Education News Roundup: Dec. 22, 2014

tree42Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Standard-Examiner looks at next year’s education budget.

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

 

Alpine District OKs tax plan for University Mall.

http://go.uen.org/2×9 (SLT)

 

SITLA has a role in the proposed expansion of Hill’s test and training range.

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

 

GAO finds Common Core and non-Common Core states share similar problems in raising standards and expectations.

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

or a copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/2xX (GAO)

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Locals optimistic about 2015 Utah education budget

 

Orem City Council, Alpine School Board give green light to University Mall expansion Redevelopment » Agencies give up property taxes for 20 years in exchange for future increase.

 

Expanding Air Force’s Utah training range to fly again in 2015 Military » Desert tortoise could aid F-35s flying in Utah.

 

What does a letter grade mean for my child’s school?

 

Utah Business Women Collaborate With Governor to Discuss Women in Business

 

States That Don’t Fund Public Preschool – Part One

 

Cache Q&A: New Logan City School District Board of Education member Lisa Hopkins on hopes, challenges

 

SWATC awarded $434,000 for Computer Science Program

 

Governor: Audit on federal money is misleading

 

Top 10 of 2014 #10: Provo district moves ahead with rebuild project

 

Security upgraded in Provo School District

 

On-Site After-Hours Dental Care Now in 13 Title I Schools in Utah

 

Upcoming documentary on Polynesian culture, football, gang violence features local athletes

 

Four schools appeal alignment

 

Kaysville students win Utah math competition

 

Syracuse students relate karate to physics

 

High school students participate in SUU’s ‘Southern Utah Day of Dance’

 

Police, Bonneville students put on a Christmas for kids

 

Salt Lake teacher wins STEM instruction scholarship

 

Saving the Nativity: Kanab students restore decades-old city Christmas scene

 

Utah high school raises more than $100,000 for charity

 

Clearfield community raises $26,000 for Christmas Box

 

Dancers featured on network television visit local schools to gather donated toys

 

Greenwood Elementary brightens Christmas holidays for children

 

Students surprise veterans with trips to WWII memorial

 

64th annual Ephraim Middle School Yule Candles awarded

 

Mount Ogden teachers gobble bugs, goldfish in fundraiser

 

Local entrepreneur takes 400 kids on a magical trip

 

Contributions provide gifts to brighten Head Start families’ Christmas

 

Elementary school presented with $6,707 check, students rewarded for selling books

 

Inside Our Schools

 

Taylorsville High Madrigals share holiday cheer with Fox 13

 

Number of students being held back plunges over past decade

 

Utah Shakespeare Festival’s ‘Shakespeare-in-the-Schools’ to Stage MACBETH; Public Performance Set for 1/21

 

Students’ donation drive produces big haul for Orem treatment center

 

Education reform efforts need to focus on this to succeed

 

Feisty former NYC schools chief cuts loose on the possibilities and limits of education reform

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Utah sees improvement in graduation rates — and can still do better

 

Thumbs up, thumbs down

 

Grading the wrong things in public education

 

Doing away with cursive is bad idea with serious repercussions

 

NUAMES students raise money for kidney transplant for classmate

 

Student rights

 

Race debate should include school discipline In wake of Garner and Brown, discussion should also focus on racial bias in schools.

 

‘Public Education’ Should Fund Any Education, Not Just Government-run Schools

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Common Core, Non-Common Core States Face Similar Challenges, GAO Says

 

Common Core divides GOP’s potential 2016 field

 

Schools need a religious partner if they want any of Gov. Kasich’s student mentorship money

 

More Students—But Few Girls, Minorities—Took AP Computer Science Exams

 

Students encouraged to apply to college, while in class

 

School Segregation, the Continuing Tragedy of Ferguson Michael Brown beat the odds by graduating from high school before his death — odds that remain stacked against black students in St. Louis and the rest of the country.

 

Schools Can Bill Medicaid for More Student-Health Services, Feds Say

 

Lake Mills Elementary is schooled in green building design Energy-efficient new school at top of LEED honor roll

 

Yankees will pay for education of children of NYPD cop Rafael Ramos who was killed while on duty Saturday George Steinbrenner’s Yankee Silver Shield Foundation has, for 32 years, provided for the education of the children of New York City cops, firefighters and Port Authority employees who were killed in the line.

 

Illness Keeps More Students out of TF Schools

 

Fast food may lead to lower school results for U.S. kids -study

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Locals optimistic about 2015 Utah education budget

 

Over the holidays, Utahns have the time to ponder what could be a substantial gift to education.

Gov. Gary Herbert released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 on Dec. 11, recommending a more than $500 million increase for education.

