Education News Roundup: May 30, 2014

2013 Healthy STEM 5K

2013 Healthy STEM 5K

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

KSL’s Deanie Wimmer looks at high school graduation in Granite District and in particular at Hunter High.
http://go.uen.org/1cU  (KSL)

The Wasatch High yearbook Photoshop issue has legs, (and it knows how to use them, if ZZ Top will forgive ENR).
http://go.uen.org/1cl (SLT)
and http://go.uen.org/1cm (DN)
and http://go.uen.org/1cp  (OSE)
and http://go.uen.org/1ct  (CVD)
and http://go.uen.org/1cu  (SGS)
and http://go.uen.org/1cA  (MUR)
and http://go.uen.org/1cF (Reuters)
and http://go.uen.org/1cI  (Associated Press) and http://go.uen.org/1cT  (People) and http://go.uen.org/1cW (E!) and http://go.uen.org/1cQ (LAT) and http://go.uen.org/1cO  (CNN) and http://go.uen.org/1cP  ([Manchester] Guardian)

T.H.E. Journal looks at how Junior Achievement is help STEM in Utah.
http://go.uen.org/1cS  (T.H.E. Journal)

Here’s your chance to comment on proposed updates to Utah’s library media standards.
http://go.uen.org/1cn  (DN)

New York Times looks at the latest Common Core battles in Oklahoma and South Carolina.
http://go.uen.org/1cc  (NYT)

Britain puts the brakes on American authors in English schools.
http://go.uen.org/1cH  (AP)
and http://go.uen.org/1cM  (Fox)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

to Dr Andreas Schleicher, director of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, academics from around the world express deep concern about the impact of Pisa tests and call for a halt to the next round of testing

Public Rules on Private Schools: Measuring the Regulatory Impact of State Statutes and School Choice Programs

NATION

Common Core School Standards Face a New Wave of Opposition

Parent-Trigger Report Card: How are Adelanto, Los Angeles schools doing one year later?

Nevada Dad Told It Will Cost $10K to See School Data State Collects on His Children

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledges $120 million to help struggling Bay Area schools

Obama to Call for More Mentors for Minority Boys

GOP candidates for Ed. Superintendent snipe over science education

Spelling bee ends in rare stalemate

Shumlin signs universal early education bill

NASA, Khan Academy Team Up for STEM Education

Student allegedly spiked coffee
Fowlerville teacher was made ‘really ill’

UK Education Revamp Leaves US Authors on the Shelf

PISA-based Test for Schools

‘Culture of graduation’ lowers dropout rate, high school finds

Editing yearbook photos not uncommon, says printer Utah schools » Accuracy is not the top priority for many officials, who mostly want to present their schools in the best light — as they see it.

Helping STEM Take Root
Private and public sector groups are joining the effort to steer students toward tech education and careers.

New hunger relief program launches in Ogden

Public comment sought on updated school library media standards

Stansbury High School students honored with moment of silence at graduation

Logan High School Graduate Profile: Tanesha Tyler ‘a bright star’ in spite of hardships

Lincoln Elementary School celebrates student achievement, Gettysburg Address

Davis Principal Named Utah’s National Distinguished Principal

Troy Coil New Assistant Principal Desert Hills High School

Chris Homer New Assistant Principal Hurricane High School

‘Reading Rainbow’ raises $1M in 11 hours

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Empowering through education

The two forms of senioritis

What the shoulder-shamers in Utah should be saying

Food fight in Congress threatens kids
Chief supporter of weakening school lunch is a group of school officials backed by companies such as Coca-Cola and Domino’s Pizza.

We’re throwing schools a lifeline
The 10 lines in this bill merely provide a temporary, one-year waiver only for school districts that can prove a six-month operating loss.

Common Core confusion: It’s a math, math world

Your Kid’s Brain Might Benefit From an Extra Year in Middle School Repeating eighth grade can give students time to mature academically and developmentally.

