Education News Roundup: May 18, 2015

Students and Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City's mayor, pose at the 2015 Living Traditions Festival.

Students and Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City’s mayor, pose at the 2015 Living Traditions Festival.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Gov. Herbert congratulates Hyrum’s Lincoln Elementary on its National Blue Ribbon School award.

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

 

KSL looks at the turnaround at Wendover High.

http://go.uen.org/3G4 (KSL)

 

Board of Regents look at the coming college enrollment boom.

http://go.uen.org/3Fp (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/3Fx (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/3G3 (KSL)

or a copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/3G9 (USHE)

 

D-News likes the direction Utah teacher evaluation is going.

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

 

Microsoft’s chief education officer offers advice on student data privacy.

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

 

Cell phones: From “hang up and drive” to “hang up and learn”?

http://go.uen.org/3FY (Guardian)

Or a copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/3FZ (LSE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Gov. Gary Herbert visits Lincoln Elementary to celebrate academic achievement

 

Wendover High School celebrates success

 

Enrollment at Utah colleges expected to jump by nearly 25 percent in 10 years Higher education » During the next 10 years, enrollment expected to climb by nearly 25 percent.

 

Late-blooming Utah teacher creates a global classroom

 

American Fork High photography teacher ‘is way out there’ with innovation Honors » American Fork High teacher is one of five receiving awards from KUED, Tribune.

 

Utah students named Presidential Scholars

 

Nationally ranked show choir at Spanish Fork charter school teaches life skills

 

Elementary arts teacher wins governor’s, Sorenson awards

 

Utah students compete in Logan for top theater honors

 

Polk students help UHP: ‘How do you get out of a ticket?’

 

Jordan Applied Technology College new campus names principal

 

Cache Valley’s high school construction, remodeling projects gear up for summer

 

Students find amusement in science at USU’s Physics Day

 

‘School will never be the same’

 

Man arrested for $89,000 theft, defrauding school district $34,000

 

Peer leaders at Riverton High School help students with special needs celebrate prom night

 

Mom says daughter with special needs excluded from yearbook; school district explains change

 

Graduations slated for Sevier school seniors

 

Caring 4 Your Family: Feeding Utah’s Children in the Summer

 

Utah high schools don’t rank well nationally

 

‘Daydreaming’ school bus driver cited in crash

 

Utah Shakespeare Festival offers low-cost student pass for 2015 shows

 

Here’s why today’s teachers are so stressed

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Teacher evaluations a welcome move to enhance consistency in how educations are rated and rewarded

 

Utah to begin mandating some meningitis vaccinations, but more is needed

 

Schools superintendent is a careful creation of the right wing

 

Commending Utah’s academy nominees from Utah County

 

Unfair to grade teachers, not students, with SAGE

 

Students won’t try if SAGE doesn’t count

 

Credit Utah educators

 

Testing culture

 

Miffed by school decision

 

Why opting out is shortsighted

 

Five Principles for Securing Student-Data Privacy

 

Let the Kids Learn Through Play

 

Teacher assails practice of giving passing grades to failing students

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

Former state schools Superintendent Tony Bennett won’t face criminal charges

 

Douglas sues over power struggle with education board

 

Can you steal an education?

Wealthy school districts are cracking down on “education thieves”

 

Schools that ban mobile phones see better academic results Effect of ban on phones adds up to equivalent of extra week of classes over a pupil’s school year

 

Ask a Teacher: Why Do You Still Assign So Much Homework?

 

Obesity disparity grew among U.S. kindergarteners

 

Driver suspended after student dragged by bus

 

These countries are best for children to live in

 

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Gov. Gary Herbert visits Lincoln Elementary to celebrate academic achievement

 

Education was the topic of the day when Gov. Gary Herbert visited Lincoln Elementary in Hyrum today.

Herbert was greeted by three fifth-graders at the doors of the school who then escorted him in to meet the rest of their classmates.

The governor had been invited to the school several months ago after it was announced Lincoln Elementary was the only elementary school in the state to win the National Blue Ribbon Award. Unfortunately, Herbert was unable to attend at that time, but he agreed to stop by for the Great American Awards assembly while he was in Cache Valley for the 100-year anniversary of Black and White Days.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Wendover High School celebrates success

 

WENDOVER, Utah — High school graduation in Wendover, Utah, used to signal the time to buy a truck and go work in a casino.

