Education News Roundup: Dec. 15, 2014

Gov. Gary Herbert shakes hands with Granite Park Jr. High students. Photo from Utah Governor Gary Herbert's website.

Gov. Gary Herbert shakes hands with Granite Park Jr. High students. Photo courtesy of Tami Pyfer.

 

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

There’s some follow up on the Governor’s budget proposal.

http://go.uen.org/2u8 (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/2v9 (KTVX)

and http://go.uen.org/2uS (KUER)

and http://go.uen.org/2uV (Governor’s Office)

 

With more minority students graduating, Utah’s high school graduation rate climbs 2 percent.

http://go.uen.org/2ue (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/2uf (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/2uy (OSE)

and http://go.uen.org/2v8 (PDH)

and http://go.uen.org/2uL (KSL)

and http://go.uen.org/2uT (KNRS)

and http://go.uen.org/2uU (MUR)

and http://go.uen.org/2vd (Ed Week)

or a copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/2ug (USOE)

 

How prepared are Utah’s students?

http://go.uen.org/2ua (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/2uN (KSL)

 

Congratulations to ENR’s old boss — and former Deputy Superintendent at USOE — Gary Carlston, who is the new President of Snow College.

http://go.uen.org/2up (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/2uu (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/2vb (LHJ)

and http://go.uen.org/2vc (CVD)

 

Zions Bank CEO A. Scott Anderson calls for a tax increase for education.

http://go.uen.org/2uc (DN)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

‘Maximizing local choice’: What the governor’s budget means for Utah’s classrooms

 

Utah high school graduation rate up 2 percent Education » The 2% increase in 2014 is largely caused by the fast progress of minority students.

 

Utah students ‘grossly’ unprepared for workforce, study says

 

Utah to put $10M in revenue toward SAGE improvement, teacher development

 

Middle-School students see variety of research at One-Day University

 

Mount Ogden teachers pick up master’s degrees

 

Governor, Davis students try hands at coding

 

Student text line to report suicide, bullying already seeing success

 

Mount Logan Middle School students to design electric cars

 

Youths gain life, scientific skills with Lego robotics teams

 

Military excites Roy kids with ‘Heroes’ visits

 

Regents pick education veteran as president of Snow College Universities » Gary Carlston will head the college in Ephraim.

 

Third teen claims he had sex with Altice

 

Fort Herriman students set record with food donation

 

Tree donated in honor of Marli Hamblin

 

Clearfield High invites community to help children

 

Middle School class sets goal and provides Christmas for kids

 

Educators discuss do’s and don’ts of gifts for teachers

 

Calvin Smith Elementary SkyHawk Singers perfrom for Fox 13

 

Inside Our Schools

 

2 years later, still learning the lessons of the Sandy Hook shootings

 

Pennsylvania teachers can’t wear ‘religious garb’ to class but a repeal effort may be possible

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Herbert’s budget dares lawmakers

Take from roads, give to schools.

 

Herbert’s proposed budget is big on education — but with lots of issues still to discuss and tackle

 

Education and tax dollars

 

Thumbs up, thumbs down

 

Time for tax increase for education

 

Breaking Down Herbert’s Budget Sleight of Hand

 

Salt Lake Chamber Statement on Gov. Herbert’s Budget Proposal

 

Public education needs transformation

 

Grading the graders

 

UHSAA’s ‘good ol’ boy’ decisions

 

For schools, seek justice

 

Public Turning Against Dems On Education

 

While tribal schools suffer, military schools prosper While Bureau of Indian Education facilities languish, another set of federally run schools is upgrading to the state of the art.

 

How to Fix a Broken High Schooler, in Four Easy Steps

 

California study finds harm for some in repeating algebra, questions whether it benefits anyone

 

Does homework perpetuate inequities in education?

 

How Big is Digital Education in the United States? An End of Year Review

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Newtown two years on: More guns, more school shootings Two years after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., school shootings in the US continue at the rate of nearly one a week. Most Americans think the main problem is mental illness, not lack of gun control.

 

State Leaders Confront Full Plate of K-12 Issues Curtain to Rise on 2015 Sessions

 

In Mississippi, Education Money Gap Grows to $1.5B

 

Appeals Court Backs Student Over Violent Rap Produced Off Campus

 

School Cafeterias Try Haute Cuisine

Professional Chefs Hired to Lure Back Students Who Shun Government-Mandated Healthier Fare

 

High school student goes on strike after school removes Ten Commandments

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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‘Maximizing local choice’: What the governor’s budget means for Utah’s classrooms

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert announced last week a budget proposal that would bring $500 million in new funds to education, the largest increase for Utah’s schools in the past 25 years.

