Education News Roundup: Aug. 12, 2014

"back to school" by Emma_Brown/CC/flickr

“back to school” by Emma_Brown/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

Ogden District working with sophomores to boost high school graduation rates.

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

YouthBuild program at the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College aims to help those who didn’t graduate.

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

WaPo profiles form Utah Teacher of the Year and now NEA President Lily Eskelsen García.

http://go.uen.org/1Hw (WaPo)

How do you feel about teacher tenure?

http://go.uen.org/1HC (HuffPo)

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Sophomore boot camp aims to boost high school graduation rates

 

New Hildale school brings excitement in education back to community

 

Youthbuild grant fuels construction tech training

 

#SyracuseStrong: Social media helps high school students grieve

 

Students, administrators excited for first day of new school year

 

Former Bus Driver Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 2 Girls To Stand Trial

 

Fire at West Clinton Elementary playground

 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Send your kids back to school with good manners

 

Schools just a product of bully culture

 

Olsen a great principal, friend

 

33 states don’t protect LGBT students in anti-bullying laws

 

Why Is the FBI Investigating Charter Schools Run by a Secretive Islamic Movement?

Across the U.S., followers of a Turkish cleric are operating 120 public schools. Now, several of them are under legal scrutiny—for reasons that have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the charter school movement itself.

 

The Underchallenged ‘Lazy Teenager’

Plenty of time to play videogames but not for school work. Here’s how to help the ‘lost boys.’

 

What Robin Williams Taught Us About Teaching

 

 

 

NATION

 

Lunch lady rises to teachers union leader and takes on all comers, bluntly

 

Confused About Where To Stand On Teacher Tenure? So Is The Rest Of America

 

Multigenerational Programs Aim to Break Poverty Cycle Dual strategy is attracting interest

 

Under Fire, College Board to ‘Clarify’ New U.S. History Framework

 

Feds: Kids ‘entitled’ to U.S. education, no matter immigration status

 

Educators oppose Walker’s call to dump Common Core

 

Brown administration opposes $9-billion schools bond

 

See which states spend the most — and the least — on K-12 education and the test scores that result

 

Bondage? Calif. parents rip explicit sex-ed book

 

Study: Hand sanitizers not shown to cut school absences

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Sophomore boot camp aims to boost high school graduation rates

 

OGDEN — Some new high school students in Ogden are beginning the school year with boot camp. It’s designed to make sure these new recruits graduate.

Sophomore boot camp is a three-day course with a serious purpose: get sophomores on track so they’ll finish high school. It’s a kinder, gentler program than military boot camp.

“They’re kind, and they want you to learn,” one sophomore said of those who run the program.

Participants learn how to access things like the online grading system, find their lockers, and learn the combinations.

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

 

 

 

New Hildale school brings excitement in education back to community

 

HILDALE – After more than a decade of no public education in Hildale, the new K-12 Water Canyon School welcomed nearly 170 students Monday morning for the first day of school.

Because of religious politics under the leadership of Warren Jeffs, former Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prophet, the Washington County School District was asked to leave 13 years ago.

Craig Hammer, Washington County School District physical facilities executive director, said he was pleased to see the school return to Hildale – this time under a new name, which was chosen by the community for the Water Canyon back drop in the red mountains behind the school.

http://go.uen.org/1Hn (SGS)

 

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

 

 

 

Youthbuild grant fuels construction tech training

 

It can be difficult to land a good job — especially if you didn’t finish high school.

Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College has been granted more than $1 million to help out-of-school youth finish their secondary education, and earn a Construction Technology 1 certificate.

OWATC’s YouthBuild program is receiving $1.064 million from the Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. The funding is enough to train 70 at-risk youth each year, for three years.

“It’s a 570-hour course that they do here at OWATC,” said Julia Branch, YouthBuild coordinator.

In nine months, students can earn a GED and learn basic construction skills, including electrical, framing, roofing, drafting, and cabinetry.

