Education News Roundup: June 11, 2014

Graduation ceremony photo by Granite School District

Graduation ceremony photo by Granite School District

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

Standard looks at what could change in Utah high school graduation.
http://go.uen.org/1i6  (OSE)

The paper also catches up on the State Board of Education NCLB waiver debate.
http://go.uen.org/1i7  (OSE)

Jordan District Board votes to oppose a further split.
http://go.uen.org/1i5  (DN)

Hildale school, the elementary in the heart of FLDS country, is reopening this fall.
http://go.uen.org/1im  (SGS)

Gates Foundation asks for a delay in using Common Core-based tests for educator evaluation purposes. (We should note that both the Utah Legislature and State Board of Education took action prior to this call to delay use of student test scores for evaluations until the 2016 school year.) http://go.uen.org/1ia  (NYT) and http://go.uen.org/1iw  (WaPo) or a copy of the letter http://go.uen.org/1ib  (Gates Foundation)

Looking for something to read this summer? New York Times has some education-related book recommendations.
http://go.uen.org/1iG  (NYT)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Graduation route choices roil educators

Utah considers snipping No Child strings

Jordan School Board adopts resolution opposed to district split

Westerners press for more control over their land Session looks at ways to reduce government rule

Hildale School to be reopened in fall for all grades

Boys State dissects Utah’s panhandling law

How to give your high schooler a leg up; programs to bridge gaps, brighten futures

Charter School Offers Summer Program

Students encourage individuality through art

Frustrated parents demand answers, policy change following alleged sexual abuse on school bus

Despite shootings, skepticism abounds over gun law reform

Dixie State rescinds scholarship from high school graduate with no U.S. citizenship

Efforts under way to get summer meals to more Utah kids

Canyons School District offers summer meals for children

Middle school on repeat: Why some parents want their children to take 8th grade twice

Food fight: Poll reports few believe school lunches should be federally regulated

New Orleans closes last traditional school, shifts to all-charter

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Voter Education

5 things every high school grad should do this summer

Utah students need what librarians can give

What’s new: ‘Called to Teach’ is an educational gem

A School Reform Landmark
A judge says California’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional.

Vergara decision is a moment to seize for our schools

Will California’s Ruling Against Teacher Tenure Change Schools?
A judge said the state discriminates against poor and minority students by protecting the jobs of ineffective instructors. What will this mean for education?

Is Anybody Listening to Teachers?

Reading List | The Top 100 Best-Selling Education Books of 2014 (So Far)

NATION

Delay Urged on Actions Tied to Tests by Schools

District Chiefs Split on Standards Readiness, Gallup-EdWeek Poll Finds

Can kids tell whether they’re being taught the Common Core?

California Teacher Tenure Ruling May Fuel Debate

Tenure Opponent Says Public Schools Must Improve

Debating tenure protections for public school teachers

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Charter School Proponent, Loses Primary

Oregon high school shooting: More schools use security measures, but experts say gaps remain in training

Map: There have been at least 74 shootings at schools since Newtown

$10,000 Price Tag Put on Nevada Parent’s Data Request Situation sparks FERPA questions

iPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School’s Band

White House Threatens Veto of GOP School Meal Bill

The Domino’s Smart Slice Goes to School

State’s colleges of education to be evaluated next year

State Lawmakers Clash over Controversial Cap on Pay of Superintendents Democrats cite exodus of talent from school districts while Republicans link high salaries to high taxes

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UTAH NEWS
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Graduation route choices roil educators

SALT LAKE CITY — After hearing a proposal for new high school graduation requirements, state school board member Leslie B. Castle compared the proposal to segregation.
The Graduation Initiative Report discussed at the board meeting Friday presents an outline for creating two routes to graduation — the General Preparation Route, and the Focused Preparation Route. Current graduation requirements call for 13 essential credits in English, math, science and social studies; five needed credits made up of 2 credits PE/health, 1.5 in fine arts, 1 career/technical education credit, and 0.5 in computer technology; plus six electives. As outlined in the Graduation Initiative report, the General Preparation Route would have credit requirements very similar to current graduation requirements. The Focused Preparation Route would require fewer PE/Health and fine arts credits, to give students the flexibility to take more classes related to their college and career plans.
Castle, who represents District 7 in Salt Lake City, said she wanted to go on the record as not liking the idea of dual tracks.
http://go.uen.org/1i6  (OSE)

