Education News Roundup: March 25, 2015

Education News Roundup for November 10 2011_Indian Hills Elementary School Salt Lake City School District playground map of Utah

Indian Hills Elementary School Salt Lake City School District playground map of Utah

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Poll finds most Utahns want the state surplus spent on services, not tax cuts.

http://go.uen.org/3h4 (UP)

 

Logan Board of Education passes a new drug policy.

http://go.uen.org/3ho (LHJ)

 

ESEA reauthorization may be in trouble (like you didn’t already know).

http://go.uen.org/3hC (WaPo)

 

Seattle’s KIRO look at how NCLB — because Washington doesn’t have an NCLB waiver — is going in the Evergreen State.

http://go.uen.org/3h7  (KIRO)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Poll: Utahns Want Surpluses Spent on State Needs, Not Tax Cuts

 

Logan City School District Board of Education passes much debated drug policy

 

Leadership Academy youth recognized for ‘social responsibility’ projects

 

Fire swirling up like a tornado: Chemistry can be fun

 

Teen chefs compete in state cooking competition; Springville, Westlake take top honors

 

Blind school airport field trip often emotional

 

Big Bad Wolf found not guilty by jury of third-graders in mock trial

 

Design completed for new Midvale Middle School

 

Alpine School District superintendent to retire after 15 years

 

Brad Smith apologizes for crying teachers comment

 

Utah holds first STEM Fest

 

  1. hosting annual Latinos in Action conference

 

Dual immersion language council invites parents to informational meeting

 

Educator of the Week: Jennifer Olsen Braithwaite

 

Student of the Week: Ashlynne Brough

 

School district foundation presents BYU Ballroom Dance, raises grant funds

 

Utah Virtual Academy Opens Enrollment for 2015-2016 School Year

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Demolish school, build park

 

Latest privacy bill…doesn’t really let people have any privacy…

 

Move out of last place

 

Private sector doesn’t disparage workers like legislators do

 

Common Core will fail because teachers vary

 

A struggle worth having for students

 

Why the SAT Isn’t a ‘Student Affluence Test’

A lot of the apparent income effect on standardized tests is owed to parental IQ—a fact that needs addressing.

 

Grading Teachers by the Test

 

The Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

When kids can get their lessons from the Internet, what’s left for classroom instructors to do?

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

GOP lawmaker: I’m short votes for No Child Left Behind rewrite

 

Q&A: Arne Duncan Talks Testing, Turnarounds, and ESEA at Age 50

 

Bill ties Kansas school funding formula to post-graduate success

 

Indiana Supreme Court: Schools don’t have to bus students Justices rule that state constitution doesn’t require schools to provide transportation.

 

Private tutor system falters under No Child Left Behind

 

John Kasich on Ted Cruz and Common Core: ‘I don’t know anything about him or what he’s talking about’

 

U.S. Citizenship Test Gains Traction as Diploma Criterion

 

Hopes of Preserving Cherokee Language Rest with Children

 

Let’s Talk (Frankly) About Sex

A new approach uses openness and humor to make “The Talk” less dreadful for parents and children alike.

 

Learning To Move, Moving To Learn: The Benefits Of PE

 

Is Braille Obsolete?

 

Why Finland won’t be teaching ‘math’ and ‘history’ anymore Finland will making drastic changes to an already successful education system. Why now? And will this model change the way other countries go about educating their children?

 

Islamic State recruits 400 children since January: Syria monitor

 

Quiet German town mourns 18 young lives lost in Alps plane crash

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Poll: Utahns Want Surpluses Spent on State Needs, Not Tax Cuts

 

Utah lawmakers had more than $700 in surplus funds to spend this year. Utahns think those big surpluses should be spent on state needs rather than cutting taxes.

A new UtahPolicy.com survey finds more than 2/3rds of Utahns think the legislature should spend surplus monies meeting state needs rather than cutting taxes. Just 25% say tax cuts would be the way to go.

The $739 million surplus was mostly made up of one-time money but is also included more than $300 million in ongoing funds.

Support for using those surpluses for state programs is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters. 65% of Republicans, 87% of Democrats and 68% of independents oppose using surplus funds for tax cuts.

Utah’s economy is booming following the great recession. State lawmakers had to cut programs drastically because of falling state revenues. Now it seems Utahns would like legislators to make up for those cuts with excess state revenues.