You might want to reconsider that donation to the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter

OECD and Pisa tests are damaging education worldwide – academics In this letter

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UTAH NEWS
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‘Culture of graduation’ lowers dropout rate, high school finds

SALT LAKE CITY — This week, more than 40,000 Utah seniors will graduate from high school. It’s an exciting milestone for them and a milestone for Utah, where graduation rates have gone up statewide in recent years.
Last year, 81 percent of Utah students graduated. That’s about even with national rates, but almost a 10 percent increase over four years previous.
The gap between minority students is closing. Scores there have gone up 17 percent in the same time period.
This seems like encouraging news, but KSL dug further into the numbers and found graduation rates among schools and even school districts differ dramatically.
Granite District has a 71 percent graduation rate. That means more than one in four kids drops out.
Looking at two schools with similar demographics, Kearns High has a 66 percent graduation rate, but Hunter High’s rate is 82 percent.
What takes Hunter above its neighboring school, above the district and the state average?
Graduating is a given for most students at the school.
http://go.uen.org/1cU  (KSL)

Editing yearbook photos not uncommon, says printer Utah schools » Accuracy is not the top priority for many officials, who mostly want to present their schools in the best light — as they see it.

It’s not unusual for Utah high schools to edit yearbook photos to delete facial piercings, to make athletes look faster, or even, as happened at Wasatch High School, to make students appear more modest.
“It varies from school to school as to what’s acceptable and whether to do any edits,” said Scott Wolters, a sales representative for Herff Jones, a company that trains yearbook staffs and prints Wasatch’s and a number of other Utah yearbooks. “It’s up to every single district and every single school.”
http://go.uen.org/1cl  (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/1cm  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/1cp  (OSE)

http://go.uen.org/1ct  (CVD)

http://go.uen.org/1cu  (SGS)

http://go.uen.org/1cA (MUR)

http://go.uen.org/1cF  (Reuters)

http://go.uen.org/1cI  (Associated Press)

http://go.uen.org/1cT  (People)

http://go.uen.org/1cW  (E!)

http://go.uen.org/1cQ  (LAT)

http://go.uen.org/1cO  (CNN)

http://go.uen.org/1cP  ([Manchester] Guardian)

Helping STEM Take Root
Private and public sector groups are joining the effort to steer students toward tech education and careers.

It has been nearly five years since President Obama launched Educate to Innovate in an effort to push American students from the middle to the top of the heap in science and math achievement. Through this effort, the federal government, companies, and nonprofits have moved into the K-12 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) arena in an attempt to broadening the nation’s tech-minded talent pool.
The goals of these groups go beyond just ensuring that today’s kids are exposed to STEM subjects in school. They’re also helping students select careers in growing industries that pay well. According to a recent Mashable article, “The 10 Fastest-Growing Job Titles Are All in Tech,”job-matching service TheLadders says that the fastest-growing jobs (which include DevOps engineer, iOS developer, data scientist and staff accountant) require “deep educational qualifications and specific skills in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Junior Achievement of Utah is involved with a number of STEM-related initiatives. Its JA City Career Exploration Center offers in-class programs that prepare students for future jobs in STEM by teaching problem-solving skills, creativity and “thinking outside of the box,” said Becky Harding, director of the center. Four-hour science camps, for example, give K-12 students hands-on lessons in subjects that they may have typically shied away from. Hardin said, “I can’t tell you how many kids leave here saying that they had no idea science and math were this much fun.”
http://go.uen.org/1cS  (T.H.E. Journal)

New hunger relief program launches in Ogden

OGDEN – Students at Dee Elementary School spent their last day of class playing tug of war, throwing beanbags, getting their teachers wet with water balloons and eating. A big Arby’s bus sat in the parking lot with activities and food for the students as part of its campaign in partnership with Catholic Community Services called “Bridging the Gap.”
On Thursday, Dee Elementary and the Marshall White Center kids combined, nearly 1,000 went home with full stomachs.
Arby’s donated $25,000 to Catholic Community Services to kick off not only a summer program that will provide extra food for children on weekends and during summer days, but it will also make monthly visits to four schools in Ogden and Weber school districts to deliver six to eight meals for students to get them through the weekends.
http://go.uen.org/1cq  (OSE)

Public comment sought on updated school library media standards

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Board of Education is seeking public comment on a proposed update to the Core Standards for Library Media in public schools for sixth through 12th grades.
The standards have been under review and revision throughout the 2013-14 school year. Details of the proposed standards can be found at the school board website, and an online survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/lms_public_comment.
http://go.uen.org/1cn  (DN)

