Education News Roundup: Jan. 27, 2015

Utah State Capitol

Utah State Capitol

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Legislature asks for 2 percent budget cut proposals as an exercise in efficiency.

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

and http://go.uen.org/2K1 (DN)

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

or commentary by Sen. Lyle Hillyard

http://go.uen.org/2Kr (Senate Site)

 

Rep. Draxler says he’s getting more compliments than condemnation on his tax proposal for school funding.

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

 

KSL looks at a proposed tax credit for home school students.

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

 

Average tenure for a state superintendent? 3.2 years. Keep in mind that 12 state superintendents are elected, so ENR guesses that they’re all serving at least four years.

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

 

And because ENR almost never gets a chance to mention “Napoleon Dynamite,” here’s what happened to the bus from that movie.

http://go.uen.org/2Kf  (Idaho State Journal) and http://go.uen.org/2Kg (New York Daily News) and http://go.uen.org/2Kh (CVD)

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Even with a surplus, Utah lawmakers eye budget cuts 2% cut » Exercise seeks ways to save more than actual cuts.

 

Draxler getting mixed reviews on income tax increase for education

 

Gov. Herbert proposing $500 million for education this year

 

Notable Utah legislation to watch for in 2015

 

Parents fear cell tower on Utah middle school roof will hurt children Glendale Middle School » Parents among critics worried about radiation.

 

The Two-Generation Approach to Fighting Child Poverty These programs know that giving parents educational and economic assistance helps children as well.

 

Lone Peak sparks controversy after asking girl to wear coat over dress at dance

 

YMCA opens new doors in Ogden

 

Principal recognized with state award

 

Gov. Herbert Issues Proclamation as Utah School Choice Week Begins with 67 Events Across the State

 

Utah author Shannon Hale invites fans to donate books to needy children

 

Lindsey Stirling invades Herriman High for new music video

 

Thurl Bailey Provides Mentoring at School Assembly Outreach is Part of NBA’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

 

Students, Teachers Shave Heads To Support Kid With Cancer

 

Most K-12 students are now low income

 

Teen dating abuse and how schools can help prevent it

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Preserve our ‘herd immunity’ to measles

No excuse for failing to vaccinate.

 

What to do with Utah’s modest budget surplus?

 

School choice empowers families

 

Return to mandatory vaccines for students

 

The case against federal accountability mandates in education

 

California Challenge to Teachers Union

 

Why do we tolerate the lifeless SAT and ACT?

 

An International Look at the Single-Parent Family Family structure matters more for U.S. students

 

National Rankings Report Finds States Continue to Strengthen Charter School Laws The report also identifies the need for more changes to better support high-quality charters

 

Doing the Math on Teacher Pensions: How to Protect Teachers and Taxpayers

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Turnover, Growing Job Duties Complicate State Chiefs’ Roles Average tenure drops by half in past six years

 

Help wanted: CT commissioner with education background

 

Education committee votes down superintendent resolution

 

Study Suggests Using Poverty as a Factor in Teacher Evaluation

 

Study Finds Pro-Charter School Arguments Are More Convincing

 

BCCLC transports kids on ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ bus

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Even with a surplus, Utah lawmakers eye budget cuts 2% cut » Exercise seeks ways to save more than actual cuts.

 

Even though the state has an estimated $638 million budget surplus, legislators are launching an effort to identify possible spending cuts of about 2 percent.

It’s not that they actually expect to make those cuts, said Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, Senate chairman of the Executive Appropriations Committee. But they expect that the exercise may identify some savings and potential efficiencies.

“Before we spend new money, we should carefully scrutinize the money already being spent,” Hillyard told the Senate on Monday.

“In a similar exercise last year, we found $70 million” sitting in unused accounts or set aside for unneeded programs, he said.

Hillyard said the work will help lawmakers understand impacts if revenue were to decline and cuts need to be made. Also, he said it may identify areas where more efficiency is needed.