Legislators did put more than $500 million of funding into public education, which was one of the funding areas hardest hit by the recession. Despite that large infusion of cash, education funding in Utah still hasn’t rebounded to pre-recession levels.

http://go.uen.org/3h4 (UP)

 

 


 

 

 

Logan City School District Board of Education passes much debated drug policy

 

The Logan City School District Board of Education approved its final version of the student drug and alcohol testing policy on Tuesday during its board meeting. The policy, which has gone through eight drafts, was developed after allegations emerged of rampant drug use at Logan High School, particularly on sports teams.

The policy outlines the consequences of testing positive for drugs or alcohol. For the first offense, the student is suspended from two consecutive games, meets, matches, events, competitions or performances. On the second offense, students will be suspended from those activities for six weeks. For the third offense, the student will be suspended from activities for 18 weeks, and the fourth offense will result in the suspension from all extracurricular activities for 365 days.

The final policy also outlines that students who participate in student government, cheerleading, club sports or activities sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association are subject to random drug and alcohol testing. This was to provide a representative sample of students without having to test every single student involved in extracurricular activities.

The other major addition to the policy is how the district will provide funding. The policy allows for the Board of Education to determine how the tests will be paid for.

http://go.uen.org/3ho (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

 

Leadership Academy youth recognized for ‘social responsibility’ projects

 

  1. GEORGE – The Leadership Academy, an elite group of Washington County high school students, took part in “Social Responsibility Challenge Day” on Tuesday at Dixie State University’s Gardner Center.

Delegations of five students selected by counselors and their peers represented Dixie, Pine View, Desert Hills, Snow Canyon and Hurricane.

Each delivered a 15-minute presentation on the design, implementation and impact of their project, followed by five minutes of questions from the judging panel.

http://go.uen.org/3hp (SGS)

 

 


 

 

 

Fire swirling up like a tornado: Chemistry can be fun

 

LAYTON – University of Utah chemical engineering students lit up one of the science classrooms at Northridge High School on Monday with fire swirling up into a tornado formation, making liquid boil using only the heat from their hands, creating waves in by rubbing their hands on the handles of a water bowl, and making smoke circles with a garbage can.

With each experiment, the students were asked how to explain the chemical reactions that occur.

“These modules use cool physics, fluid dynamics, and heat transfer. By understanding the principles in these experiences we can use them to help design better processes, such as making fuel more efficient,” University of Utah PhD student Kyle Branch said.

Branch didn’t even know chemical engineering existed when he was in high school, but thanks to his AP chemistry teacher who suggested Branch look into the possibility, it became a reality. “In chemical engineering, we have the opportunity for a lot of hands-on opportunities and I can go into something that can help change the world,” Branch said.

http://go.uen.org/3hh (OSE)

 

http://go.uen.org/3hu (KUTV)

 

 


 

 

Teen chefs compete in state cooking competition; Springville, Westlake take top honors

 

SANDY — The competition kitchen became like a rotisserie oven as the chefs inside ran in circles trying to beat the clock and cook the best three-course meal.

Ten high schools selected teams of students to compete in the Utah Restaurant Association’s annual state teenage cooking competition at the South Towne Expo Center on March 17. The competition is the culmination of a nationwide, two-year high school program called ProStart.

The competition consisted of both a culinary and a management competition, and they included the winners of regional competitions in February among 34 high schools. Competing schools in the culinary competition included Cedar City, Springville, Provo, Westlake, Tooele, West, Murray, Clearfield, Bonneville, and Northridge high schools, and teams from Bonneville, Northridge, Herriman, Riverton, Taylorsville, Cedar City, Westlake, Provo, West and Copper Hills high schools were in the management competition.

http://go.uen.org/3hd (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Blind school airport field trip often emotional

 

OGDEN — There were some tears shed when six children in a preschool class for students with legal blindness at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind toured the Ogden Airport Tuesday during a field trip.

“If we go out of our routine, they get a little shaken up,” said Annette Barron, who is an aid to the class.

And Barron said when half of the students became upset that it was one more reason to take them on the field trip.

“It’s good when we go out of our routine,” she said, “so they realize not everything goes as planned.”

And the field trip didn’t always go as planned either.

A popular feature was a raised rubber mat with bright yellow stripes marking the sides. Two of the students stopped what they were doing to sit on the mat and to feel its texture.

