Education News Roundup: Aug. 5, 2014

The School Breakfast Program by USDA/CC/flickr

The School Breakfast Program by USDA/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

UEA names a new executive director.

http://go.uen.org/1Eo (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/1Ez (OSE)

and http://go.uen.org/1EB (KUTV)

Logan is offering school breakfast for all students.

http://go.uen.org/1EA (LHJ)

Education reform keeps showing up on Comedy Central’s Daily Show and Colbert Report.

http://go.uen.org/1Er (Time)

TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Utah teachers union names new executive director

 

Logan City School District offering free breakfast to all students

 

Boys Nation makes lasting impression on Corinne’s Chase Ferry

 

First deaf NBA player teaches kids life lessons through basketball

 

More charges filed after another teen claims sex with Utah teacher Courts » Brianne Altice now faces six first-degree felony charges.

 

Utah radon poster contest underway

 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Abandon NCLB for student-centered schools model

 

An Analysis of the Libertas Common Core Lawsuit

 

Charters get bigger bank for the buck

 

Why Some Schools Are Selling All Their iPads Four years after Apple introduced its popular tablet, many districts are switching to laptops.

 

How We Can Strengthen Schools Serving Low-Income Children

 

Charter school teachers turn to union for help

 

 

 

NATION

 

A Summer of Extra Reading and Hope for Fourth Grade Literacy Laws Challenge Third Graders and Schools

 

4th Graders Struggle With Icons, Directions on Computer-Based Tests

 

Colbert v. Stewart: The Celebrity Death Match Over School Reform Comedy Central’s fake newscasters have an outsized influence on public opinion and seemingly different takes on hotly-debated topics like teacher tenure laws and the Common Core standards

 

Chas Roemer blames Gov. Bobby Jindal for education ‘fiasco’

Takes some blame for Common Core woes

 

Washoe superintendent returning, school board voids actions

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Utah teachers union names new executive director

 

The largest teachers union in Utah has chosen a new executive director.

Lisa Nentl-Bloom, who spent the last eight years working as an organizational specialist for the National Education Association, will begin work Sept. 1 for the Utah Education Association (UEA). In 2007, she was assigned to work with the UEA on a special project for nine months, according to a UEA news release.

Nentl-Bloom has a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education. She also taught for 15 years in Minnesota.

Nentl-Bloom replaces Mark Mickelsen, who retired Friday.

http://go.uen.org/1Eo (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/1Ez (OSE)

 

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

 

 

 

 

Logan City School District offering free breakfast to all students

 

The Logan City School District has announced it will be participating in the Universal Breakfast Program at all of its schools. All K-12 students will have the options of eating school breakfast free of charge.

Those wishing to learn what times breakfast will be served can contact their students’ school.

http://go.uen.org/1EA (LHJ)

 

 

 

 

Boys Nation makes lasting impression on Corinne’s Chase Ferry

 

CORINNE – Chase Ferry’s patriotism surged to an all-time high in the past few weeks — when he had the opportunity as one of two high school seniors from Utah to attend the American Legion’s Boys Nation in Washington, D.C.

Ferry will start his senior later this month with a whole wealth of knowledge about his nation that he knows he will cherish for the rest of his life. He may be the first Boys Nation delegate ever from Corinne.

Ferry had no idea what he was in for when he attended Boys State at the beginning of summer at Weber State University.

http://go.uen.org/1Ey (OSE)

 

 

 

First deaf NBA player teaches kids life lessons through basketball

 

TAYLORSVILLE — Shoes squeaked on the basketball court Monday afternoon as a group of boys practiced dribbling and layups.

But there were no whistles or coaches yelling from the sidelines.

Instead, they used American Sign Language to communicate with the boys during the clinic for youths who are hard of hearing or deaf.

Lance Allred, the first legally deaf NBA player, was among the coaches hoping to teach the boys about more than just basketball.

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

 

 

 

More charges filed after another teen claims sex with Utah teacher Courts » Brianne Altice now faces six first-degree felony charges.

 

A September trial for a former Davis High School English teacher accused of a having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student has been canceled after prosecutors filed more charges against the woman.

In the new charges, prosecutors filed one additional count of rape and one charge of forcible sodomy against Brianne Land Altice, 35, after a 17-year-old told police that he had sexual intercourse and oral sex with the former teacher once between April and June of last year.

http://go.uen.org/1Et (SLT)

 

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/1ED (KSTU)

 

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

 

 

 

 

Utah radon poster contest underway

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah students can put their creative talents to work promoting awareness of the risks of indoor radon gas by participating in the 2014 National Radon Poster Contest, which is underway.

