Education News Roundup: July 20, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Parent Engagement Checklist

U.S. Department of Education Parent Engagement Checklist

Today’s Top Picks:

Trib looks at online classes offered over the summer.
http://go.uen.org/4cu (SLT)

KSL looks at preschool and all-day kindergarten that will be offered in Park City.
http://go.uen.org/4cV (KSL)

Can school lunch be both good and healthy? Wait, can any lunch be both good and healthy?
http://go.uen.org/4cK (KSL)

Sens. Cruz and Paul may be looking to get votes among the opt-out crowd.
http://go.uen.org/4cU (Politico)

Education Department offers a checklist for parents looking to engage with their local schools.
http://go.uen.org/4cP (AP)
or http://go.uen.org/4cQ (ED)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

School’s out for the summer? Not for thousands of ambitious or catching-up
Utah students Education » Classroom, online offerings in summer give high schoolers a variety of options.

Preschool, all-day kindergarten coming to all Park City schools

Utah schools look for kid-friendly solutions to school lunch law

Utah K-12 schools to receive $45.8 million in interest, dividends from trust fund

Provo camp helps girls becoming coding rock stars

U.S. House, Senate Set to Replace No Child Left Behind

Farmington girl wins healthy recipe contest, meets First Lady

Ex-inmate now offers scholarships to kids of incarcerated parents

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Thumbs up, thumbs down

Public Lands Initiative is successfully building a lasting plan

Correcting the BIG mistake in public education

Help your child start school with confidence

Senators propose Kremlin-style state school board

The hollow core at the center of the main education law’s rewrite

Biggest Loser if ESEA Passes? Maybe the Next Education Secretary

NATION

GOP candidates join testing opt-out movement
Conservative presidential hopefuls in the Senate are trying to keep their talking points on education trendy.

State’s top school choice official resigns after illegal e-school omission

Private school parents demand $5K payments

Unions seethe over early Clinton endorsement
Labor leaders said there was a clear understanding that no national unions would make an endorsement before July 30. But the American Federation of Teachers jumped the gun.

N.S.A. Summer Camp: More Hacking Than Hiking

Food chief vows highly rated Bozeman High lunches will stay healthy

WIAA on home-school sports law: ‘It’s just confusing’

New Checklist Aims to Help Parents Engage with Schools

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UTAH NEWS
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School’s out for the summer?
Not for thousands of ambitious or catching-up Utah students Education » Classroom, online offerings in summer give high schoolers a variety of options.

While his classmates were enjoying the summer sun, 10th-grader Jace Barrett was at Bingham High School, making his way through a worksheet on complex numbers.
A nearby poster encouraged Barrett to “Eat, Sleep, Do Math,” and a broken air conditioning system had scattered his fellow academic exiles through the school’s empty halls in search of a cool breeze.
For two weeks, Barrett arrived at school at 8 a.m. and studied until 4:15 p.m.
“Waking up is not the bad part,” he said. “It’s getting here early for eight hours straight of hard math.”
That daily classroom grind is a far cry from idyllic images of summer break, but Barrett said it’s worth the sacrifice to earn a year’s worth of math credit in a few weeks of summer school.
When the summer course ends this month, he’ll have completed the requirements for Secondary Math 2 Honors, allowing him to leapfrog ahead of his sophomore peers into junior-level honors math.
“I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up, so I’m just trying to get all my math done,” he said.
The courses at Bingham High School are part of a suite of summertime options now available to students looking to either jump ahead or catch up on course credits. Less a summer school free-for-all for delinquents, the new and increasing online and brick-and-mortar course list is an attempt to meet student demand in an era of declining classroom time during the school year.
http://go.uen.org/4cu (SLT)

Preschool, all-day kindergarten coming to all Park City schools

PARK CITY — Busy kindergartners inspected soil and got their hands dirty for science class — but most impressively, they did it in mid-July.
While most schools are off for summer break, McPolin Elementary in Park City offers full-day summer school.
“We recognize the need,” said principal Bob Edmiston.
Park City School District already offers additional programs to help students who need to catch up, but administrators are about to take drastic measures.
“We know that we have to minimize that academic achievement gap,” said PCSD Superintendent Ember Conley. “And all-day kindergarten is the best way to do that.”
Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, every elementary will offer all-day kindergarten and high-quality preschool.
http://go.uen.org/4cV (KSL)

