Education News Roundup: June 3, 2015

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Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

There’s some follow up to yesterday’s report on per-pupil funding.

http://go.uen.org/3R0 (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/3Rb (CVD)

and http://go.uen.org/3Rd (KUTV)

or a copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/3QR (Census)

 

Logan resident looks for history at the old Intermountain Intertribal School in Brigham City … before it’s all demolished.

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

 

Is Common Core math more rigorous?

http://go.uen.org/3R3 (Ed Week)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Census report: Utah still last in country in per-pupil spending

 

Man salvages Intermountain Indian School mural, shares with alumni

 

Summer camp offered for ESL students

 

Students, community leaders praise Junior Achievement

 

South Summit High School grad leaves legacy of helping others The Daniels Scholar hopes to start a service club at the University of Utah

 

Utah Virtual Academy to host in-person graduation on June 5 Online public school graduates its largest-ever class

 

Educator of the Week: Bethany Lott

 

Student of the Week: Abby Taylor

 

Sentence handed down in Salina sexual misconduct case

 

Fewer students report being bullied, but it’s still an issue

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Enslaved nations

 

Shameless Politicking

Chris Christie, and nearly everyone else, is using Common Core as a proxy for other issues

 

A Quasi Happy Birthday to the Common Core

 

Why Technology Alone Won’t Fix Schools

To wonder what ails American education is to open a Pandora’s box of wicked problems … but the problem is definitely not a lack of computers.

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

Common-Core Algebra Seen as Tougher

Standards could challenge trend to put 8th graders in Algebra 1

 

Education technology is spreading fast, but there’s no recipe for success

 

In Baltimore schools, free meals for all

 

All students to get free lunches at 32 Cumberland County schools

 

Cherry Creek Schools fires employee who gave free lunch to hungry kids

 

The E-Rate Overhaul in 4 Easy Charts

 

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Census report: Utah still last in country in per-pupil spending

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah continues to spend the least per student of any state in the country, with a 2013 per-pupil amount more than $4,100 below the national average, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday.

Utah’s per-pupil spending amount that year was $6,555, compared with a national average of $10,700. The state, however, is closing the gap between its nearest competitor, Idaho, which was the only other state in 2013 to have per-pupil funding levels less than $7,000.

http://go.uen.org/3R0 (DN)

 

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

 

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

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/3QR (Census)

 


 

 

Man salvages Intermountain Indian School mural, shares with alumni

 

BRIGHAM CITY — An effort to document the demolition of the Intermountain Indian School evolved into a labor of love for a local photographer.

Brad Peterson grew up in Logan and was fascinated by the school in Brigham City as a child. When he heard the buildings, which were boarded up and in disuse, were going to be demolished to make way for a new Utah State University campus, he wanted to make sure their history was preserved.

At first he just planned to take preservation photos of the buildings, but when the doors were opened up to him he discovered murals painted by students on the walls inside. He felt compelled to do more.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Summer camp offered for ESL students

 

FARMINGTON — Immigrant students new to Utah, and those who need to continue working on their English skills, will get that chance this summer.

A free camp to help English language learners ages 6-18 in Davis School District is being taught in late summer. The camp runs July 20-Aug. 12, Monday-Wednesday at the Davis Community Learning Center, in the north end of Wasatch Elementary School, 210 E. Center, Clearfield.

Junior high and high school students will go from 10-11:30 a.m. and elementary students will go from noon-1 p.m.

http://go.uen.org/3R7 (DN)

 

 


 

 

Students, community leaders praise Junior Achievement

 

SALT LAKE CITY — For John Haugland, programs such as Junior Achievement can help him reach his goals.

“I can do anything, be anything, create anything, dream anything and become anything because you believe in me,” the fourth-grader told an audience of prominent business, community and government leaders at Junior Achievement of Utah’s 29th annual Governor’s Breakfast on Tuesday at JA City on the fourth floor above Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum.

Junior Achievement classes provide students with real-world lessons in financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship, and are taught by more than 6,000 volunteers in Utah.

http://go.uen.org/3R5 (DN)

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

South Summit High School grad leaves legacy of helping others The Daniels Scholar hopes to start a service club at the University of Utah

 

Wyatt Angell didn’t think he stood a chance.

He looked around the room and saw dozens of qualified candidates. Why, he thought, would they ever pick him?

As it turned out, there were apparently plenty of reasons. Angell, who graduated last week from South Summit High School, was recently named a Daniels Scholar after a lengthy application process that included in-person interviews. The Daniels Scholarship Program provides four-year scholarships to Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado students with financial need who demonstrate character, leadership and strong academic performance.

http://go.uen.org/3Ro (PR)

 

 


 

 

Utah Virtual Academy to host in-person graduation on June 5 Online public school graduates its largest-ever class

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Virtual Academy (UTVA), a public online charter school serving students in grades K-12 will host an in-person graduation ceremony for its 91 high school graduates, the largest graduating class the school has seen.