Utah considers snipping No Child strings

SALT LAKE CITY — School administrators understand, better than most, the consequences of a failing grade — but some members of the state Board of Education are contemplating the value of taking an “F” on the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act provisions.
The ESEA, also known as the No Child Left Behind Act, requires schools accepting federal Title 1 aid to bring all students to a proficient level on state reading and math tests. Each school had to show adequate yearly progress each year, until the 2014 deadline to meet that goal. If a school fails, the federal government takes control of 10 percent of the Title I money, and decides how to spend it. Federal sanctions could include requiring schools to pay for transportation for students who want to transfer to a non-failing school, hiring tutors, replacing staff members, buying new curriculum materials, appointing consultants, or extending the school day or year.
Meeting the goal of 100 percent proficiency for all students is impossible, said Dave Thomas of South Weber, representing District 4. Utah is one of 43 states operating under an ESEA waiver. That waiver is about to expire, and on Thursday members of the Board of Education debated whether to apply for a waiver extension or let it go. If they choose not to apply for the waiver, NCLB kicks in and almost all Utah public schools will be listed as failing.
http://go.uen.org/1i7  (OSE)

Jordan School Board adopts resolution opposed to district split

SALT LAKE CITY — Citing potential damage to educational quality and student achievement, the Jordan Board of Education on Tuesday adopted a resolution opposed to the creation of a South Jordan school district.
School board members voted unanimously in favor of the resolution, which suggests the school district split currently under consideration by South Jordan city officials would negatively impact students, school employees and taxpayers.
http://go.uen.org/1i5  (DN)

Westerners press for more control over their land Session looks at ways to reduce government rule

Add the federal government’s ownership of land to the list of things that are viewed differently in the American East and West.
“We’re talking the same language. We don’t mean the same thing,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, Utah Republican, at a Heritage Foundation session Tuesday looking at ways to reduce Washington’s control of vast swaths of the American West.
More than 90 percent of the 640 million acres of land owned by the federal government is in Mr. Bishop’s half of the country, making for a differing attitude toward Washington as the local landlord.
“When you talk about public lands, my good friends in the East, the only contact they have is the national park nearby,” said Mr. Bishop, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee’s subcommittee overseeing public lands. “You say public lands to them and they think of a pretty tree by a pretty lake. Those of us who live in the West, we deal with the [Bureau of Land Management]. When we say public lands, we think of sagebrush.”
http://go.uen.org/1iM  (Washington Times)

Hildale School to be reopened in fall for all grades

ST. GEORGE – The Washington County School District announced Tuesday its intent to reopen the Hildale School in time for the upcoming school year 13 years after it closed.
Superintendent Larry Bergeson said the school closed more than a decade ago at the request of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ leader Warren Jeffs and the fellow church community.
“The school was shut down at the request of the leadership of the church community at the time — they wanted us out,” Bergeson said. “Now, it’s under the community’s request, not the church, that we return.”
Bergeson said Darin Thomas will be school’s new principal and hiring for teachers and support staff is underway — as enrollment settles, the district will assess the hiring needs.
http://go.uen.org/1im  (SGS)

Boys State dissects Utah’s panhandling law

OGDEN — Utah’s Legislature is out of session, but House Majority Leader Brad Dee still spent Tuesday making sure debate over a bill was handled in a respectful manner.
One by one, mayors stepped up to the podium to argue for or against a state bill that would prohibit loitering, demonstrating, distributing materials, gathering signatures, holding signs or soliciting contributions on certain roadways. The bill would also prohibit soliciting money or goods in an aggressive manner on sidewalks within 10 feet of a bank or automated teller machine.
http://go.uen.org/1i8  (OSE)

How to give your high schooler a leg up; programs to bridge gaps, brighten futures

