Education News Roundup: July 14, 2014

UtahMathCoreToday’s Top Picks:

Utah superintendents join their national peers in expressing optimism on Common Core.
http://go.uen.org/1v5 (DN)

Sen. Stephenson’s sons to open a foundation continuing their father’s work on dual immersion schools.
http://go.uen.org/1v4 (SLT)

Standard looks at what may be next for SITLA.
http://go.uen.org/1v8 (OSE)

Utah Catholic schools maintaining enrollment.
http://go.uen.org/1vk (DN)
and http://go.uen.org/1vB (KSL)

How will schools deal with the surge in unaccompanied child immigration?
http://go.uen.org/1va (Bloomberg)

National Governors Association avoids Common Core discussion.
http://go.uen.org/1vf (AP)
and http://go.uen.org/1vJ (NYT)
and http://go.uen.org/1vQ (WSJ)

Should a master’s degree in education automatically get teachers a pay raise?
http://go.uen.org/1vh (AP)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah, national school superintendents optimistic about Common Core

Sons of Utah lawmaker starting group based on father’s law Education » Sons of Howard Stephenson, who wrote immersion into law, have support of Chinese donors.

10 possible big-money deals for Utah schools

Two Hatch-Introduced Utah Land Bills Pass the Senate

Utah Catholic schools buck national trends, keep thriving

URSA teaches the teachers during conference

National Education Association elects Utah educator as president

Utah mom’s plea: Let 12-year-old daughter into first grade Born with a rare genetic disorder, Alexis, 12, wants to try a regular first grade instead of a special-education class with age peers.

Site plans approved for new high school in Millville

Young engineers gather to showcase creations at first-ever Robotics Fair

Utah charter school offers virtual classrooms

Davis School District teachers use training to help save woman’s life

Ex-Tabiona High coach admits to sexual-related crimes with student

A middle ground on tenure? Some teachers in California say yes.

OPINION & COMMENTARY

More splits threaten Jordan School District School district splits questionable.

Because of inflation, a good grade is not always synonymous with an excellent education

Maintain immunizations

Get legislators out of running schools

Despite claim, Utah teachers don’t get jobs for life

Are We Asking the Right Questions About the Board of Education?

Speak out on education

Recent Utah news shows a life not elevated

Forget Obamacare. Common Core is the Republicans’ new big enemy

The Teachers Union With a Math Problem
While the NEA’s pension burden swells, the educators focus on getting Arne Duncan fired and fighting fracking.

Schools choose adults over kids
Too many local districts are making the wrong decisions in their war against charters.

Sex Education in the 21st Century

Learning the Facts of Financial Life
Arne Duncan is right that more students need to learn financial literacy.

NATION

Classrooms in U.S. Prepare for Flood as Migrants Become Pupils

Governors Group Skirts ‘Radioactive’ Common Core

Teachers Union Pulls Full-Throated Support for Common Core Move by American Federation of Teachers is blow to the White House

Meet America’s Most Hardcore Anti-Common Core Moms

Three BESE leaders propose Common Core plan Jindal administration dismisses bid as tensions escalate

Districts Debate Merits of Master’s for Teachers

Super Salary
Some school superintendents paid far more than state suggests

Foster Children Become Focus of California Schools

Coaching parents on toddler talk to address low-income word gap

FCC Approves E-Rate Modernization Along Partisan Lines

Education Department Launches $3 Million Evaluation of Khan Academy

Activist Malala in Nigeria: ‘Bring Back Our Girls’

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah, national school superintendents optimistic about Common Core

SALT LAKE CITY — A majority of the nation’s school district superintendents believe the Common Core State Standards are appropriately challenging and will improve education, according to a recent survey.
Two-thirds of the 1,800 school superintendents who participated in the survey, conducted by Gallup and Education Week and released last week, responded that the standards would improve education in their community.
Another 22 percent responded that the core would have no effect, and 7 percent believed adoption of the Common Core would adversely affect education.
The survey also questioned superintendents on the degree that most students would be challenged by the new standards, with two-thirds responding that the Common Core is “just about right,” 14 percent responding that the standards are too challenging and 5 percent saying the standards are not challenging enough.
In Utah, opinions remain divided on the controversial standards. But many of the state’s district superintendents are optimistic about the effect the Common Core will have in schools.
http://go.uen.org/1v5 (DN)

Sons of Utah lawmaker starting group based on father’s law
Education » Sons of Howard Stephenson, who wrote immersion into law, have support of Chinese donors.