That increase would bring the total funds invested in education to $9.5 billion during the 2016 fiscal year.

Salt Lake City School District superintendent McKell Withers said the proposal recognizes the need for a new approach to education funding, opening opportunities beyond what previous investments have offered.

http://go.uen.org/2u8 (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/2v9 (KTVX)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uS (KUER)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uV (Governor’s Office)

 

 


 

 

Utah high school graduation rate up 2 percent Education » The 2% increase in 2014 is largely caused by the fast progress of minority students.

 

Utah’s high school graduation rate continued to improve in 2014, climbing 2 percent to 83 percent overall, according to data released Friday by the Utah State Office of Education.

The state’s graduation rate has increased by 7 percent since 2011, when a new, uniform calculation method was mandated by the federal government.

That increase is driven in large part by Utah’s minority students, who lag behind their white peers but in recent years have outpaced the improvement of the state as a whole.

In 2014, the number of Asian students graduating from high school jumped 6 percent to 85 percent overall. Graduation rates for Pacific Islanders increased 5 percent to 82 percent. And Latino students also graduated in greater numbers. State records show a 4 percent bump to an overall graduation rate of 72 percent.

http://go.uen.org/2ue (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uf (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uy (OSE)

 

http://go.uen.org/2v8 (PDH)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uL (KSL)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uT (KNRS)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uU (MUR)

 

http://go.uen.org/2vd (Ed Week)

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/2ug (USOE)

 

 


 

 

Utah students ‘grossly’ unprepared for workforce, study says

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Many students in Utah lack the skills and training they need to transfer seamlessly into the workforce, according to a recent poll by Dan Jones & Associates.

It makes hiring difficult for businesses like Instructure, a Utah-based technology company specializing in online learning. Out of the last 50 technology positions Instructure has hired, half of them were filled by people from out of state, according to Vice President Jeff Weber.

Community leaders are raising concerns that the gap between education output and needs of the workforce is widening, and that the long-term sustainability of Utah’s economy hangs in the balance.

“We really do have a disconnect in our community in a lot of ways, particularly communication (between) education and business people in trying to make education more market-driven,” said Stan Parrish, president of the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce.

Representatives from Utah’s business community met with educators in an education workforce alliance summit Thursday to find ways to bridge the gap, giving students opportunities to gain the skills most needed in today’s economy.

http://go.uen.org/2ua (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uN (KSL)

 

 


 

 

Utah to put $10M in revenue toward SAGE improvement, teacher development

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah education administrators are hoping to take full advantage of a one-time funding opportunity to strengthen SAGE, the state’s new year-end assessment system, and to enhance teacher training in using data to inform instruction.

The Utah State Board of Education approved funding allocations from a license agreement with Florida, Arizona and Tennessee that allows each state to use items from Utah’s SAGE test for one year. The agreement enables those states to continue developing their own assessment system while still meeting a federally mandated deadline to administer an assessment next spring.

http://go.uen.org/2uk (DN)

 

 

 


 

 

Middle-School students see variety of research at One-Day University

 

The best and brightest from Mount Logan Middle school got a hands-on university experience on Friday with the annual One-Day University. The program, which is in its fourth year, takes more than 100 middle school students to Utah State University to attend workshops showing the research opportunities available in higher education.

http://go.uen.org/2uF (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

Mount Ogden teachers pick up master’s degrees

 

OGDEN – Six teachers from Mount Ogden Junior High School have accomplished much more than teaching together — they have been students too.

After Friday they can breathe easier – five with an extra hood on their graduation gowns, that of a master’s degree — and one with a teaching degree. They joined with 2,305 Weber State University graduates — both undergrads and master’s recipients — to celebrate the big day at the Dee Events Center Friday afternoon.

Those six, along with eight other teachers in the Ogden School District, took advantage of a special grant program a little over two years ago where they would have an opportunity to earn their master’s with free tuition. The grant, through the Gear Up program, was set up to help teachers earn that next step, which in turn would provide better education for students in the district.

http://go.uen.org/2uB (OSE)

 

 

 


 

 

Governor, Davis students try hands at coding

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The answer to keeping high-paying, high-tech jobs in Utah is educating Utah’s children.

That is according to Gov. Gary Herbert, who shared his passion for technology education with students from Davis County schools on Monday.

Students from Eagle Bay Elementary in Farmington and Central Davis in Layton were invited to a kick-off event in the Gold Room at the state capitol.

http://go.uen.org/2va (DCC)

 

 


 

 

Student text line to report suicide, bullying already seeing success

 

OGDEN — A new text-in tip line designed specifically for students has already been successful in its first few weeks of operation, according to police and school officials.

