Education News Roundup: May 19, 2014

Sky Drop Eggs Competition at USU Physics Day

Sky Drop Eggs Competition at USU Physics Day

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

Higher ed says Utah is on track to make the 66 by 2020 goal.

http://go.uen.org/15j (DN)

State PTA holds its annual convention in Provo.

http://go.uen.org/15v (PDH)

Standard looks at charter schools and school grades.

http://go.uen.org/15p (OSE)

 WaPo looks at what tablets are doing to classrooms.

http://go.uen.org/15O (WaPo)

————————————————————

TODAY’S HEADLINES

————————————————————

UTAH

Projected enrollment growth on track to reach ’66 by 2020′ goal, commissioner says

State PTA leaders convene in Provo

 Making the Grade: Episode 5

Utah Rep. Ken Ivory’s quest for state control of public lands is all-consuming

Critics say when a cause becomes a source of income, it’s a conflict of interest.

 SLCC, Horizonte partner to bridge gap between high school, higher education

 Herbert signs bill sending $20M to STEM education program

 Gov. Herbert explores PCCAPS program

Herbert, educational advisor, Rep. Powell and Sen. Van Tassell visit PCCAPS and discover student success

Lewiston Elementary School may shorten year

Local schools changing valedictorian system

Blind teaching assistant resolute in life and class

 Brighton lacrosse team offers example of reaching out to those who are suffering

CVMS teacher regards her students as a gift

Pine View High graduate finds inspiration in service

Teen develops gift for dance at CVHS

Sevier School District Prepares For Graduation

Millard school district announces new principle

Altice hearing rescheduled

Father says Canyon School District withheld information about bus driver

Injured boy re-ignites South Temple crosswalk concerns

Safety » Parents have said for years that the street is too dangerous for schoolchildren.

Snow Canyon High mourns loss of two students, offers counseling, holds vigils

Schools take precautionary measures after shooting at Cache Valley Hospital

Timberline state winners go to nationals

Hillcrest student, teacher honored at Family Links Conference

Students test Sky Ride egg drop at USU Physics Day

250 students combine effort to clean up Lake Mountain school trust land

Northridge students try homelessness for a night

Former prison inmate gives back by helping to educate others

Unusual scholarships often overlooked, unknown

Utah No. 2 in nation for Autism Spectrum Disorders prevalence

Monument aims to educate Utah kids on freedom

Veterans » Program inspired by fallen Salt Lake City Marine.

Opens today: Vacant Granite High transformed into art exhibit

Hundreds participate in Special Needs Sports Day

Brown v. Board 60th anniversary aims to light fire

Research proves still separate and still unequal

Why teens should still read

Think not do: how reflection improves test scores

Could Minecraft help kids get smarter?

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Social impact bonds offer a way to get measurable results for social service investments

Are anti-education factions gaining control over education?

The public interest in public lands

America aced out on STEM

People do not thrive by STEM alone

Class size, ratio not the same

Teacher has no regrets over dare

Educating children

Teaching good deeds

Crossing the Line: How the Academic Rat Race Is Making Our Kids Sick

The Federal Government Hasn’t Improved Education After Trying for 50 Years

Becoming a teacher vs. skipping college: A financial wash?

Can You Qualify to Help at Your Child’s School?

If you want to assist with the fingerpainting, first comes the fingerprinting.

The Common Core Is an Opportunity for Education Equity

NATION

Tablets proliferate in nation’s classrooms, and take a swipe at the status quo

Science Standards Divide a State Built on Coal and Oil

Florida lawmaker Charles Van Zant says standardized test maker promotes homosexuality to state’s children

Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm

Opposing visions for education on view in state superintendent race

Obama Hosts Brown v. Board Families and Lawyers

States Tightening Loopholes in School Vaccine Laws

Aim Is to limit opt-outs

School nurses save money: study

House GOP Bill Would Roll Back School Lunch Rules

Schools Seek Upgrades to Entice Healthy Eating

A School Lunch Denied Prompts Powerful Action In A World Of Words

Schools Work to Help Transgender Students Fit In

————————————————————

UTAH NEWS

————————————————————

Projected enrollment growth on track to reach ’66 by 2020′ goal, commissioner says

                OGDEN — Utah’s push to see two-thirds of adults holding a degree or certificate by 2020 will add $14.4 billion to the state’s economy over 30 years through increased wages and generate $1.4 billion in new tax revenue, Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday.

                Those figures, shared during a meeting of the Utah Board of Regents at Weber State University, were drawn from a new report by the Utah System of Higher Education that examines the economic impact of the two-thirds goal, commonly known as “66 by 2020.”

                The 66 by 2020 goal, endorsed by Utah’s lawmakers and education community, has been a key initiative of the Herbert administration. But the economic and tax figures are based on the goal’s success, which Herbert acknowledged is not certain.

http://go.uen.org/15j (DN)

State PTA leaders convene in Provo

                They came, they saw, they learned . . . now they will lead.

                Representatives from PTAs throughout Utah gathered in Provo this week to receive training and encouragement for the jobs they will do during the upcoming school year. In addition to presidents, the PTAs have commissioners who address safety, health, individual development, education, student involvement, family life and community involvement.

                The group meets every May at Brigham Young University.

                “We bring region directors in from all over the state for board meetings,” said Liz Zentner, president of the Utah PTA. “After that we have two days of the conference.”