Building on the success of Utah schools’ dual language immersion program, two sons of the state senator who wrote it into law are working to launch a foundation to spread it to other areas of the country.
The effort began earlier this year, when Chinese business leaders offered donations after hearing Sen. Howard Stephenson speak in Philadelphia about government and the language program.
The business leaders were traveling around the U.S. as part of a trip the senator’s son, Dan Stephenson, helped lead as a strategic relationship consultant for Bennett Group International and Hero Partners. Dan Stephenson, 37, spent more than nine years studying and working in China.
http://go.uen.org/1v4 (SLT)

10 possible big-money deals for Utah schools

SALT LAKE CITY — Aaron Garrett gave folks at the last School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration meeting a few things to think about — 10 things, to be exact, that he feels should be top-of-mind for the agency that manages land for the benefit of Utah public schools and other institutions.
“This is SITLA’s twentieth anniversary. All year we’ve been celebrating the work that they’ve done over the past 20 years,” said Garrett, the School Children’s Trust specialist from the state Office of Education. “I want to bring to your attention some of the opportunities that exist for the next 20 years.”
SITLA manages about 3.5 million surface acres of land, and 1.1 million acres of mineral rights, across the state of Utah. The agency is tasked with leveraging those resources to generate funding for the benefit of state institutions, including hospitals and universities.
http://go.uen.org/1v8 (OSE)

Two Hatch-Introduced Utah Land Bills Pass the Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two land conveyance bills introduced by U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) unanimously passed the U.S. Senate last night. The Hill Creek Cultural Preservation and Energy Development Act (S.27/H.R.356) facilitates the exchange of 20,000 acres of state-held mineral rights within the Hill Creek Extension of the Ute Indian Reservation for mineral rights on approximately 20,000 acres of federal land in the northern portion of the reservation in eastern Utah. The Provo River Project Transfer Act (S.211/H.R.255) makes a technical change to the Provo River Project Transfer Act of 2004 in order to transfer the title of the Provo Reservoir Canal to the Provo River Water Users Association.
http://go.uen.org/1vP (KCSG)

Utah Catholic schools buck national trends, keep thriving

SALT LAKE CITY — Christa Aquilla wanted her kids to go to a school that taught religious values and had a sense of community.
She and her husband moved to Utah from New York before they had children and were welcomed by the St. John the Baptist Catholic parish in Draper. When her oldest child reached kindergarten age, St. John the Baptist Elementary fit Aquilla’s wants.
“I love it. I love the school itself. I think the school is top-notch,” she said.
While Catholic schools in the East and Midwest are consolidating and shutting down from dropping enrollments, those in Utah and other parts of the West and South are bucking that trend and remain stable.
There are 5,500 students attending 18 Catholic schools in Utah, a number that has remained stable for about eight years, according to Sister Catherine Kamphaus, superintendent of Utah’s Catholic schools.
Although admissions have taken a hit from the surge of charter schools in the state, five Catholic schools have opened in Utah since 1999 and none have closed, Sister Kamphaus said.
http://go.uen.org/1vk (DN)

http://go.uen.org/1vB (KSL)

URSA teaches the teachers during conference

CEDAR CITY – Teachers for kindergarten through the 12th grade from school districts in rural areas throughout Utah gathered at the Southern Utah University campus for several days this past week to sharpen their teaching skills, part of the Utah Rural Schools Association teacher conference.
Ray Terry, president of the URSA and superintendent for Beaver School District, said more than 300 teachers from 26 school districts such as Daggett and Kane counties attended the conference, and most of them were there on their personal time.
“It’s teachers teaching teachers,” Terry said. “It’s sharing best practices – what’s worked in the classroom.”
http://go.uen.org/1vw (SGS)

