Education News Roundup: June 18, 2015

Utah Teachers at the Summer 2013 Core AcademyEducation News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Legislature considers additional funds for teacher training.

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

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

 

Might excess transportation money be coming education’s way?

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

 

Utah State Board of Education Member Jennifer Johnson discusses education funding.

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

 

Nationally, the federal education funding bill heads for mark up.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Utah lawmakers contemplate artificially boosting per-student spending with teacher training money Education » Lawmakers’ debate centers on how best to earmark money for districts.

 

Utah lawmakers talk of shifting transportation funds to schools or other needs Other needs » Legislators worry roads are gobbling too much of sales-tax pie.

 

Cache School District passes budget with funding increase

 

Iron County School District approves $75 million budget

 

Board hears about tentative negotiated agreement, budget woes

 

Lawmakers Adopt New Interim Meeting Schedule

 

Outcry from parents at E.G. King Elementary

 

Garfield, Escalante on verge of devastation; state of emergency imminent

 

Sen. Mike Lee files bill to protect traditional marriage believers from government retaliation

 

SGPD, media members take on active shooter training

 

American Fork teens named finalists in Duck Tape scholarship contest

 

Harrisburg School Board OKs alternative education, STEM development contracts

 

What a fight over Shakespeare means for public education

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Sports for Washington High

 

There is too little discussion of how the state manages available education funds

 

Idaho education system eclipsed by neighbor to the south

 

The School Lunch Program With an Unappetizing Report Card The first lady’s project is plagued by complaints of inedible meals, wasted food and misspent funds.

 

Jeb Bush’s Education Problem

Dodges question on abolishing federal Cabinet department — which speaks volumes.

 

Everything you need to know about Jeb Bush’s dangerous education agenda The presumptive GOP frontrunner thinks privatization is a cure-all. In truth, that idea couldn’t be more dangerous

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

House Appropriators Prepare Fiscal 2016 Education Spending Bill for Markup

 

Bobby Jindal’s attempt to block Common Core testing ruled ‘unconstitutional’ by appeals court

 

Supreme Court Allows Teacher Testimony in Child-Abuse Cases Justices give prosecutors leeway to bring cases without young children testifying

 

Tough Tests for Teachers, With Question of Bias

 

Barrington District 220 to use new software to track attendance

 

Christie pension reform could have high price tag for N.J. schools, report warns

 

Robert Reich on the War Against Teachers and Public Education

 

Glued to the screen: A third grade class where kids spend 75% of the day on iPads Is this the future of education? What digital learning looks like when third-graders use it all day in one suburban district.

 

Study: Students Learn Better When Lectures Come With Visual Aids

 

‘Freedom’ Fries: Texas Repeals Ban on Deep Fryers in Schools

 

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Utah lawmakers contemplate artificially boosting per-student spending with teacher training money Education » Lawmakers’ debate centers on how best to earmark money for districts.

 

Since school budgets were slashed during the Great Recession, education leaders have clamored for funding to provide workplace training for teachers.

Some lawmakers appear ready to answer that call. Legislators signaled their intent Wednesday to help school districts with training funding.

Members of the Education Interim Committee voted to draft a bill that would set aside money for a professional development grant program. Grants would be used at the district level to provide ongoing training for educators, including peer mentoring or instruction on analyzing data from the state’s new computer-based SAGE testing system.

“We’re expecting more and more of teachers — especially with these new assessments,” said Cottonwood Heights Democratic Rep. Marie Poulson. “They’re not getting the proper education to be able to respond to it.”

While committee members voted unanimously to draft the legislation, they debated whether training funds should be specifically earmarked in the state education budget or rolled into the weighted pupil unit (WPU) formula, which pays for schools on a per-student basis and can be used at the discretion of local administrators.

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Utah lawmakers talk of shifting transportation funds to schools or other needs Other needs » Legislators worry roads are gobbling too much of sales-tax pie.

 

Transportation projects may be hogging more than their fair share of state sales-tax money, so legislators discussed Wednesday how to shift money to other needs such as schools or a new prison.

Transportation Interim Committee co-Chairman Johnny Anderson, R-Taylorsville, said that sales of cars and auto parts generate about 17 percent of all sales tax in Utah — so he believes it is justifiable to spend up to that amount on transportation.

“We’re exceeding that,” he said. “We’re heading rapidly to 22 or 23 percent.”