                There were more than 1,100 attendees this year, making it one of the largest PTA gatherings in the nation.

http://go.uen.org/15v (PDH)

Making the Grade: Episode 5

                In the fifth episode of the “Making the Grade” documentary series, we look at the growth of charter schools around Northern Utah.

                In 1999, the first eight charter schools opened in the state. Fourteen years later, nearly 100 charter schools now operate around Utah with 9 percent of all public school students enrolled in a charter school.

                The schools operate in a gray area between private and traditional public schools. Charter schools are publicly funded and free to students, but each school is privately run by its own board of directors.

                Advocates for charter schools view these new facilities as successful testing grounds for innovations in education. However, others see the growing emphasis on charter schools as a move toward privatizing education and a depletion of necessary resources for public schools.

http://go.uen.org/15p (OSE)

Utah Rep. Ken Ivory’s quest for state control of public lands is all-consuming

Critics say when a cause becomes a source of income, it’s a conflict of interest.

                It’s a big idea — trying to get the federal government to relinquish hundreds of millions of acres of public land to states. And for Utah Rep. Ken Ivory, it’s become an all-consuming crusade. It dominates his work as a part-time legislator and has taken over his private life, too. It’s how he makes his living.

                Supporters say this is the kind of focus and energy the issue demands — and they praise Ivory and his backers for making strides.

                But opponents question the ethics of a lawmaker becoming a one-issue advocate whose livelihood is squarely hitched to his cause. Even some conservatives are grumbling behind the scenes, saying the nonprofit organization he has created thrives on fueling controversy to marshal support and raise money — a criticism they usually aim at environmental groups.

                Ivory, an attorney, has mostly boarded up his legal practice and has traveled the country, speaking to county commissions, school boards, tea-party groups, television hosts, state legislators and members of Congress advocating for his goal.

http://go.uen.org/14W (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/15s (PDH)

SLCC, Horizonte partner to bridge gap between high school, higher education

                SALT LAKE CITY — An alternative high school has partnered with Salt Lake Community College to offer a multiple-week “bridge” class aimed at helping students with the transition to higher education.

                Through the class, students at the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center — which serves both youths and adult students in the greater Salt Lake area — attend the SLCC South City Campus three times each week to receive help registering for classes, applying for financial aid, orienting themselves to the campus, and being tutored on college-level writing.

http://go.uen.org/15h (DN)

Herbert signs bill sending $20M to STEM education program

                OREM — Flanked by fifth- and sixth-grade students from Orem Elementary School, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert on Thursday signed into law HB150, which appropriates $20 million to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education in the state.

                The ceremonial event, held at Utah Valley University, marked a major investment in Utah’s STEM Action Center, created in 2012 to coordinate STEM programming in the state and provide training for Utah’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers.

http://go.uen.org/15H (KSL)

Gov. Herbert explores PCCAPS program

Herbert, educational advisor, Rep. Powell and Sen. Van Tassell visit PCCAPS and discover student success

                The Park City Center for Advanced Professional Studies was bustling with students preparing for a visit from Gov. Gary R. Herbert Thursday, May 15. Program director Jennifer Jackenthal said she believes the PCCAPS program is something that could be implemented statewide and wanted to show the governor why by sharing what students and businesses have accomplished over the last school year.

                The PCCAPS courses are for high school juniors and seniors in the areas of business, engineering, interactive design and software development. Students work with businesses and entrepreneurs to create professional products.

http://go.uen.org/14Z (PR)

Lewiston Elementary School may shorten year

                Lewiston Elementary is looking to change its schedule during the 2014-15 school year, proposing to end school two weeks early and add 22 minutes of instruction per day to make up for the lost time.

http://go.uen.org/15y (LHJ)

Local schools changing valedictorian system

                SALT LAKE CITY — Schools across the country have been eliminating the valedictorian and salutatorian honors.

                Some high schools in the state have altered the traditional methods of honoring their top students, creating more opportunity for high achievers.

http://go.uen.org/15J (KSL)

Blind teaching assistant resolute in life and class

                KAYSVILLE — Twenty years ago, Bryan McLachlan was declared legally blind due to a degenerative eye disease that began in his mid-20s.

                McLachlan had to make new accommodations for doing the things he enjoys.

                “I’m the type of person who hates to stay at home,” said McLachlan. He had to switch gears, and give up his love of driving cars when he could no longer hold a driver’s permit.

                Originally a heating and air conditioning specialist, he had to change careers, and began working for the school district. For the last eight years McLachlan has been working as a special education teaching assistant at Windridge Elementary School in Kaysville.

                Working with special needs children has put some perspective on McLachlan’s situation.

http://go.uen.org/15n (OSE)

Brighton lacrosse team offers example of reaching out to those who are suffering

                COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Seeing a child suffer is gut-wrenching.

                When it’s your child, it feels unbearable. And when it’s a rare disease that ravages a once healthy little body, the helplessness is debilitating.

                When doctors deliver that kind of news, heartbreak isn’t some abstract feeling; it’s a suffocating reality. Some days, just managing a smile feels like an insurmountable challenge.

                About the only thing that allows parents like Monica and Jeff Johansen to feel capable of helping their 9-year-old son Zach battle a rare form of leukemia is the love and support of other people.

