Education News Roundup: May 29, 2015

STEMraceEducation News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Superintendent Smith addresses the Utah Taxpayers Association conference.

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

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

and http://go.uen.org/3Ol (KTVX)

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

and http://go.uen.org/3Om (KUER)

 

New Jersey Gov. Christie wants to reevaluate Common Core, but also wants to keep the state’s tests, which are linked to Common Core.

http://go.uen.org/3Oe (Newark Star Ledger) and http://go.uen.org/3Oi (Newark Star Ledger) Sidebar: Timeline and http://go.uen.org/3Og (Cherry Hill [NJ] Courier-Post) and http://go.uen.org/3Of (WSJ) and http://go.uen.org/3OM (WaPo) and http://go.uen.org/3Oh (Politico) and http://go.uen.org/3OT (Ed Week) and http://go.uen.org/3OP (AP)

 

Ed Week takes a look at charter school boards.

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

 

Kansas and Missouri teens share the National Spelling Bee championship.

http://go.uen.org/3OG (McClatchy)

and http://go.uen.org/3OH (AP via ESPN)

and http://go.uen.org/3ON (USAT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Utah school superintendent: ‘No virtue in rising higher’ on education funding Taxpayers’ group told that prioritizing outcomes is more vital than funding.

 

Utah to auction scenic properties near Bryce Canyon National Park

 

Cache Makers set up in new location

 

Florida gets one bid to review its testing validity

 

Study: Utah American Indians 7.5 times more likely to be expelled than white classmates

 

Proposed policy for Ogden School District would prohibit memorials for students who die

 

Utah social worker pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting teen client

 

Grief counselors available at local high school after student’s body found in area of Corner Canyon

 

Police: Provo man shared nude photos of classmates

 

Nearly half of Beaver Dam graduates allegedly cheated

 

Nearly 2,000 graduates to mark the day Friday

 

Sky View student overcomes cultural, language boundaries to graduate at 16

 

Scholarship Recipients from Sanpete Valley Hospital

 

School volunteer helps boy who lost his arm to cancer overcome challenges

 

East High unveils art project 16 years in the making

 

Danger of concussions on memory and grades

 

More schools experiment with four-day school weeks, but do they help students?

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

No tax cuts despite a massive surplus?

 

Lessons from the Dark Ages

 

Fossil record required

 

An Equal Investment in Each Child’s Future

 

Annual Accountability Testing: Time for the Civil Rights Community to Reconsider

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

Christie drops Common Core, but sticks with PARCC tests

 

Jeb Bush Emailed With Education Secretary About Rick Scott’s Common Core Concerns When Florida Gov. Rick Scott called Arne Duncan to discuss Common Core, Duncan turned to an unlikely adviser: Jeb Bush.

 

Memo: 10-year voucher expansion could shift up to $800M from school districts

 

Charter Sector Challenged by Quality of School Boards

 

Data Breaches in Education Sector Are Costly, Study Finds

 

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus realize high school graduation dream with John Marshall Class of 2015

 

Does Less Latin Mean Dumbing Down? France Debates School Reform

 

Spelling bee declares co-champs for second straight year

 

Past National Spelling Bee Champs, All Grown Up, Share What Life After Winning Is Like

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Utah school superintendent: ‘No virtue in rising higher’ on education funding Taxpayers’ group told that prioritizing outcomes is more vital than funding.

 

According to state Superintendent Brad Smith, the single most important change in Utah public education can be put in place immediately at no cost to taxpayers.

“It is to have faith,” he said. “Faith that we can change this very big, very complex system in a way that benefits our kids.”

Smith’s comments came Thursday during the Utah Taxes Now conference at Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. The annual event, hosted by the Utah Taxpayers Association, featured several speakers who spoke about education funding and the growth of charter-school enrollment.

But Smith said policymakers should focus less on how much money goes into schools and more on prioritizing learning outcomes.

He was critical of perennial and generic requests for more school resources and the “same old tired statistic” that Utah ranks last in the nation in per-student education funding.

“There is no virtue in rising higher on that list,” he said. “And there is no particular vice in being low on it.”