Not anymore.

“I have $27,000 in scholarships right now and I’m waiting on $6,000 more,” said Wendover senior Vanessa Cuevas.

Her classmate Shaunnae Bateman adds, “I have about $11,000 in scholarships … I’m going to Dixie State and I will be studying accounting.”

They represent the three dozen graduates at Wendover High who are pursuing secondary education in numbers never seen in this border town.

Last year, 83 percent of Wendover students graduated from high school and 9 percent had post-secondary plans in place, meaning some type of plan to continue their education.

This year, 97 percent of the seniors are graduating and 94 percent of them have post-secondary plans in place.

The turn-around isn’t luck of the draw but the result of a coordinated effort.

http://go.uen.org/3G4 (KSL)

 

 


 

 

 

Enrollment at Utah colleges expected to jump by nearly 25 percent in 10 years Higher education » During the next 10 years, enrollment expected to climb by nearly 25 percent.

 

As Utah graduates walk the stage and toss their caps, their alma maters are already preparing for coming waves of graduates.

Utah’s college student population is expected to swell by roughly 25 percent during the next 10 years.

The current batch of about 174,000 students statewide will likely rise to about 226,000 by 2024, according to new estimates from Utah higher-education managers.

The growth will require more student advisers, class space and other resources, members of the Board of Regents said after their monthly meeting Friday.

http://go.uen.org/3Fp (SLT)

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3G3 (KSL)

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/3G9 (USHE)

 

 


 

 

Late-blooming Utah teacher creates a global classroom

 

West Valley City » Bored, disengaged and often in trouble.

That’s how Robin Farnsworth remembers her years in school, growing up in Oregon.

“I don’t even remember one name of one teacher I had. I just didn’t connect,” says Farnsworth, now a teacher herself, and a good one at that.

She teaches third-graders at Neil Armstrong Academy — the Granite School District’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) elementary school.

Farnsworth is one of five teachers selected for this year’s Teacher Innovation Awards, sponsored by KUED and The Salt Lake Tribune.

For her, it’s all about getting kids interested and actively learning.

http://go.uen.org/3Fn (SLT)

 

 


 

 

 

American Fork High photography teacher ‘is way out there’ with innovation Honors » American Fork High teacher is one of five receiving awards from KUED, Tribune.

 

American Fork » Taylor Maag sits next to Wendy Frazier-Snyder and tells how he got the shot the weekend before.

He trudged along a snow-closed road in the Uinta Mountains, climbed two miles up to a ridge, and then waited for the Milky Way to rise at 3:30 a.m. He had two cameras, both shooting still shots that he would later edit into a time-lapsed video — the one he’s now showing Frazier-Snyder.

“Wow,” says Frazier-Snyder, a photography teacher at American Fork High. “Not everybody does this.”

Maag has something similar to say about Frazier-Snyder.

“A lot of other teachers, they work en masse,” Maag says. “She’s willing to work with students one on one. That’s the one thing students need.”

Frazier-Snyder is one of five teachers selected for this year’s Teacher Innovation Awards, sponsored by KUED and The Salt Lake Tribune. The five will be honored at a banquet Saturday, and KUED will air a half-hour program profiling the five teachers at 8 p.m. Monday.

http://go.uen.org/3Fo (SLT)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah students named Presidential Scholars

 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced the 51st class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, and three Utah students are recognized among 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.

Natalya Ritter of Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School and Calvin Yu of Hillcrest High were Utah’s Presidential Scholars, and Brianna Ray of Timpanogos High was named a Presidential Scholar of the Arts. Ritter’s most influential teacher was Doug Wortham, Yu’s was Mark Doherty, and Ray’s was Anjanette Mickelsen.

Another Utah teacher, Alanna Simmons, of Moab, was named the most influential teacher of scholar Grace Hong, of Reno, Nev.

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3FH (KSL)

 

 


 

 

 

Nationally ranked show choir at Spanish Fork charter school teaches life skills

 

SPANISH FORK — In Rick Lunt’s classroom, the chairs are stacked and pushed to the side. There are no desks, just his, though most of his work is done sitting at a grand piano.

It’s a scene similar to other choir classes in Utah. But there’s much more to American Leadership Academy’s show choir than rows of students standing in place with their faces buried in sheet music.