ST. GEORGE – There is a skills gap in our workforce, particularly where young workers are concerned, it can be felt nationally – notable TV personality Mike Rowe has launched a nationwide campaign aimed at filling that gap – and it can be felt locally. At the same time, there is what might be called a “vision gap” in which high school students looking towards and transitioning into college and career struggle for direction and purpose.
While parents want to give their teenagers an advantage, the price tag to do so can make it hard if not impossible In other cases, while parents want to give their teenagers an advantage, the price tag to do so can make it hard if not impossible. But it doesn’t have to be so; Dixie Applied Technology College has launched a program tailored for a select number of high schoolers, a program that will help them blast off into a fine and purposeful future. It begins in August and the college is accepting applications now.
http://go.uen.org/1io  (SGN)

Charter School Offers Summer Program

Valley Academy, a local charter school, offers summer classes for students to expand creativity and knowledge.
http://go.uen.org/1in  (SGS)

Students encourage individuality through art

Taylor Swift isn’t the first to sing about the anguish of teen years, nor will she be the last.
Some students at Reagan Academy in Springville have been working to minimize some of those challenges, through an art project titled “Don’t Hide Your Face.”
Larger-than-life posters — complete with student faces — can be seen on exterior walls of the Springville City Library, 45 S. Main St., and Brian’s Auto Supply, 265 S. Main St. They will be on display through June 18.
http://go.uen.org/1ik  (PDH)

Frustrated parents demand answers, policy change following alleged sexual abuse on school bus

SANDY — The father of a special needs child gave the Canyons School Board a sharp reproach Tuesday on its response after a bus driver was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a girl he drove to school.
Scott Askew stood on behalf of nearly 20 concerned parents, grandparents, neighbors and other relatives of special needs children who rode John Martin Carrell’s bus. The group left with no answers from board members, who merely implied an independent investigation might be ongoing.
Carrell, 61, of Draper, is charged with 23 counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a first-degree felony. He is accused of abusing a young girl with special needs whom he drove to and from Altara Elementary School in Sandy since the beginning of the school year.
Askew expressed ongoing frustration as the board has remained tight-lipped alongside the school district’s administration ever since the allegations became public.
http://go.uen.org/1ih  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/1ip  (KUTV)

http://go.uen.org/1iq  (KSL)

Despite shootings, skepticism abounds over gun law reform

SALT LAKE CITY — After the 74th school shooting since Sandy Hook and the fourth multiple shooting in six days, even some of the staunchest of gun control activists remained skeptical Tuesday that any meaningful gun or mental health reform legislation would ever be approved by lawmakers.
“It is frustrating and I do ask myself what it will take,” said Steve Gunn, who is on the board of directors at the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah.
The latest act of gun violence came in Troutdale, Oregon, where police said Tuesday a teen carrying a rifle went to a school and killed a 14-year-old student and injured a teacher before likely killing himself.
http://go.uen.org/1iN  (KSL)

Dixie State rescinds scholarship from high school graduate with no U.S. citizenship

ST GEORGE — a Southern Utah student is looking for other ways to pay for college after Dixie State University rescinded on its offer of a full-ride scholarship.
Roberto Jardon said he’s never let his family’s undocumented status hold him back. His parents emigrated from Mexico to Enterprise when he was 6 years old. He’s never known anything different.
“It was always you’re here and you’re in the place that you are because my parents made that brave decision to come to a foreign country,” Jardon said. “I always knew, well, I don’t have documents, but somebody’s out there doing it somehow, so I’m going to figure out a way, just like they are.”
That driven attitude pushed him to graduate from Enterprise High School with honors and a 3.9 GPA. His high academic record attracted the attention of nearby Dixie State.
The university offered him a Chancellor Scholarship, full-ride tuition. Then, discovering he wasn’t a citizen, the university took it back.
http://go.uen.org/1ir  (KSTU)

Efforts under way to get summer meals to more Utah kids

SALT LAKE CITY – Several organizations are to gather today with the goal of getting more Utah children involved with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program.
Marti Woolford, a child nutrition advocate with Utahns Against Hunger is among those participating in a kick-off at the Salt Lake City Main Library to promote the program. She said only about one in 10 kids who eat free or reduced-priced meals during the school year take advantage of a summer food program in their area.
http://go.uen.org/1il  (CVD)

http://go.uen.org/1is  (KCSG)

http://go.uen.org/1it  (KCPW)

http://go.uen.org/1iP  (Public Service News)