                And when that love and support helps your sick son feel like a normal little boy, even for just a single evening, gratitude helps you see perfection in the most unlikely place. For the Johansens that place was Brighton High’s lacrosse game Friday night. Wearing a jersey the players acquired for him, the elementary school student who will undergo a bone marrow transplant in July served as an honorary team captain.

http://go.uen.org/15c (DN)

CVMS teacher regards her students as a gift

                CEDAR CITY — When she first began attending college at Brigham Young University, Cory Call, a special education teacher at Canyon View Middle School, said she wanted to work in the special education field.

                However, Call left college for a while after she got married and had children, and one of them, a son, was born six weeks early with Down syndrome. She said before her child with Down syndrome was born, she already knew she wanted to return to college, but she was not certain that special education was the right field for her.

                “The experience I have had as a mom because of him … it helped me to understand that is where I want to be,” Call said.

http://go.uen.org/15A (SGS)

Pine View High graduate finds inspiration in service

                ST. GEORGE — While some people take high school graduation for granted as a necessary step on the road of life, others question if they want to go the same direction as everyone else.

                After watching most of his close friends drop out of high school, Richard “Richie” Castro found his own future at Pine View High School in doubt.

                But the intervention of some concerned teachers and a school service program provided Castro with the motivation to finish his course work and join other peers at the school’s graduation on Thursday.

http://go.uen.org/15B (SGS)

Teen develops gift for dance at CVHS

                CEDAR CITY — There is nothing that Shauntel Shelley can’t do when she sets her mind to it.

                From dancing to graduating high school with honors — if she wants it she’ll get it. Shelley, 18, will graduate Canyon View High School next week but it hasn’t been an easy ride.

http://go.uen.org/15C (SGS)

Sevier School District Prepares For Graduation

                Graduation ceremonies for seniors in the Sevier School District will be held Friday, May 23. District spokeswoman Mavanee Loftus said in a press release that roughly 300 students will graduate from the district’s four high schools. Ceremonies will be held throughout the day at the Sevier Valley Center beginning with Cedar Ridge High School which will be held at 10:00 a.m. in the SVC Theater. Richfield High School will hold ceremonies at 1:00 p.m. in the arena. Speakers will include Courtney Bird, Salutatorian and Alexandra Greenwood and Faith Johnson, Co-Valedictorians.

http://go.uen.org/15N (MUR)

Millard school district announces new principle

                Millard School District is pleased to announce the selection of Harold Robison as the principal of the Fillmore Elementary School. Robison comes to the Millard School District from the Teton School District in Driggs, Idaho where he has worked for the past 17 years. He spent 16 of those years as the counselor at Teton High School and the last year as the Special Education and Federal Programs Director for the school district.

                Robison is the son of Alison and Gladys Robison and was raised in Fillmore. He graduated from Millard High School and served an LDS mission in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His higher education included time at Ricks and Snow Colleges, Utah State University where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Secondary Education, and then a Master’s Degree in School Counseling.

http://go.uen.org/15M (MUR)

Altice hearing rescheduled

                BOUNTIFUL — A hearing has been rescheduled to hear arguments concerning a motion to dismiss rape charges against a  former Davis High School English teacher who had sex with a 16-year-old student.

                Brianne Land Altice, 34, of South Weber, was scheduled for a hearing on Monday before Judge Thomas L. Kay.

http://go.uen.org/15o (OSE)

Father says Canyon School District withheld information about bus driver

                DRAPER — The father of a Draper Park Middle School student with special needs said authorities need to further investigate the actions of a former Canyons School District bus driver accused of sexual assault.

                More families are coming forward with allegations against a former Canyons School District bus driver accused of sexually assaulting students on his route.

http://go.uen.org/15I (KSL)

Injured boy re-ignites South Temple crosswalk concerns

Safety » Parents have said for years that the street is too dangerous for schoolchildren.

                A third-grader hit in the crosswalk near Wasatch Elementary on Wednesday has reignited concerns about a dangerous street.

                The 9-year-old boy was leaving school Wednesday afternoon and started crossing South Temple at the 1200 East crosswalk. Other cars stopped, but a westbound car ran into him, said police Salt Lake City police Detective Veronica Montoya.

http://go.uen.org/15b (SLT)

Snow Canyon High mourns loss of two students, offers counseling, holds vigils

                ST. GEORGE – The Snow Canyon High School community is grieving the loss of two of its students who died in unrelated accidents over the weekend.

                Brooks Johnson, a senior, died in a jeeping accident in Mohave County, Ariz. Saturday night, and Austin Mcelyea, a junior, died when an ATV collided with him while dirt biking in Veyo Sunday night.

                A vigil for Johnson was held Sunday evening at the school and was very well attended.

http://go.uen.org/15D (SGN)

http://go.uen.org/15E (SGS)

Schools take precautionary measures after shooting at Cache Valley Hospital

                Two local schools went into either lockdowns or sheltered in place after a man was shot at Cache Valley Hospital after allegedly brandishing a firearm.

http://go.uen.org/15z (LHJ)

Timberline state winners go to nationals

                ALPINE — An eighth-grader from Timberline Middle School hopes to make history and be the first student to win the score a home run at the National History Day Contest in Washington.

                Alexis Wallace, 14, recently won first place at the Utah state competition in the individual performance category with her presentation on the “Rise and Fall of Women’s Rights in Professional Baseball.”