“The proposed increase in education spending, which is the largest in 25 years, shows a commitment to improving education at the state level,” said Zac Williams, spokesman for Ogden School District, in an email to the Standard-Examiner. “This support is vital as we work to overcome the challenges faced by many Ogden students, while providing additional opportunities for our higher achievers. Preparing all students to be successful in higher education and careers is critical for the future of our community.”

Overall, educators seem to be happy about the proposal.

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

 

 


 

 

Orem City Council, Alpine School Board give green light to University Mall expansion Redevelopment » Agencies give up property taxes for 20 years in exchange for future increase.

 

A planned expansion and redesign of University Mall hinges on diverting future property taxes away from the city of Orem and the Alpine School District for two decades.

Though the tactic is standard practice with redevelopment projects, a city councilman has twice tried to put the brakes on the project. But plans to transform the 40-year-old mall into a mixed-use civic center with retail, residential and office space are going forward.

The project will bring an aging shopping center into the 21st century, Orem spokesman Steven Downs said.

“The mall, albeit great now, is really a mall of the ’90s and ’80s,” Downs said. “It’s not what a mall is today.”

The project also comes with a $57 million price tag — property tax rebates that will be taken from Orem City and Alpine School District coffers over 20 years.

Supporters say the tax breaks, which apply only to new property values, provide a no-cost investment in the economic future of Orem.

Opponents like Orem City Councilman Hans Andersen, on the other hand, say the deal puts the interests of a private developer over those of students and taxpayers.

http://go.uen.org/2×9 (SLT)

 

 


 

 

 

Expanding Air Force’s Utah training range to fly again in 2015 Military » Desert tortoise could aid F-35s flying in Utah.

 

Sen. Orrin Hatch will try in 2015 to expand the U.S. Air Force’s Utah Test and Training Range while state and local politicians and policy makers negotiate what lands will be traded.

The latest discussions would send the federal government some desert tortoises and state-owned land in exchange for some mining claims to be named later.

That’s because the state may ask the federal government to provide it with land that has mining and industrial potential in exchange for state-owned lands around the Air Force training range.

To make up the difference, Utah may give the federal government state-owned land in Washington County that’s of little development value because it is habitat for the federally protected desert tortoise, said Kim Christy, deputy director of the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

“Our anticipation is we will use that [desert tortoise] property to offset any value discrepancy,” Christy said.

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

 

 


 

 

 

What does a letter grade mean for my child’s school?

 

SALT LAKE CITY — As educators continue making sense of this year’s testing results and an abundance of other performance metrics, parents are wondering what something as simple as a letter grade means for their child’s school.

This can be especially puzzling given repeated alterations to Utah’s school grade system and how those grades are calculated. Metrics now include proficiency on the SAGE assessment and test participation, as well as graduation rates and ACT scores for high schools.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2y9 (OSE)

 

 


 

 

Utah Business Women Collaborate With Governor to Discuss Women in Business

 

Governor Gary R. Herbert met Tuesday with more than 30 of the state’s notable women business professionals at a roundtable meeting held at the University of Utah’s Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building to discuss how to improve the economic environment for Utah women.

“There’s every reason for us to be very optimistic about Utah–optimistic about our future,” said Gov. Herbert, citing the state’s diverse economy and pointing to Forbes magazine’s ranking Utah as number one Best State for Businesses and Careers.

The floor was opened for each attendee to take a turn to speak about a variety of issues and offer suggestions. In light of some recent criticism—some of it unwarranted—the entire group acknowledged that the state has some work to do.

http://go.uen.org/2×7 (UP)

 

http://go.uen.org/2×8 (PRWeb)

 

 

 


 

 

States That Don’t Fund Public Preschool – Part One

 

Ten states had no public preschool program when the National Institute for Early Education Research issued its State of Preschool Yearbook in May, based on data collected for the 2012-13 school year. But that statistic has already changed; two states have since started programs, and another two more were just awarded federal Preschool Development Grants to help them get a preschool program off the ground. We’ll have to wait for the next NIEER report for detailed data on the new programs, but here’s a quick update on five of those states.

UTAH

Utah governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, signed a bill, HB96, in March that allows for a public-private funding model whereby the state will take loans from private investors that it pays back with savings produced by providing preschool services. The model is based on evidence that children who attend preschool are less likely to need expensive special education services later on. Under the new program, the savings produced by not providing those services are to be used to pay back the loans.

Utah’s Granite School District, which covers portions of Salt Lake County, pioneered the model several years ago. The first beneficiaries of the Granite program are now in 7th grade and doing well, according to The Deseret News article outlining the new, statewide program.

Other cities have followed suit in going for privately funded loans to pay for preschool, including, most recently, Chicago. So far, Utah is the only state to put such a program in place statewide. The state has set aside $3 million to guarantee any initial loans and to fund the search for private investors.