The new “Friends” program was developed from existing technology used to mange crime tips. The software has been tweaked to allow students to text in and report potential suicides, bullying, abuse and drugs.

John Harvey, a deputy director in the Ogden Police Department, said the program was implemented the first week of November in Weber County schools and was introduced to the Ogden School District this week.

http://go.uen.org/2ut (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uM (KSL)

 

 


 

Mount Logan Middle School students to design electric cars

 

Starting next year, students at Mount Logan Middle School and Logan High School in the GEAR Up program will begin designing and building electric cars that will eventually be raced on the electric car track that is currently under construction at Utah State University. Representatives from USU, GEAR Up and instructors from both schools met Wednesday to discuss the project and what it will entail.

http://go.uen.org/2uG (LHJ)

 

 

 


 

 

Youths gain life, scientific skills with Lego robotics teams

 

  1. GEORGE – Twenty-three teams consisting of Washington County children in grades elementary through intermediate schools used their brainpower Saturday to get tiny robots made from Lego Mindstorms pieces to perform simple tasks.

The children participated in a Lego robotics scrimmage in the Gardner Student Center at Dixie State University as a practice run for a regional tournament set to take place Jan. 10 at the same location, said Dolores Heaton, tournament director.

http://go.uen.org/2uH (SGS)

 

 


 

 

Military excites Roy kids with ‘Heroes’ visits

 

ROY — Students at Valley View Elementary spent their morning with military heroes, not only learning about their jobs, but also hearing them read special stories.

Students sat mesmerized as they watched Air Force Security Police show how their K-9 unit is trained. As Hero, the trained German shepherd, ran toward one of the officers and bit onto his arm, the students came out of their seats, pointed and aahed in amazement. In the next room over, another group of students became excited hearing Air Force pilots talk about special missions they had been on in Iraq and the work they do. Every hand shot up in the air when Air Force pilot “Heat“ Wolfe asked for volunteers to try on some of his gear.

Different uniformed military personnel treated younger students to the reading of a book.

http://go.uen.org/2uz (OSE)

 

 

 


 

 

Regents pick education veteran as president of Snow College Universities » Gary Carlston will head the college in Ephraim.

 

Snow College has a new leader.

The Utah Board of Regents on Thursday named Gary Carlston president of the two-year college in Ephraim.

Carlston, formerly an education professor at Utah State University, has been the college’s interim president since January.

http://go.uen.org/2up (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uu (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/2vb (LHJ)

 

http://go.uen.org/2vc (CVD)

 

 

 


 

 

Third teen claims he had sex with Altice

 

FARMINGTON — A third preliminary hearing has been scheduled for a former Davis High School teacher after another student came forward claiming he had sex with her.

Brianne Altice is now charged with 10 felony counts and accused of having sex with three of her students while she taught at Davis High School.

Altice, 35, of South Weber is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing on Jan. 15.

http://go.uen.org/2uC (OSE)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uK (KUTV)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uO (KSL)

 

http://go.uen.org/2uR (KSTU)

 

http://go.uen.org/2ve (NY Daily News)

 

 


 

 

Fort Herriman students set record with food donation

 

On Friday, students at Fort Herriman Middle School loaded about 20,000 pounds of food they collected onto a Utah Food Bank truck. It is the largest student donation in history for the Food Bank, well above the record the young people set last year with 10 pallets donated.

This was a student-driven charity event called “Diamondback, Give Back.” The student body also collected $8,500 which will be used to help families in need over the holidays with things like clothing, toys and Christmas meals.

http://go.uen.org/2uv (DN)

 

 

 


 

 

Tree donated in honor of Marli Hamblin

 

SYRACUSE — A group of Syracuse community members recruited the efforts of teachers, coaches, and others and decorated a tree for Festival of Trees in memory of Marlise “Marli” Hamblin.

Marli was accidentally run over in her driveway while sunbathing on Aug. 8 and died at the hospital two days later.

Those attending Festival of Trees may have noticed the teal-clad tree, Marli’s favorite color, with Syracuse High School paraphernalia, including a football, soccer ball, and basketball signed by each team’s members. Also on display were T-shirts from clubs made into pillows, her brother’s football jersey when he was the quarterback for Syracuse High School, drill shoes signed and donated by the drill team, which Marli’s sister was a member of last year, and cheer bows tied onto the tree by the cheerleaders.

http://go.uen.org/2ux (OSE)

 

 

 


 

 

Clearfield High invites community to help children

 

CLEARFIELD — Clearfield High School is seeking to raise $14,000 in the school’s annual “Falcons are Fabulous” fundraiser next week for The Christmas Box House charity based in Ogden and students are inviting the community to help.

http://go.uen.org/2uA (OSE)

 

 

 


 

 

Middle School class sets goal and provides Christmas for kids

 

A group of students at Clayton Middle School set a goal to be role models and began looking for a way to accomplish it.