Utah schools look for kid-friendly solutions to school lunch law

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah schools are still searching for ways to serve meals that appeal to young tastes while complying with the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which recently mandated periodic overhauls for school lunches.
Since the federal law’s implementation in 2012, students have been required to take a serving of fruit or vegetables with every lunch. In most cases, this led to irked students, higher meal costs and concerned school nutritionists watching students put those higher costs, almost literally, into the garbage.
But thousands of school nutritionists from around the country gathered in Salt Lake City on Monday to find innovative solutions that could help them provide meals that are both nutritious and tasty for students.
http://go.uen.org/4cK (KSL)

Utah K-12 schools to receive $45.8 million in interest, dividends from trust fund

SALT LAKE CITY – Elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the state will receive $45.8 million in School LAND Trust funds for the 2015-2016 school year, up 17 percent over last year. The School LAND Trust Office of the Utah Board of Education will distribute the record $45.8 million in annual interest and dividends from the $2 billion Permanent School Fund at no cost to Utah taxpayers.
“This program provides fast-growing, tax-free money for Utah’s schools,” said Tim Donaldson, School Children’s Trust Director for the Utah State Board of Education. “Distributions have doubled in the past five years.”
http://go.uen.org/4cL (KCSG)

http://go.uen.org/4cT (KSL)

Provo camp helps girls becoming coding rock stars

PROVO — Thirty-seven girls gathered in two separate rooms this week, armed with laptops, headphones — and most importantly snacks — ready to learn about coding.
“I may be a coder, but I probably am going to be a rock star,” 8-year-old Faith Anderson of Spanish Fork said about her future career in technology. That proclamation came after extensively talking about her other passion — Disney princesses. Rapunzel is her favorite.
As an effort to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics career paths for women, InsideSales.com conducted its first ever coding camp for girls ages 7 to 14.
“They have been learning how to write software, how to solve problems, how to break things down into discrete chunks that you can actually code,” explained Mike Plante, vice president of marketing at InsideSales.com.
During the beginning of the week, the girls completed a standardized test to decide their placement into either the beginning or intermediate coding group — which effectively split the girls into a younger and older group.
Despite age differences, the curriculum taught to both groups at Code Camp is similar, albeit taught at different paces.
http://go.uen.org/4cD (DN)

http://go.uen.org/4cI (PDH)

U.S. House, Senate Set to Replace No Child Left Behind

Both the U-S House and Senate have now passed versions of a bill to replace the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind.
Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch had a hand in crafting the Senate compromise which passed handily 81 to 17. He says despite good intentions, No Child Left Behind’s high stakes testing requirements hampered student learning and hurt schools.
“Instead of sending artificial and unattainable requirements, the new legislation allows states to set their own standards for success,” Hatch said, speaking on the Senate Floor.
The Senate bill, called the Every Child Achieves Act also allows states to establish their own accountability systems.
Republican Senator Mike Lee disagrees with Hatch. He says it doesn’t go far enough to shrink the federal government’s role in public education, specifically in early childhood education.
http://go.uen.org/4cM (KUER)

http://go.uen.org/4cN (KTVX)

Farmington girl wins healthy recipe contest, meets First Lady

FARMINGTON — Creating her own sushi recipe for the 2015 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge landed Farmington Elementary third-grader Indiana Coyle a trip to the White House recently, where she met First Lady Michelle Obama.
The nationwide recipe contest for kids ages 8 through 12 was started to promote cooking and healthy eating, and resulted in celebrating the winners from each state at a dinner hosted by Obama.
However, Indiana almost missed her chance to participate, having heard about the contest just the day before recipe submissions were due.
http://go.uen.org/4cF (OSE)

Ex-inmate now offers scholarships to kids of incarcerated parents

SALT LAKE CITY — A man convicted of the attempted murder of a Salt Lake County sheriff’s deputy in 1988 has turned his life around in an unlikely way.
Karl Winsness spent more than 15 years in prison. Ten years after being released, he’s helping shape the lives of youth, and his story is getting national attention. This week People magazine picked up his story.
http://go.uen.org/4cE (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Thumbs up, thumbs down
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

