Education News Roundup: Jan. 30, 2014

Gov. Gary Herbert addresses the House of Representatives.

Gov. Gary Herbert addresses the House of Representatives.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

Governor discusses teacher salaries, STEM and academic accountability in State of the State.
http://goo.gl/xmWLek  (DN)
and http://goo.gl/Gdx4w4  (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/LvtoVk  (UP)
and http://goo.gl/6Rfkf2  (OSE)
and http://goo.gl/CYpMxQ  (PHD)
and http://goo.gl/yl9rUW  (SGS)
and http://goo.gl/leRt9R  (Universe)
and http://goo.gl/idP9ng  (KUTV)
and http://goo.gl/2yJlle  (KTVX)
and http://goo.gl/773ytK  (KSL)
and http://goo.gl/6auymt  (KSTU)
and http://goo.gl/aSJKD6  (KCSG)
and http://goo.gl/OlOZ1n  (KUER)
or a copy of the speech
http://goo.gl/EW4GJl  (Governor’s Office)

Are Utah school libraries underfunded?
http://goo.gl/GWhgtB  (UPC)

School bathroom bill introduced.
http://goo.gl/N3lliv  (PDH)

Trib looks at Utah’s STEM Center.
http://goo.gl/3BmfDT  (SLT)

Salt Lake school lunch seizure story goes viral.
http://goo.gl/NZpMnB  (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/SHMDhf  (OSE)
and http://goo.gl/7WDSaZ  (PDH)
and http://goo.gl/Lskc3t  (KUTV)
and http://goo.gl/GWyBfb  (KTVX)
and http://goo.gl/O5dAaQ  (KSL)
and http://goo.gl/cqWzYY  (KSTU)
and http://goo.gl/NiSFSy  (USAT)
and http://goo.gl/ICM8rT  (HuffPo)
and http://goo.gl/xzRW1H  (CBS)
and http://goo.gl/0N9Lpu  (NBC)
and http://goo.gl/B0cCLU  (ThinkProgress) and http://goo.gl/zvj45G  (The Wire) and others, but you get the idea.

GAO takes a look at how sexual abuse that occurs in schools is reported.
http://goo.gl/P2YzjA  (NBC)
and http://goo.gl/9E8pKL  (AP)
or a copy of the report
http://goo.gl/B3BjKs  (GAO)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Gov. Herbert: Utah faces challenges but ‘the state of our state is strong’

Public Education Committee Reveals “Woefully” Underfunded Library Programs

Utah bill defines gender for school bathrooms

Public Education and Air Quality Highest Priority Issues for Utahns New survey names top priorities for Legislature to tackle this session

Utah makes an $8.5 million bet on tech for math Math » Utah’s STEM Center is measuring the success of 40-school pilot for software that teaches math.

School Board OK’s change to 5×5 block schedule

High Schoolers Hit The Slopes, And The Books, At Team Academy

Bible institute for students
New opportunity opens for high school religious training in Cedar City

District: Tabiona teacher fired for ‘inappropriate physical contact’ with student

Lunches seized from kids in debt at Salt Lake City elementary Education » School officials cite unpaid balances on students’ meal accounts.

Teen pays for wearing wrong color to school

Jordan School District makes major boundary changes to handle growing population

Students ask city to remove erroneous Peter Skene Ogden monument

Everyday heroes: Student service projects celebrated at Edith Bowen Laboratory School

Rowland Hall students earn ‘miles’ with Olympic exercise goal

Elementary school competes in $10,000 video contest

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Herbert’s speech a good blueprint for Utah

Parents who idle cars are not so caring

How to Get More Early Bloomers

Pre-K, the Great Debate

Beltway Insiders: For Education, Florida Governor’s Race Is One to Watch

Early College, Continued Success: Early College High School Initiative Impact Study

Map: ‘How Much Snow It Typically Takes to Cancel School in the U.S.’
The geography of the snow day, courtesy of Reddit user atrubetskoy

NATION

Reporting of school sexual abuse plagued by confusion, spotty data, GAO says

House GOP, teachers’ union want to revisit Common Core

Indiana Senate panel OKs plan to drop Common Core

House defeats bill opposing Common Core

State Board of Education punts big decisions on graduation requirements to Friday

CEOs Seek Better Internet Access in Classrooms

Teaching kids to eat healthy in school and beyond

A Push for French in New York Schools, From France

Leader in Me expanding in Cedar Valley schools

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UTAH NEWS
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Gov. Herbert: Utah faces challenges but ‘the state of our state is strong’

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert laid out a trio of challenges facing Utah in his annual State of the State address Wednesday evening, but also offered assurances that “the state of our state is strong.”
At the top of the GOP governor’s list in his half-hour speech delivered in the House chambers on the third day of the 2014 Legislature was the impact of Utah’s rapid population growth on education, air quality and the state’s prison system.

