Education News Roundup: July 17, 2014

USBElogoToday’s Top Picks:

What will the Utah State Board of Education do about the state’s ESEA waiver in tonight’s meeting?
http://go.uen.org/1xj (UP)
and http://go.uen.org/dg (Politico)
or learn more about tonight’s meeting
http://go.uen.org/1xL (USOE)

Governor Herbert looks into Utah’s education standards.
http://go.uen.org/1xo (SLT)
http://go.uen.org/1xN (DN)
and http://go.uen.org/1xy (MUR)
or the Governor’s statement
http://go.uen.org/1xz (Governor’s Office)

Industry officials push tech ed at the Legislature.
http://go.uen.org/1xm (DN)

Speaker Lockhart is looking for volunteers to review Utah curriculum.
http://go.uen.org/1xk (UP)

North Carolina looks to tweak Common Core.
http://go.uen.org/1xB (WaPo)

Wyoming is sending out a survey on public education governance there.
http://go.uen.org/1xp (Star-Tribune)

————————————————————
TODAY’S HEADLINES
————————————————————

UTAH

Utah Lawmakers May Ditch No Child Left Behind Waiver and Common Core at the Same Time

Utah guv wants academic standards reexamined Education » A new webpage will invite the public to raise concerns about the content of specific standards.

BYU math prof accuses Utah education officials of bias, conflicts Textbooks » No shenanigans, says state official, in awarding contract to U. of U.

Manufacturers to lawmakers: ‘This is not your grandfather’s industry’

News and Notes from July Interim Day

State Board of Education hires firm to aid in superintendent search

Draft agreement aims to avoid split in Jordan district

The ABCs of a Changing SLC
School-board candidate Weston Clark wants to represent the city’s diverse school district

Foxboro teacher receives national recognition

Teacher Puts Award Money to Good Use

Geek Squad inspires young kids to pursue a future in technology

Davis coach leaves for UHSAA, Darts promote assistant Prep football » With Ryan Bishop’s departure, Tyler Gladwell gets interim position.

3 ways to keep kids academically engaged in the summer

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Children immigrants entering U.S. may end up as refugees — and Utah should be ready to help

State School Board Considering Returning to No Child Left Behind

Split Education

Sweden’s School Choice Disaster
Advocates for school choice might be shocked to see how badly the country’s experiment with vouchers failed.

Koch High: How The Koch Brothers Are Buying Their Way Into The Minds Of Public School Students

Reporting Opinion, Shaping an Agenda
Have reformers considered all the options?

NATION

Amid Common Core debate, North Carolina opts to tweak, not abandon, standards

Wyoming Legislature begins public survey on education governance

Fewer States Hit Mark Under New Spec. Ed. Framework Student achievement key federal priority

Poll: 70 percent of voters support federal preschool expansion

Send the kids outside to play: study

————————————————————
UTAH NEWS
————————————————————

Utah Lawmakers May Ditch No Child Left Behind Waiver and Common Core at the Same Time

The nationwide Common Core educational standard sticks in the political craw of a number of Utah Republican legislators.
How’s this for a radical idea?
Reject the waiver/federal funding for George Bush’s No Child Left Behind – now widely condemned by Republicans across the land and in Utah – fund the lost federal money to the tune of $26 million, if need be, and see the behinds of both Common Core and No Child Left Behind.
In short, cut federal education strings on two programs, make up the difference with state monies, and please Common Core haters (raise your hand Utah Eagle Forum) and the state rights advocates at the same time.
Seems like a win for Utah GOP lawmakers, who are discussing this possibility in Capitol corridors.
http://go.uen.org/1xj (UP)

http://go.uen.org/dg (Politico)

Utah guv wants academic standards reexamined
Education » A new webpage will invite the public to raise concerns about the content of specific standards.