                Not to be outdone, Colin Robinson, also an eighth-grader at Timberline, hopes to take back the top honor, since he bested Alexis for first place at a regional competition at Utah Valley University in March.

                Both students will now be moving on to the national competition June 15-19 in the nation’s capital, representing Timberline Middle School and the state.

http://go.uen.org/15t (PDH)

Hillcrest student, teacher honored at Family Links Conference

                MIDVALE — A student and teacher at Hillcrest High were recently recognized at a conference that aims to support people with disabilities and those who work with them.

                JoAnn Plant, a special education teacher who works with students with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome, and Peter Conder, a senior at Hillcrest, were chosen as Educator of the Year and Student of the Year, respectively, at the statewide 2014 Family Links Conference.

http://go.uen.org/15e (DN)

Students test Sky Ride egg drop at USU Physics Day

                Utah students dropped raw eggs from Lagoon’s Sky Ride Friday, but it wasn’t a high-flying prank.

                The drop was part of the 25th annual Utah State University Physics Day at Lagoon, and the eggs were dropped inside containers the students created to protect them from impact.

                The event for high school and middle school students is the largest outreach activity for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in the Intermountain West, according to USU.

http://go.uen.org/156 (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/15l (DN)

http://go.uen.org/15q (OSE)

250 students combine effort to clean up Lake Mountain school trust land

                Students from Maple Mountain, Salem Hills, Springville, American Fork and Lehi high schools gathered 250 strong to volunteer to clean up debris left by target shooters and campers on Lake Mountain.

                The section of land west of Utah Lake was riddled with shotgun shells, old targets including a car, toilet, refrigerator, old tables and other household appliances and tires. Most of the debris came from unmonitored shooting in the area leading to illegal dumping of left over targets.

http://go.uen.org/15u (PDH)

Northridge students try homelessness for a night

                LAYTON – It’s pretty easy to serve others.

                That’s what students at Northridge High School are saying after spending a recent Friday night doing service projects for the homeless and children battling cancer.

                “We wanted to give back and while doing so we realized how fortunate we are and how easy it is to spend a little bit of time giving back to others,” said Northridge High School student body officer Mikayla Farr.

                The student body officers decided they wanted to make a difference in the community, but they didn’t just want to do it themselves, so they invited students from all nine high schools in the Davis district to participate in Homeless for a Night. Student body adviser Radon Andersen said around 60 kids showed up. All were from Northridge or Viewmont high schools.

http://go.uen.org/15r (OSE)

Former prison inmate gives back by helping to educate others

                DRAPER — Raunie Linberg was 8 years old when her father, a school teacher, was arrested in a case covered by all the news media in Utah.

                “The stress and the sadness it brought upon our family, I wouldn’t wish that upon any other family,” Raunie said.

                Nearly a decade later, Ronald Linberg still sits in the Draper prison, serving time for raping two of his teenage students.

                “Not having a father in the home, it’s a big part of your life and definitely life-changing without him,” Raunie said.

                Raunie said she made the decision at a young age to focus on school. But with her father in prison, her family struggled financially.

                Her parents divorced, and her mother and three siblings moved in with their grandmother.

                “I knew kinda starting out in school and starting out in high school, I would have to work toward scholarships and anything that helped me through school,” Raunie said.

                Raunie is now a senior at Salem Hills High School and maintains a 4.0 GPA. She plans to attend Snow College in the fall and recently found financial help through an unlikely source — a plumber.

http://go.uen.org/15G (KSL)

Unusual scholarships often overlooked, unknown

                SALT LAKE CITY — A college degree opens doors, but finding the money to get a degree can be difficult.

                Some unusual scholarships may put some fun into the stress of paying for college. Thousands of them are available and many have rarely been used because few people know about them.

http://go.uen.org/15F (KSL)

Utah No. 2 in nation for Autism Spectrum Disorders prevalence

                Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders has increased, with Utah second in the nation for prevalence of autism, though the reasons for the rise is not clear.

http://go.uen.org/15x (LHJ)

Monument aims to educate Utah kids on freedom

Veterans » Program inspired by fallen Salt Lake City Marine.

                It’s difficult to travel more than a mile in some parts of Utah without passing a monument.

                With Saturday’s Armed Forces Day comes a new Utah monument to veterans — but this one comes with a lesson, literally.

                The new 15-foot-tall Utah Freedom Memorial, unveiled Friday near Sandy City Hall, is meant to educate kids about the cost of freedom. Organizers not only raised money to erect the granite, bronze and concrete structure but also designed a curriculum they hope area schools will use to teach kids about the importance of freedom and the sacrifices necessary to sustain it.

http://go.uen.org/155 (SLT)

Opens today: Vacant Granite High transformed into art exhibit

                For more than 100 years, the old Granite High School housed teachers, students, desks and chalkboards.

                Now, the otherwise vacant building will house something else entirely: art.

