Education News Roundup: Jan. 10, 2014

 

Education News Roundup

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066Cockcroft070704/JISC/CC/flickr

Today’s Top Picks:

Utah State Board of Education votes to back Sen. Reid on his intergenerational poverty bill.
http://goo.gl/noHkoU  (DN)

You’ve read a lot about cyberbullying and school violence nationwide. Utah State Board of Education steps up to take some action locally.
Cyberbullying.
http://goo.gl/A8aT01  (SLT)
A copy of the proposed rule
http://goo.gl/PJb6g3  (USOE)
School violence:
http://goo.gl/LLiJCb  (SLT)
A copy of the proposed rule
http://goo.gl/x1hmiG  (USOE)

Hechinger Report looks at blended learning in California.
http://goo.gl/bl7X9n  (HR)

Huffington Post does an extended piece on how the Common Core became the boogeyman.
http://goo.gl/jYhDwp  (HuffPo)

NBC Learn gets STEM aficionados ready for the Olympics with the science behind winter sports.
http://goo.gl/f45EJM  (Ed Week)
or NBC Learn website
http://goo.gl/4YN4L3

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

School board supports bill targeting poverty through after-school education

Proposed warning: Utah cyberbullies can face expulsion, police Education » A proposed rule change would require Utah schools to alert students to the possible consequences for cyberbullying.

Utah schools may have to hold more violence drills

Teenage boy arrested for posting threats against school on social media

Schools earn over $10K by saving energy

First Wind contributes to schools near its wind farms

KUTV And Utah School Districts Gear Up For Souper Bowl Of Caring

KHS student earns $100 through Zions Pays for A’s program

A time to dance: Drill teams show off skills

Inside Our Schools

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Common Core origins sketchy

The Yellow School Bus: A Model for Equity

State Pre-K Funding – 2013-14 Fiscal Year

NATION

Civil rights groups target Florida’s race-based educational goals

Will co-teaching with computers improve student learning?

How The Common Core Became Education’s Biggest Bogeyman

Teacher’s union to call for vote of no-confidence in education commissioner

CNN analysis: Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders

‘You Have to Know History to Actually Teach It’
An interview with Eric Foner, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.

Parent involvement can help kids get more active

NBC Learn Launches Video Series on ‘Science of the 2014 Olympics’

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UTAH NEWS
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School board supports bill targeting poverty through after-school education

SALT LAKE CITY — At-risk students would have the opportunity to participate in two hours of additional schooling each day under the terms of a bill formally supported Thursday by the State School Board.
The unnumbered bill, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, calls for $5 million to create a program that would allow elementary schools to apply for a grant to provide extended-day services to the children of families affected by intergenerational poverty.
“We focus primarily on adults, believing that it will trickle down, but it doesn’t work,” Reid said of the ongoing war on poverty. “The approach I thought we would venture out into is to have a data-driven approach so it’s based on facts, based on the data, with a focus on children.”
http://goo.gl/noHkoU  (DN)

Proposed warning: Utah cyberbullies can face expulsion, police Education » A proposed rule change would require Utah schools to alert students to the possible consequences for cyberbullying.

Utah schools might soon have to put kids on notice that they could be expelled or even referred to police if they use their personal cellphones or computers to bully others.
The state school board gave preliminary approval Thursday to a rule that requires school policies to address how students and employees may and may not use their school-owned and private electronic devices.
Much of what the rule lays out is already practiced at many Utah schools, but the rule would ask districts to make it official, if they haven’t already, so students and parents know what to expect.
“The thinking was that there are potential … consequences both administrative and criminal for students, so they should be warned about them,” said Carol Lear, director of school law and legislation at the State Office of Education.
The rule would require district policies to inform students that there may be “administrative or criminal penalties” for misusing electronic devices at school. It would also require those polices to inform students that if they use their personal devices inappropriately they may be confiscated.
Perhaps most notably, the policies would alert parents and students that if kids use their privately-owned electronic devices to bully or harass other students or employees, and that disrupts school or a school-sponsored activity, officials may impose penalties up to expulsion and may notify police.
http://goo.gl/A8aT01  (SLT)

A copy of the proposed rule
http://goo.gl/PJb6g3  (USOE)

Utah schools may have to hold more violence drills

Fire drills aren’t the only types of drills Utah schools might soon be required to hold regularly.
The state school board gave initial approval Friday to a rule that would require schools to alternate fire drills with either earthquake drills or violence lock downs.
Until now, alternating between fire drills and other types of drills has been optional for Utah schools, which have been required to hold other types of drills once a year. Utah elementary schools are required to hold drills once a month, and secondary schools once every other month.
http://goo.gl/LLiJCb  (SLT)

