Education News Roundup: Oct. 17, 2014

Utah State Board of Education

Utah State Board of Education

Today’s Top Picks:

NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia warns on standardized testing.
http://go.uen.org/27s (SLT)
and http://go.uen.org/27t (DN)
and http://go.uen.org/27V (KTVX)
and http://go.uen.org/27H (KSL)
and http://go.uen.org/27K (KSTU)

Utah State Board of Education lists its budget priorities.
http://go.uen.org/27y (OSE)
or a copy of the funding priorities
http://go.uen.org/281 (USOE)

Reps. Brian King and Daniel McCay discuss Superintendent Smith.
http://go.uen.org/27X (KTVX)

The Spectrum takes a look at homeless students in Washington County.
http://go.uen.org/27E (SGS)

When spending quality time with the kids, be sure to use quality words … or at least so says a new study.
http://go.uen.org/27u (NYT)

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks out on education inequality.
http://go.uen.org/27Q (Businessweek)
or a copy of the speech
http://go.uen.org/27R (Federal Reserve)

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

UTAH

NEA president: Don’t punish teachers with test scores
NEA leader » Utahn Lily Eskelsen Garcia says she’s afraid of pretending that a test score “means something that it doesn’t.”

Board asks Legislature to fund Utah school growth

Together 4 Utah discusses upcoming election, new state superintendent

Services available for the nearly 1K homeless Washington County kids

West Jordan school cleared from risk of meningitis

Man pleads guilty to bilking students

High school band members will perform with Dallas Brass at Eccles Theatre

Inside Our Schools

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Bus drivers need benefits

Stemming the Flood of ‘Secret’ Bills on Capitol Hill

Join me in voting for Terryl Warner

Morgan County resident for Clark

Bouchard recommended for experience, vision

Candidate didn’t stand up to LGBT bullying

Grunig good for Cache schools

Back against the blackboard
American teachers need more money, training, feedback, collaboration, mentoring and observation throughout their careers

NATION

Quality of Words, Not Quantity, Is Crucial to Language Skills, Study Finds

Skills Gaps for Online Reading Linked to Family Income New Research Highlights Link to Family Income

Janet Yellen on the Broken Way America Pays for Public Schools

Early Childhood Education Boosts Lifetime Achievement, Paper Finds

Milwaukee ordinances quash cash incentives from charter schools

Officials Urged to Take Care With Social Media

Pro-Gun Group Will Push To Legalize Bringing Weapons Onto School Grounds Bringing Gun Onto School Property Is Currently A Felony

Nigeria says reaches deal with Boko Haram to free abducted girls

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

NEA president: Don’t punish teachers with test scores
NEA leader » Utahn Lily Eskelsen Garcia says she’s afraid of pretending that a test score “means something that it doesn’t.”

Sandy • A former Utah educator returned home to a rock-star welcome Thursday as she criticized the “toxic” culture of testing in America’s public schools.
Lily Eskelsen Garcia, a former Utah Teacher of the Year who recently was elected president of the National Education Association, kicked off the Utah Education Association’s convention at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy. Her opening address condemned the use of standardized tests as a measurement of teacher effectiveness and encouraged educators to “let the test scores fall wherever they fall.”
“I’m not afraid of tests. I’m not afraid of data,” she said. “I’m afraid of pretending that this test score means something that it doesn’t.”
http://go.uen.org/27s (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/27t (DN)

http://go.uen.org/27V (KTVX)

http://go.uen.org/27H (KSL)

http://go.uen.org/27K (KSTU)

Board asks Legislature to fund Utah school growth

SALT LAKE CITY — At the top of the state Board of Education’s 2015 budget priority list is a $122.5 million expectation that the Legislature will fully fund the expected growth in Utah public schools and increase the weighted-pupil unit by 1.5 percent to match the inflation rate.
Beyond that, the board seeks $960,000 in new ongoing funding to hold itself and the state Office of Education more fiscally accountable and shore up data security in the state’s public school system, the board said in a press release Thursday.
“… additional resources are needed in order to continue the provision of basic school services and data security,” said board vice chair David L. Thomas. “This is the state board’s top priority. Without added resources, we will not be able to comply with the mandates imposed on the public school system by both federal and state law.”
http://go.uen.org/27y (OSE)

A copy of the funding priorities
http://go.uen.org/281 (USOE)

Together 4 Utah discusses upcoming election, new state superintendent

Democratic Representative Brian King from District 28 and Republican Representative Daniel McCay discusses this week’s biggest political topics on Together 4 Utah.
Two of the biggest races in the upcoming election are Mia Love vs. Doug Owens and Sean Reyes vs. Charles Stormont. Which race is more interesting? Will either have a surprise outcome?
A new state superintendent of education was recently announced as Brad Smith. Smith is the former Ogden superintendent. What do you think about the process used to choose Mr. Smith?
http://go.uen.org/27X (KTVX)