School funding is also a challenge, the governor said in a state with a population of 2.9 million that is expected to nearly double in the next 35 years. The price tag just for new student growth alone is about $70 million a year, he said.
So the state must be more innovative with the money available, Herbert said, not mentioning tax increases. While there is a push this session to raise gas and income taxes, legislative leaders have shown little interest in doing so in an election year.
Instead, the governor cited a proposal by Senate Majority Whip Stuart Adams, R-Layton, to create a “report card” intended to help determine where schools need to improve, and other education legislation.
Also noted in his speech was the compensation increase for teachers included in his $13.3 billion budget submitted to lawmakers. He wants to increase the funding mechanism for schools — the weighted pupil unit — by $61.6 million, or 2.5 percent.
Senate Minority Assistant Whip Pat Jones, D-Holladay, said the actual pay increase for teachers that money would provide is a “drop in the bucket” because much of it will go toward covering increased benefit costs.
http://goo.gl/xmWLek  (DN)

http://goo.gl/Gdx4w4  (SLT)

http://goo.gl/LvtoVk (UP)

http://goo.gl/6Rfkf2  (OSE)

http://goo.gl/CYpMxQ  (PHD)

http://goo.gl/yl9rUW  (SGS)

http://goo.gl/leRt9R  (Universe)

http://goo.gl/idP9ng  (KUTV)

http://goo.gl/2yJlle  (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/773ytK  (KSL)

http://goo.gl/6auymt  (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/aSJKD6  (KCSG)

http://goo.gl/OlOZ1n  (KUER)

A copy of the speech
http://goo.gl/EW4GJl  (Governor’s Office)

Public Education Committee Reveals “Woefully” Underfunded Library Programs

Most science books available to Utah students are old enough to run for Congress and remember when the Cold War was a fearful reality. On Wednesday morning members of the House addressed the issues facing Utah public education system, most notably the apparent long term neglect of library upkeep.
“Utah school library have been neglected, due to diminishing funds, over the last few years,” said Cheryl Smith, a former Granite School District Library Director.
Studies have shown over the last few decades that schools with current and well kept books correlate with improved math, science and critical thinking scores. These findings include score improvements in students who do not have access to books at home.
http://goo.gl/GWhgtB (UPC)

Utah bill defines gender for school bathrooms

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, has introduced legislation that will ensure Utah’s students are using the bathroom that is assigned to their gender.
On Wednesday Kennedy told the Daily Herald that the bill, H.B. 87, is reactive legislation to a law that has been implemented in California which allows a transgendered individual enrolled in the state’s school system to choose for themselves which bathroom they should use and which gender of sports team they can play on. He said his legislation is set to prevent such things from happening in Utah.
“We are just trying to make sure people are comfortable,” Kennedy said.
The bill looks to define gender under state code.
http://goo.gl/N3lliv  (PDH)

Public Education and Air Quality Highest Priority Issues for Utahns New survey names top priorities for Legislature to tackle this session

SALT LAKE CITY — A new statewide survey reveals that Utahns want the Legislature to tackle public education and air quality as the two most important issues facing the state right now. The survey, which was conducted by Dan Jones & Associates and the David Eccles School of Business from January 23 to January 25, shows the top 20 issues in rank order. Protecting states’ rights, increasing the number of jobs and improving the ethics and oversight of elected officials rounded out the top five.
“The Utah clean air rally, Clean Air Caucus and other air quality initiatives appear to be right in sync with public opinion”
“Public education always receives among the highest, if not the highest, ranking among Utahns as they consider the job that needs to be done by the Utah Legislature,” said Dan Jones, the founder and CEO of Dan Jones & Associates. “The newcomer this year is air quality. The public simply wants to see something done to improve Utah’s air.”
The data comes from the inaugural monthly survey launched by Dan Jones & Associates and the David Eccles School of Business. The Utah Business Sentiment Survey will provide a monthly indicator of business conditions, policy preferences and current issues facing the state of Utah. This month’s survey focused on the 2014 General Legislative Session.
http://goo.gl/5vlM0N  (BusinessWire)

Utah makes an $8.5 million bet on tech for math Math » Utah’s STEM Center is measuring the success of 40-school pilot for software that teaches math.

