Education News Roundup: Feb. 18, 2015

09Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Partisan school board bill moves forward.

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

and http://go.uen.org/2WL (UPC)

and http://go.uen.org/2WR (KSTU)

 

Rep. Last’s charter school funding bill runs into some opposition.

http://go.uen.org/2Ww (PR)

 

Anti-testing resolution moves forward.

http://go.uen.org/2WN (UPC)

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

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

 

Florida, by the way, also looks to slow testing.

http://go.uen.org/2Xg (Orlando Sentinel) and http://go.uen.org/2Xh (Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel)

 

Rep. Mia Love speaks against Common Core at the Legislature.

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

 

GOP remains in the driver’s seat on ESEA rewrite.

http://go.uen.org/2X0 (Ed Week)

 

Ed Week takes an interesting look at states ceding their curriculum authority.

http://go.uen.org/2X5 (Ed Week)

 

The next step against Common Core in Oklahoma? Ending use of AP tests.

http://go.uen.org/2Wy (Tulsa World)

and http://go.uen.org/2X1 (Ed Week)

 

Civics exam fails in Iowa.

http://go.uen.org/2X2 (Des Moines Register)

 

Wyoming-specific science standards fail in Wyoming.

http://go.uen.org/2Wz (Casper Star Tribune)

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

TODAY’S HEADLINES

————————————————————

 

 

UTAH

 

Senate gives preliminary approval to partisan school board election bill

 

Bill to fund charter schools stirs up local opposition Critics say H.B. 119, which would increase the funding districts give to charters, sows discord

 

Senate Gives Preliminary Approval to Property Tax Equalization Bill

 

Resolution Calling for Fewer Tests in Schools Heads to House

 

Legislature to consider massive land trade for training range

 

Bill would provide smartphone app to report bullying, suicide in schools

 

Students say lawmakers should be required to visit schools before making laws about them

 

Poll shows support for nonpartisan school board elections Education » Lawmakers are considering proposals to change the process.

 

Mia Love Tells Lawmakers about Health Care Repeal Efforts

 

Officials: Traffic safety at Top of Utah schools is full-time concern

 

Utah Applies Social Impact Bonds to Early Childhood Education The investment tool is catching on as a better, safer way to invest scarce public resources.

 

Stewart addresses students at Dixie High

 

Fossil Ridge Intermediate teacher named Outstanding Science Educator

 

Statement from South Sanpete School District

 

Judge rules latest charge will stand against Brianne Altice

 

Outbreak of whooping cough confirmed at San Juan High in Blanding

 

Tooele administrator fired after dress code dispute sues school district

 

Tooele District to hold kindergarten registration

 

Nebo District holding chess tournament for students

 

Caught on tape: principal’s tirade against special needs students

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Should Utah end SAGE testing?

 

SB97 | Property Tax Equalization

 

A case against Common Core

 

Common Core Has a Central Problem

There is no evidence that raising standards produces better academic outcomes. What does work? Having a good teacher.

 

The central problem with Jason Riley’s argument

 

An anti-education push gets more aggressive

 

What Congress and States Can Do to Reform Education Policy

 

Should we train more students to be hackers?

 

During Black History Month, helping students understand their role in history

 

Do More, Add More, Earn More

Teacher Salary Redesign Lessons from 10 First-Mover Districts

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

GOP in Driver’s Seat as Congress Tackles NCLB Rewrite House bill on move; talks start in Senate

 

States Ceding Power Over Classroom Materials

 

Oklahoma legislative committee questions legality of Advanced Placement courses in public schools

 

Iowa high schoolers will not have to pass civics exam to graduate

 

House rejects amendment requiring Wyoming-specific science standards

 

Education chief, governor agree to pare back school testing Cut back on testing in Florida schools, education commissioner and governor says

 

Christie goes from Common Core supporter to critic, blames Obama

 

What Does Common-Core Polling in Early Presidential Primary States Reveal?

 

Schools Weigh Access to Students’ Social Media Passwords

 

Senate OKs change in selection of Education Board chair; Glenda Ritz could be left out

 

Idaho industry association backs property tax plan for schools

 

Colo. pot users helping build schools with tax dollars

 

Bible distribution at some Oklahoma public schools prompts group’s complaint The distribution of Bibles in several Oklahoma public schools has sparked 26 letters of complaint from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation.

 

National PTA Urges Families to Forge School Partnerships to Support Students

 

 

 

————————————————————

UTAH NEWS

————————————————————

 

Senate gives preliminary approval to partisan school board election bill

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill that would modify the election system for members of the Utah State Board of Education and many local school boards.

The current system, which uses a nominating committee to find candidates who are then chosen by the governor to be placed on the ballot, was ruled unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups in September because it lacked clarity, accountability and transparency.