A copy of the proposed rule
http://goo.gl/x1hmiG  (USOE)

Teenage boy arrested for posting threats against school on social media

A teenage boy was arrested Thursday for posting threatening statements on the Internet.
The boy posted threats against Bingham High School and its students Wednesday on a social media site, according to the South Jordan Police Department. Someone noticed the comments Wednesday evening and reported them to police.
Investigators tracked the boy down Thursday, police say. South Jordan Sgt. Samuel Winkler said the boy is a resident of South Jordan and a student at Bingham High. Winkler did not have information about the specific threats the boy made, saying only that they were broadly directed at the school.
http://goo.gl/I1KTW3  (SLT)

http://goo.gl/ZlEsbb  (DN)

http://goo.gl/NxNLw0  (KUTV)

http://goo.gl/mLM6f8  (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/wey1dp  (KSL)

Schools earn over $10K by saving energy

SALT LAKE CITY — A pledge to save energy turned into much more in the Salt Lake School District. Three schools decided to be more energy efficient and saw big returns.
The challenge was Go Green Get Green, and for five months the staff and students at Salt Lake’s three high schools — East, Highland, and West — went above and beyond to conserve energy. The goal was to reduce power consumption by up to 30 percent.
http://goo.gl/my3TEt  (KSL)

First Wind contributes to schools near its wind farms

First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, says it has once again partnered with teachers in local classrooms in the company’s host communities to make contributions toward local education projects. In May 2012, First Wind began a strategic partnership with DonorsChoose.org to enhance the value of the company’s financial contributions in host communities. After a successful partnership during its first year, First Wind extended the relationship in 2013 and increased its funding to $15,000.
Through DonorsChoose, First Wind supports teachers and their innovative classroom projects in its host communities. In its second full year, First Wind funded 43 projects at 31 schools, which reached and positively touched nearly 2,600 students. For example, First Wind donated funds toward a project to supply graphing calculators for a pre-calculus classroom in Mars Hill, Maine, which is near the Mars Hill project. First Wind also donated funds to a classroom in Cedar City, Utah, which is near the Milford Wind projects, to help the classroom purchase books to implement the S.T.E.A.M. program (Science & Technology interpreted through Engineering & the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements).
http://goo.gl/OL5YyK  (Windpower Energy & Development)

KUTV And Utah School Districts Gear Up For Souper Bowl Of Caring

Child poverty and hunger are reaching alarming levels in Utah. More than 175,000 Utah kids are eligible for free school breakfasts and lunches and another 50,000 are eligible for reduced cost meals. Tragically these students are not eating well on the weekends. They should eat seven meals between Friday lunch and Monday breakfast, but they don’t. When they don’t eat, they can’t do homework and they don’t play and exercise.
You have a chance to change the lives of these children.
The Utah Food Bank has three different programs focused on feeding children.
http://goo.gl/881Qjx  (KUTV)

KHS student earns $100 through Zions Pays for A’s program

It’s not easy to motivate teen students. Parents and teachers need all the help they can get, and this school year marks a decade since Zions Bank began doing its part. Since 2003, the bank’s Pays for A’s program has paid hardworking Utah and Idaho students for more than half a million report card A’s.
Adding to the count is Dane Stewart, a Kanab High School sophomore who won a $100 scholarship savings account in the program’s fall drawing. Kanab Financial Center Manager Joe Houston surprised Stewart with his winnings during a Dec. 10 morning school announcement.
http://goo.gl/H1TI3W  (Southern Utah News)

A time to dance: Drill teams show off skills

Music pumped from inside Springville High School’s gymnasium Thursday evening during the Springville High School Drill Team Performance Night. Teams from six different studios performed a range of different dances as well as three separate groups from the high school. Colorful outfits and props were used during each act as the music varied from classic love ballads to new hip-hop.
http://goo.gl/koXgvS  (PDH)

Inside Our Schools

http://goo.gl/TDZoLx  (SGS)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Common Core origins sketchy
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Loy Ann Hunt

The Common Core Standards (CCS) “debate” in Logan hardly attempted to address the unconstitutional, untested, secretive transformation taking place in the educational system in our state and country. (CCS validation committee signed confidentiality agreement; vowing zero disclosure to public.)
We were told CCS are voluntary “benchmarks” that will magically help children flourish academically and in the workforce. When the federal government bribes states and public schools with billions of dollars on a single teaching plan in 15,000 school districts, are we to believe that teachers, parents and schools will have autonomy in education? These “standards” can be debated for days, who’s behind CCS cannot.
http://goo.gl/YlTNN5