With the holiday season around the corner, they decided to invite a kindergarten class from across town to come to their school for a big surprise.

http://go.uen.org/2uJ (KUTV)

 

 

 


 

 

Educators discuss do’s and don’ts of gifts for teachers

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly 50 percent of all parents give their child’s teacher a holiday gift,  according to consumer reports, but will your child’s favorite teacher love your gift or toss it in the trash?

Here’s some teacher gifting do’s and don’ts, according to educators who spoke with FOX 13 News.

http://go.uen.org/2uP (KSTU)

 

 

 


 

 

Calvin Smith Elementary SkyHawk Singers perfrom for Fox 13

 

The Calvin Smith Elementary SkyHawk singers, from the  Granite School District, stopped by Fox 13 to share some holiday cheer.

http://go.uen.org/2uQ (KSTU)

 

 

Inside Our Schools

 

East Elementary

Enoch Elementary

Iron Springs Elementary

North Elementary

South Elementary

Cedar Middle

Canyon View Middle

Arrowhead Elementary

Hurricane Valley Academy Charter

Millcreek High

Utah Online School K-12

Riverside Elementary

http://go.uen.org/2uI (SGS)

 

 

 


 

 

2 years later, still learning the lessons of the Sandy Hook shootings

 

Two years after the Dec. 14, 2012, school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 students and six staff members dead, the complete childhood educational and psychological profile of the disturbed 20-year old shooter, Adam Lanza, has been published by the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate, the state agency that oversees child welfare.

http://go.uen.org/2us (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Pennsylvania teachers can’t wear ‘religious garb’ to class but a repeal effort may be possible

 

A 65-year-old Pennsylvania law barring teachers from wearing “religious garb” in class, though rarely enforced, has resurfaced, much to the irritation of school officials and religious liberty advocates.

http://go.uen.org/2uw (DN)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Herbert’s budget dares lawmakers

Take from roads, give to schools.

Salt Lake Tribune editorial

 

Gov. Gary Herbert has rolled out a proposed state budget that manages to give a large, overdue and politically popular boost to public education spending, without any overt call for an increase in taxes. In the process, he has double-dog dared the Utah Legislature to, well, raise taxes, or else risk being labeled as the Grinches who stole the schools’ Christmas.

Nice shot.

The state finds itself with $638 million in increased revenues for the next fiscal year, mostly due to a rapidly recovering state income tax take. And the Utah Constitution mandates that all income tax revenue go to education.

Herbert’s plan is to allocate that money into a few pots — new buildings for colleges and public schools, $58 million just to keep up with the estimated 8,000 new students who will present themselves at our schools next year and help for the state’s technical colleges. He would also allocate $161 million to an increase in the state’s basic per-pupil allocation to school districts, to be spent as local school boards saw fit.

That would amount to a 6.25 percent hike in per-pupil spending, which is more than twice what the schools saw last year and the biggest single hike in that line item in the last 25 years. Given Utah’s eternal at-or-near-the-bottom ranking in per-pupil spending, and the hit education took during the recession, such a boost is well justified.

The catch is that, in order for all the numbers to balance, $94 million would have to come out of general fund/sales tax revenue that, in recent years, lawmakers have earmarked for specific capital improvements, mostly highways.

http://go.uen.org/2uq

 

 


 

 

Herbert’s proposed budget is big on education — but with lots of issues still to discuss and tackle Deseret News editorial

 

It would be hard to argue that Gov. Gary Herbert’s proposed fiscal budget for 2015 short-changes education. The governor is asking for the largest increase in public school funding in a quarter century.

This reflects the good economic times in which Utah finds itself once again. Estimates are the state will see $638 million in revenue growth for purposes of crafting this budget. But even that doesn’t account for all of the governor’s proposed largesse. He wants to remove earmarks for transportation, use that money for education and begin a much-needed discussion at the Legislature about whether, and how, to raise the state’s gasoline tax.

More on that in a minute, but first a caution about education spending. While it’s good to increase the weighted pupil unit and give school districts the opportunity to provide meaningful teacher pay raises, money alone isn’t going to improve how Utah’s children are taught. Innovation and accountability remain necessary ingredients.

http://go.uen.org/2uj

 

 

 


 

 

Education and tax dollars

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

 

It looks as if the state will have a large amount of money to fund the state’s business as the new Legislature prepares to meet next month. In fact, we have about $638 million extra dollars, according to Gov. Gary Herbert’s budget. We would like legislators to also adopt a 1 percent personal income tax that would be dedicated for education. That, along with a strong push for education from the governor’s budget — one that is expected to last a decade — would dramatically increase Utah’s commitment to education compared to other states.

