Education News Roundup: May 4, 2015

"Teacher Appreciation Cupcakes" by Clever Cupcakes/CC/flickr

“Teacher Appreciation Cupcakes” by Clever Cupcakes/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:


Students in Cache County are using an academic bowl to prepare for this year’s SAGE tests. (LHJ)


Congratulations to this year’s Utah Teacher Innovation Awards winners. (SLT)

and (KUED)


Congratulations to Timpanogos High’s Brianna  Ray, Rowland Hall’s Natalya R. Ritter, and Hillcrest High’s Calvin H. Yu, Utah’s 2015 Presidential Scholars. (ED)


Iowa gets ready to vote on science standards. (Des Moines Register)












Lincoln Elementary students review for SAGE test with academic bowl


Utah Teacher Innovation Awards: Digitizing the classroom to spark curiosity


11 honored with Huntsman education awards


141 Students from Across the Country Named 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars


Canyons District names Teacher of the Year


Utah’s Southwest Region recognizes the 2015 Sterling Scholar winners


Cache school administration roles changing


JaDene Denniston, school librarian, retires after 40 years in Cache County District


Utah high school band performs in Cuba


Sunset Elementary students win statewide, regional awards


Bonneville hopes assembly reduces bullying


Two ex-Bountiful wrestlers in court on hazing charges


Girls on the Run Southern Utah to benefit from $7,200 Ironman Foundation grant


Hands-on learning about Utah’s past


New study suggests urban students do significantly better in charter schools


15 apps to help your child learn outside of the classroom


Is this the best kindergarten in the world?


How to fight the prom price war








On Second Thought


Legislative mandates set public schools up for failure


Students to blame, too, in sex cases


Is Testing Students the Answer to America’s Education Woes?


The False Promise of Marijuana Money in Education Don’t set expectations too high.








Nevada testing problems impede school accountability ratings


Penalties still threatened for test boycott Local school districts could be hit


Vote near on hotly debated science standards


Some Baltimore youth have fears of police reinforced in their schools


Montana Offers A Boost To Native Language Immersion Programs


Boston invites public to reimagine high schools


Zuckerberg, tech investors fund AltSchool initiative


Many High School Students Rely on Their Own Tech Devices at School, Survey Says


Parents’ Guide to Student Data-Privacy Policy Released by Advocacy Group


In U.S. Schools, Undocumented Youths Strive to Adjust Some Schools Help Youths Get Foothold in Language, Culture


Charter schools’ five-mile enrollment under scrutiny


Most football concussions happen at practice


Texas the Front Line on High School ECG Debate


Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback gets dinner … and an educational tip from the waitress


Most Americans Think Public School Teachers Are Underappreciated And Underpaid


Report Urges Sweden to Reform Failing School System









Lincoln Elementary students review for SAGE test with academic bowl


Fourth-graders at Lincoln Elementary reviewed the year’s worth of curriculum on Thursday in a competitive academic bowl.

Students in Lori Murray and Suzie Macriss’s classes were divided into three teams and covered the subjects that are in the end-of-year SAGE testing.

“We use this academic bowl each year as a preparation for our SAGE testing at the end of the year. We select material or questions from our Utah science core, math core and language arts core,” Murray said. (LHJ)





Utah Teacher Innovation Awards: Digitizing the classroom to spark curiosity


Laura Franson doesn’t work for Google, but she has free time to explore from her desk — just like workers at the tech giant.

During “genius time,” the sixth-grader and her classmates look up the basics of American Sign Language and review plans to produce a documentary on the Vietnam War.

The midmorning session at Shelley Elementary in the Alpine School District is one reason why teacher Brandon Engles has been selected as one of Utah’s most forward-thinking instructors. Engles, noted for incorporating high-tech elements in his classroom, is one of five Utah public school teachers to win an innovation award from The Salt Lake Tribune and KUED. (SLT) (KUED)






11 honored with Huntsman education awards


SALT LAKE CITY — After years of dedicated service, 11 outstanding educators will receive Huntsman Awards for Excellence in Education this month.

