Education News Roundup: Oct. 8, 2014

Utah Core Standards Fact vs. Fiction ImageEducation News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

Utah Attorney General concludes Utah controls its education standards.

http://go.uen.org/22o (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/22r (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/22F (OSE)

and http://go.uen.org/22H (PDH)

and http://go.uen.org/22K (KUTV)

and http://go.uen.org/22L (KNRS)

and http://go.uen.org/22M (KNRS)

or a copy of the AG’s analysis

http://go.uen.org/22p (USBE)

or USBE’s statement

http://go.uen.org/22q (USBE)

A larger and more diverse group of Utah students took AP exams this year and the passing rate remained steady.

http://go.uen.org/22P (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/230 (KSTU)

and http://go.uen.org/22Q (Ed Week)

The U’s law school looks at the school-to-prison pipeline in Utah.

http://go.uen.org/22D (SLT)

or a copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/22E (UofU)

New report shows superintendents are standing by the Common Core.

http://go.uen.org/22x (WaPo)

and http://go.uen.org/22z (Ed Week)

or a copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/22y (Center for Education Policy)

Colleges and universities in Washington back Common Core tests by agreeing to drop remedial requirements for those who pass them.

http://go.uen.org/22V (Seattle Times)

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

TODAY’S HEADLINES

————————————————————

 

 

UTAH

 

Utah A.G.: Common Core doesn’t cede school control to feds Education » Reyes says the state still sets its standards and curriculum; some critics aren’t convinced.

 

More Utah students take AP tests; pass rate stays the same

 

Report: 1 in 3 Utah inmates is a high school dropout

 

Exclusive Poll: Utahns Back Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative

 

Disgraced lunch lady ‘Ms. Shirley’ speaks out publicly

 

Alpine School District teachers in need receive $3500 in grants

 

Teens going back to school: CDC says get them vaccinated against HPV

 

Utah State University program encourages kids to eat more produce, waste less

 

 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Criticizing charter schools doesn’t tell the whole story

 

Utah Republicans Support Fight Against Feds Over Public Lands

 

Common Core being used to beat down schools

 

Chronic Absenteeism Can Devastate K-12 Learning

 

The Level Playing Field

An age-old education dilemma has a digital face: Hook students with an easy read, or make them sweat?

 

 

 

 

NATION

 

School superintendents standing by Common Core State Standards

 

In protest against Common Core, Portland School Board will consider refusing to set yearly achievement goals

 

Wyoming Attorney General Says Parents Can’t Opt Children Out of Testing

 

Common Core tests now a ticket out of college remedial classes

 

Rand Paul takes veiled swipe at Jeb Bush over Common Core

 

Why Schools Should Screen Their Students’ Mental Health Two new reports argue for in-school mental health screenings

 

Microsoft follows Google to education sector with Office 365 app for teachers

 

Albuquerque schools seeking corporate sponsor for new stadium

 

Pritzker-led group sinks $16.9 million into pre-K for poor Chicago kids

 

California school voucher backer to head U.S. education reform group

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

UTAH NEWS

————————————————————

 

Utah A.G.: Common Core doesn’t cede school control to feds Education » Reyes says the state still sets its standards and curriculum; some critics aren’t convinced.

 

The state school board acted within its legal authority in adopting the Common Core, and Utah maintains control of what and how its children are taught.

That was the legal opinion of Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who presented findings Tuesday of his office’s review of the state’s participation in the Common Core standards.

Reyes’ review came at the request of Gov. Gary Herbert, who in July said he hoped to settle “once and for all” whether Utah had ceded educational authority by implementing educational benchmarks in common with other states.

“This is a first step, it’s not the only step,” Herbert said Tuesday. “We’ll continue to work together over the next couple of months to help resolve what has become a contentious issue.”

http://go.uen.org/22o (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/22r (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/22F (OSE)

 

http://go.uen.org/22H (PDH)

 

http://go.uen.org/22K (KUTV)

 

http://go.uen.org/22L (KNRS)

 

http://go.uen.org/22M (KNRS)

 

A copy of the AG’s analysis

http://go.uen.org/22p (USBE)

 

USBE’s statement

http://go.uen.org/22q (USBE)

 

 

 

 

More Utah students take AP tests; pass rate stays the same

 

A larger and more diverse group of Utah public school students took and passed Advanced Placement exams in 2014, according to data released Wednesday.

A total of 34,029 exams were taken by 21,600 students, an increase of 2.4 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively, according to College Board, a private organization that administers the AP program.

And most Utah students passed their tests. Of all tests taken, 67 percent earned a score of 3, 4 or 5 — the scores required to earn college credit — matching the statewide success rate from 2013.