Sen. Alvin Jackson, R-Highland, said SB104 seeks to restore accountability and to make school board election results more in line with community values.

“This piece of legislation attempts to bring some more accountability back to the parents as the school board should be accountable to the parents,” Jackson said. “Right now, I’m hard pressed to say that it is.”

The bill would make State School Board elections and elections for local school districts with 20,000 students or more a partisan process.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2WL (UPC)

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Bill to fund charter schools stirs up local opposition Critics say H.B. 119, which would increase the funding districts give to charters, sows discord

 

A bill that would increase the amount of money school districts give to charter schools has passed through the Utah House of Representatives but is facing local opposition.

H.B. 119, introduced by Rep. Bradley Last, R-Hurricane, would require school districts to give 25 percent of their per-pupil tax revenues for each student in the district’s boundaries enrolled in a charter school to the state’s Charter School Local Replacement Funding Program. The state disperses those funds proportionally to charter schools throughout the state.

http://go.uen.org/2Ww (PR)

 

 


 

 

 

Senate Gives Preliminary Approval to Property Tax Equalization Bill

 

The Utah Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill that would help equalize school funding between rich and poor school districts.

Republican Senator Aaron Osmond’s SB97 is, at its core, a tax increase that would help fund school districts in areas where low property values don’t produce as much revenue. It would help close the income disparity between school districts in wealthy areas compared to those in less affluent areas. But Osmond says this isn’t like previous proposals that simply take money away from rich districts and give it to the poor.

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

 

 


 

 

Resolution Calling for Fewer Tests in Schools Heads to House

 

A resolution urging the development of methods to minimize excessive testing was passed out of the House Education Committee Tuesday with a favorable recommendation.

HCR 7 – Concurrent Resolution Urging Development of Methods to Minimize Excessive Testing and its Negative Impact on the Schoolchildren of Utah, which is sponsored by Representative Marie Poulson (Democrat – Salt Lake City), moved forward on a 9-1 vote with Representative Dan McCay (Republican – Riverton) providing the sole dissenting vote.

The resolution expresses support for educators throughout the state who strive to minimize excessive testing and its negative effects on schoolchildren. It also urges the Utah State Board of Education, with the participation of parents and teachers, to study testing methods and protocols that will “minimize testing and maximize the integration of testing into an aligned curriculum.” Results of the study would then be reported to the Education Interim Committee in September.

“This resolution is not meant to disparage state and local school boards who, with good intentions, have tried to provide accountability in our schools. It is, however, the combination of federal, state, and local tests that seem to have parents concerned and educators worried that they have become excessive,” said Poulson, a retired high school English and History teacher.

http://go.uen.org/2WN (UPC)

 

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

Legislature to consider massive land trade for training range

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are being asked to throw their support behind a massive land trade that would allow the military’s Utah Test and Training Range to significantly expand its geographic footprint in the West Desert.

A joint resolution introduced Tuesday in the Utah House will also be reviewed this afternoon in an emergency board of trustees’ meeting of the Schools and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, which is poised to swap land with the Bureau of Land Management.

HJR22, sponsored by Rep. Douglas Sagers, R-Tooele, describes the state Legislature’s approval of the deal, which is required by law should any state land transaction be at play with the federal government involving more than 10,000 acres.

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

 

 


 

 

Bill would provide smartphone app to report bullying, suicide in schools

 

Utah students may be able to use a smartphone application to anonymously report bullying and violence at their schools and get immediate help for students with thoughts of suicide.

Last year, the Legislature funded a pilot program that created a phone line that students could call to report such problems. SB175, which was unanimously approved by the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, would make it a permanent program and allocate $150,000 in ongoing funds to ensure that a licensed social worker be available to talk to students at any time.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2WM (UPC)

 

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

 

 


 

 

Students say lawmakers should be required to visit schools before making laws about them

 

A group of Utah County sixth graders think Utah lawmakers should have to visit a public school before sponsoring or voting on new education laws.

So the kids spent an afternoon lobbying for the idea at Utah’s Capitol Tuesday.

Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, met with 10 students from Sierra Bonita Elementary School. The students presented her with an essay calling for the creation of an annual Legislator Education Day, in which lawmakers would visit schools in their respective districts — sort of a tit for tat for all the visits students make to Capitol Hill during the legislative session.

“I think it would help them make better-informed decisions,” sixth-grade student Rachel Wasden said. “They’ll be able to see what we’re doing and make laws based on that, instead of just making laws based on what they hear or they think is right.”

The idea of mandated, or even encouraged, classroom visits is not new to the Utah Legislature.

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Poll shows support for nonpartisan school board elections Education » Lawmakers are considering proposals to change the process.

