Education News Roundup: April 14, 2014

Masks by students from Clayton Middle School

Masks by students from Clayton Middle School

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

Was Common Core an issue in Salt Lake County GOP convention?
http://go.uen.org/Kx (DN)
and http://go.uen.org/Kz  (SLT)
and http://go.uen.org/L7  (KSL)

Can a charter school build anywhere?
http://go.uen.org/KX  (SGS)

Weber County Sheriff’s Office offers gun training to teachers.
http://go.uen.org/KQ  (OSE)

Gettysburg Address fans may want to tune into PBS tomorrow for a Ken Burns documentary on how it’s being used in one Vermont school.
http://go.uen.org/Lo  (Ed Week)
Airs April 15 @ 8 p.m. on KUED and 9 p.m. on KBYU http://www.kued.org/whatson/the-address
http://www.kbyutv.org/programs/show/?sid=2881

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Rep. Bird, Auditor Hawkins lose reelection bids at Salt Lake County GOP convention

Flap over Washington City charter school could lead to constitutional challenge

Weber sheriff trains teachers to carry guns in schools

New law to ramp up high school finance lessons

Chinese students reach out to DSU, elementary pupils

Weber High teacher suspended over genitalia naming exercise

Lockdowns lifted at Herriman schools; suspect found hiding in seminary building

Tough issues face high school athletic trainers from intermountain region

West Weber Elementary to be replaced

Ready to Launch: Utah students compete in Utah Science Olympiad

Santa Clara Elementary School wins music award

STEM Expo showcases Utah students’ projects, demonstrations

Waterford School ranked ‘Most Challenging’ in Utah by Washington Post

Dixie Power Kite Festival rewards students for reading

Young readers bring home the bacon, so principal puckers up

‘Move It!’ program teaches active lifestyle to youth

Students learn the ABCs of saving

Filed Away: Professional organizers dedicate service day to revamping classroom

RHS Selling Breakfast for Haiti Fundraiser

Sevier County High School Graduations Set

Report reveals sex education comes too late for many teens

New York parents, teachers and kids protest Common Core tests

OPINION & COMMENTARY

SAGE tests: It’s not like giving up a trip to Venice

SE introduces 6-part video documentary series

Popular comedian takes on Common Core

Get your butts to school and be on time

School funding model flawed

Data on school suspensions doesn’t prove racism

Kids shouldn’t be punished for defending themselves

Torturing Children at School

Vaccine opt-outs put public health at risk

Leave parents free to choose vaccines

Jeb Bush’s Stance on Education May Not Be That Controversial

Parental Involvement Is Overrated

NATION

Republicans tout school choice to woo minority vote

Prominent Ed-Tech Players’ Data-Privacy Policies Attract Scrutiny

Ed. Industry Groups Outline Steps to Protect Privacy of Student Data

Education interest groups step up grooming of candidates

Facing bipartisan backlash, Oklahoma reconsiders Common Core education standards

Colleges Seek to Improve Remedial Programs

Ken Burns’ ‘The Address’ Is an Inspiring Look at an Unusual School Exercise

‘Captain Underpants’ Doesn’t Sit Well with Some

French School Carries Out DNA Dragnet in Rape Case

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UTAH NEWS
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Rep. Bird, Auditor Hawkins lose reelection bids at Salt Lake County GOP convention

MURRAY — Salt Lake County Republicans voted at their convention Saturday to end the reelection bids of both Rep. Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, and Salt Lake County Auditor Greg Hawkins.