It is the second year in a row that the Legislature will spend its first week focusing most of its work on the state’s $13.5 billion budget.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2K1 (DN)

 

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

 

Commentary by Sen. Lyle Hillyard

http://go.uen.org/2Kr (Senate Site)

 

 

 


 

 

Draxler getting mixed reviews on income tax increase for education

 

Governor Gary Herbert says he has made education a priority by proposing that $500 million of his budget this year goes for education, most of it for public education.

A local lawmaker would like to take that even further. Rep. Jack Draxler, R-District 3, has proposed a one percent hike in the personal income tax rate to give more money to schools. So what kind of reaction has he had?

Draxler says both positive and negative, but more positive than negative.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Gov. Herbert proposing $500 million for education this year

 

The Utah Legislature got underway Monday and most Utahns are ranking education funding as one of their top priorities. During a monthly radio call-in program Thursday Governor Gary Herbert was asked how he plans to help elementary students with their crowded schools and teacher shortages.

Herbert said he is pleased to say he has budgeted just over $500 million for education this year and he hopes lawmakers will go along.

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

 

 

 


 

 

Notable Utah legislation to watch for in 2015

 

SALT LAKE CITY — With the New Year comes a freshly elected congress and a new legislative agenda for Utah. The following are some of the major legislative items that will be debated and voted on throughout 2015.

Education

Students might have to pass a civics test, or citizenship skills test, in order to graduate from high school according to a new bill, SB 60, The American Civics Education Initiative, proposed by Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper. Students would have to correctly answer 60 out of 100 questions, and he or she would be allowed to take the test as many times as necessary to pass.

For those who decide to home-school their children, a new tax credit could be enacted for homeschooling parents, under House Bill 134, introduced by Rep. David Lifferth, R-Eagle Mountain. A similar bill was also introduced in 2014 by Lifferth, but ultimately wasn’t passed by congress. The 2014 bill would have provided $500 tax credit to those who home-school.

Lifferth intended the tax credit to be of some financial assistance for home-school families who do not receive the textbooks or other materials that the public education system provides.

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

 

 


 

 

Parents fear cell tower on Utah middle school roof will hurt children Glendale Middle School » Parents among critics worried about radiation.

 

Parents and one member of the Salt Lake City School District are crying foul over a proposal to install a cellphone antenna on the roof of Glendale Middle School.

Board member Michael Clara said he’s worried the proposal has advanced too far without a public hearing or approval by the district school board, the school’s community council and the Glendale Community Council.

If built, the 8-foot-tall rooftop antenna would be the 14th cellular tower on school property in the Salt Lake City School District.

The antennas generate thousands of dollars in revenue for Utah schools, but some worry that the radiation emitted by cellular technology poses a health risk for children.

http://go.uen.org/2K9 (SLT)

 

 


 

 

 

The Two-Generation Approach to Fighting Child Poverty These programs know that giving parents educational and economic assistance helps children as well.

 

It is a universally accepted fact in the United States that one of the best ways to boost the lives of low-income and young families is to first help their kids. Paying attention to the care, education, and development of infants, toddlers, and young children can help close achievement gaps and ultimately save money in the long run on everything from social welfare programs to government assistance to the cost of prisons.

Programs such as Head Start and public preschools act “like preventive medicine,” says Brenda Van Gorder, director of Pre-School Services for the Granite School District in Salt Lake City. The goal is to help prepare these students for kindergarten and to expose them to reading early on, so that “they’re not lagging behind from the start,” she adds.

http://go.uen.org/2KC (National Journal)

 

 


 

 

Lone Peak sparks controversy after asking girl to wear coat over dress at dance

 

A Lone Peak High School student was told her dress must be covered up because it was too inappropriate for the Preference Dance at the school last Saturday.

Gabi Finlayson says she was “embarrassed,” when a representative from the school approached her as she entered the dance and told her she needed to wear a shawl or a coat to cover her shoulders.