The school’s choir, called Evolution, combines singing, dance and costume for about 50 of the school’s ninth- through 12th-graders. They participate in competitions like those depicted in the movie “Pitch Perfect” and its sequel that opened in theaters Friday, films that depict the growing popularity of show choirs.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Elementary arts teacher wins governor’s, Sorenson awards

 

CEDAR CITY — After a career that has spanned 30 years and impacted the lives of thousands of students, Carrie Trenholm was recently awarded the Governor’s Leadership in Education Leadership Award and the Sorenson Legacy Lifetime Achievement Award for Arts Education.

“I was really stunned because it was such an honor and I’ve collaborated with so many people across the state for so many years,” Trenholm said. “We worked so hard as a team across the state to bring arts education to the children in Utah.”

Trenholm, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson endowed chair of elementary arts education at Southern Utah University, previously taught at Cedar Middle School and Canyon View High School before she came to SUU.

http://go.uen.org/3G5 (SGN)

 

http://go.uen.org/3G6 (SGS)

 

 


 

 

Utah students compete in Logan for top theater honors

 

Two Utah high school performers are on their way to New York City after winning Best Actress and Best Actor in the fifth annual Utah High School Musical Theater Awards in Logan on May 9.

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

 

 


 

 

Polk students help UHP: ‘How do you get out of a ticket?’

 

OGDEN — Some Polk Elementary students will be getting their 15 minutes of fame when a new video presentation appears on the Utah Highway Patrol’s YouTube channel this week.

Earlier this year, about 20 students were selected to participate in a video. UHP Trooper Colby Vanderbeek asked the students a series of questions about their parents’ driving.

The Polk Elementary student body got a sneak peak of the video during a premiere showing May 11. Students squealed as they saw their school flash across the screen. Before the showing, Principal Maridee Harrison asked the students who had been in the video to stand; their fellow students applauded and cheered loudly.

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

 

 


 

 

Jordan Applied Technology College new campus names principal

 

RIVERTON — The South Campus of Jordan Applied Technology College is set to open in fall, and Nicole Plenert has been appointed principal.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Cache Valley’s high school construction, remodeling projects gear up for summer

 

Both the Cache County School District and the Logan City School District are busy with the construction and remodeling of high schools in the valley. Cache County is currently building the recently named Ridgeline High School in Millville, while Logan City is conducting a drastic remodel of Logan High School. Both projects are complex and cost millions of dollars. Before the busy summer construction period starts, the separate construction firms gave an update on the progress and what is next on the agenda.

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

 

 


 

 

Students find amusement in science at USU’s Physics Day

 

FARMINGTON — Middle and high school students attempted to shield their science projects, robots and model roller coasters from the rain Friday as they waited to enter Lagoon amusement park for Utah State University’s annual Physics Day.

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Peer leaders at Riverton High School help students with special needs celebrate prom night

 

RIVERTON, Utah — For most high school students, prom is an annual rite of passage. But for students with special needs, prom night may not come at all. But thanks to a group from Riverton High School, students who attend a local school for those with special needs were treated to a night to remember.

Students from Riverton High School’s peer-leadership team spent months preparing to make sure the students at Kauri Sue Hamilton School had a prom to remember.

“It’s amazing,” Riverton student Halli Bleak said.  “You know, it’s really cool to be able to see these kids get a, kind of a classic high school experience at a prom, and it’s just, it’s a really cool time.”

The Kauri Sue Hamilton School in the Jordan School District serves students with severe and multiple disabilities.

http://go.uen.org/3FK (KSTU)

 

 


 

 

 

Mom says daughter with special needs excluded from yearbook; school district explains change

 

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — There’s a yearbook to mark every year 21-year-old Amber Bailey has completed in the classroom in Tooele County. But this year, the special needs student is missing from her copy.

“It’s kind of like they singled out the students who were in the transition program and said, ‘We don’t want you in our yearbook,’” said Amber’s mother, Leslee Bailey.

She was shocked to see her daughter’s picture missing from the Blue Peak High School yearbook this spring. Bailey, who has Down syndrome, attends classes at the county’s Community Learning Center, which is housed in the same building as the high school.