Stansbury High School students honored with moment of silence at graduation

SALT LAKE CITY – On Thursday seniors at Stansbury High School are graduating with mixed emotions. Two of their fellow classmates, who recently died, can’t be with them. While some are students are understandably excited, others are accepting their diplomas with heavy hearts.
Graduating seniors from Stansbury High School have a lot to cheer about out, but if people who attended Thursday’s graduation at the Huntsman Center looked closely – two seniors were quietly absent.
“Join with us in a moment of silence in honor of Matt McConnell and Jesse Horowitz,” said an administrator.
During Thursday night’s ceremony, the school remembered seniors Matt McConnell and Jesse Horowitz. Both their lives were recently cut short. Horowitz died from a stabbing, McConnell from carbon monoxide poisoning. Over recent days how they would be honored at graduation had been a source of frustration. McConnell’s mother had hoped her son would be given an honorary diploma.
http://go.uen.org/1cv  (KTVX)

http://go.uen.org/1cR  (KSL)

Logan High School Graduate Profile: Tanesha Tyler ‘a bright star’ in spite of hardships

Dynamic, energetic, charismatic, positive and “a bright star” are just a few of the terms that come to Logan High School Counselor Donna Starley’s mind when asked to describe senior Tanesha Tyler.
http://go.uen.org/1cr  (LHJ)

Lincoln Elementary School celebrates student achievement, Gettysburg Address

HYRUM — Lincoln Elementary School recognized and celebrated its fifth-graders Tuesday by awarding students with honors for academic achievement, physical fitness and participation in national programs.
http://go.uen.org/1cs  (LHJ)

Davis Principal Named Utah’s National Distinguished Principal

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Beth Johnston, principal at Endeavour Elementary in Kaysville has been named Utah’s National Distinguished Principal (Principal of the Year) by the Utah Association of Elementary School Principals. This award is given yearly to an outstanding principal, who is chosen from candidates submitted by Utah School Districts. It is a competitive award based on data derived from the applications submitted by the candidates. A committee of elementary principals participates in the selection.
http://go.uen.org/1cy  (KCSG)

Troy Coil New Assistant Principal Desert Hills High School

ST. GEORGE, Utah – The Washington County School District is pleased to announce the selection of Troy Coil as the Assistant Principal of Desert Hills High School. Troy will replace Kim Monkres who was selected as the Utah High School Activities Association’s Assistant Director.
http://go.uen.org/1cz (KCSG)

Chris Homer New Assistant Principal Hurricane High School

ST. GEORGE, Utah – The Washington County School District is pleased to announce the selection of Chris Homer as the Assistant Principal of Hurricane High School. Chris will replace Sheri Fisher who was selected as the Assistant Principal of Dixie Middle School.
http://go.uen.org/1cx  (KCSG)

‘Reading Rainbow’ raises $1M in 11 hours

LOS ANGELES — A Kickstarter campaign to fund an online version of the iconic “Reading Rainbow” program surpassed its goal of $1 million in less than 12 hours, and the donations keep coming in.
http://go.uen.org/1cw (KSL)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Empowering through education
Deseret News Letter from Kimberly Uchida

It is astounding to think that places in the world exist where young girls are shot on a school bus or kidnapped from their families to prevent them access to a right I exercise every day in the United States: the right to an education regardless of my gender.
http://go.uen.org/1co

The two forms of senioritis
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Tate Harris

People always assume that senioritis means sluffing classes or school and never doing anything for your education when you are a senior in high school.
But truth be told there is another form of senioritis. It’s the form that most seniors do take. We show up to class because if we don’t it kills our grade, but we just don’t pay attention. We either sleep through everything or just doodle on our “notes” that the rest of the class is taking.
http://go.uen.org/1ck

What the shoulder-shamers in Utah should be saying Chicago Tribune commentary by columnist Heidi Stevens