With new academic standards continuing to divide some educators, lawmakers and parents, the governor will ask the Utah Attorney General’s Office to reexamine the state’s adoption of them.
Gov. Gary Herbert will ask the attorney general to look into what, if any, federal entanglements have been involved in Utah’s adoption of Common Core State Standards in math and language arts. He’s also convening a group of Utah experts to review the standards from a higher education perspective.
And his office will create a webpage to solicit comments about specific standards from the public.
The state school board adopted the standards — which outline what students should learn in each grade — in 2010 in an effort to improve education in Utah.
http://go.uen.org/1xo (SLT)

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

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

The Governor’s statement
http://go.uen.org/1xz (Governor’s Office)

BYU math prof accuses Utah education officials of bias, conflicts
Textbooks » No shenanigans, says state official, in awarding contract to U. of U.

A Brigham Young University math professor angry that a University of Utah team won a $600,000 state textbook contract accused state education officials of conflict of interest, bias and anti-competitive practices during a legislative hearing Wednesday.
Several investigations and the audit before the Government Operations Interim Committee on Wednesday concluded that Wright’s allegations were groundless. The Legislature’s Audit Subcommittee had looked at the audit last month.
Wright insisted, however, that serious flaws in how the contract was awarded show the need to strengthen Utah’s conflict-of-interest laws for state purchasing.
He also urged lawmakers to investigate the Utah State Office of Education, which he said improperly overlooked plagiarism by the U. team, and he called out two officials by name.
http://go.uen.org/1xl (SLT)

Manufacturers to lawmakers: ‘This is not your grandfather’s industry’

SALT LAKE CITY — State lawmakers repeated their call for a greater emphasis on technical education Wednesday as members of the Education Interim Committee heard testimony from industry representatives on the shortage of skilled workers.
Rep. Rich Cunningham, R-South Jordan, said many students today are being priced out of a four-year education but are still under the impression that a college or university education is their only option beyond high school.
“We have a growing demand, an immediate need, for machinists, electricians, bricklayers, automobile mechanics, diesel mechanics, iron workers, concrete workers, carpenters and welders,” Cunningham said.
http://go.uen.org/1xm (DN)

News and Notes from July Interim Day


— Finally, Lockhart said that a bill passed recently requires the speaker and Senate president to appoint scores of people to seven new citizen boards who will review public school curriculum.
“I have to find 35 people,” said Lockhart, who is retiring at the end of this year.
She has between four and six weeks to make not only those board appointments, but others as well.
“I’m frankly a little desperate. Make me a list” of possible candidates, she asked her 61-strong caucus.
Dee said members could consider some of their convention delegates for the posts, and should send out emails to district supporters asking if any are willing and interested in serving.
http://go.uen.org/1xk (UP)

State Board of Education hires firm to aid in superintendent search

The Utah State Board of Education has hired a firm to lead the search for a new State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
http://go.uen.org/1xt (LHJ)

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

http://go.uen.org/1xx (KCSG)

http://go.uen.org/1xG (PRNewswire)

Draft agreement aims to avoid split in Jordan district

WEST JORDAN — City mayors and school board members in the Jordan School District attempted to deflate threats of a district split Monday by negotiating the terms of an agreement during more than three hours of often heated debate.
The memorandum of understanding requires the school district to provide city leaders with regular reports on its finances, facilities and construction plans, as well as work to include city leadership in future discussion of policy and personnel.
In return, school officials asked that they be given time to make good on the requests of city leaders and that animosity be left in the past.
http://go.uen.org/1xw (KSL)

The ABCs of a Changing SLC
School-board candidate Weston Clark wants to represent the city’s diverse school district

A well-rounded candidate for the Salt Lake City School Board ideally would have experience both as an involved parent and as a teacher in Utah’s embattled public-education system. Weston Clark, who’s looking to represent Salt Lake City School District 6, can check those boxes and then some.
While Clark jokes that he’s still a traditional white male candidate, he hopes that, as an out-and-proud gay stay-at-home dad of two adopted biracial children, he can represent a school district that’s charged with educating Salt Lake City’s diverse population.
The importance of understanding the realities of the lives of those from different backgrounds is a lesson Clark likes to share. A former high school teacher in the Davis County School District, Clark says that one of his favorite assignments in his senior-level sociology course was to ask his students “to put themselves in an uncomfortable situation in the community and write about it; see if it changed their perspective.” Students visited the churches of different faiths, dropped in at the Utah Pride Center and even visited a homeless shelter to see how reality matched up with their preconceived notions.
Now, as a candidate, Clark wants to not only help district policies reflect and support the diverse minority student populations in the city, but also educate the Legislature and other government organizations about the root causes of inequality that affect the education of Salt Lake City’s schoolchildren—even if the issues aren’t directly under the school board’s purview.
http://go.uen.org/1xH (City Weekly)