The keynote speaker will be Jonathan E. Johnson III, Chairman at Overstock. Mr. Johnson joined Overstock in 2002 as the company’s general counsel, and has been an integral part of Overstock’s meteoric growth from a small start-up to a publicly-traded company with $1.3 billion in sales and over 1,500 employees.

http://go.uen.org/3Rm  (PRNewswire)

 

 


 

 

Educator of the Week: Bethany Lott

 

Bethany Lott was chosen as this week’s Educator of the Week. She is a teacher at Pleasant Grove High School.

http://go.uen.org/3R9 (PDH)

 

 


 

 

 

Student of the Week: Abby Taylor

 

Abby Taylor was chosen as this week’s Student of the Week. She is a student at Pleasant Grove Junior High School.

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

 

 


 

 

Sentence handed down in Salina sexual misconduct case

 

SALINA — A 35-year-old Salina woman accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor was sentenced in Sixth District Court in Richfield May 26.

Mary Mickelsen will spend half a year in jail and pay a $950 fine as part of the sentence handed down by Sixth District Judge Wallace Lee.

Mickelsen initially entered a guilty plea March 3 to four counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

She was originally charged with the crimes, all third-degree felonies, in January. Mickelsen also worked as a substitute teacher, although investigators never found a direct tie between the sexual offenses and her time in area schools.

http://go.uen.org/3Rn (Richfield Reaper)

 

 


 

 

Fewer students report being bullied, but it’s still an issue

 

New numbers released by the Department of Education show that for the first time since 2005, the percentage of students being bullied has dropped.

http://go.uen.org/3R6 (DN)

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Enslaved nations

Deseret News letter from DeAnna Hardy

 

Our ignorance of the Constitution is understandable because we have been taught in a government-controlled school system.

http://go.uen.org/3R8

 

 


 

 

Shameless Politicking

Chris Christie, and nearly everyone else, is using Common Core as a proxy for other issues U.S. News & World Report commentary by Andrew J. Rotherham, cofounder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners

 

Chris Christie, New Jersey’s bombastic governor, made waves last Thursday when he announced that his views on the Common Core education standards had evolved. Once a vocal proponent of the standards more than 40 states have adopted, Christie now wants New Jersey to go its own way.

In 2013, Christie supported Common Core. “We’re doing Common Core in New Jersey, and we are going to continue. This is one of those areas where I have agreed more with the president than not and with [Education] Secretary [Arne] Duncan,” he said. But last Thursday he changed his tune. “We must reject federal control of our education and return it to parents and teachers,” Christie said. “We need to take it out of the cubicles of Washington, D.C. where it was placed by the Obama administration and return it to the neighborhoods of New Jersey.”

It’s easy to pick on Christie for shameless politicking – he offered little in the way of specific criticisms and the standards are unpopular with conservative primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina where his fledgling presidential campaign is struggling to get traction. He’s hardly the only politician pandering on the issue; calling Common Core the product of federal bureaucrats (it’s not) is a standard Republican talking point. Meanwhile, reasonable people can change their minds or disagree about the standards, which turned five this week. For my part, I think they have promise but their transformative potential has been oversold by many advocates and their adoption and implementation is inadequately supported.

None of that, however, is what makes the New Jersey situation so illustrative. Instead, the saga of Common Core in New Jersey (and elsewhere) highlights how our education debates are often proxies for other issues.

http://go.uen.org/3R1

 

 


 

 

 

A Quasi Happy Birthday to the Common Core Education Week commentary by columnist Catherine Gewertz

 

Maybe someone, somewhere, is putting five candles on a little cake for the Common Core State Standards to honor its birthday.

But maybe not.

It’s been a tumultuous ride since the final version of the standards was released in a carefully orchestrated, packed-with-praise event in Suwanee, Ga., on June 2, 2010.

Reaction to the common core seems to have progressed through distinct stages, not unlike the five stages of grief identified by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. While Kubler-Ross said that losing a loved one can spark denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, the common core has created two parallel channels of reaction: one among its cheerleaders, and another among its critics.

http://go.uen.org/3R2

 

 


 

 

 

Why Technology Alone Won’t Fix Schools

To wonder what ails American education is to open a Pandora’s box of wicked problems … but the problem is definitely not a lack of computers.

Atlantic commentary by KENTARO TOYAMA, author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology

 

For about a month in the spring of 2013, I spent my mornings at Lakeside School, a private school in Seattle whose students are the scions of the Pacific Northwest elite. The beautiful red-brick campus looks like an Ivy League college and costs almost as much to attend. The school boasts Bill Gates among its alumni, and its students come from the families of Amazon and Microsoft executives. Unsurprisingly, there is no dearth of technology: Teachers post assignments on the school’s intranet; classes communicate by email; and every student carries a laptop (required) and a smartphone (not).

In this context, what do parents do when they think their children need an extra boost? I was there as a substitute tutor for students spanning the academic spectrum. A few of them were taking honors calculus. They were diligent but wanted a sounding board as they worked on tough problems. Others, weighed down by intensive extracurricular activities, struggled in geometry and algebra. I would review material with them and offer pointers as they did assignments. Yet another group required no substantive help at all. They just needed some prodding to finish their homework on time. Despite their differences, the students had one thing in common: What their parents were paying for was extra adult supervision.