There is a sponsor for such a proposal, Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Logan. The roughly $584 million proposal will be used in part to bring Utah schools up to date on technology advances. In our opinion, students’ ability to navigate the Internet, as well as master computers, tablets, web-based learning devices and more will determine in part their long-term success.

Taxes are not cheap, but this one is an investment in Utah’s education success.

http://go.uen.org/2uD

 

 

 


 

 

Thumbs up, thumbs down

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

 

Thumbs down: To the stress that students’ standardized testing is causing many of our educators. According to a survey from the  National Education Association, nearly half of teachers are mulling over whether they should leave the profession due to that concern.

http://go.uen.org/2uE

 

 


 

 

Time for tax increase for education

Deseret News op-ed by A. Scott Anderson, CEO and president of Zions Bank

 

Utah leads the nation in a number of economic measures and quality of life. But the one area where we don’t excel, where we struggle, is the one that matters the most — the education of our young people.

As I look at my four grandchildren — ages 10, 7, 3 and 3 — and as I am aware of the direct correlation between a good education and earning a livable wage, I am concerned about their future, and the future of all of Utah’s young people. We won’t have the nation’s best economy for long — or best quality of life — if we provide only average education compared with other states and much worse than average compared with other developed nations.

http://go.uen.org/2uc

 

 


 

 

 

Breaking Down Herbert’s Budget Sleight of Hand Utah Policy commentary by columnist Bob Bernick

 

No tax hike.

No tax cut.

Spend just about all the new money coming into state government – a near record $638 million.

That, in a nutshell, is GOP Gov. Gary Herbert’s suggested 2015-2016 budget, released Thursday morning.

Herbert, who is looking ahead to a 2016 re-election, believes there should be more money for roads and bridges, but isn’t ready to suggest how the current state per-gallon gas tax should be restructured.

There’s a clear need for more money for water development projects, he said. But Herbert is not ready to recommend how that should happen, either.

The governor does want to spend a record amount on public and higher education, with 68 percent of all new monies going into his “No. 1 budget priority.”

He wants a 6.25 percent increase in the Weighted Pupil Unit, the main state public education funding formula, which – depending on the labor agreements made by each of the 41 local school districts – could be a healthy pay hike for teachers.

He wants a 2 percent pay hike for state college employees, with a few million dollars kicked into college funds for special performance incentives.

But Herbert is not suggesting any kind of income tax reform or general tax hike for schools – as some pro-education groups are advocating.

He does want a kind of financial slight of hand, however: Take $94 million of General Fund monies that are now sales tax earmarks for road and water projects and give that money unencumbered back into the GF – where it can offset sales taxes going into colleges, which in turn will allow more GF money to flow into public education.

It’s an odd twist, since at the same time the governor says there are enough road revenues to pay for currently-scheduled road construction and maintenance.

http://go.uen.org/2u9

 


 

 

 

Salt Lake Chamber Statement on Gov. Herbert’s Budget Proposal Utah Policy commentary by Lane Beattie, president and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber

 

Utah’s robust economy is the envy of the nation and announcements this week of strong revenue growth demonstrate our continued economic success and fiscal discipline. Our current prosperity is in large part due to the critical decisions made in decades past by forward thinking leaders. Today’s leaders have the same opportunity. In good times we must invest.

Our state has clear warning signs in educational achievement and growing transportation needs that require investment today. We will compromise our future economic success if we ignore these needs. Governor Herbert has demonstrated economic leadership in addressing many of these issues in his budget. The business community looks forward to working with the Legislature and the governor to make the critical investments necessary for continued prosperity.

Of particular importance to Utah’s business community are these priorities that the governor supported in his fiscal year 2015 recommendations:

Education – The governor has proposed the largest investment seen in recent decades in education by recommending nearly $500 million in new state funds. Approval of this budget would amount to over $1.3 billion in new money over four years. This includes funding many of the key programs recommended in the five-year “Prosperity through Education” plan developed by Prosperity 2020 and Education First. The business community deeply appreciates the governor’s leadership in proposing this investment in Utah’s future workforce.

http://go.uen.org/2uh

 

 


 

 

 

Public education needs transformation

Deseret News commentary by columnist John Florez

 

“If you have a child entering grade school this fall, file away just one number with all those back-to-school forms: 65 percent.”