Sales tax is one of many funding sources for transportation, along with gasoline taxes and car registration fees. The Legislature this year passed a bill to raise gas taxes by 5 cents a gallon — the first increase in 18 years — beginning Jan. 1, with more automatic inflation-based bumps to follow later.

Anderson said that with more money coming from the gasoline levy, maybe it is time to start turning back sales tax money that has been pegged for transportation.

“But it should not be done in one fell swoop,” he warned.

Anderson added that it may be wise eventually to shift elsewhere the money that is now spent for debt repayment as road bonds are paid off.

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

 

 

 


 

 

 

Cache School District passes budget with funding increase

 

The Cache County School District Board of Education passed the proposed $244 million budget for the 2015-16 school year, showing an increase of 3.69 percent from 2014-15.

In a letter presented to the board, Business Administrator Dale Hansen introduced the budget by addressing the economic recovery.

“Current economic conditions have continued to show some recovery during the past year and a slow recovery is forecast into the future,” Hansen said. “Our state Legislature has continued to demonstrate support for public education by providing financial resources that focus on effective student instruction.”

The budget increase was mainly due to the anticipated sale of $39 million in general obligation bonds and the scheduled expenditure of previously issued general obligation funds.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Iron County School District approves $75 million budget

 

The Iron County School District on Tuesday approved its 2016 fiscal budget at just over $75 million, a jump of nearly $2 million from 2015 and included a 4 percent increase in pay for employees.

ICSD business administrator Kent Peterson said the additional funding came from the Utah Legislature session — it was approved to give school districts statewide an additional 4 percent in funding to use as needed.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Board hears about tentative negotiated agreement, budget woes

 

The Carbon School Board heard a report from Darin Lancaster, the Business Manager for the school district on the completion of negotiations with the teachers association on Tuesday evening.

Lancaster outlined what the district had agreed to, but the controversy that ensued during the discussion wasn’t so much about the negotiations, as about approving a budget that uses a lot of assumptions to justify what was negotiated.

http://go.uen.org/3ZZ (Price Sun Advocate)

 

 


 

 

 

Lawmakers Adopt New Interim Meeting Schedule

 

Attention lobbyists, citizen activists and other sorry souls who attend Utah legislative interim meetings:

Starting in July the 75 House members and 29 senators will have new committee meeting times for their interim study days – which usually fall on the third Wednesday of each month.

This is all coming because, House members say, senators can’t get their act together – and are coming too late to the start of the afternoon study committees.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Outcry from parents at E.G. King Elementary

 

FARMINGTON — Residents fought on behalf of their children’s teachers when they spoke to the Davis school board this week after parents learned that all three sixth-grade teachers at E.G. King Elementary in Layton were informed of their forced transfers just hours after sixth-grade graduation.

Parents are worried the teachers were transferred because they spoke up about problems occurring at their school this year.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Garfield, Escalante on verge of devastation; state of emergency imminent

 

GARFIELD COUNTY – Since the birth of Grand Staircase Escalante-National Monument in 1996 city and county officials say they have seen such a severe decline in industry that it has led to an increased loss of both revenue and residents. This has caused school enrollments to fall so low districtwide that they are now considering filing a State of Emergency.

http://go.uen.org/3ZL (KCSG)

 

 


 

 

 

Sen. Mike Lee files bill to protect traditional marriage believers from government retaliation

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mike Lee again introduced a bill Wednesday that he says would safeguard people and institutions that promote traditional marriage from government retaliation.

The Utah Republican, along with Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said the First Amendment Defense Act would clarify and strengthen religious freedom protections in federal law.

Specifically, it would prevent federal agencies from denying a tax exemption, grant, contract, license or certification to a person, association or business based on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman.

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

 

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

SGPD, media members take on active shooter training

 

Forceful bangs echoed through Desert Hills High School’s hallways Wednesday afternoon — but it was all part of a planned exercise.

The St. George Police Department held its second week of annual active shooter training, designed to put officers in real-world, high-stress scenarios, and invited media members to go through the same situations.

Sgt. Sam Despain, SGPD public information officer, first explained to attendees how the training keeps law enforcement ahead of the curve.

“We’re training for the worst of the worst,” he said. “The active shooter could be anywhere, so that’s what we train for.”

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

American Fork teens named finalists in Duck Tape scholarship contest

 

AMERICAN FORK — While most kids spend their spring break hiking and swimming, two juniors at American Fork High School spent almost 200 hours creating an intricate prom dress and tuxedo from Duck brand duct tape.