                Starting Monday, the school will become a massive art exhibit as part of the first ever Dreamathon.

http://go.uen.org/14M (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/15K (KSTU)

Hundreds participate in Special Needs Sports Day

                Kids participated in track and field events Friday as part of the Jordan School District’s Special Needs Sports Day. Approximately 370 students participated in a day filled with fun at Riverton High School. Every child was a winner.

http://go.uen.org/15k (DN)

Brown v. Board 60th anniversary aims to light fire

Research proves still separate and still unequal

                In light of research released by the Department of Education, the Brown v. Board of Education ruling’s 60th anniversary Saturday proves less a cause for celebration as grounds for questioning remaining education inequities.

http://go.uen.org/15f (DN)

Why teens should still read

                Despite the popularity of young adult books such as “Twilight,” “Divergent” and “The Hunger Games,” the rate of tweens and teens who read daily and read for enjoyment has “dropped precipitously,” according to a recently released Common Sense Media report.

http://go.uen.org/15i (DN)

Think not do: how reflection improves test scores

                Harva http://go.uen.org/15g (DN)

rd Business School released research this week that found a lesson deliberately coupled with time to reflect on what was just learned is more effective than rote practice.

Could Minecraft help kids get smarter?

                When Rob Patrick’s then 7-year-old son Riley started asking to play Minecraft two years ago, the Edmonton-based radio morning show host and his wife had no idea what he was talking about.

http://go.uen.org/15d (DN)

————————————————————

OPINION & COMMENTARY

————————————————————

Social impact bonds offer a way to get measurable results for social service investments

Deseret News editorial

                Paying for initiatives in public education has traditionally required a tax levy or issuance of bonds backed by government entities, but a new experiment in Utah involving a public-private partnership is attracting national attention as an innovative means of alternative financing.

                The Granite School District has partnered with the investment firm Goldman Sachs to issue the first so-called “social impact bonds” to pay for a public education program — in this case, the expansion of the district’s successful early child education program. An article in the Deseret News National Edition points out the partnership is nearly unprecedented and will be observed as an experiment of sorts in the use of private capital for financing a public policy venture.

http://go.uen.org/160

Are anti-education factions gaining control over education?

Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist PAUL ROLLY

                It seems like a harmless enough statement, appearing on the State Board of Education’s announcement of an opening for state schools superintendant and request for applications.

                Under the list of qualifications, it states: “A candidate need not be licensed as a public educator.”

                After all, that has been state law for years, and the Legislature extended the allowance for non-educator superintendents to the local school districts in 2011.

                But this year is the first time the request for applications specifically notes the applicant does not have to be a licensed educator and some in the education community see that subtle sentence as the continuation of a trend.

http://go.uen.org/14X

The public interest in public lands

Deseret News op-ed by Scott Miller, senior regional director for The Wilderness Society

                In Utah and across the West, public lands are proven drivers of a high quality of life and economic growth. After last fall’s government shutdown, for example, Utah — a state with bountiful parks and wild spaces — was on its way to another record year of tourism profit, but instead suffered an estimated $30 million in lost revenue from the shuttering of revered federal lands like Zion, Bryce and Arches national parks for just 10 days. High-wage service industries like software developers and health care are promoting the West’s national parks, monuments, wilderness areas and other public lands to recruit and retain innovative, high-performing talent in communities near these stunning resources.

                But some have recently called into question the benefits of our federal public lands — along with the validity of federal agencies charged with taking care of them — as recently occurred in Nevada and at Recapture Canyon here in Utah. Owned by all Americans, our public lands are looked after by four primary agencies: the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

                That the federal government validly acquired the lands in Utah has never been seriously disputed. As the Utah Department of Administrative Services describes: “All land in Utah became part of the public domain when the United States signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in February 1848. This land came into the possession of the United States government with a clear and undisputed title. No state contested title, and no private rights had been established previously.”

                When Utah was admitted to the Union in 1896, it received a grant of 7.5 million acres from the federal government to support public schools, hospitals, reservoirs and other state priorities. The state still owns and manages those lands for the exclusive benefit of Utahns today.

http://go.uen.org/14Y

America aced out on STEM

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Steve Wilde

                If degrees taken this spring by students from Utah’s major universities are any indication, Don Gale doesn’t have anything to worry about (“STEM education is good, but not good enough,” Opinion, May 10).

                As I recall, the Tribune’s reports of degrees received by major field of study showed, of the top 10-15 majors, none was in the engineering, science and math fields. Business/business administration was on top, followed by majors in the social sciences, health, education and other non-scientific fields.

                Those statistics follow those of the nation, wherein of the approximate 1.8 million bachelor degrees awarded several years ago, a full one-third were in business and social science.

                While I support more emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math education leading up to college, if students’ interest ends there as far as pursuing it as a career goes, it seems America will continue to be technologically aced-out by its competitors, and students’ STEM education will not be used to its full advantage.

http://go.uen.org/159

People do not thrive by STEM alone

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Cynthia Buckingham

                Bravo to Don Gale for his thought-provoking op-ed (“STEM education is good, but not good enough,” May 10) reminding us that — like plants — education, economies and people cannot thrive by STEM alone.

                The humanities are essential to our everyday lives because they help us to understand the human experience over time and across cultures, make well-informed and ethical decisions and plan wisely for the future we want our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

http://go.uen.org/15a

Class size, ratio not the same

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Andy White

                Thanks for another article on class size and student-teacher ratios in our public schools (“Will Salt Lake City shrink class sizes?” May 12).