Barron said the yellow stripes would help the students with some sight to see the inclination and avoid tripping. She immediately thought of some other places where she’d like to see similar yellow striping.

http://go.uen.org/3hi (OSE)

 

 


 

 

Big Bad Wolf found not guilty by jury of third-graders in mock trial

 

He allegedly huffed, puffed and blew houses down, but the Big Bad Wolf will not be confined to a big house made of bricks.

A jury in Farmington’s 2nd District Court returned a verdict of not guilty for Wolf, most likely to the dismay of plaintiff Curly Pig.

The mock trial was conducted by third-grade students from Endeavor Elementary. Second District Judge Thomas Kay hosted the trial in his courtroom.

http://go.uen.org/3he (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/3hv (KUTV)

 

 


 

 

 

Design completed for new Midvale Middle School

 

MIDVALE — Students, employees and community members have come up with a design for the new Midvale Middle School.

Following brainstorming sessions with the school community, artist renderings for the new school have been completed. VCBO architects created the designs for the school, to be rebuilt with proceeds from the $250 million in bonds approved by voters in 2010.

http://go.uen.org/3hf (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Alpine School District superintendent to retire after 15 years

 

The demands of superintendent can seem unrealistic at times, but for 15 years, Vernon Henshaw connected with all 8,000 employees and led 73,000 students of the Alpine School District. He will retire this July, leaving big shoes to fill.

“He is a strong advocate for children and strong advocate for good working conditions for the employees in the district,” said John Patten, assistant to the Alpine School District superintendent.

Henshaw announced his retirement, effective July 31, after an unusually long tenure as superintendent. Two to three years is an average tenure for superintendents nationwide, but Henshaw worked 15 years, leaving behind a series of accomplishments.

http://go.uen.org/3hs (Universe)

 

 


 

 

Brad Smith apologizes for crying teachers comment

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s schools superintendent is saying sorry for comparing teachers to crying children.

Superintendent Brad C. Smith issued an apology to educators on Wednesday.

He said he was tired and frustrated at the end of the legislative session in March when he commented on teachers rallying for more school funding.

http://go.uen.org/3hj (OSE)

 

http://go.uen.org/3hn (PDH)

 

http://go.uen.org/3hx (KNRS)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah holds first STEM Fest

 

STEM Fest 2015 kicked off Wednesday at the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University.

The event is for 7th and 8th graders to get hands-on experience with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

http://go.uen.org/3ht (KUTV)

 

 


 

 

  1. hosting annual Latinos in Action conference

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah is hosting nearly 2,000 Latino youths this week for the annual Latinos in Action conference.

Attendees will participate in cultural dances and performances, attend workshops ranging from how to professionally interview to learning about the video gaming industry, and receive thousands of dollars worth of scholarships.

The conference will be held Friday, March 27, at the U. The conference theme, “Professional Me,” focuses on the importance of professionalism in all aspects of academic and career life.

http://go.uen.org/3ha (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Dual immersion language council invites parents to informational meeting

 

  1. GEORGE — The Washington County Language Immersion Council, a parent and community group designed to help inform and support parents and schools in their dual language immersion programs, is holding an informational meeting Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. in the Woodward building located at 75 W. Tabernacle St. in St. George.

http://go.uen.org/3hr (SGN)

 

 


 

 

Educator of the Week: Jennifer Olsen Braithwaite

 

Educator of the Week Jennifer Olsen Braithwaite is a teacher and coach at Payson Junior High. She teaches PE, body conditioning and weight training.

http://go.uen.org/3hl (PDH)

 

 


 

 

 

Student of the Week: Ashlynne Brough

 

Ashlynne Brough, 13, was chosen as this week’s Student of the Week. She is a 6th grade student in the Nebo School District.

http://go.uen.org/3hm (PDH)

 

 


 

 

 

School district foundation presents BYU Ballroom Dance, raises grant funds

 

  1. GEORGE — The Washington County School District Foundation, the fundraising arm of the school district, will present the Brigham Young University Ballroom Dance Company’s “Capture the Magic” concert Friday evening at Desert Hills High School located at 828 E. Desert Hills Dr. in St. George.

http://go.uen.org/3hq (SGN)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah Virtual Academy Opens Enrollment for 2015-2016 School Year

 

MURRAY, Utah — Utah Virtual Academy, a tuition-free, online public school serving students in grades K-12, announced today it has opened enrollment for families looking to attend in the 2015-2016 school year.

http://go.uen.org/3hP (PRNewswire)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Demolish school, build park

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

 

The Ogden School District would like to tear down the old Edison Elementary School if it can find the funding.

