Education News Roundup: July 2, 2015

39Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

The good news: ENR will be off for the July 4 holiday, which means no roundup cluttering your inboxes on Friday. The bad news: ENR will return on Monday.

 

Governor names Stan Lockhart to the Utah State Board of Education, replacing the late C. Mark Openshaw.

http://go.uen.org/46A (SLT)

 

D-News looks at Salt Lake District’s teacher mentoring program.

http://go.uen.org/46e (DN)

 

Grant offers a boost for ed tech in southwestern Utah.

http://go.uen.org/46j (SGS)

 

House opens debate on the ESEA rewrite on Tuesday.

http://go.uen.org/46m (Ed Week)

 

Sonia Manzano, aka Maria on “Sesame Street,” is retiring.

http://go.uen.org/465 (AP)

and http://go.uen.org/46B (WaPo)

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Governor picks tech lobbyist Stan Lockhart to fill vacancy on state school board

 

Mentoring program designed to help new teachers

 

Southern Utah tech students get a big boost for education

 

Ex-Special Education teacher sues school district A Special Ed teacher fired earlier this year by Washington County School District claims she was retaliated against.

 

Utah Girl Bullied About Large Ears Gets Free Surgery From Big-Hearted Surgeon Who Was Also Teased as a Kid

 

Competing for Hispanic Catholics: Secularism, other faiths battle for souls

 

Civics test, rules for e-cigarette sales among more than 50 new Utah laws

 

Providence teen receives $40,000 scholarship

 

Davis County students receive Comcast scholarships

 

Teaching the teachers: Do we know how to create real professionals?

 

Does Shakespeare still have a place in Common Core? This high school teacher doesn’t think so

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Doomsday for Teachers Unions?

How a Supreme Court case could cripple teachers unions

 

The graduation rates from every school district* in one map A one-of-a-kind analysis of how each district fares

 

Is free school lunch the next great American entitlement program?

 

State Laws on Weighted Lotteries and Enrollment Practices

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

House Begins Process to Reconsider ESEA Reauthorization

 

Backers of Bush Nonprofit Include Banks, Schools, Lottery

 

Supreme Court Case Poses Threat to Teachers’ Union Financing

 

Suit accuses L.A. Unified of diverting millions meant for needy students

 

State releases a first look at Common Core test results

 

Can 5-year-olds in Mississippi conquer the Common Core?

Standards are becoming harder and Mississippi kindergartens start school behind their peers in other states.

 

Study: Military kids’ public schools rate average

 

The Myth of a Teacher’s ‘Summer Vacation’

The “last day of school” is a misnomer.

 

Teachers tap into brain science to boost learning

 

Ronald Thorpe, National Board President and Education Advocate, Dies at 63

 

At Majority-Minority Schools, Confederate Names Remain

 

Not All Districts Warm to Miller’s Food Initiative

 

In ever-changing home economics field, teachers are still in demand

 

Valedictorian Gives Graduation Speech At School Where Dad Is Custodian, Thanks Him For Sacrifices

 

Sonia Manzano, Who Played Maria on ‘Sesame Street,’ Retiring

 

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Governor picks tech lobbyist Stan Lockhart to fill vacancy on state school board

 

Stan Lockhart, a lobbyist for the Utah-based memory-chip manufacturer IM Flash, will fill the State School Board seat left vacant after the death of Mark Openshaw.

Lockhart’s selection is subject to confirmation by the Utah Senate. His term on the board would expire on Dec. 31, 2016.

“Losing Mark Openshaw was a tragedy and we will certainly miss his voice on the State Board of Education,” Gov. Gary Herbert said in a prepared statement. “I am confident Stan Lockhart is uniquely qualified to step in and make a positive difference from day one. His broad experience in business and technology, combined with his understanding of our education system, will be a benefit to students throughout our state.”

About half of appointed State School Board members, like Lockhart, have no education background.

Openshaw was killed last month, along with his wife and two of their children, when the plane he was flying crashed shortly after takeoff in rural Misouri.

Lockhart said in a statement that he is honored to serve in Utah’s public education system and hopes to live up to the high standard set by his “good friend” Openshaw.

http://go.uen.org/46A (SLT)

 


 

 

Mentoring program designed to help new teachers

 

SALT LAKE CITY — This summer, Heather Parrish is preparing for a new group of students at Parkview Elementary School, where she finished her first year as a teacher last month.