Thumbs up: That crime in schools is down across the nation, according to a report from the departments of Education and Justice. The good includes a sharp decline in the number of secondary students being abused.
http://go.uen.org/4cG

Public Lands Initiative is successfully building a lasting plan
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Marcia Argust, project director of the U.S. Public Lands Program for the Pew Charitable Trusts, Mike McKee, Uintah County commissioner, and Ethan Migliori, Emery County commissioner

More than two years ago, two Utah congressmen, Republicans Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz — working closely with Gov. Gary Herbert — launched the Utah Public Lands Initiative (PLI), aimed at ending three decades of uncertainty over whether to protect or develop public lands in eastern Utah.
We are among the dozens of stakeholders in this ongoing collaborative effort, which also includes other county commissioners, state legislators, Native Americans, Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), conservation interests, recreationists and ranchers.
As Bishop has said, the Public Lands Initiative is rooted in the belief that conservation and economic development can coexist and make Utah a better place to live, work and visit. If successful, this effort will settle some of the most challenging land disputes in the state.
http://go.uen.org/4ct

Correcting the BIG mistake in public education
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by LYNN STODDARD, author of “Educating for Human Greatness”

It may come as a surprise to many people that America has 50 government-controlled public education systems that are built on a false, low estimate of human potential. In this article I will show what we have and compare it with what we could have with a higher vision. Then I will suggest some things we could do to correct our BIG mistake.
http://go.uen.org/4cH

Help your child start school with confidence
KSL commentary by Kim Giles, founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com

SALT LAKE CITY — In this edition of LIFEadvice Coach Kim gives great tips for helping your child overcome back to school fears and figure out who her or she wants to be this year.
http://go.uen.org/4cJ

Senators propose Kremlin-style state school board
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Blair Bateman

I laughed out loud at the “compromise” proposed by three Republican state senators in which the state school board would comprise four members chosen through a nonpartisan election, four chosen through a partisan election and five appointed by the governor.
The esteemed senators might as well have called their plan what it really is: a system that is four parts democracy and nine parts oligarchy.
http://go.uen.org/4cC

The hollow core at the center of the main education law’s rewrite
Washington Post editorial

THE REWRITE of No Child Left Behind that passed the Senate on Thursday is called the Every Child Achieves Act. But there’s a hollow ring to the name, given the failure of lawmakers to put in place any requirements that states actually do something about schools that consistently fail to help their students achieve. As the legislation goes to a conference committee, President Obama should make clear he will veto any measure that doesn’t make states accountable.
Overhaul of the 13-year-old No Child Left Behind, the principal federal K-12 education law, is long overdue. In that sense, the Senate’s 81 to 17 vote for a bipartisan measure crafted by education committee leaders Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) is a significant step, even if differences with the narrowly passed House bill make prospects for enacted legislation uncertain.
There are things to admire about the Senate bill, particularly when viewed against the deficient House measure. It preserves the annual math and reading testing for students and the requirement that scores, broken down by race, income and special needs, be made public. Both were core features of No Child Left Behind and have done much to help boost student achievement. That’s particularly true for disadvantaged students whose struggles had previously been masked.
However, in an effort to address No Child Left Behind’s unrealistic definitions of school progress and overly prescriptive requirements for state and district actions, the Senate went too far.
http://go.uen.org/4cv

Biggest Loser if ESEA Passes? Maybe the Next Education Secretary
Education Week commentary by columnist Alyson Klein

The House and Senate bills to revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act are largely seen as a big poke in the eye to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who pushed through sweeping changes to K-12 policy through waivers from the existing version of the law, without Congress’ approval.
But if an eventual rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act becomes law without major changes before the Obama administration leaves town, there may be an even bigger loser than Duncan: His successor.
Under both pieces of legislation, the person at the helm of Education Department wouldn’t get to do much on K-12 policy, other than cut checks, give speeches … oh yes, and quickly approve state accountability plans.
Granted, that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun for Duncan. But he has only about 18 months left in office, probably even less by the time a bill makes it through conference and onto President Barack Obama’s desk. Plus, his power is on the wane, anyway.
The legislation could be a bigger bummer, though, for a newly minted education secretary who arrives in Washington wanting to help an incoming president (Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, whoever) get his or her K-12 agenda off the runway.
http://go.uen.org/4cR