State contest winners will receive cash awards, with the first-place winner receiving $300 and his or her school or organization receiving $500. Second- and third-place winners each will receive $100.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality and Division of Radiation Control’s Radon Program is coordinating this year’s contest in partnership with Kansas State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Children ages 9-14 enrolled in a public, private, territorial, tribal, Department of Defense or home school are eligible to participate.

http://go.uen.org/1Eu

 

http://go.uen.org/1Ev (DEQ)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Abandon NCLB for student-centered schools model Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Lynn Stoddard, a retired Utah educator

 

A few people may be aware of what happens when you put a frog in cool water and gradually raise the temperature until the water is boiling. We are told the frog will not try to jump out until it’s too late.

Boiling a frog is symbolic of something that has happened to our system of public education. It has happened so slowly people don’t realize it may be too late to jump out.

As a longtime observer of what has been happening to public education in our country, I have noticed a gradual decline ever since the federal government started to dictate so-called “reforms.” In 1983 the Department of Education produced the “Nation at Risk” report. Then, in 1989, the first President Bush called a summit to reform public education. He invited governors to bring a business executive to the summit to chart a new path. It was a slap in the face to educators who were not invited to participate.

http://go.uen.org/1Ep

 

 

 

 

An Analysis of the Libertas Common Core Lawsuit Utah PoliticoHub commentary by columnist Daniel Burton

 

Lawsuits should never be a first resort.

Unfortunately, all too often lawsuits are the only way policy makers listen. Whether it’s civil rights, healthcare, the environment, or education standards, lawsuits are a part of our national political system, turning to courts to address issues that we have been unable to resolve by political action.

Enter the Libertas Institute, a local libertarian leaning non-profit, which just last week filed a lawsuit challenging the process by which Common Core educational standards were adopted by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) in 2010.

http://go.uen.org/130

 

 

 

 

Charters get bigger bank for the buck

Commentary by Charter Solutions President Lincoln Fillmore

 

A new study shows that taxpayers get a better return on their investment when they fund charter schools than traditional public schools.

“The key finding from the study (entire paper here): We find that…the average charter in this study outperforms TPS (Traditional Public Schools) on both the cost effectiveness and the ROI measures.”

The reason?  Charters on the whole perform about the same as TPS.

http://go.uen.org/1EF

 

 

 

 

Why Some Schools Are Selling All Their iPads Four years after Apple introduced its popular tablet, many districts are switching to laptops.

Atlantic commentary by MEGHAN E. MURPHY, an education journalist who formally wrote for Newsday

 

At Hillsborough Middle School in New Jersey, students watch an online lesson on Roman life in Jennifer Harmsen’s 7th-grade social studies class. (Meghan E. Murphy) For an entire school year Hillsborough, New Jersey, educators undertook an experiment, asking: Is the iPad really the best device for interactive learning?

It’s a question that has been on many minds since 2010, when Apple released the iPad and schools began experimenting with it. The devices came along at a time when many school reformers were advocating to replace textbooks with online curricula and add creative apps to lessons. Some teachers welcomed the shift, which allowed their students to replace old poster-board presentations with narrated screencasts and review teacher-produced video lessons at any time.

Four years later, however, it’s still unclear whether the iPad is the device best suited to the classroom. The market for educational technology is huge and competitive: During 2014, American K-12 schools will spend an estimated $9.94 billion on educational technology, an increase of 2.5 percent over last year, according to Joseph Morris, director of market intelligence at the Center for Digital Education. On average, he said, schools spend about a third of their technology budgets on computer hardware.

Meanwhile, the cost of equipment is going down, software is improving, and state policies are driving expectations for technology access. “It’s really exciting,” said Douglas Levin, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association, “but at the same time it’s really challenging for schools to have confidence when they make a decision.”

http://go.uen.org/1EK

 

 

 

 

How We Can Strengthen Schools Serving Low-Income Children Education Week op-ed by Greg J. Duncan, distinguished professor in the school of education at the University of California, Irvine, & Richard J. Murnane, Thompson professor of education and society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

 

Changes in the American economy pose enormous challenges for America’s public schools and the dream of socioeconomic mobility for low-income families.

By upgrading the skills required by hundreds of middle-class occupations, technology has increased what the nation asks of its schools. At the same time, growing income inequality has affected where families live and how much money they can spend to nurture their children’s abilities. These changes have placed great strains on America’s decentralized approach to public education, particularly in schools serving large numbers of children from low-income families.

An obvious advantage of a higher family income is that it enables parents to spend more money on books, computers, high-quality child care, summer camps, music lessons, private schooling, and other enrichment opportunities for their children.

http://go.uen.org/1EL

 

 

 

Charter school teachers turn to union for help Worcester (MA) Telegram & Gazette commentary by columnist Aaron Nicodemus

 

Eighty teachers and guidance counselors at the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School in Marlboro recently made history when they joined a union — but not the one you might think.

They did not join the Massachusetts Teachers Association, which represents 110,000 public school educators across the commonwealth. Nor did they join the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers, which has 25,000 members.

