Education News Roundup: Oct. 16, 2014

"Standarized Test" by Biologycorner/CC/flickr

“Standarized Test” by Biologycorner/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Rep. Greene proposes education savings account plan.

http://go.uen.org/26D (DN)

 

Davis earns district accreditation.

http://go.uen.org/27k (DCC)

 

Weber District opens a safety hotline.

http://go.uen.org/26P (SLT)

 

Nationally, is there too much standardized testing?

http://go.uen.org/26H (CSM)

and http://go.uen.org/26I (Ed Week)

and http://go.uen.org/27f (NewsHour)

or a copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/26J (Center for American Progress)

 

Oklahoma passes says its existing standards are good.

http://go.uen.org/26G (Oklahoman)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Legislators propose education savings account program

 

Davis earns first district accreditation in Utah

 

Hotline allows Utah students to text anonymous tips about safety threats Schools » Weber County students can report threats, bullying and other concerns.

 

Empowered blind or visually impaired students show their skills

 

Washington County schools could see added classes

 

USU-Moab, SITLA finalize land exchange

 

Ogden City School District Superintendent Brad Smith accepts offer as new Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

Utah gets waiver from No Child Left Behind rules

 

Ogden High cheerleaders overcome hazing scandal

 

Possible bacterial meningitis case reported at West Jordan school

 

Bus driver suspended after student hit by car

 

Utah man to change plea in band trip theft case

 

Taylorsville High newspaper selected as finalist for national award

 

Chamber of Commerce discusses recent lockout, expresses teacher appreciation

 

Davis Reads to host American history author

 

Football fundraiser helps fight cancer in honor of player’s mother

 

Fort Herriman students encouraged not to be monsters

 

Sevier No Bullying Campaign

 

Are teachers getting behind Common Core? Conflicting polls muddle the question

 

 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

New Utah school superintendent could be the reformer the state needs

 

Put Clark on state board

 

Greater perils exist than standardization

 

Too many distractions

 

Accountability for College and Career Readiness: Developing a New Paradigm

 

Reformers, Annual Testing is not Enough, It Must Be Statewide

 

What teachers need to know about undocumented students

 

Why the U.S. Should Worry About the Global Education Problem

 

Technology Is Not the Answer: A Student’s Perspective

 

Students Suspended for Not Using a Racial Slur At a Pennsylvania high school newspaper, editors refused to print the name of the school’s sports team: the Redskins. The principal was not impressed.

 

The $245,000 price tag for raising an American child, in 5 charts

 

 

 

 

NATION

 

As overtesting outcry grows, education leaders pull back on standardized tests A new study finds that US students are tested on average once a month, with some students tested as often as twice a month. The White House announced it will support a movement by education officials to dial back the amount of testing.

 

Regents approve Oklahoma’s education standards

 

Report: Oklahoma again No. 1 in nation in student spending cuts Expenditures in Oklahoma have been cut by $857 per student, a nation high according to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

 

Hispanics still face adversity in education, leaders say

 

Popularity Grows Anew for Year-Round Schooling

 

City Issues Ebola Memo for Schools

 

New charter rules benefit owner of 4 schools in Wilmington area

 

LAUSD board terminates Supt. John Deasy’s contract, taps Cortines

 

Google wastes no time refining Classroom, its app platform for education

 

Mom Charged after Teenage Son Brings Gun to School

 

‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ kicks off across America

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Legislators propose education savings account program

 

SALT LAKE CITY — State lawmakers are revisiting the possibility of creating a pilot program intended to allow parents more flexibility in funding a customized education for their children.

Rep. Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, presented Wednesday to the Legislature’s Education Interim Committee on a concept that follows what he calls Utah’s pattern of “creativity and innovation” in education and one that would cause parents and students to have a more “vested interest” in their schooling.

The education savings account program would be opened up to junior high and high school students in public schools.

In lieu of state funding going to a student’s resident school district, the program would redirect the funds to individual accounts for each student. Those accounts would be controlled by the state, but parents could decide how to use the funds in paying for their child’s nontraditional courses.

http://go.uen.org/26D (DN)

 

 

 

 

Davis earns first district accreditation in Utah

 

FARMINGTON — They passed.