Services available for the nearly 1K homeless Washington County kids

ST. GEORGE – There are currently about 821 homeless students in the Washington County School District, but district officials estimate there could be more than what is currently being reported.
Often, when a child is homeless and their basic needs like food, shelter and clothing aren’t being met, school and education falls low on the priority list, said Kathy Petersen, WCSD Title I director.
“They need their basic needs to be met before they can get educated, but education really is their only way out,” she said.
Mike Carr, WCSD homeless liaison, helps those in need or provides support services for at-risk students.
There are several programs in place, some using Title I funds, to help homeless students and their families, he said.
http://go.uen.org/27E (SGS)

West Jordan school cleared from risk of meningitis

WEST JORDAN — The Salt Lake County Health Department has said that any possibility of bacterial meningitis at Copper Canyon Elementary School has been ruled out.
A suspected case has been determined to be a type of meningitis that is not contagious, according to health department spokeswoman Pam Davenport.
http://go.uen.org/27x (DN)

http://go.uen.org/27G (KTVX)

http://go.uen.org/27I (KSL)

Man pleads guilty to bilking students

SARATOGA SPRINGS — A travel agent pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud after scamming students and chaperones out of more than $300,000 more than three years ago.
Calliope Rocky Saaga, aka “Ope,” appeared in federal court Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge David Rush. He pleaded guilty to stealing money from the Willard High School Band Boosters who raised funds to go on a trip to Hawaii. After Saaga stole the money, the trip had to be cancelled.
Saaga, 40, did not book any trip for the students and instead, used the money on his own lifestyle, including more than 40 days gambling in Las Vegas, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri.
http://go.uen.org/27A (PDH)

http://go.uen.org/27J (KSTU)

http://go.uen.org/280 (KNRS)

http://go.uen.org/27Y (London Daily Mail)

High school band members will perform with Dallas Brass at Eccles Theatre

The Family and School Series at the Ellen Eccles Theatre starts with a big brass band bang on Monday, October 20 with the talented brass ensemble Dallas Brass. The group will be performing and members of the Logan and Mountain Crest High School bands will be participating in the concert.
http://go.uen.org/27D (CVD)

Inside Our Schools

Enoch Elementary
Iron Springs Elementary
North Elementary
South Elementary
Three Peaks Elementary
Cedar Middle
Arrowhead Elementary
Hurricane Valley Academy
Lava Ridge Intermediate
Millcreek High
Snow Canyon High
http://go.uen.org/27F (SGS)

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

Bus drivers need benefits
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

The Davis School District can consider itself fortunate in that it has the opportunity to learn from a mistake that could have been deadly, but fortunately was not. On Monday morning, Davis district bus driver Lycia Martinez was stopped in Draper with a bus full of students, parents and educators on their way to Brigham Young University in Provo. She was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of prescription medication and failing to maintain a single lane.
It was a parent supervisor who called 911 from the bus to complain about the reckless driving. It wasn’t the first time a parent had called to complain about Martinez’ driving. Tiffany Leishman, of Layton, who has an 11-year-old daughter attending Mountain View Elementary, called the school with concerns about Martinez. Leishman told the Standard-Examiner that she never heard back from the school.
Obviously, one lesson the district will learn from this near-catastrophe is to take seriously complaints about personnel from parents who entrust their children to the Davis School District.
http://go.uen.org/27z

Stemming the Flood of ‘Secret’ Bills on Capitol Hill
Utah Policy commentary by columnist Bob Bernick

A special legislative committee would like to find some way to reduce the growing number of “protected” bills lawmakers are secretly working on just before each general session.
The Legislative Process committee discussed the idea in a Thursday public meeting, with members asking staff to come back next month with some options. As reported by UtahPolicy earlier this month, what used to be a rare use of the “protected” bill process has grown in recent years.
And worse, from the position of legislative staffers, cagey lawmakers are flooding bill files with secret bill requests early in the bill-drafting process, and thus gaming the system so their bills will be researched and written before those of their colleagues.
http://go.uen.org/27r

Join me in voting for Terryl Warner
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Terry Boharsik

I am writing this letter in support of Terryl Warner and her bid to represent our community on the Utah State Board of Education. Terryl has a reputation of being professional, standing up for what she believes in and has been an excellent representative for the past six months on the Utah State Board of Education. Terryl listens to people and genuinely cares about our community and about education. Please join me in voting for Terryl Warner for Utah State Board of Education.
http://go.uen.org/27B

Morgan County resident for Clark
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Diana Windley