National Education Association elects Utah educator as president

SALT LAKE CITY — A former Utah educator, who began her career as a lunch lady and kindergarten aide, was elected last week as president of the nation’s largest labor union.
Lily Eskelsen García, the current vice president of the National Education Association, was elected president by roughly 8,000 delegates at the NEA Annual Meeting, which was held last week in Denver.
Eskelsen García’s term as president will officially begin on Sept. 1. Her election drew praise from outgoing president Dennis Van Roeke, who has held the post for six years.
http://go.uen.org/1vC (KSL)

Utah mom’s plea: Let 12-year-old daughter into first grade
Born with a rare genetic disorder, Alexis, 12, wants to try a regular first grade instead of a special-education class with age peers.

Salt Lake City mother Angie Watson is hoping for what once seemed impossible: She wants to see her 12-year-old daughter, Alexis, born with a rare genetic disorder, begin regular first grade this fall.
Alexis Watson was born weighing 1½ pounds, and doctors said if she lived, she’d likely do little more in life than stare at the ceiling, her mother said. Instead, Alexis has surpassed everyone’s expectations, although her physical and cognitive growth are still dramatically delayed — she is the size and at the cognitive level of a 6-year-old.
Seeing her daughter in a regular first-grade class “is like a parent’s dream kind of come true for their special-needs kid,” Watson said, “when you’ve been told for so many years she’d never do anything.”
The Salt Lake City School District has denied Watson’s request, telling her Alexis should be in a seventh-grade special-education class with kids her own age, her mother said.
She hopes district officials change their minds, but, in the meantime, she’s decided to call school districts across the state to see if any of them will allow her daughter into a regular first-grade classroom this fall.
http://go.uen.org/1vd (SLT)

Site plans approved for new high school in Millville

After moving tons of dirt and preparing the land for a new high school in Millville, the Cache County School District is now ready to start the building process after construction bids and site plans have been submitted and finalized.
But even though the site plans have been approved, the district is still fine tuning the project.
http://go.uen.org/1vv (CVD)

Young engineers gather to showcase creations at first-ever Robotics Fair

Young engineering minds from throughout Cache Valley got a chance to showcase their mechanical innovations at the first-ever Robotics Fair, held at Bridgerland Applied Technology College’s (BATC) West Campus on Saturday.
http://go.uen.org/1vs (LHJ)

http://go.uen.org/1vu (CVD)

Utah charter school offers virtual classrooms

OGDEN — If learning in a traditional classroom isn’t working for your child, maybe a virtual school is the answer. Utah Connections Academy is a free public charter school, offering online classes for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
“This is a great option for students that are looking for another choice in how they’re educated,” said Linda Harless, principal of Utah Connections Academy, which has an office in Woods Cross.
Families interested in the online school are invited to an information session, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, at the Ogden Comfort Suites, 2250 S. 1200 West. Admission is free.
http://go.uen.org/1vp (OSE)

Davis School District teachers use training to help save woman’s life

LAYTON, Utah – During the school year Davis School District teachers are entrusted with the health of their students, and even though they’re out of school for summer a pair of teachers were able to use their training to help save a woman’s life.
It was the semi-annual sale at Bath and Body Works June 14th and the store was packed.
Valerie Lasater, computer teacher at Antelope Elementary by day, saw one of her customers looking a little ill.
Lasater said, “She came in and wanted to purchase some items and wasn’t feeling well.”
Then things took a turn for the worse.
Lasater explained, “She sat down in the chair and she kind of zoned out, wasn’t listening to her daughter or anything. So I ran around the counter, because I was helping her check out and stuff, and went around checked her pulse and couldn’t find a pulse on her.”
That’s when Patty Arbon, the Davis School District special education teacher turned administrator, stepped in.
http://go.uen.org/1vA (KTVX)

Ex-Tabiona High coach admits to sexual-related crimes with student

TABIONA, Duchesne County — A former Tabiona High School teacher who was fired in December entered into a plea deal Friday on the same day he was charged with sex-related crimes with a student.
Two criminal charges were filed against Shay Alfred Price, 34. He pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old, and pleaded no contest to distributing pornography to a person under 18, according to prosecutors. Both are third-degree felonies.
As part of the plea deal, Price arranged to be booked and released Friday from the Duchesne County Jail pending sentencing on Sept. 15. No contest pleas are treated as guilty pleas at sentencing.
http://go.uen.org/1vn (DN)

http://go.uen.org/1vD (KSL)

A middle ground on tenure? Some teachers in California say yes.