In House District 42, Bird was defeated by challenger Kim Coleman.
“I’m fine,” he said as he shook hands with delegates thanking him for his service in the Legislature. “I’ve had eight wonderful years. It doesn’t mean I’m done. I’m just done for now.”
Bird said the biggest issues in his race were the Common Core standards for public education adopted by Utah and the compromise reached by lawmakers last session over the Count My Vote initiative to replace the caucus and convention system.
He said he was surprised to receive only 28 percent of the vote to 72 percent for Coleman, an education and political consultant.
http://go.uen.org/Kx  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/Kz  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/L7 KSL)

Flap over Washington City charter school could lead to constitutional challenge

ST. GEORGE — A showdown between Washington City residents and a new charter school has spilled into the courtroom in what could become a constitutional battle to change the state’s control of how charter schools operate.
Residents in the neighborhoods east of the Green Springs Golf Course are opposing the state’s decision to give Dixie Montessori Academy a permit to build on a 30-acre “peninsula” of land.
The property owners filed a civil lawsuit April 2 attempting to stop construction at the location on Fairview Drive, noting the Washington City Planning Commission has twice denied a “lot split” proposal that would have allowed the school to buy a subdivided portion of the 30 acres.
Dixie Montessori’s backers note state law allows charter schools to locate anywhere regardless of local zoning restrictions, and the decision by the Utah State Office of Education to grant the charter a building permit trumps any local municipality opposition.
http://go.uen.org/KX  (SGS)

Weber sheriff trains teachers to carry guns in schools

With one tragic shooting incident after the other, people all over the country are realizing that those willing to inflict harm on innocents are willing to attack the most vulnerable of places. Politicians, law enforcement, school officials and parents nationwide debate how to best protect schools from the unthinkable.
In Weber County, officials are already responding by inviting teachers to participate in a unique class to not only get their concealed carry permit, but to also be prepared for an active shooter incident in their school.
http://go.uen.org/KQ  (OSE)

New law to ramp up high school finance lessons

SALT LAKE CITY — Some lawmakers, teens and others say they’re excited about a new state law designed to better equip high school students with budgeting and financial skills.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert in a Friday ceremony at the Capitol honored the measure.
Students from Bingham High School in South Jordan attended the event after urging lawmakers to pass the measure.
http://go.uen.org/KU  (PDH)

http://go.uen.org/KV  (CVD)

Chinese students reach out to DSU, elementary pupils

ST. GEORGE — Editor’s Note: The comments from Sun Wei were made through the help of translator Jiangwei Li.
As part of a new partnership between Dixie State University and Dalian and Chagzhi University in China, music students are visiting Southern Utah to learn more about American culture while sharing some of their own Chinese culture.
Some of the elementary students enrolled in the Chinese Dual Immersion program in Washington County had the opportunity to meet the Chinese university students and see musical performances from the students using Chinese instruments Thursday and Friday at various schools throughout the Washington County School District.
Mary Beth Fuller, the district’s dual language immersion coordinator, said having the university students share Chinese music and instruments with the elementary students was a great experience.
http://go.uen.org/L4 (SGS)

Weber High teacher suspended over genitalia naming exercise

PLEASANT VIEW — A Weber High School teacher has been placed on leave because of student complaints about a class exercise some found disturbing.
“We had some students who reported to administration that a teacher was having an exercise where they were put into groups, male and female, to come up with names for genitalia,” said Nate Taggart, spokesman for the Weber School District. “These were any names that the kids could come up with, and then they were listed on the board … on the whiteboard.”
Upon hearing the students’ concerns, administration went to Williams’ classroom.
“It was still on the whiteboard, and they had her erase it immediately,” said Taggart.
The students were in Ashley Williams’ “Adult Roles and Financial Literacy” class, which according to a course description is supposed to prepare students to “understand the nature, function, and significance of individual and family relationships integrated with general financial literacy.”
The exercise was inappropriate for a high school setting, and such behavior will not be tolerated, Taggart said in an email about the incident.
http://go.uen.org/KN (OSE)

http://go.uen.org/L9  (KSL)

Lockdowns lifted at Herriman schools; suspect found hiding in seminary building

HERRIMAN, Utah — Authorities have lifted the lockdowns placed on two Herriman schools Monday morning after a domestic violence incident was reported nearby.
Herriman High School and Copper Mountain Middle School were both placed on lockdown around 9:00. According to a spokeswoman for Jordan School District, police thought an armed suspect may have been in the area.
Police found the suspect hiding in a seminary building for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Copper Mountain Middle School.
http://go.uen.org/Lb  (KSTU)

http://go.uen.org/Lc  (KNRS)