Benefactor Karen Huntsman, the wife of Utah businessman and philanthropist Jon Huntsman Sr., informed recipients of their success this week, traveling to each teacher’s classroom to surprise them with the news. (DN) (KSL)






141 Students from Across the Country Named 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the 51st class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 141 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics or the arts.

“Presidential Scholars demonstrate the accomplishments that can be made when students challenge themselves, set the highest standards, and commit themselves to excellence,” Duncan said. “These scholars are poised to make their mark on our nation in every field imaginable: the arts and humanities, science and technology, law and medicine, business and finance, education and government—to name a few. Their academic and artistic achievements reflect a sense of purpose that we should seek to instill in all students to prepare them for college, careers, civic responsibilities, and the challenges of today’s job market.”

*UT – Orem – Brianna  Ray, Timpanogos High School, Orem, UT. Most influential teacher: Anjanette Mickelsen, West Jordan, UT.

UT – Salt Lake City – Natalya R. Ritter, Rowland Hall-St Mark’s School, Salt Lake City, UT. Most influential teacher: Doug Wortham, Salt Lake City, UT.

UT – Sandy – Calvin H. Yu, Hillcrest High School, Midvale, UT. Most influential teacher: Mark Doherty, Midvale, UT.

*Denotes Presidential Scholars of the Arts (ED)





Canyons District names Teacher of the Year


SANDY — Alta High School teacher Matt Leininger has been selected as the 2015 Canyons District Teacher of the Year.

Leininger, who also coaches robotics, swimming and tennis, was honored last month during a ceremony hosted by the Canyons Board of Education. (DN)






Utah’s Southwest Region recognizes the 2015 Sterling Scholar winners


Students, parents, teachers and school administrators came together at Southern Utah University on April 9 to celebrate and congratulate the 2015 Deseret News/KSL Sterling Scholar winners and runners-up from the Southwest Utah Region. A banquet was held for Scholars and their families prior to the awards ceremony. Utah State representatives were also recognized for their contributions and fundraising efforts for the Southwest Region’s scholarship fund. The speaker for the evening’s banquet was SUU President Scott L. Wyatt. (DN)





Cache school administration roles changing


Administrative changes are coming to the Cache County School District. Superintendent Steve Norton sent out a memo on April 30 announcing the changes to principals at various schools.

Among those administrators making a move is Jeanette Christensen, current principal at Nibley Elementary, who will be the new K-12 ESL coordinator at the district. She is replacing Kelly James, who is retiring. Kelly Rindlisbacher, the current principal at Canyon Elementary, will be the new principal at Nibley Elementary. (CVD)






JaDene Denniston, school librarian, retires after 40 years in Cache County District


After four decades of teaching the love of reading to countless children, school librarian JaDene Denniston is retiring to spend more time with her husband.

Denniston spent over 40 years working for Cache County School District at Millville Elementary, Mountain Crest High School, Sunrise Elementary, Providence Elementary and finally Mountainside Elementary. During that time, she opened up the libraries at Millville, Sunrise and Mountainside. (LHJ)





Utah high school band performs in Cuba


HAVANA, Cuba — The Crescent Super Band, comprised of more than two dozen Utah high school musicians who play well beyond their years, has performed from Utah to Carnegie Hall to the Netherlands.

This spring the band played a gig someplace that, for the longest time, has been a no man’s land for Americans — Havana, Cuba.

The big band, based in American Fork, went at the invitation of the Fiesta Del Tambor, the Festival of the Drum. (KSL)





Bonneville hopes assembly reduces bullying


A motivational assembly at Bonneville High School kicked off with a lot of noise Friday.

Organizers say students face bullying every day and they are hoping students will take matters into their own hands and stop bullying in its tracks.