All of the content I tutored is available on math websites and in free Khan Academy videos, and every student had round-the-clock Internet access. But even with all that technology, and even at a school with a luxurious 9:1 student-teacher ratio, what their parents wanted for their kids was more adult guidance.

Lakeside parents are not unusual in their valuing of quality time with adults over technology. Other well-educated professionals agree. Silicon Valley executives send their children to Waldorf schools, where electronics are banned until the eighth grade. Steve Jobs once admitted that he didn’t give his children iPads: “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

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

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Common-Core Algebra Seen as Tougher

Standards could challenge trend to put 8th graders in Algebra 1 Education Week

 

Under the Common Core State Standards, Algebra 1 is a much tougher course than what was taught previously in most states, teachers and standards experts say, in part because many of the concepts that historically were covered in that high school class have been bumped down into middle school math.

Some say those changes could complicate efforts around the country to put 8th graders in Algebra 1—a still-debated trend that’s grown over the past two decades.

In fact, at least a few districts are already reconsidering their stances on Algebra 1 in middle school. The San Francisco school system, for instance, went from requiring all 8th graders to take Algebra 1 to just the opposite policy under the common core—as of this year, all students must take Algebra 1 in 9th grade.

And while that kind of move can disappoint some parents, educators point out it doesn’t mean 8th graders aren’t learning algebra.

“There’s big confusion between the Algebra 1 course with a capital A and algebra, the mathematical subject,” said William G. McCallum, a mathematics education professor at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, and one of the lead writers of the common standards.

http://go.uen.org/3R3

 

 


 

 

 

Education technology is spreading fast, but there’s no recipe for success Hechinger Report

 

As educators expand the use of education technology, they often face a tricky balance. These tools offer the possibility for innovation – trying something new in a quest to improve teaching and learning. But technology isn’t cheap, and the risk of failure looms.

To assure success, many educators try to find and follow a recipe for digital learning. But many crucial ingredients can’t be found in a case study about “best practices,” said Julie Evans, the CEO of Project Tomorrow, a nonprofit organization that advocates for math, science and technology education and annually surveys students and educators about their experiences with those topics.

Too often, educators ask how to reproduce another school district’s program, Evans said last week, when their first step should be to look locally. Educators must discover the needs of schools in their own community so the technology plan fits, Evans said. And, importantly, administrators must have wide support for that vision, she said, and that requires conversations with parents, students and teachers.

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

 

 


 

 

In Baltimore schools, free meals for all Baltimore Sun

 

For the first time in the history of the school lunch program, all children in Baltimore are created equal.

Beginning this week, every student in the city, regardless of income level, is being offered free breakfast and lunch under a federal program that allows school districts to eliminate a decades-old meal-subsidy structure for students in high-poverty schools.

Baltimore is among a handful of districts in Maryland taking advantage of the opportunity that was opened to schools nationwide last year. Maryland schools are able to adopt the program under state legislation passed this year in the General Assembly.

http://go.uen.org/3R4

 

 


 

 

 

All students to get free lunches at 32 Cumberland County schools Fayetteville (NC) Observer

 

Nearly three dozen public schools in Cumberland County will provide free lunches to all students next year under a provision of the federal child nutrition program.

The 32 elementary and middle schools, which are in high-poverty areas, already serve free meals to most of their students, said Tim Kinlaw, associate superintendent for auxiliary services, in a school board committee meeting Tuesday. By taking advantage of a “community eligibility provision,” he said, they will be able to expand that service to all of their students, many of whom are on the borderline of eligibility for free meals under the current rule.

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

 

 


 

 

Cherry Creek Schools fires employee who gave free lunch to hungry kids Denver Post

 

Della Curry fed hungry kids and lost her job.

The Cherry Creek School District’s nutrition services department fired Curry, who was kitchen manager at Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, for giving school lunches to students who didn’t have the money to pay for them.

The school district has a free and reduced lunch program for children who meet federal income guidelines. But Curry, who got the ax last Friday, was giving lunch to children whose parents made too much to qualify for the program.

State law prohibits the district from commenting on personnel matters, according to a statement released by the school district.

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

 

 


 

 

 

The E-Rate Overhaul in 4 Easy Charts

Education Week

 

Big changes to the E-rate program made by the Federal Communications Commission over the past 18 months are showing up in dramatic ways in this year’s requests for telecommunications-related funding by schools and libraries. The biggest shift: Huge demand—and support—for internal wireless connectivity.

According to new data provided to Education Week by the FCC, applications for E-rate discounts to help purchase the equipment and services needed for internal wireless networks were up 92 percent compared to 2014-15. And for the first time in three years, those requests are likely to actually be granted. The FCC says it expects to make funding commitments for all of those so-called “Category 2” applications deemed eligible. The price tag could rise as high as $1.6 billion.

That money will be available because of a policy overhaul adopted by the FCC in summer 2014, as well as its historic vote in early 2015 to increase the annual E-rate spending cap from $2.4 to $3.9 billion.

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

 

 

 

 

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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 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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