Tough issues face high school athletic trainers from intermountain region

Concussions. Heat. Lightning. Conflict. Value. Retention.
If you work at a high school as an athletic trainer, all of these issues become part of your job.
Athletic trainers from five states — Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming as well as Utah — gathered in Provo Friday morning to discuss these topics and share their experiences as part of the 2014 Rocky Mountain Athletic Trainers Association Annual Clinical Symposium and Business Meeting.
In a session dedicated to talking about current issues in secondary schools, they broke down some of the big concerns and how to approach them.
http://go.uen.org/Ls  (PDH)

West Weber Elementary to be replaced

WEST WEBER — Although the West Weber Elementary School has served students well for the past 86 years, it will soon be replaced by a new, modern school.
The two-story school opened in 1928 and has had rooms added to it throughout the years. It is going to come down when school is out this spring. But there is still an opportunity for former students and the community to see the school for the last time.
There will be an open house from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, with displays of old photos and artifacts from the school, as well as tours of the building. The school sits at 4178 W. 900 South, where the new school will also be located.
http://go.uen.org/KP  (OSE)

Ready to Launch: Utah students compete in Utah Science Olympiad

SALT LAKE CITY — There was a lot riding on the two bottle rockets Martin Clemens and Cody Merrell brought to the state competition of the Utah Science Olympiad at the University of Utah Saturday.
http://go.uen.org/KI  (DN)

Santa Clara Elementary School wins music award

SANTA CLARA — Santa Clara Elementary School received the SupportMusic Merit Award from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Santa Clara Elementary joins 96 schools across the country to receive the prestigious award this year.
http://go.uen.org/L3  (SGS)

STEM Expo showcases Utah students’ projects, demonstrations

Taha Abdallah ignites a balloon full of hydrogen gas Saturday after capturing it from a chemical reaction between muriatic acid and aluminum during the Utah STEM Expo ­(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) at the South Towne Exposition Center on Saturday. The expo showcases original projects and demonstrations by Utah middle school and high school students in the STEM disciplines.
http://go.uen.org/KG (SLT)

Waterford School ranked ‘Most Challenging’ in Utah by Washington Post

SANDY — A private school serving 950 students from preschool to 12th grade has been named Utah’s most challenging high school by the Washington Post.
For the annual report, which evaluates schools based on the number of college-level tests taken relative to the number of graduating students, the Waterford School in Sandy claimed the top spot in Utah and was ranked 159 in the nation.
http://go.uen.org/L8  (KSL)

Dixie Power Kite Festival rewards students for reading

ST. GEORGE — Dixie Power Kite Festival officials expected 20,000 to 25,000 people to attend the 15th annual event on Saturday where thousands of elementary school students received free kites or books for completing a Dixie Power reading program challenge.
http://go.uen.org/L2  (SGS)

Young readers bring home the bacon, so principal puckers up

Guadalupe School students just kept flipping — so Principal Ernie Nix had to start kissing.
Nix challenged the school’s 136 K-5 students to read 32,000 pages by Friday and to find sponsors to donate a nickel per page, raising money for a playground at the school’s new building.
The students read 42,354 pages by the deadline, raising $8,343, said spokeswoman Elysia Alvarado Yuen. With a $5,000 matching grant from donors, the school has raised $13,343, she said.
So on Friday, Nix puckered up and smooched a pig named Babe, provided by This Is The Place Heritage Park.
http://go.uen.org/KD  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/KH  (DN)

‘Move It!’ program teaches active lifestyle to youth

ST. GEORGE – The “Move It!” program, sponsored by the St. George Marathon and St. George Leisure Services, has spent the past two years fielding a dedicated team of volunteers and dispatching them to elementary schools to promote physical fitness and encourage an active lifestyle.
The program, which is in every elementary school in Washington County – including private and charter schools – is “designed to get kids up and moving,” said program coordinator, Brianna Rosia.
http://go.uen.org/Lr  (SGN)

