Education News Roundup: May 20, 2014

2013 Healthy STEM 5K

2013 Healthy STEM 5K

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

Standard has some follow up on Box Elder’s new superintendent.
http://go.uen.org/169  (OSE)

America’s Promise looks at why students drop out.
http://go.uen.org/16m  (Ed Week)
or a copy of the study
http://go.uen.org/163  (America’s Promise Alliance)

Technology finally comes full circle. New math app comes with actual human help.
http://go.uen.org/16l  (NYT)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

New superintendent named for Box Elder schools

Music teacher comes out of retirement to help ailing band director

Cache County School District, Nibley reach agreement on road construction projects

Senior seeks to help youths
Parowan student wants to dedicate her life to kids

Draper police find no victims so far in school bus abuse investigation

Two teens from same Utah high school die in unrelated accidents Police » Brooks Johnson and Austin Mcelyea died in separate accidents over the weekend.

Utah company hired to investigate test cheating at Delta school

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Announces 11th Annual James H. Maynard Award Winners ProStart Educators from Nevada and Washington Each Receive $5,000 from Golden Corral for Excelling in the Classroom

Old Granite High School Reopens As Art Exhibit

Is school segregation a problem of the past, or a fact of the present?

OPINION & COMMENTARY

More needed to keep schools, children safe

Kids need better education for our world economy

It’s Time for a New Accountability in American Education

Getting Rid of Local Schools Would Make Student Bodies More Diverse Enrolling kids in communities close to where their parents work might make commutes easier and student bodies more diverse.

Erroneousness Expands
Well-publicized charter funding report uncovers extensive misunderstandings and mistakes

NATION

Array of Factors Drives Students From School

For Education Writers, Common Core is Topic A

Indiana Data Network Draws Opposition

A Math App That Offers an Unusual Human Touch

Manatee High School charges $200 for a row of prime seating at graduation

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UTAH NEWS
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New superintendent named for Box Elder schools

BRIGHAM CITY — An Idaho educator has been named the new Box Elder Schools Superintendent to replace the retiring Ron Wolff.
Ronald Tolman is currently the superintendent for the Jefferson School District located in Rigby, Idaho, serving in that capacity since 2003, according to his resume. Prior to that experience in Idaho, he was the superintendent in Lincoln County School District in Star Valley, Wyoming.
Tolman will take up his new position July 1. Wolff, 66, will retire by that date after 45 years as an educator.
http://go.uen.org/169  (OSE)

Music teacher comes out of retirement to help ailing band director

MURRAY — Cancer is preventing a longtime music teacher at Murray High School from finishing the school year.
A retired music teacher heard about Rob Wilson and what he is going through and offered to teach the remainder of the school year for him.
“I got this phone call in the second week of February saying Rob is back in the hospital again,” Dan Stowell said. “’The cancer is back. He’s in the hospital. Would you be willing to come back and spend the rest of the year teaching?’
“Of course,” he replied.
Stowell says it’s his respect for Wilson that drives his decision to return. As Murray High’s music director, Wilson has spent 20 years inspiring his students into award-winning bands.
http://go.uen.org/166  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/16k  (KSL)

Cache County School District, Nibley reach agreement on road construction projects

The Cache County School District and the city of Nibley have reached an agreement over terms of road construction projects tied to a new high school.
http://go.uen.org/16b  (LHJ)

Senior seeks to help youths
Parowan student wants to dedicate her life to kids

PAROWAN — If there’s work to be done and she can find a way to help, 18-year-old Emily Weatherwalk will be one of the first to step in and make sure the job gets done. It’s a quality many people admire about her.
Weatherwalk, who is graduating from Parowan High School this week, has worked hard to get where she is.
http://go.uen.org/16e  (SGS)

Draper police find no victims so far in school bus abuse investigation

Detectives have identified no Draper victims of a Canyons School District bus driver accused of sexually abusing preschoolers in Sandy, but investigators have not finished reviewing surveillance footage or contacting students, police said.
In a statement issued Monday, Draper police said that the district has provided the video and student lists for Draper routes of the driver who resigned amidst allegations last month that he molested special-needs students, ages 3 to 5, in Sandy. Investigators there have submitted a case, with video evidence, to the county attorney’s office, police have said. There have been no charges or arrests.
http://go.uen.org/164  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/167  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/16f  (KUTV)

http://go.uen.org/16j  (KSL)

Two teens from same Utah high school die in unrelated accidents Police » Brooks Johnson and Austin Mcelyea died in separate accidents over the weekend.