Seventh-grader Michael Hernandez is loving the new ThinkThroughMath software that his math teacher in Logan uses once a week to supplement her math lessons.
Hernandez likes how it displays formulas and fills gaps in his knowledge, and he especially thrives on the competition built into the program. For a brief time last fall, the 13-year-old was in second place behind a buddy among all seventh graders using ThinkThroughMath in Utah.
But ask Hernandez if his success in math this year is due to the software, piloted through Utah’s new STEM Action Center, or his teacher at Bear River Charter School, and he pauses.
It’s not either-or.
“I have a really good teacher. She stays after school for anything I have trouble with,” he says. “But ThinkThroughMath has a bit to do with it, too.”
It’s both.
That’s the kind of anecdotal evidence for the software’s usefulness that is flowing into the center, based in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, after a two-month pilot project.
http://goo.gl/3BmfDT  (SLT)

School Board OK’s change to 5×5 block schedule

DUCHESNE–What might be the most dramatic change in many years for Duchesne County’s secondary students met less than unanimous approval from the Board of Education on Jan. 21.
The Duchesne County School District board voted 3-2 in favor of a shift to 5×5 block scheduling beginning with the 2014-2015 school hear during a single-item special meeting. A decision had been delayed from the regular January school board meeting on Jan. 7, because of concerns that some people either were not aware of the proposal or did not understand it.
http://goo.gl/Ss6P2b (Uintah Basin Standard)

High Schoolers Hit The Slopes, And The Books, At Team Academy

Freestyle aerial skier Mac Bohonnon recently finished second at the Val St. Come World Cup in Quebec, and that helped him qualify for the Olympics in Sochi. But when he’s not doing triple-twisting double backflips, he’s taking Advanced Placement classes at Team Academy in Park City, Utah.
It’s tough to be a normal high school senior and manage constant training and competition. But Mac doesn’t go to a normal high school. He is one of 36 students at an invitation-only high school located on the third floor of U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association headquarters, just above the training facilities.
http://goo.gl/8tvMHz (NPR Morning Edition)

Bible institute for students
New opportunity opens for high school religious training in Cedar City

CEDAR CITY — The Iron County School District, along with school districts throughout Utah, has traditionally offered high school students belonging to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the opportunity for religious training during one of their school periods.
The same opportunity is now being extended to non-LDS students in Cedar City in the form of the Cedar Bible Institute. Beginning the week of Jan. 13, students who wished to attend the institute were permitted to incorporate it as one of their first-period classes.
Robert Bantum, one of the organizers of the institute, said he and his wife, Melissa Bantum, attend Red Hills Baptist Church, and several students there approached them to ask if they could have a release time in their school day for faith training. At the same time, he said, youth at other churches in the area were approaching the adults in their congregations asking for the same opportunity.
http://goo.gl/jcwcRI  (SGS)

District: Tabiona teacher fired for ‘inappropriate physical contact’ with student

TABIONA, Duchesne County — A Tabiona High School teacher who is the subject of a police investigation has been fired by the Duchesne County School District.
In a Dec. 17 termination letter, district officials informed Shay Alfred Price that his employment with the district would end Jan. 20, due to “immorality,” “insubordination,” “conduct which may be harmful to students or to the district” and “improper or unlawful physical contact with students.”
http://goo.gl/EpQibd (DN)

http://goo.gl/1wZ1Wq  (KSL)

Lunches seized from kids in debt at Salt Lake City elementary Education » School officials cite unpaid balances on students’ meal accounts.