Foxboro teacher receives national recognition

NORTH SALT LAKE — The honors continue to add up for Foxboro Elementary teacher Allison Riddle.
The fifth-grade teacher was named Teacher of the Year for Davis School District in 2013, and for the State of Utah in 2014.
More recently, she was selected as one of five recipients of the national 2015 Horace Mann Awards for Teaching Excellence.
http://go.uen.org/1xI (DCC)

Teacher Puts Award Money to Good Use

Corner Canyon High music teacher Randal Clark recently received the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Legacy Award.
With the award, he received $2,500 for Corner Canyon’s music program, which he used to purchase snare drums, and the same amount for personal use.
http://go.uen.org/1xJ (Draper Journal)

Geek Squad inspires young kids to pursue a future in technology

SALT LAKE CITY — In 2011, Brittani Uribe attended Best Buy’s Geek Squad Summer Academy at age 17 with plans of becoming a dietitian.
Eight years later she is living her dream as a Geek Squad agent who thrives in the field of technology.
“It opened my eyes to a kind of different side of technology. It made it very apparent that I could do other things besides being a doctor or a lawyer or anything like that,” Uribe said. “I just literally switched out of everything that had to deal with health and have been in technology ever since.”
The Geek Squad Academy is a nationally acclaimed program that teaches kids how technology can lead to a future of career opportunities. The squad travels to 40 other cities throughout the summer and landed for the third time in Salt Lake City Wednesday.
http://go.uen.org/1xr (DN)

Davis coach leaves for UHSAA, Darts promote assistant
Prep football » With Ryan Bishop’s departure, Tyler Gladwell gets interim position.

A recent hire by the Utah High School Activities Association means that there will be a new head football coach roaming the sidelines at Davis High School this fall.
The UHSAA hired long-time Utah high school football coach Ryan Bishop as an assistant director. He replaces Kevin Dustin, who was hired as the athletic director at Salt Lake Community College. Bishop’s duties will include being the director of baseball, basketball, football, golf and theatre while also overseeing coaches’ education and sponsorships.
http://go.uen.org/1xq (SLT)

3 ways to keep kids academically engaged in the summer

More than 75 percent of children experience learning loss, called summer slide, during the summer months according to the National Summer Learning Association. Some children slip behind two to six months.
http://go.uen.org/1xs (DN)

————————————————————
OPINION & COMMENTARY
————————————————————

Children immigrants entering U.S. may end up as refugees — and Utah should be ready to help
Deseret News editorial

The border crisis caused by a surge of more than 50,000 young immigrants entering the United States in search of some form of asylum is presenting an immediate humanitarian problem that needs to be addressed, even outside the national debate over immigration policy.
Even so, how the nation copes with this surge of immigrant-refugees sets the tone for how the nation proceeds on the larger issue of overall immigration reform.
The wave of unaccompanied minors from Central America has takes the country, and the Obama administration, to a fork in the road between a hardline posture of strict enforcement, or a more compassionate direction that recognizes the very real human tragedy embodied in the mass flight of children and adolescents from their homelands.
http://go.uen.org/1xF

State School Board Considering Returning to No Child Left Behind
Utah PoliticoHub commentary by KAREN PETERSON, who writes the blog Utah Moms Care

State Board of Ed LogoTonight, the Utah State Board of Education will debate whether to apply for another one-year Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver. The ESEA Waiver allows Utah to not comply with certain federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates through the creation of its own state systems. Utah’s current waiver is set to expire in August.
By choosing not to apply for the ESEA waiver, Utah would return to No Child Left Behind.
Why is this an issue?
http://go.uen.org/1xv

Split Education
Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Katharine Biele