Nationally, 57 percent of AP test takers earned a score of 3 or higher.

http://go.uen.org/22P (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/230 (KSTU)

 

http://go.uen.org/22Q (Ed Week)

 

 

 

Report: 1 in 3 Utah inmates is a high school dropout

 

The more high school dropouts a state has, likely the more convicts in its prisons, according to a review from University of Utah law students.

And minority students or those whose first language isn’t English are more likely to quit before graduating.

But the trend could reverse if schools rework their discipline policies, the students found.

“Our graduation rates are not stellar,” said law professor Emily Chiang, who oversaw the project. “It shows that there is room for improvement, especially for our most vulnerable students.”

In 2013, one in five Utah students left high school before graduating. But for students learning English as a second language, the rate spikes to just over 50 percent.

The phenomenon is worse in the state’s minority communities. Almost two in five American Indians dropped out. Latinos and blacks dropped out at a rate of about 30 percent.

The report links those students to the state’s prison population, noting that one in three inmates at the Utah State Prison is a high school dropout.

http://go.uen.org/22D (SLT)

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/22E (UofU)

 

 

 

Exclusive Poll: Utahns Back Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative

 

60% of Utahns say they support Rep. Rob Bishop’s effort to preserve some public lands while promoting energy development on others.

Our latest UtahPolicy.com poll conducted by Dan Jones and Associates finds 60% of Utahns favor Rep. Rob Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative, which would consolodate some school trust lands in energy rich areas while preserving other land in more pristine locations. The plan also would speed up energy development in the Uintah Basin and other regions.

http://go.uen.org/22t (UP)

 

 

 

 

Disgraced lunch lady ‘Ms. Shirley’ speaks out publicly

 

Shirley Canham, the former lunch room manager at Uintah Elementary who was blamed for a debacle that made national news, has decided to step into the spotlight.

On Tuesday, she joined parents who went to the Salt Lake City School Board demanding answers and transparency about the incident.

“They set out to find a scapegoat that would divert attention from the misdeeds of administrators,” parent Erica Lukes said of the way district administrators and board members treated Shirley.

“I was set up in a way,” said Shirley, who said she made mistakes but thinks administrators have to admit they had a hand in the incident too. School board members heard comments from Lukes and one other parent who asked the board members to be transparent and take responsibility for what happened. The board members and Superintendent McKell Withers did not respond.

http://go.uen.org/22J (KUTV)

 

 

 

Alpine School District teachers in need receive $3500 in grants

 

Two teachers in the Alpine School district recently received a total of $3,500 in grant money for classroom technology and art resources. Awarded by 100% for Kids, a Utah Credit Union Education Foundation, the grants will help teachers purchase two specifically-requested items: Chromebooks and a pugmill.

For the past 11 years, Lynette Kern has been a Special Education Resource Teacher to students in grades K-6 at Geneva Elementary. Earlier this summer, she submitted a grant proposal to 100% for Kids asking for funds for Chromebooks. Last month, she received $2,500, which will translate into about seven to 10 Chromebooks.

http://go.uen.org/22G (PDH)

 

 

 

 

Utah State University program encourages kids to eat more produce, waste less

 

Students at Ellis Elementary are dedicated to defeating the evil Vegetable Annihilation Team by consuming their fruits and vegetables in a new program developed by a graduate program at Utah State University. The FIT Game was introduced to the students on Tuesday and gave them the narrative of four heroes who need the students’ help to fuel their quest to defeat VAT.

http://go.uen.org/22I (LHJ)

 

 

 

 

Teens going back to school: CDC says get them vaccinated against HPV

 

SALT LAKE CITY – Most kids are back to school, but many here in Utah aren’t fully vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control is now urging all parents to get their pre-teens vaccinated against HPV.

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

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

OPINION & COMMENTARY

————————————————————

 

Criticizing charter schools doesn’t tell the whole story Deseret News editorial

 

Former President Bill Clinton caught the attention of educators and the school-choice movement recently when he said charter schools have fallen short of their promise. But while he struck the right note on the need for accountability, he seemed to dwell on only part of the story.

“If you’re going to get into education,” Clinton said, “I think it’s really important that you invest in what works.”

That’s true, but it must apply to education across the board. Successful schools need to learn from those that perform best, whether they be charters, private schools or traditional public schools. Too many political barriers stand in the way of a sincere search for the best among these offerings.

http://go.uen.org/22v

 

 

 

Utah Republicans Support Fight Against Feds Over Public Lands Utah Policy commentary by columnist Bob Bernick

 

Ken Ivory, go crazy.