Not long ago, Parrish was a student, graduating at the end of 2013 with a degree in education. During her first year of teaching, however, she said she discovered some skills as a teacher, such as keeping 30 or more youngsters engaged, can only be gained through experience at the front of the classroom.

The road for new teachers can be a rocky one, especially at Title I schools such as Parkview. Historically, the Salt Lake City School District’s turnover rate for new teachers has mirrored that of the nation, where about half of all teachers quit within the first five years on the job.

But a new mentoring program is designed to change that.

http://go.uen.org/46e (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Southern Utah tech students get a big boost for education

 

The Southwest Educational Development Center, in conjunction with Southwest Applied Technology College, Utah State Office of Education, Utah Education Network, Cache Valley Electric, Mountain West Computers, South Central Communications, CompuNet, and six school districts (Millard, Garfield, Kane, Beaver, Washington and Iron) are the recipients of a State of Utah Department of Workforce Services, Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership grant called CyberCorps.

SEDC Director Edna LaMarca said the grant of $137,800 will facilitate and guide students to receive training and experience through a hands-on authentic learning environment.

“We do a lot of technical support and professional development with area teachers,” she said. “Our smaller schools don’t have the ability to provide as much of this type of education, so we help them by working with the government and other agencies to get grants like this one.”

Starting next semester instructors working with SEDC and Southwest ATC will begin training teachers – by the second semester, they will be offering Information Technology classes at local high schools, LaMarca said.

http://go.uen.org/46j (SGS)

 

 


 

 

Ex-Special Education teacher sues school district A Special Ed teacher fired earlier this year by Washington County School District claims she was retaliated against.

 

A special education teacher terminated by the Washington County School District earlier this year filed a lawsuit against the district and some of its employees Tuesday, claiming school officials intentionally chose not to report abuse in another classroom where her Down syndrome son was assigned, and then retaliated against her when she pushed for corrective action.

Carol Boehme’s wrongful termination lawsuit filed in 5th District Court states she was dismissed from Panorama Elementary School after 20 years of employment at the school and 23 years with the district.

Boehme is seeking at least $1.7 million in damages from the taxpayer-funded school district and its employees, and is representing herself without an attorney in court.

Boehme and her son also received media attention shortly after her termination when Boehme alleged strangers forcibly washed face paint off the boy’s face in a public restroom, prompting a police investigation.

http://go.uen.org/46h (SGS)

 

http://go.uen.org/46z (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/46x (KSL)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah Girl Bullied About Large Ears Gets Free Surgery From Big-Hearted Surgeon Who Was Also Teased as a Kid

 

At a time when every teenager at her junior high school just wanted to fit in, Isabelle Stark always felt that she stuck out. She tried wearing beanies, growing her hair long and strategically adding extra curls, but there was no hiding her protruding ears.

“Kids called me ‘Dumbo,’ or said that I looked like a mouse,” recalls the Park City, Utah, girl, now 18. They’d even walk up to me and pull on my ears. I tried to brush it off, but almost every day, I went home and cried. For my entire life, my only wish was to have normal-sized ears.”

Now, thanks to Steven Mobley – a Salt Lake City plastic surgeon who was teased about his own large ears growing up – Isabelle doesn’t feel self-conscious any longer.

http://go.uen.org/46y (People)

 

 


 

 

Competing for Hispanic Catholics: Secularism, other faiths battle for souls

 

SALT LAKE CITY – For the Rev. Eleazar Silva, pastor of the mostly Spanish-speaking Sacred Heart Parish, working with young adults means helping them navigate multiple, and sometimes competing, identities.

Many of his parishioners are Latino in an Anglo culture who speak one language in school but another at home, and live out their Catholic faith in an overwhelmingly non-Catholic culture here in Salt Lake City.

Martin Alcocer, a native of Mexico who moved to Salt Lake nearly 14 years ago after a stop in California, said he pulled his two sons from public school because the LDS presence was so intense.

During a drive through the city, Alcocer pointed out small buildings adjacent to many public schools, structures that provide religious education classes to LDS students during the school day.