“She said, ‘Would you mind putting on a shawl?’ I didn’t want to make a big scene so I said, yes. I had a coat in the car so I had to go back and get it,” she said.

Finlayson says she was angry after she was forced to wear her winter coat over her dress the entire dance, she says she felt as though the school was shaming her for what some of the boys might think.

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

 

 

 


 

 

YMCA opens new doors in Ogden

 

OGDEN – Area families now have another option when it comes to preschool, after school and community activities.

YMCA officially opened an Ogden Community Center, with a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday.

The facility, officially called the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation YMCA Community Family Center, is located just north of Lincoln Elementary, on the school’s property. The community center has three large rooms, a kitchen and offices.

Talk of building the 5,200 square-foot facility first started three years ago between the Ogden School District and YMCA, after the success of a Taylorsville site opened in in 2010.

YMCA Northern Utah CEO Richard West was impressed with how quickly things came together. “To think we started talking about this three years ago and we are standing here today is really something,” West said.

He credited the quick turnaround to major donors. The Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation donated $200,000 for the site, and the George S. and Delores Dore Eccles Foundation was also a large donor. West also offered high praise to the Ogden School District and city of Ogden.

“This is built on school district property and the city park is just right behind us. We were able to find a way to use existing resources,” West told the large crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Principal recognized with state award

 

  1. GEORGE – Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School Principal Sandy Ferrell is being recognized as one of the top principals in the state as the 2015 Utah Secondary Principal of the Year by the Utah Association of Secondary School Principals.

Ferrell devotes her time to ensuring each student at Sunrise Ridge receives a quality education, and has done so in various capacities over the course of her career as a teacher in special education, adult education and in the sciences in secondary schools.

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

 

 


 

 

Gov. Herbert Issues Proclamation as Utah School Choice Week Begins with 67 Events Across the State

 

School Choice Week starts today in Utah and across America.

Throughout the Week, which runs until January 31, there will be 67 school choice events across the Beehive State.

The events are part of National School Choice Week, which will feature 11,082 events across America – the largest celebration of educational opportunity in US history.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Utah author Shannon Hale invites fans to donate books to needy children

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah-based author Shannon Hale celebrated her birthday Monday, and she has just one birthday wish from her fans.

Hale, author of “The Goose Girl”and “The Princess in Black,” among others, is inviting fans to donate funds to Kids Need to Read, an organization that gifts “inspiring books to underfunded schools, libraries and literacy programs across the United States,” according to Kids Need to Read.

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

Lindsey Stirling invades Herriman High for new music video

 

HERRIMAN, Utah — Music filled the hallways of Herriman High School on Monday as dancing, hip hop violinist and YouTube artist, Lindsey Stirling, filmed her newest music video in the school’s auditorium.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Thurl Bailey Provides Mentoring at School Assembly Outreach is Part of NBA’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

 

SALT LAKE CITY – The personal and career journey of Thurl Bailey, who played professional basketball for 16 years and is now a Utah Jazz broadcast analyst, will serve as examples of leadership and teamwork when he speaks on Thursday, Jan. 29 at Bryant Middle School in Salt Lake City. The school assembly for 450 seventh and eighth graders begins at 12:30 p.m.

Bailey’s mentoring appearance is part of a five-year commitment made by the NBA, the National Basketball Players Association and the National Basketball Retired Players Association in support of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

http://go.uen.org/2KA (NBA.com)

 

 


 

 

Students, Teachers Shave Heads To Support Kid With Cancer

 

Some students and faculty at Morgan High School are sporting freshly-shaved heads in support of a boy battling cancer. The entire Morgan High basketball team and five coaches recently shaved their heads to support eleven-year-old Landon Streadbeck, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Several other students have since joined in, along with some teachers and administrators.

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

 


 

 

Most K-12 students are now low income

 

Radio personality Garrison Keillor used to have a standing joke that his fictional Lake Woebegon was where “all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average.”

