Education News Roundup: March 7, 2014

Utah State Capitol

Utah State Capitol

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

The funding fight over Speaker Lockhart’s education technology initiative elevates.
http://go.uen.org/pQ  (SLT)
and http://go.uen.org/pR  (DN)
and http://go.uen.org/pS  (PDH)
and http://go.uen.org/qm  (CVD)
and http://go.uen.org/qb  (OSE)
and http://go.uen.org/qk  (LHJ)
and http://go.uen.org/q2  (KUTV)
and http://go.uen.org/qv  (KSTU)
and http://go.uen.org/qA  (MUR)

Senate school grading adjustment bill advances.
http://go.uen.org/q4  (SLT)

Spectrum focuses on USOE’s Math and Science Leadership Academy.
http://go.uen.org/qo  (SGS)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Gov threatens to veto Lockhart’s education technology initiative Utah Senate budget chairman says lawmakers might go home without passing a budget.

Senate passes bill to tweak school grading Several changes » Schools that do not test enough students would escape automatic F.

Bill would exempt home-schoolers from Utah curriculum standards

House panel approves bill affirming state sovereignty in education

Senate Approves High Quality Preschool Pilot Program

Students trumpet support for funding music in schools

Science, math in spotlight at academy
Principals visit North Elementary

Some Question Strength of Air Quality Recess Guidelines

Ogden High’s Burningham picks up art show teacher of the year award

Thanksgiving Point hosts ProStart State cooking competition

Westlake earns gold at FCCLA event

Lehi airman pulls off ‘Operation Surprise’ with 4 pleased daughters

Area residents don’t like site of new school in west Kaysville

Nebo Schools save energy by going green

Mount Logan Middle School celebrates 50 years

Lindon boy wins cash for cabbage

Washington County School District Foundation announces 2013-14 Sterling Scholars

National Elks Lodge officials tour local high school

Comments Sought on World Language Core Standards

Ex-choir teacher sentenced in child lewdness conviction

Fire at Holladay school briefly burns on stage

KVNU spotlights 4th grade class

Local News in Brief

OPINION & COMMENTARY

An epidemic of absenteeism

Bernick and Schott on Politics

History lesson: ‘Taking back’ federal lands

Memo to South Jordan: What about charter schools?

Use tax increase to cover basic education needs

Common Core supporters providing misinformation

In Defense of the Common Core Standards

Then and Now, a Test That Aims to Neutralize Advantages of the Privileged

I Opted My Kids Out of Standardized Tests Then I learned a thing or two.

NATION

Obama to Promote Education Agenda at Miami School

Revisions to the SAT college admissions test follow years of gains for rival ACT exam

Georgia cites ‘educational sovereignty’ in move to abandon Common Core Georgia was a leader in devising a ‘common core’ of education standards for 45 states. But state lawmakers are targeting the Common Core an anti-Washington crusade that could echo nationwide.

Selling Mountain Dew and other ways to improve access to technology in schools

New Albertson Foundation report lays out education funding choices

House approves buying English learner software

Mandatory Flu Shots Kept Small Kids Out of Hospitals

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UTAH NEWS
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Gov threatens to veto Lockhart’s education technology initiative Utah Senate budget chairman says lawmakers might go home without passing a budget.

Gov. Gary Herbert warned Thursday that he would seriously consider vetoing House Speaker Becky Lockhart’s landmark education technology bill if the Legislature provides more than $30 million on the digital overhaul.
“There’s a point when you say: Look, we’ve got to prioritize correctly,” Herbert said in an interview.
“To put more than $30 million into a program that really nobody has heard much about, we don’t know the details or specifics, that is going to rob from higher-needed programs, that we’re trying to give to education that says ‘we don’t want it, we don’t need it’, just seems to be wrong-headed and that would bring out my veto pen,” he said.
The direct and unusual veto threat from Herbert comes as budget talks between the House and the Senate appear to have blown up over funding for Lockhart’s legacy project.
Lockhart, is seeking $200 million to $300 million over the next few years to fulfill her vision to provide a digital-learning device to every one of Utah’s more than 600,000 students.
http://go.uen.org/pQ  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/pR  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/pS  (PDH)

http://go.uen.org/qm  (CVD)

http://go.uen.org/qb  (OSE)

http://go.uen.org/qk  (LHJ)

http://go.uen.org/q2  (KUTV)

http://go.uen.org/qv  (KSTU)

http://go.uen.org/qA  (MUR)

Senate passes bill to tweak school grading Several changes » Schools that do not test enough students would escape automatic F.