The person elected to the Utah State Board of Education seat for District 1 will represent thousands of citizens beyond the Cache Valley area — including residents of Morgan County, where I live with my husband and daughters. I am supporting Dave Clark in this election in part for his advocacy regarding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in our public schools.
http://go.uen.org/27C

Bouchard recommended for experience, vision
Davis County Clipper letter from Sheryl Allen

Several years ago I met an extraordinary man. Mark Bouchard had assumed the chair position for Prosperity 2020, the largest business-led movement to enhance education in Utah history. I immediately recognized the value of such a group, and I quickly ascertained that Mark was a unique, eloquent leader. He truly understands the needs of education.
http://go.uen.org/27W

Candidate didn’t stand up to LGBT bullying
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Patrick Levy

Deep in the dark shadows of the 2014 congressional races dwell the humble, yet important, school board elections. These are the sorts of elections that will affect your everyday lives, and in this case, the lives of your children.
In a world where LGBT youth are committing suicide all over the country because of the way they’re treated, Mark Maxfield voted against a Salt Lake City School Board policy to protect these children from harassment. Just two years later, and one county to the north, Jack Denton Reese shot himself in the head because of the bullying he was facing in the school system.
I cannot imagine the staggering coldness it takes to turn your back on children who are so hurt that they would rather die than go back to school. Maxfield was defeated in 2010, and rightfully so. But this year he is running to regain his seat. I know next to nothing about his opponent, but I do know this: Mark Maxfield is wrong for children, wrong for Salt Lake City, and wrong for the 21st century.
http://go.uen.org/27w

Grunig good for Cache schools
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Shelly Higginbotham

Allen Grunig is up for re-election on the Cache County School Board. Allen with his educational background is a valuable asset on the board. He listens to his constituents and works to ensure that our voices and concerns are heard.
http://go.uen.org/27Z

Back against the blackboard
American teachers need more money, training, feedback, collaboration, mentoring and observation throughout their careers
The Economist book review

The Teacher Wars.
By Dana Goldstein.
Doubleday; 349 pages; $26.95.

Building a Better Teacher.
By Elizabeth Green.
W.W. Norton; 372 pages; $27.95 and £18.99.
WHAT is to be done about America’s schools? Students are graduating, if they graduate at all, with a poorer grasp of writing, reading and maths than their counterparts in other countries. And the poorest students are often warehoused in the worst schools, ensuring that public education is a poor vehicle for social mobility. Reformers have spent decades reducing class sizes and introducing standardised exams, to little effect. Lately many have taken a new tack—blaming bad teachers and the unions that protect them.
Studies on good teachers have encouraged the weeding out of bad ones. When a California judge recently struck down teacher-tenure, education reformers around the country cheered. For policymakers the solution is now plain: use data (such as exams) to ditch the duds, reward the stars and steer the strongest teachers to the neediest students.
This sounds sensible. But will it have a serious impact on the quality of education in America? Not according to two new books. The real challenge, both authors argue, is not to get rid of the bad teachers, but to attract and keep good ones and improve the middling majority.
http://go.uen.org/27S

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

Quality of Words, Not Quantity, Is Crucial to Language Skills, Study Finds
New York Times

It has been nearly 20 years since a landmark education study found that by age 3, children from low-income families have heard 30 million fewer words than more affluent children, putting them at an educational disadvantage before they even began school. The findings led to increased calls for publicly funded prekindergarten programs and dozens of campaigns urging parents to get chatty with their children.
Now, a growing body of research is challenging the notion that merely exposing poor children to more language is enough to overcome the deficits they face. The quality of the communication between children and their parents and caregivers, the researchers say, is of much greater importance than the number of words a child hears.
A study presented on Thursday at a White House conference on “bridging the word gap” found that among 2-year-olds from low-income families, quality interactions involving words — the use of shared symbols (“Look, a dog!”); rituals (“Want a bottle after your bath?”); and conversational fluency (“Yes, that is a bus!”) — were a far better predictor of language skills at age 3 than any other factor, including the quantity of words a child heard.
http://go.uen.org/27u

Skills Gaps for Online Reading Linked to Family Income
New Research Highlights Link to Family Income
Education Week

Long a cause for alarm, the gap in reading skills between poor students and their more affluent peers is well-established and worsening, researchers say.
Now, there is more bad news: The real magnitude of that reading achievement gap may be greater than previously believed, because educators and researchers have not adequately accounted for the different skills that are required to successfully read online, as opposed to in print.
That is the gist of a new study, conducted by Donald J. Leu of the University of Connecticut, which found “a large and significant achievement gap, based on income inequality, in an important new area for learning—the ability to read on the Internet to learn information,” according to a news release from the university.
http://go.uen.org/27M

A copy of the study
http://go.uen.org/27N (Ed Week)

Janet Yellen on the Broken Way America Pays for Public Schools
Bloomberg Businessweek