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NATIONAL NEWS
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GOP candidates join testing opt-out movement
Conservative presidential hopefuls in the Senate are trying to keep their talking points on education trendy.
Politico

Republican presidential hopefuls in the Senate have joined the fast-growing movement encouraging students to opt out of the standardized tests that have become a part of everyday life in American schools.
The emphasis on testing has only been been ratcheted up in the era of Common Core, the education standards backed by Jeb Bush but vilified by most other Republicans. The new national political interest in testing could give even more momentum to the calls from thousands of parents and state lawmakers for students to skip the tests, despite threats from the federal government to cut off federal dollars if too few kids show up on exam day.
In a twist, the issue is putting conservatives on the same side of the issue as teachers unions and parents and even some Democrats, all of whom have called for cutting back on testing and the consequences that can result from the scores.
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) concentrated on opt-out issues last week during their chamber’s debate on No Child Left Behind, rejecting the standardized tests mandated by the George W. Bush-era law. Cruz, Paul and others offered amendments designed to ensure the government keeps its hands off of students’ opt-out rights.
In April and May, thousands of students skipped testing in states including New York and Pennsylvania. In Washington state, preliminary results showed fewer than half of high school juniors took new Common Core-aligned tests this spring.
http://go.uen.org/4cU

State’s top school choice official resigns after illegal e-school omission
Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer

COLUMBUS, Ohio — David Hansen, the school choice director for the Ohio Department of Education, resigned late Saturday after throwing failing grades for online schools out of key charter school evaluations.
The Plain Dealer reported in June that Hansen, the husband of Gov. John Kasich’s chief of staff and campaign manager Beth Hansen, had intentionally left F grades for online schools out of academic evaluations of charter school oversight agencies.
Those F grades for schools with thousands of students and run by major Republican donors would have dragged down the rating of the oversight agencies, possibly costing them access to new perks from the state.
State school board members said this week that not counting those schools violates state law. They and State Sen. Peggy Lehner, the Republican chair of the Senate Education Committee, confirmed that omission by questioning Hansen at Tuesday’s board meeting.
Hansen told the board that counting those grades would “mask” successes of other charter schools, but state board members note that the law only allows new schools and schools for disabled children to be left out.
http://go.uen.org/4cx

Private school parents demand $5K payments
Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal

When Ron Nelson heard about a new program paying Nevada families $5,000 per child attending private school or homeschool, he was ecstatic.
For years, he’d been paying out of pocket for his children to attend Catholic school in Las Vegas.
At last, the state would chip in.
Then he read the fine print: Students must be enrolled in public school for 100 consecutive school days at the time of applying for the money. That makes his children and 34,000 others already in Nevada private schools ineligible.
http://go.uen.org/4cy

Unions seethe over early Clinton endorsement
Labor leaders said there was a clear understanding that no national unions would make an endorsement before July 30. But the American Federation of Teachers jumped the gun.
Politico

There was never any question that the powerful American Federation of Teachers — a union representing 1.6 million educators across the country — would endorse Hillary Clinton for president.
But on Saturday, when the AFT became the first international labor union to make an endorsement in the contest by announcing its support of Clinton, it drew sharp criticism from teachers as well as other labor leaders, who questioned the timing amid Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ surge in popularity.
Labor leaders said there was a clear understanding that before July 30 — when all of the Democratic candidates have an hourlong interview at AFL-CIO headquarters and could be grilled on their positions on controversial issues like trade — no national unions (the AFT is one of the 56 national and international unions that make up the AFL-CIO) would make an endorsement.
In 2007, the AFT didn’t endorse Clinton until October.
“A request was made, and there was an expectation that people were going to at least allow the AFL-CIO process to proceed,” said one labor operative. “When the AFL-CIO was asking people not to make endorsements, why did they feel the need to do it in such a hurried fashion?” Other labor leaders described the move as “an insult” to endorse now, when so many labor leaders harbor lingering concerns over trade and plan to press their issues in two weeks.
AFT members have also expressed concern. Online, close to 4,000 teachers have signed a Change.org petition calling on the AFT to withdraw its endorsement. On Facebook, a post about the union’s endorsement has thousands of comments expressing dissent.
http://go.uen.org/4cS