More important, he said, is the academic achievement of Utah’s students, thousands of whom will graduate this year and head into careers or higher education.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3Om (KUER)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah to auction scenic properties near Bryce Canyon National Park

 

A slice of paradise in southern Utah can be yours for as little as $1,000 an acre.

Utah officials are auctioning several parcels of state trust lands next week, including three 80-acre Garfield County lots with “spectacular views” of Bryce Canyon National Park. The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, or SITLA, is seeking minimum bids of $76,000 on each of the three scenic lots located less than a mile south of Tropic off State Route 12.

Nearly 2,400 acres in six offerings go on the block June 3, including a 40-acre parcel north of the park’s entrance on the Paunsaugunt Plateau and larger parcels in Grand and Millard counties.

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

 

 


 

 

Cache Makers set up in new location

 

The Cache Makers have moved into a new location to expand their programs, which seeks to inspire kids to enter STEM careers.

The club was previously located in the basement of the Chamber of Commerce but has moved to a more open space at 990 S. Main Street.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Florida gets one bid to review its testing validity

 

The panel asked to choose a firm to review the validity of Florida’s new testing system doesn’t appear to have much work to do when it meets Friday.

Only one group has submitted a bid to do the work.

A partnership of Utah-based Alpine Testing Solutions and Washington, D.C.-based edCount LLC proposed to do the evaluation for $594,310. It included the resumes of eight key staff members who would participate in the project. Andrew Wiley, who recently served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Test Publishers, would be the lead investigator.

The group would submit its project plan by June 19, preliminary reports by July 31 and final report by Aug. 28.

http://go.uen.org/3Ok (Tampa Bay [FL] Times)

 

http://go.uen.org/3OX (Tampa Bay [FL] Times)

 

 


 

 

 

Study: Utah American Indians 7.5 times more likely to be expelled than white classmates

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Even though American Indian students are the smallest ethnic group in Utah’s school system, they are far more likely to be disciplined than anyone else, according to a new report.

One of the most compelling findings from the report is that while 55 American Indian elementary school students were referred to law enforcement in 2011, not a single white student was disciplined in the same way. The research was conducted using data from the Department of Education as part of the University of Utah’s look into the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

“These findings indicate that instead of providing additional resources to a population already very vulnerable to low graduation rates, we are pushing them out of the school system and directly exposing them to the juvenile justice system,” U. researcher Vanessa Walsh said in a statement.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Proposed policy for Ogden School District would prohibit memorials for students who die

 

OGDEN, Utah — A new policy proposal in the Ogden School District would prohibit memorials for students who have passed away.

The plan was brought before the Ogden School Board on Thursday.

According to district spokesman Zac Williams, who addressed the board, the proposal falls in line with district’s suicide prevention work, which highlighted concerns about the impact memorializing suicide could have on some students.

“There may be other students at risk in the school for depression or even suicidal tendencies,” said Williams.  “The way that we memorialize those that have passed on can have consequences for those individuals, and that’s really at the heart of this policy.”

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

 

 


 

 

 

Utah social worker pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting teen client

 

A Cache Valley school-based social worker — who is charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old female client — waived his right to a preliminary hearing during a Thursday court appearance.

Donavan Daniel Faucette, 34, of Hyrum, is charged in Logan’s 1st District Court with two counts of forcible sodomy, and one count each of rape and object rape. All are first-degree felonies which carry a possible punishment of life in prison.

Also Thursday, Faucette pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Judge Brandon Maynard set bail at $80,000 and ordered Faucette to have no contact with the alleged victim or her family.

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3Oy (CVD)

 

 


 

 

 

Grief counselors available at local high school after student’s body found in area of Corner Canyon

 

DRAPER, Utah — Counselors have been made available at Corner Canyon High School Thursday night after the body of a 17-year-old student was found in the Corner Canyon area.

Officials at the scene said the teen’s body was found in the area between the Ghost Falls and Coyote Hollow trailheads. Sgt. Chad Carpenter of the Draper Police Department said the report came in at about 3:45 p.m.