Rebekah Mecham, 17, said she got the idea to create the prom outfits in 2014 after learning about Duck’s Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest, where students create prom outfits and accessories using Duck Tape. She decided she wanted to enter to win the $10,000 scholarship prize.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Harrisburg School Board OKs alternative education, STEM development contracts

 

Alternative education, character development, and STEM learning are among issues Harrisburg School District will address, under contracts approved by the Harrisburg School Board on June 15.

The district enters the 2015-16 school year with these services underway or moving into position:

– Through an initial $51,268 grant from Utah-based Leader.org, the district contracted FranklinCovey, also based in Utah, to train teachers and provide materials for The Leader in Me, a character-culture program, at Camp Curtin Academy. The agreement includes the possibility of grants totaling $13,373 to continue in years two and three.

http://go.uen.org/401 (Harrisburg [PA] Patriot News)

 

 


 

 

What a fight over Shakespeare means for public education

 

In 1973, only 9 percent of Americans said they had “very little” trust in public education, according to Gallup’s report on confidence in public institutions. On the other hand, 58 percent said they had either “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of trust in the school system.

But much has changed since then.

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

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Sports for Washington High

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

 

We think it’s a great idea for George Washington High School, the Ogden School District’s alternative high school, to compete in sports and join the Utah High School Athletics Association as a stand-alone school in 1-A competition.

This would be something new; no alternative school supported by a school district has been a part of UHSAA. But that’s part of the reason it’s such a great idea. Let’s be blunt: Students at an alternative school deal with the stigma of being in the school that called “alternative.” Many think it’s only for struggling students. That doesn’t apply to Washington; it’s designed for students who want a different school experience, but the perception lingers. Having sports competitions, having Washington High School with athletes and sports teams that can be cheered and respected will increase pride and students’ ownership of the school.

So far, the school district is divided.

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

 

 


 

 

There is too little discussion of how the state manages available education funds Deseret News op-ed by Utah State Board of Education Member Jennifer Johnson

 

In Utah there is no shortage of coverage and comment about school funding levels. Newspapers editorialize, activists criticize and parents wonder whether resources will ever match the need. Education funding is an issue in every election. Yet amid all this talk of funding, there is surprisingly little discussion of how we as a state manage the money that is allocated to education: Are we doing all we can with what we’ve got?

Since Utah notoriously has the lowest per-pupil expenditures in the nation, one might assume that proper management of those precious education dollars would be top priority. But such has not been the case.

After being elected to the Utah State Board of Education two years ago, my first request to staff was to see a copy of the board’s budget. My professional background is in financial management, so I thought this was a logical request. Instead, I was astonished to receive a question: “Why would you need that?” Evidently, prior to that time, the board was content to “trust” all was well with the taxpayers’ education dollars.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Idaho education system eclipsed by neighbor to the south Idaho Watchdog.org commentary

 

The Center for Education Reform recently published its annual “parent power index,” a web-based report judging how accessible information on education is for parents in every state. This year, Idaho took the 19th spot in the ranking. It is superior to all of its neighboring western states but Utah, which ranks at number 6.

This relative counter-performance shouldn’t come as a surprise. Indeed, Idaho charter schools are underfunded compared to their Utah counterparts, which receives some money from property taxes. In addition, Utah charter schools have the option of opting out or the state’s retirement system, unlike charter schools in Idaho.

Online education is also lagging behind, unlike Utah.

http://go.uen.org/400

 

 


 

 

The School Lunch Program With an Unappetizing Report Card The first lady’s project is plagued by complaints of inedible meals, wasted food and misspent funds.

Wall Street Journal op-ed by JULIE KELLY,  a food writer in Orland Park, Ill. And  JEFF STIER, a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research

 

Nearly five years after passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, mounting evidence suggests that the law may not be achieving either end. The well-intentioned signature policy of first lady Michelle Obama is an attempt to stem childhood obesity and hunger by providing healthier school meals. But as Congress prepares to reauthorize the program, which expires in September, lawmakers are sharpening their knives to address complaints of inedible meals, food waste and misspent funds.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act funds a number of child-nutrition programs including the National School Lunch Program, which costs $12 billion a year—plus $3 billion for breakfast programs—and serves nearly 32 million children, about 45% of the total U.S. youth population.