“Chances are just that good that, in spite of anything you do, little Oliver or Abigail won’t end up a doctor or lawyer — or, indeed, anything else you’ve ever heard of. … Fully 65 percent of today’s grade-school kids may end up doing work that hasn’t been invented yet,” according to an article titled Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade in the New York Times in 2011.

If we don’t know what kind of work our students will be doing in the future, why do business folks and politicians keep making incremental changes to education when the world is changing exponentially?

http://go.uen.org/2ui

 

 


 

 

Grading the graders

Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

 

Retired elementary school teacher Carol Van Wagoner can’t quite stay away from the profession, so she works as a regular substitute teacher.

She was subbing recently at Hillside Middle School in the Salt Lake City School District, when she and her eighth-grade social studies students came up with an idea.

Since the Utah Legislature pushes for grading schools, teachers and school districts, the Hillside bunch wants to see each legislator spend five days teaching at elementary and secondary schools.

http://go.uen.org/2ub

 

 

 


 

 

UHSAA’s ‘good ol’ boy’ decisions

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Larry Eldracher

 

The Utah High School Activities Association’s Board of Trustees decision regarding Region 5 in the 4A classification proves once and for all what was already apparent to those of us who are most familiar with how they truly operate.

Despite public pronouncements about travel, tradition, rivalries, fairness and balance, their realignment decisions have never reflected those principles to the proper degree. What they have represented is leverage, “good ol’ boy” connections, influence and self interest.

http://go.uen.org/2ur

 

 


 

 

For schools, seek justice

Philadelphia Enquirer op-ed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

 

As I watch what is happening in Philadelphia’s public education system, I can only conclude that until some glaring funding injustices are fixed, in Philadelphia and in many school systems around the country, we will never live up to our nation’s aspirational promises of justice.

Philadelphia represents one of the most vivid examples nationally of what happens when systems fail to fund schools properly. At Lingelbach Elementary School, Principal Marc Gosselin has an annual discretionary budget of $160 – and poison ivy climbing the edges of his classroom windows. Teacher Jason Chuong has to work part-time at seven different city schools, none of which can afford a full-time music teacher. And while many in Philadelphia’s suburbs send their children to well-funded schools, the district is in such straits that several nonprofit organizations wrote Gov. Corbett in 2013, saying Pennsylvania has failed in its basic duties under the state’s constitution.

“A system that fails to provide for the academic success of its students is not just an academic problem,” the letter reads. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s workers, citizens, and taxpayers. To the extent we fail them today, Pennsylvania’s communities will fail in the future.”

http://go.uen.org/2um

 

 


 

 

Public Turning Against Dems On Education Daily Caller commentary by columnist Blake Neff

 

Democrats are losing their longstanding advantage on the issue of education, according to a new poll by the centrist think tank Third Way.

As recently as 2012, voters trusted Democrats over Republicans on education by 25 percentage points or more. Now, that advantage has shrunk to only eight points, a drastically narrowed margin. Thirty-four percent of voters trust Democrats most to handle K-12 education issues, compared to 26 percent who trust Republicans most.

The poll also probed voters more deeply to see how they assessed each of the party’s positions on education, and the sentiments were often not good for Democrats. Forty-eight percent of voters and even 40 percent of teachers described Democrats as “pouring money into a broken system,” while 30 percent of voters and 25 percent of teachers agreed that Democrats put “the interests of teachers above the interests of students.” Democrats were also associated with defending the existing K-12 system and with being captured by educational special interests.

Not everything was awful for Democrats, as Republicans were more likely to be accused by both teachers and the voting public of being complacent about public schools and unwilling to make changes that could boost student performance.

However, merely breaking even with Republicans is a bad sign for Democrats, argues Third Way social policy director Lanae Hatalsky.

http://go.uen.org/2ud

 

 

 


 

 

While tribal schools suffer, military schools prosper While Bureau of Indian Education facilities languish, another set of federally run schools is upgrading to the state of the art.

Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial

 

If federal officials need inspiration and a model for fixing broken-down American Indian schools, they should get out of their Washington, D.C., offices and head a few miles down the road to this military installation in northern Virginia.

Nestled in a quiet, wooded spot on the Marine Corps base is the squat, 62-year-old Russell Elementary. Like many aging schools in the federal government’s two separate K-12 school systems — serving the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) — Russell’s worn-out s

Structure and mechanicals have pushed the building past its expiration date.

But while funding for BIE replacement schools has faltered due to bureaucratic neglect and congressional indifference, most students in DOD schools will soon attend classes in new buildings.