Up to 40 kids at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City picked up their lunches Tuesday, then watched as the meals were taken and thrown away because of outstanding balances on their accounts — a move that shocked and angered parents.
“It was pretty traumatic and humiliating,” said Erica Lukes, whose 11-year-old daughter had her cafeteria lunch taken from her as she stood in line Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, 1571 E. 1300 South.
http://goo.gl/NZpMnB  (SLT)

http://goo.gl/SHMDhf  (OSE)

http://goo.gl/7WDSaZ (PDH)

http://goo.gl/Lskc3t (KUTV)

http://goo.gl/GWyBfb  (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/O5dAaQ  (KSL)

http://goo.gl/cqWzYY  (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/NiSFSy  (USAT)

http://goo.gl/ICM8rT  (HuffPo)

http://goo.gl/xzRW1H  (CBS)

http://goo.gl/0N9Lpu  (NBC)

http://goo.gl/B0cCLU  (ThinkProgress)

http://goo.gl/zvj45G  (The Wire)

Teen pays for wearing wrong color to school

SALT LAKE CITY – A teen pays for wearing the wrong color to school.
He was beaten by a gang who also attend Granite Connection High School, an alternative school.
“He was attending the school, the first day he was there,” says the teen’s relative.
http://goo.gl/1yCl1g  (KTVX)

Jordan School District makes major boundary changes to handle growing population

SOUTH JORDAN – There was no easy answer as to how the Jordan School District would handle its overcrowding issue, but the boundary changes approved at Tuesday night’s school board meeting has left many neighborhoods divided.
After about a month of planning and public meetings the board chose a plan that results in two middle schools and 12 elementary schools having their boundaries changed.
http://goo.gl/zPyTcS  (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/lpbxq2  (KTVX)

Students ask city to remove erroneous Peter Skene Ogden monument

NORTH OGDEN — Students in Justin Urry’s seventh-grade Utah History Class at North Ogden Junior High will be taking a closer look at historical monuments from now on — and checking their validity.
Students in the class discovered some big mistakes in a monument on Peter Skene Ogden at the city’s Oaklawn Park. The monument has been up in the park since the 1950s – but students discovered two pretty obvious mistakes as they studied about Ogden. First, his name is spelled wrong on the monument – Skene is spelled “Skeen” and the mention of his time in the area is also off by a year. The other mistake was a little harder to discover, but as students studied history of the explorer’s whereabouts, they figured out he never even made it down to the site where the monument rests; and furthermore, he never made it out of the Huntsville area into the Ogden area.
Now the students are petitioning the city to do something about it – they would like to see the monument removed from the park and put in the city’s historical museum with the notice that the information is wrong.
http://goo.gl/m7eXDY  (OSE)

Everyday heroes: Student service projects celebrated at Edith Bowen Laboratory School

Students at Edith Bowen Laboratory School learned that everyone’s a hero in their own way during Monday’s Hero Night. Students displayed service projects they have been working on since the beginning of the year and participated in school-wide service projects.
“Our theme this year is ‘Kids Are Heroes,’ and they’re supposed to focus on three areas and whatever their passion is. It could be the environment, something with animals or something to help people,” said Shelly Gonzales, PTA president for Edith Bowen. “It was important to us that it wasn’t about whatever we wanted to do but what they found to be their passion. It was to help them think outside of themselves.”
The students work with established groups, such as the Cache Humane Society, or developed their own projects.
http://goo.gl/LM1vqU  (LHJ)

Rowland Hall students earn ‘miles’ with Olympic exercise goal

SALT LAKE CITY — Rowland Hall School students let their own games begin with an Olympic-style opening ceremony at the school on Tuesday.
The school is learning about the Olympic spirit while exercising as they participate in a variety of activities that simulate Olympic sports.
http://goo.gl/dQHB8L  (DN)

Elementary school competes in $10,000 video contest

LOGAN — Students at Ellis Elementary have been selected as one of 12 schools to compete in a $10,000 video contest. The students in Greg Cox’s after-school theater club, worked on the video for several weeks before submitting it in the “Tree’s Rock” contest, sponsored by Scotties tissues.
The video is about three special trees on the school’s campus. All of the work was done by students in the club.
http://goo.gl/0bNva7  (CVD)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Herbert’s speech a good blueprint for Utah Deseret News editorial

Unlike many governors, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert can legitimately claim to preside over a state that is prospering despite a sputtering national economy. As he noted in his annual State of the State Address to the Legislature on Wednesday, Utah is the second-fastest growing state in the nation, it is adding jobs at an impressive rate, has the fourth lowest unemployment rate and has emphasized a business-friendly atmosphere that, among other things, can approve a new business license within three days.
All of this adds up to the promise of further growth and prosperity in the future. And all are indications not only of a strong private sector, but of responsible political management, as well.
But the state also has its share of difficult challenges. To his credit, Herbert faced many of these head-on in his speech.