I’m not in the mood to live in the real world this week.
Not when a trial is just getting underway for a man accused of tying up his fiancée (with whom he has a daughter) and her family members in Hoffman Estates before killing three of them and injuring a fourth.
Not when teenage girls are found raped and hanged in India and more than 100 Nigerian schoolgirls remain missing and the police are still sifting through evidence in Elliot Rodger’s misogyny-fueled rampage .
I’m certainly not in the mood to read a non-apology from administrators at the Utah high school now infamous for shoulder-shaming. In case you missed it Thursday, Wasatch High School made news when students discovered their yearbook photos had been digitally altered to cover some girls’ bare shoulders and clavicles.
School authorities say they were simply enforcing the school’s dress code which bans “inappropriately short, tight, or revealing shorts, skirts, dresses, tank shirts, halter or crop tops.”
Others didn’t see it that way.
http://go.uen.org/1cV

Food fight in Congress threatens kids
Chief supporter of weakening school lunch is a group of school officials backed by companies such as Coca-Cola and Domino’s Pizza.
USA Today editorial

The U.S. faces an epidemic of childhood obesity and diabetes.
Taxpayers spend $11 billion a year to subsidize school lunches.
Put those two facts together, and you’d think there’d be widespread agreement that the money ought to go toward healthy meals.
That’s certainly what Congress thought in 2010, when it passed new rules aimed at reducing the salt, sugar and fat in kids’ lunches, while adding whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Now, however, the rules are under fire from the 10% of school systems that have had trouble implementing them, and from the makers of foods and beverages that don’t meet the new standards. On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee approved a plan to let school districts suspend the rules for the entire coming school year.
http://go.uen.org/1cD

We’re throwing schools a lifeline
The 10 lines in this bill merely provide a temporary, one-year waiver only for school districts that can prove a six-month operating loss.
USA Today op-ed by Robert Aderholt, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture

Much has been said about the school lunch program provision within the Agriculture Appropriations funding legislation moving through Congress.
To hear the White House talk about it, the bill would roll back all nutrition standards within the National School Lunch Program.
This is simply not true. The fact is, the 10 lines in this bill merely provide a temporary, one-year waiver only for school districts that can prove a six-month operating loss.
The bill does not pick and choose which nutrition standards school districts must follow. This legislation instead grants the school systems time to comply with the more than 200 policy memorandums that USDA has issued in just the past 20 months.
http://go.uen.org/1cE

Common Core confusion: It’s a math, math world Fordham Institute commentary by Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow Kathleen Porter-Magee

Here’s a puzzler: Why are the Common Core math standards accused of fostering “fuzzy math” when their drafters and admirers insist that they emphasize basic math, reward precision, and demand fluency? Why are CC-aligned curricula causing confusion and frustration among parents, teachers, and students? Is this another instance of “maximum feasible misunderstanding,” as textbook publishers and educators misinterpret the standards in ways that undermine their intent (but perhaps match the interpreters’ predilections)? Or are the Common Core standards themselves to blame?
My take is that the standards are in line with effective programs, such as Singapore Math, but textbook publishers and other curriculum providers are creating confusion with overly complex explanations, ill-written problems, and lessons that confuse pedagogy with content.
Many of the “fuzzy math” complaints seem to focus on materials that ask students to engage in multiple approaches when tackling arithmetic problems. But to understand whether the confusion stems from the standards or the curriculum, let’s start by recalling what the CCSS actually require.
http://go.uen.org/1cK

Your Kid’s Brain Might Benefit From an Extra Year in Middle School Repeating eighth grade can give students time to mature academically and developmentally.
Atlantic commentary by JESSICA LAHEY, author of the forthcoming book The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed

The practice of voluntarily delaying school transitions, either by red-shirting kindergarten, repeating twelfth grade, or introducing a gap year between high school and college, is a well-established tradition in the United States. The extra year gives students time to mature athletically, academically, or developmentally.
Although kindergarten entrance and the transition from high school to college have long been seen as the ideal times to take an extra year, recently eighth grade has been seen as an opportune time for kids to catch up with—or maybe even gain an advantage over—their peers.
Sports coaches have debated and defended their stances on voluntary repetition of eighth grade for sports-related reasons for years—most believe it offers a real athletic advantage. But the decision to repeat eighth grade is increasingly becoming an academic choice for some students. The tantalizing lure of “stronger, larger, faster, and smarter” has not been lost on academically-minded parents, and as the pace of American education gets more intense, some have opted to give their kids an extra year between middle and high school. An informal poll reported by the Wall Street Journal found that “74 percent of 313 respondents said they would consider having their children repeat a grade, even if school officials said the student could be promoted.”
http://go.uen.org/1cL