Canyons School District offers summer meals for children

SANDY — Canyons School District will serve nutritious meals to children and their families throughout the summer.
http://go.uen.org/1ij  (DN)

Middle school on repeat: Why some parents want their children to take 8th grade twice

It’s not unusual for parents to wait an extra year to send a child to kindergarten, but it’s becoming increasingly popular to have children repeat the eighth grade.
http://go.uen.org/1ig (DN)

Food fight: Poll reports few believe school lunches should be federally regulated

A new Rasmussen poll finds that just 25 percent of Americans believe the federal government should set school lunch nutrition standards; 51 percent think those decisions should be made locally, while 15 percent prefer to see state governments decide.
http://go.uen.org/1if (DN)

New Orleans closes last traditional school, shifts to all-charter

After Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in 2005, Louisiana embraced a radical vision for New Orleans education, leaning ever more heavily toward charter schools. That shift culminates this month as the last of NOLA’s traditional schools close.
New Orleans is now an all-charter school city.
http://go.uen.org/1ie  (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Voter Education
Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist

The good news is that the Committee of Very Smart People got the message and will be letting you vote for incumbents among their other choices of candidates for the State Board of Education. Emphasis on “their choices,” as Utah still doesn’t trust the masses to elect their school-board representatives. The governor appoints a 12-person committee to select candidates from which he will choose two to run for each spot. Confusing, isn’t it? What’s the downside here? The committee can’t seem to come up with candidates of diverse backgrounds. They are picking candidates who are just like themselves—at least in color. And it’s unlikely that someone outside the establishment would be chosen.
http://go.uen.org/1iL

5 things every high school grad should do this summer Deseret News commentary by columnist Jason F. Wright

This week my oldest child Oakli graduates from high school. Where did the time go?
http://go.uen.org/1ii

Utah students need what librarians can give Salt Lake Tribune letter from Anne Diekema and Sharyl Smith

In his letter (“Garbage in means garbage out,” June 4), Bryce Alex centers on two critical concerns regarding students’ college and career readiness: information literacy and media literacy. Information literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, and apply information, and media literacy skills create wise consumers of media, including an awareness of how media messages are constructed to influence listeners and viewers.
Alex expressed concern that students must “fend for themselves when trying to recognize worthy and unbiased sources.” Alex is right. While certified school librarians are the only teachers in schools trained to teach information and media literacy, these teacher librarian positions are being systematically cut statewide. Given that information skills are key to professional and academic success in the 21st Century, it is shocking to realize that Utah schools have vastly inadequate school library staffing levels.
http://go.uen.org/1id

What’s new: ‘Called to Teach’ is an educational gem Deseret News book review by Micah Klug

“CALLED TO TEACH: The Legacy of Karl G. Maeser,”
by A. Legrand Richards,
BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book,
$32.99, 320 pages (nf)
In “Called to Teach: The Legacy of Karl G. Maeser,” author A. Legrand Richards dives deep into Maeser’s professional career as an educator and teacher. Richards says that “Called to Teach” was not intended as a biography of Maeser’s family life, but as a historical, educational and philosophical study.
http://go.uen.org/1iK

A School Reform Landmark
A judge says California’s teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional.
Wall Street Journal editorial

President Obama has called education the civil-rights issue of our time. On Tuesday a California court appeared to concur in a ground-breaking ruling that strikes down the state’s teacher tenure, dismissal and seniority laws on grounds that they violate the equal protection clause of the state Constitution.
Vergara v. State of California was brought in May 2012 by nine public school students who contended that iron-clad teacher job protections and “last-in-first-out” policies undermine the quality of education. Supporting their argument was testimony that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu wrote “shocks the conscience.” To wit: In the past 10 years, only 91 teachers in California have been fired, and only 19 for unsatisfactory performance. Yet according to one state witness, between 2,750 to 8,250 California teachers rank as grossly ineffective.
Incompetent teachers are protected by tenure, which vests after two years. However, as the judge noted in his ruling, schools must determine whether to grant tenure well before March 15 of a teacher’s second year at which time many aren’t even credentialed. The upshot is that the vast majority of probationary teachers—including 98% in Los Angeles Unified School District—receive tenure.
http://go.uen.org/1i9