Even though lunches are “free,” they are so unappetizing thanks to new nutrition standards that much food is thrown away. “It is horrible,” one inner-city principal, responsible for 1,200 students and 10,000 meals a week, told us. “It is just heartbreaking how much food is thrown away.”

So the students go hungry most of the day, until after school when enterprising vendors sell items like pork rinds, hot chips, or fresh corn mixed with cheese and mayonnaise from food carts outside of the school.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Jeb Bush’s Education Problem

Dodges question on abolishing federal Cabinet department — which speaks volumes.

American Spectator commentary by columnist Jeffrey Lord

 

Have you read the new book by ex-Bush 41 White House Chief of Staff John Sununu? Title: The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush.

Mr. Sununu has done a good deed here, both to the always decent president he served and perhaps most importantly for the historical record. Although in the latter case the book may prove to be a problem for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as he pursues his Dad’s — and his brother’s — old job.

The other night Jeb Bush sat down for one of those hour-long candidate interviews that Sean Hannity has been doing on his Fox show. Asked Hannity of Bush: “Would you eliminate any government departments? Education? Commerce?” Bush replied:

“I think you can shift…in education you can shift a lot of the power back to the states. Certainly as it relates to EPA a lot of the delegated authority that used to exist should go back to the states. HHS, we should create much less power in Washington for the delivery of health care and the regulation of health care and shift it back to the states. There’s a lot that you can do. And I think there are parts of the government that are no longer relevant. Inside of the Department of Commerce it does a lot of things that just don’t relate to the 21st century. So, what I proved as governor was that you can cut spending and still prioritize to the things that matter.”

Stop right here.

If you want an example of why Jeb Bush has candidate problems and why Donald Trump’s new campaign is resonating with the base of the GOP — this answer illustrates exactly.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Everything you need to know about Jeb Bush’s dangerous education agenda The presumptive GOP frontrunner thinks privatization is a cure-all. In truth, that idea couldn’t be more dangerous Salon.com commentary by columnist MATTHEW PULVER

 

“There’s nothing else as large in all of society. Not the military—nothing—is bigger.”

That’s how Randy Best, Jeb Bush’s business partner, sees public education, as an untapped market where untold billions are to be made when kids and their families become educational customers. Touting his impressive assault on public education while Florida governor in yesterday’s announcement of his 2016 candidacy, Bush may become the loudest proponent yet of turning public education into a for-profit enterprise.

Before getting into Bush’s record and financial interests in for-profit education, a full understanding of the dystopian horrors of for-profit, privatized education is necessary. Bush offers it with a handful of Milton Friedman-esque catchwords and focus-grouped slogans, and it may be that the proposals sound innocuous and vaguely innovative until the slightest scrutiny is applied to the ideas — at which point, it’s difficult to imagine much worse than public education turned into a for-profit market. Because the most basic and collectively understood truisms about markets, when applied to children, take on a horrifying character.

First off, most businesses close.

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

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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House Appropriators Prepare Fiscal 2016 Education Spending Bill for Markup Education Week

 

Washington – The House appropriations subcommittee responsible for setting spending levels for the U.S Department of Education and federal education programs met Wednesday morning to prepare its fiscal 2016 funding bill for a full committee markup next week.

Lawmakers unveiled the appropriations package Tuesday. Among other things, it would slash funding for the Education Department and its programs by $2.8 billion by eliminating a slate of nearly 20 programs, including many high-profile Obama administration priorities.

Notably, the subcommittee’s own markup on Wednesday was the first to occur in more than three years, as Congress has been dysfunctional in its ability to draft fiscal year spending bills, especially since it approved across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Bobby Jindal’s attempt to block Common Core testing ruled ‘unconstitutional’ by appeals court New Orleans Times-Picayune

 

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s attempt last summer to block Common Core testing in Louisiana has been ruled “unconstitutional interference” by a state appeals court.

Three judges at the Louisiana 1st Circuit Court of Appeals said Jindal acted inappropriately when he tried to prevent the state Department of Education from purchasing Common Core tests last July. Their decision upheld a similar ruling by a lower court last August.

Jindal once pushed for Common Core implementation in Louisiana, but started to oppose the standards as they became more unpopular nationwide. Last summer, he accused the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education [BESE] of violating state contracting rules to acquire a Common Core test. He then unilaterally tried to block the test’s purchase — which would have prevented the test from being administered in Louisiana schools — through two gubernatorial  executive orders.