As the education world continues to reverberate from the Vegera vs. California teacher tenure ruling, Eric Westervelt at NPR reports that some teachers in California are recognizing that tenure needs to be reformed, but they want to fix it, not nix it.
http://go.uen.org/1vm (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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More splits threaten Jordan School District School district splits questionable.
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

Members of the West Jordan City Council have wisely decided that, rather than start building a fleet of ramshackle lifeboats, it would be better for all involved to try to keep the Jordan School District afloat.
Council members danced around several alternatives the other night before deciding not to sink some $41,000 into a study of the ramifications of seceding from the Jordan School District. In so doing, they made real their comments about how they didn’t really want their city to leave the school district, but were worried about what would happen if the larger city of South Jordan did break away, as it is pondering.
South Jordan’s separation, if it happened, would be another step toward a questionable — and expensive — balkanization of school districts in the most heavily populated, and fastest growing, part of the state.
http://go.uen.org/1vc

Because of inflation, a good grade is not always synonymous with an excellent education
Deseret News editorial

Several college professors have recently admitted they are being pressured to give students higher grades than performance warrants.
This process, known as “grade inflation,” is seen as a response to a culture where bad evaluations from students can influence decisions about teachers’ jobs.
http://go.uen.org/1vl

Maintain immunizations
(St. George) Spectrum editorial

A frightening national news story reported the finding last week of six vials of variola, the virus that causes small pox, in a cardboard box in an unlocked Maryland storage room. This deadly virus, believed to have been eradicated more than 50 years ago, was responsible for the deaths of many millions in the past two millennia. Although the Centers for Disease Control reports deaths attributable to small pox as late as 1967, immunizations were discontinued worldwide in 1972.
Nothing has happened as a result of this mysterious find, and the vials were quickly turned over to the proper authorities, but even the suggestion of exposure to the small pox virus — with the possibility of a subsequent rapid transmission to a world population with no protection — is almost too horrific to think about.
Thankfully, small pox, along with polio and several other previously life-threatening or disfiguring diseases, now mostly exist only in history books. However, the need for immunizations against other serious diseases that still exist and still disfigure should not be taken lightly or skipped altogether.
http://go.uen.org/1vx

Get legislators out of running schools
Deseret News commentary by columnist John Florez

Until a vision for Utah education is created, along with structural changes, Utah legislators will continue to interfere in the management of public education. And our students will be denied a world-class education.
Utah has too many leaders who have shown no vision, and merely tinker with a system that is driven by vested interests. We have governors who create commissions, and lawmakers who pass a myriad of laws that spend money to keep a system to nowhere. Hopes were raised by the 2013 Legislature that formed a task force of legislative leaders to establish a vision for the future of education in our state. However, they seem to spend more time listening to warmed-over ideas by vested interests. Meanwhile, lawmakers ignored the task force’s charge and kept passing more incoherent laws.
What we have now are lawmakers who spend $3 million to start a data alliance between K-12 education and the Utah Department of Workforce Services that fattens the bureaucracy, instead of money to be used in the classroom. Other lawmakers spend money by requiring school grading and testing that has no class management value and prevents teachers from teaching time with students. Nevertheless, each year the Legislature passes over 60 laws to give the appearance they are improving education, yet only clog the education bureaucracy even more.
http://go.uen.org/1v7

Despite claim, Utah teachers don’t get jobs for life
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, president of the Utah Education Association