Students learn the ABCs of saving

In honor of National Teach Children to Save Day, Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson and Executive Vice President Rob Brough visited fourth-grade students at Escalante Elementary School in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 11, 2014.
http://go.uen.org/KJ  (DN)

Filed Away: Professional organizers dedicate service day to revamping classroom

Ruth Hadlock and other Utah Professional Organizers help create a more organized learning environment for their annual GO (Get Organized) service project in Elizabeth Gardiner’s second grade classroom at Newman Elementary School in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 12, 2014. The group picked Gardiner, who they said often buys classroom supplies with her own money, because she inherited a disorganized classroom full of outdated materials. The aim of Saturday’s project was to clear out and organize the classroom in an effort to increase productivity and energy and improve the classroom’s flow by way of established “learning zones.”
http://go.uen.org/KK  (DN)

RHS Selling Breakfast for Haiti Fundraiser

Richfield High School will be selling breakfast Tuesday to raise money for student in Haiti. Corey Morrison, who is organizing the event, told the Richfield Reaper that the cost of sending a child to school in Haiti is $250 a year, which isn’t that much to people in the United States. However, he said for most people in Haiti that amount is nearly insurmountable.
The breakfast will be served on the Richfield High School Football field. Students can prepay $5 for the breakfast at the RHS office. The pancake breakfast will be served to students at 7:45 a.m. and then to the public at 8:45 a.m. Additional donations can be made at the Richfield High School office.
http://go.uen.org/Le (MUR)

Sevier County High School Graduations Set

Graduations for Sevier County schools are scheduled for Friday, May 23rd. Cedar Ridge High commencement is at 10 a.m. in the Sevier Valley Center Theater. All other graduations will be held in the SVC arena with Richfield High at 1 p.m., South Sevier High at 4 p.m. and North Sevier High at 6 p.m. The high school awards assemblies are also scheduled for next month, South Sevier, May 14th. Richfield High on May 10th and North Sevier High on May 20th.
http://go.uen.org/Ld (MUR)

Report reveals sex education comes too late for many teens

SALT LAKE CITY — Experts from the CDC advise educators and parents to address sex education with teens at a younger age — before they have sex.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals teen girls from ages 15-17 don’t receive health education until after they’ve become sexually active.
http://go.uen.org/La (KSL)

New York parents, teachers and kids protest Common Core tests

Led by principals and teachers, parents and students from some of New York’s best schools protested Friday morning against the new Common Core English tests, which were administered there and around the country last week.
http://go.uen.org/KL (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Thumbs up, thumbs down
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

Thumbs down: To fewer children eating school lunch, according to data. It appears that all the healthy food mandates from the feds have made kids less eager to use the school cafeteria as an eating option.
Thumbs up: To Utah and Common Core. Florida has agreed to pay our state $5.4 million for Utah’s SAGE test questions, a part of our state’s Common Core initiative. The test was written by the Utah Office of Education.
http://go.uen.org/KT

SAGE tests: It’s not like giving up a trip to Venice
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist George Pyle

It was one of those serendipitous discoveries that only really creative people, like my wife, can come across. Or it would have been, if the educational establishment hadn’t fouled it all up.
It was a killer online deal that would have allowed my wife and our then-fourth-grade son to get a room on a big ocean liner for what they call a repositioning cruise. That’s when a ship that has spent the last few months lazily circling the Caribbean crosses the Atlantic in order to spend the next few months lazily circling the Mediterranean. They would have wound up in Venice for several days before flying home to Upstate New York.
Except, as it turned out, the only week that deal was available was the same week that all New York elementary schools were giving their standardized achievement tests.
http://go.uen.org/KE

SE introduces 6-part video documentary series
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by columnist Andy Howell