Education, as always, represents a huge challenge for the state, given its many large families and perpetual funding problems. Herbert emphasized making schools accountable, improving science, technology, engineering and math programs, improving career counseling, making education responsive to private-sector needs and paying teachers more.
The governor said these would help the state reach its goal of having 66 percent of all adults hold a degree or post-secondary certificate by 2020. That remains an ambitious goal that likely will take a more radical approach to education reform than Herbert has proposed. But his plans are politically feasible and sound.
http://goo.gl/PAzfjC

Parents who idle cars are not so caring
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Karen Collett

Many parents who claim to care about the air their children breathe are only offering lip service to the conversation. Their actions speak louder than words.
To witness my point, just go to an elementary or junior high school when class gets out. You will see dozens of caring parents sitting in their cars with the engines idling. Many of them arrive 10 or 15 minutes before school lets out and idle the whole time.
http://goo.gl/De55fy

Pre-K, the Great Debate
New York Times commentary by columnist Nicholas Kristof

Against all odds, prekindergarten is gaining ground.
President Obama called again in his State of the Union address for Congress to support high-quality preschool for all, noting that 30 states are already moving ahead on this front (including New York).
“Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education,” Obama said. The House speaker, John Boehner, who sat stonily through most of Obama’s speech, applauded that line. Congress also unexpectedly increased financing this year for early education.
http://goo.gl/K3K3Uf

How to Get More Early Bloomers
New York Times op-ed by DANIEL T. WILLINGHAM, professor of psychology and DAVID W. GRISSMER, research professor of education at the University of Virginia

WHEN New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, went to Albany earlier this week to talk about his program for universal preschool, the discussion reportedly focused on funding, not on whether or how preschool would actually help children. President Obama seemed equally confident when he introduced his plan for universal preschool last year, flatly stating, “We know this works.” But the state of research is actually much murkier. And unless policy makers begin to design preschool programs in ways that can be evaluated later, the situation won’t get any clearer.
A preschool that “works” could mean different things. It might simply be a safe spot for kids to go. Or it could be a means to get poor kids ready to learn reading and math; they are currently eight to 10 months behind wealthy kids when they start kindergarten. Mayor de Blasio and the president are more ambitious: They think that preschool ought to change life trajectories, resulting in more high school graduates and fewer prison inmates. These plans have two precedents in particular, the Abecedarian and Perry preschool programs from the 1960s and ’70s, whose students went farther in school and, decades later, had better jobs than children from similar backgrounds who did not attend those programs.
But large state programs differ from these model programs in two important ways.
http://goo.gl/SXs7PE

Beltway Insiders: For Education, Florida Governor’s Race Is One to Watch Education Week commentary by columnist Michele McNeil

The gubernatorial duel in Florida between sitting Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist is shaping up to be the hottest one in the country for education policy wonks.
Seventy-one percent of Washington insiders surveyed in January by Whiteboard Advisors, a consulting firm, think that the Florida gubernatorial race is the most important one to watch for education. They also think New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Georgia gubernatorial races are important races to follow.
In Florida, Crist, a Republican-turned-Democrat, is duking it out with Gov. Scott over education, accusing him of underfunding schools and even skipping his own education summit.
Also noteworthy in Whiteboard’s January survey is that the approval rating for the Obama administration among insiders plummeted from a near-record-low in November (35 percent) to a mere 21 percent this month.
http://goo.gl/UZBYOk

Early College, Continued Success: Early College High School Initiative Impact Study American Institutes for Research analysis

Although the findings from this study are applicable only to the 10 Early Colleges included in the study sample, they provide strong evidence for the positive impact of Early Colleges on students. The findings in this report, which extend the study’s original results by including an additional year of data, affirm the core findings: Early College students had a greater opportunity than their peers to enroll in and graduate from college. They also appeared to be on a different academic trajectory, with Early College students earning college degrees at higher rates than comparison students. In addition, Early Colleges appeared to mitigate the traditional educational attainment gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students. Early College students were benefitting from their Early College experience beyond high school, and we expect these benefits to continue.
http://goo.gl/yIOTmz