For the last two years, the school has always included the 17 special needs students from the center in the yearbook. However, this year, a change was made.

http://go.uen.org/3G7 (KSTU)

 

 


 

 

Graduations slated for Sevier school seniors

 

School will dismiss before lunch Friday, May 22, for most schools in Sevier School District so that some 300 seniors may participate in commencement exercises.

http://go.uen.org/3FL (MUR)

 

 


 

 

 

Caring 4 Your Family: Feeding Utah’s Children in the Summer

 

“In total last year, we provided close to 245,000 meals to kids who might otherwise go to bed hungry,” said the Utah Food Bank.

Everyday, the Kids Cafe provides more than 1,700 hot, nutritious meals to children of low-income after- school programs at schools, community centers, and after-school programs around Salt Lake County.

http://go.uen.org/3G0 (KTVX)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah high schools don’t rank well nationally

 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 UTAH) – US News & World Report released its Best High School report. The report ranks high schools across the nation in student-teacher ratio, college readiness, mathematics, and language. Only one Utah high school ranked in the Top 1,000 best high schools. Timpview High School ranked #952 in the nation followed by Timpanogos High School at #1,147.

http://go.uen.org/3FG (KTVX)

 

 


 

 

 

‘School will never be the same’

 

CAMBRIDGE CITY, Ind. – Three years ago, Principal Kenneth Grover worked with the Salt Lake City (Utah) School District to create a new high school.

Innovations Early College High School serves students from all kinds of backgrounds with all kinds of aspirations — not unusual for a big-city school.

But there isn’t much else that’s usual about Innovations.

“There are no bells,” said Grover. “There are no class periods.”

Instead, students work at their own pace and control their own time. They work with teachers individually and in small-group settings on digitally based curricula that can be accessed from home or other locations as well as at school. They keep track of their own attendance and credits toward graduation. And they graduate at a rate higher than the rest of the city and the state as a whole.

“We’ve had real success on whatever rubric you want to use,” Grover said.

Innovations is one of a small number of schools around the country to embrace a new kind of teaching and learning that takes advantage of technology to personalize instruction and challenges students to take charge of their own education.

Wayne County soon will be home to another.

Beginning in August, some 75 of the approximate 350 students at Lincoln High School in Cambridge City will become part of the Eagle Personalized Learning Academy.

http://go.uen.org/3G2 (Richmond [IN] Palladium-Item)

 

 


 

 

Man arrested for $89,000 theft, defrauding school district $34,000

 

  1. GEORGE— A 38-year-old St. George man was arrested Thursday for allegedly defrauding the Washington County School District $34,000 and for theft from his former employer amounting to approximately $89,000.

Detectives began investigating a suspected theft and fraud case after the owner of an audio equipment supplier store discovered a former employee had allegedly been stealing from the store and conducting a side business of his own, according to a probable cause statement written by a St. George Police Detective in support of the arrest.

The former employee, who was identified as Dustin D. Taylor, had been the manager at the audio store’s St. George location.

It was discovered that Taylor had been ordering valuable equipment for various bids and contracts but did not install the specified equipment per the contracts, according to the statement of probable cause.

In this case, the Washington County School District had contracted with Taylor for equipment installation at three different schools, the statement said. However, Taylor had inferior equipment installed at the schools.

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

 

 


 

 

 

‘Daydreaming’ school bus driver cited in crash

 

CENTERVILLE — A school bus driver who told police he was “daydreaming” when he rear-ended another bus, injuring four students, has been cited.

The 35-year-old Centerville man was driving a Centerville Junior High bus Thursday afternoon and was issued a ticket for following too closely, a class C misdemeanor. The man’s name was not immediately released.

Both buses were northbound on Main Street near 1400 North a little after 3 p.m. when the cited driver’s bus hit the back of the other, causing broken windows, dents to both buses, and four students to suffer minor injuries. All students were treated at the scene and released.

http://go.uen.org/3FJ (KSL)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah Shakespeare Festival offers low-cost student pass for 2015 shows

 

CEDAR CITY — In an effort to help students attend the Utah Shakespeare Festival at reduced prices, the Festival has announced the return of the Student Access Pass. This pass can be purchased for $35 and gives students the ability to attend as many Festival plays as they want at no additional cost from June 25 through October 31.

Screenshot (80)Students must present their current student ID to purchase the Student Access Pass at the Festival Ticket Office. To redeem tickets, students can visit the Festival website or go to the ticket office. Tickets are nontransferable.

http://go.uen.org/3G8 (SGN)

 

 


 

 

Here’s why today’s teachers are so stressed

 

The life of a schoolteacher isn’t easy. In fact, being a teacher might be the most stressful job in the world.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Teacher evaluations a welcome move to enhance consistency in how educations are rated and rewarded Deseret News editorial

 

The State Board of Education has approved guidelines for evaluating the performance of public school teachers that will bring much-needed consistency in the way educators are rated and rewarded for their work in the classroom.