Utah public school teachers and administrators face an uphill climb as they prepare for evaluations being implemented in response to a law passed by the Utah Legislature in 2012 (Senate Bill 64). The legislation, crafted in collaboration with the Utah State Board of Education, the state superintendent, the Utah School Boards Association and the Utah Education Association, had nearly unanimous support from the legislative body.
Given the substantive way this law changes how Utah teachers are evaluated and dismissed, I was astonished to see a recent commentary (“This teacher/legislator says it’s time to end tenure,” June 22), penned by a legislator, speaking about the need to eliminate tenure in Utah. I was also shocked by a presentation given at the June Legislative Education Task Force meeting, based on outdated data, that criticized “onerous” educator dismissal laws. I have to be honest, the inaccurate and misleading information contained in both the editorial and the presentation is extremely concerning.
So, let me share some facts about teacher evaluation in Utah:
http://go.uen.org/1v6

Are We Asking the Right Questions About the Board of Education?
Utah PoliticoHub commentary by columnist DANIEL BURTON

A couple weeks back, contributors to the Utah Politico Hub examined the role of the State Board of Education in students learning. Does the Board have a duty to parents or to students?
The response was impressive, with parents, activists, and even a couple members of the State Board of Education weighing in. You can find those posts here.
As I’ve thought about the topic since, though, I’ve begun to wonder if perhaps we–the public–understand what the Board of Education does and how it works.
http://go.uen.org/1vy

Speak out on education
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Janet Summit

About 20 years ago I graduated with a degree in education from USU. I have worked in private schools, taught my 10 children in homeschool, taught many children in homeschool groups, and now run a cooperative school group in the valley. Yet I have never taught in Utah public schools, and this is the reason why.
I student taught in a Logan school during an election year, and each day after students left, the principal would speak to us over the intercom and tell us what the educational issues were, what our viewpoint was to be, which candidates supported that view, where our own caucus meetings would be held, which people we should support, or not support at our individual caucus, and how to “make that all happen.” It was not a discussion of issues. It was “this is what you must support.”
The problem was that I read the UEA and NEA platforms, and I couldn’t support the outlined stance.
http://go.uen.org/1vt

Recent Utah news shows a life not elevated
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Christina Gringeri

The conditions in Utah lately seem to mock “Life elevated.” We make it hard to be elderly or care for the elderly. We don’t want to expand Medicaid. We tenaciously hold onto our last-place ranking in per capita education spending while gleefully wasting public monies fighting marriage equality. We grossly underpay those who care for and try to educate our children. Religious institutions excommunicate and try to silence women wanting to discuss ordination/gender equality. We have a one-party system and struggle to maintain an independent newspaper or to clean the air, and those who rush to praise the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision to allow employers to deny contraception coverage to women are seemingly unconcerned about this open use of the state to reinforce and legislate religious beliefs.
Life in Utah, where the government is not representative, and denial rather than democracy rules, hardly seems elevated.
http://go.uen.org/1vj

Forget Obamacare. Common Core is the Republicans’ new big enemy
Washington Post commentary by Stephanie Grace, a columnist for the The Advocate of New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Acadiana.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has never been one to hide his education bonafides.
The wonkish former Rhodes Scholar has established himself as a leader in accountability-based education reform, and enthusiastically supported the Common Core standards (which establish the skills students should master at each grade level in English and math).
Until he didn’t. At a gathering of tea party activists last August, Jindal vowed to fight any efforts to impose a “national curriculum” (never mind the fact that the Common Core was created and implemented by states). It was the first step in what would become a slow but spectacular reversal. In less than a year, Jindal went from one of the Common Core’s biggest allies to one of its most trenchant opponents, writing “centralized planning didn’t work in Russia, it’s not working with our health care system and it won’t work in education.”
By June, Jindal tried to pull Louisiana out of the Common Core completely, ordering his staff to invalidate the contract to pay PARCC, a multi-state testing consortium. That set off chaos in schools and a high-stakes showdown with the quasi-independent, still pro-Common Core state education board; the whole matter is likely headed to court.
This is just the most ostentatious example of nationally ambitious Republicans turning away from the education standards their party helped create.
Here’s how it happened:
http://go.uen.org/1vL

http://go.uen.org/1vM (Hechinger Report)

The Teachers Union With a Math Problem
While the NEA’s pension burden swells, the educators focus on getting Arne Duncan fired and fighting fracking.
Wall Street Journal commentary by columnist ALLYSIA FINLEY