Yes, it’s a green light for Utah lawmakers who are pressing hard against the federal government, attempting to get control of millions of acres of federal BLM and forest lands, a new UtahPolicy poll conducted by Dan Jones & Associates shows.

And for GOP state House and Senate members, led by the irascible Ivory, R-West Jordan, this is very good news.

Not only do most Utahns want the state to take over the lands, they also approve of the state suing the federal government to get those lands.

And when you break out respondents by political party, well, Republicans in the Legislature and GOP Gov. Gary Herbert have nothing to worry about.

http://go.uen.org/22s

 

 

 

 

Common Core being used to beat down schools Orlando (FL) Sentinel commentary by columnist Scott Maxwell

 

Get ready, parents. There’s a good chance you will soon be told your schools stink.

Almost all of them. Even the best ones.

We’re talking rampant F- and D-rated schools throughout the state, leaving you with the impression that public education in Florida is total failure.

That’s what’s happening in Utah under a new Common Core-based testing system — which Florida has chosen to follow.

Just last month, Utah warned that a “majority of schools” could end up D- or F- rated … even though the state believes its schools are still strong.

Think about the absurdity of that for a moment — a state claiming its schools are good while labeling them as failures.

Now realize this model may be coming here.

http://go.uen.org/22Y

 

 

 

Chronic Absenteeism Can Devastate K-12 Learning Education Week op-ed by By Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works, John Gomperts, president and CEO of the Washington-based America’s Promise Alliance, & Leslie Boissiere, chief operating officer of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

 

Warning systems exist to keep us out of harm’s way. The car’s dashboard light warns of low tire pressure; the urgent weather bulletin advises us to evacuate ahead of a storm. We are conditioned to take these warnings seriously and act upon them.

Now, just weeks into the new school year, another warning system is sending a message to parents and educators: the early signs of chronically absent students.

Half of all students who miss two to four days of school in the first month will go on to miss nearly a month of school in excused or unexcused absences, according to a study released in July by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium.

The study examined chronic absence and found a striking pattern. Remarkably, nine out of 10 students who missed five or more days in the first month went on to be chronically absent—defined as missing 10 percent of the school year in excused and unexcused absences—for the year.

So, even though it’s only October, we already know which students are most at risk.

http://go.uen.org/22R

 

 

 

 

The Level Playing Field

An age-old education dilemma has a digital face: Hook students with an easy read, or make them sweat?

Slate commentary by Annie Murphy Paul, author of the forthcoming book Brilliant: The Science of How We Get Smarter

 

“A man who traveled from Liberia to visit family members in Texas tested positive for Ebola on Tuesday, marking the outbreak’s first diagnosis outside of Africa, health officials said.”

That’s a pretty standard lead-in for a news story, pitched at the level of a newspaper-reading adult. But it’s a long, rather complex sentence, and a younger reader would likely find it easier to digest if it were broken into two parts. The lead would then start off: “A man who traveled from Liberia to visit family members in Texas tested positive for Ebola on Tuesday.”

A novice reader might still find it challenging to keep the beginning of this sentence in mind while reading to its end, so the lead could be simplified yet further: “A man in Texas has tested positive for Ebola.”

Of course, a less adept reader may not know what “tested positive” means, nor what “Ebola” is. So: “A man in Texas has a deadly disease called Ebola.”

This example of leveling—adjusting the difficulty of text to suit the ability of the reader—comes courtesy of Newsela, an online reading program for students in third grade through high school that offers stories about current events “written to multiple levels of complexity.” Although Newsela went live less than 18 months ago, the notion of leveling students’ reading material goes back more than six decades. Today, technology is changing the nature of this long-established pedagogical practice. At the same time, proponents of the Common Core are raising new questions about the educational value of leveling, seconding the standards’ emphasis on having all students grapple with the same “complex texts.”

http://go.uen.org/22U

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————-

NATIONAL NEWS

————————————————————-

 

School superintendents standing by Common Core State Standards Washington Post

 

A majority of school officials responsible for implementing the Common Core State Standards say the new national academic benchmarks are more rigorous than their previous state standards and will improve the skills of students, according to a new national survey released Wednesday.

But a most of those same school leaders said it is a major challenge to find the funding they need to implement the standards properly and said there is not enough time to cement changes related to the Common Core before new tests are used to evaluate students, teachers and schools.