That’s now been turned on its head, with over half of American kids in public schools now turning up below average, at least economically, according to a report from the Southern Education Foundation. For the first time ever, 51 percent of American public school children qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, which is the standard measure of low-income status for public schools.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Teen dating abuse and how schools can help prevent it

 

While the general public knows that Valentine’s Day is in February, most may not be aware that it is also a month dedicated to teen dating violence awareness and prevention.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Preserve our ‘herd immunity’ to measles

No excuse for failing to vaccinate.

Salt Lake Tribune editorial

 

A sad, and potentially deadly, alignment of junk science and misinformed claims of parental authority over their children has seen to it that Disneyland is no longer The Happiest Place on Earth™.

Not that the California theme park won’t soon bounce back from news that a recent outbreak of measles has been traced to its crowded crossroads. But visitors to the Magic Kingdom usually prefer to come home with mouse ears and princess crowns, not runny noses and horrendous rashes.

So far, the number of measles cases in the United States and Mexico that have been traced to an apparent exposure at Disneyland tops 70, including at least three in Utah.

Utah residents run a particular risk of contracting measles, and other supposedly conquered diseases, because it is too easy for parents here to opt out of the legal requirement that their children be immunized before attending school.

While many states allow only medically necessary or religiously based exemptions, Utah allows an all-too-squishy “personal reasons” path. That’s bad, and the Legislature should close that loophole.

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

 

 


 

 

What to do with Utah’s modest budget surplus?

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by Rep. BRAD WILSON

 

The 2015 Legislative session started earlier this week. While the first day is always filled with the traditional swearing-in ceremony, this year the House paid special tribute to recently departed Speaker Becky Lockhart. The start of this Session feels very different than any other. Perhaps it is because we have been reminded that life can take unexpected twists. It seems especially prudent, with the freshness of her loss, to make everything count.

At the outset of each session, there are always several big issue that dominate the discussion. One of the biggest this year is what to do with our modest budget surplus. Perhaps the trickiest budget situation is to have a small surplus. When times are tight; everyone feels lucky to survive without a budget cut. However, when there is a limited amount of unallocated money, entities and departments fight extra hard for their share.

We ended our fiscal year with a surplus, which we credited to income tax receipts coming in at higher than anticipated levels. Now 6 months into the current fiscal year, the trend of income tax outpacing projections has further added to the cash we can allocate this session. Couple this with low unemployment and an economy on the rise, and the surplus is projected to be about $637 million. I know that seems like an enormous number, however; if you keep in mind that the total State budget is about $14 billion you can see that the surplus doesn’t equal a tenth of the total. In addition, we anticipate $166 million of the surplus is actually a revenue anomaly, or “bubble,” so we will treat those funds as one-time money in the event it isn’t renewable next year.

Since the bulk of the surplus comes from income tax, it will be dedicated to either Public or Higher Education as required by our constitution. The competition is already heating up between those that would like to see those extra dollars go toward a tax cut, teacher pay, classroom size reductions, technology needs and a host of other ideas in for K-12 programs.

http://go.uen.org/2K2

 

 


 

 

School choice empowers families

Deseret News op-ed by Linda Harless, principal at Utah Connections Academy

 

Families make dozens of decisions every day. Some are as simple as choosing what to eat for dinner or where to go on vacation, but other decisions have a greater impact on the success of their children.

National School Choice Week will be recognized the last week of January, celebrating the opportunity that families have to choose the best education option for them and their children. School choice is exactly what it sounds like, and its importance can’t be minimized.

http://go.uen.org/2K0

 

 


 

 

 

Return to mandatory vaccines for students Salt Lake Tribune letter from Gerrie Livingston

 

In the Tribune there has been well-deserved criticism for the parents who chose and choose not to vaccinate their children.

Measles has been eradicated since 2000. If this idiocy continues, all the childhood diseases will return. Parents are clueless or in denial to the fact that these diseases can be deadly, thanks to Jenny McCarthy, Hollywood entertainer, who helps fuel this issue because she believes her child got autism from vaccines. This has been proven time and again as being untrue.