A group of parents and charter school advocates — with the blessing of BESE and Education Superintendent John White — took Jindal to court over blocking the Common Core test. They said Jindal was manipulating state contract regulations and engaging in gubernatorial overreach to block the test from being used in schools. A Baton Rouge judge — and now a state appeals court — agreed with the parents and forced the governor to allow the purchase of the test to proceed.

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

 

A copy of the ruling

http://go.uen.org/3ZB (Louisiana 1st Circuit Court of Appeals)

 

 


 

 

 

Supreme Court Allows Teacher Testimony in Child-Abuse Cases Justices give prosecutors leeway to bring cases without young children testifying Wall Street Journal

 

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave prosecutors leeway to bring child-abuse cases without young children having to testify, allowing for jurors to hear from teachers whose students told them they were abused.

The case centered on Cleveland defendant Darius Clark, who was convicted after a trial in which preschool teachers testified that the alleged victim—a 3-year-old known in court papers as L.P.—told them Clark was responsible for his bruises and abrasions.

L.P. didn’t testify during the proceedings. Clark, the boyfriend of the child’s mother, was sentenced to 28 years in prison after being convicted of abusing L.P. and his 18-month-old sister.

Clark, citing his rights under the Constitution’s Confrontation Clause, argued the teachers’ testimony shouldn’t have been allowed because he had no opportunity to cross-examine the child about what he said at school.

The Supreme Court, in an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, rejected that argument, saying the testimony didn’t violate Clark’s right to confront the witnesses against him.

“Because neither the child nor his teachers had the primary purpose of assisting in Clark’s prosecution, the child’s statements do not implicate the Confrontation Clause and therefore were admissible at trial,” Justice Alito wrote.

The ruling reversed a decision from the Ohio Supreme Court, which had sided with Clark and found the conviction invalid.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3ZO (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

 

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

 

A copy of the ruling

http://go.uen.org/3ZQ (U.S. Supreme Court)

 

 

 


 

 

 

Tough Tests for Teachers, With Question of Bias New York Times

 

Students are not the only ones struggling to pass new standardized tests being rolled out around the country. So are those who want to be teachers.

Concerned that education schools were turning out too many middling graduates, states have been introducing more difficult teacher licensing exams. Perhaps not surprisingly, passing rates have fallen. But minority candidates have been doing especially poorly, jeopardizing a long­held goal of diversifying the teaching force so it more closely resembles the makeup of the country’s student body.

“This is very serious,” said David M. Steiner, dean of the School of Education at Hunter College and a former New York State education commissioner. “It reflects, of course, the tragic performance gap we see in just about every academic or aptitude test.”

On a common licensing exam called Praxis Core, a new test given in 31 states or jurisdictions that was created to be more rigorous than its predecessor, 55 percent of white candidates taking the test since October 2013 passed the math portion on their first try, according to the preliminary data from the Educational Testing Service, which designed the exam. The passing rate for first­time African­American test takers was 21.5 percent, and for Hispanic test takers, 35 percent. A similar gap was seen on the reading and writing portions.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Barrington District 220 to use new software to track attendance Chicago Tribune

 

Barrington School District 220 Board of Education Tuesday approved a new type of software that will allow administrators to better monitor student attendance and communicate those issues with parents and officials.

The three-year contract with School Innovations and Achievement provides school officials with tabulated data on yearly student attendance broken down by grade, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status, according to the company.

The software also includes attendance information at mid-year and it tracks the attendance of individual students, as well as group trends. Tracking attendance starts in fall semester. Parents will receive an introductory letter from the district, and intervention letters when needed.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Christie pension reform could have high price tag for N.J. schools, report warns Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger

 

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie’s controversial pension reform plan could cost New Jersey school districts hundreds of millions of dollars each year, according to a new report commissioned by school and municipal lobbyists, but those who crafted the governor’s plan have said those costs would be offset by reducing public employee health benefits.

For now, the commission’s proposal is mired in politics, and its future is uncertain. After the state Supreme Court invalidated a portion of Christie’s 2011 pension overhaul last week, labor leaders slammed the door on negotiations over new reforms.

The report released Wednesday by the New Jersey League of Municipalities and the New Jersey School Boards Association studied the effects of a pension reform plan drafted by a special pension and health benefits commission and championed by Christie.

Part of the plan would shift the cost of teacher pensions from the state to local school districts, and the study breaks down potential property tax increases for homeowners.