The Center for Education Policy, a non-partisan think tank at George Washington University, based its survey findings on the responses of leaders in 211 of the nation’s school districts. The survey’s authors weighted the responses to create a nationally representative sample.

http://go.uen.org/22x

 

http://go.uen.org/22z (Ed Week)

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/22y (Center for Education Policy)

 

 

 

 

In protest against Common Core, Portland School Board will consider refusing to set yearly achievement goals

(Portland) Oregonian

 

A month after asking the state to delay using Common Core-aligned state test results to grade schools, the Portland School Board appears ready to back that effort up with a refusal to set yearly achievement targets in three subjects linked to the new test.

The board is set to vote next week upon the district’s proposed yearly goals for student achievement – which conspicuously don’t include targets for third grade reading, fifth-grade math and eighth-grade math.

Oregon law requires school districts to file the yearly “achievement compacts” with the Oregon Education Investment Board, spelling out the district’s goals in areas such as student attendance, graduation rates, and state test pass rates. But during a meeting Monday night, the district committee charged with setting yearly targets declined to address the three subject areas linked to the state’s new Smarter Balanced Test, which is launching this year.

The test, which students will take in the spring, replaces the longstanding Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. It is aligned with the more rigorous Common Core State Standards, a controversial new set of criteria for measuring student achievement.

The committee’s recommendations echo the school board’s decision in July to ask state and federal officials to wait a year before grading school districts based on their students’ performance on the new test. Committee members argued the state hasn’t provided enough basic information about the test – how high students must score to pass, for example — to set a goal for student learning.

http://go.uen.org/22A

 

 

 

 

Wyoming Attorney General Says Parents Can’t Opt Children Out of Testing Education Week

 

An opinion issued by the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office bars parents from requesting that their children skip state tests.

The ruling, which was issued Aug. 27, but is making news this week, states that because the State Board of Education requires all school districts to assess students, “districts may not allow students or their parents to opt them out of the assessments provided by law.”

In the opinion, Attorney General Peter K. Michael writes that the Wyoming Education Accountability Act, which was adopted in 2011, authorizes the state board to set up an assessment system requiring districts to administer tests to students. However, the ruling does not identify penalties for students who opt out of state tests.

Richard Crandall, the former director of the state’s Department of Education, asked the attorney general to offer a legal opinion about parents’ rights to opt out of state testing in April. He wrote that Wyoming, much like other states across the nation, had “anecdotally” experienced an increase in the number of students opting out of state and local assessments.

http://go.uen.org/22S

 

http://go.uen.org/22T (AP via Casper Star-Tribune)

 

 

 

 

Common Core tests now a ticket out of college remedial classes Seattle Times

 

A new agreement among the state’s public colleges will raise the value of a couple of Washington’s high-school exams.

The new math and reading exams, which are called Smarter Balanced and will be given to all Washington 11th-graders this spring, will factor not just into whether students graduate, but whether they need to take remedial classes in college.

The new tests are designed to measure whether 11th graders are on track to meeting the new Common Core state standards — a set of learning goals that most states are starting to use. Students who score at the top two levels will be placed directly into college-level math and English when they enter any Washington public two- or four-year college.

That’s a departure from what has happened in the past, and it sends a message that the state’s public colleges and universities support both the Common Core and the assessments that go along with them.

http://go.uen.org/22V

 

 

 

Rand Paul takes veiled swipe at Jeb Bush over Common Core CNN

 

Sen. Rand Paul appears to be warning former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and other potential 2016 candidates that support for Common Core would be a losing position in the GOP presidential contest.

“If there’s a Republican candidate out there — let’s just say there’s a hypothetical one that’s for Common Core. I’m saying that that hypothetical candidate that’s for Common Core probably doesn’t have much chance of winning in a Republican primary,” the Kentucky Republican told Breitbart.com.

His comments, published Monday, come from an interview last week while Paul was in North Carolina campaigning for Senate hopeful Thom Tillis and Rep. Walter Jones.

Paul didn’t mention Bush or any other potential 2016 candidate by name, but the former Florida governor has been a vocal backer of Common Core, a set of national education standards for English and math.

http://go.uen.org/22C

 

 

 

 

Why Schools Should Screen Their Students’ Mental Health Two new reports argue for in-school mental health screenings Time

 

Schools should be a first line of defense for catching young people at risk for mental health issues from depression to ADHD, a pair of new reports says.

Kids and adolescents spend a significant amount of their time in school, yet providing mental health screenings and care is not an overarching requirement for many schools. “We need to think about how to embed mental health services so they become part of the culture in schools,” says study author Dr. Mina Fazel, a child psychiatrist at the University of Oxford. “It will take a commitment from health and education.”