The Senate on Thursday advanced a bill to tweak how the state gives letter grades to public schools based on year-end testing and graduation rates
It voted 19-8 to pass SB209, and sent it to the House for further consideration.
A major change is that it would end the practice of giving schools an automatic F grade if they fail to test at least 95 percent of students.
Instead, it would drop them by one letter grade, such as from an A to a B.
http://go.uen.org/q4  (SLT)

Bill would exempt home-schoolers from Utah curriculum standards

Home-schooled students in Utah would not have to follow the state’s curriculum standards or days-in-school requirement under SB39, endorsed Thursday by the House Education Committee.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, already passed the full Senate.
The measure would require parents to file an affidavit notifying a district of their intent to educate children at home only once. At present, home-schooling parents have to file such notice every year.
The bill would allow a parent to decide which grade the student enters if he or she later begins attending public school. After a month, a teacher could challenge that placement and if the parent did not agree, the child would be tested to determine the right grade.
http://go.uen.org/pT  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/qJ (OSE)

http://go.uen.org/qK  (PDH)

House panel approves bill affirming state sovereignty in education

SALT LAKE CITY — Local school officials who go behind the State School Board’s back to partner with the federal government could face financial consequences if a bill that received committee approval Thursday becomes law.
HB425, sponsored by Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, would impede local schools from receiving more than $50,000 from the federal government without approval from the Utah Board of Education.
If a school violates that provision, the board would be empowered to reduce the amount of state funding appropriated to the local school district.
Eliason said the bill is in response to recent actions by the U.S. Department of Education in which arrangements were made with local officials after a state’s governing board declined to enter into federal programs.
http://go.uen.org/pX  (DN)

Senate Approves High Quality Preschool Pilot Program

In an effort to help fight intergenerational poverty the Utah Senate passed a bill to provide grants to schools to create or expand preschool programs that serve at-risk children.
SB42 would create a High Quality Preschool Pilot Program that would be able to award grants to schools in order to create or expand preschool programs. The programs would have to serve children that are affected by intergenerational poverty. Republican Senator Aaron Osmond is the bill’s sponsor. He says the program is a step forward.
http://go.uen.org/q3  (KUER)

Students trumpet support for funding music in schools

SALT LAKE CITY — A group showed it’s possible to entertain and lobby at the same time at the state Capitol on Thursday.
The Maple Mountain High School choir, American Fork High School Marching Band and Farmington Junior High’s Three Quarters Blond joined musician Kurt Bestor and Utah Symphony Utah Opera CEO Melia Tourangeau in a rally to support the funding of music programs in schools.
http://go.uen.org/pW  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/qx  (KSTU)

Science, math in spotlight at academy
Principals visit North Elementary

CEDAR CITY — Elementary school principals, along with officials from the Utah State Office of Education, came Thursday to Cedar City from throughout the state to visit North Elementary School and Southern Utah University during the Elementary Principals’ Math and Science Leadership Academy.
After a brief stop at the Iron County School District offices, the group visited North Elementary to learn about the school’s science, technology, engineering and math curriculum. The school also has integrated the arts into the specialized curriculum, making it a STEM school that is enjoying the benefits of a partnership with SUU.
Other activities in which the principals and state officials participated during the day included observing some of the classes going on throughout North Elementary and sitting in on a STEM-emphasis class for teachers.
http://go.uen.org/qo  (SGS)

Some Question Strength of Air Quality Recess Guidelines

When fine particle air pollution along the Wasatch Front reaches the high end of what the Utah Division of Air Quality deems unhealthy, the Utah Department of Health recommends schools keep students inside for recess. But some wonder if that recommendation should come when pollution levels are even lower. Officials with the Utah Asthma Program say discussions about revising those standards are underway.
Tina Taft is picking up her 10-year-old son Tony from Foothills elementary school in Riverton, Utah. On this particular day, it’s an orange air quality day—meaning pollution levels are high enough that the Utah Department of Health recommends schools keep students who have asthma or other respiratory diseases indoors.
Taft, who is a member of the group Utah Mom’s for Clean Air, says Tony doesn’t suffer from any respiratory issues, but in her opinion, all children are sensitive to this level of pollution.
http://go.uen.org/qz  (KUER)