Whatever happened to the art of negotiation in politics? South Jordan apparently has given up, and wants to take its toys from the Jordan School District and play alone. Does this seem like deja vu? A split in 2008 created the Canyons School District—at high cost—and left Jordan with fewer resources for its west-side students. Citizens voted down a bond that would have given Jordan a better hand at improving facilities and instruction; go figure. For some reason, South Jordan thinks it can duplicate the bureaucracy and re-create a school district better than it could work with the district at hand. West Jordan worries about the fallout and the Jordan Education Association overwhelmingly voted down the idea. For one thing, it takes at least three years after a split to reconstitute teacher professional development.
http://go.uen.org/1xK

Sweden’s School Choice Disaster
Advocates for school choice might be shocked to see how badly the country’s experiment with vouchers failed.
Slate commentary by Ray Fisman, professor of economics at the Columbia Business School

Every three years, Americans wring their hands over the state of our schools compared with those in other countries. The occasion is the triennial release of global scholastic achievement rankings based on exams administered by the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, which tests students in 65 countries in math, science, and languages. Across all subjects, America ranked squarely in the middle of the pack when the tests were first given in 2000, and its position hardly budged over the next dozen years.
The angst over U.S. student performance—and its implications for the American workforce of the near future—is inevitably accompanied by calls for education reform: greater accountability, more innovation. Just as inevitable are the suggestions for how more accountability and innovation could be realized: more charter schools, more choice, less bureaucratic oversight.
Advocates for choice-based solutions should take a look at what’s happened to schools in Sweden, where parents and educators would be thrilled to trade their country’s steep drop in PISA scores over the past 10 years for America’s middling but consistent results. What’s caused the recent crisis in Swedish education? Researchers and policy analysts are increasingly pointing the finger at many of the choice-oriented reforms that are being championed as the way forward for American schools. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that adding more accountability and discipline to American schools would be a bad thing, it does hint at the many headaches that can come from trying to do so by aggressively introducing marketlike competition to education.
http://go.uen.org/1xe

Koch High: How The Koch Brothers Are Buying Their Way Into The Minds Of Public School Students
Huffington Post commentary by Christina Wilkie and Joy Resmovits

In the spring of 2012, Spenser Johnson, a junior at Highland Park High School in Topeka, Kansas, was unpacking his acoustic bass before orchestra practice when a sign caught his eye. “Do you want to make money?” it asked.
The poster encouraged the predominantly poor students at Highland Park to enroll in a new, yearlong course that would provide lessons in basic economic principles and practical instruction on starting a business. Students would receive generous financial incentives including startup capital and scholarships after graduation. The course would begin that fall. Johnson eagerly signed up.
In some ways, the class looked like a typical high school business course, taught in a Highland Park classroom by a Highland Park teacher. But it was actually run by Youth Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit group created and funded primarily by Charles G. Koch, the billionaire chairman of Koch Industries.
The official mission of Youth Entrepreneurs is to provide kids with “business and entrepreneurial education and experiences that help them prosper and become contributing members of society.” The underlying goal of the program, however, is to impart Koch’s radical free-market ideology to teenagers. In the last school year, the class reached more than 1,000 students across Kansas and Missouri.
Lesson plans and class materials obtained by The Huffington Post make the course’s message clear: The minimum wage hurts workers and slows economic growth. Low taxes and less regulation allow people to prosper. Public assistance harms the poor. Government, in short, is the enemy of liberty.
http://go.uen.org/1xn

Reporting Opinion, Shaping an Agenda
Have reformers considered all the options?
Education Next book review by David Steiner, dean of the School of Education at Hunter College

Teachers Versus the Public: What Americans think about schools and how to fix them
by Paul E. Peterson, Michael Henderson, and Martin R. West
Brookings Institution Press, 2014, $28.00; 144 pages.
Most Americans possess only general, and not quite accurate, notions about their public schools. Moreover, the perceptions of the general public and the teaching profession often differ quite dramatically.
Paul Peterson (well known to readers of Education Next as its editor in chief), director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance and professor at Harvard University, and his fellow authors have published a short book that quantifies this reality. They find that Americans typically overestimate local school performance and underestimate costs and salaries. More than 80 percent of the public support annual student testing, three-quarters favor charter schools, two-thirds favor higher teacher pay, and half are in favor of means-tested vouchers. In contrast to the general public, teachers are less likely to support school choice, testing, and school accountability, and more likely to support higher teacher salaries and raising taxes to pay for them.
These findings are less than surprising, and some of them are familiar.
http://go.uen.org/1xM