Officials say they have organized an anonymous tip line where students can report bullying but they say the ultimate goal is that students will make a difference on their own. (KUTV) (KTVX)






Sunset Elementary students win statewide, regional awards


  1. GEORGE — The cheers were almost deafening in the multipurpose room at Sunset Elementary School in St. George Friday afternoon, as individual school awards were handed out and two students received major awards (KCSG)





Two ex-Bountiful wrestlers in court on hazing charges


FARMINGTON — Two former Bountiful High School wrestlers were in court on Friday for their first hearing on hazing charges.

Lamar Allen Gimmeson and Christopher Brooks Fletcher, both 18, appeared before Judge Michael Allphin in 2nd District Court.

Gimmeson is charged with one count of sexual battery and one count of hazing. Fletcher is charged two counts of sexual battery and one count of hazing. All of the charges are misdemeanors. (OSE)






Girls on the Run Southern Utah to benefit from $7,200 Ironman Foundation grant


There’s an old expression about the place where the rubber meets the road, the point at which the implementation of a plan or intent is to be achieved. In the case of Girls on the Run Southern Utah—a nonprofit organization teaching running and other forms of exercise to girls in third through fifth grades—they  will be benefiting from the very real rubber meeting the road. Rubber soles and bicycle tires, that is. As part of more than $55,000 granted to local nonprofits, the Ironman Foundation Community Fund has granted $7,200 for Girls on the Run Southern Utah for use next school year.

The executive director of Girls on the Run Southern Utah, Melissa Schmidt-Miller, said the organization operates on an annual budget of $6,000 for the fiscal year concluding June 30. They rely on fees and fundraisers. The program costs $150 per girl, with about half of the girls qualifying for scholarships. Schmidt-Miller said that the grant money from the Ironman Foundation Community Fund will make it possible for Girls on the Run to provide scholarships to 30 additional girls in Washington County in the upcoming school year.

Girls on the Run Southern Utah is part of a national nonprofit organization based in Charlotte, N.C. The southern Utah chapter started officially in February, with 26 girls participating from Sandstone Elementary School in St. George and Vista Charter School in Ivins City. (Southern Utah Independent)





Hands-on learning about Utah’s past


SALT LAKE CITY — Parents and children enjoyed the kick-off to Archaeology and Preservation Month at Salt Lake Community College’s south campus Saturday, learning about the state’s historic places and the way those who came before them lived their lives. “This annual event is a wonderful way for families to connect to Utah’s unique past,” said Brad Westwood, Director Utah State History. “Humans have called the area of modern Utah home for over 10,000 years. Archaeology and Preservation Month can help all of us celebrate our heritage,” he said in a release announcing the event. Children practiced corn grinding, studied the rings in trees to learn about their lifespans, and took part in a host of other crafts and educational activities. For a complete list of the more than 30 activities that will take place during the month of May, see (DN) (KSL)






New study suggests urban students do significantly better in charter schools


Students in major urban centers around the country perform better in charter schools than they do in traditional public schools, according to a new study from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University.

The CREDO study found that charter schools in urban areas received “the equivalent of roughly 40 days of additional learning per year in math and 28 additional days of learning per year in reading,” a substantial gain over their peers in traditional public schools. (DN)






15 apps to help your child learn outside of the classroom


The National Center of Education Statistics reports that about 3 percent of the school-age population is home schooled. Parents mainly home-school their children because they are concerned about certain school environments, where there could be bullying or teachings that go against a parent’s political and religious beliefs, the NCES reported.

But the percentage of home-schoolers has only increased in recent years, especially as secular parents have started to home-school their children, participating in a practice that has often been viewed by many as a way for religious parents to teach their children, which I wrote about two years ago. (DN)





Is this the best kindergarten in the world?


Renowned architect Takaharu Tezuka believes that the future of classroom education may be in the actual building. (DN)






How to fight the prom price war


Mary’s 17-year-old daughter is in the heart of prom season.

