Blame Game

Wall Street Journal commentary by columnist JASON L. RILEY

                The teacher unions’ response to the mediocre performance of American students on international tests has been instructive. American kids are in the middle of the pack in science and reading and lag badly in math, according to the latest Program for International Students Assessment (PISA), which surveys 15-year-old students in developed nations.

                Asked to explain the results, Dennis Van Roekel of the National Education Association cited “the effects of poverty.” And Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers said that America’s PISA performance shows that “this kind of top-down, testing, testing, testing, choice and competition actually hasn’t moved the needle.”

http://goo.gl/Fv9IWE

The Most Notable Education Stories of 2013 The year in review Atlantic commentary by ALEXANDER RUSSO, author of a forthcoming book about the evolution of the school-reform movement

                Here are some of the stories that dominated the education conversation this year—and will likely shape discussions for years to come.

http://goo.gl/URuXJp

Wall Street is designing the future of public education as a money-making machine Why are finance types investing in local school board elections? Just follow the money Salon.com commentary by columnist ANNA SIMONTON

                Given that Arthur Rock has a net worth of $1 billion, lives in California and spends his time heaping money on tech startups (with the mantra, “Get in, get out,” as his guide), a local school board race in Atlanta, Ga. seems an unlikely candidate for his attention.

                Yet there is his name, on the campaign finance disclosure reports of four candidates—two of whom were elected in November, and two who won a runoff on December 3—for the board of Atlanta Public Schools. On each report, two columns over from his name, the sum of $2,500 is listed, the maximum allowable amount.

                The APS race was a pivotal one for Atlanta, a city still dealing with the fallout of acheating scandal that thrust its public school system into the national limelight. Only two incumbents were re-elected to the nine-seat board.

                The biggest question facing the board of newcomers is to what degree they will embrace charter schools. Last year, Georgia voters passed a constitutional amendment that enabled the creation of a state-appointed commission authorized to bypass local and state school boards in approving new charter schools. Critics say the measure passed because the text on the ballot, written by governor Nathan Deal, referenced “parental involvement” and “student achievement,” but not the specific authorities of the commission. In this climate, APS, which already has the most charter schools of any Georgia school district, will only avoid becoming the next laboratory for corporate education reform with significant pushback from the new school board.

                That’s where Arthur Rock comes in. And a lot of other rich people, too.

http://goo.gl/98q96A

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Cabinet official wants nation, Nevada to examine commitment to education Education secretary pays daylong visit to Las Vegas

                U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Wednesday during a visit to Las Vegas, urged Nevada to invest more in education.

                The nation’s top education official was in town to speak at two national conferences, one for financial-aid officers and the other for career and technical schoolteachers. In between his speaking engagements, Duncan visited a local elementary school and high school. He also participated in a panel discussion and town hall about the state of education in the United States.

                Duncan’s visit came a day after an international report found American students performed below counterparts in many Asian and European countries in math, reading and science. It also came several weeks after a federal report found Nevada fourth- and eighth-graders scored below the national average in reading and math.

http://goo.gl/koRUW8

Oklahoma Gov. Fallin signs executive order supplementing Common Core standards in education Gov. Mary Fallin signed an executive order Wednesday aimed at increasing academic rigor and addressing concerns of federal intrusion into the state’s education system.

(Oklahoma City) Oklahoman

                Gov. Mary Fallin signed an executive order Wednesday she hopes will address concerns of federal intrusion into schools, as well as create more rigorous and localized academic standards.

                Fallin said the order makes it clear that the state’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards is not a federal program.

                “We certainly don’t want Washington telling us how to teach our students,” said Fallin. “And, unfortunately, Washington does not always get that message.”

http://goo.gl/R10jDG

Professors in Deal to Design Online Lessons for A.P. Classes New York Times

                To ease the way for students grappling with certain key concepts, professors at Davidson College in North Carolina will design online lessons for high school students in Advanced Placement courses in calculus, physics and macroeconomics and make them widely available through the College Board and edX, a nonprofit online education venture.

                “We joined edX in May, specifically because many of our faculty wanted to work on this Advanced Placement project,” said Carol Quillen, the president of Davidson. “They see kids come into their introductory classes, year after year after year, and get stuck on certain concepts, like the Phillips curve in macroeconomics, and they wanted to create some interactive online units that teachers could use to help teach the hardest ideas.”