The components of the process appear sound and sensible, though there will be questions as to how they may be fairly applied from school to school. The board voted to adopt a system that will base 70 percent of a teacher’s performance score on observation by principals. Twenty percent will be based on student growth as measured by test scores and 10 percent on feedback from students and parents.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Utah to begin mandating some meningitis vaccinations, but more is needed Deseret News editorial

 

Junior high, high school and college students have something in common: they make up the age group most susceptible to the life-threatening meningococcal disease.

Commonly referred to as meningitis, the disease is an infection of spinal cord fluid and fluid surrounding the brain, most often caused by a virus spread through respiratory or throat secretions. Symptoms are comparable to the flu, but they escalate much quicker. In many cases, a person with meningitis doesn’t even seek medical attention until it’s too late.

http://go.uen.org/3G1

 

 


 

 

Schools superintendent is a careful creation of the right wing Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist PAUL ROLLY

 

When Brad Smith was appointed superintendent of public schools after a controversial selection process by the State Board of Education last fall, I could picture Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, wearing a white lab coat and accompanied by a fawning assistant, screaming joyously, “It’s alive!”

After all, the Stephensonstein creation intended to guide public education in Utah in the image divined by Stephenson himself took a long time to complete, with meticulous navigations through the legislative mine fields and school board elections over several years.

But Stephenson now has the education leader he always wanted. Smith, who immediately confronted the teachers union when he became superintendent of the Ogden School District and infamously slashed programs and people, seems to share Stephenson’s distrust of public school teachers and malevolence toward administrators bound philosophically to traditional education policies.

Smith’s latest act, which must have pleased Stephenson mightily, was to fire, with support of a school board crafted from careful manipulations of board elections, two of the top veteran officials of the State Office of Education, nearly completing the exodus of the old guard in education circles that Stephenson has tangled with for years.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Commending Utah’s academy nominees from Utah County

(Provo) Daily Herald op-ed by Sen. Mike Lee

 

Each year members of Congress are authorized to nominate a number of young men and women from their district or state to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S. Naval Academy. But receiving a congressional nomination is no guarantee of acceptance.

To be admitted, each applicant must meet — on his or her own merits — the academies’ rigorous standards.

This year I had the privilege to nominate twenty outstanding Utahns who have met these standards and who will attend one of the academies in the summer of 2015. This is more than twice as many accepted applicants than I have ever seen in my five years in the Senate.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Unfair to grade teachers, not students, with SAGE Salt Lake Tribune letter from Steve M. Rossi

 

Regarding SB204, which prohibits teachers from using SAGE test scores in student’s academic grades:

If it’s not fair to grade a student on their SAGE test scores, how can it possible be fair to grade teachers and schools on them?

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

 

 


 

 

 

Students won’t try if SAGE doesn’t count Salt Lake Tribune letter from Susan Hansen

 

Utah legislators have once again shown how little they know about successfully educating students as they continue to ply us with their ridiculous laws and hindrances to teaching.

First the state spent millions incorporating the Common Core and SAGE testing into Utah schools to assure the public that children are learning at a high level. After only one year of using the test, the Legislature is spending still more money on a study to determine if this is, in fact, a good test or if it should be axed.

And now Aaron Osmond and Rich Cunningham have passed a bill that will not allow teachers to use the SAGE scores as one indicator on students’ grades. Talk about setting teachers up to fail! Teachers are accountable for how well students perform on the tests, but the students themselves cannot be held accountable.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Credit Utah educators

Deseret News letter from Jared Brown

 

After reading a recent headline article (“Utah leads nation in high school graduation rates for minorities,” May 12) and the quote by Ann White praising teachers and administrators for putting Utah at the top in graduation statistics, I didn’t see an honest probing by the Deseret News as to the reason why.

My parents were both educators. Because of their success in developing nationally recognized musical talent in Carbon County schools 50 years ago, they were actively recruited by out-of-state schools and offered double what they were earning in Utah. They chose to stay in Utah to teach and raise their children because they wanted to live where there were people and moral standards that reflected their beliefs.