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

 

 


 

 

Cache Q&A: New Logan City School District Board of Education member Lisa Hopkins on hopes, challenges

 

Lisa Hopkins is the newest member of the Logan City School District Board of Education after running an unopposed race to replace retiring James Blair. Hopkins is coming into the district during a time of change, including the remodeling of a number of schools, while the district also has more families at the poverty line than ever.

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

 

 


 

 

 

SWATC awarded $434,000 for Computer Science Program

 

CEDAR CITY – Southwest Applied Technology College, along with four other Southern Utah organizations, has been awarded $434,000 by the Science Technology Engineering and Math Action Center of Utah to bolster their computer science programs and increase the qualifications of Southern Utah high school students for employment in the computer industry.

Peggy Green, vice president for institutional advancement at SWATC, said the grant is a product of collaboration between the consortium of organizations, including the school districts in Iron and Washington counties, SUCCESS Academies at Southern Utah University and Dixie State University, as well as SWATC and Dixie Applied Technology College.

http://go.uen.org/2y7 (SGS)

 

 


 

 

Governor: Audit on federal money is misleading

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Republican Gov. Gary Herbert is disputing a report from Utah’s state auditor this week that found federal money is the state’s largest single revenue source.

Herbert’s spokesman Marty Carpenter said in a statement late Thursday that the report is misleading and unfair because it treats various federal funds as one $4 billion source.

The report compares that against individual state funds such as income tax, which brought in $3 billion.

The report from Auditor John Dougall, also a Republican, shows federal money accounted for about 25 percent of Utah’s spending during the budget year that ended in June.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2xK (KCSG)

 

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

 

 


 

 

Top 10 of 2014 #10: Provo district moves ahead with rebuild project

 

PROVO — There isn’t much grass growing anywhere in Utah, and especially not under the Provo City School District.

Voters approved a $108 million school reconstruction bond in November, and district officials are moving ahead with plans and preparations.

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

 

 


 

 

Security upgraded in Provo School District

 

PROVO, Utah — Kim Hawkins has been at Franklin Elementary School for 20 years, and for the last three years she has been the Principal; she said the safety of her students is always on her mind.

“I want to make sure that when parents are sending their students here, they know that they are in the safest place that they can be and we’re going to do everything to maintain their safety,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins was thrilled when a national grant, matched by the Provo School District, provided $1.2 million to strengthen security at all 18 schools. Each school now has cameras and automatic door locks.

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

 

 

 


 

 

On-Site After-Hours Dental Care Now in 13 Title I Schools in Utah

 

13 Title-I schools in Salt Lake are now providing on-site after-hours dental clinics thanks to a complex partnership of 11 groups including United Way of Salt Lake and Intermountain Healthcare.

http://go.uen.org/2y6 (KUER)

 

 


 

 

Upcoming documentary on Polynesian culture, football, gang violence features local athletes

 

SALT LAKE CITY – A new documentary set to premiere at Sundance Film Festival looks at Polynesian culture, football and gang violence, and the film features four local high school athletes.

“In Football We Trust” is a feature-length documentary that, “Follows Four High School Athletes Struggling to Balance Cultural and Familial Expectations While Hoping Football Will Provide an Escape From Gang Violence and Poverty,” according to a press release.

The film is set to premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on January 23.

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

 

 

 


 

 

Four schools appeal alignment

 

Three petitions involving four schools were filed with the Utah High School Activities Association before the deadline to appeal placement in the recent regional realignment for the 2015-17 school years.

East and Highland want to be placed in a Salt Lake County-based league for all sports but football instead of playing in northern-based Region Five against Weber, Davis and Box Elder County teams. In football, the schools want to each have one season in the northern league and one season against Salt Lake rivals such as Skyline, Olympus and Murray.

Roy is asking to be moved from 5A to 4A, where it has been competing. Ogden, citing concerns about the size and skill level of its players compared to other 4A schools, is asking to be dropped to 3AA for football only.

According to UHSAA assistant director Bart Thompson, the group’s board of trustees will consider the arguments at its January 22 meeting.

http://go.uen.org/2y8 (SLT)

 

 


 

 

Kaysville students win Utah math competition

 

KAYSVILLE — More than 10,000 students competed for the Utah Math Cup, and the winners are sixth-graders at Endeavor Elementary School.

Students in Mr. Nash’s sixth grade class took first place in the “Think Through Math Cup,” sponsored by the web-based learning system “Think Through Math.”

Over the course of five weeks, students at 97 Utah schools competed against each other, answering a total of 1.8 million math problems. The kids in Mr. Nash’s class spent 52 hours solving 39,170 problems. They won a trophy, T-shirts, and a classroom gift cards, presented Friday in a ceremony at the school, at 1870 S. 25 West, Kaysville.

http://go.uen.org/2y4 (OSE)

 

 


 

 

Syracuse students relate karate to physics

 

SYRACUSE — Senior Noah Froisland has spent the last six years learning karate, like how to pivot and move his body, but not once did he realize how physics was incorporated into those karate moves until his AP physics class this year at Syracuse High School.