You might want to reconsider that donation to the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Washington Post commentary by columnist CAITLIN DEWEY

By now, you’ve surely heard the news that the irrepressible LeVar Burton — late of “Star Trek,” “Roots” and the classic children’s show “Reading Rainbow” — has launched a $1-million Kickstarter to get a Rainbow reboot/spin-off online.
It will not, let’s be clear, replicate the classic show that aired from 1983 to 2009. (Burton bought the rights to that show and its name and used them to spin off another company, RRKidz, which produces a Reading Rainbow tablet app.) The Kickstarter would essentially expand on that app, making it available on the Web and updating it with special tools for teachers — not for free, as the classic show was on PBS, but at a monthly subscription cost.
http://go.uen.org/1cb

OECD and Pisa tests are damaging education worldwide – academics In this letter to Dr Andreas Schleicher, director of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, academics from around the world express deep concern about the impact of Pisa tests and call for a halt to the next round of testing
(Manchester) Guardian letter from Paul Andrews, professor of Mathematics Education, Stockholm University, and 82 others

Dear Dr Schleicher,
We write to you in your capacity as OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) director of the Programme of International Student Assessment (Pisa). Now in its 13th year, Pisa is known around the world as an instrument to rank OECD and non-OECD countries (60-plus at last count) according to a measure of academic achievement of 15-year-old students in mathematics, science, and reading. Administered every three years, Pisa results are anxiously awaited by governments, education ministers, and the editorial boards of newspapers, and are cited authoritatively in countless policy reports. They have begun to deeply influence educational practices in many countries. As a result of Pisa, countries are overhauling their education systems in the hopes of improving their rankings. Lack of progress on Pisa has led to declarations of crisis and “Pisa shock” in many countries, followed by calls for resignations, and far-reaching reforms according to Pisa precepts.
We are frankly concerned about the negative consequences of the Pisa rankings. These are some of our concerns:
http://go.uen.org/1ce

Public Rules on Private Schools: Measuring the Regulatory Impact of State Statutes and School Choice Programs Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice analysis by Andrew D. Catt

Is regulatory creep a fate that awaits all school choice programs? With the number of those programs doubling over the past five years, the need for context and understanding is critical.
This report provides a framework for understanding the impacts of state government statutes regulating private schools, regulations distinct to a given school choice program, and any regulatory growth over a program’s lifespan. Examining school choice programs in operation for at least a few years provides important context and comparisons for policymakers considering additional regulations on current programs, as well as for school choice advocates pursuing new or expanded programs.
http://go.uen.org/1cd

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Common Core School Standards Face a New Wave of Opposition New York Times

Opposition to the Common Core, a set of reading and math standards for elementary, middle and high school students that were originally adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, has gathered momentum among state lawmakers in recent weeks.
The governors of Oklahoma and South Carolina are considering signing bills to repeal the standards and replace them with locally written versions. In Missouri, lawmakers passed a bill that would require a committee of state educators to come up with new standards within the next two years.
Although the Common Core, developed by a coalition convened by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, was initially backed by a group of Republican governors, the Obama administration also lent its support. For the past year, conservative Republicans, seizing on the administration’s backing, have argued that the standards amount to a federal takeover of public schools.
Jason Nelson, a Republican state representative from northwest Oklahoma who sponsored the bill to withdraw the state from the Common Core, said he and his colleagues wanted to “break any kind of nexus where any private organization or the federal government would exert control over our standards.” The bill passed the Oklahoma House overwhelmingly last week, and this week it passed the Senate, 31 to 10.
http://go.uen.org/1cc

Parent-Trigger Report Card: How are Adelanto, Los Angeles schools doing one year later?
San Bernardino (CA) Sun