And, hearing how Mary describes the experience, it’s understandable why she doesn’t want her real name used for this story. (DN) (KSL)












On Second Thought

Deseret News commentary by columnist Jay Evensen


The National Center for Education Statistics released the latest results from a nationwide test of eighth-graders last week. The news wasn’t good. On the geography portion, only 27 percent scored above “proficient.” The rest couldn’t locate the testing center.

The history scores weren’t any better. To be fair, though, eighth-graders today have a lot more history to learn than the rest of us did when we were young.





Legislative mandates set public schools up for failure Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Miriam Bugden, a fifth grade teacher at Rose Park Elementary in Salt Lake City


Last week my students began taking a battery of the controversial SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence) tests. Past Tribune articles reported Utah Legislators’ proposals to convert schools who “fail” this test into state-run charters. This proposal is based on many false and misleading assumptions.

First, SAGE tests were not designed by renowned and respected education researchers, nor those teachers who instruct your children. SAGE is a commercially purchased, expensive (approximately $39 million for a five-year period) program designed by American Institute for Research, a behavioral and social science company (see USOE contract number 136199).

These tests are norm-referenced, which means they are designed so that only 10 percent of those taking them will achieve in the top 10 percent. By this standard, 50 percent of test takers are designed to fail. If 50 percent do not fail, the test is considered to be flawed. In other words, no matter how well students learn, no matter how effectively teachers teach, half of them will fail. Our policy makers have, in essence, scripted the failure of our public schools.

Next, there is no evidence (data, case studies, statistical proof, etc.) to suggest that changing public to state-run charter schools can improve learning for all our students.






Students to blame, too, in sex cases

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Adeline “Eddie” Jouflas


Former teacher Brianne Altice will go to jail for having sex with teenage students. She knew it was wrong. The teenagers knew it was wrong and even bragged about who was sleeping with her. The teenage boys seem to be getting off scot-free, even though they willingly participated.

Several years ago at West High, a teenage girl accused two male teachers of inappropriate behavior. They were terminated. The girl approached another male teacher, who reported her for making moves on him. Her pattern against male teachers became clear. This teacher was not punished; the girl left West High.

While adult teachers have no excuse for inappropriate sexual behavior, teenagers who willingly participate and brag around school can hardly claim innocence. According to recent reports, the parents are suing the school for not doing its job properly.

I wonder what would happen if teachers and schools sued parents for not doing their jobs properly!






Is Testing Students the Answer to America’s Education Woes?

New York Times commentary by Patricia Levesque, chief executive officer of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, and  Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder


The testing of public school children across the country is winding up for the year. And in New York, this week, academics are meeting to discuss the teacher evaluation process of which these tests play a crucial role. But in all the talk about testing students, holding teachers and principals accountable for performance and the growing opt-out movement, one question remains: Is the testing regime, which has essentially been in effect for over a decade, working?





The False Promise of Marijuana Money in Education Don’t set expectations too high.

Atlantic commentary by columnist ALIA WONG


Nearly 1.3 million people voted in 2012 to legalize recreational pot in Colorado, taking close to 55 percent of the vote and putting the state at the forefront of America’s marijuana revolution. By doing so, Coloradans effectively turned a shady, stigmatized practice—a hobby associated with airheads and slackers—into a public service that would be invested in something universal and of undeniable worth: school improvement.

The law, which went into effect last January, stipulates that the first $40 million raised from taxes on the sale of recreational pot help pay for construction to improve Colorado’s “crumbling” public-school buildings, a problem the state has long struggled to address because of limited funding. This is a familiar model. In other states, like California, schools are funded through another formerly taboo practice: lotteries.