Now constant assaults on Christian standards are trying to eliminate these values. The educational systems seek to destroy these standards throughout the nation and, to large degree, have succeeded.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Testing culture

Deseret News letter from Liz Sharp

 

I applaud Scott Hicks for expressing his frustration that teachers are not allowed to count students’ SAGE scores on grades (“Who has accountability?” May 10). It adds to a frustration that started when I read “The Smartest Kids in the World” by Amanda Ripley. It took a non-educator to point out that only in the U.S. is our testing culture one where there is no impact on the test takers themselves.

As I understand it, most other countries give standardized tests that determine whether students are promoted, qualify for a university track or what type of diploma they receive. In the U.S., Ripley says, we wait until after our kids have left the relatively supportive environment of public school to communicate they’re not ready for college or careers. By then, they are on their own to pay for help they could have had for free in school. I’ve asked my students if they would approach their end of level tests differently if they knew it would impact their future. Most say yes.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Miffed by school decision

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Kurt Chaffin

 

No one likes to find out they have been designated the guinea pig of a project. Yet, it appears that the final decision for the new name for Millville high school seems to be just that; a guinea pig project. In fact, the whole idea of placing a new high school in an isolated, small community that has largely been ignored and given very little say concerning the project seems to scream “guinea pig project.”

Thinking about all this new progress, I researched when the last project of this size was undertaken. Mountain Crest High School has a plaque on their building showing the finish date of that school as 1983, 32 years ago. I’m sure that the good folks who occupied the Cache County School Board at that time have long since moved on to other things, consequently all their knowledge has been long forgotten.

With our newest and latest school board, including the superintendent, it has become more and more apparent that they really don’t know what they are doing and are pretty much “winging’” it as they go.

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

 

 


 

 

Why opting out is shortsighted

Washington Post editorial

 

THIS MONTH, the growing movement urging parents to opt their children out of standardized school testing received a well-deserved shaming from national civil rights groups. They pointed out that students who sit out tests sabotage the collection of data that is critical in gauging the progress of students who are most at risk. Good for them for calling out the anti-test advocates who have misappropriated the language of the civil rights movement to justify an effort that can only end up hurting poor children of color.

A dozen civil rights groups, including the NAACP, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Council of La Raza and the National Disability Rights Network, issued a statement lambasting the push to opt-out of tests that seems to be picking up some steam in well-to-do communities. Students who refuse to take the tests required by federal law are, as The Post’s Emma Brown reported, still only a sliver of all test-takers, but the numbers are increasing, fueled by angst (unjustified, to our minds) over new tests aligned with the Common Core.

“For the civil rights community, data provide the power to advocate for greater equality under the law,” the groups said. They reminded everyone how easy and routine it had been for schools to ignore disparities between at-risk students — those of color, from low-income families and with disabilities — and their white peers until No Child Left Behind required annual tests. Annual tests are a powerful tool in forcing fairness. “Our communities had to fight for this simple right to be counted, and we are standing by it,” the groups vowed.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Five Principles for Securing Student-Data Privacy Education Week op-ed by Cameron Evans, U.S. chief technology officer of Microsoft Education

 

From student-identity theft to the sale of student information for corporate gain, there is no shortage of news about challenges associated with the growing presence of technology in our nation’s schools and classrooms. And while these challenges affect organizations across all industries and social sectors, constrained financial resources make school systems particularly vulnerable. Moreover, although federal legislation, the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015, has recently been introduced in Congress, strong legal protections for student data do not yet exist.

Given the risks, one may ask: Is it worth investing more in technology in our schools? In fact, the benefits are huge. With the cloud-based tools available today, educators can personalize student instruction to a degree that wasn’t possible just five years ago. These tools can engage young minds in new ways, including many that no one has even thought of yet. By moving us past the days of assembly-line education plans based on a single textbook, they can allow us to make sure that no student has a lackluster learning experience, and that each is well prepared for the career path of his or her choosing.

Does that sound optimistic? It’s an ambition within reach.

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

 

 


 

 

Let the Kids Learn Through Play

New York Times op-ed by David Kohn, a freelance science writer based in Baltimore

 

TWENTY years ago, kids in preschool, kindergarten and even first and second grade spent much of their time playing: building with blocks, drawing or creating imaginary worlds, in their own heads or with classmates. But increasingly, these activities are being abandoned for the teacher­led, didactic instruction typically used in higher grades. In many schools, formal education now starts at age 4 or 5. Without this early start, the thinking goes, kids risk falling behind in crucial subjects such as reading and math, and may never catch up.

