Education News Roundup: March 28, 2014

Supt. Martell Menlove chats with students in route to Foxboro Elementary Thursday morning.

Supt. Martell Menlove chats with students in route to Foxboro Elementary School.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

ENR is very sad to announce that State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove is retiring.
http://go.uen.org/Ci  (SLT)
and http://go.uen.org/Cj (DN)
and http://go.uen.org/Ck  (PDH)
and http://go.uen.org/Cm  (CVD)
and http://go.uen.org/Cn  (USOE)

Governor signs the CO detector and financial literacy bills.
http://go.uen.org/BM  (SLT)

Logan School District hires a new business manager.
http://go.uen.org/BZ  (LHJ)

Schools in Duchesne and Wasatch counties are seeing some nationally-ranked growth.
http://go.uen.org/C8  (KNRS)
and http://go.uen.org/C9  (AP)
or a copy of the report
http://go.uen.org/Ca  (Census Bureau)

Stop helping your kids with your homework. Really. New study says it’s better if you do. It’s also nice that it works out well for Mom and Dad. Y’know. No algebra at the end of the day.
http://go.uen.org/BJ (SF Chrony)
or a copy of the study
http://go.uen.org/BK  (Harvard University Press)

NPR looks at the opt-out society.
http://go.uen.org/C7  (NPR)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah K-12 superintendent Martell Menlove retiring Education » Utah State Board of Education says it will begin a search for a new superintendent immediately.

Herbert signs 30 bills, including one that raises speed limits

Logan City School District hires new business administrator

Two Utah Counties Are Among Seven Fastest-Growing in America

Park City students learn science of snow sports

Mary Beth Tinker urges students to understand and use free speech rights

Utah’s autism rate holding steady, but still above average Health » New CDC numbers show national rate rising.

Utah High School Activities Association committee will examine impact of socio-economics on high school sports

Two UHSAA staff members announce their departure

U of U professor honored for work with children who have disabilities

Crossing guard hit by car shares his story

Parent creates elaborate ship for “Pirates” set

‘You Can’t Take It With You’ offers laughs at Northridge High

Lewiston Elementary students learn teamwork, sportsmanship in school’s Olympics

Wilson Elementary students celebrate safety week

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Utah teacher who balked at testing gets placed on leave

Education dumbed down

Misinterpreting Title IX

Abandoning the Common Core is taking the easy way out

It’s time for a paradigm shift in public education

ALEC’s “Imagine Learning” Bill Is Now Hidden In Another Bill (Along With Performance Funding)

NATION

Study says parents’ help with homework does more harm than good

Of Me I Sing: Americans Construct An Opt-Out Society

Public Schools for Sale?

Appeals Court Rejects Latest Challenge to Corporal Punishment

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah K-12 superintendent Martell Menlove retiring Education » Utah State Board of Education says it will begin a search for a new superintendent immediately.

Utah superintendent of public instruction Martell Menlove announced Friday he is retiring, but he’ll stay on the job until a replacement is hired.
“It is with regret that we accept Superintendent Menlove’s decision,” said Utah State Board of Education Chairman David L. Crandall in a statement. “I believe we all have great respect for Martell and respectfully accept this decision.”
Menlove, then 60, was named state superintendent in 2012. He began working at the state Office of Education in 2009 as deputy superintendent after working as an administrator in Tooele, Rich, and Box Elder County school districts.
http://go.uen.org/Ci  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/Cj  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/Ck  (PDH)

http://go.uen.org/Cm  (CVD)

http://go.uen.org/Cn  (USOE)

Herbert signs 30 bills, including one that raises speed limits

Gov. Gary Herbert signed another 30 bills that were passed during the recent legislative session on Thursday, including a measure that will allow transportation officials to raise the speed limit along stretches of interstates.