Davis School District and its schools passed a three-day review process to earn the first accrediation given to a school district as a whole in Utah.

In prior years, individual junior high and high schools have undergone the rigorous process independently.

With this review, all schools passed when the entire district passed, meaning schools outside the district will honor class credits earned within the district and colleges will honor diplomas awarded graduating students.

The accreditation comes through AdvanceED School System Accreditation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization.

http://go.uen.org/27k (DCC)

 

 

 

Hotline allows Utah students to text anonymous tips about safety threats Schools » Weber County students can report threats, bullying and other concerns.

 

Students in Weber County secondary schools who witness bullying or fear a friend is suicidal now have an anonymous way to ask authorities for help.

Law enforcement agencies and the Weber and Ogden school districts have set up a Friends Hotline, a program that allows students to text reports about safety threats either at school or in the community.

The texts are routed through a computer system in Canada and stripped of identifying information before being forwarded to the school principal, resource officer and counselor. A copy goes into a file at the Real Time Crime Center at the Ogden Police Department.

Senders will receive a return message immediately asking them to call 911 if there is an emergency and providing them with an identifier code. The code allows the students to send updates from the same cellphone while still remaining anonymous.

http://go.uen.org/26P (SLT)

 

 

 

 

Empowered blind or visually impaired students show their skills

 

SALT LAKE CITY — A man wearing a pair of goggles that impaired his vision and a woman wearing ski goggles with painted lenses made their way, white canes in hand, to a planter box about 15 feet away.

“This is hard,” said Danielle Valentine, as she reached the tip of the cane in front of her during a simulation of vision impairment.          Once at the planter box, they returned to where they started and admitted it would have been more difficult if they were crossing a street.

“It takes a lot of confidence,” Jonathan Gunderson said.

They were among the passers-by and volunteers who joined about 45 students from the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind on Main Street outside City Creek Center on Wednesday in honor of White Cane Safety Day.

http://go.uen.org/26R (DN)

 

 

 

 

Washington County schools could see added classes

 

There are changes in the works that could make your child’s day at school more productive in the Washington County School District.

Student class loads could be the biggest change in the near future, currently there are four classes per day and the district could be adding more.

“We’re currently on what we call a four by four block, alternating A and B days. So four periods on an A day and four periods on a B day,” explained Superintendent Larry Bergeson for the Washington County School District.

The change would add two more elective options that students could soon choose from. But as a parent or student you might be wondering, why add more?

http://go.uen.org/270 (KUTV)

 

 

 

 

Ogden City School District Superintendent Brad Smith accepts offer as new Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah State Board of Education selected Ogden School District Superintendent Brad C. Smith last Friday as the next State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

http://go.uen.org/27l (KCSG)

 

 

 

 

Utah gets waiver from No Child Left Behind rules

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Department of Education has approved a one-year extension of Utah’s waiver from requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law. Utah was among six states granted waivers on Thursday that exempt schools from the Adequate Yearly Progress requirements of the law.

http://go.uen.org/27m (PDH)

 

 

 

 

USU-Moab, SITLA finalize land exchange

 

Utah State University–Moab and the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) have finalized a land exchange agreement, securing property for future joint projects. The land exchange involves two adjacent properties within the southern limits of Moab, and will integrate the future USU-Moab campus with mixed-use housing.

“Because land use in support of education and community is the cornerstone of our mission, we are pleased to be part of this collaborative project with the city of Moab and USU,” said SITLA Director Kevin Carter.

http://go.uen.org/27n (Moab Times-Independent)

 

 

 

Ogden High cheerleaders overcome hazing scandal

 

OGDEN — The road has been long and the bumps have been rough for cheerleaders at Ogden High School over the past 2 ½ years, but there is finally a new horizon in view.

For the first time in four years, the squad has been invited to compete in a national competition – the big one, the national cheerleading championships in Florida.

In the spring of 2012, soon after tryouts, old and new cheerleaders were involved in an ugly hazing incident that made national headlines. New cheerleaders were blindfolded and then had all kinds of items thrown at them and fed to them. Then they were hosed off in front of passers-by.