The Yellow School Bus: A Model for Equity Education Week op-ed by Peter W. Cookson Jr., principal researcher at the American Institutes for Research

Maybe I am an incurable romantic when it comes to a unifying and inclusive vision of public education. I confess I sometimes grow weary of the seemingly endless policy debates about issues that seem really important to adults but have little bearing on the lives of children.
But just as I am about to throw in the towel, more often than not I pass a big yellow school bus.
When Frank Cyr organized a 1939 conference at Teachers College in New York City to establish national standards for school bus construction, he and his colleagues determined that yellow was the most visible color. It didn’t take long, however, before yellow became more than a serviceable color: “National School Bus Glossy Yellow” (the official paint choice for school buses in the United States) became our collective symbol of hope and optimism.
But that optimism is in jeopardy today. I recently completed a study of five American high schools: an elite private school, an upper-middle-class school, a middle-class school, a working-class school, and a school located in an area of concentrated poverty.
While I knew educational and social mobility is essentially frozen, I didn’t know how thoroughly social class is baked into schools. Where a student goes to school, and with whom, determines what he or she will study, with whom he or she will study, what colleges he or she will attend, and his or her life chances.
Even more shocking, where a student goes to high school determines the quantity and quality of the food he or she receives during the school day, his or her emotional and physical safety, his or her ability to find a quiet place to study, and whether he or she has access to clean, sanitary school restrooms.
http://goo.gl/TSPZwP

State Pre-K Funding – 2013-14 Fiscal Year Education Commission of the States analysis

For the second year in a row, even in the midst of continuing state budget constraints, policymakers are making significant investments in state-funded pre-K programs. An analysis of 2013-14 appropriations by the 50 states and the District of Columbia shows:
National overview
* Nationwide, state funding for pre-K increased by $363.6 million to a total of $5.6 billion. This is a 6.9% increase in state investment in pre-K programs over fiscal year 2012-13.
* Some state investments are replacing losses incurred during the recession, but most states have surpassed 2008-09 levels. Total investment is $400 million greater than pre-recession.
http://goo.gl/8qNvn2

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Civil rights groups target Florida’s race-based educational goals Reuters

ORLANDO – Civil rights groups are targeting Florida with a new petition drive and grassroots movement to overturn the state’s race-based educational achievement goals, which they argue will cripple a generation of students of color.
The petition calls on the governor and superintendents of each public school district to set “equal academic goals” for all children.
“This is state-sanctioned racism — something we have not seen since the fight to end education inequality and segregation in the 1960s,” according to the background narrative attached to the petition, which is to be launched Thursday night.
Florida is one of 23 states that set different goals for student groups based on race as well as other factors including national origin, ethnicity and poverty, according to Education Week.
http://goo.gl/4cWZ2r

Will co-teaching with computers improve student learning?
Hechinger Report

HUNTINGTON PARK, Calif. –– On a rainbow-colored rug in a predominantly Latino neighborhood six miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, 26 fidgety second graders are reading a phonics passage about helping wildlife. Some detect the main idea quickly, shooting their hands in the air. Others need more time and attention. The teacher, Mark Montero, asks questions trying to keep everyone on track.

Here at the charter school Aspire Titan Academy, a principal, 12 teachers, and more than 300 students have signed on to a controversial learning revolution. For nearly three hours a day, they are trading large group instruction for a more personalized approach, one that relies on technology to help with teaching.
Known as “blended learning,” this approach combines traditional instruction with online learning, giving teachers immediate data on their students’ performance. By grouping children by their individual learning needs, it addresses the age-old problem Montero faced when some of his students grasped the phonics lesson and others did not: Move ahead, and part of the class continues to struggle. Review and re-teach, and part of the class gets bored.
With computers as co-teachers, Montero can provide more targeted instruction to his students, while exposing them to modern technology. “Technology is so important in education, especially in low-income communities that don’t have access to it,” he said. “If we as teachers can give them that access and make it purposeful for them … that’s how they’re going to be successful.”
http://goo.gl/bl7X9n