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

 

 

 

#SyracuseStrong: Social media helps high school students grieve

 

Syracuse high school students and other community members have taken to social media after experiencing the losses of four students in a three-week time period, posting photos and messages of remembrance, love and hope.

The hashtag #SyracuseStrong will forever serve as a memorial of sorts for the four students. Clinton teens Daulton and Jaxon Whatcott died in a single-engine plane crash July 20 in Nevada. Ariah Bosworth, who would have been a junior at Syracuse High this upcoming school year, passed away July 23, while Marli Hamblin died Sunday afternoon from injuries received after getting ran over in her driveway while sunbathing.

Posting to social media proved to be a good way to support and uplift each other as students grieved.

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

 

 

 

 

Students, administrators excited for first day of new school year

 

ST. GEORGE – Monday marked the start of a new school year, and principals, teachers and students alike appeared to be excited to be back in the classroom.

http://go.uen.org/1Ho (SGS)

 

 

 

 

Former Bus Driver Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 2 Girls To Stand Trial

 

A judge ruled Monday there was enough evidence to send a former Canyons School District bus driver to trial on charges that he sexually assaulted two five-year-old girls.

John Carrell, 56, sat motionless in a yellow jump suit as the judge went through the 34 counts against him.

According to prosecutors, Carrell inappropriately touched the two special needs girls during the months of February, March and April as he would buckle and unbuckle them into their seats. During Carrell’s preliminary hearing last month, prosecutors showed video footage from different cameras in the bus.

Prosecutors charged Carrell with 23 counts for one victim and 11 counts on the second victim.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/1Hr (KTVX)

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Fire at West Clinton Elementary playground

 

Two fires Monday at a Davis County elementary school playground and baseball field appear to have been started deliberately.

Investigators found evidence of incendiary materials at the playground of West Clinton Elementary School, said Clinton Fire Chief Dave Olsen. The fire broke out about 3 p.m. at the school, 2826 W. 1800 North, engulfing the playground equipment and causing about $75,000 in damage, the school district estimated.

At about the same time, someone set fire to paper products in a girls’ bathroom at a nearby softball diamond, Olsen said. Investigators believe the two fires are related.

No injuries were reported at either fire.

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Send your kids back to school with good manners (St. George) Spectrum commentary by Kathleen Riggs, Utah State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Professor for Iron County

 

What would the world be like if everyone just did as they pleased whenever they wanted without any regard to the feelings of others?

For members of the human race to socialize, communicate effectively, maintain order and live together in communities, we must establish a set of good manners and social etiquette. This is the only way we can foster positive social interactions and identify a sense of normal, acceptable behavior. Otherwise, we might live in a constant state of chaos, not ever knowing what type of behavior will present itself when dealing with another person.

Manners are not the invention of current society. In fact, they are thousands of years old and documented in various writings. Most early manners were designed for use by the upper class.

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

 

 

 

Schools just a product of bully culture

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Miriam Bugden

 

Adults worry, discuss and employ a variety of programs to address problems of bullying in our youth. A recent letter discussed bullying in public schools (“Don’t ignore bullying,” August 9).

As an educator who has witnessed intimidation in both private religious and public schools, I believe that to effectively address this issue we must understand that we are a culture of aggressors and intimidators. Adults model offensive behaviors daily. Principals, staff, teachers, parents, siblings and friends barrage youth with example of cruelty, name-calling, and subjugation.

These behaviors are not relegated to public schools, but pervade our national foreign policies, are firmly imbedded in many adult conversations, and provide the essence for racial, ethnic, gender, aging, and religious discrimination.

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

 

 

 

 

Olsen a great principal, friend

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Stuart W. Howell

 

I am writing to pay homage to my friend and mentor, Logan High School Principal Rulon Olsen. I think often of Rulon and his passing is a gentle reminder of just how much he influenced me.

You see, “RO” hired me as a history teacher and debate coach in 1979; later he assigned me to coach baseball and assist in football.

