Education News Roundup: Jan. 8, 2015

1-26 kids readingEducation News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Ed Week spotlights the early childhood education program in Granite District.

http://go.uen.org/2Ba (Education Week)

 

D-News looks at STEM education in the state.

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

 

GAO looks at the data links between K-16 and the workplace.

http://go.uen.org/2B4 (Inside Higher Ed) or a copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/2B5 (GAO)

 

Study finds reading to your kids, even your older kids, is a good thing.

http://go.uen.org/2B1 (NYT)

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Utah District Sees Pre-K as Tangible Investment

 

Utah Earns a C-Minus on State Report Card, Ranks 35th in Nation

 

Educators seek to enhance STEM skills for current and future workforce

 

New open data website sheds light on state government in Utah

 

Poll: Utahns Support Increased Civics Knowledge to Graduate

 

SUU to offer new graduate programs this year

 

Education focus for Jan. 15 town hall

 

Moab Charter School maintains steady ‘B’ grade in state school SAGE test results

 

Gun found next to body of teen

 

2 Utah County youths contract measles on recent Disney vacation

 

New Mexico district partners on Navajo education program

 

Public meeting: Washington County Board of Education

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Education, Workforce and Healthcare

 

The “vast right wing conspiracy” is at is again…

 

Administrators Say Opportunities for Learning Computer Science Vary Widely

 

Surveying the Common-Core Chatter: How Will the Standards Fare in 2015?

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Elusive Data on Education and Workforce

 

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own

 

GOP bill would make failing public schools charters

 

California girl, 15, arrested over social media threats to school

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Utah District Sees Pre-K as Tangible Investment

 

The long-standing pre-K program in Granite School District, which covers parts of the Salt Lake City, Utah, metropolitan area, was so successful that school officials were able to convince investment firm Goldman Sachs and investor J.B. Pritzker in 2013 to front the money for expanding it through type of financing known as a social impact bond. Investment in early education saves money by keeping capable, but disadvantaged, children out of pricey special education services farther down the road, according to Brenda Van Gorder, the director of preschool services for the 70,000-student district. Those savings then can be used to pay off the loan.

Granite’s expanded program now serves about 3,000 3- to 5-year-olds, most of whom attend preschool for free or pay tuition on a sliding scale based on their families’ income. Nearly half the preschoolers are eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch, and nearly 40 percent are either ethnically diverse or speak a language other than English when they enter school, said Ms. Van Gorder.

In addition to the $7 million social-impact bond, money comes from the federal government through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or Title I funds, as well as smaller grants and donations from community organizations.

http://go.uen.org/2Ba (Education Week)

 

 


 

 

Utah Earns a C-Minus on State Report Card, Ranks 35th in Nation

 

After a one-year hiatus from issuing state grades, the 19th annual edition of Quality Counts—Preparing to Launch: Early Childhood’s Academic Countdown—resumes Education Week’s long-standing tradition of grading the states on their performance. This year, those grades return in a newer, leaner form that focuses on outcomes rather than on policy and processes. A state’s overall grade is the average of its scores on the three separate indices tracked by the report.

This year, Utah finishes 35th among the 50 states and District of Columbia, with an overall score of 70.5 out of 100 points and a grade of C-minus. The nation as a whole posts a grade of C.

http://go.uen.org/2Be (Education Week)

 

 


 

 

Educators seek to enhance STEM skills for current and future workforce

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Businesses across the state are calling for a more skilled and qualified workforce, especially among recent college graduates in fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

It’s a call that Utah educators say they are taking seriously.

The Ogden School District and the YMCA of Northern Utah this week are introducing new after-school programs for K-12 students that focus on STEM academic assistance and career exploration — the first time that YMCA programs have been offered to high school students in the area.

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

 

 


 

 

 

New open data website sheds light on state government in Utah

 

SALT LAKE CITY — In an effort to be more transparent, the state government recently unveiled a new online catalog.

Users can now visit opendata.Utah.Gov to view data provided by every agency in the state, and the website is the product of a bill passed by the Utah Legislature last year.

Users can view everything to crimes that were committed in an area to the location of traffic accidents at any intersection. Users can also compare the grade’s Utah schools received, and they can view how much money a state agency is allocated and what they spend those funds on.

http://go.uen.org/2B7 (KSTU)

 

 


 

 

Poll: Utahns Support Increased Civics Knowledge to Graduate

 

Utahns really, really like the idea of requiring Utah high school students to pass the U.S. Citizenship test before graduating.

The idea, pushed by Rep. Steve Eliason (R-Salt Lake City), Sen. Howard Stephenson (R-Draper) and Overstock.com Chairman of the Board Jonathan Johnson, would require high school students to pass the 100-question test in order to graduate. The test covers basic knowledge about U.S. government and history.

Our latest UtahPolicy.com survey finds some 80% of Utahns say they support the idea, and 54% say they strongly support the plan.

http://go.uen.org/2AK (UP)

 

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

 

 

 


 

 

SUU to offer new graduate programs this year

 

CEDAR CITY – Southern Utah University will unveil new graduate programs in 2015 as it continues it’s growth in Cedar City.