The agency is in the midst of a decadelong, $5 billion push to rebuild 134 of its 181 schools. Next spring, students from Russell will move just across the road into the stunning new $47 million Crossroads Elementary.

http://go.uen.org/2v7

 

 

 


 

 

How to Fix a Broken High Schooler, in Four Easy Steps (New York) WNYC Freakonomics Radio commentary

 

Okay, maybe the steps aren’t so easy. But a program run out of a Toronto housing project has had great success in turning around kids who were headed for trouble.

http://go.uen.org/2v4

 

 

 


 

 

California study finds harm for some in repeating algebra, questions whether it benefits anyone Hechinger Report commentary by columnist Jill Barshay

 

One of the most often repeated courses in U.S. high schools is algebra. Teachers and school leaders understandably worry whether a student who can’t solve basic equations should move on in math, to geometry or advanced algebra. So the student takes algebra again. Sometimes, even students with B’s in algebra are asked to repeat it because their teachers are concerned that they haven’t mastered the material.

Unfortunately, a growing body of research is showing that when you march a teenager through the same algebra class again, it doesn’t help much. And this is part of an overall picture of students repeating classes or an entire year of school without good results. Without addressing a child’s underlying learning issues or missing foundations, repetition alone is rarely effective and sometimes harmful.

http://go.uen.org/2v2

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/2v3 (Institute of Education Sciences)

 

 


 

 

 

Does homework perpetuate inequities in education?

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development analysis

 

  • While most 15-year-old students spend part of their after-school time doing homework, the amount of time they spend on it shrank between 2003 and 2012.
  • Socio-economically advantaged students and students who attend socio-economically advantaged schools tend to spend more time doing homework.
  • While the amount of homework assigned is associated with mathematics performance among students and schools, other factors are more important in determining the performance of school systems as a whole.

http://go.uen.org/2ul

 

 

 


 

 

How Big is Digital Education in the United States? An End of Year Review Brookings Institution commentary by research analyst Joshua Bleiberg

 

Buzz about the potential of digital learning abounds. Despite the excitement, relatively little is known about how many students are actually taking advantage of digital learning opportunities. This is partly due to online learning tools having numerous forms, rendering them difficult to track. In addition, policies also vary greatly across states. A new report, Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning, helps to shed light on the state of online learning in the United States.

Thirty states offer fully online schools that grant degrees. There are approximately 315,000 students enrolled in this type of digital school. This represents about half of one percent of the overall primary and secondary school population. But, the number of students enrolled in online schools is growing rapidly. This past school year enrollment increased by 6.2 percent. In addition, virtual schools, which provide supplementary course offerings, have about 740,000 course enrollments in the 2013-2014 school year.

http://go.uen.org/2v5

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Newtown two years on: More guns, more school shootings Two years after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., school shootings in the US continue at the rate of nearly one a week. Most Americans think the main problem is mental illness, not lack of gun control.

Christian Science Monitor

 

In Newtown, Conn., there’ll be no commemoration on the two-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School Dec. 14, 2012. Instead, school and town officials say, Sunday is being marked by personal reflection and remembrance for the 20 children and 6 adult staff killed by a troubled young man obsessed with guns.

The school has been torn down, and a new one is being built. The home of the shooter, Adam Lanza, who killed himself as police approached the school, has been acquired by the town, and it too is likely to be destroyed. Lanza had killed his mother there before he set out for the school. A 12-member commission, including some parents of children killed, is planning a memorial site – perhaps a park or garden as well as an indoor art exhibit.

For the 6- and 7-year old first graders who cowered or ran as they saw their classmates killed, counseling and therapy services will be available for the rest of their school years there. Some of the families of those lost are considering wrongful death lawsuits, although it’s unclear who they would sue.

While Newtown grabbed the nation’s attention, school shootings remain common across the United States, Reuters reports.

http://go.uen.org/2un

 

 

 


 

 

State Leaders Confront Full Plate of K-12 Issues Curtain to Rise on 2015 Sessions Education Week

 

After a strong showing by Republicans in state-level elections last month, lawmakers and governors—new and re-elected—are turning their attention to the 2015 legislative sessions, where such issues as common standards, testing, and school choice are likely to dominate the education policy debate.

Added to the political mix is a generally improving economic climate that could turn up the heat on lawmakers in many states to raise K-12 spending at a time when some are already re-examining how they allocate money for public schools.

In broad terms, the political momentum going into next year’s sessions has a clear direction: The GOP will control 30 legislatures, up from 27 before the midterm elections, compared with just 11 for Democrats, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL. (Eight legislatures are split.)