The school was closed several years ago and has now become an eyesore with graffiti and vandalism scarring its edifice.

It would be a good idea to demolish it. But what to put in its place? How about a public park?

http://go.uen.org/3hk

 

 


 

 

 

Latest privacy bill…doesn’t really let people have any privacy…

KNRS commentary by columnist Rod Arquette

 

Well it’s happened again that the administration misled us on it’s intentions to ensure online privacy, especially when it came to students. Instead of following the “pretty straightforward” logic that would ensure online privacy of students in a world where there is an ever increasing amount of work done online, a recently introduced bill seems to go the exact opposite direction. The bill, which was crafted in close collaboration with the White House, allows for intimate data about students habits, proficiencies, interests, and skills to be monitored, compiled, and categorized before being stored in a massive database. And to make matters worse, that information is then ALLOWED TO BE SOLD to third parties to contact those students for whatever reasons they see fit.

Such third parties could be things like military recruiters, colleges, or even athletic scouts. But lets be honest, most likely it will just be a bunch of telemarketers looking to shove products on to them and force them in to a position where they would need exactly what is being peddled.

I mean…it’s not like we should be surprised. I mean Common Core does a LOT of the same type of data tracking that we’ve been called conspiracy theorist tin foil hat wearers for pointing out. So why is it now an issue?

What will the push back need to be in order to stop a total implementation of monitoring everything students do online and turning them in to nothing but numbers and stats? And what are the chances this could actually move forward?

http://go.uen.org/3hy

 

 


 

 

Move out of last place

Deseret News letter from Paul Mortensen

 

In Sunday’s column by Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb (“Intrigue still percolating,” March 22), the writers made this comment: the “Legislature had enough courage and common sense to raise property taxes a relatively small amount to help equalize public school funding.”

I wonder what it would take to move Utah from providing the least per child per state in the union up just one position. Are our children worth more than a “small amount?” Is property tax the only thing that could be used to help our children move out of last place?

http://go.uen.org/3hg

 

 


 

 

 

Private sector doesn’t disparage workers like legislators do Salt Lake Tribune letter from Lisa McAfee-Nichols]

 

In the article (“Why do Utah lawmakers distrust Utah teachers?”) legislators compare private sector companies to public education in terms of efficiency and performance and how we just don’t measure up.

Tell me exactly what private sector company believes that instilling fear and demoralizing employees will improve production and the bottom line?

http://go.uen.org/3hQ

 


 

 

Common Core will fail because teachers vary Salt Lake Tribune letter from Stanley D. Ivie

 

Bill Gates appeared recently on a Sunday talk show. He stated the most important factor in educational reform is the teacher. Gates went on to say if we could discover what things — methods, skills, techniques — outstanding teachers use and then teach those things to other teachers, we could make significant changes.

On its surface Gate’s proposal sounds reasonable. The problem is educators have already tried doing exactly that for the past 100 years. And guess what? It has never worked. You cannot graft one teacher’s style on to another teacher’s body. A Picasso cannot be turned into a Rembrandt.

So why will the Common Core fail? The Common Core will fail because it is based on a misconception of what constitutes genuine learning. Teacher and student interaction, not a set of externally contrived standards, represents the heart of significant learning.

http://go.uen.org/3hc

 

 


 

 

 

A struggle worth having for students

Washington Post op-ed by Kyle Schwartz, who teaches third grade at Doull Elementary School in Denver

 

When the Common Core State Standards were rolled out in Colorado in 2010, it was a challenge. At first, my colleagues and I at Doull Elementary in southwest Denver struggled to understand this monumental change. We read the documents, pored over the appendices and wrestled with the terminology. Teachers sat around lunch tables debating the merits of each standard. We wondered whether students could meet these new, much higher expectations, and we discussed how to best explain the changes to families.

Some of my peers predicted that Common Core would be a flash in the pan, yet another silver bullet soon to be abandoned in favor of the next shiny new approach to closing the achievement gap. After teaching under the Common Core standards for two years, I have a different view. The more I teach under Common Core, the more I love it.

The initial confusion over the meaning of the Common Core standards turned out to be a blessing. The discussions that my colleagues and I had while parsing their meaning made us better teachers.

http://go.uen.org/3hb

 

 


 

 

Why the SAT Isn’t a ‘Student Affluence Test’

A lot of the apparent income effect on standardized tests is owed to parental IQ—a fact that needs addressing.

