Education News Roundup: June 6, 2014

Student work from the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program

Student artwork from the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

Davis School Board discusses the budget and teacher pay.
http://go.uen.org/1gh  (OSE)

Cedar City school looks to enhance STEM.
http://go.uen.org/1gl  (SGS)

Oklahoma drops out of Common Core.
http://go.uen.org/1g7  (Oklahoman)
and http://go.uen.org/1gt (AP)
and http://go.uen.org/1gu  (Ed Week)

After you’ve created Lego Simpsons, where do you go next? Lego female scientists. No. None of the scientists look like Lisa.
http://go.uen.org/1g9  (WaPo)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Davis school board meeting gets testy over teacher pay

School digs deeper to enhance STEM curriculum

Summer Program Encourages Utah Kids to Read

Kennedy Hansen funeral draws thousands

Brighton High School and students react to shooting death of student

New LDS school offers unconventional learning; parent meeting tonight

12-year-old saves friend during lunch by performing Heimlich maneuver

UNC President Appoints UNCW Interim Chancellor

Finding the right school for your child

American authors are cut from British schools’ reading lists

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Teachers, dog work together to track purse thief

How about a life-size cutout for yearbook photos?

Yearbooks tell a story

Exchange students

Dual enrollment: A strategy to improve college-going and college completion among rural students

NATION

Fallin signs bill repealing Oklahoma Common Core standards Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill Thursday that repeals the adoption of the standards and directs the Oklahoma Board of Education to create new, more rigorous standards by August 2016.

ACT to Feature New Indicators for Career Readiness, Understanding Complex Texts

These States Invest The Least In Their Students

Medicaid Expansion Leads To Fewer High School Dropouts And More College Graduates: Study

The Best- And Worst-Paying Education Jobs

LEGO will make new female characters with science jobs

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UTAH NEWS
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Davis school board meeting gets testy over teacher pay

FARMINGTON – It was a sobering and sometimes testy meeting this week as the Davis school board looked to the district’s budget for the upcoming school year.
“The budget is difficult, but it could be worse,” said Assistant Superintendent Craig Carter, referring to the last five years when the district was forced to make drastic cuts to the budget, but began seeing a turn about a year ago with no major cuts. This year, the district has a portion of new money coming in from new student growth, the state guarantee on the voted levy, and an increase of Weighted Pupil Unit funding of $11.8 million, and is looking for the best way to allocate the money efficiently.
The upcoming budget anticipates no tax increase, and includes an extra $1.5 million to incorporate student growth and maintain class sizes. There is a small health insurance increase from what the district pays, while employee contributions go down slightly, and an increase in the district’s retirement fund.
http://go.uen.org/1gh  (OSE)

School digs deeper to enhance STEM curriculum

CEDAR CITY – As North Elementary School was finishing the second year of offering an educational program that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, principal Ray Whittier took several teachers with him to the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles to gather new ideas.
Whittier said he learned about the fair through a couple who are teachers and whose son participated in the ISEF in a previous year after winning the regional science fair at Southern Utah University.
After the teachers attended the fair to support their son, Whittier said, they returned to tell him that the school should send teachers to the fair to see the possibilities for North Elementary.
So, he went to this year’s fair May 15 with several teachers to figure out where their students needed to be by the time they reach high school.
http://go.uen.org/1gl  (SGS)

Summer Program Encourages Utah Kids to Read

SALT LAKE CITY – Education officials are hoping a program now in place will encourage more kids in Utah to read during their summer vacation.
Tiffany Hall, K-12 literacy coordinator at the Utah State Office of Education, said the “Utah Reads: Find a Book” program is specially geared to help stop summer learning loss. According to Hall, not reading during the summer break can cause severe loss of reading skills in some students.
http://go.uen.org/1gB  (Public News Service)

Kennedy Hansen funeral draws thousands

OGDEN — Exactly one year following the official diagnosis of Juvenile Batten Disease, Kennedy Hansen’s family and friends gathered inside the Dee Events Center in honor of the young teen who inspired many.
“She always knew how to make you smile, and she always knew if you were feeling down. Her hugs were just amazing,” said Miranda Benson, a family friend.
The 16-year-old Fremont cheerleader died May 30 due to complications of Juvenile Batten Disease. This rare disease is a disorder that affects the nervous system and progressively causes vision loss and motor disability, among other difficulties. About one week following Kennedy Hansen’s death, thousands gathered to celebrate her life.
http://go.uen.org/1gb  (OSE)

http://go.uen.org/1gc  (DN)

Brighton High School and students react to shooting death of student

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah – Brighton High School is offering help to students impacted by Wednesdays tragic shooting involving high school students and killing a 17-year-old.
http://go.uen.org/1gn  (KTVX)

http://go.uen.org/1gp  (KNRS)

http://go.uen.org/1gq  (MUR)