Vergara decision is a moment to seize for our schools San Jose (CA) Mercury News op-ed by Dave Welch, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of Students Matter

This is a defining moment for California. Tuesday, in a victory for students, parents and teachers, the court struck down the five laws that have created an unjustifiable and unconstitutional inequality in California public schools.
In the decision, Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu concluded that the “Challenged Statutes impose a real and appreciable impact on students’ fundamental right to equality of education and that they impose a disproportionate burden on poor and minority students.”
This inequality is stark.
http://go.uen.org/1iH

Will California’s Ruling Against Teacher Tenure Change Schools?
A judge said the state discriminates against poor and minority students by protecting the jobs of ineffective instructors. What will this mean for education?
Atlantic commentary by DANA GOLDSTEIN, author of The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession

On Tuesday, a California superior-court judge ruled that the state’s teacher tenure system discriminates against kids from low-income families. Based on testimony that one to three percent of California teachers are likely “grossly ineffective”—thousands of people, who mostly teach at low-income schools—he reasoned that current tenure policies “impose a disproportionate burden on poor and minority students.” The ruling, in Vergara v. California, has the potential to overturn five state laws governing how long it takes for a teacher to earn tenure; the legal maneuvers necessary to remove a tenured teacher; and which teachers are laid off first in the event of budget cuts or school closings.
Tenure has existed in K-12 public education since 1909, when “good-government” reformers borrowed the concept from Germany. The idea spread quickly from New Jersey to New York to Chicago and then across the country. During the Progressive Era, both teachers unions and school-accountability hawks embraced the policy, which prevented teaching jobs from being given out as favors by political bosses. If it was legally difficult to fire a good teacher, she couldn’t be replaced by the alderman’s unqualified sister-in-law.
Tenure remains common in schools around the world, but since 2009, two-thirds of American states have weakened their teacher-tenure laws in response to President Obama’s Race to the Top program. California, where Governor Jerry Brown is far more sympathetic to the teachers unions than most governors, was not among them. The Vergara ruling is an especially big blow to unions on typically sympathetic turf.
Judge Rolf Treu’s decision will not take effect while the California Teachers Association mounts an appeal. Depending on the outcome of that effort, his ruling may or may not ever impact the lives of California teachers. But the ruling’s rhetoric is stern and memorable stuff, borrowed directly from the playbook of the Silicon Valley philanthropists and deep-pocketed advocacy groups that bankrolled Vergara.
http://go.uen.org/1iJ

Is Anybody Listening to Teachers?
Education Week op-ed by Vivian Maguire, an English teacher at Transmountain Early College High School in the El Paso Independent School District

I am an English teacher who has been in the classroom for nine years. As an experienced educator, I have endured and complied with many new school policies and changes, most of which mainly affected teachers. But earlier this year my school was informed of some changes that would ultimately affect our students, and that I couldn’t stand for.
The district had decided to cut teachers’ planning time in half by instead sending teachers into other teachers’ classrooms to serve as aids. The assumption was that teachers are not using that time effectively anyway so why not put two teachers in every classroom?
A teacher’s planning period has always been viewed by some district administrators and school board members as “free time” that can be taken up with meetings, extra classes, hall-duty, or any other assignment that they happen to think of. But in fact, good teachers really do use their planning time. In fact, most would say it’s essential for creating engaging lessons and improving student outcomes. Losing that time is particularly fear-inducing for hard-working teachers because we know that once we lose it, we will never get it back, and we need every minute we can get.
http://go.uen.org/1iz

Reading List | The Top 100 Best-Selling Education Books of 2014 (So Far) New York Times commentary

In December 2013, we published the first New York Times best-seller list of education titles. As we wrote at the time, the collection was intended to get people talking and thinking about the many ways we discuss education, how we present sometimes arcane subjects, and how we think about teaching and learning at all ages and in many contexts.
Now we’re back with a second edition, just in time for lazy days at the beach. So, while your students are participating in our Summer Reading Contest, we hope you’ll take the advice of “The End of Your Life Book Club” author Will Schwalbe and read “casually, promiscuously and whimsically.”
http://go.uen.org/1iG