In Colorado, the public-education benefit of legalization served as a major selling point for the proposal during election season. Pro-legalization advocates even aired ads with slogans like, “Jobs for our people. Money for our schools. Who could ask for more?” and  “Strict Regulation. Fund Education.” Politically, the tactic seems to have paid off given that, in the year or so that’s passed since the law went into effect, Coloradans continue to cite public funding as the greatest advantage of legalization. A 2014 survey found that most respondents saw an “upside” to legalization, with more than half of those adults identifying “tax revenue” as the greatest benefit (versus other “upsides” such as easier access, fewer arrests, and tourism). And more than half of all the survey participants said that public schools should receive the most funding from marijuana tax dollars; public schools were one of six options respondents could choose from.

But whether legalizing recreational ganja will ever make a dent in Colorado’s school-construction backlog is far from certain—and the consequence isn’t only that schools won’t get the extra money they might have hoped for. Analyses of the policy’s fiscal impact, including a widely cited study by Colorado State University’s Colorado Futures Center, conclude that the excise tax earmarked for schools is hardly on target to generate that annual $40 million benchmark.











Nevada testing problems impede school accountability ratings Las Vegas Review Journal


Nevada education officials will hit pause on the state’s school accountability ratings following weeks of computer glitches that have marred an online student testing system.

The State Board of Education on Thursday voted to carry over the one- to five-star ratings that individual campuses received in the 2013-14 school year to the 2014-15 school year.

However, board members voiced support for keeping Nevada schools on track to convert student testing from pencil-and-paper versions to an online format — despite the technical errors that have prevented most public school students from taking the federally mandated tests since they began March 30.

Only 211,000 students, or 11.5 percent of the third- to eighth-grade population, successfully completed the math portion of the online assessments, said Steve Canavero, deputy state superintendent for student achievement. (Ed Week)






Penalties still threatened for test boycott Local school districts could be hit Bernardsville (NJ) News


Despite parental claims that local school districts would not be punished if students skipped a controversial, state-mandated test, federal and state officials are continuing to warn of penalties ranging from “corrective action plans’’ to a loss of financial aid.

The U.S. Secretary of Education, the state education commissioner and Gov. Chris Christie each said at various forums last week that punitive steps may be taken in cases where less than 95 percent of students took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test.

That could affect the Bernards Township and Somerset Hills Regional public school districts, where participation rates were well below 95 percent in the upper grades when the first round of PARCC tests were administered in March.

The first-day rates at Ridge High School in Bernards were 41.1 percent in the 11th grade, 59.6 percent in the 10th grade and 68.7 percent in the ninth grade.

At Bernards High School in Somerset Hills, the rates were 33 percent in the 11th grade, 76 percent in the 10th grade and 91.2 percent in the ninth grade.






Vote near on hotly debated science standards Des Moines (IA) Register


In a classroom at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School, teacher Dean Lange presented a challenge: Build a vehicle using everyday items such as straws and rubber bands.

The engineering class, an elective at the West Des Moines school, lets students dabble with design, from brainstorming to prototyping. It’s the kind of hands-on activity that could become more common if Iowa adopts the Next Generation Science Standards, which could go before the state Board of Education as early as this month.

For the first time, engineering could be incorporated into Iowa’s science classes in elementary, middle and high school — no longer relegated to occasional lessons or elective courses. There would be less focus on rote memorization, and more emphasis on the scientific process, such as analyzing data, developing a model and constructing a logical argument.

While those concepts are already part of the current Iowa Core standards, which set learning expectations in schools, they’re not always incorporated into every lesson. Too often, science is taught like a series of facts, rather than as a process of discovery, educators say.





Some Baltimore youth have fears of police reinforced in their schools Washington Post


Darius Craig was disgusted Monday night watching other Baltimore teens on television as they burned cars, looted shops and hurled rocks at police. But the high school senior understood why his peers were so angry.

Long before Freddie Gray was fatally injured in police custody last month, the city youths had seen plenty of other cases in which young black people were treated with excessive force. They knew it had been going on for decades, and they thought police rarely got in trouble. They were sick of it.

“What we saw, I don’t support it, but I can’t say I don’t understand it,” said Craig, 18. “I do understand.”