Carpenter said the teenager has been identified and his family has been notified, but since he is a minor they are not releasing his name. He did say the local high school has counselors available to speak to those struggling to cope with the death.

“The young man is a student at Corner Canyon High School, and we have notified the school and they have grief counselors set up at the school at this time if any students, or even parents, would like to go there and receive counseling,” Carpenter said.

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

 

 


 

 

Police: Provo man shared nude photos of classmates

 

PROVO — Authorities have arrested an 18-year-old Provo man accused of obtaining nude pictures of underage boys from his high school and sharing with them with other students.

The 18-year-old Manuel Felix was arrested on May 14 on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a minor, assault and dealing in harmful material.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Nearly half of Beaver Dam graduates allegedly cheated

 

BEAVER DAM – Graduation day for 13 Beaver Dam High School seniors was put on hold last week after an investigation by school officials uncovered what they are calling “scoring irregularities” for an online class the students needed for graduation, said Mark Coleman, BDHS principal and superintendent of the Littlefield Unified School District.

Thirty-one seniors were originally listed as graduation candidates but only 18 students were awarded diplomas during the BDHS ceremony last Friday.

Thirteen of the other students will have to retake the online class where the “irregularities” were found or take an equivalent course offered by Primavera High School, a publicly funded charter school in Arizona serving grades 9-12, Coleman said.

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

 

 


 

 

Nearly 2,000 graduates to mark the day Friday

 

UTAH COUNTY – Mountain View, Orem, Timpanogos and Westlake high schools, along with Maeser Preparatory Academy and Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts, will round out the graduation season with their commencement exercises Friday.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Sky View student overcomes cultural, language boundaries to graduate at 16

 

Amani Abdurazag Khalat, the only Muslim, Middle-Eastern student in this year’s Sky View High School Graduating class, says she felt “different” from her classmates but didn’t let that stop her from getting involved. In fact, the native of Libya has excelled, overcoming language barriers to graduate at age 16.

During her time at Sky view, she has taken part in many different clubs and sports, including lacrosse, debate, Key Club, 4-H, Yearbook, Human Rights Club, Latinos in Action and more.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Scholarship Recipients from Sanpete Valley Hospital

 

Sanpete Valley Hospital presented the second annual SVH Foundation Scholarship awards to students at recent high school assemblies.

Manti High School’s Kourtney Rasmussen, Katelin Day from North Sanpete High School, and Paige DeLeeuw from Wasatch Academy were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship based on their grades, service to the community, academics, and desire to pursue a career in healthcare.

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

 


 

 

School volunteer helps boy who lost his arm to cancer overcome challenges

 

SYRACUSE — Sometimes having just one thing in common can make a huge difference in a person’s life, especially if it helps in overcoming challenges.

On the playground, Joseph Cook Elementary School volunteer Pat Handrahan often spends his time helping 7-year-old Grant Goodsell learn how to catch and throw a baseball.

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

 

 


 

 

East High unveils art project 16 years in the making

 

East High School art teacher Trish Clay signs a mural that took 16 years and more than 10 students to complete Thursday, May 28, 2015. The East High Art Club completed the mural that covers life from the deepest ocean to outer space.

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

Danger of concussions on memory and grades

 

Research has long shown that concussions are not healthy in any case, but a recent study finds children and teenagers who sustain a concussion while participating in sports could also be affected in their academic performance.

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

 

 


 

 

 

More schools experiment with four-day school weeks, but do they help students?

 

For an ever-growing number of students across the country, every weekend is a three-day weekend — some educators say it’s even helping students learn more.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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No tax cuts despite a massive surplus?

KNRS commentary by columnist Rod Arquette

 

Yea really conservative there. Hike the gas tax, hike the property tax, and yet don’t give us a little relief when you’ve got close to one BILLION dollars of extra cash just sitting around. Exactly where is that some sort of conservative value? And given how you’ve punted the issue until the next election cycle, how do you expect us to trust you if you say that you plan on cutting taxes when you have the perfect chance to now, yet are failing to do so?