New LDS school offers unconventional learning; parent meeting tonight

ST. GEORGE – Tonight, prospective students and their parents can check out an innovative new K-12 school that will open its doors this fall.
Providence Academy will host a parent meeting Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Abbey Inn, 1129 S. Bluff St., to give interested families a taste of what the school will offer come Sept. 2.
“We want (students) to come to learn how to be leaders,” Providence Academy Administrator Quin Denning said. “We want them to think for themselves.”
Providence Academy is a private school with its curriculum centered around principles taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – but that is not the school’s only unique attribute.
http://go.uen.org/1gm  (SGN)

12-year-old saves friend during lunch by performing Heimlich maneuver

SOUTH SALT LAKE — A sixth-grader is being hailed as a hero after performing the Heimlich maneuver on his friend who was choking.
Omar Troyo, 12, attends to Alianza Academy’s Columbus Center, 2530 S. 500 East. On April 9, he was sitting next to Byron De Leon, a fourth-grader at the school, when a cucumber became stuck in Byron’s throat.
http://go.uen.org/1gd  (DN)

UNC President Appoints UNCW Interim Chancellor

University of North Carolina Wilmington now knows who will serve as its interim leader when chancellor Gary Miller steps down July 31 to become the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Miller’s selection was announced by UW-GB on Monday.
UNC system president Tom Ross on Friday announced the appointment of William A. Sederburg, a veteran of higher education leadership, to assume the interim role at UNCW.
Sederburg, who now lives in Asheville, is a former Michigan state senator and university president who retired as Utah’s commissioner of higher education, according to a news release.
http://go.uen.org/1gA  (Wilmington [NC] Business Journal)

Finding the right school for your child

Elementary school enrollment deadlines are just weeks away and it’s crunch time on getting your child into the right school.
http://go.uen.org/1gf  (DN)

American authors are cut from British schools’ reading lists

In an attempt to increase rigor, intellectual thought and a strong sense of Britishness, the U.K.’s minister of education Michael Gove removed American literature from syllabi in British high schools.
http://go.uen.org/1ge  (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Teachers, dog work together to track purse thief
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Patrick Clark

On May 29, faculty from Mound Fort Jr. High began a social, celebrating the school year, at a local bowling alley. Sadly, a car of one of our teaching staff was broken into and her purse was stolen. We immediately notified the police of Ogden city, but we were given the answer “Sorry, too busy.”
Upset with the response, the teachers banded together and started our own search. Because of cooperative businesses, we had a lead and one in our group began following the suspects. It led to a local park, which had even more people breaking the law, as they were publicly using drugs. We were hoping to give police valuable information when they would show up. Alas, they did not.
http://go.uen.org/1gj

How about a life-size cutout for yearbook photos?
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Alice Philippi

Last season when I attended the production of “Shrek,” there was a life-size poster of Shrek in the lobby with the face cut out. Patrons could get behind it, poke their face through the hole and have their picture taken.
Here’s my idea: Why couldn’t the high school yearbook photographer use that prop?
All the kids would look the same and safely meet the dress code rules!
http://go.uen.org/1ga

Yearbooks tell a story
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Edi Gustafson

Identity crisis. The Utah yearbook brought to the many people on the show TMZ — only in Utah! What a hoot!. Much laughter!
My daughter Jenny from Sky View High graduated in the year 2000. I see many varied looks, some appealing, some not so much. Baseball hats on backwards, low tops, my daughter sticking her tongue out that had been pierced. They talk about fashion drugs, apathy, etc. At the auditorium she was Chancly Handler and performed a belly dance (she was not happy when she threw her veil out to the crowd and it wasn’t returned. Oh, what we do for attention. Opa!
http://go.uen.org/1gk

Exchange students
Deseret News letter from Maureen Tyczka

I would like to thank all those involved for hosting our high school exchange students. Our students will never forget their American families and friends who graciously opened their hearts and homes to them. Thanks to their generosity, these students have had an unforgettable year in our community. They were given the opportunity to explore the world and immerse themselves in our culture.
http://go.uen.org/1gg

http://go.uen.org/1gi  (OSE)

Dual enrollment: A strategy to improve college-going and college completion among rural students Education Commission of the States analysis

Research shows that students who participate in dual enrollment are more likely than their peers to finish high school, enter college and complete a degree. This means dual enrollment can greatly benefit students in rural areas, which report lower college-going and postsecondary attainment rates than other locales.
http://go.uen.org/1g8

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Fallin signs bill repealing Oklahoma Common Core standards
Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill Thursday that repeals the adoption of the standards and directs the Oklahoma Board of Education to create new, more rigorous standards by August 2016.
(Oklahoma City) Oklahoman