Adelanto >> The sign outside the former Desert Trails Elementary School may be the same, but a year later, the insides are very different.
The 2013-14 school year marked the successful implementation of California’s 2010 parent-trigger law, which allows parents to force sweeping changes on failing schools.
In the High Desert city of Adelanto, Desert Trails Elementary was the first successful use of the law, following an ugly, protracted fight that split the community and was decided in Superior Court. Desert Trails had the worst test scores in the Adelanto Elementary School District, which had less-than-stellar test scores to begin with.
The school’s plight attracted the notice of Parent Revolution, the nonprofit that helped pass the parent-trigger law. It helped parents organize into the Desert Trails Parent Union, which circulated petitions and ultimately wrested control of Desert Trails Elementary away from the AESD.
The law allows parents who gather signatures from more than 50 percent of a failing school’s parents to invoke the penalties in the federal No Child Left Behind law, including the ability to hand it over to a charter school operator. That’s what DTPU parents did, turning the school over to the operator of a charter school in nearby Hesperia.
http://go.uen.org/1cj

Nevada Dad Told It Will Cost $10K to See School Data State Collects on His Children Education Week

Nevada education officials this month told a local man it would cost more than $10,000 to access the data the department has collected on his four children, raising a tangled web of questions about everything from the structure of state educational databases to the interpretation of federal student-privacy laws to the implementation of new Common Core State Standards.
John Eppolito, whose children attend public school in the 62,000-student Washoe County school district, described his request in an interview with television station KRNV in Reno, Nev.
http://go.uen.org/1cJ

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledges $120 million to help struggling Bay Area schools San Jose (CA) Mercury News

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his pediatrician wife on Thursday pledged $120 million to help schools in low-income Bay Area communities in what amounts to their biggest publicly announced donation to a local cause.
“The world’s most innovative community shouldn’t also be a home for struggling public schools,” Zuckerberg said, announcing the pledge in an essay written for this newspaper’s opinion section. He cited the example of chronically low test scores in the Ravenswood school district, which serves low-income and minority communities near Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park.
“There are many heroic educators doing their best to serve students here,” Zuckerberg wrote. “But the challenges are much greater than the resources they receive.”
The announcement comes at a time when Silicon Valley companies and affluent tech workers have drawn fire from critics who accuse them of driving up real estate prices and giving little thought to lower-income communities of the Bay Area.
http://go.uen.org/1c9

http://go.uen.org/1cG  (AP)

Essay by Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan on why they’re doing this http://go.uen.org/1ca  (SJMN)

Obama to Call for More Mentors for Minority Boys Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is calling on all Americans to get involved with his push to reverse underachievement among young minority men by getting involved with mentorship and tutoring programs.
The White House call is an outgrowth of Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” program, which the president initiated in February to help try to reverse some of the challenges facing black, Hispanic and Native American boys and young men.
Obama discussed an initial “My Brother’s Keeper” progress report with his Cabinet on Thursday and on Friday will “call on all in his administration and adults all across America to commit to mentor or tutor” boys, said Brodrick Johnson, chairman of the initiative’s task force.
http://go.uen.org/kL

GOP candidates for Ed. Superintendent snipe over science education Greenville News via (Columbia, SC) The State

GREENVILLE, SC — The crowded field of candidates for state superintendent of education may be winnowed by the process of natural selection in the June 10 primaries, but in the meantime, GOP contenders for the office are sniping at each other over teaching of Darwin’s theory of the origin of species and the adoption of high school science standards.
Sheri Few, who runs a conservative parents group, took the first shots at Meka Childs, who was deputy superintendent under incumbent Republican Mick Zais, during Tuesday’s debate on SC-ETV.
She tagged Childs with adoption of new science standards that Few says were copied from the Next Generation Science Standards, a set of national standards developed by the same organization that created the Common Core State Standards.
She also accused Childs, at Zais’ behest, of circumventing a proviso that was inserted into the state budget that specified that no state funds were to be spent on adopting Next Generation Science Standards.
Childs says the new standards were based on the state’s 2005 standards, not the Next Generation standards. She also said that science standards, by definition, are going to cover the same material regardless of who writes them.
http://go.uen.org/1ch

Spelling bee ends in rare stalemate
ESPN

OXON HILL, Md. — The dreaded bell that signals a misspelled word tolled for each of the last two spellers in the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night. But in an exhilarating twist, it wasn’t the end for either of them.
Sriram Hathwar of Painted Post, New York, and Ansun Sujoe of Fort Worth, Texas, got back-to-back words wrong, each giving a reprieve to the other. Neither stumbled again, and a dozen words later, they ended up as co-champions of the bee, the first tie in 52 years.
“The competition was against the dictionary, not against each other,” Sriram said after both were showered with confetti onstage. “I’m happy to share this trophy with him.”
http://go.uen.org/1cg

http://go.uen.org/1cB  (USAT)