The governor also signed HB 39, sponsored by Rep. Douglas Sagers, R-Tooele, requires anyone spending more than $1,000 on an election campaign to report that expenditure to the lieutenant governor’s office.
SB 40, sponsored by Sen. Pat Jones, D-Holladay, establishes a financial literacy course to be taught to Utah high school students as part of the school curriculum.
SB 58, sponsored by Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, requires schools to be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. Last year, dozens of children were sickened by a carbon monoxide leak at Montezuma Creek Elementary School.
And SB70, sponsored by Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, directs state government to create a central portal for all records requests submitted to executive branch agencies, school districts, municipalities and special service districts.
http://go.uen.org/BM  (SLT)

Logan City School District hires new business administrator

After months of searching, the Logan City School District has a new business administrator.
The Board of Education appointed Jeff Barben as the new business administrator effective July 1. Barben will be replacing Zane Woolstenhulme, who resigned from his position in November after being hired by the Ogden City School District. Woolstenhulme has stayed on as a part-time interim business administrator since January.
Barben has been the business administrator for the Piute County School District in Junction, Utah, for the past five years. Before that, he worked in the private sector in central Utah. He holds a bachelor’s in business administration and an MBA, both from Southern Utah University.
http://go.uen.org/BZ  (LHJ)

Two Utah Counties Are Among Seven Fastest-Growing in America

America’s energy boom is fueling huge population growth, in a pair of Utah counties.
The Census Bureau shows, 2 of the 7 fastes-growing counties in America, are Duchesne and Wasatch counties.
Duchesne County’s population grew 5.5% … the second-fastes in the country.
Wasatch County grew 4.4% … number 7 on the list.
http://go.uen.org/C8  (KNRS)

http://go.uen.org/C9  (AP)

A copy of the report
http://go.uen.org/Ca  (Census Bureau)

Park City students learn science of snow sports

PARK CITY — Utah is home to the greatest snow on Earth and some of the greatest winter sport athletes in the world.
But Thursday, students in Park City were presented with the science behind skiing and snowboarding, from the friction that slows them down in a race to the gravitational force that brings them crashing to the ground.
“They do flips, they do jumps, they go over gaps and they ski down slopes, and the slopes push back at them,” said Rich Ingebretsen, associate dean of the University of Utah College of Science. “That’s all wonderful science.”
http://go.uen.org/BO  (DN)

Mary Beth Tinker urges students to understand and use free speech rights

Mary Beth Tinker has a message for young adults in Utah and around the world:
“It’s their world. They need to take stands and they need to know their rights,” she said in an interview. “My role is to encourage them to use their right with respect and care.”
Tinker, a First Amendment advocate, has brought her “Tinker Tour” to Utah this weekend. She planned to address high school students at Sandy’s Alta High School Friday, and will be a keynote speaker Saturday at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 9 Conference at the Brigham Young University Salt Lake Center.
http://go.uen.org/BL  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/BW  (PDH)

Utah’s autism rate holding steady, but still above average Health » New CDC numbers show national rate rising.

Utah’s autism rate continues to be above average, but it’s holding steady at about 2 percent of the population as the national rate rises, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
One in 54 Utah children have been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder, according to an analysis of 2010 data.
That’s down from 1 in 47 in 2008, but still roughly 2 percent of the population, said Deborah Bilder, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah and one of the study’s principal investigators.
Among 11 sites monitoring autism for the CDC, only New Jersey has a higher prevalence, at 1 in 46 children.
http://go.uen.org/BN  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/BP  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/BY  (LHJ)

http://go.uen.org/C1  (KTVX)

http://go.uen.org/C5  (KSL)

http://go.uen.org/C2  (KSTU)

http://go.uen.org/Cb  (Ed Week)

Utah High School Activities Association committee will examine impact of socio-economics on high school sports

SANDY — Matt Rickards watched the Kearns High soccer coach coaxing students to play for the school’s team and realized he had to do more than complain about a process he felt ignored the realities of prep competition.
“One of our coaches was walking down the hall and literally asking girls to come play because they needed to fill the team,” said the school’s head football coach. “At the time, we were competing in 5A, in a region with Bingham, Copper Hills, Riverton, and I thought, ‘How is it possible for us to even compete?’ ”
Rickards decided to investigate an assumption than many educators have theorized about for years — schools with more affluent populations have more success in extracurricular activities.
http://go.uen.org/BR  (DN)

Two UHSAA staff members announce their departure

SANDY — Becky Anderson isn’t retiring as assistant director of the Utah High School Activities Association. But she is resigning.
“This isn’t a retirement,” said Anderson, who announced her departure at the UHSAA’s Board of Trustees meeting Thursday. “This is opening doors for other opportunities and see where life takes me.”