During a recent class period, Mike Tobin and Geoff Warren from Tobin’s Elite Martial Arts in Clearfield showed students how breaking a board is all about actual physics, opening Froisland’s eyes to the potential behind the equations he has been learning in class.

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

 

 


 

 

 

High school students participate in SUU’s ‘Southern Utah Day of Dance’

 

CEDAR CITY – More than 100 high school dance students traveled to Southern Utah University to participate in a series of workshops at the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance’s first Southern Utah Day of Dance.

Designed to help perspective dance students learn more about SUU’s dance program, this two-day event featured classes led by dance faculty, alumni and current students. The free event was held Dec. 5-6 primarily in SUU’s Multipurpose Center’s Dance Labs. Attendees came from various areas from throughout Utah.

http://go.uen.org/2yb (Iron County Today)

 

 


 

 

Police, Bonneville students put on a Christmas for kids

 

RIVERDALE – Christmas music blared loudly over the sound of sirens and fire truck horns. Claps and cheers could be heard over all of it as a medical helicopter slowly descended onto the parking lot at Walmart early Saturday morning. As Santa appeared, a throng of Bonneville High School students cheered him over, but not before several small children rushed out of the police cars they were sitting in toward Santa.

Sixty children, some with parents, all took part in the Shop with a Hero program sponsored by the Weber County Sheriff’s Office and other Weber County police and fire departments. The largest donor to the project is Bonneville High School, whose student body donated $11,000 to the program. Student government officers were also on hand as the children ate breakfast, donated by Village Inn in Roy, and then wrapped gifts for the students after they shopped.

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

 

 


 

 

Salt Lake teacher wins STEM instruction scholarship

 

SALT LAKE CITY — For the second year in a row, a teacher in Salt Lake City School District has been awarded a professional development scholarship.

Cara Baldree at Lincoln Elementary is one of 36 teachers across the country to receive a Raytheon — Engineering is Elementary Teacher scholarship for 2014-15.

The scholarship will help Baldree implement Engineering is Elementary, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum program from the Museum of Science in Boston, in her classroom.

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

 

 

 


 

 

Saving the Nativity: Kanab students restore decades-old city Christmas scene

 

KANAB – Three decades is long enough to wait for a face-lift – at least, that was the opinion of one group of Kanab High School students.

This year, students in Joshua Baird’s art class at Kanab High School undertook a project of life-size proportions, restoring the Kanab community’s almost-life-size Nativity scene, which is approximately 33 years old.

http://go.uen.org/2xC (SGN)

 

 

 


 

 

Utah high school raises more than $100,000 for charity

 

RIVERTON, Utah — Riverton High School set a state record Friday, and it had nothing to do with a football game or test scores.

The school’s annual holiday fundraiser is the biggest of its kind, with totals that hit six figures, and a different charity benefits from their fundraising each year.

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

 

 


 

 

Clearfield community raises $26,000 for Christmas Box

 

CLEARFIELD — One thing that’s a constant every Christmas at Clearfield High School is the “Falcons are Fabulous” fundraiser, each year upping the ante for a good cause.

This year’s week-long endeavor garnered $26,632.95 raised in the larger Clearfield community for the Christmas Box House in Ogden.

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

 

 

 


 

 

Dancers featured on network television visit local schools to gather donated toys

 

Local kids got their groove on when celebrity dancers Stephen “tWitch” Boss and Allison Holker came to local schools on Friday to host dance workshops for a good cause. The married couple — famed for appearing on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance?” — held dance workshops at Wilson Elementary and Mount Logan Middle School, with the price of admission a new toy to be donated to someone in need.

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

 

 


 

 

Greenwood Elementary brightens Christmas holidays for children

 

AMERICAN FORK — Tyler Rogers’ knees were bent as he hunkered down to talk to a Greenwood Elementary School first grader at eye level on Thursday in American Fork.

The BrainStorm Inc. account manager appeared to be having a very serious conversation with the lad — what presents the boy would give his family.

“I love to see the children happy, and know there’s a lot of good in the world,” Rogers said.

A program started by school’s faculty and friends, BrainStorm employees partnered for the their second annual Sibling Santa program.

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

 

 


 

 

Students surprise veterans with trips to WWII memorial

 

Oquirrh Hills Middle School students surprised eight World War II veterans with an all-expense paid trip to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., as part of the Utah Honor Flight. The entire student body has spent months raising money for this patriotic cause, and an art class at the school painted portraits of the veterans, which were presented to them as well.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

64th annual Ephraim Middle School Yule Candles awarded

 

Two men were awarded Yule Candles during the 64th annual Ephraim Middle School Candlelight Service.