 

A majority of Utahns prefer nonpartisan elections for the state school board, according to a new poll by UtahPolicy.com.

Of the 606 registered voters polled, 56 percent supported nonpartisan elections, compared to 27 percent who want school board candidates to be nominated by a political party.

Another 12 percent said school board members should be appointed by the governor.

Democrats were more likely to support nonpartisan elections, with nearly three fourths of those surveyed — 71 percent — preferring no party affiliation marked next to a candidate’s name on the ballot.

But a plurality of Republicans also backed the idea, with nonpartisan elections remaining the most popular response for 48 percent of conservative voters polled. Among Republicans surveyed, 34 percent favored partisan elections and 13 percent supported gubernatorial selection.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Mia Love Tells Lawmakers about Health Care Repeal Efforts

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s newest member of Congress says she’s working to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health care law and ensure that states don’t have to adopt education standards in order to get federal money.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mia Love spoke to members of the Utah House and Senate on Wednesday morning as part of an annual appearance before the Legislature.

Love also says she’s working on a bill to prohibit the federal government from offering grants or waivers to states that adopt education standards such as Common Core.

She says that will give more control to states and local school districts.

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

 

 


 

 

Officials: Traffic safety at Top of Utah schools is full-time concern

 

Parents who are worried their children are literally in the fast lane to and from school may have some basis for their concerns, but steps are being taken to ensure students’ safety, say education officials in the Top of Utah.

Fast growing neighborhoods and changing behavior patterns from students and parents have combined to make regulating traffic for students and parents a full-time concern, according Weber School District spokesman Nate Taggart.

“There are always new subdivisions going in,” Taggart said. “The area is growing and with growing populations there are more cars on the road, and for that matter, more kids enrolled in school.”

Quickly growing areas in the suburban and rural Davis School District have also complicated matters for schools there.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Utah Applies Social Impact Bonds to Early Childhood Education The investment tool is catching on as a better, safer way to invest scarce public resources.

 

In 2009, President Obama announced the first social innovation fund (SIF), an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which I chaired at the time. SIFs provide a new way of thinking about how to fund government services: Instead of prescriptively asking nonprofits to respond to a bid, we would ask them to nominate an important social problem and describe how they would go about solving it. Over the years, the fund has invested more than a half-billion dollars to address social challenges.

Building on those successes, governments across the country have begun to utilize social impact bonds (SIBs) to solve complex problems with the help of private investors — and to put those resources only into approaches that work. I recently spoke with Ben McAdams, mayor of Utah’s Salt Lake County and champion of a pioneering SIB in the field of early childhood education. The Utah High Quality Preschool Program provides assistance to increase school readiness and academic performance among 3- and 4-year-olds to reduce the number of children who require costly special education and remedial services.

As part of the SIB, Goldman Sachs and J.B. Pritzker are providing funding for early education services for more than 3,500 children. Goldman Sachs, the senior lender, will provide up to $4.6 million to the United Way of Salt Lake, which is overseeing implementation of the program. J.B. Pritzker will loan another $2.4 million to the United Way as a means of reducing the senior lender’s risk should the preschool program prove to be ineffective. There is no upfront cost to the taxpayer. With the first $1 million investment, more than 450 children were able to attend the preschool program in the fall of 2013.

http://go.uen.org/2Xo (Governing)

 

 


 

 

Stewart addresses students at Dixie High

 

  1. GEORGE – Dixie High School was among the stops made by Rep. Chris Stewart in Southern Utah Tuesday. Stewart shared his thoughts on aspects of the Constitution while also taking questions from the student body concerning various issues.

“This is one of the fun things I get to do,” Stewart said to a group of over 100 students gathered in a small auditorium. Among the students were members of Dixie High’s Junior Air Force ROTC program.

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

 

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Fossil Ridge Intermediate teacher named Outstanding Science Educator

 

  1. GEORGE – The Science Teachers Association of Utah recently named Fossil Ridge Intermediate teacher Kristin Snow the Outstanding Sixth-Grade Science Educator for the state.

An educator for 20 years, Snow said she has taught almost every subject from music to physical education to language arts, but has been teaching science for the past 10 years and loves it.

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Statement from South Sanpete School District

 

This is a statement issued by the South Sanpete School District dealing with the suicides over the weekend in the Gunnison Valley.

Over the weekend our District lost two students from the Gunnison Valley due to suicide, an eighth grade student at Gunnison Valley Middle School and a freshman at Gunnison Valley High School. Their deaths were unrelated to each other. The second student wasn’t even aware of the first incident. Today will be a tough day at both schools. Both principals, along with their counselors, have followed emergency procedures designed for dealing with suicide. There will be a fact statement read in each school about the incidents to prevent rumors or misinformation from circulating. There will also be grief counselors, including all of our District counselors, neighboring District counselors, and Central Utah Mental Health. Your support and prayers would undoubtedly be appreciated by the families.