Immediate action was taken by the school and by the new principal, Stacy Briggs, to make sure that never happened again. Nine cheerleaders were suspended.

http://go.uen.org/26W (OSE)

 

 

 

Possible bacterial meningitis case reported at West Jordan school

 

WEST JORDAN — Health officials are monitoring a case of bacterial meningitis at Copper Canyon Elementary School and are telling parents to watch their children for symptoms.

Bacterial meningitis is not highly contagious but can be spread from person to person through kissing or sharing drinks or utensils, the Salt Lake County Health Department advised in a statement to parents, faculty and staff Wednesday.

A potential case of bacterial meningitis has been reported from one person at the school, according to the health department.

http://go.uen.org/26U (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/271 (KSTU)

 

 

 

 

Bus driver suspended after student hit by car

 

AMERICAN FORK — A Summit student in the Alpine School District was left with a broken arm after being hit by a car Tuesday afternoon.

The student was issued a ticket for jaywalking, and an Alpine School District bus driver is on suspension pending an investigation of the incident.

http://go.uen.org/26Y (PDH)

 

 

 

 

Utah man to change plea in band trip theft case

 

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A Utah man who recently pleaded guilty in federal court in Missouri to defrauding more than 300 students and chaperones out of money they paid him to arrange travel for a band trip to Hawaii is due in an Arkansas court in a similar case.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports the man, Calliope “Ope” Rocky Saaga, is scheduled to change his plea in a similar case Thursday in Fort Smith federal court.

In the Fort Smith case, Saaga is accused of stealing $272,500 from 275 Fort Smith Southside High School band members and chaperones who paid Saaga for travel and other arrangements involving a planned trip to Hawaii in 2012.

http://go.uen.org/27p (AP via San Antonio [TX] Express-News)

 

 

 

Taylorsville High newspaper selected as finalist for national award

 

TAYLORSVILLE — For the second year in a row, the National Scholastic Press Association has selected the Warrior Ledger of Taylorsville High School as a Pacemaker finalist.

The Pacemaker award is the highest honor given in the scholastic press industry. The Taylorsville High publication is one of 20 nationwide finalists in the Broadsheet 9-16 pages category.

http://go.uen.org/26T (DN)

 

 

 

 

Chamber of Commerce discusses recent lockout, expresses teacher appreciation

 

ST. GEORGE – Education was the topic of the hour at Wednesday’s St. George Chamber of Commerce luncheon with Washington County School District Superintendent Larry Bergeson as the invited guest speaker.

Chamber and community members were invited to attend the luncheon held at the Best Western Abbey Inn in St. George where Bergeson discussed educational topics ranging from district growth and improvements to schedule changes and safety procedures in the aftermath of the recent Zions Bank Robbery which saw 12 district schools on lockout protocol.

http://go.uen.org/27o (SGN)

 

 

 

Davis Reads to host American history author

 

LAYTON — Award-winning author Steven Sheinkin has been announced as the guest author for this year’s Davis Reads program in the Davis School District.

Awarded a Newbery Honor for his book “Bomb,” Sheinkin seeks out true spy stories to tell and brings those bits of history to life. “Bomb” is the story of the making of the atomic bomb, espionage and the Pacific Theater of World War II. His other works include “Lincoln’s Grave Robbers,” — a 2014-15 Beehive Book Award nominee — “The Port Chicago 50,” and “The Notorious Benedict Arnold.”

Sheinkin will speak at 7 p.m., Oct. 22 at Layton High School, 440 Lancer Lane. Tickets are available at www.ezticketlive.com.

http://go.uen.org/26S (DN)

 

 

 

 

Football fundraiser helps fight cancer in honor of player’s mother

 

HOLLADAY, Utah — Olympus High School dedicated Wednesday night’s football game to the mom of an Olympus player, Sandra Lerma, who lost her battle to breast cancer last month.