Baltimore’s unrest has helped show the world why some residents don’t trust police on the streets. But that same distrust echoes in city schools, where officers stationed in hallways and classrooms are often perceived as posing a threat instead of serving as protectors.

In the winter, just as the city was debating whether school police should be allowed to carry guns while classes are in session, the local NBC affiliate broadcast surveillance video showing a school police officer beating a middle-school girl with a baton, bloodying her head.

“What happened with Freddie Gray is a similar issue with our school policing, but on a larger scale,” said Craig, the student council president at Digital Harbor High, near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. “In the outside world, some people are being killed. But in our schools, they’re just being beaten, assaulted and . . . arrested.”

Baltimore City schools account for 10 percent of Maryland’s students, but referrals to the juvenile justice system from those campuses accounted for 90 percent of the Maryland’s school-based criminal referrals.






Montana Offers A Boost To Native Language Immersion Programs NPR All Things Considered


Many Native Americans who attended a recent powwow in Missoula, Mont., remember what it was like to be punished for speaking a tribal language. For about a century, starting in the 1870s, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs ran boarding schools for Native American children, removing them from their families and homes and separating them from their language and culture so they would “assimilate.”

Carrie Iron Shirt’s father was one of those children. “My dad, being in the boarding school, they were taught not to talk their language,” she says.

Iron Shirt, 37, says her father still has bad memories of the treatment he received for speaking his native Blackfeet at school. “He didn’t want us to go through that,” she says. “So my generation missed out on the language.”

Iron Shirt tried to make up for that loss by enrolling her own daughter, Jade, in a private Blackfeet language immersion school. Now 16, Jade can speak the language fluently with her grandparents, something for which she’s grateful.

“You learn about your culture more,” she says. “And that’s what’s more important, you know? ‘Cause our culture is dying.”

Thanks to a new Montana state bill, expected to be signed into law this week, more Native American kids will have the same opportunity. The bill subsidizes Native American language immersion programs in public schools.






Boston invites public to reimagine high schools Boston Globe


The nation’s first high school opened in Boston in 1821, and now, nearly two centuries later, the city has launched an effort to reinvent high school for the future.

Think about High Tech High, a cluster of San Diego schools where the high ceilings and funky splashes of color make it look more like offices of a cutting-edge startup than classrooms. Or it could be Pensole, a footwear design academy with a “learn by doing curriculum” that gives students a taste what it would take to create the next Air Jordans.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh has launched what he has described as a “critical conversation” to redesign Boston’s improved but still struggling high schools. Starting Monday in Brighton, Walsh’s administration will hold a series of four public meetings to get students, parents, educators, and others to envision the future of Boston’s roughly three dozen high schools.

“My hope is that it’s something pretty radical,” said Turahn Dorsey, Boston’s chief of education. “The challenge for us is to really spark the imagination of the public. . . . We have to get people to imagine beyond what is the current conception of high school.”

In addition to the four public meetings, the city has invited more than 40 advocate organizations, colleges, and other institutions to host conversations about how to transform the city’s high schools.

The brainstorming sessions will be followed by a more formal high school redesign competition that will include a yet-to-be determined amount of prize money.






Zuckerberg, tech investors fund AltSchool initiative USA Today


SAN FRANCISCO – Education reform just got a $100 million boost from a range of high-profile tech investors including Mark Zuckerberg and Laurene Powell Jobs.

AltSchool, a 2-year-old software-fueled elementary school initiative started by ex-Googler and Aardvark founder Max Ventilla, announced Monday a $100 million Series B round led by a mix of established venture capital firms and powerful social-good investors. To date, AltSchool’s has raised $133 million.

AltSchool uses proprietary software that provides students with a personalized “playlist” lesson that teachers can keep close tabs on. Currently, a few hundred students in four Bay Area classrooms use AltSchool tech, and three more California classrooms are expected to come online this fall, plus one in Brooklyn. (Wired) (WSJ)





Many High School Students Rely on Their Own Tech Devices at School, Survey Says Education Week


Many students, particularly older ones, are making extensive use of their own digital devices in schools, in some cases more so than learning technologies issued by their districts, a new nationwide survey suggests.