Several times, he said, he discovered that his sons were brought to Mormon churches by other parents during after-school play-dates. Intent on preserving his sons’ Catholic faith, Alcocer enrolled them both in a local Catholic school.

But he said he’s still not sure even with religious schooling that his sons will keep the faith.

http://go.uen.org/46v (Crux)

 

 


 

 

Civics test, rules for e-cigarette sales among more than 50 new Utah laws

 

SALT LAKE CITY — More than 50 new laws took effect Wednesday in Utah, including measures requiring high school students to pass a U.S. citizenship test, restrictions on electronic-cigarette sellers and expanded death benefits for families of fallen police officers and firefighters.

http://go.uen.org/46d (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/46f (PDH)

 

http://go.uen.org/46i (SGS)

 

 


 

 

 

Providence teen receives $40,000 scholarship

 

Providence teen Emilee Hamilton is one of 20 students nationwide to receive the GE Reagan Foundation Scholarship worth $40,000 in total.

The scholarship, which is in its fifth year, aims to recognize students who embody the vision and values personified by President Ronald Reagan, including leadership, drive, integrity and citizenship.

http://go.uen.org/46g (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

 

Davis County students receive Comcast scholarships

 

SALT LAKE CITY – Three Davis County students were among recipients of the Comcast Foundation’s Leaders and Achievers program. They were honored at a ceremony in the Utah State Capitol rotunda.

In addition to $1,000 one-time scholarships for all 36 students, two Davis County students were given special awards. Isabel Torres of Layton, a student at Rowland Hall, received a $10,000 scholarship. Keaton Wall from Bountiful High was one of three students receiving $5,000 scholarships. Micah Payan of Layton Christian Academy was also among the 36 students honored.

http://go.uen.org/46w (DCC)

 

 


 

 

 

Teaching the teachers: Do we know how to create real professionals?

 

A new teacher training program announced by the Boston-based Woodrow Wilson Foundation in partnership with MIT aims to upend teacher training by awarding degrees based on mastery of specific skills, not time in the classroom.

http://go.uen.org/46b (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Does Shakespeare still have a place in Common Core? This high school teacher doesn’t think so

 

California high school English teacher Dana Dusbiber took to Valerie Strauss’s education blog at the Washington Post recently to make an impassioned if familiar argument: Stop teaching Shakespeare in high school.

http://go.uen.org/46c (DN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Doomsday for Teachers Unions?

How a Supreme Court case could cripple teachers unions U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Andrew J. Rotherham, cofounder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners

 

By this time next year, everyone in the education world cheering the Supreme Court’s progressivism on health care and gay marriage may be singing a different – and sadder – tune. In its next term, the court will hear cases that could end affirmative action in higher education and curtail the power of teachers unions and other public employee unions. This latter case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, could dramatically weaken teachers unions and scramble the education landscape. The prospect of a defanging of the unions has many in education hopeful after the court agreed to take the case earlier this week. In practice, though, the ramifications of Friedrichs are not so straightforward.

The case turns on the question of whether public employees can be required to support union activities related to their work. Today, teachers and other public workers can elect to opt out of the political parts of union activities and only pay “agency fees” to support union activities benefiting them directly in the workplace. California teacher Rebecca Friedrichs and other California teachers argue that even agency fees compromise their First Amendment rights and want the court to overturn the 1977 Supreme Court case extending agency fees to public workers. In other words, yes, here’s an instance of teacher voice and activism the unions aren’t so excited about.

http://go.uen.org/460

 

 


 

 

 

The graduation rates from every school district* in one map A one-of-a-kind analysis of how each district fares Hechinger Report commentary by columnist SARAH BUTRYMOWICZ

 

Until now, if you wanted to know how a school district’s high school graduation rate fared against other states or regions, you’d have to rely on state averages from the federal government.

We decided that’s not good enough.

Since we’re becoming a little obsessed with high school reform over here, I gathered the district-level statistics nationwide and compiled them for anyone else as curious as we are.

The government mandated a uniform way of calculating high school graduation rates beginning with the class of 2011. Since then, the national rate rose from 79 percent to 81 percent in 2013. It ranges from 69 percent in Oregon to nearly 90 percent in Iowa. But with only state-level figures published, that’s an incomplete picture, since low-performers are masked into averages.