Steve Johnson of Manti was the recipient from the Manti-Sterling area, and the Ephraim area recipient was Dean Buchanan. Both men were honored for their service to the community.

The candles were presented by nine eighth grade students who have 4.0 grade point averages.

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

 

 


 

 

Mount Ogden teachers gobble bugs, goldfish in fundraiser

 

OGDEN — Forty-four Mount Ogden Junior High School students’ Christmas is much brighter this year thanks to their fellow classmates.

Students spent the last three weeks raising funds so that some of the less fortunate at their school could have Christmas for themselves and their families. Students raised $12,000, an impressive number considering over 60 percent of students at the school qualify for free or reduced lunch.

The bonus? Students got to spend Friday watching teachers, administrators and student leaders do wild and crazy antics.

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

 

 

 


 

 

Local entrepreneur takes 400 kids on a magical trip

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Three years ago Rob Corcoran took a ride on the North Pole Express with his two sons, then 2 and 4 years old. Now, he wants kids who are less fortunate to have a chance to take that same ride.

“It was a magical night,” Corcoran said.

This week, Christmas came early for the students at Washington Elementary in Salt Lake City. Some of the children who attend the school live at The Road Home, the local homeless shelter.

Nearly 400 students — grades one through six — boarded the train through the Heber Valley on the historic Heber Valley Railroad, bound for the North Pole. They were treated to cookies, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa Claus himself. Plus, each student received a Christmas gift at the end of the trip.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Contributions provide gifts to brighten Head Start families’ Christmas

 

SALT LAKE CITY — “Santa” made some early deliveries to Salt Lake CAP Head Start in recent days.

Operation Chimney Drop, made possible through generous contributions of businesses, individuals and faith organizations, provided holiday gifts to hundreds of needy families served by the early childhood education program that offers health, education and self-sufficiency services for children and families in poverty in Salt Lake and Tooele counties.

On Monday, toys and other gifts were distributed to hundreds of Head Start children and families.

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

 

 


 

 

Elementary school presented with $6,707 check, students rewarded for selling books

 

SANTA CLARA — Dixie Direct Saving Guide CEO Tony Chambers presented a $6,707.50 check to Santa Clara Elementary School Thursday morning and awarded three students with Apple iPad Minis for selling Dixie Direct Savings Guidebooks.

Dixie Direct, an 18-year-old southern Utah-based advertising agency, has provided fundraising opportunities for students within Washington County schools as they sell Dixie Direct Savings Guide books. This year, however, is the first year that the agency has awarded prizes to students for their selling efforts, Chambers said.

http://go.uen.org/2y5 (SGN)

 

 

Inside Our Schools

 

Lava Ridge Intermediate

Riverside Elementary

Hurricane Valley Academy Charter

Snow Canyon High

Iron Springs Elementary

North Elementary

Three Peaks Elementary

Canyon View Middle

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

 

 

 


 

 

Taylorsville High Madrigals share holiday cheer with Fox 13

 

The Taylorsville High Madrigals stopped by Fox 13 to share a little holiday cheer.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Utah Shakespeare Festival’s ‘Shakespeare-in-the-Schools’ to Stage MACBETH; Public Performance Set for 1/21 ​

Utah Shakespeare Festival’s ‘Shakespeare-in-the-Schools’ to Stage MACBETH; Public Performance Set for 1/21The Utah Shakespeare Festival is once again hitting the road with its Shakespeare-in-the-Schools touring production — this year performing the classic tragedy, Macbeth.

To kickoff the tour, the play will be performed for the public in the Auditorium Theatre at Southern Utah University on January 21 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $5 for general admission and may be obtained by calling the Festival’s ticket office at 1-800-PLAYTIX or 435-586-7878.

http://go.uen.org/2y3 (Broadway World)

 

 


 

 

Number of students being held back plunges over past decade

 

The numbers of students being “held back” a grade, known as “grade retention,” have tumbled in recent years, according to a new study by the American Educational Research Association.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Students’ donation drive produces big haul for Orem treatment center

 

A group of sixth grade students at Northridge Elementary have been busy this week as they wrapped up the final days of their school-wide holiday donation drive.

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

 

 


 

 

Education reform efforts need to focus on this to succeed

 

Education reform efforts need to focus on the experience of parents, not just their children. And this is especially true when the reforms involve school choice, argues a new report issued this month by the Center for Reinventing Public Education.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Feisty former NYC schools chief cuts loose on the possibilities and limits of education reform

 

Former New York City schools chief Joel Klein sat down this month to talk about his experiences in New York and his hopes for the future at an event in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Hoover Institution and co-sponsored by the Fordham Foundation. Klein has been on tour promoting his new book, “Lessons of Hope: How to Fix our Schools.”

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Utah sees improvement in graduation rates — and can still do better Deseret News editorial

 

Among the criteria for judging the success of Utah’s public education system, one particular component stands out as a critical measurement and in recent years has brought consistently good news. The rate of graduation from high school has climbed steadily over the last six years, which is no small achievement.