                The Davidson faculty involved in the project had already worked with the College Board, grading or writing Advanced Placement exams or teaching summer workshops for A.P. high school teachers. Now, using the College Board’s data from the Advanced Placement exams in the three subjects, and working with teachers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, they are preparing modules on the trickiest concepts in each subject, including a video lesson and assignments.

                High school teachers will be able to use them in their classes or assign them as homework. And the lessons will also be available online on the edX platform for students trying to learn the subject independently.

http://goo.gl/m5yr8f

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

How one school turned homework on its head with ‘flipped’ instruction NewsHour

                CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Walk the halls of Clintondale High School, just north of Detroit, and the school doesn’t appear out of the ordinary. You’d find the typical smells and the sprawling nondescript interior, as well as the persistent challenges confronting many American public high schools serving mostly low-income students.

                Yet, there’s a stark difference in the way instruction is delivered. Clintondale is the nation’s first completely flipped school, meaning teachers record lectures for students to watch online outside of class, and what was once considered homework is now done during classtime, allowing students to work through assignments together and ask teachers for help if they run into questions.

http://goo.gl/v2l1tN

Glenda Ritz says movement afoot to oust her as ed board chairwoman Indianapolis (IN) Star

                After a meeting Wednesday to resolve infighting on the state board of education, schools chief Glenda Ritz accused the governor’s education officials of trying to overthrow her leadership — an accusation the governor’s office denied.

                “Their goal,” said Ritz, “is to remove me as the chair in legislative session and, if not that way, then doing it through the board operating procedures.”

                As state superintendent of public instruction, Ritz chairs the board. But Ritz, a Democrat, has increasingly clashed with other board members, who were appointed by Republican Gov. Mike Pence and his GOP predecessor.

                In apparent support of her contention, the Department of Education released a policy document Wednesday from the governor’s Center for Education and Career Innovation – an agency that’s at the root, she has said, of her conflict with Pence.

                The document, sent between CECI officials in October, calls the superintendent’s chairmanship of the board a “problem.”

http://goo.gl/pbpchF

State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax

(Manchester) Guardian

                Conservative groups across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers’ compensation and the environment, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

                The strategy for the state-level organisations, which describe themselves as “free-market thinktanks”, includes proposals from six different states for cuts in public sector pensions, campaigns to reduce the wages of government workers and eliminate income taxes, school voucher schemes to counter public education, opposition to Medicaid, and a campaign against regional efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.

                The policy goals are contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.

                The documents contain 40 funding proposals from 34 states, providing a blueprint for the conservative agenda in 2014.

http://goo.gl/TZtMv3

Child killed in Idaho school bus accident, four more hurt Reuters

                SALMON, Idaho – An 11-year-old boy was killed and four more children injured on Thursday when a bus carrying elementary school students in Idaho collided with a dump truck at a rural intersection, a state police spokeswoman said.

                The school bus was transporting 12 students, all sixth grade or younger and none wearing seat belts, to an elementary school, when the crash occurred at around 8 a.m. on a country road near the city of Nampa, west of Boise.

                The boy, whose name was withheld pending notification of extended family, died from blunt force trauma, said Canyon County Coroner Vicki DeGeus-Morris.

http://goo.gl/YSgWcL

http://goo.gl/l24tZH (AP)

These Days, School Lunch Hours Are More Like 15 Minutes NPR All Things Considered

                …

                The school lunch hour in America is a long-gone relic. At many public schools today, kids are lucky to get more than 15 minutes to eat. Some get even less time.

                And parents and administrators are concerned that a lack of time to eat is unhealthful, especially given that about one-third of American kids are overweight or obese.

http://goo.gl/JsdN3m

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CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

                http://tinyurl.com/5x9oh9

UEN News

        http://www.uen.org

December 5-6:

                Utah State Board of Education meeting

                250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

                http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspxpr

December 10:

                Education Task Force meeting

                8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol

                http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2013&com=TSKEDU

                Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

                1:30 p.m., 445 State Capitol

                http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2013&com=APPEXE

 

 

December 12:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://goo.gl/Mu36l

 

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