Hence this map.

http://go.uen.org/46p

 

 


 

 

Is free school lunch the next great American entitlement program?

(Washington, DC) The Hill op-ed by Jeff Stier, enior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, and Julie Kelly, a food writer in Orland Park, Ill.

 

As Congress considers changes to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), one little-known section of the law is expected to sharply increase the number of students receiving free lunch (and breakfast) over the next several years. This includes taxpayer-funded meals for students who would not have previously qualified under the old rules.

The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allows entire school districts, rather than individual families, to qualify for subsidized meals. This is a stark departure from how the program has been administered over the last 70 years, when families needed to prove financial need. Now, all students in a school district are eligible if more than 40 percent are low-income. So even if only half of the students actually qualify, every single student will receive a free breakfast and lunch each day.

This school year was the first time the CEP was fully implemented after a three-year pilot program. The number of participants — and cost of the program — is expected to rise again next school year.

http://go.uen.org/46a

 

 


 

 

State Laws on Weighted Lotteries and Enrollment Practices National Alliance for Public Charter Schools analysis by Lauren E. Baum

 

In January 2014, the U.S. Department of Education issued updated guidance that expanded the circumstances under which public charter schools receiving Charter Schools Program (CSP) funds may elect to use a weighted lottery in admissions. According to the guidance, public charter schools receiving CSP funds may now use weighted lotteries to give slightly better chances for admission to all or a subset of educationally disadvantaged students if state law permits the use of such weighted lotteries.

The requirement that state law specifically permit the use of weighted lotteries—as made clear in the analysis that follows—is particularly limiting. Few states have language that clearly permits weighted lotteries for public charter schools. The National Alliance is concerned that without individual state legislative or regulatory action, the guidance will likely yield few waivers.

As Congress considers reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the National Alliance has recommended changes to law to ensure that weighted lotteries are permitted unless state law specifically prohibits the practice. This legislative proposal would make it significantly easier for schools to take advantage of weighted lotteries as a means to serve more educationally disadvantaged students. ESEA legislation in the House and Senate includes the National Alliance’s recommendations.

This paper is intended to offer a state-by-state analysis of whether weighted lotteries are permitted or may be permitted under current guidance from the Department of Education.

http://go.uen.org/461

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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House Begins Process to Reconsider ESEA Reauthorization Education Week

 

The week after Independence Day could be a blockbuster moment for congressional efforts to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

In addition to the U.S. Senate having already scheduled floor debate for a proposed reauthorization bill on July 7, the House Rules Committee, which decides how bills are debated on the chamber floor, scheduled a meeting for the same day to consider for a second time its version of the federal K-12 rewrite. That would set up a vote for as early as July 8.

For months, House Republicans have been hoping to resurrect the debate on the bill, which was yanked from the floor in February after it unexpectedly began losing support from GOP members.

The announcement, posted Wednesday on the committee’s web site, doesn’t give much detail about how the measure will be reconsidered and which new amendments would be ruled in order, but there’s likely to be at least a handful.

http://go.uen.org/46m

 

 


 

 

Backers of Bush Nonprofit Include Banks, Schools, Lottery Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON — Big-time donors to a nonprofit educational group founded by Jeb Bush, disclosed for the first time Wednesday, highlight the intersection between Bush’s roles in the worlds of business, policy and politics years before he began running for president. Bush provided the names to The Associated Press.

After leaving the Florida governor’s office in 2007, Bush formed the Foundation for Excellence in Education, with a mission “to build an American education system that equips every child to achieve their God-given potential.” With Bush serving as president, the group attracted $46 million from donors through 2014.

That donor list shows the circular connections as Bush moved from governor to education advocate to corporate board member. Supporters in each of those stages of his career contributed to his educational foundation – which, in turn, sometimes supported causes benefiting its donors. They include Rupert Murdoch’s media giant News Corp., GOP mega-donor Paul Singer’s foundation, energy companies such as Exxon Mobil, even the Florida Lottery.

The voluntary release of the donor names comes less than 24 hours after Bush took the unprecedented step of releasing 33 years of personal tax returns.

