Education News Roundup: July 8, 2014

STEMToday’s Top Picks:

There’s local follow up to news that former Utah Teacher of the Year Lily Eskelsen García is now president of the NEA.
http://go.uen.org/1sE (SLT)
and http://go.uen.org/1sF (DN)
and http://go.uen.org/1sK (KUTV)
and http://go.uen.org/1sL (KUER)
and http://go.uen.org/1sM (MUR)
and local reaction: http://go.uen.org/1sJ (OSE)

SITLA is selling some land in Emery County.
http://go.uen.org/1sX (Emery County Progress)

Despite NEA calls for his resignation, Secretary Duncan is not resigning.
http://go.uen.org/1sG (Politico)

New study finds STEM degrees = more $.
http://go.uen.org/1sO (AP)
or a copy of the report
http://go.uen.org/1sP (NCES)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Former Utah teacher to lead National Education Association Teachers’ union » Eskelsen Garcia to tackle testing and immigration.

Local teachers excited Utahn elected to head NEA

Wasatch Schools Refund $40.8M as Revenues Grow

SITLA sells parcel of land in Emery County

Utah Democrats Winning the Money Race so Far in 2014

Give a notebook to a school kid by buying a notebook from Target

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Jordan educator not qualified for Canyons board

Margaret Spellings on the Future of Education The Former Education Secretary Predicts Schools Will Evolve Into a Student-Driven System With No Grade Levels

NEA Delegates Talk Common-Core Math

Education To-Do List for Congress

How to Read Education Data Without Jumping to Conclusions With research findings widely available on websites and Twitter feeds, it’s easier than ever to oversimplify the results—and risk bringing half-baked ideas into America’s classrooms.

NATION

Arne Duncan dismisses union call for resignation

Survey Finds Math, Science Grads Earn Top Dollar

State cites Male High principal in ACT cheating scandal

International students flock to U.S. high schools

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UTAH NEWS
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Former Utah teacher to lead National Education Association
Teachers’ union » Eskelsen Garcia to tackle testing and immigration.

The incoming president of the nation’s largest teachers’ union knows something about hefty class sizes and low per-pupil funding.
She taught in Utah, after all.
Utah teachers “are so common sense, and we can stretch a dollar until you can see through it,” said Lily Eskelsen Garcia. “We know how to use resources well. No one can say we’re wasting money in Utah. What we want are common sense solutions and tools to do our job, and what we want is an end to toxic testing that’s actually punishing our kids.”
High-stakes testing is just one of the issues Eskelsen Garcia plans to tackle when she becomes president of the 3-million-member National Education Association (NEA) in September. Eskelsen Garcia was elected president of the union Friday at its annual meeting and representative assembly in Denver.
http://go.uen.org/1sE (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/1sF (DN)

http://go.uen.org/1sK (KUTV)

http://go.uen.org/1sL (KUER)

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

Local teachers excited Utahn elected to head NEA

Local union members are excited to have a Utahn as president of the National Education Association.
Lily Eskelsen García was elected president of the teachers’ union during the 152nd annual meeting of the NEA, held June 26 through July 6, in Denver. Her three-year term of office starts on Sept. 1, 2014.
Don Paver, president of the Davis Education Association, said 8,000 delegates cast votes. Eskelsen García won by a landslide with 94 percent of the vote.
“I think it is absolutely phenomenal,” said Paver, who was in Denver for the meeting. “She went from classroom volunteer to president of the largest labor union in the country — it’s just amazing.”
http://go.uen.org/1sJ (OSE)

Wasatch Schools Refund $40.8M as Revenues Grow

Utah’s Wasatch County School District is looking for savings in a $40.8 million refunding as it enjoys a lift in tax revenues.
http://go.uen.org/1sV (Bond Buyer)