At halftime, parents, students and players took part in a “miracle minute,” collecting pocket change from spectators in the stands. All the donations will go to cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in honor of the player’s mother.

http://go.uen.org/272 (KSTU)

 

 

 

Fort Herriman students encouraged not to be monsters

 

Frank Shelly, an actor playing a Frankenstein-type monster, exchanges high-fives Wednesday with a line of students after delivering an anti-bullying message at Fort Herriman Middle School in Herriman. The event, sponsored by Nightmare on 13th in connection with the national “Don’t Be a Monster Campaign,” is one of several this month at junior high schools in Salt Lake County.

http://go.uen.org/26O (SLT)

 

 

 

 

Sevier No Bullying Campaign

 

The Utah Anti-Bullying Coalition announcing a grant program to help Utah middle schools and high schools fight bullying. The coalition will provide funds to launch anti-bullying campaigns in 8 districts including Sevier County Schools. The coalition and its programs are supported by private donations.

http://go.uen.org/273 (MUR)

 

 

 

 

Are teachers getting behind Common Core? Conflicting polls muddle the question

 

According to new poll data from Scholastic, teachers are overall positive about Common Core, are more positive than they were last year, and are much more positive the more thoroughly it has been implemented in their schools.

“Fifty-three percent (53%) of teachers overall have seen a positive impact on their students’ ability to think critically and use reasoning skills due to Common Core implementation,” Scholastic’s report said. “Sixty-eight percent (68%) of teachers who report they are in schools where implementation was fully complete in the 2012–13 school year (or earlier) say the same.”

But a new survey by researchers at Vanderbilt University finds very different results from Tennessee teachers, finding “that just 39 percent of respondents believe that teaching to the standards will improve student learning — compared with 60 percent who said the same last year,” according to The Tennessean.

http://go.uen.org/26Q (DN)

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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New Utah school superintendent could be the reformer the state needs Deseret News editorial

 

The man chosen to lead Utah’s school system is a lawyer by profession who comes to the job with a reputation as an activist and a reformer, which ought to be viewed as attractive attributes at a time when Utah needs to aim higher than its consistently middle-of-the-pack performance record against other states. Utah needs to aim not just for the best public school system in the nation, but to become a world leader in educational practices and outcomes.

Brad Smith is about to take on an assignment that is different from the one he is leaving, as head of the Ogden School District, but his past should serve him well. He was a controversial figure in Ogden, taking charge of a system that was struggling in several areas of proficiency.

Under his leadership, the district showed improvement in key areas. It also experienced a 50 percent turnover in teaching positions during his tenure, which signals he was unafraid of the pain that comes with changing the culture of an underperforming system. Some will undoubtedly see this turnover as a negative thing, but forcing dramatic improvements on a calcified public school system requires radical thinking and uncomfortable change.

http://go.uen.org/26C

 

 

 

 

Put Clark on state board

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Richard R. Nelson

 

For many years the Utah Technology Council has actively supported causes and candidates that advance our No. 1 most pressing issue of talent shortage. With a vibrant tech sector of over 5,000 companies in the state, our public policy focus for our association is STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for grades K-12. With a mid-term election approaching I am writing to endorse a candidate for the State Board of Education from District 1 who will vigorously support high educational standards and innovative educational delivery in Utah’s public schools.

http://go.uen.org/26Z

 

 

 

Greater perils exist than standardization

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Gerald Boyum

 

I would like to respond to the column, “The great peril of standardized education” by Lynn Stoddard (Sept. 25). What he left out speaks volumes.

Einstein said that “… standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture.” in 1929. He was a German Jew who emigrated to the U.S. after Hitler came to power in 1933. Do you think that “standardization” by itself was what he was afraid of? It is a tool that can be used for good or bad, and the quote says nothing about the real “peril” to America which is individuals with a totalitarian, supremist ideology, and how they use education to achieve their goals. All totalitarian regimes strive to create an indoctrinated and brainwashed youth by exercising total control of their education systems. Hitler stated that: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” He had his Hitler Youth, Stalin had the Young Pioneers and Komsomols, and Mao used the Red Guards to implement his Cultural Revolution. These leftist regimes murdered over 100 million of their own people in the 20th century alone. A much worse peril now is a political ideology supported by religious beliefs that rewards believers who murder non-believers in support of their ultimate goal: global domination.

When proposing reforms, it is critical to state what the purpose of education is in support of overall societal objectives.

http://go.uen.org/26X

 

 

 

Too many distractions

Deseret News letter from Luke Bishop

 

I just moved my family back to Layton from a two-year hiatus out of state. I was shocked to discover that the administration at my daughter’s elementary school recently removed all of the soccer posts from the school grounds. My daughter loves soccer, so I asked for a reason for their removal. Their answer? Too many children were running into them.