Keiter and Zack is not the name of a new comedy team, although it sounds like it would make a pretty good one. They are a team, though, and the results of their partnership is a serious eye-opening project.
For the past two months, visual journalists Kelly Keiter and Ben Zack have teamed up on a in-depth look at education in Northern Utah, compiling more than 40 hours of footage from interviews, activities and events. The result is a six-part documentary video project titled “Making the Grade: Why Some Schools Succeed and Others Fail.”
You will have a chance to view the first 20-minute episode at a free premiere showing set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Pleasant Valley Branch Library, 5568 S. Adams Ave., in Washington Terrace. Kelly and Ben will be on hand to discuss the project and answer questions from the audience.
http://go.uen.org/KO

Popular comedian takes on Common Core
Deseret News commentary by columnist JJ Feinauer

Popular comedian, and newly appointed successor to David Letterman’s hosting gig at the “Late Show,” Stephen Colbert took on the Common Core standards Tuesday night on his show “The Colbert Report.”
http://go.uen.org/KM

Get your butts to school and be on time
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by columnist Emily Wilde, a senior at Morgan High School

The classroom lays frozen. Thirty-six students sit quietly watching the clock in anticipation for the minute hand to land on the 6. They listen for a buzz, a ding, a siren, a ring, something to indicate they can leave.
The ring finally occurs and is quickly followed by the classroom doors being shoved open. The hallways are instantly flooded with loud chaos as students rush from the classrooms, eager to get out.
It is interesting students have no trouble racing out of the classroom right on time as the bell rings, however, they do have a hard time getting there on time in the first place, or in some cases getting there at all.
http://go.uen.org/KR

School funding model flawed
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Russ Larsen

After my last letter was published March 16, I had a phone call from an old friend asking me to write about something local. After about an hour visit, among topics we discussed was education and the local tax bond vote we are all now saddled with.
My friend is a former teacher and, so you all know, my dad was an educator as well. So I believe I can speak with some knowledge of the subject.
I am all for a good education in the formative years (K-12) and those that choose beyond.
That being said, the recently passed “school bond” election that was held (of which many county voters claim they never got ballets), won by a narrow margin of around 216 votes.
http://go.uen.org/KW

Data on school suspensions doesn’t prove racism
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Jack McDonald

Jade Fisher’s letter to the Forum of April 5, titled “Racism is apparent in school suspension data” assumes facts not in evidence. I agree, the data cited is worrisome. But to castigate school systems everywhere and label them all racist is shameful and completely void of any legally acceptable standard.
Racism gets the blame for many of the social ills of this country, and for that matter, the planet, and maybe deservedly so. But to associate it with every problem is lazy and completely irresponsible.
Maybe, rather than blaming the teacher or school administrator, some rational thought should be given to the notion that the student might shoulder some of the responsibility for being punished or maybe the parents.
http://go.uen.org/KF

Kids shouldn’t be punished for defending themselves
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Stephanie Schaible

I think most would agree that fighting should not be tolerated at school. Fighting is harmful, disruptive, and in opposition to healthy, safe school environments. It has become the norm for school administrators to equally punish both parties involved in school fighting regardless of who the aggressor was or what the circumstances were.
Kids who defend themselves in school fights are being charged with disorderly conduct or assault even if they were not the aggressor. They are being told that they must walk away from a physical attack. They are being passed off to the juvenile court system with the intention to teach kids who defend themselves not to repeat action when they are assaulted at school and that the consequences will escalate if they do.
http://go.uen.org/KS

Torturing Children at School
New York Times editorial

Federal investigators have opened an inquiry into the tragic case of a high school student in Bastrop County, Tex., who suffered severe brain damage and nearly died last fall after a deputy sheriff shocked him with a Taser, a high voltage electronic weapon.
In North Carolina, civil rights lawyers have filed a complaint with the Justice Department, charging the Wake County school system with violating the constitutional rights of minority children by subjecting them to discriminatory arrest practices and brutality by police officers assigned to schools. In one nightmarish case described in the complaint, a disabled 15-year-old was shocked with a Taser three times during an interrogation at school, resulting in punctured lungs. And in New York, civil rights lawyers have sued the city of Syracuse on behalf of two students. One was shocked three times, not for threatening behavior but for lying on the floor and crying, they say, and another was shocked while trying to break up a fight.
Complaints about dangerous disciplinary practices involving shock
weapons are cropping up all over the country. The problem has its roots in the 1990s, when school districts began ceding even routine disciplinary duties to police and security officers, who were utterly unprepared to deal with children.
http://go.uen.org/Kv