The idea seems obvious: Starting sooner means learning more; the early bird catches the worm.

But a growing group of scientists, education researchers and educators say there is little evidence that this approach improves long­term achievement; in fact, it may have the opposite effect, potentially slowing emotional and cognitive development, causing unnecessary stress and perhaps even souring kids’ desire to learn.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Teacher assails practice of giving passing grades to failing students Washington Post commentary by columnist Jay Mathews

 

Caleb Stewart Rossiter, a college professor and policy analyst, decided to try teaching math in the D.C. schools. He was given a pre-calculus class with 38 seniors at H.D. Woodson High School. When he discovered that half of them could not handle even second-grade problems, he sought out the teachers who had awarded the passing grades of D in Algebra II, a course that they needed to take his high-level class.

There are many bewildering stories like this in Rossiter’s new book, “Ain’t Nobody Be Learnin’ Nothin’: The Fraud and the Fix for High-Poverty Schools,” the best account of public education in the nation’s capital I have ever read. It will take me three columns to do justice to his revelations about what is being done to the District’s most distracted and least productive students.

Teachers will tell you it is a no-no to ask other teachers why they committed grading malpractice. Rossiter didn’t care. Three of the five teachers he sought had left the high-turnover D.C. system, but the two he found were so candid I still can’t get their words out of my mind.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Former state schools Superintendent Tony Bennett won’t face criminal charges Indianapolis (IN) Star

 

The Marion County prosecutor’s office will not file criminal charges against former Indiana schools Superintendent Tony Bennett, Prosecutor Terry Curry announced Friday afternoon.

Curry renewed the investigation into the case last December after an Associated Press report revealed that former Inspector General David Thomas had found more than 100 possible violations of federal wire fraud law during an investigation into Bennett’s use of state resources during his 2012 re-election campaign.

Thomas at the time said he also believed Curry could seek state criminal charges against Bennett.

In a news release Friday, Curry said his office made its decision after reviewing investigatory records that had alleged Bennett, the former superintendent of public instruction, had improperly used state resources, violated the state’s “ghost employment” statute and changed the state’s A-F grading system to benefit a charter school run by a prominent Republican donor.​ http://go.uen.org/3Fl

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Douglas sues over power struggle with education board Capitol Media Services via Tucson (AZ) Daily Star

 

PHOENIX — State schools chief Diane Douglas filed a lawsuit late Friday to force Board of Education staffers to submit to her direct control and move back into her agency’s offices.

Douglas wants a Maricopa County Superior Court judge to declare the board’s employees “work for the Department of Education and report to the superintendent.”

She further wants a ruling that under Arizona law the education board, whose members are appointed by the governor, do not exercise direct control of their staff.

And she wants an order requiring the 11 employees, who moved a week ago to their own separate offices without Douglas’ consent, “to return to work at the superintendent’s office … and submit to the direction of the superintendent,” and authorization to fire workers who refuse.

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

 

 


 

 

Can you steal an education?

Wealthy school districts are cracking down on “education thieves”

Hechinger Report

 

 

Just over a year ago, Hamlet Garcia lumbered up the steps of a stately courthouse in Norristown, Pa., wondering how much longer he would be free.

The Philadelphia resident and his wife, Olesia, an insurance agent, were about to go on trial for theft of services, an offense usually reserved for cable service pilferers and restaurant bill dodgers. Their alleged crime: stealing an education for their 8-year-old daughter, Fiorella.

Garcia, who came to the United States from Cuba when he was 18, remembers thinking one thing as he headed into the courthouse: “This isn’t the kind of thing that happens in America.”

He faced a potential maximum sentence of seven years.

Garcia says in the 2011-2012 school year, his wife and daughter spent nine months during a marital separation living with his wife’s father in Lower Moreland, a quaint, suburban township of rolling hills and stone colonials. During that time, Fiorella attended the district’s much sought-after elementary school, where she read picture books, learned the alphabet and made friends.

The local district attorney’s office contends Garcia and his wife were never truly separated and that they always lived in neighboring northwest Philadelphia, where many of the schools are struggling, and lied to gain entry into the Lower Moreland schools.