Both disclosures are part of a larger effort by Bush’s campaign to highlight transparency. The narrative aspires to help Bush stand out among the crowded GOP Republican field provide a contrast with Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. She has faced criticism about using a private email server and accepting donations from foreign governments through her family’s nonprofit while secretary of state.

The documents provided to The Associated Press show donors listed by range of contribution broken into eight categories – with $5,000-$10,000 at the low end and $1 million and over at the top. The total does not include contributions below $5,000.

Records show:

-Bush’s education nonprofit provided $1.1 million in public information grants to eight states in 2013, its tax form shows. In recent years, at least nine charter school and education-related donors to the Foundation for Excellence in Education won contracts in those eight states, revealing the mirrored missions of donors and the foundation.

Education outfits such as Charter Schools USA, the publishing and education company Pearson PLC and Renaissance Learning were frequent contributors. So were financial groups and big businesses, with the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation giving from $1.6 million to $3.25 million and the SunTrust Bank Foundation $300,003 to $750,000. Exxon Mobil Corp., Duke Energy and BP America made nine contributions combined.

http://go.uen.org/466

 

http://go.uen.org/46q (WaPo)

 

http://go.uen.org/46t (USAT)

 

 


 

 

 

Supreme Court Case Poses Threat to Teachers’ Union Financing Education Week

 

The U.S. Supreme Court this week agreed to hear a challenge to its 40-year-old precedent permitting public-sector unions to compel nonmembers to pay service fees, a move that threatens to further undercut the already weakened labor organizations, including in K-12 education.

If the court overrules its 1977 decision, teachers’ unions in 25 states and the District of Columbia could no longer collect the fees from teachers who do not wish to be members. They would face the elimination of a significant source of revenue, and would almost certainly experience member defections.

“The court is threatening to put a dagger very close to the heart, financially speaking, of the way labor unions operate,” said Lee Howard Adler, a lecturer at Cornell University’s Institute of Labor Relations and an expert on public-sector bargaining.

Brought by 10 California teachers and a Christian educators’ group they belong to, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association alleges that requiring nonmembers to pay what’s called “fair share” or “agency” fees violates the teachers’ constitutional rights to free speech.

Unions charge those service fees to cover the administrative cost of bargaining policies that benefit all teachers, such as salary increases.

http://go.uen.org/46k

 

 


 

 

Suit accuses L.A. Unified of diverting millions meant for needy students Los Angeles Times

 

The Los Angeles Unified School District has illegally shortchanged high-needs students of millions of dollars meant for them under the state’s new school finance system, a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges.

The suit claims that improper accounting will cost those students more than $400 million by next June and up to $2 billion by 2020.

Under the state’s landmark reform of its school funding system two years ago, districts receive more dollars for students who are low-income, learning English or in foster care. But districts are required to invest in increased or improved services for them.

At issue is $450 million in special education funds that L.A. Unified counted in 2013-14 as part of its existing spending on high-needs students — a figure that helped set the amount of new required investments for them. The district has said it is only counting dollars spent on special education students who are also low-income, learning English or in foster care — all told, 79% of them.

But John Affeldt of Public Advocates Inc., one of three organizations that filed the suit, said that money is being spent on special education needs — not primarily to help students overcome learning challenges based on language, income or foster placement, as required by state law.

http://go.uen.org/467

 

 


 

 

 

State releases a first look at Common Core test results

(Boise) Idaho Statesman

 

The job ahead is clear: Boost math knowledge, improve English.

Four years after Idaho joined a 43-state movement toward a set of standards in math and English language arts, the first test results are in. The State Department of Education released statewide data Wednesday showing that only half of students or less in grades three through eight and 10th grade are proficient or above in math and English.

Math is more troublesome than English, but both need attention.

The Boise and West Ada school districts outperformed the state as a whole in each grade and category. Nampa and Caldwell results were not immediately available.

“We have always had to start somewhere,” said Debbie Critchfield, a State Board of Education member from Oakley. “It gives us a great leaping-off place for our teachers and, I think, for parents.”

Results from the Common Core test — the Idaho Standards Achievement Test by Smarter Balanced, named for the consortium of states that put the exam together — will allow the state to “look at where our students are now. We are able to take that information and provide resources,” Critchfield said.

http://go.uen.org/468

 

 


 

 

 

Can 5-year-olds in Mississippi conquer the Common Core?