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill Thursday scrapping academic standards that have become a bright symbol of federal overreach.
Her decision to throw out Common Core math and English standards drew immediate criticism from educators and business interests as a disruptive political move that was not in the best interest of young people, while opponents of the benchmarks cheered the end to what they said was a harmful federal intrusion.
“It has become very apparent to me that the word Common Core has become a word that is tainted, that is divisive, that has caused widespread concern throughout our state,” Fallin said in an afternoon news conference.
The standards for children in kindergarten through 12th grade were developed in a state-led effort launched in 2009 through the National Governors Association, a group Fallin now heads. Meant to be rigorous and advance critical thinking, they were adopted voluntarily by 45 states and the District of Columbia. Oklahoma joins Indiana in repealing them.
Although Common Core was not developed by the federal government, it has become a rallying cry for states’ rights advocates. They often invoke the name of President Barack Obama in criticizing them.
http://go.uen.org/1g7

http://go.uen.org/1gt  (AP)

http://go.uen.org/1gu  (Ed Week)

ACT to Feature New Indicators for Career Readiness, Understanding Complex Texts
Education Week

Starting in the spring of 2015, high school students who take the ACT will receive more information on their performance, including indicators of their career readiness and ability to understand complex texts, officials from the testing company announced June 6.
ACT Inc., which administers the nation’s most popular college-entrance test, also plans to debut a revised writing test that will provide students with four sub-scores (ideas and analysis, development and support, organization, and language use) on the optional essay.
“We are trying to provide more meaningful insights to students to help inform instruction,” said Paul Weeks, ACT’s vice president of customer engagement.
A new “progress toward career-readiness indicator” will show students where they need to improve on specific skills sought by employers. In an email, ACT spokesman Ed Colby explained that this will be linked to ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate, which is based on scores on the company’s WorkKeys tests (a job skills assessment system).
http://go.uen.org/1gv

These States Invest The Least In Their Students
Huffington Post

When it comes to funding public school students, some parts of the country shell out more dough than others.
A new map compiled by research engine Findthebest.com shows which states provide the most funding for students’ educations. New York state tops the list, with average funding per student of $21,168 , while Utah comes in last, with average funding per student of $7,388.
The map, which uses federal, state and local data from the National Center for Education Statistics, is below:
The link between education spending and student academic achievement is debated. On a school level, some studies have shown that increased spending has a significant benefit for low-income students. While the U.S. spends more on education than most industrialized nations, America often ranks mid-pack on international achievement tests.
For what it’s worth, though, the below map — also compiled by FindTheBest — uses ACT, SAT, AP and National Assessment of Educational Progress scores to show which states have the highest achieving students:
http://go.uen.org/1gw

Medicaid Expansion Leads To Fewer High School Dropouts And More College Graduates: Study
Huffington Post

Amid the ongoing debate over 24 states’ refusal to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, a recent report by the National Bureau of Economic Research has found that expanding health insurance coverage for low-income children resulted in fewer high school dropouts, higher college attendance rates and a better likelihood of attaining a bachelor’s degree.
Cornell and Harvard researchers examined the effects of Medicaid expansion among eligible children in the 1980s and 1990s in states that broadened their public insurance programs and concluded “better health is one of the mechanisms driving our results by showing that Medicaid eligibility when young translated into better teen health.” Better health, in turn, led to substantial long-term educational benefits.
According to the working paper, published in May, states that increased childhood Medicaid eligibility by 10 percent reduced high school dropout rates by 5.2 percent and increased college attendance and BA attainment by 1.1 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
http://go.uen.org/1gx

A copy of the paper
http://www.nber.org/papers/w20178

The Best- And Worst-Paying Education Jobs
Forbes

The oft-given advice to “do what you love” might be of particular relevance to education professionals, many of whom commit to years of study and multiple degrees to secure jobs that may not always guarantee a healthy paycheck.
But the education sector includes a broad variety of occupations paying anywhere from just over $25,000 annually to well into the $100,000s.
To determine the Best- And Worst-Paying Education Jobs, Forbes consulted the most recent Occupational Employment and Wages data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which reflects May 2013 salary and employment data, and focused on Education, Training, and Library Occupations, plus education-related jobs in several other categories as well.
According to the BLS, five of the six largest public sector occupations were teaching jobs: Elementary school teachers, except special education; middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education; secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education; teacher assistants; and substitute teachers.
Within the educational services sector, “education, training, and library occupations and office and administrative support occupations made up about 69% of employment,” according to the BLS, “including seven of the 10 largest occupations within the sector.”
So which jobs in the education field have the best and worst compensation?
http://go.uen.org/1gz

LEGO will make new female characters with science jobs
Washington Post

At long last, LEGO will actually have new female figurines who do something other than bake and hang out at the beach.
The Denmark-based toy company has approved new designs for female scientist, paleontologist and astronomer characters from its LEGO Ideas online competition.
http://go.uen.org/1g9

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

June 6:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
7:30 a.m., 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
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/IaQntl

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