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Delay Urged on Actions Tied to Tests by Schools New York Times

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the country’s largest donors to educational causes and a strong backer of the academic guidelines known as the Common Core, has called for a two-year moratorium on states or school districts making any high-stakes decisions based on tests aligned with the new standards.
The Common Core, originally adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia and supported by the Obama administration, was devised by a group of educators and experts convened by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Over the past three years, teachers have scrambled to adapt classroom curriculums to the new guidelines — reading and math standards for pupils from kindergarten to high school. Some states, including Kentucky and New York, have already rolled out new standardized tests aligned with the standards, while many other states tried out tests this spring.
Teachers’ unions and parent groups have expressed frustration at the speed with which the new standards and tests have been put in place, particularly at a time when states are also instituting new performance evaluations for teachers that tether ratings in part to student test scores. Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina have repealed the Common Core standards altogether http://go.uen.org/1ia

http://go.uen.org/1iw  (WaPo)

A copy of the letter
http://go.uen.org/1ib  (Gates Foundation)

District Chiefs Split on Standards Readiness, Gallup-EdWeek Poll Finds Education Week

Fewer than half of superintendents surveyed believe that teachers in their school districts are well prepared for teaching the Common Core State Standards, according to results from two new Gallup/Education Week polls in which district leaders express some widely divergent results.
For example, while just 44 percent of the superintendents surveyed said teachers were well prepared to teach to the more-rigorous learning goals, slightly more of them—50 percent—reported that teachers were ready to provide support to students who needed extra help with the standards, such as English-language learners.
The Washington-based Gallup organization has partnered with Education Week over the past year to regularly survey K-12 district leaders on a range of pressing issues in public schooling. For the current surveys, more than 12,000 district superintendents around the country were queried in online polls conducted by Gallup last October and December. The roughly 1,900 superintendents who replied to each of the two surveys are not a nationally representative mix.
http://go.uen.org/1iy

Can kids tell whether they’re being taught the Common Core?
Hechinger Report

This school year, teachers around the country changed their curricula to meet the new Common Core standards, a national set of standards mapping out what students should learn in math and English language arts. Math teachers covered fewer topics in greater depth. English teachers cut back on fiction and assigned more supplemental readings – articles and essays that gave more context to, and offered up opinions about, classic works of literature. But did students notice these changes? Is the Common Core on students’ radar?
Mallory Falk spoke with students from Bard’s Early College program in New Orleans:
http://go.uen.org/1iE

California Teacher Tenure Ruling May Fuel Debate Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A first-of-its-kind court ruling that concluded California’s union-backed teacher tenure, layoff and dismissal laws infringe on students’ rights to an equal public education adds fire to a debate over whether the job protections afforded professional educators are partly to blame for what ails the nation’s schools, experts said.
A judge in Los Angeles on Tuesday sided with nine students who sued to overturn the state statutes governing teacher hiring and firing, saying they served no compelling purpose and had led to an unfair, nonsensical system that drove excellent new teachers from the classroom too soon while allowing incompetent senior ones to remain.
The practices harm students in a way that “shocks the conscience” and have “a disproportionate burden on poor and minority students,” Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu said in striking down the five laws as violations of the California Constitution.
Similar civil rights arguments have been made in the past to challenge school desegregation and recently to contest inequities in school funding, but the California decision makes the first time that a court has declared teacher tenure and related job guarantees unconstitutional, said William Koski, director of the Youth and Education Law Project at Stanford University.
http://go.uen.org/1hI

http://go.uen.org/1iI  (CNN)

Tenure Opponent Says Public Schools Must Improve Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — The man behind the successful lawsuit to declare California’s teacher-tenure laws unconstitutional is a wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneur who says he has no gripe with teachers unions, only with incompetent teachers.
David Welch, an electrical engineer who holds over 130 patents and has made a fortune merging and creating high-tech companies, began to turn his attention to education in 2011 when he founded the nonprofit group Students Matter. The group was the driving financial force behind a student lawsuit that led to Tuesday’s Superior Court ruling throwing out tenure protection for California teachers in grades kindergarten through 12.
It was his experience as both a parent and an employer, Welch said Tuesday, that led him to form Students Matter and take on California’s tenure laws and its powerful teachers unions.
http://go.uen.org/1ix