Wall Street Journal op-ed by CHARLES MURRAY, W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

 

Spring is here, which means it’s time for elite colleges to send out acceptance letters. Some will go to athletes, the children of influential alumni and those who round out the school’s diversity profile. But most will go to the offspring of the upper middle class. We all know why, right? Affluent parents get their kids into the best colleges by sending them to private schools or spending lots of money on test preparation courses. Either way, it perpetuates privilege from generation to generation.

The College Board provides ammunition for this accusation every year when it shows average SAT scores by family income. The results are always the same: The richer the parents, the higher the children’s SAT scores. This has led some to view the SAT as merely another weapon in the inequality wars, and to suggest that SAT should actually stand for “Student Affluence Test.”

It’s a bum rap. All high-quality academic tests look as if they’re affluence tests. It’s inevitable. Parental IQ is correlated with children’s IQ everywhere. In all advanced societies, income is correlated with IQ. Scores on academic achievement tests are always correlated with the test-takers’ IQ. Those three correlations guarantee that every standardized academic-achievement test shows higher average test scores as parental income increases.

But those correlations also mean that a lot of the apparent income effect is actually owed to parental IQ.

http://go.uen.org/3h5

 

 


 

 

 

Grading Teachers by the Test

New York Times commentary by columnist Eduardo Porter

 

This is hardly unusual. It is certainly not exclusive to China. These days, in fact, it has acquired particular importance in the debate over how to improve American education.

The question is, what will happen when teachers are systematically rewarded, or punished, based to some extent on standardized tests? If we really want our children to learn more, the design of any system must be carefully thought through, to avoid sending incentives astray.

“When you put a lot of weight on one measure, people will try to do well on that measure,” Jonah Rockoff of Columbia said. “Some things they do will be good, in line with the objectives. Others will amount to cheating or gaming the system.”

The phenomenon is best known as Goodhart’s Law, after the British economist Charles Goodhart. Luis Garicano at the London School of Economics calls it the Heisenberg Principle of incentive design, after the defining uncertainty of quantum physics: A performance metric is only useful as a performance metric as long as it isn’t used as a performance metric.

It shows up all over the place.

http://go.uen.org/3hA

 

 


 

 

 

The Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

When kids can get their lessons from the Internet, what’s left for classroom instructors to do?

Atlantic commentary by MICHAEL GODSEY, an English teacher and writer based in San Luis Obispo, California

 

Whenever a college student asks me, a veteran high-school English educator, about the prospects of becoming a public-school teacher, I never think it’s enough to say that the role is shifting from “content expert” to “curriculum facilitator.” Instead, I describe what I think the public-school classroom will look like in 20 years, with a large, fantastic computer screen at the front, streaming one of the nation’s most engaging, informative lessons available on a particular topic. The “virtual class” will be introduced, guided, and curated by one of the country’s best teachers (a.k.a. a “super-teacher”), and it will include professionally produced footage of current events, relevant excerpts from powerful TedTalks, interactive games students can play against other students nationwide, and a formal assessment that the computer will immediately score and record.

I tell this college student that in each classroom, there will be a local teacher-facilitator (called a “tech”) to make sure that the equipment works and the students behave. Since the “tech” won’t require the extensive education and training of today’s teachers, the teacher’s union will fall apart, and that “tech” will earn about $15 an hour to facilitate a class of what could include over 50 students. This new progressive system will be justified and supported by the American public for several reasons: Each lesson will be among the most interesting and efficient lessons in the world; millions of dollars will be saved in reduced teacher salaries; the “techs” can specialize in classroom management; performance data will be standardized and immediately produced (and therefore “individualized”); and the country will finally achieve equity in its public school system.

“So if you want to be a teacher,” I tell the college student, “you better be a super-teacher.”

I used to think I was kidding, or at least exaggerating. Now I’m not so sure. When I consulted a local career counselor who is on the brink of retirement after a lifetime in the public schools, he said I was wrong about my prediction—but only about it taking 20 years. “Try five or 10,” he said.

http://go.uen.org/3hM

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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GOP lawmaker: I’m short votes for No Child Left Behind rewrite Washington Post

 

Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), the chairman of the House education panel, said Tuesday that he is still a “handful” of votes short to pass his GOP bill to replace No Child Left Behind, the main federal education law.

Kline made those comments in an interview Tuesday morning after briefing the Council of Chief State School Officers, which represents top education officials in every state. Kline has spent the past month trying to drum up support for his legislation amid defections among conservative Republicans, who say the plan does not go far enough to shrink the federal influence on K-12 education.