Map: ‘How Much Snow It Typically Takes to Cancel School in the U.S.’
The geography of the snow day, courtesy of Reddit user atrubetskoy Atlantic commentary by columnist ELEANOR BARKHORN

Weather-related school closings are a constant source of anxiety this time of year. Sometimes the anxiety is generational: “They never canceled school in my day,” parents and grandparents complain when a new snow day gets announced. Sometimes it’s regional. D.C. isn’t as “flinty” as Chicago, President Obama sighed when schools closed during his first winter in the capital. Northerners watched in puzzlement as two inches of snow crippled Atlanta earlier this week.
A new map from Reddit user atrubetskoy is sure to stoke this regional competition. Using data “taken from hundreds of various points from user responses…interpolated using NOAA’s average annual snowfall days map,” Trubetskoy made a map showing how much snow it typically takes to close schools in the U.S. and Canada. Notice that for much of the southern U.S., all it takes is “any snow” to shut schools down. For the Upper Midwest and Canada, two feet of snow are required for a closure.
http://goo.gl/Dkm0Qp

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Reporting of school sexual abuse plagued by confusion, spotty data, GAO says NBC

Sexual abuse of children by teachers or other public school employees is likely underestimated because of a patchwork reporting system and involvement of numerous local, state and federal agencies in investigating such claims, according to a new government report obtained exclusively by NBC News.
The report by the Government Accountability Office raises numerous questions about how closely public schools are following federal requirements for mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse allegations or suspicions involving the public school employees who oversee the 50 million children enrolled in the nation’s public K-12 schools. The report also raises doubts about the accuracy of the data on the scope of the problem.
“While Education, HHS and Justice all have data systems that capture information from state and local entities about child abuse, none capture(s) the extent of sexual abuse and misconduct perpetrated by public K-12 school personnel,” the report said.
One key issue is who receives reports from educators. Under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, each state is required to have a law for mandatory reporting requirements, along with procedures for screening and investigating reports. Most states require that allegations be reported to a state or local child protection service, the GAO report said, while about two-thirds designated law enforcement (there was overlap in the two categories).
http://goo.gl/P2YzjA

http://goo.gl/9E8pKL (AP)

A copy of the report
http://goo.gl/B3BjKs  (GAO)

House GOP, teachers’ union want to revisit Common Core
(Hartford) Connecticut Mirror

With the 2014 General Assembly session one week away, House Republican lawmakers and the leader of the state’s largest teachers’ union Wednesday called for a public review of the controversial Common Core education standards.
But a nonprofit education reform group backed by business leaders in the state quickly responded with a cautionary note, warning that nothing should delay the implementation of new standards, calling any push-back “unnecessary and counterproductive.”
Some districts began testing its students on these new standards this school year, and they will be in every district by next school year. The standards require that 50 percent of a district’s reading materials for students be nonfiction. While opponents of Common Core refer to this shift as the “death of fiction,” proponents say the heavy use of fiction in classrooms doesn’t help students prepare for the real world.
The new standards also will encourage teachers to really dig into teaching the fundamentals of math rather than glazing over everything quickly. Proponents say the present U.S. curriculum is a mile wide and an inch deep.
http://goo.gl/FrVf7k

Indiana Senate panel OKs plan to drop Common Core Indianapolis Star

Legislation to repeal the national Common Core education standards in Indiana passed the Senate Education and Career Development Committee on Wednesday, but it does not prevent portions of the standards from being adopted for the state’s classrooms.
Senate Bill 91, authored by Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, would erase the Common Core curriculum already in use and require the State Board of Education to adopt its own college and career readiness educational standards by July 1.
Common Core standards are academic guidelines for classroom instruction created by an association of state governors. Forty-five states have agreed to follow them.
“This voids Common Core, and we are starting the process of writing new standards. Eternal vigilance of parents is still needed, and I encourage you to do so,” Schneider said. “SB 91 is a strong statement that we are moving forward, moving away from Common Core, protecting Indiana sovereignty and student data.”
Eight Republicans on the Education Committee voted for the measure, while three Democrats voted against. It now heads to the full Senate.
http://goo.gl/F26i11