Mike Petty, the UHSAA’s supervisor of officials, announced his retirement. He and his wife built a home in Parowan and he’s tired of commuting.
http://go.uen.org/BQ  (DN)

U of U professor honored for work with children who have disabilities

SALT LAKE CITY – A University of Utah professor was honored Thursday for her efforts to create a student-led exercise program for children with disabilities and their families.
Hester Henderson, associate professor of exercise and sports science, was honored with the U of U’s Distinguished Faculty Service Award at the Bennion Center’s Community Engaged Recognition Luncheon.
Her program, U-FIT, was established in 2000 and serves about 140 children each semester. It also gives student volunteers an experience they can’t get in a classroom.
http://go.uen.org/C4  (KSTU)

Crossing guard hit by car shares his story

OREM, Utah — An 80-year old crossing guard was hit by a car Wednesday, and Thursday he was able to come home from the hospital.
The crosswalk in front of Orchard Elementary in Orem isn’t the same without Jerry T. Smith helping the kids cross the street. And he said he’s missing the kids as much as they’re missing him.
“I’d go back right now if I could,” Smith said.
http://go.uen.org/C3  (KSTU)

http://go.uen.org/C6  (KSL)

Parent creates elaborate ship for “Pirates” set

Some parents go to great lengths to support their children in their interests, and a Westlake High School father has gone beyond the usual “hurrahs” for his kids.
The Saratoga Springs school is staging the classic Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera, “Pirates of Penzance.”
http://go.uen.org/BV  (PDH)

‘You Can’t Take It With You’ offers laughs at Northridge High

A zany show packed with quirky characters, “You Can’t Take it With You,” has a theme that is summed up in the words of main character Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff:
“You can’t take it with you. So what good is it? As near as I can see, the only thing you can take with you is the love of your friends.”
That’s one message Northridge High School Drama teacher, Jana Coates, hopes her students internalize.
http://go.uen.org/BT  (OSE)

Lewiston Elementary students learn teamwork, sportsmanship in school’s Olympics

LEWISTON — The fifth-grade class at Lewiston Elementary took part in their own version of the Olympic games. The three-day event started Wednesday and pitted the students in Steve Seamons’, Darrell Spendlove’s and Brenda Egbert’s classes against each other.
http://go.uen.org/BX  (LHJ)

Wilson Elementary students celebrate safety week

Safety took center stage for students at Wilson Elementary School in Payson this week.
http://go.uen.org/BU  (PDH)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Utah teacher who balked at testing gets placed on leave Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist PAUL ROLLY

An honors English teacher who has vocally criticized Granite School District’s computer-adapted standardized tests as a waste of time and irrelevant to what students are being taught has been placed on administrative leave and may be fired.
The ongoing conflict between district brass and Wasatch Junior High teacher Ann Florence came to a head Thursday. Florence, who was on sick leave, appeared at her first-period ninth-grade class and read a prepared statement to the students. The statement indicated she is going through a disciplinary process, which could lead to termination.
That led to a rebuke from her principal, Christine Judd, who wrote in an email that she was disappointed Florence would involve her students in the dispute.
Later on Thursday, Florence received a letter from Assistant Superintendent Mike Fraser that was delivered to her home by the district’s police. It informed her she was being put on paid administrative leave and would not be allowed on Granite District property.
The teacher’s classroom appearance, though, also prompted a letter emailed to her by one of her honors students that began: “Oh captain, my captain, you have taught me so much this year. The value of honesty, imagination, and freedom to express myself. I cannot thank you enough for that. You are the best teacher Wasatch could ever ask for.”
Students launched a petition drive, urging that Florence not be terminated.
http://go.uen.org/BI