A reflection of that success is also seen in the dropout rate, which has now fallen from 23 percent to 15 percent over the same period. The numbers are attributed to policies undertaken on a statewide level, and within individual school districts, to focus more on the particular needs of students most at risk of falling behind and eventually leaving the system.

These programs are clearly working and should be accelerated.

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

 

 

 


 

 

Thumbs up, thumbs down

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

 

Thumbs up to Utah high school students who continue to graduate at increasing numbers. The state’s graduation rate of 83 percent is up 2 percent over the previous year and 7 percent since 2011, according to the Utah State Office of Education. The biggest gains have been among minority students.

Thumbs up to Fremont High School graduate Luke Newey, class of 2010, who won a $100,000 scholarship in the Dr. Pepper Tuition Challenge. Newey won the money throwing a football into a 24-inch opening on a target five yards away at the Big 10 Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Grading the wrong things in public education

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by LYNN STODDARD, a retired educator

 

When I read the news reports of schools in Utah getting graded for how well students performed on standardized achievement tests, I was appalled and very disappointed. We have gone downhill from the recent practice of publishing achievement test scores to compare schools. We have now added insult to injury by attaching a letter grade to those scores. High scores get A’s and low scores get D’s and F’s. Those in between get B’s and C’s. What does this accomplish? We could have saved time, money for testing and teacher and student anxiety by giving schools in affluent neighborhoods A’s and B’s and those in depressed areas D’s and F’s.

There is a fairly large number of people who believe that publishing test scores and giving grades will actually improve education and learning for students — competition will make teachers perform better and students learn better. We are caught in the assembly line mentality of thinking that schools are in the business of producing products like factories.

Actually, grading schools for doing the wrong things will further demoralize teachers and have a negative effect on students!

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

 

 


 

 

Doing away with cursive is bad idea with serious repercussions Deseret News op-ed by Rebecca Peterson, a 4.0 GPA senior and visual arts Sterling Scholar

 

Cursive is under attack. Typing is taking the place of this stylized handwriting, and cursive is being taken out of school curriculum, but at what cost? Few believe that it is an important skill worth teaching. However, learning cursive benefits us in a way that computers cannot, creates a connecting link between the generations and improves the ability to learn basic skills.

Typing presents a faster means of communicating. However, handwriting provides benefits that the technology movement has left behind.

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

 

 


 

 

 

NUAMES students raise money for kidney transplant for classmate

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by KARISSA WANG, a junior at NUAMES

 

“Here at NUAMES, we are a family” is one of the lines the Northern Utah Academy of Math, Engineering & Science uses to draw kids in.

As current students, we still hear the line during the opening talk at almost every assembly. I can’t deny that the small NUAMES population is pretty close. It is so much easier to have a personal relationship with every student when there are only a few hundred in your grade.

The size of our entire high school is less than the number of kids in the senior class of other high schools. Still, it never really sunk in how true the “family” statement is until someone really needs help. This year, one of our fellow students, whom I have classes with, ran into some trouble.

Meet John Means, NUAMES junior. A gamer, music fanatic and peer-proclaimed genius. As that description shows, John fits right in at NUAMES. A few months ago, John’s mother, Molly Means, noticed his legs were swollen after he woke up. They went to the doctor, who diagnosed him with total kidney failure.

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

 

 


 

 

Student rights

Deseret News letter from Tyler Aldrich

 

As students living in the United States, you would think that we would be able to have the same basic rights all Americans have. However, if you are a minor attending a public high school, these basic rights established in our country’s Constitution do not apply to you.

For example, if a teacher or administrator felt that you needed to be searched, they could search you and they don’t need a warrant or permission to do so.

I believe that this is considered age discrimination, because if an adult were searched without a warrant, he or she could sue and most likely win the case.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Race debate should include school discipline In wake of Garner and Brown, discussion should also focus on racial bias in schools.

USA Today op-ed by Leticia Smith-Evans, director of the Education Practice of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Russell Skiba, professor in the School Psychology Program at Indiana University

 

The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have prompted Americans once again to debate the impact of stereotypes and racial bias in our country. Discussions have ranged from the historical roots of racism to police brutality, but one element has been missing: our failure to confront the role of stereotypes and race in driving discriminatory discipline in our schools.

According to the latest federal data, black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three-and-a-half times greater than white students. On average, 5% of white students are suspended compared to 16% of black students. Black girls are suspended at a higher rate (12%) than girls of any other race. And even among the youngest children, 48% of preschool students who have received more than one suspension are black even though blacks make up just 18% of preschool enrollment.

The data also consistently tell us that differences in punishment for black students are not due to poverty or to their misbehaving at higher rates. Indeed, black students are punished more harshly for the same offense as their white peers, particularly for subjective offenses such as noncompliance or disrespect.