Kent R. Larsen Superintendent, South Sanpete School District http://go.uen.org/2WX (MUR)

 

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

 

 


 

 

Judge rules latest charge will stand against Brianne Altice

 

BOUNTIFUL — The last charge filed against Brianne Altice in her 2013 case will stand, ruled a judge Wednesday.

Altice, 35, of South Weber, is accused of having sexual relationships with three teenage boys. All were former students of hers when she taught English at Davis High School.

Alice is charged with a total of 14 felonies, including five counts of first-degree felony rape.

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

 

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Tooele administrator fired after dress code dispute sues school district

 

TOOELE — The former assistant principal at Stansbury High School who made headlines for turning away students at a homecoming dance because their dresses were deemed too short is suing Tooele County School District.

In the 16-page lawsuit, Keith Davis claims members of the school district conspired to have him fired.

Tooele County School Superintendent Scott Rogers told KSL over the phone Tuesday that the claim is “erroneous.”

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

 

 


 

 

 

Outbreak of whooping cough confirmed at San Juan High in Blanding

 

San Juan High School reported an outbreak of pertussis, or whopping cough, in the past week, resulting in a number of actions in an attempt to control the infectious disease.

Officials report that two students at the school were diagnosed with the respiratory disease, which is characterized by almost uncontrollable and persistent coughing. Pertussis is dangerous, with the highest level of severe complications in infants.

http://go.uen.org/2Xl (San Juan Record)

 

 


 

 

Tooele District to hold kindergarten registration

 

TOOELE — The Tooele County School District will be holding kindergarten registration for fall 2015 enrollment at all elementary schools on Feb. 26-27.

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

 

 


 

 

Nebo District holding chess tournament for students

 

SPRINGVILLE — The Nebo School District will hold a chess tournament for elementary, junior high and high school students.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Caught on tape: principal’s tirade against special needs students

 

School teachers and administrators today are learning that they must always assume they are on hidden camera. The latest to make the rude discovery is a principal in Haverstraw, New York, who has been caught up short by 3-year old recordings that have surfaced, appearing to show her verbally abusing special needs children as they prepare for an assembly.

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

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

OPINION & COMMENTARY

————————————————————

 

Should Utah end SAGE testing?

KNRS commentary by columnist Rod Arquette

 

Well after only two years of attempting the SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence) testing and the tens of millions of dollars that went in to the development of the standards and questions state lawmakers are already proposing the abandonment of those tests as they are failing to see how they have improved student performance, as well as see them as an obstacle to teachers effectively teaching the subject matter as it becomes teaching more geared towards ensuring positive test scores.

Given the enormous time, energy, and resources spent in developing the testing should we be content or happy that they’re being scraped after realizing the waste within such a short period? Or should we be upset at the fact all of that went to waste when it could have been used in more productive and useful ways to further the education of Utah’s kids?

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

 

 


 

 

 

SB97 | Property Tax Equalization

Senate Site commentary

 

SB97 – Property Tax Equalization Amendments by Aaron Osmond would generate a potential $75 million dollars next year for education by raising property taxes. Many people in Utah are asking – just what’s up with this bill, anyway? Look no further.

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

 

 


 

 

A case against Common Core

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Irv Nelson

 

What do the ultra-liberal New York Teacher’s Union and ultra-conservative Glenn Beck have in common? They both oppose Common Core.

Common Core is the worst thing to have happened to education in the last 100 years. Informed people, both liberals and conservatives, agree on this (http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/great-teacher-comment/). Clear-thinking teachers hate it, and some of them are so disgusted that they are leaving the profession. The time-consuming, stressful, utterly worthless and completely invalid computer-adaptive SAGE tests are an abomination that forces teachers to use class time in ways they know are not best for the children.

So why are the Utah State School Board and the districts and the governor’s office all so myopically immersed in unethical group think where the scientific method and logic are both jettisoned and no dissent is allowed, and why do they circle the wagons to protect and defend Common Core? It’s like a mass insanity of some kind.

I can’t explain it except with money.

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

 

 


 

 

Common Core Has a Central Problem

There is no evidence that raising standards produces better academic outcomes. What does work? Having a good teacher.

Wall Street Journal op-ed by JASON L. RILEY, author of “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed”

 

Russ Whitehurst has a question for the Obama administration and other proponents of the Common Core education reforms: Where is your evidence that national standards in reading and math will produce better academic outcomes?