Vaccine opt-outs put public health at risk
USA Today editorial

Measles, which once killed 450 children each year and disabled even more, was virtually eliminated in the United States 14 years ago by nearly universal use of the MMR vaccine.
But the disease is making a comeback, fueled by a growing anti-vaccine movement and misinformation that is spreading like a contagious disease. Already this year, 115 measles cases have been reported in the USA, compared with 189 for all last year.
The numbers might sound small, but they are the leading edge of a dangerous trend. When vaccination rates are very high, as they still are in the nation as a whole, everyone is protected. Diseases such as polio, smallpox and measles are wiped out. This “herd immunity” protects the most vulnerable, including those who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons, infants too young to get vaccinated and people on whom the vaccine doesn’t work.
But herd immunity works only when nearly the whole herd joins in. When some refuse vaccinations and seek a free ride, immunity breaks down and everyone is more vulnerable.
http://go.uen.org/Lf

Leave parents free to choose vaccines
USA Today op-ed by Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center

The public conversation about vaccine safety and choice began after Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, shielding drug companies from product liability and doctors from vaccine-injury lawsuits. Under that law, $3 billion has been paid to the vaccine injured while liability-free drug companies enjoy profits from a multibillion dollar market.
U.S. health officials now recommend 69 doses of 16 vaccines for every child. States mandate up to 15 of them — twice as many as 30 years ago.
With 95% of U.S. kindergarteners fully vaccinated and one child in six learning disabled, one in 10 asthmatic and one in 50 living with autism, educated parents and health care professionals are asking legitimate questions about why so many highly vaccinated children are so sick. They’re examining vaccine science shortfalls and wondering why Americans are coerced and punished for declining to use every government-recommended vaccine while citizens in Canada, Japan and the European Union are free to make choices.
http://go.uen.org/Lg

Jeb Bush’s Stance on Education May Not Be That Controversial
(New York) FiveThirtyEight commentary by columnist NATE SILVER

My colleague Harry Enten wrote Thursday about Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, and his prospects of winning the Republican nomination in 2016. Harry reviewed the political science research and concluded that, in a wide-open GOP field, Bush’s chances are about as good as any other Republican’s.
The case against Bush, as articulated by Ben Smith of BuzzFeed, turns mainly on the notion that Bush’s moderate stances on immigration and education could prove problematic in the primaries.
According to the polls, however, Republican views on both issues are more flexible than Smith and other news media commentators might assume. This post will look at the polling on education reform — specifically, support for the Common Core, which Bush has championed and which sets a set of recommendations for what students should know in kindergarten through high school.
http://go.uen.org/Lq

Parental Involvement Is Overrated
New York Times op-ed by KEITH ROBINSON and ANGEL L. HARRIS, authors of “The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement With Children’s Education.”

Most people, asked whether parental involvement benefits children academically, would say, “of course it does.” But evidence from our research suggests otherwise. In fact, most forms of parental involvement, like observing a child’s class, contacting a school about a child’s behavior, helping to decide a child’s high school courses, or helping a child with homework, do not improve student achievement. In some cases, they actually hinder it.
Over the past few years, we conducted an extensive study of whether the depth of parental engagement in children’s academic lives improved their test scores and grades. We pursued this question because we noticed that while policy makers were convinced that parental involvement positively affected children’s schooling outcomes, academic studies were much more inconclusive.
http://go.uen.org/Kw

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Republicans tout school choice to woo minority vote
Politico