Students at Snow Canyon High School are mourning the loss of two classmates who died over the weekend in separate accidents.
Brooks Johnson, 18, died Saturday during a jeep accident in Mohave County, Ariz.
Austin Mcelyea, 17, died when an ATV collided with him while he was driving a motorcycle in Veyo on Sunday.
http://go.uen.org/165  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/16d  (SGS)

http://go.uen.org/16g  (KUTV)

http://go.uen.org/16i (KSL)

Utah company hired to investigate test cheating at Delta school

CLARKSDALE — The Mississippi Department of Education has hired Utah-based Caveon Test Security to investigate cheating allegations at Heidelberg School in the Clarksdale Municipal School District.
Caveon Test Security is a full-service test security organization that has national experience and expertise in the industry.
http://go.uen.org/16r  (Mississippi Business Journal)

http://go.uen.org/16t  (Jackson [MS] Clarion-Ledger)

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Announces 11th Annual James H. Maynard Award Winners ProStart Educators from Nevada and Washington Each Receive $5,000 from Golden Corral for Excelling in the Classroom

WASHINGTON — The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and Golden Corral recently presented the James H. Maynard Excellence in Education Award to Penny Reynolds of Carson High School (Nev.) and Cecilia Stec of Kentlake High School (Wash.). The $5,000 cash prize is awarded annually by Golden Corral to two ProStart educators who excel both in and out of the classroom. Additionally, more than 30 educators were named recipients of the 2014 ProStart Educator of Excellence Award.

ProStart Educator Excellence Awardees include:
Kay Morgan – Murray High School (Murray, Utah) http://go.uen.org/16u  (PRNewswire)

Old Granite High School Reopens As Art Exhibit

A transformed Granite High School, which has been closed for five years, reopened to the public on Monday as an interactive art exhibit.
http://go.uen.org/16h  (KUTV)

Is school segregation a problem of the past, or a fact of the present?

Sixty years ago this past Saturday, the Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” schools based on race were unconstitutional, legally putting an end to segregated schools. But today, “one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened,” according to a report by ProPublica.
http://go.uen.org/168  (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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More needed to keep schools, children safe (St. George) Spectrum commentary by columnist Angela Etter

Schools everywhere are closing the books on the 2013-14 school year just as another hot summer takes hold in Southern Utah with temperatures in the 90s. Some teachers will spend the summer attending classes to advance their teaching degrees and the children, well they’ll just be kids.
And for some, both teachers and students, summer means escaping from bullying and sometimes assault.
While I’ve never heard of children in Washington County Schools attacking teachers or serious incidents of bullying, other schools are not as fortunate.
http://go.uen.org/16s

Kids need better education for our world economy
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from James B. Johnston

Regarding the news story of May 19, “2 + 2 = what? Parents rail against Common Core math,” it’s no small wonder that parents can’t help their children with today’s math. The requirements of today’s employment are way higher than what was taught when most of the students were avoiding math in the 50s and 60s. In the same edition is “Notice of Mathnasium” in Layton that offers free help.
The parents are against the math curriculum because they can’t help and they don’t like being unable to help because of their level of math education. If we don’t establish curriculum’s in the STEM subjects that meet today’s requirements we’re on the way to a second class nation.
http://go.uen.org/16a

It’s Time for a New Accountability in American Education Huffington Post commentary by Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University, and Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

Voices across the country are raising concerns about the new Common Core State Standards. But if you listen carefully to the conversations, the main concern is not about the standards, themselves, but about the consequences of high-stakes tests attached to the standards. And those concerns are well-founded: Trying to implement ambitious goals for deeper learning through an outmoded testing model tied to a long list of punishments for children, educators, and schools is like pouring new wine into old bottles. It will certainly turn sour. The promise of these new standards — and excellent education for all of America’s children — cannot succeed under the old accountability system because:
http://go.uen.org/16q

Getting Rid of Local Schools Would Make Student Bodies More Diverse Enrolling kids in communities close to where their parents work might make commutes easier and student bodies more diverse.
Atlantic commentary by RUTH BETTELHEIM, a writer and psychotherapist

Neighborhood public schools are outdated. They were designed to keep children close to parents, especially when many had mothers who spent their days at home. But today, almost two-thirds of American kids don’t have a stay-at-home parent—most moms and dads work long distances from their children’s schools, creating long commutes, missed days at work, and fewer opportunities to attend school events or PTA meetings.
In fact, research has shown that neighborhoods no longer serve as Americans’ primary social networks or source of friends and advisers. More and more, these aspects of life are becoming part of the workplace; offices have even been called the new neighborhood. But assignment of public-school spaces has not changed to reflect these trends, which has exacerbated family stress, inequality, and segregation.
http://go.uen.org/16p

Erroneousness Expands
Well-publicized charter funding report uncovers extensive misunderstandings and mistakes National Education Policy Center analysis by William J. Mathis and Bruce Baker