Ogden High’s Burningham picks up art show teacher of the year award

OGDEN — Ogden High School art teacher Bruce Burningham was selected as this year’s recipient of the Brigham Young University David O. McKay School of Education Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in conjunction with the 42nd Annual Utah All-State High School Art Show.
Burningham has taught at Ogden High School since 1999. He teaches photography and ceramics. Before coming to Ogden High he was adjunct instructor of photography at Weber State University.
Burningham is known not only for teaching art, but also for teaching students life lessons. He often tells students, “You must want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe.”
http://go.uen.org/qd  (OSE)

Thanksgiving Point hosts ProStart State cooking competition

Dozens of students from high schools all over Utah put their culinary skills to the test Thursday at the ProStart State Competition at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. Teams from Provo and Westlake represented Utah County as each team raced to prepare an appetizer, entree and dessert in 60 minutes. Judges inspected the food for both taste and presentation.
Chef Peter Hodgson helped run the show and said he was impressed by the quality of the work the students were doing.
“It’s as good as any line cook in a hotel,” Hodgson said.
http://go.uen.org/qf  (PDH)

http://go.uen.org/qI  (KUTV)

Westlake earns gold at FCCLA event

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Four Westlake High School students brought home the gold recently.
As Westlake chapter members of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, their participation in FCCLA fosters leadership and career skills through service in their community, as well as winning an annual competition.
http://go.uen.org/qg  (PDH)

Lehi airman pulls off ‘Operation Surprise’ with 4 pleased daughters

LEHI — An airman who came home a week early after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan came up with an elaborate plan to surprise each of his girls in a carefully orchestrated series of events Thursday.
Air Force Tech Sgt. Edward Goettig had an army of people to help him pull off his most important mission yet: “Operation Surprise.”
His first stop from the airport was Lehi High School, where he wore the Pioneer Pete mascot suit to surprise his 16-year-old sophomore daughter, Bailee.
http://go.uen.org/q8  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/qt (KSL)

Area residents don’t like site of new school in west Kaysville

KAYSVILLE – There is going to be a new elementary school in west Kaysville, but nearby residents aren’t happy with the location.
http://go.uen.org/qe  (OSE)

Nebo Schools save energy by going green

SPANISH FORK — Nebo School District has reduced its electrical use by more than 20 percent during the past eleven months, thanks to a team made up of students, staff, teachers, administrators and custodial staff.
Nebo’s maintenance department and building custodians work the day-to-day operations reducing energy consumption and are the backbone of the program, officials said.
http://go.uen.org/qi  (PDH)

Mount Logan Middle School celebrates 50 years

This past January marked the 50th anniversary of the day Mount Logan Middle School opened its doors to students. The school celebrated its half century of education with an open house Thursday night. Former educators and students came to reminisce about the past and look forward to the future.
http://go.uen.org/qj (LHJ)

http://go.uen.org/ql  (CVD)

Lindon boy wins cash for cabbage

PLEASANT GROVE — Kit Fox may be young, but he is already learning to grow things in a big way.
The 9-year-old grew a humongous 75-pound cabbage for Bonnie Plants Cabbage program and was selected by the Utah Agriculture Department to receive a $1,000 educational savings bond from Bonnie Plants.
“My family loves to grow a garden,” said Fox. “We try to grow our vegetables in weird ways. We grow long snake gourds, giant pumpkins and square pumpkins and other things.”
His third-grade teacher at Deerfield Elementary got him started on the contest during the 2012-2013 school year.
http://go.uen.org/qh  (PDH)

Washington County School District Foundation announces 2013-14 Sterling Scholars

Many high school seniors throughout Washington County will soon have a big reason to celebrate, as they will be recipients of the 2013-14 Sterling Scholar awards.
http://go.uen.org/qr  (SGN)

National Elks Lodge officials tour local high school

ST. GEORGE — The Elks Lodge Grand Exalted Ruler and other Elks officials took a tour of Millcreek High School on Thursday afternoon to learn what the local “Dixie” Elks Lodge 1743 has done to help create a self-sustaining food pantry for students and their families.
Grand Exalted Ruler Millard Pickering and his wife traveled from Oklahoma to see the pantry. Pickering said it was rewarding to see what projects the “Dixie” Elks Lodge was working on.
http://go.uen.org/qp  (SGS)

Comments Sought on World Language Core Standards

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah State Board of Education is seeking comments on is proposed revision to the state’s world language core standards. The Board regularly updates core standards to reflect current needs and expectations of student learning. This is the first revision of the world language core standards since 2009.
http://go.uen.org/qy  (KCSG)