The Nov. 4 elections gave the Republicans new, undivided power over legislative chambers in New Hampshire and West Virginia, while they took control of one chamber each in Colorado, Minnesota, and New Mexico.

http://go.uen.org/2uY

 

 


 

 

In Mississippi, Education Money Gap Grows to $1.5B Associated Press

 

DURANT, Miss. — In a state with a long history of lousy education, and a bad habit of not paying for it, nowhere is the problem more profound than in this tiny town in the middle of Mississippi.

Durant Public School teachers spend their nights on the Internet, searching for math and other problems to give their students because the school doesn’t have any up-to-date textbooks.

School leaders say they can’t afford new books or a reading coach to help raise the district’s “D” academic rating. There’s a leaky roof and crumbling ceiling tiles, no marching band and no advanced placement classes. To save money, the number of teachers and their assistants were reduced and administrators took pay cuts.

The troubles in this town of 2,700, where the closest Wal-Mart is about 20 miles away, illustrate pressures across Mississippi. Since 2008, legislators have ignored a state law and spent $1.5 billion less on education than what’s required. The cuts are among the deepest in the nation.

http://go.uen.org/2uW

 

Sidebar

http://go.uen.org/2uXm (AP)

 

 

 


 

 

Appeals Court Backs Student Over Violent Rap Produced Off Campus Education Week

 

A federal appeals court has ruled that a high school student’s rap song using vulgar and violent lyrics to criticize two male coaches at his school, on the grounds that they allegedly sexually harassed female students, is protected by the First Amendment.

The panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in New Orleans, ruled 2-1 that the student’s rap message was produced and distrubuted entirely outside of school and did not substantially disrupt school.

The majority said a federal trial court went too far by ruling that the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1969 decision about student speech in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District applied to students’ off-campus speech.

“We do not decide whether the Tinker substantial-disruption test can be applied to a student’s rap song that he composed, recorded, and posted on the Internet while he was off campus during non-school hours,” the 5th Circuit majority said. “Rather, we decide only that, even assuming arguendo the School Board could invoke Tinker in this case, it would not afford the School Board a defense for its violation of [student Taylor] Bell’s First Amendment rights because the evidence does not support a finding, as would be required by Tinker, that Bell’s song either substantially disrupted the school’s work or discipline or that the school officials reasonably could have forecasted such a disruption.”

http://go.uen.org/2uZ

 

A copy of the ruling

http://go.uen.org/2v0 (5th Circuit Court of Appeals)

 

 

 


 

 

School Cafeterias Try Haute Cuisine

Professional Chefs Hired to Lure Back Students Who Shun Government-Mandated Healthier Fare Wall Street Journal

 

The Santa Clarita Valley school systems in California lost $250,000 in cafeteria sales last year when students rejected healthier fare designed to meet new federal nutrition standards. Now the districts are trying to win back diners by hiring a chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu, the prestigious culinary school.

To make the lower-fat, reduced-sodium fare more appealing, new hire Brittany Young is employing restaurant-style techniques. She moved popcorn chicken out of a steamy wax bag and into an open boat serving platter. She told kitchen staff to wipe down serving bowls so chow mein noodles don’t hang over the side. “Think about how [you’d] like to see the food,” Ms. Young told them.

Ms. Young plans to add a new item to the school menu in January, a chicken quesadilla that scored high marks with student taste testers.

School cafeterias, long run by no-frills lunch ladies, are turning to fancier chefs and culinary-school graduates to improve their food. While some districts have employed professionally trained cooks for years, the introduction of tougher nutrition rules in 2012 is making them more of a necessity as students shun wholesome dishes and cafeteria revenues fall, schools say.

“Once you move from chicken nuggets to roast chicken, somebody needs to know how to cook,” said Ann Cooper, director of food services for the Boulder Valley School District in Colorado. The number of districts employing professionally trained cooks has “gone from virtually none to dozens, if not hundreds, in a decade.”

http://go.uen.org/2uo

 

 


 

 

High school student goes on strike after school removes Ten Commandments FoxNews

 

A fight over the Ten Commandments is causing controversy at an Ohio public high school.

Harding High School’s class of 1953 gifted a copy of the Ten Commandments to the school. For years the plaque hung in a school hallway next to the preamble of the United States Constitution, but in August the principal ordered it taken down.

Marion City Schools said it acted to avoid legal challenges that have been prompted by similar Ten Commandments displays in other Ohio public school districts.

The removal prompted freshman Anthony Miller to go on strike. He is attending classes at the Marion school, but not doing classwork or homework.

http://go.uen.org/2v6

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

January 8:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

January:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

January 26:

Opening day of the Utah Legislature

Capitol Building

http://le.utah.gov/

 

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