The National Education Association drew headlines with its call for the resignation of Education Secretary Arne Duncan at its annual gathering in Denver last week. Yet seeking Mr. Duncan’s ouster—he has been deemed too focused on “high-stakes testing”—was just one of 110 “new business items” on the convention agenda.
Like the anti-Duncan measure, many of the items had a fatuous air that suggests why teachers unions are losing favor with parents, Democrats and even many teachers. In fact, much of the new business had nothing to do with schools or teaching.
http://go.uen.org/1v3

Schools choose adults over kids
Too many local districts are making the wrong decisions in their war against charters.
USA Today op-ed by Richard Whitmire, author of On the Rocketship: How Top Charter Schools are Pushing the Envelope

If you know anything about Boston you’ve heard of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods. That’s where Brooke Charter Schools operates three K-8 schools. Despite that, Brooke students turn in startling results.
Just a quick sample: At its Mattapan school, which is two-thirds African-American, one-third Latino and largely poor, sixth-graders score at the highest proficiency rates in math in the entire state.
Ideally, Brooke founder Jon Clark would like to add another middle school and a high school for all his high-performing middle schoolers to attend. The high schools his students are forced to attend now are, to put it politely, of “mixed” quality. But he can’t because Massachusetts sets a cap on charter schools.
http://go.uen.org/1vE

Sex Education in the 21st Century
Journal of the American Medical Association commentary by Victor C. Strasburger, MD, University of New Mexico, and Sarah S. Brown, MSPH, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

Controversies about the proper content of school-based sex education continue, but in some fundamental sense they have been matched by—perhaps even overtaken by—other pressing realities. For example, there are increasing demands that school resources be dedicated to teaching the basics of reading, writing, and math and to upgrading the attention given to science education. Many communities find that meeting these legitimate demands places substantial pressure on school hours and budgets, often at the expense of such areas as art and physical education as well as health education, which often includes sex education. Moreover, limited budgets can also decrease the amount of training made available to sex education teachers.
http://go.uen.org/1v9

Learning the Facts of Financial Life
Arne Duncan is right that more students need to learn financial literacy.
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Nina Rees, president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently offered a compelling speech pushing American students to learn about money and finance in school. “Young people, to be successful, to secure retirement, to take care of their families, and to not be in poverty, have to have a level of financial literacy that 30, 40, 50 years ago maybe wasn’t required,” Duncan said. “Today it’s an absolute necessity.”
This is important for several reasons.

These problems can be easily remedied by simply teaching students about financial literacy at an early age. Teaching financial literacy is also a great way to teach math (bringing to life the value of fractions and percentages) and to offer students the tools they need to navigate the complicated student lending process that many will enter when they go to college.
So far, according to Pew Trusts, only Missouri, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia require financial literacy education to graduate.
http://go.uen.org/1vR

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Classrooms in U.S. Prepare for Flood as Migrants Become Pupils
Bloomberg

The record flood of Central American children crossing the U.S. border is stretching funds and setting off improvisation at public schools.
While politicians spend the summer fighting over how to turn back the tide, school leaders across the U.S. are struggling to absorb a new student population the size of Newark, New Jersey’s. More than 40,000 children, many of them fresh from violent, harrowing journeys, have been released since October to stateside relatives as courts process their cases.
“These kids were homesick and heartbroken,” said Robin Hamby, a family specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools in suburban Washington, which began feeling the surge almost as soon as it began three years ago.
Her Virginia district employs more teachers who work with non-English speakers than ever, and wrote a curriculum to reunite children and parents, many of whom haven’t seen one another in years. Houston is increasing training and translation.
http://go.uen.org/1va

Governors Group Skirts ‘Radioactive’ Common Core
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Reviled by staunch conservatives, the common education standards designed to improve schools and student competitiveness are being modified by some Republican governors, who are pushing back against what they call the federal government’s intrusion into the classroom.
The Common Core standards were not on the formal agenda during a three-day meeting of the National Governors Association that ended Sunday, relegated to hallway discussions and closed-door meetings among governors and their staffs. The standards and even the words, “Common Core,” have “become, in a sense, radioactive,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican whose state voluntarily adopted the standards in 2010.
“We want Iowa Common Core standards that meet the needs of our kids,” Branstad said, echoing an intensifying sentiment from tea party leaders who describe the education plan as an attempt by the federal government to take over local education.
http://go.uen.org/1vf

http://go.uen.org/1vJ (NYT)

http://go.uen.org/1vQ (WSJ)