                I don’t doubt the numbers, but caution that these two measures are not the same. The student-teacher ratio divides the total number of students by the total number of certified teachers in the school. Class size divides the total number of students by the smaller number of certified teachers who are teaching at that time, rather than serving as a librarian, etc., or working on lesson plans during their preparation period. The latter reveals more kids actually in the room.

http://go.uen.org/158

Teacher has no regrets over dare

(Provo) Daily Herald letter from Amy Huhtala

                I am writing in response to a letter to the editor titled “Better ways to help others” (May 11). As one of the teachers who “demeaned” herself in front of Salem Junior High students, I emphatically disagree with Ms. Christensen’s remarks. I view my “dare” of agreeing to color my hair blue and green (Spartan colors) as a show of support and love.

                It is impossible for me as a teacher to motivate my students to care and help one another simply with words. I have to SHOW them. Our choice to SHOW them involved us rallying as a faculty in the most radical way we could. And it worked. We raised over $5000 for one of our own who is battling cancer.

http://go.uen.org/15w

Educating children

Deseret News letter from Debbie Baskin

                Although most American children learn to read as kindergarteners, worldwide, almost 40 percent of children under age 12 cannot read a simple sentence or understand basic math.

                For girls in low-income countries, education changes the trajectory of their lives: they are less likely to become child brides, their earning power increases 20 percent for each year of schooling after fourth grade and their future children are twice as likely to live to age 5.

                The benefits of educating the world’s poorest children also extend to Americans: education fosters new export markets because developing countries account for a large percentage of U.S. exports.

http://go.uen.org/15m

Teaching good deeds

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Theodore G. “Bud” Mahas

                One has to wonder what teachings of the LDS Church upset Norine Peebles (“Churches seek influence over schools,” Public Forum, May 13).

                Is it the teaching of love your neighbor, service to the needy, providing welfare and comfort to the afflicted or the effort to be self-sustaining? Is it teaching the process of doing good deeds to all? Is it the teaching of self-moral monogamy and the value of the family? Is it being honest in your dealings, courteous and tolerant of other ideas and religions? Is it the principle of budget or saving and many other projects of civics and community, military service and national patriotism?

http://go.uen.org/157

Crossing the Line: How the Academic Rat Race Is Making Our Kids Sick

Huffington Post commentary by Vicki Abeles, director, “Race to Nowhere”

                Last winter, I watched my daughter, a high school senior, survive an anxiety-ridden few weeks leading up to final exams, beset with the flu, little sleep and constant studying. With that done, she switched to incessantly monitoring her grades online, fearing that her hopes of becoming a veterinarian ride on these numbers. And I had to ask: Is this what childhood has come to?

                As a mother of three, I’ve seen the physical and emotional toll that the soul-bruising college admissions contest takes on our children–and not only on the straight-A types bound for the Ivy Leagues (my daughter is a B student). By the time many students reach high school, their daily routine will include seven or more hours of school, plus two hours of school-sponsored sports or activities, plus the inevitable third shift–three or four or even five hours of homework a night.

                We convince ourselves that it’s all for a worthy goal: achieving the magic algorithm of scores and activities that reportedly add up to admission at a top college. But as we’ve encouraged our students to pursue this, we’ve pushed them into unhealthy and unhappy patterns that are harming a whole generation.

http://go.uen.org/14U

The Federal Government Hasn’t Improved Education After Trying for 50 Years

Heritage Foundation commentary columnist Brittany Corona

                The federal government has been trying to improve educational outcomes for 50 years, but according to a recent study, we have little to show for it — and in some areas, it is getting worse.

                This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society initiatives, the goal of which was to help low-income Americans move toward self-sufficiency. Among the measures enacted under Johnson’s “War on Poverty” was the first major federal intervention in education: the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965.

                The anniversary adds context to this month’s release of the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) “Report Card,” which detailed the academic achievement levels of high school seniors. The results weren’t promising – which has been true for the last five years the report card assessed and the last 50 years of federal intervention in education.

                NAEP provides nationally representative samples of achievement levels of American students and selected demographics, providing an indicator of overall student achievement. The 2013 report revealed that performance in math and reading has stagnated or worsened among America’s 12th grade students and that academic achievement gaps have grown since the last report in 2009.

http://go.uen.org/15Y

Becoming a teacher vs. skipping college: A financial wash?

Fordham Institute commentary by Research, Policy & Operations Associate Brandon Wright

                There’s been much talk lately about whether college is for everyone. And there’s always much talk about teacher preparation and pay. Let’s combine these issues and look at them through a specific lens: money.

                Consider Bob, who just graduated high school and is torn between two career paths. His father is a proud mechanic who wants Bob to learn the skill and join him on the job. His mother is a schoolteacher, and part of him has always wanted to go to college and follow in her footsteps. What should Bob do?

                Ignoring all other considerations, let’s see how the financials shake out.

http://go.uen.org/15V

Can You Qualify to Help at Your Child’s School?

If you want to assist with the fingerpainting, first comes the fingerprinting.

Wall Street Journal op-ed by LENORE SKENAZY, author of “Free-Range Kids”

                Want to lend a hand at your local public school? Well, be prepared for a security-clearance rivaling the National Security Agency’s: What is your current employment status? What is your highest level of education completed? Do you promise to perform only the duties in the job description and honor confidential information? Do you hereby declare, under penalty of perjury, that any information provided is true and correct?