The data could probably serve as a reminder to ed-tech developers that they need to be thinking about their tools’ and systems’ compatibility with the devices students already have—not just what districts are choosing as part of 1-to-1 computing efforts or other big technology purchases.

Fifty-eight percent of high school students, when asked what type of device they use at school, said they rely on their own technology, according to the results of the Speak Up survey, released this week by the Irvine, Calif.-based nonprofit Project Tomorrow.

A smaller portion of students, 32 percent, said they use “school laptops,” while 16 percent said they used school-issued Chromebooks, and 14 percent said they use school tablets.


A copy of the survey (






Parents’ Guide to Student Data-Privacy Policy Released by Advocacy Group Education Week


The Future of Privacy Forum released a guide this week to help parents understand student-data-privacy policies and clarify students’ and parents’ protections under the law.

The National Parent-Teacher Association and Connect Safely, a California nonprofit promoting safe online technology use, worked with the FPF, a Washington-based organization that advocates for the responsible use of data, in publishing the online resource.

The new parent resource provides details about who can access students’ data, what education companies can do with student information, what laws are in place to protect student data, and when parents can opt out of sharing their child’s information.

The guide breaks down major laws governing student data access and use, so that parents will know what rights and protections they have when it comes to their child’s education information, said Brenda Leong, FPF senior council and director of operations, in an interview.


A copy of the guide (FERPA/SHERPA)





In U.S. Schools, Undocumented Youths Strive to Adjust Some Schools Help Youths Get Foothold in Language, Culture Education Week


Washington – Kevin faced a traumatic journey to the United States in search of a better life.

The 19-year-old undocumented immigrant from El Salvador faced yet another set of challenges when he arrived in the United States last year and enrolled in school.

First came the laughs of classmates poking fun at his halting English. Then came the puzzled looks from teachers struggling to understand those same words.

But a new place in the same place has made all the difference for Kevin.

The teenager is one of 200 students enrolled in the first-year International Academy for English-language learners at the District of Columbia’s Cardozo Education Campus, a school-within-a-school for students who arrived in the United States within the past 18 months.

The struggles and successes of Cardozo’s recently arrived students and English-learners provide a peek into the experiences of the surge of unaccompanied children and youths who streamed across the U.S.-Mexico border and entered American classrooms last fall.





Charter schools’ five-mile enrollment under scrutiny (Wilmington, DE) News Journal


Charter schools shouldn’t be able to give enrollment preference to students who live within five miles of their campus because doing so is leading to re-segregation, some lawmakers and advocates argue.

If a charter school has more applicants than seats, Delaware law currently allows charters to give preference to students who live within five miles of their building, as long as they include that preference in their charter.

The only charter that currently uses that preference is Newark Charter School, which has almost 2,000 students in grades K-10 and is expanding into a full K-12 school. Eastside Charter and the Delaware Met have approval to do so in their charter, but have not yet exercised it because they have not had more applicants than available seats.






Most football concussions happen at practice Reuters


High school and college football players suffer more concussions during practices than during games, according to a new study.

This is simply because there are more practices than games, said lead author Thomas P. Dompier of the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

When the number of concussions is divided by the number of field appearances, the concussion rate is actually higher during games, he said.






Texas the Front Line on High School ECG Debate Associated Press


AUSTIN, Texas — Cody Stephens was trying to shed some of the 290 pounds from his 6-foot-9 frame before graduating high school and attending his first college football training camp three summers ago when he took a nap and didn’t wake up. The autopsy showed he had an enlarged heart, which gave out.

Spurred by the deaths of teenagers like Cody who die each year by sudden cardiac arrest, Texas lawmakers are pushing to make their state the first to require public high school athletes to undergo electrocardiogram testing. Those pushing for the change, including some of the parents of children who have died, say testing is relatively cheap and simple, and that it could save lives.