Teachers Union Pulls Full-Throated Support for Common Core
Move by American Federation of Teachers is blow to the White House
Time

After years of battling conservative groups opposed to Common Core, supporters of the testing standards discovered Friday morning that one of their most avid allies, the American Federation of Teachers, is bailing on them too. Et tu, Brutus?
At its annual convention Friday in Los Angeles, AFT president Randi Weingarten is expected to announce that the union will underwrite $20,000 to $30,000 grants for teachers’ projects designed to rewrite and improve the Common Core standards, according to a press release.
While AFT stops short of outright opposing the Common Core, Weingarten has said that that option is not off the table. An hour-long open debate on Common Core is planned for the last day of the convention on Sunday, which could lead to a vote condemning the Common Core in its entirety. Some of AFT’s local chapters, including Chicago, have called for the union to end its support for Common Core entirely.
The AFT’s decision to distance itself from its once-avid support for the Common Core marks a major—and, some say, even potentially lethal—blow to the standards, which the White House has emphasized as its key priority in education.
http://go.uen.org/1vN

Meet America’s Most Hardcore Anti-Common Core Moms
NBC

Austin, Texas—On a recent sweltering weekend in Texas’ state capital, more than 1,000 parents and teachers were gathered in the Austin Convention Center for the annual National PTA convention, where education secretary and Common Core evangelist Arne Duncan was scheduled to speak.
Across the street, in a far more modest conference room, a few dozen conservative activists—mostly from Texas and Washington, D.C.—were gathered for a meeting of their own. Their mission? To ward off the Common Core, a set of educational standards now adopted in 44 states.
Texas has always been one of several states to reject the Common Core standards. As of June 17, state attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott made it illegal to use them. But for the people in this room, even a law asserting the state’s independence isn’t enough to assuage the threat Common Core poses to liberty, Christianity, and their children’s moral fiber.
http://go.uen.org/1ve

Three BESE leaders propose Common Core plan Jindal administration dismisses bid as tensions escalate
Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate

Three leaders of the state’s top school board Thursday proposed a onetime use of controversial Common Core test questions for the 2014-15 school year, as well as traditional Louisiana exam questions, in a bid to strike a compromise with Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The proposal was spelled out in a four-page letter to Jindal, who has said he wants the state out of Common Core and the tests that go with it.
“I am optimistic we are going to get an agreement here,” said Chas Roemer, president of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and one of the three who signed off on the plan.
But less than three hours later, the Jindal administration dismissed the plan.
http://go.uen.org/1vK

Districts Debate Merits of Master’s for Teachers
Associated Press

DALLAS — Efforts to eliminate extra pay for teachers who earn advanced degrees are gaining momentum in a small but growing number of U.S. schools, stirring a national debate about how best to compensate quality educators and angering teachers who say the extra training is valuable.
More than half of the nation’s teachers have master’s degrees or higher, but the changing salary structure is giving pause to others considering the same path. Texas’ two largest school districts, in Houston and Dallas, recently eliminated advanced degree pay going forward, following the example of North Carolina, where lawmakers last year started phasing it out. A few other states have made tweaks to reduce how much advanced degrees factor into pay.
http://go.uen.org/1vh

Super Salary
Some school superintendents paid far more than state suggests
Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