“Once again the mayors across the state are being asked to bail out the state and take the political heat for what the state leaders aren’t doing,” said Brian Wahler, Piscataway mayor and president of the league. “It’s plainly obvious that’s what the game plan is here.”

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

 

 


 

 

 

Robert Reich on the War Against Teachers and Public Education Capital & Main

 

It’s no secret that former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich has some misgivings about the direction of the American economy. But the prolific writer, radio commentator and longtime University of California, Berkeley professor isn’t thrilled about how we are educating our kids, either.

As part of a new project with the activist group MoveOn.org, Reich recently released a video that described our education system as “squashing passion for learning, eroding the love of teaching and grinding up generations of young people.” The critique is accompanied by a set of proposals to reinvent American education – one of 10 planks in a broader agenda titled “10 Ideas to Save the Economy.”

Reich has addressed the nation’s education challenges in his books, including 2011’s Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, as well as in his 2013 film Inequality for All (available on NetFlix, iTunes and DVD). But rarely has he been so blunt in his assessment or his prescriptions.

Capital & Main spoke last week with Reich about his views on how the country has failed its kids, and what it must do to right the ship.

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

 

 


 

 

Glued to the screen: A third grade class where kids spend 75% of the day on iPads Is this the future of education? What digital learning looks like when third-graders use it all day in one suburban district.

Hechinger Report

 

MINEOLA, N.Y. — When the 24 third-graders in Morgan Mercaldi’s class arrive at the Jackson Avenue School every morning, they take their iPads out of their backpacks and put them on their desks. The tablets will remain there, or in hands and laps, until the children put them in their packs to take them home.

Last year Mercaldi had her students stash the iPads away when they weren’t using them. But she has abandoned that. “Putting them away serves no purpose. We use them constantly,” Mercaldi says.

Mercaldi’s class in Mineola, N.Y., is in the fifth year of a district initiative that now provides iPads to all students in grades three through nine. At Jackson Avenue, which houses the third and fourth grades, all 417 children, including those in special education, have their own tablets, and they spend about 75 percent of their instructional day on the devices, more than many other schools that have embraced digital learning.

Despite a lack of hard data on how digital learning affects student achievement, Mineola, a fairly affluent New York City suburb, is betting heavily on technology to help children meet an array of tough Common Core standards. By embracing iPads while keeping the traditional model of one teacher working with 20-some children, the small school district offers a vision of what the future of digital learning might be.

Here’s a typical day in a third-grade classroom.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Study: Students Learn Better When Lectures Come With Visual Aids Education Week

 

A new study suggests that giving students pertinent visual information, such as a diagram or outline, at the start of a lesson will lead to better understanding of that lesson.

The study, by Mark A. McDaniel, a professor of psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, and graduate student Dung C. Bui, found that college students who had visual aids given to them before a science lecture were better able to understand and remember the lecture, but illustrative diagrams helped more than outlines.

“Participants given illustrative diagrams likely engaged in deeper levels of processing while listening to the lecture,” the authors conclude.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/3ZS (Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition)

 

 


 

 

 

‘Freedom’ Fries: Texas Repeals Ban on Deep Fryers in Schools Associated Press

 

AUSTIN, Texas — It’s about freedom, not the fries.

So says new Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller, who announced Thursday that the state will repeal a decade-old ban on deep fryers in public school kitchens. The Republican says government mandates have failed to make kids healthier in Texas, where roughly two-thirds of residents are considered overweight or obese.

Miller is also lifting restrictions on soft drinks in school vending machines. The American Heart Association, the Texas PTA and school nutritionists opposed the changes.

A former teacher and rodeo calf-roper, Miller says critics are misinformed since Texas is simply giving schools the option of reinstalling deep fryers if they want starting July 1.

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

 

 

 

 

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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 18:

Utah State Board of Education workshop and committee meeting

2:30 p.m.250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

June 19:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

8 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

June 23:

Legislative Management Committee Audit Subcommittee meeting

9 a.m., 250 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00002781.htm

 

 

June 24:

Charter School Funding Task Force

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

Retirement and Independent Entities Interim Committee meeting

1 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00002692.htm

 

Public meeting on secondary math standards

6:30 p.m., 960 S Main St., Brigham City

http://www.schools.utah.gov/CURR/mathsec/Revision.aspx

 

 

July 9:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

July 14:

Charter School Funding Task Force

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

July 15:

Education Interim Committee meeting

9 a.m., 30 House Building

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

 

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