Shumlin signs universal early education bill Burlington (VT) Free Press

MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed into law a bill calling for every 3- and 4-year-old in Vermont to have access to at least 10 hours a week of publicly funded, pre-kindergarten education.
Backers of the bill say it will add about $10 million a year in costs to the state’s Education Fund by 2021. But they say the measure will save much more in the long run because many of the children will be given a good enough educational start that special education and corrections costs will be reduced.
http://go.uen.org/1ci

NASA, Khan Academy Team Up for STEM Education Mashable

YouTube education sensation the Khan Academy debuted a series of tutorials on astronomy and space exploration made in collaboration with NASA Thursday.
The announcement at the fourth annual White House Science Fair made it clear that the new tutorials are meant to generate more interest in science, technology, engineering and math (also known as STEM) education.
The tutorials on Khan Academy, a non-profit, educational website, are divided into three different sections. Each section is intended to acquaint the user with different aspects of space, and NASA’s understanding and exploration of it — from teaching users about the different protocols NASA uses to explaining the challenges of Mars exploration.
http://go.uen.org/1cN

Student allegedly spiked coffee
Fowlerville teacher was made ‘really ill’
(Livingston County, MI) Daily Press & Argus

A Fowlerville High School student has been suspended for one school year after he allegedly admitted placing Visine solution in a teacher’s coffee.
When contacted by the Daily Press & Argus for comment, algebra teacher Mary Aldecoa, who has taught at Fowlerville Community Schools for 24 years, said she believes the alleged poisoning occurred over a five-day period beginning around the week of May 12, and it left her with “horrible symptoms,” including severe stomach pains and throbbing headaches that kept her out of school since May 15.
“I couldn’t move off the couch,” she said. “I started feeling better, and I went back to school … and the same thing happened — I’d get really ill.”
Aldecoa initially believed she might have consumed tainted red meat, which had made headlines around that time. Then she received a telephone call from school administrators who investigated a rumor that a student had poisoned her coffee.
http://go.uen.org/1cC

UK Education Revamp Leaves US Authors on the Shelf Associated Press

LONDON — Britain’s education minister says he has not killed a mockingbird, but many literature-lovers don’t believe him.
Michael Gove has outraged some readers and academics with his campaign to put the basics – and Britishness – back into schools.
Longtime American favorites including John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” are off the syllabus for a major high school English qualification under new guidelines that focus almost exclusively on writers from Britain and Ireland.
Some educators fear that could lead to the narrowing of British minds.
http://go.uen.org/1cH

http://go.uen.org/1cM (Fox)

PISA-based Test for Schools
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

The PISA-based Test for Schools is a student assessment tool geared for use by schools and networks of schools to support research, benchmarking and school improvement efforts. In the United States, the assessment is known as the OECD Test for Schools (based on PISA). The assessment tool provides descriptive information and analyses on the skills and creative application of knowledge of 15-year-old students in reading, mathematics, and science, comparable to existing PISA scales (when administered under appropriate conditions).
The assessment also provides information on how different factors within and outside school associate with student performance. Contextual questionnaires geared for schools and students are an important part of the assessment. Information about students’ socio-economic backgrounds, their attitudes and interests in reading, science and mathematics and the learning environment at school are all addressed in the assessment.
The OECD completed the international pilot trial of the assessment in March 2013. Since 2010 and under the guidance of the PISA Governing Board (PGB), the OECD has carried out the development of the assessment and the implementation of the pilot in collaboration with schools and local partners in different countries.
It is expected that the PISA-Based Test for Schools will provide important peer-to-peer learning opportunities for local educators – locally, nationally and internationally – as well as the opportunity to share good practices to help identify “what works” to improve learning and build better skills for better lives.
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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

June 17:
Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
1 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2014&Com=APPEXE

June 18:
Education Interim Committee meeting
2 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2014&Com=INTEDU

July 10:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
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