Ex-choir teacher sentenced in child lewdness conviction

SALT LAKE CITY — A former Grantsville High School choir teacher convicted of committing a lewd act in front of a 12-year-old boy has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service and probation.
Salvatore Larenzo Degraffenreidt, 30, of Tooele, was charged Oct. 22 in 3rd District Court with lewdness involving a child, a class A misdemeanor. He pleaded guilty in December and was recently ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, and was placed on two years probation. The terms of his probation include not having any contact with the victim or his family, undergoing a psycho-sexual evaluation and complying with any recommendations made from it, according to court records.
Degraffenreidt was accused of engaging in lewd acts with another man in a steam room at the Sports Mall, 5445 S. 900 East, in the presence of a 12-year-old boy.
http://go.uen.org/qa  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/qu  (KSL)

http://go.uen.org/qB  (MUR)

Fire at Holladay school briefly burns on stage

A small fire burned briefly at Olympus Junior High in Holladay on Thursday night, but was out before fire crews arrived on the scene.
The fire started about 7 p.m. on a stage at the school and burned some curtains, according to Unified Fire Authority Battalion Chief Brian Anderton. Crews were dispatched to the scene, but sprinklers in the building extinguished the flames before they arrived.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
http://go.uen.org/q5  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/q9  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/qs  (KUTV)

http://go.uen.org/qw  (KSTU)

KVNU spotlights 4th grade class

LOGAN – News Talk KVNU spotlighted a class of fourth-grade students at Adams Elementary School, Thursday morning. The students were the winning class in the “Owl Olympics,” a program that promotes reading.
The “Owl Olympics” encourages students to read 20 minutes each day. It was created by the school’s Literacy Coach Carla Randall.
http://go.uen.org/qn  (CVD)

Local News in Brief

ST. GEORGE – The St. George Exchange Club recently honored the February Student of the Month recipients. The St. George Exchange Club sponsors the Student of the Month Program, which honors one student from the area high schools each month. This program recognizes the students’ accomplishments in academics, service and leadership in their respective schools.
http://go.uen.org/qq (SGS)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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An epidemic of absenteeism
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

In some Top of Utah schools, there is consistent absenteeism among specific students. To many teachers, frustrated that they can’t keep students in the classroom, it feels like an epidemic.
Let us make our stance very clear: It is the responsibility of both parents and students to have the children in the classroom. Obviously, as a student gets older, a higher part of the responsibility rests with the teenager.
Schools should crack down hard on truancy.
http://go.uen.org/qc

Bernick and Schott on Politics
Utah Policy commentary by columnists Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott

Welcome Billy Hesterman from the Provo Daily Herald to talk about the waning days of the 2014 Legislature. We discuss the deal lawmakers made with “Count My Vote” and how legislators are going to pay for Speaker Lockhart’s education initiative.
http://go.uen.org/pU

History lesson: ‘Taking back’ federal lands Deseret News op-ed by J. Mark Ward, senior policy analyst and public lands counsel with the Utah Association of Counties

Robert Bennett, in his editorial “Utah unlikely to ‘take back’ federal lands,” (Feb. 17) tells a story he heard that President Hoover offered to transfer federal lands to the states, but Western states, led by Utah Gov. George Dern, said no. Bennett concludes an offer like that won’t happen again because, “We had the chance and turned it down.”
This implies Utah’s leaders then and now must be a bunch of buffoons on this issue.
Some fact checks are in order:
http://go.uen.org/pV

Memo to South Jordan: What about charter schools?
Commentary by Charter Solutions President Lincoln Fillmore

South Jordan’s City Council has talked about working to form their own school district, as state law allows cities to do. In response, the legislature is considering a bill that would restrict the circumstances in which city government could do so, which if passed, would nix the South Jordan government effort. (The city would still be able to form their own district, but it would need to be citizen-driven rather than come from the city’s government.)
South Jordan sees the threat of breaking away from the district as leverage to ensure that the city’s growing population has growing school capacity to match, particularly after the Jordan District bond failed so miserably last year.
http://go.uen.org/qC

Use tax increase to cover basic education needs Salt Lake Tribune letter from David O. Bettinson

I understand that the Utah State Senate voted in favor of a property tax increase on Tuesday that could mean as much as $100 million for public education over the next few years. However, rather than using that money to cover basic education needs, a last-minute amendment would divert it all to help fund Speaker Lockhart’s technology initiative (“Money for Utah school equalization hijacked for tech initiative,” Tribune, March 4)
As a teacher, father, and grandfather of Utah public education students, I consider this action to be a misalignment of priorities in our public education needs.
http://go.uen.org/q7