Mr. Whitehurst, an education scholar at the Brookings Institution, has been asking this question for some time. “The lack of evidence that better content standards enhance student achievement is remarkable given the level of investment in this policy and high hopes attached to it,” he wrote in 2009. “There is a rational argument to be made for good standards being a precondition for other desirable reforms, but it is currently just that—an argument.”

When I called Mr. Whitehurst last week to ask if the case for Common Core had gotten any stronger in past six years, he chuckled. “The evidence is really quite strong that there is no correlation between the quality of standards that have been implemented in the past and student achievement,” he said. “You’ve got states like Massachusetts with high-quality standards and high achievement and states like California with high-quality standards and low achievement. The correlation is zero.”

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

 

 


 

 

 

The central problem with Jason Riley’s argument Fordham Institute commentary by President Michael J. Petrilli

 

We at Fordham are big fans of Jason Riley, a Wall Street Journal columnist who just joined the team at the Manhattan Institute. So we were doubly disappointed to see him parrot the Russ Whitehurst/Tom Loveless argument that “standards don’t matter.”

Of course they don’t—in isolation. On their own, content standards are just words on paper (or, as Rick Hess likes to say, akin to restaurants’ mission statements). We’ve acknowledged as much for years.

The question is whether they can spark instructional change. That’s no sure thing; as we’ve argued forever, it takes a ton of hard work at the state and local levels. First, it requires developing tests that assess the full range of the standards, including the challenging ones; this is something that arguably no state save for Massachusetts actually did in the pre-Common Core era. Second, it means investing in high-quality curricular materials and allowing time for teachers to master them. (No, the curricular materials need not be—and should not be—“national.” But surely we can do better than the schlock that textbook companies have been peddling for years.)

This is where Riley’s argument falls apart.

http://go.uen.org/2X8

 

 


 

 

 

An anti-education push gets more aggressive MSNBC Rachel Maddow Show commentary by columnist Steve Benen

 

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) caused a bit of a stir last week when he referred to “the Twitter” and made a series of odd beeping sounds that were intended to mimic online discussion. It suggested the Republican might not be as tech friendly as he likes to believe.

But Bush’s comments immediately beforehand were largely overlooked. What he said would “light up the Twitter” was his condemnation of public education systems, which he blasted as “government-run, unionized monopolies.”

We rarely hear this kind of talk about other parts of the public sector. For example, Republicans don’t usually run around chastising police departments or fire departments as “government-run, unionized monopolies.” Conservatives do, however, direct this ire at public education.

It was a reminder that as Republican politics becomes more radicalized, GOP opposition to public education is becoming more obvious.

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

 

 


 

 

 

What Congress and States Can Do to Reform Education Policy Heritage Foundation commentary by Lindsey Burke, Will Skillman Fellow in Education

 

Getting American education back on track will require federal and state action to achieve reforms in a number of areas. In both K–12 and higher education policy, federal reforms anticipate state action to advance conservative principles. For example, the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R–UT) and by Representative Ron DeSantis (R–FL) in the last Congress would delink federal higher education aid from the federal accreditation process, allowing states to assume authority for higher education accreditation. The Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) Act would allow states to opt out of the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which is currently undergoing reauthorization in Congress.

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

 

 


 

 

Should we train more students to be hackers?

Hechinger Report commentary by columnist CHRIS BERDIK

 

Chaitu Dandu is a 16-year-old computer hacker. But he isn’t after your passwords, social security number or credit card information. Neither were the hundreds of other young hackers who converged on a snowy Brown University earlier this month for Hack@Brown, a 24-hour “hackathon.” Dandu is part of a growing trend of high school kids entering the hacker ranks. Plenty of educators say that’s a good thing.

For many people, the word ‘hacker’ conjures up shadowy criminals unleashing malicious cyber attacks. Beyond the headlines, however, there’s a whole world of hacking that has nothing to do with criminality and everything to do with becoming inventive, autonomous and more secure members of a society immersed in technology. Broadly speaking, these young hackers fall into two groups — security hackers, who learn how computer networks can be attacked in order to better defend them, and hackathon hackers, who compete in all-night coding binges to invent new applications and re-engineer hardware.

We need more of both types, desperately. Network security experts say we’re falling behind the criminals. Tech companies, especially startups, can’t find enough talent to expand. America’s K-12 computer science offerings, while improving, are inadequate to the task. While teaching more kids to code is important, advocates for hacking education say it adds a critical mix of ingenuity and improvisation to the technical know-how.

http://go.uen.org/2X7

 

 


 

 

During Black History Month, helping students understand their role in history NewsHour commentary by JOSÉ VILSON, an eighth-grade math teacher at IS 52 in New York City

 

Black history isn’t just history for many communities. For older generations, these conversations didn’t happen in segments for round-the-clock news coverage, but in our homes, on the street corner, at our social events, in our churches and in our schools. We lived this stuff because it was a means of survival.