I mean it’s absolutely ridiculous that we see this incredible budget surplus, more than enough to cover rainy day emergencies like wildfires, flooding (although not likely this year), or anything else that may happen, and yet like Gollum and The One Ring they hoard over it creepily saying “my pressssssssiousssssssss” over and over again. Why can’t they be more like Scott Walker? When his state had that kind of a surplus he gave some it back to the people in the form of tax cuts and that drastically helped the state economy grow as people had more money to spend.

So should we accept this? Or is it time to hold the elected leaders accountable for “doing the right thing” and betraying the conservative principles so many of them campaigned on?

Guest Alert: Utah State House Speaker Greg Hughes will be on the program tonight at 6:05 to discuss why they are hoarding our money and refusing to give us any sort of relief in taxation, while spiking taxes even higher.

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

 

 


 

 

Lessons from the Dark Ages

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Julene E. Fisher

 

Parents in the European Age of Faith (aka Middle Ages, aka Dark Ages) had it so much easier than today. Most home-schooled their kids. Curriculum included agriculture and animal husbandry for boys, household arts for girls.

Those few parents who sent their sons to school — girls, of course, did not need academic instruction — could rest assured their boys’ education was completely compatible with their true Christian faith. God created the sun to revolve around the earth, regardless of what a few heretical, so-called scientists might claim. Their sons would not be confused by learning the truth at church and different ideas at school.

We know from the Bible that God created heaven and earth between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. He created everything from the smallest amoeba to the largest stars in six days, and then rested on the seventh. Still, today some people insist that junior high be taught the theory of evolution and that the earth has existed for more than 4 billion years. Deviously, to undermine scriptural truths, schools teach that kids’ beloved dinosaurs lived millions of years ago.

Once again we need to homeschool our children or eliminate Godless public schools and establish parochial or charter ones.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Fossil record required

(St. George) Spectrum letter from Blaine Dabb

 

An editorial, May 11, “Teach Science, not Evolution,” was misguided to label the Science of Evolution as an unworthy topic for inclusion in Utah schools. Scientific method, by definition, begins with a premise and through replicable testing arrives at a conclusion. Dr. Rohr erroneously begins his premise with a conclusion that evolution did not happen ignoring the abundant fossil record that provides evidence of life over millions of years.

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

 

 


 

 

 

An Equal Investment in Each Child’s Future Commentary by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

 

America is built on principles of equality and opportunity for all. In education, that means all our students deserve fair and equal access to strong academic programs, great teachers, new technology, and appropriate facilities, no matter where they live. Those values motivate committed educators and their partner organizations throughout this country.

Yet today, not every child in America gets a fair shot at success, including equal access to educational resources. Many students in high poverty districts are short-changed. Often, their peers in low poverty districts receive more per-pupil funding, and that translates to more resources, more opportunities, and better access to effective teaching.

For our nation to be strong, we must offer a real opportunity to every child – it’s a moral imperative and an economic necessity. Yet wide gaps continue to prevail in how we fund schools for rich and poor students. Low-poverty districts spend, on average, 16 percent more per student than high-poverty districts. In some states – like Pennsylvania, Vermont and Indiana – the gaps are much wider.

These gaps should spur bold action by all of us — educators, district leaders, community members, and elected and appointed officials. And there are examples throughout the country of just that kind of collective action.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Annual Accountability Testing: Time for the Civil Rights Community to Reconsider Education Week op-ed by Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy

 

So we now have the civil rights community accusing those who oppose annual accountability testing of deliberately undermining the civil rights of minority children.  The No Child Left Behind Act required not only that students be tested each year in grades three through eight and one additional year in high school, but it also required that the scores for students in each minority group be published separately.  Take this requirement away, the civil rights groups say, and we will go back to the era in which schools were able to conceal the poor performance of poor and minority children behind high average scores for the schools.  Once that happens, the schools will have no incentive to work hard to improve those scores and the performance of poor and minority kids will languish once again.

None of this is true, though I am quite sure the civil rights community believes it is true.  First of all, the data show that, although the performance of poor and minority students improved after passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, it was actually improving at a faster rate before the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act.  Over the 15-year history of the No Child Left Behind Act, there is no data to show that it contributed to improved student performance for poor and minority students at the high school level, which is where it counts.