Common Core supporters providing misinformation Salt Lake Tribune letter from M. Donald Thomas

Jason Coyle’s letter (“Academic myopia,” Forum, March 5) illustrates attempts to falsify a need for Common Core.
There is a great deal of misinformation in support of the program. The major push behind Common Core is a group of big businesses (IBM, Chevron, Boeing, etc.). The program is supported by special interest groups who have little knowledge about the complexities of teaching and learning.
Common Core began with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Eli Broad Foundation, which financed its creation. The purpose is to enhance private sector control of a public function and to punish underfunded schools in disadvantaged areas, so that they can be privatized.
http://go.uen.org/q6

In Defense of the Common Core Standards
Brookings Institute commentary by Joshua Bleiberg, Center Coordinator, Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation, and Darrell M. West, Founding Director, Center for Technology Innovation

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are under attack from the right and the left. Liberals fear that policy makers will use the standards to punish teachers. Conservatives believe the Common Core is an attempt by the federal government to take over schools. Supporters of the Core have their own bipartisan alliance that argues standards will help eliminate achievement gaps. Standards can increase coordination between diverse sets of stakeholders which aids in school reform. Well implemented education standards increase innovation, simplify the transfer of ideas, and improve personalized learning systems.
The economics literature on standards demonstrates the value of this approach to innovation. In the broadest sense standards are a set of technical specifications reached through a formal negotiation and agreement process. There is no universally accepted definition or typology for standards across different sectors. Few have engaged in the intellectual exercise of comparing the effects of standards across sectors. The way teachers use education standards bears little in common with how other professionals like electricians use standards. However, understanding the similarities and differences between standards in other sectors and in education helps elucidate their potential impact in education.
In this paper, Joshua Bleiberg and Darrell West mount a fresh defense of the Common Core and argue that there are numerous benefits to standards. They draw on lessons from economics and point out that education standards create a platform that encourages the development of groundbreaking new ideas. In the conclusion, they recommend several policy solutions that could help maximize the effect of standards on education.
http://go.uen.org/pY

Then and Now, a Test That Aims to Neutralize Advantages of the Privileged New York Times analysis by RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

When the College Board announced Wednesday that it was overhauling the SAT in ways that would curb the advantages enjoyed by affluent students, it sounded a bit like the people who first designed and popularized the test decades ago.
The similarities end there. Across more than eight decades, the SAT’s backers have held it out as a yardstick, albeit an imperfect one, for academic merit, but notions of what defines merit have changed profoundly.
The test began in the 1920s supposedly as a gauge of intelligence, but in recent years has moved toward measuring whether high school students have learned what they should. The latest changes give the SAT a hard shove further in that direction, making it more like its competitor, the ACT, in redefining merit as less about cleverness, and more about curriculum mastery.
http://go.uen.org/qD

I Opted My Kids Out of Standardized Tests Then I learned a thing or two.
Slate commentary by Lisa T. McElroy, associate professor of law at the Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law

Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren’t permanent Colorado residents—we’re just here for one academic year while I’m a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see no educational benefit to the tests. My younger daughter experienced some serious test anxiety a couple of years back when taking Pennsylvania’s standardized tests.
And honestly, given three things—that, according to what a school administrator told me, Colorado law allows parents to refuse the testing on behalf of their children; that the testing enrollment forms include an option to “refuse testing”; and that we currently live in Boulder, one of the most liberal, individualistic towns in America—we truly didn’t think this would be a big deal.
Boy, were we wrong.
http://go.uen.org/q1

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Obama to Promote Education Agenda at Miami School

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is beginning a new effort to help students take the first step toward getting a college education.
During a visit to a Miami high school on Friday, Obama was announcing a new initiative to help students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form. The application is required for students to receive federal student aid, like Pell Grants, or federal student loans. States, colleges and universities also award student financial aid based on the form.
http://go.uen.org/qF

Revisions to the SAT college admissions test follow years of gains for rival ACT exam Washington Post

Anthony Simon’s experience with college admissions testing might shed light on why the College Board this week announced big revisions to its SAT exam, and why the rival ACT has become the most popular admission test in the country.
As Simon prepared for his college search, the D.C. teenager steeled himself for the SAT. He bought a book of vocabulary words and planned to memorize up to 10 words a day. He studied a lot and completed a couple of practice tests.
But he never took the official SAT. Instead, he took the other test — twice.
http://go.uen.org/qE