On the morning of Nov. 25, the day after a St. Louis jury did not indict Darren Wilson, I forwent the lesson plan in my math class for a conversation about how the students felt. At first, it felt natural to tell the students what to feel and how to feel about it. I’m the teacher and that’s what teachers do. But in the interest of empowering them, I let them speak.

http://go.uen.org/2X6

 

 

 


 

 

Do More, Add More, Earn More

Teacher Salary Redesign Lessons from 10 First-Mover Districts Center for American Progress analysis

 

This report reveals the key policy decisions undertaken by 10 districts that have made it possible to revamp their compensation systems and, at the same time, both keep their systems solvent and achieve district goals. While the specific goals of each district vary, all 10 districts used compensation to attract, retain, and leverage high-performing teachers.

The 10 districts presented in this report have been among the first in the nation to redesign their teacher compensation systems. These so-called first-mover districts include: Baltimore City, Maryland; Denver, Colorado; Douglas County, Colorado; Harrison School District 2, Colorado; Hillsborough County, Florida; Lawrence, Massachusetts; New Haven, Connecticut; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Putnam County, Tennessee; and Washington, D.C. First-mover districts vary in location, size, governance structure, and student academic performance, proving that diverse districts throughout the country can find ways to reform teacher compensation systems regardless of context.

http://go.uen.org/2X9

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————-

NATIONAL NEWS

————————————————————-

 

GOP in Driver’s Seat as Congress Tackles NCLB Rewrite House bill on move; talks start in Senate Education Week

 

For the last three weeks, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have continued to plow ahead with efforts to update the much-maligned No Child Left Behind Act, the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Republican lawmakers are in the driver’s seat in both chambers where Title I portability, testing, and accountability continue to be the most hotly debated policy issues.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, GOP members on the education committee approved a rewrite to the federal K-12 law, which they’ve titled the Student Success Act, on a party-line vote Feb. 11, while Democrats blasted the measure for rolling back protections for the most disadvantaged students—the civil rights underpinning of the law.

Across the Capitol, Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., reversed course and began negotiating with Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the committee, to broker a bipartisan NCLB overhaul. The move was a marked departure from his initial strategy to push ahead with a Republican discussion draft, which was crafted without Democratic input.

Meanwhile, education stakeholders are scrambling to keep up with the feverish pace. Several of the major players, such as teachers’ unions, are organizing grass-roots lobbying efforts and media ad-buys for this week’s congressional recess when lawmakers will be back in their home districts.

Farthest along at this point is the House Republicans’ measure, which would significantly curtail the footprint of the federal government in K-12 schools. It is set to be considered by the full House when Congress comes back from its weeklong recess the week of Feb. 24.

http://go.uen.org/2X0

 

 


 

 

 

States Ceding Power Over Classroom Materials Education Week

 

States are increasingly giving up a long-standing source of their power over education by allowing school districts to choose the instructional materials they use in the classroom.

The shift in authority has taken shape little by little, mostly in the past four years, as one state after another has modified or thrown out its procedures for adopting textbooks and other kinds of print and online learning resources.

Only 19 states are now considered “adoption states”—states that review textbooks and other resources and create lists of “approved” materials—by the Association of American Publishers. Only a few years ago, the AAP’s list included 22 states.

That modest decline doesn’t tell the whole story, however.

Among the remaining 19 adoption states, some of the biggest and most powerful have downgraded their authority over districts’ choice of materials. California, Florida, and Texas are among the large states that still conduct state-level reviews of materials, but no longer require districts to buy from the resulting—and influential—lists of “approved” resources. More and more, districts can use state money to buy whatever materials they want, with only minimal obligations, if any, to demonstrate their alignment to academic standards.

That shift in practice represents a sea change in K-12 policy. At one time, the decisions made by a handful of large textbook-adoption states essentially dictated the content of major textbook series used by students across the country.

But the change is also divisive. Even as many educators celebrate their school districts’ freedom to select resources, others criticize it as an erosion of a key pillar in the structure that is standards, curriculum, and instruction.

http://go.uen.org/2X5

 


 

 

Oklahoma legislative committee questions legality of Advanced Placement courses in public schools Tulsa (OK) World

 

OKLAHOMA CITY — Some opponents of Common Core apparently have now turned their guns on Advanced Placement courses.

The legality of teaching Advanced Placement courses in Oklahoma public schools was raised Monday during a House Common Education Committee hearing on a bill aimed at the AP U.S. history guidelines.

That measure, House Bill 1380, by Rep. Dan Fisher, R-Yukon, would direct the state Board of Education to review those guidelines and bar the use of state funds for AP U.S. history courses.