“Kids are dying. Why not screen everybody?” said Cody’s father, Scott Stephens, who runs a foundation with his wife that awards grants to pay for heart screening.

But opponents of mandatory screening, including the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association, question its effectiveness, saying it would lead to thousands of false-positives each year, which would lead to further, more expensive testing that isn’t necessary.




Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback gets dinner … and an educational tip from the waitress Kansas City Star


On her last night on the job, a waitress at a Topeka restaurant decided to turn the tables and give her customer a bit of a tip.

And that customer Saturday night was Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, no less. The tip – which amounted to a piece of the waitress’ mind – has gone viral, hitting national news sites by Sunday evening.

As Brownback and his family sat at one of her tables inside Boss Hawg’s Barbecue, Chloe Hough turned to social media for some advice. In all caps she wrote on her Facebook page:

“You guys 911 emergency. Its my last shift and I am waiting on our governor. What should I say to him. This is not a test. Go.”

A few of her Facebook friends offered ideas. Among them: “Ask him what his problem with education is.”

Hough, 22, said she follows the news regularly and knew she wanted to speak her mind to the governor in some way. And like her Facebook friend, she’s been concerned about the state of education in Kansas.

In late March, Brownback signed a new school financing law that replaces the complex school funding formula with flexible block grants for the next two years. The bill reduces funding that districts had expected for the current school year.

Before Hough took the tab to the governor — which rang in at $52.16 — she put an X in the line where he would leave a tip. And to the left of that she wrote, “Tip the schools.”

Hough said she was originally going to say something to the governor. “The reason I didn’t do that is I kind of chickened out,” she said. (AP)






Most Americans Think Public School Teachers Are Underappreciated And Underpaid Huffington Post


Most Americans agree that public school teachers should get paid more money and treated with more respect, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

In light of National Teacher Appreciation Week this week, The Huffington Post, in collaboration with YouGov, conducted a nationally representative poll on the topic of teacher appreciation. The survey results suggest most Americans think teachers deserve a week dedicated to appreciating them, if only because this group does not get enough respect the other 51 weeks of the year.

Most of the 1,000 survey participants indicated that they feel positively about the public school teachers in their community. This held true no matter the respondents’ age, income or region.

Most survey participants also said they think teachers are underpaid. Participants who identified as black, were Democrats or had household incomes over $80,000 were more likely to say teachers are underpaid. Republicans and those living in the northeast were less likely to say so.





Report Urges Sweden to Reform Failing School System Associated Press


STOCKHOLM — An international report says Sweden needs to urgently address the declining performance of its schools, a growing embarrassment for the Scandinavian welfare state.

Swedes are used to seeing their nation rank near the top in international surveys on everything from quality of life to economic competitiveness.

But the performance of Swedish students in an international test for 15-year-olds has plunged in the past decade from average to significantly below average.

In a report handed to the Swedish government on Monday, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development urged Sweden to “urgently reform” its school system.

Its recommendations included raising the status – and salaries – of teachers, placing higher expectations on students and improving the integration of immigrants, who on average score lower than native students.

Swedish schools are free, funded by the government with tax revenue. But since the 1990s, privately run schools can compete with public schools for government funds.

Critics on the left blame that voucher system for declining results, saying it has opened the door for schools more interested in making a profit than providing solid education.

Conservatives say students have been given too much influence in the classroom, undermining the authority of teachers. (Financial Times)


A copy of the report (OECD)










USOE Calendar



UEN News



May 6:

Middle School Science Standards Public Meeting

Provo School District, 280 W 940 North, Provo



May 7-8:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City



May 13:

Middle School Science Standards Public Meeting

Cache County School District, 2063 N 1200 East, North Logan



May 14

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City



May 19:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol



May 20:

Education Interim Committee meeting

9 a.m., TBD





Related posts:

Comments are closed.