In August 2012, Garcia and his wife were charged with theft of services and conspiracy to commit theft of services. They waited a year-and-a-half for their case to go to trial.

The Garcia case is one of a handful in recent years in which families living in districts with failing schools have been accused of “stealing an education.” Some have been heavily fined for lying about where they live on official district documents. Others have been criminally charged and, in some cases, jailed.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Schools that ban mobile phones see better academic results Effect of ban on phones adds up to equivalent of extra week of classes over a pupil’s school year

(Manchester) Guardian

 

It is a question that keeps some parents awake at night. Should children be allowed to take mobile phones to school? Now economists claim to have an answer. For parents who want to boost their children’s academic prospects, it is no.

The effect of banning mobile phones from school premises adds up to the equivalent of an extra week’s schooling over a pupil’s academic year, according to research by Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy, published by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics.

“Ill Communication: The Impact of Mobile Phones on Student Performance” found that after schools banned mobile phones, the test scores of students aged 16 improved by 6.4%. The economists reckon that this is the “equivalent of adding five days to the school year”.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/3FZ (LSE)

 

 


 

 

Ask a Teacher: Why Do You Still Assign So Much Homework?

Slate

 

Welcome to the latest installment of Ask a Teacher, Slate’s education podcast with the Theater Project at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. In this episode, host Matt Collette asks three working teachers to answer questions submitted by listeners, including, “Why do some teachers continue to assign hours of homework when studies show it’s not helpful?”

Today’s teachers:

Andrew Ahn, a teacher and adviser at City as School, an alternative high school for 11th- and 12th-grade transfer students in New York.

Tessa Benau, a 10th-grade math teacher at Vanguard High School in New York.

Ray Salazar, a high school English teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. He writes the White Rhino education blog.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Obesity disparity grew among U.S. kindergarteners Reuters

 

Obesity rates among children entering kindergarten in the U.S. have increased since 1998 – except among those from the wealthiest families, according to new research.

The findings, published in JAMA Pediatrics, add to evidence that suggests not all young people are benefiting from a leveling out of obesity rates as reported last year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“When you start splitting children up by different socioeconomic groups, then you find the increase is rather quite large among the lower socioeconomic group,” said Ashlesha Datar of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/3FS (JAMA Pediatrics)

 

 


 

 

Driver suspended after student dragged by bus Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal

 

The driver of a Jefferson County Public Schools bus has been suspended without pay after an incident last week in which a young student was dragged about 100 feet by the school bus.

JCPS spokeswoman Mandy Simpson said the suspension is effective Tuesday, although the driver was not behind the wheel of a bus on Monday. In a statement, she said the district is investigating the incident and “will be working with all of our bus drivers to review the policies designed to ensure the safety and security of our students.”

The girl, Wilkerson Elementary first grade student Ally Rednour, was released from Kosair Children’ Hospital Sunday after being treated for severe road burns, according to WHAS11.com.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3FO (WHAS)

 

 

 


 

 

These countries are best for children to live in Economic Times of India

 

LONDON: Children are more likely to be happy with their friendships in Europe and more likely to be happy with their school lives in Africa, says a global survey from Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.

The survey asked 50,000 children in 15 countries about all key aspects of their lives, including their family and home life, friendships, money and possessions, school life, local area, time use, personal well-being, views on children’s rights and their overall happiness.

“This report is the culmination of many years of work to understand more about children’s views about their lives and well-being,” said professor Asher Ben-Arieh, study co-author and co-chair of the non-profit International Society of Child Indicators.

Overall happiness did not vary between girls and boys, but there were significant gender differences in satisfaction with oneself (body, appearance and self-confidence) in Europe and South Korea, but not in the other countries in the survey in Asia, Africa and South America.

There were substantial differences between countries in how children spent their time.

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

 

A copy of the survey

http://go.uen.org/3FQ (International Survey of Children’s Well-being)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

May 19:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00002401.htm

 

Middle School Science Standards Public Meeting

7 p.m., Salt Lake Center for Science Education, 1400 Goodwin Ave., Salt Lake City

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

 

 

May 20:

Education Interim Committee meeting

9 a.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00002324.htm

 

 

May 21:

Instructional Material Commission meeting

9:30 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://schools.utah.gov/CURR/imc/News-and-Information/History.aspx

 

 

June 18-19:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

July 9:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

 

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