The reports, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, looked at programs already implemented in both high-income schools and middle- and low-income schools. The authors made suggestions for both education systems. For instance, schools could conduct school-wide screenings by asking teachers to identify at-risk kids for further evaluation, or health counselors could be trained to spot both physical and mental issues by looking for visible signs like weight fluctuation or bullying. If treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy were included in a school’s health offerings, Fazel believes mental health problems could be caught early and treated.

http://go.uen.org/22W

 

Copies of the reports

http://go.uen.org/22X (Lancet Psychiatry)

 

 

 

Microsoft follows Google to education sector with Office 365 app for teachers PC World

 

Microsoft has created a classroom assistance application for OneNote and SharePoint Online in Office 365, soon after Google released a similar one for its Apps email and collaboration suite.

With OneNote Class Notebook Creator, teachers can set up individual notebooks for each student, a common library for class documents and materials, and a group collaboration space for collective activities, hosted in SharePoint Online and using OneNote as the front-end interface.

The OneNote Class Notebook Creator, available at no extra charge to Office 365 subscribers in the Office Store, is meant to boost “classroom efficiency” by, for example, simplifying the collection of homework assignments and consolidating teacher feedback in a single place, according to Microsoft.

http://go.uen.org/22B

 

 

 

 

Albuquerque schools seeking corporate sponsor for new stadium Reuters

 

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. – A New Mexico public school district is following the lead of professional sports teams and searching for a corporate sponsor for its new stadium to raise funds for dwindling athletic and classroom budgets.

Monica Armenta, spokeswoman for the Albuquerque Public School District, said that, faced with an increasing number of private and charter schools in the region, the public school system needs to be inventive to make up for lost revenue.

She said there has been a drive to market the district, its programs and its facilities, including the year-old $38 million Community Stadium complex on the city’s west side, which boasts a 7,000-seat football stadium, a 2,600-seat track and field area, and parking for more than 1,400 cars.

She would not comment on what the district was looking for, but local media have cited an asking price of $1.8 million over the course of a 10-year deal.

http://go.uen.org/22O

 

 

 

 

Pritzker-led group sinks $16.9 million into pre-K for poor Chicago kids Crain’s Chicago Business

 

A group of private investors, led by Chicago billionaire J.B. Pritzker, will invest $16.9 million in an innovative financing scheme that allows Chicago to expand pre-kindergarten programs for more than 2,000 low-income children over the next four years.

If it works, in terms of reducing the future costs of special education and remedial programs, the investors aim to get their money back, plus interest, but at no cost to taxpayers. The financing technique is sometimes called a “social impact bond” or “pay for success” financing.

In this scenario, Chicago Public Schools will get about a third of the savings generated if the program succeeds, with the rest going to pay back investors.

“This is an alternative method of financing something that truly is game-changing,” said Mr. Pritzker, co-founder of Pritzker Group and a scion of one of Chicago’s wealthiest families. “If you can intervene with at-risk children at early ages, it truly changes the trajectory of their lives.”

Chicago’s will be just the fifth social impact bond program in the U.S., an idea that originated in the United Kingdom. It’s only the second to focus on early education and the first education-oriented program in a big city. The Chicago initiative is modeled after a pre-K social impact bond program Mr. Pritzker launched last year in Utah.

http://go.uen.org/22Z

 

 

 

California school voucher backer to head U.S. education reform group Reuters

 

SACRAMENTO Calif. – The education reform group Students First has named as its president a longtime supporter of school vouchers and loosening tenure protections for public school teachers, the group said on Tuesday.

Jim Blew, a longtime adviser to education reform efforts, will replace Students First founder Michelle Rhee, the former chief of the Washington, D.C. schools, who championed charter schools, tougher teacher evaluations, and other reforms.

“They’ve accomplished an awful lot,” said Blew of the organization’s first four years, lobbying for reforms in numerous states and engaging in such politically fraught discussions as using public funds to send children to private schools. “It’s a great record to build on.”

Blew, appointed Tuesday by the Students First board of directors in a meeting in New York, will lead the Sacramento-based organization at a time when it has been retrenching, eliminating paid staff positions in Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, Florida, Maine and New Jersey.

He plans to focus the group’s activity on about a dozen states, including California, New York, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

http://go.uen.org/22N

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

 

USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

October 9:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

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

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

 

Utah State Board of Education meeting

3:30 p.m. 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

October 10:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

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

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

 

 

October 14:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

1 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2014&Com=APPEXE

 

 

October 15:

Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee meeting

9 a.m., 20 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00004578.htm

Education Interim Committee meeting

2:30 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00004563.htm

 

 

October 16:

Native American Legislative Liaison Committee meeting

8 a.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2014/html/00004528.htm

 

 

October 29:

Education Task Force meeting

1 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2014&com=TSKEDU

 

Related posts:

Comments are closed.