Education dumbed down
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Shane Traveller

My wife recently asked that I help our first grader with her math homework, giving me my first exposure to what is called Common Core. I found the assignment confusing and stupid. Rather than teach our kids to add and subtract, we now use tables and “skip counting.” I’m sure researchers somewhere determined this made more sense than the old fashioned way, but it makes me wonder.
Common Core is designed to make sure all kids get the same education and that all are equally prepared when they graduate. This sounds suspiciously to me like “intelligence redistribution.” First the government wants to make us all financially equal, now they want us all to be intellectually equal. In reality, it just makes us lower our expectations and goals. And guess what? Not everyone is equal. Some people are just smarter than others. Some people enjoy studying, some people have more internal drive to learn. Rather than encourage this, we hold them back and demand less.
http://go.uen.org/C0

Misinterpreting Title IX
Deseret News letter from Blaikly Wright

Utah drill team competitions have become more competitive as each year has passed. As a result of this competitive atmosphere, teams have requested that a limit be put on the number of girls on the state floor.
This request was shot down by the UHSAA because of “Title IX.” They said that limiting the number of girls on the floor was not giving enough girls a chance to be on the floor.
Title nine clearly states that it is discrimination on “the basis of sex” that is not allowed in high school sports.
http://go.uen.org/BS

Abandoning the Common Core is taking the easy way out Fordham Foundation commentary by Sonja Brookins Santelises, vice president of K–12 policy and practice at The Education Trust

While the New York State United Teachers and the National Education Association have withdrawn their support for the Common Core State Standards, it’s important to recognize that the teachers’ actions had nothing to do with the standards themselves. This blowback is yet another example of how concerns about implementation are being conflated with the actual merit of the standards.
Even among educators committed to serving children in poverty and kids already performing far below their potential, there is widespread agreement that these rigorous standards will help move more of our young people toward true college and career readiness. The recently released Primary Sources survey found that nearly 75 percent of teachers expressed enthusiasm for the Common Core. Further, more than half said they thought the standards would be positive for most students.
What many object to are the rushed timelines for implementing the standards and tests, a lack of adequate support for teaching the standards, and the simultaneous rollout of new educator evaluation systems based partly on student performance on these brand new tests.
These are valid concerns.
http://go.uen.org/Cf

It’s time for a paradigm shift in public education
(Minneapolis) Minnesota Post op-ed by Nekima Levy-Pounds, professor of law at the University of St. Thomas

It is no secret that many parents, educators, advocates and policymakers are concerned about the current state of public education. Indeed, we have a right to be concerned. Education, after all, is one of the most important gateways to upward mobility and opportunity in our society.
For a child born into poverty, having access to a high-quality education may be the difference between being locked out of mainstream society and gaining the opportunity to become a contributing member. A high-school diploma may also be the difference between a child being on a pathway to prison or a pathway to college, as studies show that a black man without a high-school diploma is six times more likely to end up in prison. Young people who graduate from high school, at a minimum, have a decent chance of finding entry-level employment, going to college and identifying a career path.
Although graduating from high school should be the bare minimum expectation for those attending our public schools, for far too many of our youths it is a goal that appears out of reach. From my vantage point as a parent, educator and civil-rights attorney, this is unacceptable.
http://go.uen.org/Cg

ALEC’s “Imagine Learning” Bill Is Now Hidden In Another Bill (Along With Performance Funding) Tucson (AZ) Weekly commentary by columnist DAVID SAFIER

I’ve posted twice about the lege’s third try to give what is essentially a no-bid contract to a Utah company, Imagine Learning, to supply software for ELL students — first here, then in a post showing that the Arizona bill, HB2485, is taken directly from an ALEC model bill. Now a kind email stranger showed me the bill’s latest incarnation.
The original HB2485 is being turned into a strike-everything bill dealing with transmitting affidavits, which has nothing to do with the original. Meanwhile, the Imagine Learning language has been brought over to SB1488: K-12 education; budget reconciliation; 2014-2015. It’s a big bill, and many of the details are way above my pay grade, but if you scroll down to section 15-216, you’ll find the Imagine Learning bill’s language is one part of the budget package.
http://go.uen.org/Cl