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stepped out of her banks-and-money specialty today to point to an issue that doesn’t usually get on the radar of central bankers: school finance. In a speech lamenting inequality in America, she said “public education spending is often lower for students in lower-income households than for students in higher-income households.”
And that, she said, is because poor school districts have to rely heavily on their own resources to pay for their children’s schooling. “A major reason the United States is different is that we are one of the few advanced nations that funds primary and secondary public education mainly through subnational taxation.”
Although Yellen didn’t call for more federal funding of education, the implication seemed to be there. It was an unusually pointed policy speech for someone from the Federal Reserve, whose officials usually limit themselves to bromides about the importance of human capital for economic growth when discussing education.
The speech, delivered at the Conference on Economic Opportunity & Inequality sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, named education as one of the four “building blocks of opportunity” that could help reduce inequality, with the other three being parents’ financial resources, starting a business, and inheritance.
http://go.uen.org/27Q

A copy of the speech
http://go.uen.org/27R (Federal Reserve)

Early Childhood Education Boosts Lifetime Achievement, Paper Finds
Wall Street Journal

Investments in early childhood education can pay for themselves because they substantially boost students’ chances of educational and economic achievement over the course of their lives.
That was the finding of a paper presented at a conference on economic opportunity and inequality sponsored by the Boston Fed.
The paper argues that strong educational guidance in the early stages of life has huge long-term payoffs.
http://go.uen.org/27T

A copy of the study
http://go.uen.org/27U (Boston Federal Reserve)

Milwaukee ordinances quash cash incentives from charter schools
Milwaukee (WI) Journal-Sentinel

Milwaukee aldermen have officially barred city-authorized public charter schools from offering cash incentives to parents or community members who refer students for enrollment.
The new ordinance the Common Council approved Tuesday also recommends the city’s lobbyists push for a statewide ban on the practice, which independent charter schools, private voucher schools and even day care centers have quietly used — in some cases for years — to boost enrollment numbers.
Enrollment is the lifeblood for schools that rely on public funding because it guarantees a certain amount of per-pupil dollars from the state.
The new city ordinance is in response to a well-advertised offer from Urban Day School this fall of $100 in cash to anyone who referred a student who enrolled in the school by the third Friday in September, the day of the official head count in schools for state enrollment purposes.
http://go.uen.org/27v

Officials Urged to Take Care With Social Media
Stateline

When the Dallas Police Department sent out a tweet this summer alerting the public that Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib had been arrested for public intoxication, the social media world lit up.
There was only one problem: Aqib Talib wasn’t busted. It was his brother, Yaqub Talib.
The department tweeted an apology within hours, followed by a press release. But the incident showed how quickly local or state government officials can commit a social media blunder that can lead to embarrassment and retractions.
As more government agencies and elected officials scramble to put the word out on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and in blogs, some are learning the hard way that they might need to take a step back and rethink the way they use social media.
“There are huge repercussions when you get it wrong or when you do it poorly,” said Lauri-Ellen Smith, the chair-elect of the Public Relations Society of America’s public affairs and government committee. “These are tools that can be very powerful and potentially dangerous to one’s career. My advice is to step away from your smartphone and take a breath,” said Smith, who is press secretary for the Jacksonville, Florida Sheriff’s Office.
http://go.uen.org/27O

Pro-Gun Group Will Push To Legalize Bringing Weapons Onto School Grounds
Bringing Gun Onto School Property Is Currently A Felony
Wisconsin Public Radio

A pro-gun advocacy group announced this week that it will push for legislation that would allow Wisconsin residents to carry weapons onto school grounds.
Carrying on school grounds is currently a felony in the state. Wisconsin Carry, however, says it wants parents and guardians who pick up their kids at school to be able to carry a weapon.
“Nearly a quarter million people in Wisconsin have applied for and received their concealed carry license,” said Nik Clark, the group’s president. “Should they forget to unload their gun and put it in a case before they so much as drive onto a school driveway in their own car to pick up their kids from the school — that’s pretty offensive that they could potentially be charged with a felony.”
The group tried to get similar legislation passed last year, but Clark said that the effort failed, in part, because the bill also addressed other issues like allowing off-duty police officers to carry guns in schools. This year, the group will push for a more stripped-down version of the bill.
http://go.uen.org/27P

Nigeria says reaches deal with Boko Haram to free abducted girls
Reuters

ABUJA – Nigeria said on Friday it had agreed a ceasefire with Islamist militants Boko Haram and reached a deal for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the group six months ago.
There was no immediate confirmation from the rebels, who have wreaked five years of havoc in Africa’s top oil producer and triggered an international outcry by seizing the girls from the northeast town of Chibok in April.
http://go.uen.org/27L

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

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

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

Related posts:

Comments are closed.