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

 

 

 

33 states don’t protect LGBT students in anti-bullying laws Vox commentary by columnist German Lopez

 

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students often face a lot of turmoil and outright discrimination in high school. It is still legal in many parts of the country for school staff to discriminate against LGBT students, and anti-LGBT bullying is still very common in American schools. This discrimination is one reason for the considerably higher suicide rates among LGBT youth.

Some LGBT groups, led by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), are trying to do something about the discrimination. By pushing for state and federal laws that target bullying and discrimination in schools — and against laws that don’t allow school staff to even discuss LGBT issues — advocates hope to reduce decades of bullying.

Some of that push is taking place at the state level, where LGBT advocates are asking legislators to add protections for LGBT students to existing anti-bullying laws and create new protections through new non-discrimination statutes. At the federal level, LGBT groups and other anti-bullying advocates are pushing for the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

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

 

 

 

 

Why Is the FBI Investigating Charter Schools Run by a Secretive Islamic Movement?

Across the U.S., followers of a Turkish cleric are operating 120 public schools. Now, several of them are under legal scrutiny—for reasons that have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the charter school movement itself.

Atlantic commentary by SCOTT BEAUCHAMP, a writer based in Brooklyn

 

It reads like something out of a John Le Carre novel: The charismatic Sunni imam Fethullah Gülen, leader of a politically powerful Turkish religious movement likened by The Guardian to an “Islamic Opus Dei,” occasionally webcasts sermons from self-imposed exile in the Poconos while his organization quickly grows to head the largest chain of charter schools in America. It might sound quite foreboding—and it should, but not for the reasons you might think.

You can be excused if you’ve never heard of Fethullah Gülen or his eponymous movement. He isn’t known for his openness, despite the size of his organization, which is rumored to have between 1 and 8 million adherents. It’s difficult to estimate the depth of its bench, however, without an official roster of membership. Known informally in Turkey as Hizmet, or “the service”, the Gülen movement prides itself on being a pacifist, internationalist, modern, and moderate alternative to more extreme derivations of Sunni Islam. The group does emphasize the importance of interfaith dialogue, education, and a kind of cosmopolitanism. One prominent sociologist described it as “the world’s most global movement.”

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

 

 

 

The Underchallenged ‘Lazy Teenager’

Plenty of time to play videogames but not for school work. Here’s how to help the ‘lost boys.’

Wall Street Journal op-ed by ADAM PRICE, a psychologist with a practice in New York City and New Jersey

 

For too many teenagers, back to school means back to pressure. But the media coverage tends to focus on the problems of a super-achieving academic elite—the students enrolled in multiple Advanced Placement courses, whose parents have a Harvard-or-bust mentality. Yet there is another, often overlooked class of children—chiefly teenage boys, the ones that parents perennially despair of as “lazy” or mysteriously and obstinately unmotivated.

They are the ones who make time for television, videogames, social media and friends, but not for school. Many do the minimum required to get by, flying under the radar of official “trouble” while causing their parents plenty of grief and consternation.

My psychology practice is filled with middle- and high-school-age boys who cannot seem to achieve their “potential.” I am also seeing more and more college students, home for a year because when the parents, tutors, coaches and, yes, therapists were no longer around, they failed.

Some call them the lost boys.

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

 

 

 

 

What Robin Williams Taught Us About Teaching NPR commentary by columnist ANYA KAMENETZ

 

Amid all the remembrances today of Robin Williams and the tributes to his many famous roles, among the most commonly invoked are not one, but two memorable portrayals of great teaching.

The phrase “Oh Captain, my Captain” is echoing across Twitter, a line from 1989’s Dead Poets Society. In this role, Williams turns the stuffy conformity of a 1950s boarding school inside out. As a young, handsome, floppy-haired English teacher with the highly apropos name of John Keating, Williams makes the classroom a stage, pulling out all the stops to get his students excited about the wonders of poetry, and, by extension, life.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Lunch lady rises to teachers union leader and takes on all comers, bluntly Washington Post

 

She began her career in a school cafeteria, as a lunch lady. In three weeks, she will take over as head of the nation’s largest labor union, representing 3 million educators.