How The Common Core Became Education’s Biggest Bogeyman Huffington Post

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Arne Duncan made a glib remark about the Common Core that quickly blew up.
Speaking before a gathering of state schools chiefs, the secretary of education dismissed growing opposition to the new national set of learning standards, saying “white suburban moms” were rising up against the Core simply because its more rigorous tests meant they were being told “their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were.”
The riff wasn’t all that different from Duncan’s usual words of support for the Common Core. He often says states have “dummied down standards” and insists officials need to tell students the truth about just how smart they are. But as soon as he named “white suburban moms” as part of the problem, his refrain became the gaffe heard ’round the mom-blogger world.
The pointed phrasing fed into parents’ bubbling anxiety about the Core, more fully known as the Common Core State Standards Initiative, an education push that aims to make sure students across the United States are learning the skills they need to succeed in a global economy. In recent months, as schools began teaching and testing students on the new standards — and telling families about their plans — what started as an effort by officials to remake American education has become a favored punching bag of pundits and parents alike.
http://goo.gl/jYhDwp

Teacher’s union to call for vote of no-confidence in education commissioner Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle

The state’s teachers’ union said it plans to call for a vote of no confidence in state Education Department Commissioner John King on the ongoing controversy over new student testing and teacher evaluations.
Richard Iannuzzi, president of the New York State United Teachers union, said he is preparing to ask the union’s Board of Directors to take a vote to membership within the next two weeks. It would voted on for the union in April, he said.
“The frustration level is overwhelming,” Iannuzzi said on Time Warner Cable’s “Capital Tonight” Thursday. “The time has come. We have to address this now, and what we see is a state Ed Department that’s saying: Let’s see how much time we can buy, maybe this will go away.”
The union has called for a three-year moratorium to the Common Core program, a federally mandated initiative that requires tougher school testing. It started last school year in grades 3-8.
http://goo.gl/7eLBRU

CNN analysis: Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders CNN
Early in her career as a learning specialist, Mary Willingham was in her office when a basketball player at the University of North Carolina walked in looking for help with his classwork.
He couldn’t read or write.
“And I kind of panicked. What do you do with that?” she said, recalling the meeting.
Willingham’s job was to help athletes who weren’t quite ready academically for the work required at UNC at Chapel Hill, one of the country’s top public universities.
But she was shocked that one couldn’t read. And then she found he was not an anomaly.
Soon, she’d meet a student-athlete who couldn’t read multisyllabic words. She had to teach him to sound out Wis-con-sin, as kids do in elementary school.
And then another came with this request: “If I could teach him to read well enough so he could read about himself in the news, because that was something really important to him,” Willingham said.
Student-athletes who can’t read well, but play in the money-making collegiate sports of football and basketball, are not a new phenomenon, and they certainly aren’t found only at UNC-Chapel Hill.
A CNN investigation found public universities across the country where many students in the basketball and football programs could read only up to an eighth-grade level. The data obtained through open records requests also showed a staggering achievement gap between college athletes and their peers at the same institution.
http://goo.gl/NTlIIx

‘You Have to Know History to Actually Teach It’
An interview with Eric Foner, Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.
Atlantic

It’s tough for a historian to earn the adoration of both academia and popular culture, but Eric Foner has managed to do it. His books on American history are assigned reading at universities and colleges across the country. Reviewers have praised his work as “monumental in scope” and declared that it “approaches brilliance.” He won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2011 book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery—and appeared on The Colbert Report to discuss it. (In addition, I can’t overstate the lasting influence that Foner has had on my career as a high-school history teacher. I constantly refer to his growing body of work when teaching students not only original thinking, but also effective writing and analysis. I’ve also used his textbook to teach Advanced Placement United States History with terrific results.)
I recently spoke to Foner about the teachers who influenced him and how high-school history teachers can better prepare students for college.
http://goo.gl/q2gesu

Parent involvement can help kids get more active Reuters

NEW YORK – Very few kids get the amount of physical activity they need every day, but a new study from Canada finds that parental support may be the key to getting kids moving.
“Currently less than 10 percent of children accumulate the recommended 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (approximately equivalent to 13,500 steps per day) at least six days per week,” Kerry Vander Ploeg told Reuters Health by email.
http://goo.gl/qYcZ8X

NBC Learn Launches Video Series on ‘Science of the 2014 Olympics’
Education Week

When you’re watching the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics next month, will STEM topics come to mind? The educational arm of NBC News certainly hopes so.
With the Winter Olympics rapidly approaching, NBC Learn, in partnership with the National Science Foundation and NBC Olympics (a division of NBC Sports Group), just launched a free online video series called “Science and Engineering of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.” The videos, available to the public for free online, tackle subjects such as stability and vibration in alpine skiing, engineering the half pipe, the science of snow and ice, and, as seen below, the physics of slopestyle skiing.
http://goo.gl/f45EJM

NBC Learn website
http://goo.gl/4YN4L3

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

January 22:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/IaQntl

January 27:
Opening Day of the Utah Legislature
State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/

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

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