Myself, my children and grandchildren were raised in a time when you got vaccinated or you didn’t attend school. Bring back this law, please. The measles is just the beginning.

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

 

 


 

 

 

The case against federal accountability mandates in education Fordham Institute commentary by President Michael J. Petrilli

 

Congressional Republicans have promised to overhaul the No Child Left Behind act this year; the big debate so far has been whether to maintain the law’s annual testing requirements. At a hearing on the issue last week, Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), was clearly sympathetic to arguments by several witnesses that Congress should keep the testing mandate but dump the rules that prescribe how states must hold schools accountable for test results. As he summarized it for Time in an interview after the hearing, “You have to have the annual test. You have to disaggregate it. You have to report it, so we know how schools and children and school districts are doing. But after that, it’s up to the states, who spend the money and have the children and take care of them and it’s their responsibility to devise what’s success, what’s failure and [what the] consequences [should be].”

That Uncle Sam might back off of its demands that states intervene in failing schools has some reformers on the left on full alert. Chad Aldeman of Bellwether Education Partners—an alumnus of the Obama administration—considers it an abdication of responsibility, especially considering the $15 billion a year the feds spend on our schools via the Title I program. His colleague Anne Hyslop goes even further, saying it “eviscerates the federal role.”

I strongly suspect that these folks are going to lose the argument, mostly because Alexander is committed to getting the federal government out from under its current role as the “national school board,” as he often puts it. (So is House Education Committee Chairman John Kline.) Furthermore, he won’t be able to get enough Republican votes—in either the Senate or the House—if his rewrite maintains a heavy-handed federal role in education. If there’s a new law enacted this year, it will almost surely remove the federal accountability mandates.

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

 

 


 

 

California Challenge to Teachers Union

Wall Street Journal commentary

 

Center for Individual Rights President Terry Pell on how the California Teachers Union aims to defend their First Amendment rights at the Supreme Court.

http://go.uen.org/2K3

 

 


 

 

 

Why do we tolerate the lifeless SAT and ACT?

Washington Post commentary by columnist Jay Mathews

 

I don’t need more reasons to loathe the SAT and the ACT, America’s sorry excuses for college entrance exams. They are scary, narrow time-wasters. But thanks to Emory University English professor Mark Bauerlein, I now know those tests are expressly designed to keep every bit of wonder, humor, passion and religion out of the learning process.

In an article in the January edition of the journal First Things, Bauerlein takes apart the bias and sensitivity reviews all such tests are subjected to. “If you have a chance, read through two dozen passages on recent exams,” he writes. “If you find little in them that is inspiring, curious, pointed, provocative, funny or sobering; if there is no illumination of a specific group experience; no acknowledgement that a particular culture, faith, politics, or country has pluses and minuses; no hint of religious truth . . . then the reviewers have done their job well.”

Are the SAT and the ACT necessary? I don’t think so. There are alternative tests that could be used for college entrance and avoid the awful sterility of the exams we use now.

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

 

 


 

 

An International Look at the Single-Parent Family Family structure matters more for U.S. students Education Next analysis by Ludger Woessmann, professor of economics at the University of Munich

 

When Daniel Patrick Moynihan raised the issue of family structure half a century ago, his concern was the increase in black families headed by women. Since then, the share of children raised in single-parent families in the United States has grown across racial and ethnic groups and with it evidence regarding the impact of family structure on outcomes for children. Recent studies have documented a sizable achievement gap between children who live with a single parent and their peers growing up with two parents. These patterns are cause for concern, as educational achievement is a key driver of economic prosperity for both individuals and society as a whole.

But how does the U.S. situation compare to that of other countries around the world? This essay draws on data from the 2000 and 2012 Program for International Student Assessment studies to compare the prevalence of single-parent families and how family structure relates to children’s educational achievement across countries. The 2012 data confirm that the U.S. has nearly the highest incidence of single-parent families among developed countries. And the educational achievement gap between children raised in single-parent and two-parent families, although present in virtually all countries, is particularly pronounced in the U.S.