Standards are becoming harder and Mississippi kindergartens start school behind their peers in other states.

Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger

 

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. – It was only 10:30 a.m. on a late spring day at Enterprise Attendance Center, and Landon Delcambre had already learned how to make estimates while watching six students guess the number of buttons in a jar. He had listened to a weather report from two students. And in what was perhaps the highlight of lesson-filled day, he’d counted to 100 with the help of a YouTube video featuring a “counting superhero.”

Landon, six, is among the Mississippi kindergarten students who are learning new, more challenging academic standards such as counting to 100 by ones and tens. For many years, they only needed to count to 20 before moving on to first grade.

He doesn’t find the new standard too hard. “I already knowed how to count to 100,” Landon said calmly, sitting back at his desk after the video. “I didn’t learn it. I just knew for years.”

Yet Landon’s confidence isn’t shared by some educators and experts who argue the new standards are too hard for students just starting school, even though it appears they are here to stay. Against a swirl of protest, Gov. Phil Bryant in April vetoed a bill that would have forced the state to re-examine Common Core Standards adopted five years ago for all grades.

Now called the Mississippi College-and-Career Readiness Standards, the standards are particularly challenging in the early grades like kindergarten, where students are expected to learn skills previously expected from 7- or 8-year-olds.

http://go.uen.org/469

 

 


 

 

 

Study: Military kids’ public schools rate average Military Times

 

A study on the quality of schools that serve Army children shows mixed results about the education of military kids — and even those results are limited.

The study has not been publicly released, but Army officials have discussed the findings with local school district officials. The study, conducted by WestEd, looks at how schools with 200 or more Army-connected students compare with other public schools within their states. Defense Department schools on military installations are compared to other schools within the Department of Defense Education Activity system.

The study was launched in 2013 by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, who raised concerns about the quality of education for military children that were similar to those raised by former Chief of Staff Gen. Dennis Reimer in the late 1990s.

http://go.uen.org/46u

 

 


 

 

The Myth of a Teacher’s ‘Summer Vacation’

The “last day of school” is a misnomer.

Atlantic

 

In a freshly painted fifth-grade classroom, Natalie Klem sits with a group of teachers planning an orientation for next year’s incoming class at Lead Prep Southeast in Nashville. It’s the beginning of July, and she’d had her “last day” of school just over a month earlier.

“I can’t remember the last summer I didn’t work,” says Klem, who’s been teaching math for six years in public schools, both traditional and charter. Klem typically tries to spend most of June completely disconnected; she avoids answering emails, developing plans for the upcoming year, and spending any time on campus.

“But that’s not what actually happens most of the time,” she says.

Teaching entails a schedule unlike that of most other careers. Ostensibly, the typical teacher in the United States works 180 or so days annually, which comes with an average starting salary of a little over $36,000. But that excludes the work that he or she probably does throughout the summer, after school hours, and on the weekends. That 180-day policy is also a measure of the amount of time students—not necessarily teachers—must be in school. It doesn’t take into account professional-development time, parent-teacher conferences, and “in-service” skills-training days, for example.

Because of the low starting salary, teaching is considered a poorly paid profession compared to other careers involving similar background and education requirements, such as registered nurses or accountants. Arne Duncan, the U.S. education secretary, has said that public-school teachers are “desperately underpaid,” and has advocated for doubling their starting pay.

http://go.uen.org/46r

 

 


 

 

Teachers tap into brain science to boost learning NewsHour

 

Research on the brain and how we think and act is influencing the way some teachers teach. Special correspondent John Tulenko of Learning Matters goes into a classroom where the instructor uses different methods to engage different parts of the students’ brains, then checks with a neuroscientist about whether that strategy actually works.

http://go.uen.org/46n

 


 

 

Ronald Thorpe, National Board President and Education Advocate, Dies at 63 Education Week

 

Ronald Thorpe, president and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, died today after a battle with lung cancer. He was 63 years old.

Thorpe had led the National Board since 2011, ushering in significant changes designed to increase the profile of the organization’s flagship advanced certification program and bolster teachers’ professional status nationally.