Lily Eskelsen García, 59, a telegenic, guitar-slinging firebrand, has made her unlikely rise to the top of the National Education Association as the union faces the most daunting political challenges in its 157-year history. She is already fighting back with blunt talk, urging teachers nationwide to revolt against “stupid” education reforms and telling politicians to leave teaching to the professionals.

Her first priority: Putting the brakes on standardized testing, an issue she believes will resonate not only with her members but also with parents — important potential allies for the political clashes she sees ahead. García believes the country is in the grip of testing mania, the quest for high scores killing joy, narrowing curriculums and perverting the learning process.

“I’ll be damned if I will sit quietly and play nice and say diplomatic things about something that has corrupted the profession I love,” García said.

Stepping in as the first new president in six years, García is taking over a union that is at war with old antagonists and increasingly sparring with its longtime allies.

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

 

 

 

 

Confused About Where To Stand On Teacher Tenure? So Is The Rest Of America Huffington Post

 

From New York to California, teacher tenure has been under attack across the nation this summer.

In June, a judge in California struck down the state’s teacher tenure laws — which give educators increased job security — saying they potentially interfere with children’s right to a basic education. One month later, an advocacy group led by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown filed a lawsuit similarly trying to roll back teacher job protections in New York. In Kansas, the state’s teachers’ union recently filed a lawsuit to fight new legislation that ends due process rights for teachers facing dismissal.

But as this issue currently plays out in courts, it’s hard to know where the general public stands.

In collaboration with YouGov, The Huffington Post conducted a poll last week on Americans’ views about teachers unions and teacher tenure. The results were mixed, and there does not seem to be overwhelming support for teacher job protections or opposition to them.

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

 

 

 

Multigenerational Programs Aim to Break Poverty Cycle Dual strategy is attracting interest Education Week

 

Not much about public education has gone as advertised for Rebecca Goodman or her family.

The Tulsa, Okla., mother graduated second in her small-town high school class of 16, but got no academic counseling and saw little use for college. “I considered nursing, but they said I’d have to take anatomy and physiology and microbiology, and I said uh-uh. I just wanted to get the easiest two-year degree I could,” she said. “I had no desire to go to school at all; I just wanted to be a mom.”

Seven years of Ms. Goodman working part-time as a secretary for her church while juggling care of her four children wasn’t enough to keep her family financially afloat—especially after her husband had to take a job out of his own field of training. That’s why she’s become one of more than 200 parents in CareerAdvance Tulsa, an initiative of Community Action Project of Tulsa County, or CAP Tulsa, connected with the city’s Head Start and state early-child-care systems that is intended to help parents improve their own educations while also supporting their children’s.

It’s part of rising national interest in multigenerational approaches to reduce poverty and improve student achievement, based on mounting evidence that parents’ and children’s educational and life trajectories are inextricably linked.

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

 

 

 

 

Under Fire, College Board to ‘Clarify’ New U.S. History Framework Education Week

 

Stung by criticism that its new Advanced Placement U.S. history framework presents a slanted view of events, the College Board has taken the unusual step of releasing a practice exam in the subject. It also announced that it will “clarify” aspects of the framework that have prompted criticism from conservative activists.

In a letter released today, College Board President David Coleman said that he did not work on the framework for AP U.S. history, widely known as APUSH, since it had already been developed when he arrived in October 2012. But he added that he listened “with deep concern” to the issues critics were raising with it.

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

 

 

 

 

Feds: Kids ‘entitled’ to U.S. education, no matter immigration status Washington Times

 

The Department of Education said in a recently released fact sheet that it doesn’t matter if children are illegally in the country — they’re entitled to the same taxpayer-funded public education as everyone else.