If our children are running into giant white posts on a green field, there are some serious issues that parents need to address. Maybe it’s time that parents take away phones, iPads, video games and other distractions. With fewer distractions, kids will be able to focus more on the things and people around them.

http://go.uen.org/26V

 

 

 

Accountability for College and Career Readiness: Developing a New Paradigm Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education analysis by Linda Darling-Hammond, Gene Wilhoit, Linda Pittenger

 

The adoption by most states of new academic  standards has marked a shift in education policy from a narrowly focused concept of school  achievement to a more ambitious one that aims for college and career readiness for all students. A new report, being released by two leading education organizations on October 16, argues that in order for these  goals to be realized, a more comprehensive and balanced system of accountability is necessary. Such a system should rest on three pillars — a focus on meaningful learning, adequate resources, and professional capacity — and should be driven by processes for continuous evaluation and improvement.

“For more than a decade, the definition of ‘accountability’ in education has manifested largely in the form of consequences to schools that do not meet annual targets for growth on yearly state tests. This definition has resulted in a narrowing of the curriculum and a widening of the opportunity  gap,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, the report’s co-author and Stanford University Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education. “A powerful accountability system must offer a rich and well-taught curriculum to all students, raising expectations not only for individual schools but for the functioning of the system as a whole.”

The report, Accountability for College and Career Readiness: Developing a New Paradigm, draws on research, actual practice of states and nations, and input from leading policymakers, researchers, administrators, and practitioners (see list of advisors, below) to develop a vision of this new accountability, which is portrayed in an imagined “51st state.” The report was released jointly by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education at Stanford University and the National Center for Innovation in Education (NCIE) at the University of Kentucky. It was authored by Darling-Hammond, NCIE Executive Director Gene Wilhoit, and NCIE staff member, Linda Pittenger.

http://go.uen.org/26K

 

 

 

 

Reformers, Annual Testing is not Enough, It Must Be Statewide Bellweather Education Partners commentary by senior policy analyst Anne Hyslop

 

The ed policy world has finally agreed on something: there is too much testing. Now it may not win me any Twitter followers, but this consensus makes me nervous. Mostly because it makes hasty, extreme solutions to “over-testing” seem tenable, giving them credibility as a logical response because “this is a crisis.” Is it? Teach Plus has shown that, on average, less than 2 percent of class time is spent on mandated testing. While there are outliers, it looks like the excess is coming from the local level, not state tests. And like my colleague Andy Smarick, I see the virtues in our current testing regime, and the consequences in eliminating it without understanding what could be lost.

So I was glad that large urban districts and chief state school officers are working together to tackle issues of assessment quantity, and quality, while maintaining a commitment to annual testing. Same goes for the Center for American Progress’ work on “better, fewer, and fairer tests.” All common sense responses to the over-testing meme. And given growing numbers, especially on the political left, calling for grade-span testing (see: teachers unions, members of Congress, former President Clinton), it is welcome to see a defense of annual testing–with support from Arne Duncan, and even President Obama.

But are they really defending them? On second glance, I’m not so sure.

http://go.uen.org/27c

 

 

 

What teachers need to know about undocumented students NewsHour commentary by AMY MAZUR, a retired professor of Bilingual Special Education at The George Washington University

 

In the first eight months of 2014, nearly 60,000 school-aged children entered the United States, undocumented and unaccompanied by a family member. These recent immigrants are eligible to enroll in U.S. schools and to be given access to the same school-based resources as children born in this country.

These resources require professionals who are skilled in teaching as well as other seemingly unrelated fields like nursing, nutrition, speech and language, occupational and physical therapy, psychology, psychiatry and social work, just to name a few. Individuals working from these disciplines have field-specific training and certification, yet all have to acquire new skills in order to understand how the background of their new students impact successful instruction.

How can professionals facilitate school success for these undocumented students, and what do they need to know about them? I suggest they remember:

http://go.uen.org/27b

 

 

 

 

Why the U.S. Should Worry About the Global Education Problem Foreign Policy commentary by columnist DANIEL RUNDE

 

I just finished Gabriel Zinny’s Educación 3.0, which covers the changing landscape of education both in the United States and in Latin America. The radical changes needed have major implications on U.S. foreign policy and development policy and should also be considered what my colleague Carl Meacham calls an “intermestic” issue, of both domestic and international concern. Zinny’s book makes a robust case for education and human capital to be placed far higher on the agenda with the same level of focus as transnational health threats, migration, or trade. While focused on the United States and Latin American regions it has larger implications in a world with a youth bulge in the Middle East and Africa and growing youth unemployment. Young people can elect to use their energies either productively or not — we ought to work towards channeling those energies or we will all pay a heavy price.