The bill also faces stiff opposition from Democrats, who say it would divert federal dollars from high poverty schools to more affluent schools and exacerbate unequal educational opportunities.

“No bill is better than a bad bill,” said Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), the ranking Democrat on Kline’s committee, describing his views to the state education leaders on Tuesday.

President Obama, who met with the state education leaders for about an hour at the White House on Monday, has threatened to veto Kline’s bill, known as the Student Success Act.

http://go.uen.org/3hC

 

 


 

 

 

Q&A: Arne Duncan Talks Testing, Turnarounds, and ESEA at Age 50 Education Week

 

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has less than two years left in office with the Obama administration, and lots of initiatives in the middle of implementation, including school turnarounds, teacher evaluation through student outcomes, and—oh, yeah—a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act.

Both halves of Politics K-12 sat down with him this week. One big take-away? Duncan is really excited that graduation rates have hit a new high and that traditionally overlooked populations of students are making gains. In fact, he brought up the good grad rate news in answer to just about every question we asked him, whether it was on the federal role in education, NCLB waivers, school turnarounds, or Race to the Top.

http://go.uen.org/3hI

 

 


 

 

Bill ties Kansas school funding formula to post-graduate success Wichita (KS) Eagle

 

TOPEKA – A proposal for a new school finance formula would link school funding to the success of students after graduation.

SB 294, introduced by Sen. Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, would tie part of districts’ funding to the number of graduates enrolled in college or working in jobs where they earn above a certain threshold.

The bill is set for a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Education Committee.

Abrams’ bill would break state education aid up into six main categories: enrollment, poverty, sparsity, equalization, pensions and success.

Districts would receive success ratings based on the number of graduates who had earned an industry certification, completed basic military training, enrolled in a third consecutive semester at a college or worked at a job earning an income of at least 250 percent of the poverty level. That would be $29,425 now.

Abrams, who chairs the Senate Education Committee and previously served on the State Board of Education, said this would link educational funding to real world outcomes.

http://go.uen.org/3h9

 

http://go.uen.org/3hJ (Ed Week)

 

 


 

 

Indiana Supreme Court: Schools don’t have to bus students Justices rule that state constitution doesn’t require schools to provide transportation.

Indianapolis Star

 

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that public schools are not constitutionally required to bus students to and from school.

The ruling further clarifies state law, which already permitted public school corporations to opt out of providing transportation services.

The case stems from a decision by Franklin Township Community Schools to discontinue free bus service in the 2011-12 school year. Parents, upset by the district’s action, filed a class-action lawsuit based on the premise that students had a constitutional right to bus service.

The district, which was facing severe financial difficulties, cut its free busing program because it could no longer afford it, Franklin Township Superintendent Flora Reichanadter said. It reinstated the program the following year after changes to state law allowed the district to restructure its debt.

http://go.uen.org/3h6

 

 


 

 

 

Private tutor system falters under No Child Left Behind (Seattle, WA) KIRO

 

OLYMPIA, Wash. — About 1,000 students who need extra help in Seattle and Tacoma school districts are not getting the tutors they signed up for.

Since Washington became the only state in the nation to lose its waiver for the No Child Left Behind policy, schools have had to come into compliance with the controversial federal standards.

The loss of the waiver centered around the state Legislature’s unwillingness to sign a bill requiring standardized test scores to be part of teacher evaluations.

The No Child Left Behind standards include having all children performing at grade level. Most schools in the state, even high-performing ones, do not meet that goal and are thus labeled “failing.”

The greatest effect falls on Title I schools, where there are many students in poverty. Some federal funds designated for low-income students are no longer in local districts’ control.

Instead, some of the money must be used on third-party, private tutors, rather than in-school staff.

Becky Padilla signed up her son for tutoring in Tacoma.

“I filled out the paperwork, hadn’t heard anything by January, so I called the district. They said to call the tutoring company that I chose, and I did. They said there was this backlog of background checks,” Padilla said.

She called the situation a nightmare.

http://go.uen.org/3h7

 

 


 

 

 

John Kasich on Ted Cruz and Common Core: ‘I don’t know anything about him or what he’s talking about’

Cleveland Plain Dealer

 

NASHUA, N.H. — Ohio Gov. John Kasich continued a day of out-of-state politicking Tuesday — not quite a presidential candidate and not quite ready to engage the only high-profile Republican who has officially declared his candidacy.