BOULDER, CO – A recent report called Charter Funding: Inequity Expands claimed to have documented large and growing inequities between school district and charter school revenues. But the report suffers from severe shortcomings that result in major misrepresentations of the condition of charter as well as district school finances, a new review released today finds.
The review was conducted for the Think Twice think tank review project by school finance expert Bruce Baker of Rutgers University and published by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. Inequity Expands and accompanying state-level reports were published in April by the School Choice Demonstration Project at the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform. It was authored by Meagan Batdorff, Larry Maloney, Jay May, Sheree Speakman, Patrick Wolf, and Albert Cheng.
Baker’s review finds “alarmingly vague documentation” for the report’s data sources and methods, and he observes that the report’s arguments rely on “entirely inappropriate comparisons of student population characteristics.”
Worse yet, the report “displays a complete lack of understanding of intergovernmental fiscal relationships, which results in the blatantly erroneous assignment of ‘revenues’ between charters and district schools.”
http://go.uen.org/161

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Array of Factors Drives Students From School Education Week

Often, there’s not a clear, single factor but a collision of negative events that can include bad school experiences, abuse, an unstable living situation, or an illness in the family that finally breaks a young person’s will to go to school, according to a new report from a Washington-based, youth-advocacy organization.
In an effort to paint a fuller picture of the lives—and motivations—of young people who leave high school before graduating, America’s Promise Alliance has released a large-scale study focusing on the personal experiences of students who drop out.
http://go.uen.org/16m

A copy of the study
http://go.uen.org/163 (America’s Promise Alliance)

For Education Writers, Common Core is Topic A Education Week

Nashville, Tenn. – For the nation’s K-12 education reporters, the debate over the Common Core State Standards is probably the biggest story of the year.
So when more than 200 journalist members of the Education Writers Association gathered at Vanderbilt University here this week for their annual conference, it was a given that there would be sessions addressing the standards. In fact, a marathon four-hour session on the common core offered reporters the chance to hear from a range of policy experts.
“There are lots of myths out there” about the core, said Michael Cohen, the president of Achieve, a Washington-based school accountability organization and a veteran of the movement to boost educational standards.
Among the myths circulating among opponents of the common core, Cohen said, are that the standards were entirely a project of President Barack Obama’s administration (they precede his tenure); that they are part of a conspiracy led by Bill Gates and other philanthropists active in education policy; and that they represent the beginnings of a federal K-12 curriculum.
“If federal money equaled a federal curriculum, we would have had a federal curriculum since about 1990,” added Cohen, in reference to the origins of an expanded federal role in standards.
http://go.uen.org/16o

Indiana Data Network Draws Opposition
Education Week

Rising concerns about the privacy and security of vast amounts of student data are playing out across the country. That is especially true in Indiana, where the state is building a network that would gather and analyze academic information on students from the time they enter kindergarten to their days as adults in the workplace.
State lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year to create the Indiana Network of Knowledge, or INK, to link students’ data with state labor data and information collected from employers about desirable job skills. The goal is to help the state tailor its education system to meet employers’ needs and help close a workplace-skills gap.
But critics of the measure contend there has been little discussion about how to keep the student data private and secure, and they are drawing connections between INK and similar concerns that led to the demise of inBloom, a nonprofit data-management company that recently announced it would “wind down” operations.
http://go.uen.org/16n

A Math App That Offers an Unusual Human Touch New York Times

Tabtor is an expensive iPad math-teaching app for kindergartners through sixth graders. Although free to download and try for two weeks, thereafter it costs $50 a month per child.
At first glance, Tabtor — the name is “tablet tutor” mashed together — does not look particularly different from the hundreds of other math offerings in Apple’s app store and the gazillion math-drill software programs on personal computers.
For each problem, there is space on the touch screen to scribble calculations with a finger or a stylus before punching in the answer on an on-screen keypad. A green check mark and a pleasing clanging sword sound greet a correct answer; a wrong one gets a red “X” and a less pleasing clang. There is a second chance to get the problem right.
So what does the $50 a month buy? Unlike any other math teaching app I’ve encountered, it comes with a human being.
http://go.uen.org/16l

Manatee High School charges $200 for a row of prime seating at graduation Bradenton (FL) Herald

BRADENTON ­– As it implements a $20 fee this year for seniors to participate in the graduation ceremony, Manatee High School is also selling family members prime seating — at $200 a row.
A group of 10 rows near the end zone of Hawkins Stadium were made available for purchase this year. Each bench cost $200 to seat about 15 people, a little more than $13 per seat. All other stadium seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The tickets, which went on sale Tuesday morning, sold out in about four hours, Manatee High Principal Don Sauer said.
The new fees are part of an effort to cover an estimated $12,000 in graduation costs for MHS after the financially strapped school district pulled its $3,400 contribution this year.
http://go.uen.org/162

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CALENDAR
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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

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