Zinny is an education expert who spent some time in George W. Bush’s administration at the Department of Health and Human Services. He is also an entrepreneur who has started a for profit company — Kuepa.com — that trains young people in Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina. So he writes as an entrepreneur and as a policy entrepreneur.

He uses the Latin American and U.S. contexts to describe the changing nature of wealth, the exploding role of technology and the private sector in education and the implications of the current failures of education systems stuck in a 19th century paradigm. The current argument around education is stuck in a frozen conflict about the roles of the state, parents, civil society, technology, and the private sector.

http://go.uen.org/27i

 

 

 

Technology Is Not the Answer: A Student’s Perspective Education Week op-ed by Benjamin Waldman, a high school junior at a coeducational nonsectarian preparatory school in West Hartford, Conn.

 

When does technology become too prevalent in education? It is a widely held belief among school administrators that technological innovation enhances education by providing students with personalized attention and technological literacy. Consequently, schools have eagerly increased the presence of the Internet and devices that utilize it. As a current high school junior, I see signs of this push everywhere.

The Internet has become ubiquitous in classrooms across the nation; almost 100 percent of public schools had access in 2005, up from a mere 35 percent in 1994. Ninety-eight percent of “computers for instructional purposes” in elementary and secondary public schools were connected to the Web in 2008, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

In the past, a common technological tool in schools has been the shared desktop computer. More recently, however, “1-to-1” initiatives—one device to one student—have become prominent. In these programs, each student is given a device to use for educational purposes. For example, Central Middle School in Hartford, Wis., began a 1-to-1 program in 2011 that lent a laptop computer to each of its incoming 6th graders. The program now includes the entire middle school.

http://go.uen.org/27a

 

 

 

 

Students Suspended for Not Using a Racial Slur At a Pennsylvania high school newspaper, editors refused to print the name of the school’s sports team: the Redskins. The principal was not impressed.

Atlantic commentary by EMILY RICHMOND, public editor for the National Education Writers Association

 

Students at a Pennsylvania high school are getting a real-life lesson in the power of the press—and the many shades of gray that come with First Amendment protections.

The censorship battle is being fought over The Playwickian, the student newspaper of Neshaminy High School in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, northeast of Philadelphia. In October 2013, after a 14-7 vote by the student-led editorial board, the paper announced that it would no longer use the word “Redskins” because it amounted to an ethnic slur.

“Detractors will argue that the word is used with all due respect. But the offensiveness of a word cannot be judged by its intended meaning, but by how it is received,” the editorial board wrote. The paper also published a dissenting editorial written by the seven students who voted against the ban, contending that “the term reflects back to the district’s heritage; the land on which Native Americans once walked and is depicted as tribute rather than tarnish.”

http://go.uen.org/27g

 

 

 

The $245,000 price tag for raising an American child, in 5 charts Vox commentary by columnist Danielle Kurtzleben

 

Having children is one of the most fundamental financial events in the life of the typical American family. According to a report the USDA released in August, it costs $245,340 on average for a middle-income family to raise a child from its 2013 birth to age 18, According to a report the USDA released in August. The report, which the department releases annually, is full of all sorts of striking facts about how much it costs to raise children in the US these days. Below are five charts that illustrate how much Americans spend on raising their kids, and why.

http://go.uen.org/27e

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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As overtesting outcry grows, education leaders pull back on standardized tests A new study finds that US students are tested on average once a month, with some students tested as often as twice a month. The White House announced it will support a movement by education officials to dial back the amount of testing.

Christian Science Monitor

 

As the outcry against the overtesting of American children has grown, state and local education leaders – in a move endorsed by President Barack Obama – have announced a new focus on dialing back the volume of standardized testing and dialing up the quality.