                Those are some of the questions on the parent-volunteer application form for the Hayward, Calif., Unified School District. If you decided to go ahead and volunteer there, you’d also have to get a tuberculosis test. Then you’d need to get fingerprinted for a background check with the Justice Department and FBI. (Cost to you: $61.) Hand this all in and “the principal or designee will notify you when you are approved to volunteer.” With any luck, you may be allowed to accompany your child’s field trip to the zoo.

http://go.uen.org/150

The Common Core Is an Opportunity for Education Equity

Center for American Progress analysis

                The Common Core State Standards hold promise for low-income students, students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities, who traditionally perform significantly worse than their peers. The Common Core helps address inequity in education by ensuring all students are taught to the same high standards and held to the same rigorous expectations. This helps make sure that ZIP codes do not determine education quality. The Common Core-aligned assessments are integral to realizing the promise of the standards; they act as a quality-control check to ensure all students receive a high-quality education.

                A Common Core-aligned curriculum will create a more challenging and exciting classroom experience. Students will explore concepts deeply, work together to solve complex problems, and engage in project-based learning—instead of focusing on worksheets and rote memorization. The Common Core-aligned assessments, developed by two nonprofit consortia of states,1 set a rigorous and high benchmark against which all students will be measured.

http://go.uen.org/152

————————————————————-

NATIONAL NEWS

————————————————————-

Tablets proliferate in nation’s classrooms, and take a swipe at the status quo

Washington Post

                Social studies students in a District middle school use a touch screen to swipe through the articles of the Constitution. A fifth-grade teacher in Arlington County sends video lessons to students as homework so she can spend more time helping them in class.

                And Heather Blake, an Arlington second-grade teacher, was able to keep assignments flowing during the many snow days this past winter, sending daily messages with grammar lessons and math activities, directing homebound students to measure the snow drifts or follow a recipe for snow ice cream.

                “It’s like we didn’t really miss a beat,” said Blake, who teaches at Jamestown Elementary School. “We just continued with our learning.”

                Teachers like these are able to abandon textbooks or stretch out the academic day because each of their students has a school-issued iPad.

                One-to-one computing — in which each student receives a computer for Internet access and digital learning — took root with laptops in schools well over a decade ago, but it has gotten a huge boost in recent years with the advent of lower-cost tablet computers. U.S. schools are expected to purchase 3.5 million tablets by the end of the year, according to industry analysts, giving students access to an array of modern educational opportunities that come with the technology. Worldwide, K-12 spending on tablets has increased 60 percent over last year.

http://go.uen.org/15O

Science Standards Divide a State Built on Coal and Oil

New York Times

                CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Sitting in the headquarters of the Wyoming Liberty Group, Susan Gore, founder of the conservative think tank, said new national science standards for schools were a form of “coercion,” adding,

“I don’t think government should have anything to do with education.”

                Ms. Gore, a daughter of the founder of the company that makes Gore-Tex waterproof fabric, was speaking here weeks after the Republican-controlled Legislature made Wyoming, where coal and oil are king, the first state to reject the standards, which include lessons on human impact on global warming. The pushback came despite a unanimous vote by a group of Wyoming science educators urging acceptance. Wyoming was the first state to say no, but likely not the last. A House committee in Oklahoma last week voted to reject the standards, also in part because of concerns about how climate change would be taught.

                Amid a growing cascade of studies documenting melting ice caps and rising temperatures, schools are increasingly teaching students about climate change and the new guidelines, known as the Next Generation Science Standards, have been adopted so far by 11 states and the District of Columbia. They assert that human activity has affected the climate.

 http://go.uen.org/151

Florida lawmaker Charles Van Zant says standardized test maker promotes homosexuality to state’s children

(Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union

                A local state representative said the organization creating new state-wide tests for students in Florida will attract “every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”

                Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, made his comments at a March anti-Common Core event, according to Think Progress, which reported the statements Monday.

http://go.uen.org/15W

http://go.uen.org/15X (HuffPo)

Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm

New York Times

                SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Should students about to read “The Great Gatsby” be forewarned about “a variety of scenes that reference gory, abusive and misogynistic violence,” as one Rutgers student proposed? Would any book that addresses racism — like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” or “Things Fall Apart” — have to be preceded by a note of caution? Do sexual images from Greek mythology need to come with a viewer-beware label?

http://go.uen.org/14V

Opposing visions for education on view in state superintendent race

Los Angeles Times

                In next month’s contest to lead the state’s public schools, the two front-runners represent opposing forces within education over how best to improve student achievement.

                Tom Torlakson, the Democratic incumbent, champions teachers and their unions, which dislike the nation’s growing reliance on standardized tests, call for more funding and fight against eroding job protections.

                Marshall Tuck, the favorite of a core of philanthropists and activists, wants more limited job security for instructors as a way to weed out weak performers and improve the teaching corps. Also a Democrat, he talks of shaking up a system that has settled for gradual improvement in test scores and graduation rates. Before raising new revenue, he said, he would spend existing dollars more effectively.

                The nonpartisan race for the state superintendent of public instruction has become a window into differing, and influential, visions for public schools.

http://go.uen.org/153

Obama Hosts Brown v. Board Families and Lawyers

Associated Press

                WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday marked the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision by recommitting to “the long struggle to stamp out bigotry and racism in all their forms.”