During discussion and debate, however, it was suggested that AP courses are similar to Common Core, in that they could be construed as an attempt to impose a national curriculum on American schools.

It was also suggested that AP courses violate the legislation approved last year that repealed Common Core, with state Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, saying she has asked the state Attorney General’s Office for a ruling on the matter.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2X1 (Ed Week)

 

 


 

 

 

Iowa high schoolers will not have to pass civics exam to graduate Des Moines (IA) Register

 

A House panel has declined to approve a bill that would have required Iowa high school students to pass a civics exam to graduate.

Members of an education subcommittee discussed the bill Tuesday. It will not be taken up again this session.

A few education groups were registered against the bill, which would have required high school students to pass an exam given to immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. Lobbyists questioned mandating such a requirement without funding. Lawmakers also pointed out that Iowa high school students are already required to take a government course to graduate.

http://go.uen.org/2X2

 

 


 

 

House rejects amendment requiring Wyoming-specific science standards Casper (WY) Star Tribune

 

CHEYENNE – Members of the state House rejected an amendment Tuesday morning to a science standards bill that would have asked the Wyoming State Board of Education to consider guidelines that are unique to Wyoming.

Following the amendment’s failure of 39 to 20 with one excused, Speaker Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, appointed a committee of himself and Reps. David Northrup, R-Powell, and Donald Burkhart, R-Rawlins, to meet with a committee in the Senate to hammer out differences.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Education chief, governor agree to pare back school testing Cut back on testing in Florida schools, education commissioner and governor says Orlando (FL) Sentinel

 

Florida should scrap a new 11th grade standardized test and reduce the number of other exams it gives students, the state’s education commissioner said today, releasing a new report on testing in public schools.

Gov. Rick Scott, who requested the report several months ago, said he agreed with many of the conclusions and would work with the Florida Legislature to enact needed laws to cut back on testing, as many states are required by state law.

“As I have traveled the state, I have heard from parents and teachers that there are too many tests and I agree,” Scott said in a statement.

Commissioner Pam Stewart’s report recommended Florida do away with a new 11th-grade language arts exam – to be given to students for the first time in March – and with a requirement that many high school juniors take a state college-readiness test, called PERT.

Stewart urged Scott to sign an executive order to do away with the new writing and reading exam to prevent more than 175,000 high school juniors from taking it. An executive order could take effect earlier than any law passed in upcoming legislative session.

Scott’s office said it was working on the document but did not say when it would be released.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2Xh (Fort Lauderdale [FL] Sun Sentinel)

 

 


 

 

 

Christie goes from Common Core supporter to critic, blames Obama Washington Post

 

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is no longer the only GOP presidential hopeful to undergo an election season conversion from Common Core booster to critic.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told conservative Republicans in Iowa — the site of the first 2016 GOP caucus about a year from now — that he has “grave concerns” about the Common Core, the K-12 academic standards in reading and math adopted by 43 states and D.C.

Christie, who signed onto the Common Core State Standards in 2010, had been defending them against growing criticism from conservatives and some progressives in his state and elsewhere.

But in recent months, Christie said he had “real concerns” about the standards, which morphed into “grave concerns” when he addressed the Dallas County Republican Party in Iowa on Feb. 9.

He said he was particularly troubled with the way the Obama administration had “tried to implement it.” This is what the governor said:

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

 

 


 

 

 

What Does Common-Core Polling in Early Presidential Primary States Reveal?

Education Week

 

It could be the most high-profile K-12 policy question accompanying the 2016 presidential race: How will candidates’ positions on the Common Core State Standards—GOP candidates in particular—affect their standing in the campaign?

An NBC News/Marist College poll of the common core in the three states with the earliest presidential primaries shows that at this early stage, the standards appear to be in good political standing among both Democrats and Republicans in Iowa, but it’s a different story in New Hampshire and South Carolina on the Republican side. And the views of self-identified members of the tea party might also surprise some veteran observers of common-core politics.

The poll focused on registered voters; registered Republicans or unaffiliated voters who prefer to vote in a GOP primary or caucus; and registered Democrats or unaffiliated voters who prefer to vote in a Democratic primary or caucus. They were asked the extent to which they would find a presidential candidate’s support of the common core totally acceptable, mostly acceptable, mostly unacceptable, or totally unacceptable. Just under 900 registered voters overall were polled in each state, while in each state more than 300 registered Republicans (or those who prefer to vote in GOP primaries) and 300 registered Democrats (or those who prefer to vote in Democratic primaries) were also polled.

So what were the results?

http://go.uen.org/2X3

 

 


 

 

 

Schools Weigh Access to Students’ Social Media Passwords Education Week

 

State lawmakers and school district officials are again wrestling with questions about schools’ authority to access and monitor students’ social-media accounts.