Thorpe, a well-known  and energetic presence in the K-12 field, worked as an education advocate in various capacities over 40 years. Prior to joining the National Board, he served as vice president for education at the New York public television station WNET.

http://go.uen.org/45Z

 

 


 

 

 

At Majority-Minority Schools, Confederate Names Remain Texas Tribune

 

At Midland’s Robert E. Lee High School — where 31 percent of the student body is white — the football team is nicknamed the Rebels and fans sometimes fly Confederate flags to show their support. But a civil rights group has called for change.

Across the state at Houston’s Lee High School, which is 4 percent white, district leaders dropped the “Robert E.” from the school’s title years ago to distance the school from the Confederate general.

Those schools are two of many across the state grappling with old Confederate names. Many of those school names are decades old. But many of those schools’ populations represent the new Texas – with nonwhites making up more than half of their students.

http://go.uen.org/46o

 

 


 

 

Not All Districts Warm to Miller’s Food Initiative Texas Tribune

 

Students eager to purchase soda and fried foods when they return to school in the fall may be disappointed, despite Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s recent announcement that both will be welcome back on Texas public school campuses after a 10-year ban.

To the dismay of nutritionists and public health experts, Miller reversed the department’s ban on soda machines and deep fat fryers in mid-June as part of a new state nutrition policy calling for more local foods, community engagement and training to help schools serve meals that are “attractive and taste great.”

But many large school districts aren’t warming to Miller’s initiative.

“Despite the reversal, we believe the healthy changes that have been made to our school menus remain in the best interest of our students,” said Melissa Martinez, a spokeswoman for the El Paso school district. “It also would be cost prohibitive to retrofit all of our kitchens with deep fryers.”

http://go.uen.org/462

 

 


 

 

 

In ever-changing home economics field, teachers are still in demand Omaha (NE) World-Herald

 

Forty years ago, when Cheryl Tschetter started teaching at what was then McMillan Junior High, boys were for the first time allowed to take home economics and girls could enroll in shop class.

Her home ec focus was decidedly domestic: She taught cake decorating, child care and sewing.

Over the years, home ec was rebranded as “family and consumer sciences.” Middle and high school classes shifted to include more career exploration, personal finance, family dynamics and nutrition, especially as childhood obesity rates and the popularity of processed foods grew.

Even as the field evolved, Tschetter said her classes focused on teaching kids the practical skills they need but might not learn at home: how to replace a shirt button, cook a healthy meal, unscrew a doorknob and write a check. (Tschetter admits that the check-writing part might need an update.) http://go.uen.org/46l

 

 


 

 

 

Valedictorian Gives Graduation Speech At School Where Dad Is Custodian, Thanks Him For Sacrifices Huffington Post

 

A daughter showed gratitude for her father’s hard work through her tremendous achievements.

Biiftu Duresso, an 18-year-old from Rochester, New York, graduated at the top of her class this past Saturday from Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School, WHAM reported. During her graduation speech, the valedictorian took the time to thank those who inspired her including her father, Jamal Abdullahi, an Ethiopian immigrant who works nights as a supervising custodian at her school, as well as her mother, MyFoxNy.com reported.

“My parents, Jamal and Zubaida, made their way to Rochester, New York, from Ethiopia in the ’80s and ’90s,” Duresso said in her speech, according to MyFoxNY.com. “They had the audacity to imagine something better for me and my siblings.”

http://go.uen.org/46s

 

 


 

 

Sonia Manzano, Who Played Maria on ‘Sesame Street,’ Retiring Associated Press

 

NEW YORK — “Sesame Street” is about to be less A-OK. Sonia Manzano, who has played the role of Maria on the groundbreaking kid show since 1971, is retiring.

Manzano, 65, broke the news earlier this week at the American Library Association Annual Conference. She said she wouldn’t be part of PBS’ new “Sesame Street” season.

A beloved resident of Sesame Street since she was a teenager, the character Maria owned the neighborhood repair shop with husband Luis (played by Emilio Delgado, who remains on the show).

http://go.uen.org/465

 

http://go.uen.org/46B (WaPo)

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

July 2:

Utah State Board of Education Law and Licensing Committee hearing

6:30 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.utah.gov/pmn/sitemap/notice/278239.html

 

 

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/Interim/2015/html/00003031.htm

 

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

8:30 a.m., 30 House Building

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

 

 

August 6-7:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

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