Republicans eager to attract black and Latino voters believe they have hit on an ideal magnet: school choice.
Led by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, with high-profile contributions from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the GOP is pushing an election-year initiative to talk up school choice at every turn.
Calling for more charter schools, vouchers and tax credits to help parents pay private school tuition fits with the party’s mantra that the government works best when it gets out of the way and lets the free market flourish. But top strategists say it’s more than that: Talking about helping poor minority children softens the GOP’s image and lets candidates offer a positive vision instead of forever going on the attack. And unlike immigration reform, school choice is politically safe; there’s no chance of blowback from the tea party.
Plus, the photo ops are great. As the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks put it in a strategic planning document: “Focus on kids and the future = excellent media opportunity.”
But Democrats say they’re confident the black and Latino majorities they built up in recent years will see the school choice push as empty messaging.
http://go.uen.org/KA

Prominent Ed-Tech Players’ Data-Privacy Policies Attract Scrutiny
Education Week

Growing public concern about student-data privacy is prompting fresh scrutiny of the ways technology vendors handle children’s educational information—and opening the gates for a flood of new questions and worries from advocates and school officials.
Take prominent ed-tech players Edmodo, Khan Academy, and Pearson.
Each already has access to the information of tens of millions of U.S. schoolchildren.
But a review of each group’s privacy policies by two leading experts, conducted at the request of Education Week, yielded concerns about the use of tracking and surveillance technologies that allow third parties to gather information on students; questions about the collection, use, and sharing of massive amounts of student “metadata”; and criticism of the growing burden on students and families, who experts maintain are being forced to navigate an ever-shifting maze of dense vendor policies on their own.
http://go.uen.org/Lm

Ed. Industry Groups Outline Steps to Protect Privacy of Student Data
Education Week

The education industry and K-12 schools are struggling to plot their way out of what has quickly become an emotionally charged and polarized atmosphere around issues of student-data privacy.
Several groups are working to establish more clarity and guidance with new policies and practices, digital badges and privacy ratings, checklists, decisionmaking flow charts, and self-assessments—all designed to better align schools and companies on what is allowed and what is not in the use of student information.
Guidance is coming from Washington-based trade groups, such as the Software & Information Industry Association or SIIA, and organizations representing school professionals, like the Consortium for School Networking or CoSN, an association for district technology leaders; from nonprofit advocacy groups, such as the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (iKeepSafe), an alliance of organizations that makes recommendations about how young people can safely use digital devices and technology platforms; and from school districts themselves, notably the 210,000-student Houston district.
Their goal is to create frameworks to review the terms of agreement and privacy policies that govern software companies’ and app developers’ interaction with schools, to see where there might be vulnerabilities around private student data, and to provide transparency so that school leaders and parents can easily understand what kind of access companies are gaining to students’ personal information, and how that access could be used.
http://go.uen.org/Ln

Education interest groups step up grooming of candidates
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Almost two dozen state lawmakers have announced they will not run for re-election in the Legislature this fall, and candidates for all races in November can officially circulate nomination papers starting April 15.
But how new candidates get recruited and trained to run for city, county and state office is increasingly being handled by interest groups.
And that means that interest-group issues such as education and school choice are already at the forefront .
On Saturday in Milwaukee, the pro-school voucher group American Federation for Children is hosting a training session for would-be candidates for state legislature, school board, mayor or city council.
The training is co-hosted by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and Democrats for Education Reform, and aimed at advocates for “educational choice” — the general term for voucher and charter schools. The federation supports the expansion of school voucher programs that send public funds to private, mostly religious schools.
http://go.uen.org/KB

Facing bipartisan backlash, Oklahoma reconsiders Common Core education standards
NewsHour

Oklahoma is the latest state to move toward repealing the Common Core national education standards. Once a source of bipartisan support, the standards now face criticism from the left and right. Jeffrey Brown gets two views on the potential repeal from Oklahoma state representatives, Republican Jason Nelson and Democrat Emily Virgin.
http://go.uen.org/Lp