No, they joined Teamsters Local 170 in Worcester, a 4,000-member union of mostly truck and bus drivers and warehouse workers.

http://go.uen.org/1Es

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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A Summer of Extra Reading and Hope for Fourth Grade Literacy Laws Challenge Third Graders and Schools New York Times

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Educators like to say that third grade is the year when students go from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Yet one afternoon last month, there was Anthony, a 10-year-old whose small frame was highlighted by baggy black cargo shorts, struggling with “Tiny the Snow Dog,” a picture book with only a handful of words per page. “This is Tiny,” he read to his teacher, Holly Bryant. “He is my dog.”

Anthony is one of about 1,900 children from the Charlotte-Mecklenberg School District who failed the standardized reading test given to all North Carolina third graders in the spring. Under a recent law similar to those in more than a dozen states, such students in North Carolina may be required to repeat the grade. The law, being applied this year to third graders for the first time, poses a set of thorny educational challenges.

About 1,500 students — or one of every eight who completed third grade in Charlotte in June — ended up enrolling in literacy school, along with Anthony, who has been attending four days a week for the past six weeks.

Fourteen states in 2012 enacted policies either mandating or strongly recommending that schools hold back students who could not read properly by third grade.

http://go.uen.org/1Eq

 

 

 

 

4th Graders Struggle With Icons, Directions on Computer-Based Tests Education Week

 

Fourth graders had trouble using some of the basic functions on a computer-based writing assessment, including drop-down menus, editing icons, the highlighter tool, and text-to-speech, according to a recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The results, which could be seen as a foreshadowing of the types of problems students might have with computer-based common-core tests in the spring, are part of a larger federal pilot study I wrote about last week. That study found that 4th graders can use computers to type, organize, and compose well enough to be assessed on their writing.

In a 60-student “usability study,” (a precursor to the full pilot) the researchers looked at how well students were able to use particular features on the NAEP computer-based assessment platform.

It’s worth noting that of the students involved in the usability study, 100 percent said they had access to a computer at school, and 93 percent said they had access at home.

http://go.uen.org/1EG

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/1EH (NAEP)

 

 

 

Colbert v. Stewart: The Celebrity Death Match Over School Reform Comedy Central’s fake newscasters have an outsized influence on public opinion and seemingly different takes on hotly-debated topics like teacher tenure laws and the Common Core standards Time

 

When Stephen Colbert invited newcaster-turned-education-reformer Campbell Brown on his show last night, he unwittingly unleashed a firestorm of controversy and, some say, distanced him from his liberal brother-in-fake-news, and fellow Viacom employee, Jon Stewart.

Several hundred of Colbert’s leftwing fans protested outside of his Manhattan studio before the taping, and thousands more took to the blogosphere, decrying Brown as an elitist union-buster and accusing Colbert of being “a sell out like the rest of them.”

“Maybe Colbert ought to watch the Jon Stewart show to learn about education issues!” wrote one commenter. “How idiotic of Colbert – IDIOTIC.”

In an era where liberals find themselves at each other’s throats over nearly every issue related to school reform—from charter schools to teacher tenure laws to the roll-out of the Common Core reading and math standards adopted by most states—advocates on both sides of the debate have been paying close attention to people like Colbert and Stewart, who have an outsized influence on liberal public opinion.

http://go.uen.org/1Er

 

 

 

 

Chas Roemer blames Gov. Bobby Jindal for education ‘fiasco’

Takes some blame for Common Core woes

Shreveport (LA) Times

 

BATON ROUGE — While blaming Gov. Bobby Jindal for the current “fiasco” over adopting a test to assess student learning this year, the head of the state’s top public school board says it and the State Department of Education bear some of the responsibility for concerns over Common Core.

The governor is trying to ride a growing grassroots wave of opposition and is fighting to kill Common Core by prohibiting the state department and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education from administering a test based on the standards. That effort has stymied progress toward developing an assessment test for this school year.

BESE President Chas Roemer said Monday the governor is using a bureaucratic purchasing process to try to shape educational policy and “The fiasco we’re going through right now is a fiasco created by one person.”

http://go.uen.org/1EI

 

 

 

 

Washoe superintendent returning, school board voids actions Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal

 

Superintendent Pedro Martinez said Thursday he will return to work today on the heels of Washoe County School Board Trustees announcing that his ousting last week is void.

The news came in a series of surprise announcements Thursday.

First, the school board’s outside legal counsel said in a letter to Martinez’s attorney the events of July 22, when six out of seven trustees unexpectedly announced Martinez was relieved of his duties, were now void and that the superintendent should return to work.

In response, Martinez said Thursday evening he would return to work, but that his lawsuits against the district and the school board would move forward.

The bizarre drama between Martinez and the school board has unfolded less than two weeks before the start of a new school year.

http://go.uen.org/1EJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

August 7-8:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

 

 

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

 

 

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