“I have directed [Education Secretary Arne] Duncan to support states and school districts in the effort to improve assessment of student learning so that parents and teachers have the information they need, that classroom time is used wisely, and assessments are one part of fair evaluation of teachers and accountability for schools,” Mr. Obama said in a statement Wednesday night.

Obama was responding to a move by the Council of Chief State School Officers – which has promoted the Common Core State Standards and assessments – and the Council of the Great City Schools, made up of large urban districts. They released a set of principles Wednesday to reduce redundant testing and promote a coherent use of high-quality tests that are valuable for students, parents, and teachers.

Whether a student faces a large number of tests is not solely determined by federal or state testing mandates, but is largely the product of local district decisions, concludes a report released Thursday by the Center for American Progress.

http://go.uen.org/26H

 

http://go.uen.org/26I (Ed Week)

 

http://go.uen.org/27f (NewsHour)

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/26J (Center for American Progress)

 

 

 

Regents approve Oklahoma’s education standards Associated Press via Oklahoma City Oklahoman

 

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have determined the education standards currently in place for public school students in math and English will adequately prepare them for college or the workforce.

The regents voted unanimously Thursday that Oklahoma’s current Priority Academic Student Skills, or PASS, standards are “college and career ready.” Two separate committees of university and faculty experts reviewed the standards and recommended approval. The panels also made suggestions for improving the standards.

Oklahoma reverted to the PASS standards under legislation approved this year by the Republican-controlled Legislature to repeal Common Core standards. As a result, the state lost flexibility over how it spends about $29 million in federal funding.

http://go.uen.org/26G

 

 

 

Report: Oklahoma again No. 1 in nation in student spending cuts Expenditures in Oklahoma have been cut by $857 per student, a nation high according to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Oklahoma City Oklahoman

 

Oklahoma once again leads the nation in the percentage of per-student spending cuts, according to a new report. Local school district officials called the cuts “disappointing” and “disturbing.”

Since the recession began in 2008, Oklahoma has sliced funding per student in kindergarten through 12th grade by 23.6 percent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a policy research organization based in Washington, D.C.

Expenditures have been cut by $857 per student in Oklahoma, one of 30 states providing less funding per student for the 2014-2015 school year than they did before the recession hit, figures show.

http://go.uen.org/26E

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/26F (CBPP)

 

 

 

 

Hispanics still face adversity in education, leaders say Des Moines (IA) Register

 

Hispanics are the fastest-growing population in the United States and Iowa, projected to make up one-third of the people living in the county by 2060.

But it’s still a group that faces adversity in education, an issue White House and state leaders attempted to unwrap at a conference on Wednesday. Over 300 people convened for the 2014 Iowa Latina/o Education Initiative Conference at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny.

Iowa schools should focus on hiring more Hispanic teachers, engage students’ families and support students from “cradle to career,” said Marco Davis, deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

“Hispanics are not just the largest but also the youngest minority group in the country,” Davis said. “The extent to which Latinos excel academically will affect the nation’s overall economy and prosperity.”

http://go.uen.org/27h

 

 

 

Popularity Grows Anew for Year-Round Schooling Education Week

 

When Stiles Simmons, the superintendent of a two-school district outside Lansing, Mich., looked at the data, he realized summer break was hurting his mostly-low-income students, who were losing significant amounts of knowledge in math and falling further and further behind.

“What we found was appalling, and for us to not do anything about it—not to do anything drastically different—would have been negligence on our part,” said Mr. Simmons of the Baldwin district.

His solution: Shift the 578-student district to a year-round schedule, with shorter breaks over the course of the year, rather than the traditional longer period each summer.

Schools have implemented such calendars for years—mainly as an attempt to solve overcrowding. Although interest in the practice has ebbed and flowed, year-round schooling appears to be making another surge in public education. The number of public year-round schools increased by 26 percent, to 3,700 from 2006-07 to 2011-12, according to the latest data available from the National Center for Education Statistics.

http://go.uen.org/279

 

 

 

City Issues Ebola Memo for Schools

(New York) WNYC

 

New York City’s health department has distributed guidance about Ebola for schools and day care centers.

The memo says any student who recently returned from West Africa and develops fever within 21 days should see the school nurse, and if there isn’t one, the student should stay in a private room until a parent arrives.