Start saving now: Day care costs more than college in 31 states
Washington Post

College costs loom large in the parental mind. According to a 2013 report by Sallie Mae, half of parents are putting away money for their kids’ education. Those who aren’t are fretting about it, saying that they feel “frustrated,” “overwhelmed” and “annoyed” when they think about college savings. But most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it’s a cost that very few of them are as prepared for. That expense is day care.
A report last fall by Child Care Aware America, a national organization of child-care resource and referral agencies, found that the annual cost of day care for an infant exceeds the average cost of in-state tuition and fees at public colleges in 31 states. The biggest gap is in New York, where day care will set you back nearly 15 grand, but in-state college tuition is only $6,500 — a difference of over $8,000. Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado and Oregon also have large gaps, driven primarily by the high cost of day care in those states. At the other end of the spectrum is South Carolina, where in-state tuition is higher than the cost of day care by about $4,000 a year.
http://go.uen.org/KC

http://go.uen.org/JC  (DN)

Colleges Seek to Improve Remedial Programs
Associated Press

BALTIMORE — The odds have long been stacked against students like those in Edward Ennels’ remedial math classes at Baltimore City Community College.
Only about a quarter of students nationally who take developmental – or remedial – classes ever graduate.
The problem is so profound that the advocacy group Complete College America dubs remedial classes the “bridge to nowhere.” The challenge, educators say, is that even as billions are spent annually on remedial classes, many of these students run out of financial aid before they can complete their credit requirements, get discouraged by non-credit classes or find themselves unable to complete them.
The Baltimore school is one of several places around the country looking to improve the odds for these students.
http://go.uen.org/Li

Ken Burns’ ‘The Address’ Is an Inspiring Look at an Unusual School Exercise
Education Week

You know you’re watching a Ken Burns documentary when you hear subdued piano chords and see a black-and-white photograph of a battlefield.
That’s how “The Address” begins, with sounds and images that evoke Burns’ classic, “The Civil War.” But we know this new film is different when instead of the sonorous voice of the 1990 documentary’s narrator, David McCullough, we hear a young person who seems to be struggling a bit to get the words out.
The voice describes how President Abraham Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg, Pa., in November 1963, four months after the great battle there, to dedicate the Union cemetery.
“The president’s speech lasted just two minutes,” the voice says. “He started off by reminding his audience that it had been only 87 years since the founding of the Republic, and then went on to embolden the Union cause with some of the most stirring words ever spoken.”
So begins a 90-minute documentary that is not the detailed story of the Gettysburg Address, which had its 150th anniversary last fall, but a look at how one school in Vermont uses the address to teach and inspire its students. “The Address” premieres Tuesday, April 15, at 9 p.m. Eastern time on PBS (check local listings).
http://go.uen.org/Lo

Airs April 15 @ 8 p.m. on KUED and 9 p.m. on KBYU
http://www.kued.org/whatson/the-address
http://www.kbyutv.org/programs/show/?sid=2881

‘Captain Underpants’ Doesn’t Sit Well with Some
Associated Press

NEW YORK — The potty humor of “Captain Underpants” children’s books and the mature exploration of race and family violence by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison in “The Bluest Eye” would seem to have little in common.
But among some parents, educators and other members of the general public who worry about what books are stocked at their local libraries, the works fall into the same category – they’re just too offensive and should be restricted or removed from the shelves.
The American Library Association published its annual “State of the Libraries” report Sunday, which included its list of works most frequently “challenged” last year at schools and libraries.
http://go.uen.org/Lk

A copy of the report
http://go.uen.org/Ll (ALA)

French School Carries Out DNA Dragnet in Rape Case
Associated Press

PARIS — French investigators began taking DNA samples Monday from 527 male students and staff at a high school – including boys as young as 14 – as they searched for the assailant who raped a teenage girl on the closed campus.
Testing began Monday at Fenelon-Notre Dame high school in western France. All those who received summonses last week were warned that any refusal could land them in police custody, and no one rejected the sweeping request to test the high school’s male population.
The testing of students, faculty and staff at the school is expected to last through Wednesday, with 40 DNA swabs recovered inside two large study halls. Prosecutor Isabelle Pagenelle said investigators had exhausted all other leads in the Sept. 30 rape of the girl in a dark bathroom at the school.
http://go.uen.org/Lj

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

April 16:
Legislative Management Committee meeting
2 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00002874.htm

May 8:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/IaQntl

May 9:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

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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