Since 2000, there have been substantial changes in achievement gaps by family structure in many countries, with the gap widening in some countries and narrowing in others. The U.S. stands out in this analysis as a country that has seen a substantial narrowing of the educational achievement gap between children from single-parent and two-parent families. These varying trends, and the pattern for the U.S. in particular, confirm that family structure is by no means destiny. Ample evidence indicates the potential for enhancing family environments, regardless of their makeup, to improve the quality of parenting, nurturing, and stimulation, and promote healthy child development.

http://go.uen.org/2K6

 

 


 

 

 

National Rankings Report Finds States Continue to Strengthen Charter School Laws The report also identifies the need for more changes to better support high-quality charters National Alliance for Public Charter Schools analysis

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – While legislative changes for public charter school funding and accountability in 2014 improved the ranking of several state laws in the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ sixth annual rankings report, the study shows the need for additional policy improvements across the nation, especially in the area of funding equity for public charter school students.

Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws is an annual report that ranks each state’s charter school law. According to the findings this year, 14 states moved up in the rankings, while 17 states fell in the rankings.

The report analyzes charter school laws in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Eight states still don’t have a charter school law and aren’t included in the rankings: Alabama, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia.

The methodology for this report includes scoring each law against 20 essential components from the National Alliance’s model law. These components consider quality and accountability, equitable access to funding and facilities, and no caps on charter school growth.

Some of the key findings from this year’s report include:

Utah moved up seven positions from 25 to 18 because of changes made to the law that now requires charter contracts to describe the rights and responsibilities of the school and the authorizer and include minimum financial standards for operating the charter school and minimum standards for student achievement.

http://go.uen.org/2K7

 

 


 

 

Doing the Math on Teacher Pensions: How to Protect Teachers and Taxpayers National Council on Teacher Quality analysis

 

Doing the Math on Teacher Pensions: How to Protect Teachers and Taxpayers challenges the claims of pension boards and other groups about the cost-effectiveness, fairness and flexibility of the traditional defined benefit pension plans still in place in 38 states. The report includes a report card on each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia with a detailed analysis of state teacher pension policies.

http://go.uen.org/2K4

 

The Utah report

http://go.uen.org/2K5

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Turnover, Growing Job Duties Complicate State Chiefs’ Roles Average tenure drops by half in past six years Education Week

 

A recent spate of departures by prominent state schools chiefs—including John B. King in New York and Kevin S. Huffman in Tennessee—is focusing attention on a turnover rate that now rivals the chronically high churn among urban superintendents.

Changes at the helm of state education agencies reflect a variety of factors, analysts say: a cycle of elections in which voters or governors in several states select new chiefs; opportunities for consulting and other jobs; and, perhaps, new and intensifying pressures on state chiefs.

The list of recently appointed chief school officers, meanwhile, suggests an uptick in the value state leaders are placing on candidates with work experience in, or other strong ties to, their states, rather than those with connections to national organizations or high-profile out-of-state work.

In short, the landscape for state chiefs seems to have shifted in some fashion, said Paul F. Manna, an associate professor of government at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Va., who has tracked turnover among chief state school officers.

“There is more turbulence in this position nowadays than there has been in the past,” Mr. Manna said.

Less clear, however, is what that turnover means for critical K-12 policies in states as they rethink strategies on issues ranging from student assessment to teacher education.

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

 

 


 

 

Help wanted: CT commissioner with education background

(Hartford) Connecticut Mirror

 

The panel searching for Connecticut’s next education commissioner wants someone who has a long background and an advanced degree in education – qualifications the last commissioner did not have and which one of the state’s teachers’ unions called for during the campaign.

“Preferred experience includes a minimum of 10 years in a high-level educational leadership role, and an advanced degree in education,” reads the announcement posted by the panel, which is made up of the voting members of the State Board of Education and a representative of the governor.