Debating tenure protections for public school teachers NewsHour

A California judge ruled that the state’s tenure protections for public school teachers are unconstitutional. Students who sued the state argued that the tenure policies denied their right to a quality education. Gwen Ifill gets reaction from Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, and Russlynn Ali, former assistant secretary to the Department of Education.
http://go.uen.org/1iC

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Charter School Proponent, Loses Primary Education Week

In a stunning upset, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in the Republican primary for the 7th District of Virginia Tuesday night to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat.
Brat, a little-known economics professor at Randolph-Macon College whose fundraising efforts paled in comparison to Cantor’s, ran hard against immigration reform and to the far right of the Majority Leader on most issues. Just before 9 p.m., Brat claimed 56 percent of the votes and Cantor 44 percent, with 83 percent of the total vote reported.
As Majority Leader, Cantor was second-in-command, was assumed by many to be next in line for the Speaker of the House position, and considered one of the young Republicans who, along with politicians like U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., represented the future of the Republican Party.
Important to K-12 education watchers, Cantor was an avid proponent of charter schools, vouchers, and school choice, and he singled out his commitment to the cause early in his concession speech:
http://go.uen.org/1iB

Oregon high school shooting: More schools use security measures, but experts say gaps remain in training
(Portland) Oregonian

Schools across the country are using more cameras and security personnel on campus, but experts say gaps remain in safety training and investing in mental health resources.
School security has been thrust into the spotlight after a Reynolds High School shooting this morning left one student and the gunman dead.
Recently released figures from the National Center for Education Statistics show schools have increasingly invested in safety equipment, such as cameras, in recent years.
But Mike Dorn, a school security expert with the non-profit Safe Havens, International, said security technology needs to be used thoughtfully, and in a comprehensive plan that includes training.
http://go.uen.org/1ic

Map: There have been at least 74 shootings at schools since Newtown Washington Post

Tuesday’s school shooting in Oregon is at least the 74th instance of shots being fired on school grounds or in school buildings since the late-2012 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., according to a list maintained by the group Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for policies it believes limit gun violence.
There have been at least 37 shootings on school grounds this year, which is just barely half over. All told, there has been nearly one shooting per week in the year and a half since Newtown. Everytown identifies a school shooting as any instance in which a firearm was discharged within a school building or on school grounds, sourced to multiple news reports per incident. Therefore, the data isn’t limited to mass shootings like Newtown—it includes assaults, homicides, suicides and even accidental shootings. Of the shootings, 35 took place at a college or university, while 39 took place in K-12 schools.
http://go.uen.org/1iF

$10,000 Price Tag Put on Nevada Parent’s Data Request Situation sparks FERPA questions Education Week

Nevada state education officials recently told a parent it would cost him 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 are students in the 62,000-student Washoe County school district, described his request in an interview with television station KRNV in Reno, Nev. “I just want to see any information that the state of Nevada is tracking on my children and any information that could be shared with others,” he said.
According to a May 14 memo prepared by the office of the Nevada attorney general for Dale A.R. Erquiaga, the state’s superintendent of public instruction, Mr. Eppolito “requested an opportunity to view his children’s data in the System of Accountability Information in Nevada (SAIN) or Nevada State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS).”

Over the past several years, however, states across the country have been building longitudinal data systems that hold hundreds or even thousands of pieces of data related to individual students—typically, demographic, enrollment, course-taking, grade, test-performance, and other such information. The extent to which this information constitutes a student’s legal “educational record” and is subject to FERPA has been the subject of debate. The information is typically tracked over time, in some cases from preschool through to college and the workforce. The data are provided by districts and typically used for required federal reporting, research, and policymaking, Ms. Kowalski said.
A handful of states, including Georgia and Utah, have developed mechanisms for making at least some of the data held in their longitudinal databases accessible to parents.
http://go.uen.org/1iO

iPads Allow Kids With Challenges To Play In High School’s Band NPR Morning Edition