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Study says parents’ help with homework does more harm than good San Francisco Chronicle

Finally some parenting advice that doesn’t create more work for Mom and Dad: Don’t help your kids with their homework.
This bit of wisdom comes from a story in the Atlantic reporting on what’s being touted as the “largest-ever study of how parental involvement affects academic achievement.” After analyzing nearly 25,000 student surveys provided by the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics and family questionnaires from Child Development Supplement, researchers found that parent help is mostly inconsequential, and sometimes can even hurt.
In other words, let your kids sweat it out solving those calculus problems, while you sit back, relax, drink a martini and watch some reality TV — or more realistically do the dishes and catch up on work email.
http://go.uen.org/BJ

A copy of the study
http://go.uen.org/BK  (Harvard University Press)

Of Me I Sing: Americans Construct An Opt-Out Society NPR

Americans want to go their own way.
The right of individuals to question authority is one of the strongest facets of American life. But the ability to strike out on your own has always been balanced against the need for communal action in a complicated, continental country.
Right now, the pendulum is swinging more toward individualism.
“Individualism and self-reliance — that’s one of the core values that people share,” says Wayne Baker, author of the new book United America. “That has been a major thread throughout all of American history, almost a constant.”
The current strain of individualism extends far beyond the familiar distrust of Washington and political polarization, affecting choices in education, economic activity and medical care, among other areas.
“It’s a reaction to the phrase we’ve heard repeatedly from President Obama, and before from Bill Clinton, that we’re all in this together,” says Roger Pilon, director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian-leaning think tank.
“The problem with this phrase is, if we’re all in this together, we can’t go our separate ways,” he says.
Americans are presented with so many choices that perhaps it’s only natural they would come to regard official positions as suspect — as just one of many possibilities, and not deserving of automatic support.
A group with the seemingly paradoxical name of United Opt Out National is holding a convention in Denver this weekend, encouraging parents to keep their children from taking standardized tests in school.
Such tests have proliferated over the past 15 years or so, used to judge the performance of schools and individual teachers. Some parents believe they do little to further the education of their own individual children, and so they are making noise about boycotting them in places like Chicago, Philadelphia and Waco, Texas.
So far, their numbers are small. But educators and policymakers who rely on the tests are starting to get nervous.
http://go.uen.org/C7

Public Schools for Sale?
Moyers & Company

Public education is becoming big business as bankers, hedge-fund managers and private-equity investors are entering what they consider to be an “emerging market.” As Rupert Murdoch put it after purchasing an education technology company, “When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the US alone.”
Education historian Diane Ravitch says the privatization of public education has to stop. As Assistant Secretary of Education under the first President Bush, she was an advocate of school choice and charter schools and supported the No Child Left Behind initiative of the second President Bush. But after careful investigation, she changed her mind, and has become, according to Salon.com, “the nation’s highest profile opponent” of charter-based education.
On this week’s Moyers & Company, she tells Bill Moyers, ”I think what’s at stake is the future of American public education. I believe it is one of the foundation stones of our democracy: So an attack on public education is an attack on democracy.”
http://go.uen.org/Ch

Appeals Court Rejects Latest Challenge to Corporal Punishment Education Week

A federal appeals court has rejected the lawsuit of a Mississippi 8th grader whose misbehavior led to a paddling by a school administrator. The student then fainted and fell face-first to the floor, breaking his jaw and five of his teeth, court papers say.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans, was unmoved by the student’s lawsuit. It ruled unanimously that it was bound by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1977 decision in Ingraham v. Wright, which upheld the constitutionality of corporal punishment in schools.
http://go.uen.org/Cc

A copy of the ruling
http://go.uen.org/Ce  (5th Circuit Court of Appeals)

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

April 10:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/IaQntl

April 3-4:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspxpr

May 20:
Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2014&Com=APPEXE

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