The last state education commissioner, Stefan Pryor, had a law degree and a background in economic development and experience opening a charter school. The administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s relationship with teachers fractured in 2012 after Malloy and Pryor proposed several controversial initiatives to change teacher evaluations, tenure and collective bargaining in the lowest-performing schools.

http://go.uen.org/2K8

 

 


 

 

 

Education committee votes down superintendent resolution Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

 

The House Education Committee voted down a resolution Monday that would have allowed voters to decide whether the state’s superintendent of public instruction should be elected or appointed.

House Joint Resolution 2 would have started the process of putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot for Wyoming voters to consider during the 2016 general election. Instead, the committee defeated the bill by a 7-2 vote.

Wyoming education leaders told committee members that change is not the solution to bring stability back to Wyoming education.

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

 

 


 

 

Study Suggests Using Poverty as a Factor in Teacher Evaluation Education Week

 

A forthcoming study by University of Missouri researchers finds that accounting for factors like poverty when comparing schools could lead to a more “effective and equitable” teacher-evaluation system.

The study compares a so-called “proportional evaluation” system with two other methods of teacher evaluation: A basic value-added model and one in which the performance of individual students is compared to that of their peers. Unlike the other models, proportional evaluation takes into consideration factors outside of the classroom, including school resources and the socioeconomic backgrounds of students.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/2Kv (University of Missouri Institute of Public Policy)

 

 


 

 

 

Study Finds Pro-Charter School Arguments Are More Convincing Huffington Post

 

Groups against the expansion of charter schools may need to find new talking points.

A study from Michigan State University professors Sarah Reckhow and Matt Grossman and University of Rochester Ph.D. student Benjamin C. Evans recently found that the language used by pro-charter school advocates is more effective in advancing their cause than the language used by groups who discourage support of these schools. Researchers surveyed over 1,000 Michigan residents about their views on charter schools in order to glean these results. The study was published in December in the peer-reviewed Policy Studies Journal.

Charter schools are publicly funded, but typically privately run. In recent years, the schools have proliferated: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between the school years of 1999 – 2000 and 2011 – 2012, the percentage of public schools classified as charters increased from around 2 percent to 6 percent. While support for charter schools has largely become a bipartisan issue — President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton have come out in favor, as well as Republican legislators like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, researchers were interested in ascertaining whether trends of support are likely to fall along certain ideological lines.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/2Kz (Policy Studies Journal)

 

 


 

 

BCCLC transports kids on ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ bus

(Pocatello) Idaho State Journal

 

BLACKFOOT — When Blackfoot Charter Community Learning Center (BCCLC) officials purchased a 1998 Blue Bird TC2000 school bus from Preston School District two and a half years ago, they had no idea they were buying a piece of movie history.

It wasn’t until one of their drivers watched the comedy “Napoleon Dynamite” and thought the bus on the screen looked awfully familiar that they began making some comparisons and asking questions, said Brian Thelin, transportation director for BCCLC and Bingham Academy.

When everything matched up, he decided to call the transportation director at Preston School District to confirm that the bus was indeed the one used in the movie filmed in Preston.

Thelin said that person’s response was one of surprise: “I didn’t tell you that?”

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2Kg (New York Daily News)

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 27:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00000305.htm

 

Senate Education Committee meeting

2 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SEDU0127.ag.htm

 

House Government Operations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HGOC0127.ag.htm

 

Retirement and Independent Entities Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

5 p.m., 20 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00000248.htm

 

 

January 28:

House Education Committee meeting

2 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HEDU0128.ag.htm

 

Governor’s State of the State Address

6:30 p.m., House Chambers

http://www.utah.gov/governor/news_media/article.html?article=10745

 

 

January 29:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2015&com=APPPED

 

Utah State Board of Education meeting

Noon, 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

January 30:

Senate Education Committee meeting

2 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2015&Com=SSTEDU

 

 

February 12:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

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