Kasich, who supports Common Core education standards, was asked after touring Nashua Community College about U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. The Republican from Texas launched his campaign Monday and has been highly critical of Common Core.

“I don’t know anything about him or what he’s talking about or proposing,” Kasich said, before launching into his typical defense of the program. “I don’t have anything else to say about anybody else. I’m just telling you what happens in Ohio.”

He added, when pressed further on the topic: “Sometimes things get to be political, they get to be runaway Internet issues. I’ve looked at it. The federal government did not tell us what test to give, the federal government did not tell us what the standards ought to be. It was set by governors. And some of the governors that set the standards are now saying they don’t like the program. You ought to ask them the question.”

http://go.uen.org/3h8

 

http://go.uen.org/3hL (WSJ)

 

http://go.uen.org/3hH (AP)

 

 


 

 

 

U.S. Citizenship Test Gains Traction as Diploma Criterion Education Week

 

Amid long-standing national angst over the amount of knowledge that American public school students have of civics, one organization’s push to make the test administered to prospective U.S. citizens a high school graduation requirement is finding early momentum in many states.

It’s also attracting critics concerned that the citizenship test—recently adopted as a diploma requirement in two states and the basis of legislation that’s been considered in at least 17 others—won’t do anything significant to improve students’ understanding of and engagement with the subject.

Arizona and North Dakota this past January became the first states to pass legislation requiring students to correctly answer a portion of the exam, administered by the federal Citizenship and Immigration Services to people seeking U.S. citizenship, in order to graduate from high school.

The bill is the brainchild of the Joe Foss Institute, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based organization that traditionally has focused on sending military veterans into schools to discuss patriotism and American government. But under CEO and President Frank Riggs, who last year lost in the Republican primary for Arizona governor, the organization’s Civics Education Initiative is having notable success, some advocates say, pressing an issue that has traditionally stagnated in statehouses.

http://go.uen.org/3hR

 

 


 

 

Hopes of Preserving Cherokee Language Rest with Children Associated Press

 

CHEROKEE, N.C. — Kevin Tafoya grew up hearing Cherokee all around him – his mother, a grandmother and grandfather, aunts and an uncle all spoke the language that now is teetering on the edge of extinction.

Yet his mother purposely didn’t teach him.

“She told us she had a hard time in school transitioning from Cherokee to English,” Tafoya said. “She didn’t want us to have the same problem so she never really taught us when we were younger.”

Now the 37-year-old wants something different for his 6-year-old son, Moke, and his 2-year-old daughter, Marijane. Both are enrolled at New Kituwah Academy, a Cherokee language immersion school.

The language is “probably only the last real thing about being Cherokee that we have left,” he said. “I mean, we have our different arts and stuff. But I think our language really defines us as it does any people.”

With fewer than 300 native Cherokee speakers remaining in North Carolina, the clock is ticking to preserve not just the language, but a culture too. For the Eastern Band of Cherokee, hopes lie first with six fifth-graders who have attended New Kituwah (pronounced gi-DOO-wah) since they were babies.

http://go.uen.org/3hG

 

 


 

 

Let’s Talk (Frankly) About Sex

A new approach uses openness and humor to make “The Talk” less dreadful for parents and children alike.

New York Times Magazine

 

Reasons Why I Shouldn’t Have to Go Tonight: If I wanted to talk about it, I would. / It’s my body. / It’s a waste of time. / It’s a waste of money. / I know what I need to know. / It sounds pretty stupid to me. / It’s so stereotypical because obviously I know this happens to everyone. / Considering I took the time out of my morning to write you these extremely reasonable and great reasons not to make me go (and it took forever because I can’t type very well), and the fact that I really, really, really, really . . . really, really, really strongly don’t want to go, please don’t send us to this horrible torture.

PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME GO. I DON’T WANT TO GO.

The plea came from Leah Likin, a fifth grader. It was addressed to her mother, who had registered both of them for a two­part course on puberty called “For Girls Only.” The missive, which included additional objections, failed: Mother took daughter anyway. But Leah had plenty of company, peers who shared her resistance, their arms crossed, their eyes downcast. Last year, the course, which is split into sessions for preteen boys and girls and held mostly in and around Seattle, and also in the Bay Area, pulled in 14,000 attendees. They heard about it from their pediatricians, or through word of mouth.

http://go.uen.org/3hz

 

 


 

 

Learning To Move, Moving To Learn: The Benefits Of PE NPR

 

When it comes to kids and exercise, schools need to step up and focus more on quality as well as quantity. And, says Dr. Gregory D. Myer, they need to promote activities that develop motor skills, socialization and fun.