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

 

 

 


 

 

‘Public Education’ Should Fund Any Education, Not Just Government-run Schools (Heritage Foundation) Daily Signal commentary by Brittany Corona, research assistant in Domestic Policy Studies at The Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation

 

“Are you saying public education is just a funding mechanism? … Is all education now public [and parents] can just choose?” asked Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy Rice during oral arguments over the constitutionality of Douglas County’s Choice Scholarship Pilot Program.

The case has brought forth a question that has been at the forefront of state and national debates over school choice: what is the definition of “public education,” anyway?

“It is important to distinguish between ‘schooling’ and ‘education.’ Not all schooling is education nor all education, schooling,” wrote Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. “The proper subject of concern is education. The activities of government are mostly limited to schooling.”

School choice separates financing of education from delivery of services. Educational opportunity through school choice empowers parents with the ability to direct education funding toward a schooling option that best fits their child. Education is publicly funded, but parents can choose from among a variety of delivery options.

School choice programs make sense: it operates with the conviction that every child is unique and has unique learning needs, and one-size-fits-all government-run schools have their limits, and can’t always meet the needs of every student.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Common Core, Non-Common Core States Face Similar Challenges, GAO Says Education Week

 

States that are implementing the Common Core State Standards and those going with their own college-and-career ready expectations are using the same strategies—and facing the same types of challenges, according to a Government Accountability Office report released last week.

For instance, states in both camps are giving teachers professional development to implement the standards, but they’re worried the training isn’t high-quality. And all states with new standards are developing new instructional materials that are supposed to match them—but that can be time- consuming, and there isn’t always as much alignment as states were hoping for.

It can also be pretty tricky to communicate with parents and the public about the standards, states told the GAO, which is considered Congress’ investigative arm.

What’s more, states have the same concerns about college-and-career-aligned assessments, whether they are participating in one of two federally-funded consortia or not.

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

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/2xX (GAO)

 

 


 

 

 

Common Core divides GOP’s potential 2016 field USA Today

 

It didn’t take long for Jeb Bush to find out what he’ll be debating with his fellow Republicans if he runs for president in 2016.

Less than 24 hours after Bush announced he will “actively explore” a presidential bid, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — also a potential candidate — shot back with a one-line online ad from RandPAC, his political action committee: “We need leaders who will stand against Common Core,” the ad said.

The quick response shows how controversy over educational standards that have their roots in the education policy of President George W. Bush could affect a campaign by his younger brother.

http://go.uen.org/2y0

 

 


 

 

Schools need a religious partner if they want any of Gov. Kasich’s student mentorship money Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Gov. John Kasich’s $10 million plan to bring mentors into Ohio’s schools for students now has a surprise religious requirement – one that goes beyond what is spelled out in the legislation authorizing it.

Any school district that wants a piece of that state money must partner with both a church and a business – or a faith-based organization and a non-profit set up by a business to do community service.

No business and no faith-based partner means no state dollars.

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

 

 


 

 

 

More Students—But Few Girls, Minorities—Took AP Computer Science Exams Education Week

 

As the Advanced Placement computer science exam celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, the number of students who took the assessment skyrocketed, but females and minorities remained underrepresented and, in multiple states, not a single black or Hispanic student sat for the exam.

In one state, Montana, no female, African-American, or Hispanic student participated, an Education Week analysis of AP data found.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Students encouraged to apply to college, while in class Associated Press via Education Week

 

WASHINGTON — On an ordinary day, Lourdes Hernandez and her District of Columbia classmates in Advanced Placement English literature would have devoted these 85 minutes to analyzing “Wuthering Heights.”

But they set aside Emily Bronte’s 19th-century novel one morning last month at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus, instead spending precious class time on an urgent task: applying to college.

Hernandez sifted through paperwork on various local colleges that her teacher handed out and sought to hone her application essay.

“The hardest part is doing the personal statement,” the 19-year-old said. “Sometimes you don’t know what to say, what the college is looking for. You have to be spontaneous. You have to be unique.”

This public school on 16th Street in Northwest Washington is one of two dozen citywide that is spent class time last month on applications, part of a growing national movement to help students who face disadvantages take perhaps the most crucial step on the way to college.

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

 

 


 

 

School Segregation, the Continuing Tragedy of Ferguson Michael Brown beat the odds by graduating from high school before his death — odds that remain stacked against black students in St. Louis and the rest of the country.

ProPublica

 

Brown’s tragedy, then, is not limited to his individual potential cut brutally short. His schooling also reveals a more subtle, ongoing racial injustice: the vast disparity in resources and expectations for black children in America’s stubbornly segregated educational system.