Being a school district superintendent is no cakewalk.
Attendance is expected at late-night school board meetings. Waking at 4 a.m. to determine whether road conditions warrant a snow day is a regular wintertime duty. Budget problems, construction delays and parent complaints all circle back to the superintendent.
But some school districts in Wyoming punch above their weight when it comes to paying their top officials.
Sheridan County School District 2, for instance, will pay Superintendent Craig Dougherty $198,000 excluding benefits this year to run the district of about 3,300 students — more than 150 percent of what the state suggests he should make.
That makes Dougherty, who has led the district for 14 years, the highest-paid superintendent in the state.
Kirk Hughes makes $149,000 running Converse County School District 2, a district serving 700 students in and around Glenrock. Hughes is starting his 17th year as superintendent there.
Albany County School District 1 in Laramie also spends well above the state’s suggested amount to pay its superintendent, Brian Recht. Recht’s $166,000 salary to lead the 3,700-student district is about 140 percent of the state’s suggested pay rate.
Compe nsating a superintendent is a reflection of a school board’s appreciation for leaders who toil in a high-stress, high-turnover position, said Brian Farmer, executive director of the Wyoming School Boards Association.

On average, Wyoming paid its superintendents $132,989 in the 2012-13 school year, according to state data.
That is better than the pay for district officials in surrounding states.
In Utah that year, the average superintendent made $120,168, according to the Utah Office of Education.
http://go.uen.org/1vO

Foster Children Become Focus of California Schools
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — California is embarking on a first-of-its-kind attempt to improve the academic lives of foster youth by giving schools more money to meet their special learning and emotional needs and holding educators and administrators accountable.
But first, officials have to figure out how many school-age foster children they have and where they are enrolled in a state that’s home to nearly one-fifth of the nation’s foster children.
Until now, no state has attempted to identify every foster child in its public schools or to systematically track their progress, much less funnel funds toward those students or require school districts to show they are spending the money effectively.
http://go.uen.org/1vF

Coaching parents on toddler talk to address low-income word gap
NewsHour

By age four, toddlers in low-income families hear 30 million fewer words than those in high-income families, according to researchers. As a result, these children tend to have smaller vocabularies and fall behind in reading. Special correspondent John Tulenko of Learning Matters reports on one program in Providence, Rhode Island, that gets low-income parents talking more to their toddlers.
http://go.uen.org/1vI

FCC Approves E-Rate Modernization Along Partisan Lines
Education Week

Washington – The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved a broad series of changes to the E-rate program meant to boost support for Wi-Fi technology and create more efficiency, though Republicans on the panel strongly criticized the plan as bloated and bureaucratic.
The plan passed on a 3-2 party-line vote.
The approved order, as described by the FCC, would boost Wi-Fi funding for schools and libraries by $1 billion a year over the next two years, and set an annual “funding target” for that amount for years after that.
http://go.uen.org/1vG

Education Department Launches $3 Million Evaluation of Khan Academy
Education Week

The U.S. Department of Education has launched a $3 million randomized-control trial to gauge the effectiveness of Khan Academy, the now-ubiquitous online-learning site that popularlized the “flipped classroom” model.
WestEd’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics division was awarded the grant to study the use of Khan Academy’s online tutoring library in community college math classes.
Starting in the 2015-16 school year, California community college algebra teachers who are not already familiar with the program will be randomly assigned to either use the Khan resources or their regular practice. WestEd researchers Yvonne Kao and Steve Schneider, the director of its STEM program, will track students to determine whether those in classes using the Khan resources are more likely to complete Algebra I, as well as identify teacher training, course structure and other factors that affect how well the materials are integrated into the larger course.
http://go.uen.org/1vH

Activist Malala in Nigeria: ‘Bring Back Our Girls’
Associated Press

ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigeria’s president promised Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai that he would meet with the parents of some of the 219 schoolgirls held by Islamic extremists for three months, she said Monday.
Malala is celebrating her 17th birthday in Nigeria in an effort to work for the release of the girls from Boko Haram.
“My birthday wish this year is `Bring Back Our Girls’ now and alive,” she said, using the social media slogan that has been picked up around the world to demand freedom for the girls kidnapped from a school in the remote northeast Nigerian town of Chibok before dawn on April 15.
http://go.uen.org/VO

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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 15:
Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
1 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00003737.htm

State Board of Education Superintendent Search Committee meeting
5 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.utah.gov/pmn/sitemap/notice/223341.html

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

July 22:
Education Task Force
9 a.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2014&com=TSKEDU

August 14:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://go.uen.org/1pn

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