But their attempts to proactively address such issues as cyberbullying and student safety have been more likely to result in controversy and complaints than any clear resolution.

Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Utah have recently passed legislation related to a school’s right to access students’ social-media accounts. Generally, those statutes have sought to limit or prohibit requests for student passwords by educational institutions, although the details of those laws vary considerably, and many contain significant exceptions and exemptions.

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

 

 


 

 

Senate OKs change in selection of Education Board chair; Glenda Ritz could be left out Indianapolis (IN) Star

 

Although Gov. Mike Pence praised the work state officials were doing with Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz to shorten the ISTEP exam, it didn’t deter the Senate from passing a bill that would remove her as the de facto chair of the State Board of Education.

Senate Bill 1, which passed 33-17, would allow the Board of Education to choose its own chair and would trim the board from 11 members to nine. It is sponsored by Sens. Travis Holdman and Brandt Hershman.

The bill also would shift power away from the governor, who now appoints all members except the superintendent of public instruction, and would allow the leadership of the General Assembly to choose four members.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2Xd (Politico)

 

 


 

 

 

Idaho industry association backs property tax plan for schools

(Boise) Idaho Statesman

 

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle’s proposal to divert a portion of property tax from cities, counties and other taxing district to school districts for school construction has a powerful ally: the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry.

“It’s the best idea for managing school growth that I‘ve seen in the last 20 years,” said Alex LaBeau, association president.

Moyle expects to introduce his proposal to the Legislature this week that would require taxing districts to turnover 50 percent of they revenue they get from construction of new buildings in the year they were built.

In 2014, property tax revenue from new construction in Idaho totaled $20 million. Under Moyle’s plan, public schools — including charter schools —would have gotten $10 million to spend on school building safety, paying down bonds, or new school construction.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Colo. pot users helping build schools with tax dollars USA Today

 

DENVER – Colorado’s marijuana users are helping to buy new roofs, boilers and security upgrades for public schools across the state as the first round of special pot taxes gets allocated later this year.

The state’s voters in 2012 legalized pot sales – and taxed them heavily – in part because the constitutional amendment promised that $40 million dollars a year would go toward school construction across the state. In the first full year of sales, however, the state expects to collect only about $17 million in special school taxes levied on the marijuana industry. Still, it’s better than what the state collected the year before: nothing.

“The people who were smoking marijuana before legalization still are. Now, they’re paying taxes,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said.

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

 

 


 

 

Bible distribution at some Oklahoma public schools prompts group’s complaint The distribution of Bibles in several Oklahoma public schools has sparked 26 letters of complaint from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation.

(Oklahoma City) Oklahoman

 

The reported distribution of Bibles in several Oklahoma public schools has sparked letters of complaint from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

“It is unconstitutional,” said Andrew Seidel, staff attorney for the Wisconsin-based organization, which battles to keep religion out of public schools.

Foundation officials said they sent complaint letters to 26 Oklahoma school districts after receiving information that Gideons International and the son of a state representative had been passing out Bibles to fifth-grade students in Checotah, Eufaula and Stidham.

The organization identified the state representative’s relative involved in the distribution as Jamison Faught, the 26-year-old son of state Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee.

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

 

 


 

 

 

National PTA Urges Families to Forge School Partnerships to Support Students Education Week

 

Parents are being asked to collaborate with educators to boost student achievement during the National PTA’s annual Take Your Family to School Week.

PTAs across the nation will host a variety of activities to encourage parents to visit their children’s schools this week. The AXA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the global financial management company AXA U.S., is sponsoring the weeklong initiative, which coincides with the day National PTA was founded—Feb. 17, 1897.

http://go.uen.org/2X4

 

 


 

 

 

Sex education should be mandatory in all schools, MPs demand Ministers scolded for not addressing inadequate teaching of the subject despite huge demand from teachers, parents and students

(Manchester) Guardian

 

Sex education should be compulsory in all primary and secondary schools, with sufficient curriculum time devoted to the subject and specialist training for teachers, MPs have urged.

In a hard-hitting report published on Tuesday, the Commons education select committee comes down firmly on the side of campaigners who have long fought for sex and relationships education (SRE) to be made mandatory.

It urges the Department for Education to come up with a strategy to deliver age-appropriate personal, social and health education (PSHE) and SRE as a statutory provision across all schools.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/2Xf (BBC)

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

 

USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

February 18:

Senate Education Committee meeting

4:10 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SEDU0218.ag.htm

 

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

5 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00001792.htm

 

 

February 19:

House Education Committee meeting

8 a.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HEDU0219.ag.htm

 

House Business and Labor Committee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HBUS0219.ag.htm

 

Utah State Board of Education meeting

Noon, 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

March 12:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

 

Related posts:

Comments are closed.