Those who argue that annual accountability testing of every child is essential for the advancement of poor and minority children ought to be able to show that poor and minority children perform better in education systems that have such requirements and worse in systems that don’t have them.  But that is simply not the case.  Many nations that have no annual accountability testing requirements have higher average performance for poor and minority students and smaller gaps between their performance and the performance of majority students than we do here in the United States.  How can annual testing be a civil right if that is so?

Nonetheless, on the face of it, I agree that it is better to have data on the performance of poor children and the children in other particularly vulnerable groups than not to have that data.  But annual accountability testing of every child is not the only way to get that data.

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

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Christie drops Common Core, but sticks with PARCC tests Newark (NJ) Star Ledger

 

Gov. Chris Christie’s declaration that Common Core is “simply not working” made national headlines on Thursday and realigned his stance with the Republican Party’s conservative base.

But despite Christie’s rhetoric, it’s possible that Common Core standards — called by that name or not — will remain in place, state education experts and leaders said.

“You keep the car. You just change the color of the paint,” said Christopher Tienken, an associate professor of education at Seton Hall University.

The theory is based on the details of what Christie announced Thursday, including his continued support on Thursday of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams, which are aligned to Common Core standards, educators said.

One way that Common Core could stay is with minor tweaks and a new name, said Patricia Wright, executive director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3Oi (Newark Star Ledger) Sidebar: Timeline

 

http://go.uen.org/3Og (Cherry Hill [NJ] Courier-Post)

 

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3Oh (Politico)

 

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Jeb Bush Emailed With Education Secretary About Rick Scott’s Common Core Concerns When Florida Gov. Rick Scott called Arne Duncan to discuss Common Core, Duncan turned to an unlikely adviser: Jeb Bush.

BuzzFeed

 

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sought — and received — advice from Jeb Bush about how to deal with Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s concerns about Common Core, emails obtained by BuzzFeed News show.

Bush advised Duncan that Scott, “fearful of the rebellion” brewing around the program, “[w]ants to stop using the term common core but keep the standards,” but couldn’t name “specifics [sic] things that the federal government is doing or perceived to be doing” that he found objectionable.

The exchange, which took place in the morning of Sept. 23, 2013, begins with an email (“Subject: Gov Scott”) to Bush from Duncan’s private account. It reads simply: “Is calling me. Any advice?”

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

 

 


 

 

Memo: 10-year voucher expansion could shift up to $800M from school districts

(Madison) Wisconsin State Journal

 

Up to $800 million could be spent over the next 10 years to expand the taxpayer-funded statewide school voucher program as proposed by GOP lawmakers, according to a new legislative memo.

The statewide voucher program is currently capped at 1,000 students and would cost about $75 million over the same time period if it is not expanded. The Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee last week approved language for the 2015-17 spending plan that would lift the cap gradually over the next 10 years.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo, drafted for Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, and released Thursday, said the actual cost of the statewide voucher program over the next 10 years will depend on how many new students join the program. About 3,000 students could participate in the statewide voucher system by the 2016-17 school year, the memo said.

The fiscal bureau cost estimate factors in the number of students currently attending private schools, the number of those students with a family income of below 185 percent of the federal poverty level, and how the Milwaukee voucher system expanded over 10 years.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3Od (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

 

 


 

 

 

Charter Sector Challenged by Quality of School Boards Education Week

 

A District of Columbia charter school spent millions contracting for services with a company owned by the school’s founder. And an Ohio charter spent more on rent than staff salaries—money paid to a company that was owned by the same education management group that ran the school.

Those two cases illustrate a recurring issue in the charter school sector: poorly prepared school boards that fail to stop questionable deals or flat out corruption.

When charter schools struggle or get shut down, weak governance is often the source of trouble. And many times, that issue is linked directly to the charter school’s board, an entity that even many charter supporters say too often flies under the radar of public scrutiny.