As ProPublica has documented in a series of stories on the resegregation of America’s schools, hundreds of school districts across the nation have been released from court-enforced integration over the past 15 years. Over that same time period, the number of so-called apartheid schools — schools whose white population is 1 percent or less — has shot up. The achievement gap, greatly narrowed during the height of school desegregation, has widened.

“American schools are disturbingly racially segregated, period,” Catherine Lhamon, head of the U.S. Education Department’s civil rights office, said in an October speech. “We are reserving our expectations for our highest rigor level of courses, the courses we know our kids need to be able to be full and productive members of society, but we are reserving them for a class of kids who are white and who are wealthier.”

According to data compiled by the Education Department, black and Latino children are the least likely to be taught by a qualified, experienced teacher, to get access to courses such as chemistry and calculus, and to have access to technology.

The inequalities along racial lines are so profound nationally that in October the department’s Office for Civil Rights issued a 37-page letter to school district superintendents warning that the disparities may be unconstitutional.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2y1 (NYT)

 

 

 


 

 

Schools Can Bill Medicaid for More Student-Health Services, Feds Say Education Week

 

Advocates for school-administered student health services say new guidance issued by a federal agency this week will allow schools to bill Medicaid for more services they provide to students. Those additional reimbursements could help bolster tight budgets for school-health programs, allowing them to provide more services, such as immunizations, mental health care, and screenings for conditions like asthma, advocates say.

It’s a super wonky change that could make a big difference as schools increasingly work to improve student health and well-being. Addressing health issues can clear barriers to learning, such as undiagnosed illnesses, that low-income students frequently face, supporters say.

In the guidance, issued to state Medicaid directors, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, said that the so-called “free care rule” does not apply to schools. Under that rule, schools previously could not seek Medicaid reimbursements for services provided to Medicaid-enrolled students if they provided those services for free to other students. The rule included two exemptions: services provided to students as part of their individual plans created under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and services provided under the Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant.

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

 

A copy of the letter

http://go.uen.org/2xR (Medicaid)

 

 


 

 

Lake Mills Elementary is schooled in green building design Energy-efficient new school at top of LEED honor roll Milwaukee (WI) Journal Sentinel

 

Lake Mills — Having a “green” school became a point of pride in this Jefferson County community when it opened its middle school five years ago, liked by taxpayers because of low operating costs as well as by environmentally minded folks.

So when it came time to build a new elementary school for about 550 students, the district aimed even higher.

Both schools have renewable energy systems, but the new one has much more — from daylighting and energy-efficient LED lighting to sustainable nontoxic materials in the furniture.

Lake Mills Elementary, which opened this fall, can claim it’s the greenest in the United States because it’s the only one being judged using new, more stringent criteria set out by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Yankees will pay for education of children of NYPD cop Rafael Ramos who was killed while on duty Saturday George Steinbrenner’s Yankee Silver Shield Foundation has, for 32 years, provided for the education of the children of New York City cops, firefighters and Port Authority employees who were killed in the line.

New York Daily News

 

Yankee owner George Steinbrenner died in 2010, but his appreciation for the men and women in blue who protect New York City lives on.

For 32 years, Steinbrenner’s Yankee Silver Shield Foundation has provided for the education of the children of New York City police officers, firemen and Port Authority employees who died in the line of duty, and will do so for the family of NYPD officer Rafael Ramos, gunned down by a cold-blooded killer Saturday along with his partner, Wenjian Liu.

The foundation will pay for the education of Ramos’ son, 13-year-old Jaden, who attends Charles O. Dewey MS in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and offered to pay for the education of another son, Justin, who is a sophomore at Bowdoin College in Maine.

On Sunday, however, Bowdoin president Barry Mills informed the Ramos family that the college would provide full financial aid to enable Ramos to complete his Bowdoin education.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Illness Keeps More Students out of TF Schools Twin Falls (ID) Times-News

 

TWIN FALLS | Students are getting hit hard by illnesses in the Twin Falls School District.

The district contacted the South Central Public Health District to notify them of an increase in school absences.

Many illnesses are going around, such as respiratory and stomach viruses, said Logan Hudson, public health nurse with SCPHD.

“Right now, from what we understand, it’s a little bit of everything.”

http://go.uen.org/2y2

 

 


 

 

Fast food may lead to lower school results for U.S. kids -study Reuters

 

WASHINGTON – Eating fast food may lead to lower student test scores in math, science and reading, a recent study of U.S. school children said.

A survey showed that fast-food consumption by 8,544 fifth-graders forecast lower academic achievement in eighth grade, according to the study published in Clinical Pediatrics.

“These results provide initial evidence that fast-food consumption is associated with deleterious academic outcomes among children,” the study by Ohio State University and University of Texas researchers said.

In terms of growth in achievement, the researchers found that eighth-graders who ate fast food daily were behind those who ate no fast food by four points in reading. They were behind by three points in math and four points in science.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/2xP (Clinical Pediatrics)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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