Starting in the summer, SUU will offer a master’s in music education degree, said Mark Atkinson, dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at SUU.

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

 

 


 

 

Education focus for Jan. 15 town hall

 

BOUNTIFUL — Education will be the focus of a special forum open to the public that will feature both elected officials and school leaders.

“Education is such an important part of our community,” said Ray Ward, who was recently elected to represent District 19 in the Utah House of Representatives. “We hope that this will be a good chance to get feedback from the public to the officeholders who are making decisions about education, and for everyone to understand the process better.”

The meeting, billed as the South Davis Region Town Hall meeting, is set for Thursday, Jan. 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Bountiful City Hall.

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

 

 


 

 

Moab Charter School maintains steady ‘B’ grade in state school SAGE test results

 

When the Utah State Office of Education released letter grades for public schools last month, the results came as a shock to school officials across the state. Many schools received significantly lower scores and grades than they were assigned last year.

Moab Charter School was able to maintain a “B,” the same grade the school was assigned last year.

http://go.uen.org/2B9 (Moab Times-Independent)

 

 


 

 

Gun found next to body of teen

 

BEAVER – The body of a teenage girl found in a Beaver High School bathroom Monday afternoon was laying next to a gun.

The manner of death, however, remains under investigation.

Beaver County Sheriff Cameron Noel said officials believed the cause of death was by gun shot but wouldn’t comment further.

Beaver County School District Superintendent Ray Terry said the district’s Crisis Response Team and sheriff’s office personnel met after the girl was discovered and planned out how the news would be brought to the student body the next day.

The students were told Tuesday during their first classes, Terry said, adding that along with the news students were advised who to go to if they felt the need.

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

 

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

 

 

 


 

 

2 Utah County youths contract measles on recent Disney vacation

 

PROVO — Two Utah County residents came home from a recent Disneyland trip with more than just memories of their family vacation.

The two, reported to be under age 18, were exposed to the measles virus at the amusement park and neighboring Disney California Adventure Park in mid-December. The two had not received measles vaccinations, according to the Utah County Health Department.

Health department officials are asking the public to retrace their steps to determine if they, too, might have been exposed, as the two affected Utah County residents were contagious from Dec. 27 through Jan. 5 and reportedly visited several Provo and Orem locations — including grocery stores, movie theaters, an LDS Church building and two hospitals — during that time.

About 4 percent to 5 percent of school children in Utah County have obtained exemptions from receiving one or more vaccinations, authorized out of parental choice or medical necessity. However, Madigan said, the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is one of the most commonly given there.

In addition to two doses of the MMR vaccine — given at age 1 and again before kindergarten — children headed to school are encouraged to get vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, hepatitis A and B, and polio.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2B8 (Los Angeles Times)

 

 

 


 

 

New Mexico district partners on Navajo education program

 

SHIPROCK, N.M.— A school district in northwestern New Mexico is teaming up with the Navajo Nation as part of a pilot program that will assess students’ knowledge of Navajo life and history.

The Central Consolidated School District and the tribe’s education department will be piloting the Dine Content Standards Assessment exam at five schools later this month.

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

 

 


 

 

Public meeting: Washington County Board of Education

 

  1. GEORGE — The Washington County School District Board of Education will meet on Jan. 13 at 4 p.m. at the Washington County School District offices at 121 W. Tabernacle St. in St. George and has issued a revised agenda, set forth in this report, for that meeting.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Education, Workforce and Healthcare

Utah Policy commentary by Salt Lake Chamber

 

The 2015 Public Policy Guide will be released prior to the upcoming legislative session. The policy team is releasing a series of weekly broad based policy topics that will be featured in the new guide.

The 2015 Public Policy Guide strives to obtain community prosperity through investment and will address Utah’s concerns about education, workforce and health care.

It is clear that educational achievement has direct correlation to economic progress. Utah ‘s pro business climate must be supported with a well-educated and healthy workforce. Utah is the only state in the nation with a median age under 30 and the highest percentage of its population under the age of 18. Utah must act to prepare the largest population of young people in the country to be among the most educated workforce in the nation. We must do more to keep pace with the growth of K-12 and higher education. Higher education compensation must be competitive in order to attract high quality instructors and researchers.

In order for Utah to continue to compete in a global economic arena, the state must make a plan with innovative strategies, increased accountability and targeted investments towards education. A business is only as effective as it’s workforce. A well-educated workforce is essential to fuel our continually growing economy.

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

 

 


 

 

 

The “vast right wing conspiracy” is at is again…

KNRS commentary by columnist Rod Arquette

 

The new congress hadn’t even sat down for their first dinner after being sworn in before the accusations and conspiracy theories began to fly. What’s and/or who is the target this time? Well the newly sworn in GOP majorities are said to be plotting to dismantle, or at least severely curtail the No Child Left Behind act passed under President George W. Bush in 2002.