Efforts to professionalize charter boards and raise the caliber of the people serving on them are gaining traction in some corners of the charter sector, even if policy and research focused on the role of those local boards remain scant.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Data Breaches in Education Sector Are Costly, Study Finds Education Week

 

Data breaches are costing companies in education up to $300 per compromised record, making it the second most impacted sector—behind only healthcare—for businesses with lost or stolen records globally, according to research released Wednesday by the Ponemon Institute.

Four education companies were included in the study of 350 businesses in 11 countries that experienced data breaches in 2014. For all companies, a 23 percent increase in the total cost of a data breach was reported, compared to 2013.

In the U.S., the cost of handling a data breach is up to $225 per compromised record, the organization found, although only one company provided information about its response to a data breach. Researchers protected the identities of the businesses responding to its study.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/3OS (IBM)

 

 


 

 

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus realize high school graduation dream with John Marshall Class of 2015 Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio — When Ariel Castro kidnapped Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, he stole 10 years from them, along with everything that matters in life. He took their freedom, their families, their time to be young and their time to plan and begin their lives as adults.

He cheated them out of the major life events most of us take for granted.

One of them was their high school graduations.

They got that back Wednesday when they put on white caps and gowns and received honorary diplomas from John Marshall High School, the Cleveland public school Amanda attended when Castro abducted her on April 21, 2003. It was the day before her 17th birthday.

“It was awesome,” Amanda said not long after the ceremony. “I always wanted to grow up and be somebody and do something with my life, you know? I always planned to graduate, and my mom always wanted that for me, to see me cross the stage. So this means everything to me.”

Gina was 14 and in middle school when Castro abducted her a year later, on April 2, 2004, but she would have attended John Marshall.

They joined the John Marshall Class of 2015 in its graduation ceremony at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University.

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

 

 


 

 

Does Less Latin Mean Dumbing Down? France Debates School Reform NPR All Things Considered

 

Reforming the education system in any country can be tricky. But in France, where learning is highly centralized and public school (l’ecole de la Republique) a symbol of French greatness, it’s all but impossible.

Several French presidents have tried and failed. President Francois Hollande’s second attempt has traditionalists up in arms and critics on the right and left screaming that French schools are being dumbed down.

Teachers, students and some parents took to the streets of cities across the country recently to denounce the government’s project.

One of the most contentious elements is the plan to cut back on Greek and Latin, focusing instead on teaching a more lively history of ancient civilizations. In Paris, Latin and Greek teachers waved signs of protest as they marched through the streets, some of them dressed in togas.

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

 

 


 

 

Spelling bee declares co-champs for second straight year Medill News Service via McClatchy

 

WASHINGTON — Students from every state, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories and eight foreign nations arrived in the capital this week; young, talented and driven, each one intent on out-spelling the other.

And then there were just two.

And that’s how it ended Thursday night at the 88th Scripps National Spelling Bee, for the second consecutive year, when neither of the final two spellers made a misstep, outlasted the words, and both went home with the championship trophy.

After three days spent wrestling with tougher-than-tough words – “pyrrhuloxi” (a desert songbird) anyone? – Vanya Shivashankar, 13, of Olathe, Kan., and Gokul Venkatachalam, 14, of Chesterfield, Mo., beat out 283 students to walk away with $35,000 each in cash prizes and an honored place.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3OH (AP via ESPN)

 

http://go.uen.org/3ON (USAT)

 

 


 

 

 

Past National Spelling Bee Champs, All Grown Up, Share What Life After Winning Is Like ABC Good Morning America

 

Tonight, a member or two could be added to the National Spelling Bee Champions list, a special group that counts fewer than 100 members since the first contest 90 years ago.

And the young winner or co-winners will inevitably be in the national limelight for the next few weeks after winning the grand prize of $35,000 combined in cash, a $2,500 U.S. savings bond and over $1,100 worth of reference works.

But what’s life like years after the Bee for a few of these champs?

ABC News looked at four past winners, all grown up, who shared what they’re up to today.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

June 1:

Senate Education Confirmation Committee meeting

10 a.m.,  450 State Capitol

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

 

 

June 16:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

June 17:

Education Interim Committee meeting

9 a.m., 30 House Building

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

 

 

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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