For staff members, the memo says those with Ebola symptoms should leave the facility immediately, call a doctor, and mention their recent travels.

http://go.uen.org/26L

 

A copy of the memo

http://go.uen.org/26M (NYC Department of Health)

 

 

 

 

New charter rules benefit owner of 4 schools in Wilmington area Charlotte (NC) News & Observer

 

WILMINGTON — At first blush, Baker Mitchell’s chain of North Carolina charter schools look like a portrait of free-market success.

He boasts that students schooled at his sprawling, rural campuses produce better test scores at a lower cost than those in traditional public schools.

The schools, however, do more than just teach children. They are also at the center of Mitchell’s business interests. Every year, millions of public education dollars flow through his chain of four nonprofit charter schools to for-profit companies he controls.

Unlike with traditional school districts, at Mitchell’s charter schools there’s no competitive bidding. No evidence of haggling over rent or contracts. The schools buy or lease nearly everything from companies owned by Mitchell. Their desks. Their computers. The training they provide to teachers. Most of the land and buildings.

The schools have all hired the same for-profit management company to run their day-to-day operations. The company, Roger Bacon Academy, is owned by Mitchell, 74.

http://go.uen.org/26N

 

 

 

 

LAUSD board terminates Supt. John Deasy’s contract, taps Cortines Los Angeles Times

 

The Los Angeles Unified school board on Thursday officially terminated Supt. John Deasy’s contract and voted to appoint one of his predecessors, Ramon Cortines, to fill the post on an interim basis.

The board voted 6 to 1 to ratify Deasy’s separation agreement, with Monica Ratliff voting no.

In a joint statement released after the vote, the school board thanked Deasy for his 3½ years of “devoted service.”

“In that period of time, academic achievement rose substantially despite severe economic hardships, and the students of the district have benefitted greatly from Dr. Deasy’s guidance,” the statement read.

As part of the separation agreement, Deasy is expected to receive about 60 days’ pay, or roughly $60,000, the sources said. His contract, which was set to run through June 2016 at $350,000 a year, requires a severance payment of only 30 days’ pay.

http://go.uen.org/277

 

http://go.uen.org/27d (Hechinger Report)

 

 

 

 

Google wastes no time refining Classroom, its app platform for education PC World

 

Making clear that it’s serious about its foray into education software, Google has pushed out a set of enhancements for its Classroom app, barely two months after its release.

The Classroom upgrade also comes a week after rival Microsoft launched a similar classroom assistance application for Office 365 education customers.

Classroom, announced in May and released in August after being tested by 100,000 teachers in 45 countries, is available to Google Apps for Education customers and taps suite components like Gmail, Drive and Docs.

It’s meant to be a tool that helps teachers with basic tasks, such as creating and organizing assignments, providing feedback and communicating with students. Classroom also provides a section for teachers to post information about their classes.

http://go.uen.org/27j

 

 

 

Mom Charged after Teenage Son Brings Gun to School Associated Press

 

LOS ANGELES — The mother of a 17-year-old boy was charged Wednesday with allowing him to take a loaded handgun to school.

Leah Wilcken, 41, faces four misdemeanor counts, each carrying a potential penalty of a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, the city attorney’s office said.

“Guns have no place in or around our schools,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said. “Our office will continue to take aggressive action to protect our kids. And I call on parents to prevent potentially devastating consequences by safely storing every firearm they own.”

http://go.uen.org/278

 

 

 

‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ kicks off across America Washington Times

 

Focus on the Family, a Christian-based group, has launched a nationwide campaign for students across the nation to carry their Bibles to school on Thursday — an endeavor aimed at pressing the point that religious freedom is alive and well.

“Bring Your Bible to School Day” also encourages students to discuss the contents of the book with classroom colleagues during non-instructional time, The Blaze reported.

http://go.uen.org/274

 

http://go.uen.org/275 (The Blaze)

 

http://go.uen.org/276 (HuffPo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

 

USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

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

1 p.m., 210 Senate Building

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

 

 

November 7:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

November 13:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

November 18:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

1 p.m., 210 Senate Building

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

 

 

November 19:

Education Interim Committee meeting

2:30 p.m., 30 House Building

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

 

 

October 29:

Education Task Force meeting

1 p.m., 210 Senate Building

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

 

 

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