Myer is one of the authors of a recent paper and commentary on children and exercise. He’s also director of the Human Performance Lab and director of research at the Division of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Like others, Myer notes that when it’s time to trim the budget, PE, art and music classes are often the first to go. While he’s certainly distressed by those cuts, he and his co-authors also seek to question the “current dogma that is currently focused on the quantitative rather than qualitative aspects of physical activity” programs for youth.

Myer helped develop exercise guidelines for youth aimed at reducing sports-related injuries and promoting health. The guidelines call for greater focus on short, interval-like bursts of activity interspersed with rest. It includes core strength building, resistance training, agility and more.

http://go.uen.org/3hw

 

 


 

 

 

Is Braille Obsolete?

(New York) WNYC

 

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired has been stocked with all kinds of gadgets: singing calculators, talking typewriters, even video games that you navigate using only sound. Most are specialized and expensive — the school can afford them, but a lot of families can’t.

There is one piece of tech, however, that almost every student has, and, according to 14-year-old student Demetria Ober, absolutely every student wants. It’s a status symbol, it’s a social media machine, it’s… yes, you know exactly what it is: the iPhone.

On this week’s New Tech City, reporter Ryan Kailath introduces us to Demetria, and poses the question gaining importance in both her life and broader society: Are iPads and iPhones rendering Braille obsolete? And if so, should advocates for the visually impaired be worried?

http://go.uen.org/3hK

 

 


 

 

 

Why Finland won’t be teaching ‘math’ and ‘history’ anymore Finland will making drastic changes to an already successful education system. Why now? And will this model change the way other countries go about educating their children?

Christian Science Monitor

 

Despite having an education system that does not rely on standardized test scores, Finnish students perform extremely well on exams that are given to students all over the developed world.

But now Finland is looking to overhaul its education system and will now focus on more on “topics” and less on subjects, according to The Independent.

The Finns are calling this “phenomena” teaching. The Independent cites an example of a student enrolling in vocational courses who may choose to take lessons in “cafeteria services.” In this example, the adolescent student would study math elements and languages – for serving foreign customers – while working on writing and communication capabilities.

Students who are on a more academic track might take a course on the European Union, which would combine elements of history, economics, and foreign languages.

“What we need now is a different kind of education to prepare people for working life,” Pasi Silander, Helsinki’s city manager told The Independent.  “We therefore have to make the changes in education that are necessary for industry and modern society.”

http://go.uen.org/3hN

 

http://go.uen.org/3hO (THE Journal)

 

 


 

 

 

Islamic State recruits 400 children since January: Syria monitor Reuters

 

BEIRUT – Islamic State has recruited at least 400 children in Syria in the past three months and given these so-called “Cubs of the Caliphate” military training and hardline indoctrination, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the children, all aged under 18, were recruited near schools, mosques and in public areas where Islamic State carries out killings and brutal punishments on local people.

One such young boy appeared in a video early this month shooting dead an Israeli Arab accused by Islamic State of being as spy. A French police source said the boy might be the half-brother of Mohamed Merah, who killed three soldiers, a rabbi and three Jewish children in Toulouse in 2012.

“They use children because it is easy to brainwash them. They can build these children into what they want, they stop them from going to school and send them to IS schools instead,” said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the British-based Observatory.

http://go.uen.org/3hF

 

 


 

 

Quiet German town mourns 18 young lives lost in Alps plane crash Reuters

 

HALTERN AM SEE, Germany – The deaths of 16 teenage students and two young teachers in the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps left the lakeside town of Haltern am See in a state of shock on Wednesday, with the German nation sharing in their mourning and grief.

A tranquil and tidy town of 37,000 that until Tuesday seemed to be a haven from the world’s dangers, Haltern am See came to a halt after news that 14 girls, two boys and two teachers on a Spanish language exchange programme were not coming home.

“On Tuesday last week we sent off 16 happy, young people with two happy, young teachers on a journey,” said Ulrich Wessel, headmaster of the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium high school.

“It was meant to be a journey full of joy, a school exchange that we’ve been doing for six years. It ended in tragedy,” added Wessel. “Our school will never be the same again.”

http://go.uen.org/3hE

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

April 9:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

April 9-10:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

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