SITLA sells parcel of land in Emery County

The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration sold two parcels of school trust land at its biannual public auction held June 25, earning $656,000 for Utah’s public schools. The 34.91-acre Buffalo Hollow parcel in Emery County sold for $46,000.
Location: Township 18 South, Range 9 East, SLB&M Section 2: Within Lots 3 and 4.
SITLA also sold a 364-acre Sweetwater parcel in Sevier County for $610,000.
All proceeds from sales of school trust land are deposited into the Permanent School Fund. Interest and dividends from the $1.87 billion trust fund are distributed annually to Utah’s public schools. Last year, K-12 schools received $37.4 million, of which the Emery School District received $213,075.
http://go.uen.org/1sX (Emery County Progress)

Utah Democrats Winning the Money Race so Far in 2014

The state Republican Party is about broke.
But its rival, the Utah Democratic Party, has plenty of money.
GOP state chairman James Evans says it is nothing to worry about.
“I have more than $200,000 in commitments” from various groups and individuals.
“And as I need it, I call those commitments in,” Evans told UtahPolicy on Monday.
Of course, the state GOP doesn’t have much work left in this election season – most its candidates are likely to win in November, no matter the voter turnout, and even those who are in tight races will be raising their own funds.
Still, it is a bit odd that after the primary season the dominant party in Utah should have only $18,000 in cash. You can see the latest state GOP financial filing here.
State Democrats have $203,500 in cash, as of the pre-primary reporting period that ended just before the June 24 party primary election, reports filed with the Utah Election Office show.

And if you think right-wing organizations don’t have any financial interest in the Utah GOP, think again.
The Utahns for Choice in Education – the vouchers group that is playing increasingly influential roles in GOP politics locally – has donated $600 this year.
http://go.uen.org/1sW (UP)

Give a notebook to a school kid by buying a notebook from Target

Ido Leffler was shopping for school supplies with his two girls, and he was dismayed. When he was a kid, getting school supplies was like going to a toy store — he relished picking out bright pens and colorful binders.
http://go.uen.org/1sI (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Jordan educator not qualified for Canyons board
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Mark Hurst

I have followed the re-election bid of Tracy Cowdell for the Canyons Board of Education. His opponent is an employee of Jordan District.
School employees of both districts are ineligible to seek a seat on their own district’s board. Given that, why should we elect a teacher from another district to serve on the Canyons board? Ms. Arnold appears to be a good person with credentials qualifying her as a teacher and administrator. These credentials do not qualify her to serve on a board of education.
It is for good reason that teachers are precluded from serving on boards while employed by their district.
http://go.uen.org/1sH

Margaret Spellings on the Future of Education
The Former Education Secretary Predicts Schools Will Evolve Into a Student-Driven System With No Grade Levels
Wall Street Journal op-ed by MARGARET SPELLINGS

When I look ahead to the schools of 20 years from now, what I see are institutions that not only will be more diverse, but will in every way look and function differently from the schoolhouses of today.
The classrooms of the present will go the way of the banks of old. Just as new technologies allowed us to access banks through ATMs instead of going to the teller in the lobby, education will be revolutionized through ever-expanding technologies and the rapid flow of information.
Those two forces will change the trappings of the system we know now, resulting in a consumer-driven education.
http://go.uen.org/1sU

NEA Delegates Talk Common-Core Math
Education Week commentary by columnist Liana Heitin

I’m just back from the National Education Association’s 93rd annual convention in Denver, where 8,600 educators gathered to hash out the union’s stances and policies for the next year. They also elected a new leader—Lily Eskelsen Garcia—and called for Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s resignation while I was there.
Among my many duties as the EdWeek correspondent at the event, I spent some time chatting with delegates about their feelings on the Common Core State Standards in mathematics.
Their answers can be summed up as follows: We love the standards. We need more resources. We’re scared about the tests.
http://go.uen.org/1sQ

Education To-Do List for Congress
Education Week commentary by columnist Lauren Camera

Congress is back from its week-long July 4 recess and has just 16 business days left before lawmakers hightail it back out of the nation’s capital for their annual five-week summer break. Between now and then, however, there are some education-related happenings you should be on the lookout for. Here is a rundown:
http://go.uen.org/1sS

How to Read Education Data Without Jumping to Conclusions
With research findings widely available on websites and Twitter feeds, it’s easier than ever to oversimplify the results—and risk bringing half-baked ideas into America’s classrooms.
Atlantic commentary by JESSICA LAHEY, an English, Latin, and writing teacher in Lyme, New Hampshire, & TIM LAHEY, associate professor of medicine at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine

Education has entered the era of Big Data. The Internet is teeming with stories touting the latest groundbreaking studies on the science of learning and pedagogy. Education journalists are in a race to report these findings as they search for the magic formula that will save America’s schools. But while most of this research is methodologically solid, not all of it is ready for immediate deployment in the classroom.
Jessica was reminded of this last week, after she tweeted out an interesting study on math education. Or, rather, she tweeted out what looked like an interesting study on math education, based on an abstract that someone else had tweeted out. Within minutes, dozens of critical response tweets poured in from math educators. She spent the next hour debating the merits of the study with an elementary math specialist, a fourth grade math teacher, and a university professor of math education.
http://go.uen.org/1sT

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Arne Duncan dismisses union call for resignation
Politico

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has brushed off a call for his resignation from the National Education Association.
The NEA adopted the resolution last week at its representative assembly in Denver, where the air was charged with anger and members buzzed with frustration at Duncan and other education reformers — especially their emphasis on high-stakes testing.
The teachers union has considered similar resolutions in previous years, but this was the first time it won approval from a majority of the 9,000 delegates attending the NEA’s annual convention.
But Duncan couldn’t be baited.
“Secretary Duncan looks forward to continuing to work with NEA and its new leadership,” spokeswoman Dorie Nolt said over the weekend. And at a White House press briefing Monday, during which Duncan outlined a plan to ensure all students have access to highly effective teachers, Duncan said he was “trying to stay out of local union politics.”
“We’ve had a very good working relationship with NEA in the past,” he said and congratulated President-elect Lily Eskelsen García on her win.
http://go.uen.org/1sG

Survey Finds Math, Science Grads Earn Top Dollar
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — It seems to matter less whether your alma mater is public or private than what you study – math and science in particular – when it comes to finding a high-paying job after college, according to a report released Tuesday by the Education Department.
The survey of the class of 2008, by the National Center for Education Statistics, provides an interesting snapshot of the nation’s educated elite following a crushing economic recession: Overall, college grads reported lower unemployment rates compared with the national average, although black and Asian college graduates were twice as likely to be out of work than their white classmates. College grads from private four-year schools earned about the same as those from public four-year schools, about $50,000 a year.
But while a paltry 16 percent of students took home degrees in science, technology, engineering or math, those who did were paid significantly better – averaging $65,000 a year compared with $49,500 of graduates of other degrees.
http://go.uen.org/1sO

A copy of the report
http://go.uen.org/1sP (NCES)

State cites Male High principal in ACT cheating scandal
Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal

A Kentucky Department of Education investigation has found several standardized test violations at Male High School and has referred former principal David Mike and two other staffers to the Education Professional Standards Board, where they could face sanctions.
The report, released Monday, followed months of scrutiny after students alleged Mike and others helped them cheat on a standardized test — and then asked them to lie to ACT officials investigating him in December.
http://go.uen.org/1sR

International students flock to U.S. high schools
USA Today

Tens of thousands of students from foreign countries are enrolling in U.S. high schools, in most cases as a first step toward applying to U.S. colleges and universities, a study out Tuesday says. Most are from China.
Last year, more than 73,000 international students enrolled in U.S. high schools, federal data show. About two thirds, nearly 49,000, received visas enabling them to pursue a U.S. high school diploma. That’s more than triple the number since 2004, when just under 16,000 foreign students held such visas, says the study by the Institute of International Education, a non-profit organization.
About a third, 25,387, received visas for shorter-term high school exchange programs. That’s up 15% over the same period, the report says.
http://go.uen.org/1sN

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CALENDAR
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USOE Calendar
http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

July 10:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
9 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://go.uen.org/1pn

July 15:
Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
1 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2014&Com=APPEXE

July 16:
Education Interim Committee meeting
2:30 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00003664.htm

Political Subdivisions Interim Committee meeting
2:30 p.m., 25 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00003693.htm

July 17:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
4 p.m. 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

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