Georgia cites ‘educational sovereignty’ in move to abandon Common Core Georgia was a leader in devising a ‘common core’ of education standards for 45 states. But state lawmakers are targeting the Common Core an anti-Washington crusade that could echo nationwide.
Christian Science Monitor

ATLANTA -Georgia Republicans, rebelling against what they see as a federal schoolhouse grab, may succeed in a first-in-the-nation bid to derail the so-called Common Core school standards while returning more control of math, social studies, and science curricula to local school districts in the Deep South state.
Common Core, the new standard for public schools in 45 states and the District of Columbia, began as a push by state governors and business interests to encourage better-educated public school graduates, and Georgia was among the leaders.
But now Georgia is leading a charge to bar federal interference in what students are taught or how they are tested, including the use of federal funds to reward states that adopt the Common Core. It’s a backlash that’s playing out in states ranging from South Dakota to New York.
http://go.uen.org/qG

Selling Mountain Dew and other ways to improve access to technology in schools Hechinger Report

Austin, TX. — When Erynn Petersen, a technology educator and advocate, wanted to prepare kids in rural parts of Washington state for technology and engineering jobs, she realized she needed to appeal to her audience. Compared to students in urban areas, many of the rural students she met had little access to technology, and no experience with robotics or software coding.
So Petersen rented an office in a small town and set up X-box consoles with large screens and comfortable furniture.
“We thought when they came in to play X-box, we could slowly bring them up the pipeline to learning how to code,” Petersen said, during a session at the South by Southwest.edu (SXSWedu) conference this week, a gathering of companies, entrepreneurs, technology advocates and educators interested in using technology to change teaching and learning.
The X-box approach worked. Middle and high school kids trickled in to play after school. Before long, they were attending evening classes at Petersen’s program, Station082, where they learned to code software and build robots.
With no funding on hand, the program set up a snack store to serve as a source of income. “We’re pretty much financing technology education with Mountain Dew,” Petersen said.
http://go.uen.org/qH

New Albertson Foundation report lays out education funding choices
(Boise) Idaho Statesman

Idaho spends less per student on public education than any other state except Utah. And it faces a choice in how to increase the amount it puts into public schools, says a new report from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.
Idaho spent $6,821 per student in 2011, the latest year for which state comparisons are available. The U.S. average is $10,658.
Spending more money by itself doesn’t necessarily lead to improved student performance, the report says. But if education is to get more funding, state leaders will have to make a decision: take a greater share of existing dollars and put them into education or increase the size of Idaho’s economy to get more dollars for schools, the report says.
http://go.uen.org/qL

A copy of the report
http://go.uen.org/qM  (Albertson Foundation)

House approves buying English learner software Associated Press via (Tucson) Arizona Daily Star

PHOENIX — The Arizona House has approved a plan to spend millions on a software program schools will use to teach children who don’t speak English as their primary language.
Republican Rep. Rick Gray’s proposal passed on a 34-24 vote Thursday. It requires the state to take bids and have the system in place by next year. Gray and others backing House Bill 2485 say they were impressed by Utah’s use of similar software for their English Language Learners.
http://go.uen.org/qN

Mandatory Flu Shots Kept Small Kids Out of Hospitals NBC

Connecticut’s new requirement that all kids in daycare get a flu shot every year appears to have kept many of those children out of the hospital during later flu seasons, researchers reported Thursday.
Vaccination rates among preschoolers shot up from just under 68 percent in 2009 to 84 percent during last year’s flu season, health experts reported. And hospitalization rates for kids 4 and under fell by 12 percent, even as rates rose in many other places.
“Connecticut had the biggest change in the right direction,” said Dr. James Hadler of the Yale School of Public Health.
http://go.uen.org/pZ

A copy of the report
http://go.uen.org/q0  (CDC)

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

March 7:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
7:30 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspxpr

Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee meeting
8:11 a.m., 415 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2014/agenda/SGOP0307.ag.htm

House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2014/agenda/HNAE0307.ag.htm

Senate Education Committee meeting
4 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2014/agenda/SEDU0307.ag.htm

House Political Subdivisions Committee meeting
4 p.m., 450 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2014/agenda/HPOL0307.ag.htm

House Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting
4 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/~2014/agenda/HREV0307.ag.htm

Senate Health and Human Services Committee meeting
4 p.m., 250 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2014/agenda/SHHS0307.ag.htm

Senate Business and Labor Committee meeting
4:10 p.m., 215 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/~2014/agenda/SBUS0307.ag.htm

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
6 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00002701.htm

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

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