House defeats bill opposing Common Core
Rapid City (SD) Journal

PIERRE | Opponents of using the national Common Core standards for math and English in South Dakota schools met defeat Wednesday in the state House of Representatives.
House members voted 35-31 against a resolution that sought to shut down the new system that went into effect for the current school year.
http://goo.gl/jDDXSE

State Board of Education punts big decisions on graduation requirements to Friday Austin (TX) American-Statesman

The State Board of Education on Wednesday left unanswered some key questions about the math and speech requirements under Texas’ new high school graduation plans as members deferred decisions until Friday.
The board is hammering out the final details of how to implement House Bill 5, a legislative overhaul aimed at giving students more flexibility in their course-loads.
The bill scrapped the rigid 4×4 graduation plan – four years each of math, science, English and social studies – and created several new specialized pathways to graduation called endorsements. It was left to the State Board of Education to work out what courses will be required to earn one of the five endorsements: Arts and Humanities; Business and Industry; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Public Services; and Multidisciplinary.
The new options kick in fully for next year’s ninth-graders.
http://goo.gl/Pjvaf2

CEOs Seek Better Internet Access in Classrooms Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The top officers at more than 40 companies are asking the Federal Communications Commission to act quickly to help get more high-speed Internet into America’s classrooms.
The FCC is weighing changes to a program called E-rate that provides discounts to help schools with telecommunications and Internet access. A majority of schools have Internet capabilities that are slow or isolated to front offices, making the use of digital programs and online learning difficult.
http://goo.gl/Cgi5K6

Teaching kids to eat healthy in school and beyond NewsHour

When Kirsten Tobey and Kristin Richmond met at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley, they found they had a shared interest in helping fill a need in schools.
But which need? To find their mission, Tobey, a former teacher, and Richmond, who worked in school administration, turned to former colleagues, teachers and principals.
“We heard over and over again that one of the biggest unaddressed needs in school is few if any options for healthy school meals, especially schools in low-income neighborhoods where meals are provided,” said 35-year-old Tobey.
One person in particular made an impression: a physical education teacher tasked with instructing children about nutrition and health. “He said, ‘I had to stop going into the lunchroom, because kids would stand up and call me a hypocrite. They were being served the opposite of what I’ve been telling them to eat.’ I was feeling the pain of that teacher wanting to do the best for those children,” Tobey recalled.
So Revolution Foods was born.
http://goo.gl/Jt4teT

A Push for French in New York Schools, From France New York Times

In the fugue of tongues on New York’s streets, French has never been a dominant voice. And as surging numbers of Asian and Latino immigrants continue to tip the balance of foreign languages toward Chinese and Spanish, the idea of learning French, to some, may seem kind of quaint, even anachronistic.
Yet in the city’s public school system, the French dual-language program, in which half the classes are in French and the other half in English, is booming. Eight public schools offer a French/English curriculum for about 1,00 students, making it the third-largest dual-language program, after Spanish and Chinese. And demand continues to grow, with two more schools scheduled to join this year and at least seven groups of parents in different areas of the city lobbying their schools to participate.
But even though the program is a signature feature of the city’s public schools, one of its most enthusiastic benefactors is not even American or, for that matter, local. It is the French government.
Several levels of the French government — including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education, the Senate and the National Assembly — have helped nurture the program, giving seed money and grants to individual schools in New York as well as paying for teacher training in France and course books for students.
http://goo.gl/mu1U4y

Leader in Me expanding in Cedar Valley schools Waterloo-Cedar Falls (IA) Courier

WATERLOO | The effort to develop student leaders in Cedar Valley schools is growing.
Five new schools began implementing the Leader in Me program in the fall, joining nine others in the Cedar Falls and Waterloo districts and Cedar Valley Catholic Schools. The youth leadership initiative introduces students and educators to the principles of Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber piloted the program at North Cedar Elementary and Dr. Walter Cunningham School for Excellence in the fall of 2010.
http://goo.gl/nfnfPr

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

January 30:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00001351.htm

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

January 31:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00001352.htm

February 3:
Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2014&com=APPPED

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
5:15 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2014&com=APPEXE

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

Feb. 12-13:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/IaQntl

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