————————————————————-
NATIONAL NEWS
————————————————————-

Amid Common Core debate, North Carolina opts to tweak, not abandon, standards
Washington Post

Lawmakers in North Carolina agreed Wednesday to come up with an alternative to the Common Core State Standards in math and reading.
Sort of.
The House and Senate agreed to a compromise that creates a commission to reexamine the Common Core standards and find ways to improve on them.
North Carolina adopted the standards in 2010 and has been rolling them out in classrooms across the state.
But growing political pressure from critics — particularly among conservatives — fueled an effort in the North Carolina House to try to ditch the standards entirely. In the end, agreement was reached on a plan to reconsider them.
http://go.uen.org/1xB

Wyoming Legislature begins public survey on education governance
Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

A legislative committee studying ways to possibly restructure the Wyoming Department of Education launched an online survey to collect public comment Monday.
The survey is among the first actions from a consulting firm hired by the Joint Education Committee last month to survey the state on what should change in the way Wyoming governs its public schools. Lawmakers are studying the issue after more than a year of upheaval at the Wyoming Department of Education, whose top official was ousted by a state law in 2013, then reinstated after the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional earlier this year.
A final report from Cross and Joftus, the Maryland-based educational consulting firm contracting with the Legislature, will be submitted to the committee by late November, according to a release from the nonpartisan Legislative Service Office.
http://go.uen.org/1xp

Fewer States Hit Mark Under New Spec. Ed. Framework Student achievement key federal priority
Education Week

Fewer states are fully meeting federal requirements for serving students with disabilities now that the U.S. Department of Education is focusing less on state compliance with voluminous special education rules and more on how well those students are being taught.
The department released the results of its new evaluation process on June 24. Only 15 states fell into the “meets requirements” category, based on data collected for the 2012-13 school year. More than half the states, 32, were categorized as “needs assistance.” The other three states—California, Delaware, and Texas—plus the District of Columbia fell into the “needs intervention” category. In 2013, 38 states were in the “meets requirement” category.
The results reflect a departure from previous years, when states were evaluated on compliance factors, such as how quickly they evaluated students or resolved due-process complaints.
http://go.uen.org/1xE

Poll: 70 percent of voters support federal preschool expansion
Washington Post

Seven in 10 voters, including six in 10 Republicans, support a plan for the federal government to expand quality early childhood programs for low- and middle-income families, according to a national poll sponsored by the First Five Years Fund, an advocacy group.
The bipartisan support was underscored by two prominent political strategists from both major parties during an event Thursday at the National Press Club.
“This is an issue that has calcified in many people’s minds as something that’s important,” said Kevin Madden, a Republican political campaign strategist and former press secretary for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign. “Voters believe this is a critical investment at a critical time.”
Jim Messina, who managed President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, agreed: “There is a national consensus around this issue except in the 10-mile square, logic-free zone that we call Washington, D.C.,” he said.
http://go.uen.org/1xA

Send the kids outside to play: study
Reuters

NEW YORK – Children who spend time outdoors after school are more likely to be physically fit, a new study shows.
Researchers found that Canadian kids who spent most of their after-school time outside were three times more likely to meet guidelines for daily physical activity and were in better shape than those who spent all of their after-school time indoors.
“This is just evidence reifying how powerful the outdoors is,” lead author Lee Schaefer told Reuters Health. “If we can get students outside more often, they are going to be more active, which is going to benefit them in the long term.”
http://go.uen.org/1xC

A copy of the study
http://go.uen.org/1xD (Journal of Pediatrics)

————————————————————
CALENDAR
————————————————————

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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/Interim/2014/html/00003816.htm

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

September 16:
Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
1 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2014&Com=APPEXE

September 17:
Education Interim Committee meeting
2:30 p.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2014&Com=INTEDU

Related posts:

Comments are closed.