Okay….umm….this is a bad thing? Nothing gets most parents more fired up politically than something directly impacting the education of their children. And NCLB has gained almost as much negative press and protests as Common Core has.

But of course this has to be a dastardly Republican plot to roll back education and make your kid stupid. I mean who wouldn’t want teachers to spend countless hours teaching kids the right way to fill in a testing bubble so that the school is better recognized and thus better funded? That’s a silly thing to ask. Of course that’s what teachers should do. I mean after all they shouldn’t care if your kid actually remembers what they taught them for nine months.

http://go.uen.org/2B0

 

 

 


 

 

Administrators Say Opportunities for Learning Computer Science Vary Widely Computer Science Teachers Association commentary

 

New York, NY– A new survey released today by the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), in collaboration with Oracle Academy, finds that while interest in computer science is on the rise, there are still issues with access to and understanding of computer science (CS) education in high schools.

CSTA-Oracle Academy 2014 U.S. High School CS Survey: The State of Computer Science in U.S. High Schools: an Administrator’s Perspective surveyed more than 500 high school principals and vice principals from May-September 2014. The survey sought to identify CS education opportunities being provided in high schools, determine how broadly CS is being offered in the US, and determine the different ways CS is being defined. Schools in 47 states participated with the most administrators’ responses coming from California, Pennsylvania and New York.

The survey found that CS education continues to be plagued by a misunderstanding of what computer science is as an academic subject, what academic department should be responsible for teaching it and whether it should “count” towards high school graduation requirements.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Surveying the Common-Core Chatter: How Will the Standards Fare in 2015?

Education Week commentary by columnist Andrew Ujifusa

 

If you’re closely watching how the Common Core State Standards fare in states this year, there’s been plenty of coverage and commentary about the standards for you to enjoy at the start of 2015. Discussions about the fate of the English/language arts and math standards have in some cases begun to resemble those around the stock market: Was last year’s turbulence around the common core a small market correction that will leave its long-term trajectory largely unharmed? Or was last year’s controversy over the standards merely the first warning sign of a coming bear market and a significant “sell-off” among states?

Here’s are some pieces and other news nuggets about the standards’ fate, as most states prepare for their first administration of common-core-aligned tests this coming spring:

http://go.uen.org/2B3

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Elusive Data on Education and Workforce

Inside Higher Ed

 

After eight years of work and $640 million in federal spending, state data systems that seek to link education and the workforce remain riddled with holes.

That was the conclusion of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a report released in November. The GAO looked at two federal grant programs to support states’ development of “longitudinal” data systems that try to follow students as they move from early education to K-12, college and employment.

The good news is that states are using some of the resulting data to “inform policy decisions and shape research agendas,” according to the report. And 31 states have the ability to track some people all the way through their educations and into the workforce.

However, the data are typically limited. And the report found widespread problems in matching information from various databases, particularly tracking individuals across the gap between college or high school and the employment market.

http://go.uen.org/2B4

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/2B5 (GAO)

 

 


 

 

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own New York Times

 

Cue the hand­wringing about digital distraction: Fewer children are reading books frequently for fun, according to a new report released Thursday by Scholastic, the children’s book publisher.

In a 2014 survey of just over 1,000 children ages 6 to 17, only 31 percent said they read a book for fun almost daily, down from 37 percent four years ago.

There were some consistent patterns among the heavier readers: For the younger children — ages 6 to 11 — being read aloud to regularly and having restricted online time were correlated with frequent reading; for the older children — ages 12 to 17 — one of the largest predictors was whether they had time to read on their own during the school day.

The finding about reading aloud to children long after toddlerhood may come as a surprise to some parents who read books to children at bedtime when they were very young but then tapered off. Last summer, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced a new policy recommending that all parents read to their children from birth.

http://go.uen.org/2B1

 

 

 


 

 

GOP bill would make failing public schools charters Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

 

Madison — The state would convert failing public schools to independent charter schools and cut off all state payments to failing private schools for at least four years, under a draft bill offered by Assembly Republicans Wednesday.

The sweeping measure would create a new board to assign letter grades of A through F to all publicly funded schools in the state and then lay out eventual penalties for those receiving D’s and F’s. In a shift from current law, the measure would allow private schools to use a different exam from the state test to measure student learning, though it would create a process for comparing those differing tests.

The bill would give public schools the same option, but in practice they won’t be able to use it because of federal law.

http://go.uen.org/2B6

 

 


 

 

California girl, 15, arrested over social media threats to school Reuters

 

A 15-year-old California girl has been arrested on accusations of using Instagram to anonymously threaten her San Diego-area high school, which was closed for two days this week as a result, police said on Wednesday.

Carlsbad High School, about 20 miles north of San Diego, closed mid-morning on Monday and sent students home after learning of the anonymous threat, Carlsbad School District spokesman Rick Grove said.

The school remained closed on Tuesday and re-opened on Wednesday after the girl was identified and arrested. The closure affected about 2,600 students and their families, Grove said.

http://go.uen.org/2B2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

8:30 a.m., 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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