There’s a steady stream of hype surrounding the pluses and pitfalls of classroom tablet computers. But for a growing number of special education students tablets and their apps are proving transformative. The tablets aren’t merely novel and fun. With guidance from creative teachers, they are helping to deepen engagement, communication, and creativity.
In a typical red brick public school building in the Fresh Meadows section of Queens, New York, one creative and passionate music instructor is using tablet computers to help reach students with disabilities. In the process, he’s opening doors for some kids with severe mental and physical challenges.
On the surface, the PS 177 Technology Band looks like a typical high school orchestra. But there are two big differences. First, while they use traditional instruments, they also play iPads. And all of the band members have disabilities. Some have autism spectrum disorders.
http://go.uen.org/1iu

White House Threatens Veto of GOP School Meal Bill Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A House bill that would allow some schools to opt out of healthier meal standards drew a veto threat Tuesday from the White House.
The GOP spending bill would allow schools to waive the school lunch and breakfast standards championed by first lady Michelle Obama for the next school year if they lost money on meal programs over a six-month period. The House is expected to consider the legislation as soon as Wednesday.
In a statement threatening a veto, the White House said the bill would be “a major step backwards for the health of American children by undermining the effort to provide kids with more nutritious food.”
http://go.uen.org/X4

The Domino’s Smart Slice Goes to School
New York Times

Given the current uproar over new federal rules aimed at getting schoolchildren to eat more healthfully, you might think fast food was an endangered species on the cafeteria line. But Domino’s is delivering a pizza it calls the Smart Slice to more than 3,000 lunchrooms in 38 states, up from 3 states in 2010. And one force driving those sales is the new rules themselves. These pies contain fewer of the worrisome ingredients found in regular pizzas. But they also give the students a hefty dose of marketing for the Domino’s brand, and many other companies are following the same path to the lunchroom.
When the United States Department of Agriculture started raising nutrition standards for school food in 2012, many consumer advocates assumed that commercial fast foods and snacks would become a thing of the past in schools; few of those products met the new rules. But seeing an opportunity, Domino’s and other food giants have come up with versions of their regular fare that do.
http://go.uen.org/1iv

State’s colleges of education to be evaluated next year Albuquerque (NM) Journal

New Mexico next year will begin issuing report cards for the state’s six colleges of education in an effort to graduate better teachers, Gov. Susana Martinez announced Tuesday in Las Cruces.
The report cards will be based, in part, on how well a school’s graduates perform on the state’s teacher evaluations, according to a Governor’s Office press release.
“We know teachers make all the difference when it comes to helping our students, and we want our future teachers to be better prepared for the opportunity ahead,” Martinez said in the press release. Combined, the state’s colleges of education graduate about 1,000 teachers a year who work in New Mexico.
The initiative was developed by the Public Education Department and the Department of Higher Education with the help of a “work group consisting of college and university presidents, deans and regents” from each of the six institutions, the press release said.
http://go.uen.org/1iA

State Lawmakers Clash over Controversial Cap on Pay of Superintendents Democrats cite exodus of talent from school districts while Republicans link high salaries to high taxes
(Montclair) NJ Spotlight

State Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Warren)clashed with state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), who is a prime sponsor of a bill that would lift a controversial cap on school superintendents’ salaries.
The controversial caps on school superintendents’ salaries may have few friends in public school circles, but it doesn’t sound like the Christie administration is budging much– at least for now.
The state Senate’s education committee yesterday heard an hour of testimony in favor of a bill that would effectively end the caps imposed in late 2010 by Gov. Chris Christie and then-education commissioner Bret Schundler.
The caps limited annual pay to $175,000 – the same as the governor’s own salary – for a vast majority of school chiefs, depending on enrollment.
http://go.uen.org/1iD

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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:
Judiciary Interim Committee meeting
9 a.m., 215 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00003350.htm

Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee meeting
9 a.m., 25 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00003320.htm

Education Interim Committee meeting
2 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00003357.htm

Political Subdivision Interim Committee meeting
2 p.m., 25 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00003326.htm

July 10:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/IaQntl

August 8:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

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