                Obama also met Friday in the White House East Room with families of the plaintiffs, lead attorneys Jack Greenberg and William Coleman and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Greenberg argued the case; Coleman was a leading legal strategist.

http://go.uen.org/15Q (AP)

States Tightening Loopholes in School Vaccine Laws

Aim Is to limit opt-outs

Education Week

                As outbreaks of preventable diseases have spread around the country in recent years, some states have been re-evaluating how and why they allow parents to opt their children out of vaccines required for school attendance.

                Requiring vaccines before school admission has been a key component of a decades-long campaign that had nearly rid the United States of some of its most severe illnesses, from the measles to whooping cough, public-health experts say. But they also warn that broad “personal belief” exemptions that don’t relate to a child’s medical condition or a family’s religious beliefs have made it too easy to bypass vaccines, poking a sizable hole in the public-health safety net.

                While some parents act out of a sense of personal conviction, others do so simply because they don’t have time to schedule an appointment, said Stephanie L. Wasserman, the executive director of the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, an Aurora, Colo.-based group that seeks to increase vaccine coverage in the state.

                “We want to close that convenience loophole,” she said. “When you choose not to immunize, there are consequences not only to your child and your family; there are consequences to your community as well.”

http://go.uen.org/15T

School nurses save money: study

Reuters

                NEW YORK – A Massachusetts program that put full-time registered nurses in schools more than paid for itself by averting medical costs and lost work for parents and teachers, according to a new study.

                Many school districts have cut or reduced the hours of school nurses in recent years, and nationwide less than half of public schools have a full-time nurse, the authors of the report note.

                They say their results warrant “careful consideration” from districts that are thinking of making such cuts in an effort to save money.

http://go.uen.org/15P

House GOP Bill Would Roll Back School Lunch Rules

Associated Press

                WASHINGTON — House Republicans are proposing to let some schools opt out of healthier school lunch and breakfast programs if they are losing money.

                A GOP spending bill for agriculture and food programs released Monday would allow schools to apply for waivers if they have a net loss on school food programs for a six month period.

                Championed by first lady Michelle Obama, the new standards have been phased in over the last two school years, with more changes coming in 2014. The rules set fat, calorie, sugar and sodium limits on foods in the lunch line and beyond.

http://go.uen.org/15R

http://go.uen.org/15U (Ed Week)

http://go.uen.org/15Z (Time)

Schools Seek Upgrades to Entice Healthy Eating

Associated Press

                DALLAS — Industrial blenders mix up smoothies for students in New York while some schools in California are adding salad bars. In Dallas, campus cafeterias use pass-through coolers and warmers to make sure the food is just right before it’s served.

                School districts across the country have made such upgrades in recent years as a way to entice children into healthier eating habits amid higher nutrition standards.

                But paying for the makeovers poses a challenge for many districts, as heavy demand for a limited amount of federal money means schools must fund the projects on their own. Some have made gradual improvements, while others passed the bulk of the tab to taxpayers through large bond packages.

http://go.uen.org/15S

A School Lunch Denied Prompts Powerful Action In A World Of Words

NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

                If someone is outraged these days, they often blog about it, or post a tweet in righteous indignation. Parents urge children to use their words, and in the news business, we certainly believe in the power of words and information.

                But you may wonder these days if some people confuse posting with taking action. Pretty or pungent rhetoric can grasp a few seconds of attention, then — just evaporate.

                Amanda Keown of Dowagiac, Mich., was outraged this month when a cafeteria worker at the Dowagiac Union High School told Keown’s 16-year-old son, Dominic Gant, that he couldn’t eat the school lunch that day because he owed $5 to the school’s food service.

                He offered to give them the $2 in his pocket, and bring the rest the next day; they refused. In fact, he says they took his tray and threw his pizza lunch into the garbage.

                Dominic Gant called his mother, who picked up her son and took him to lunch. “He was embarrassed,” Amanda Keown said. “He was also hungry! And I was very, very mad.”

http://go.uen.org/15L

Schools Work to Help Transgender Students Fit In

Associated Press

                SAN FRANCISCO — Isaac Barnett took a bold step last year: He told teachers and classmates at his Kansas high school that the student they had known as a girl now wanted to be accepted as a boy.

                His close childhood friend, who also identified as transgender, was ready to reveal his secret, too.

                With the administration’s blessing, a segment featuring the two friends talking about their transitions aired in the school’s classrooms, alongside a basketball team promotion and a feature on the importance of the arts.

                “I didn’t get any questions or hate or put-downs or anything like that,” said Barnett, now 18, adding that they called him Isaac immediately – a drama-free coming-out that would have been extraordinary in schools a decade ago.

                With children rejecting the birth gender at younger ages and the transgender rights movement gaining momentum, schools in districts large and small, conservative and liberal, are working to help transitioning youth fit in without a fuss.

                California this year became the first state with a law spelling out the transgender student rights in public schools, including the ability to use restrooms and to play on sports teams that match their expressed genders.

http://go.uen.org/154

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

USOE Calendar

                http://tinyurl.com/5x9oh9

UEN News

        http://www.uen.org

May 20:

                Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

                1 p.m., 445 State Capitol

                http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00003084.htm

May 21:

                Education Interim Committee meeting

                2 p.m., 30 House Building

                http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00003010.htm

June 5-6:

                Utah State Board of Education meeting

                250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

                http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

July 10:

                Utah State Charter School Board meeting

                250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

                http://goo.gl/IaQntl

Related posts:

Comments are closed.