The declaration comes as states and localities around the nation have sought clarification from the federal agency about what to do with the scores of illegal immigrant youths who’ve crossed the border in recent months, insofar as schooling goes.

“All children in the United States are entitled to equal access to a public elementary and secondary education, regardless of their or their parents’ actual or perceived national origin, citizenship or immigration status,” the fact sheet states. “This includes recently arrived unaccompanied children who are in immigration proceedings while residing in local communities with a parent, family member or other appropriate adult sponsor.”

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

 

A copy of the guidance letter

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

 

 

 

 

Educators oppose Walker’s call to dump Common Core Green Bay (WI) Press Gazette

 

Officials in some Wisconsin school districts say they oppose Gov. Scott Walker’s recent call to abandon Common Core curriculum standards because doing so would cost them time and money.

Walker has asked the Wisconsin Legislature to pass a bill in January to repeal Common Core State Standards and replace it with standards set by the public.

Green Bay area school district administrators said they have invested a few years designing curriculum and have bought materials to meet the new standards. They plan to move forward despite the governor’s call.

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

 

 

 

 

Brown administration opposes $9-billion schools bond Los Angeles Times

 

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration came out Monday against a $9-billion school-facilities bond proposed by California lawmakers for the November statewide ballot.

As a result, the bill proposing the bond measure was put on the suspense file for at least a week by Sen. Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan (D-Alamo) told the committee that it has been too long since a statewide school bond measure was approved in 2006 and that school facilities are deteriorating. Responding to proposals to delay the bond, Buchanan said the bond measure may not be possible for the November 2016 ballot because there are talks about putting a measure on that ballot that would extend the Proposition 30 tax increases approved in 2012. She has been in discussions in paring the proposed school bond back in half, an aide said.

However, Brown’s Department of Finance urged the panel not to go forward with AB 2235.

“It creates new General Fund debt service costs at a time when the Administration is focused on paying down existing debt,” H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the Finance Department, said in a statement.

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

 

 

 

 

See which states spend the most — and the least — on K-12 education and the test scores that result Birmingham (AL) News

 

Alabama ranks 42nd in the nation when it comes to per-pupil spending on public K-12 education, according to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

On average, Alabama public schools spend $8,803 per student during the 2013 school year, the NCES reports.

Meanwhile, the state’s eighth graders rank 50th in the nation for math with 20 percent of students scoring at or above proficient on the National Assessment Progress.

The same students ranked 42nd in the nation for reading with 25 percent scoring at or above proficient.

Of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense school jurisdiction, Utah spent the least at $6,575 per pupil.

Despite its low spending, Utah ranked 21st in the nation for eighth-grade math and eighth in the nation for eighth-grade reading on the NAEP.

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

 

 

 

Bondage? Calif. parents rip explicit sex-ed book USA Today

 

A sex-ed textbook is the root of controversy in a California school district, where parents are concerned about how the book addresses bondage and sexual fantasies.

The book, Your Health Today, has been put on hold in Fremont (Calif.) Unified School District. It was assigned as a ninth-grade health textbook. But more than 2,000 parents and residents signed a petition calling for the book to be removed.

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

 

 

 

 

Study: Hand sanitizers not shown to cut school absences USA Today

 

Putting alcohol-based hand sanitizers in classrooms in the hopes of reducing school absences due to illness may not be worth the expense in high-income countries where clean water for washing hands is readily available, a study says.

It finds that adding the sanitizers to school-age kids’ usual hand hygiene routine — washing with soap and water — did not reduce illness-related absences.

The findings, reported in this week’s PLOS Medicine, do not apply to hospitals and health care facilities or in controlling the spread of gastrointestinal illness where hand sanitizers remain a vital component of infection control, says lead study author Patricia Priest of New Zealand’s University of Otago, in Dunedin, in an e-mail.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/1HH (PLoS Medicine)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 14:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

9 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

August 18:

Utah 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/226553.html

 

 

August 26:

Education Task Force meeting

9 a.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00003983.htm

 

 

September 4-5:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

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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