N.S.A. Summer Camp: More Hacking Than Hiking
New York Times

ARLINGTON, Va. — This is not your typical summer sleepaway camp.
Bonfires and archery? Try Insecure Direct Object References and A1­Injections.
The dozen or so teenagers staring at computers in a Marymount University classroom here on a recent day were learning — thanks to a new National Security Agency cybersecurity program that reaches down into the ranks of American high school and middle school students — the entry­level art of cracking encrypted passwords.
“We basically tried a dictionary attack,” Ben Winiger, 16, of Johnson City, Tenn., said as he typed a new command into John The Ripper, a software tool that helps test and break passwords. “Now we’re trying a brute­force attack.”
Others in the room stumbled through the exercise more slowly, getting help from faculty instructors who had prepped them with a lecture on the ethics of hacking. In other words, they were effectively told, do not try this at home.
http://go.uen.org/4cO

Food chief vows highly rated Bozeman High lunches will stay healthy
Bozeman (MT) Daily Chronicle

Bozeman High School’s cafeteria food is rated the best in Montana and its lunches will remain healthy, even after departing from strict federal nutrition rules, promises the man in charge of school food.
Bozeman High’s food ranks in the top 100 nationally, Bob Burrows, food service director for 22 years, said Friday. It’s listed at No. 65 in Niche.com’s survey, based on comments by 215,000 students and parents on 3,800 schools for 2013-14.
A high ranking means the school offers a variety of healthy, quality food options and accommodates vegan and gluten-free customers and students rate the food favorably.
“We were the only school in Montana that got an A grade,” Burrows said. “That’s a pretty big deal.”
He is trying to get that message out to the public after Bozeman School Board trustees voted 5-3 Monday to leave the National School Lunch Program. Most of the letters sent by parents and nutritionists opposed abandoning the federal school food rules.
The high school has traditionally had an open campus at lunch and students have been leaving the cafeteria for fast-food restaurants and grocery stores. The school food service, which is supposed to be financially self-supporting, lost $35,000 last year, which Burrows called “a drastic loss.”
He argued the downward trend would only worsen as the Obama administration — in an effort to fight a national epidemic of obesity — puts ever-stricter limits on salt, fat and calories.
http://go.uen.org/4cw

WIAA on home-school sports law: ‘It’s just confusing’
Milwaukee (WI) Journal Sentinel

A new state law that allows home-school students to play on school district sports teams is causing confusion for the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletics Association, which says the law conflicts with its membership requirements.
The law is part of the state budget signed by Gov. Scott Walker on Sunday. It says school districts should permit home-school pupils to participate in interscholastic athletics and extracurriculars “on the same basis and to the same extent” as district students.
But Wade Labecki, deputy director for the WIAA, said if that’s interpreted to mean that home-schoolers have to play under the same rules as district students, they’d have to be enrolled in a full load of classes, meet age requirements and have clean discipline records. That’s what most school boards require of players, because those are the requirements of the WIAA, he said.
“We’re trying to figure out what the best advice is for our member schools so there’s not a conflict between WIAA rules and state law,” Labecki said.
Walker’s office this week maintained the new law is quite clear.
http://go.uen.org/4cz

New Checklist Aims to Help Parents Engage with Schools
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Seeking to engage parents more in their children’s education, the Obama administration on Friday released a checklist of questions they should be asking schools.
“I have never met a parent who doesn’t want the best for their child. However, it can be hard for families to know how to support their child’s education,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. “Engaging with their educators is a good place to start.”
The checklist is divided into sets of questions officials say parents should ask educators. They cover such areas as the quality of education, how progress is measured, school safety and student engagement.
It also encourages parents to talk to their children about their education.
The Education Department partnered with the United Negro College Fund, the national Parent-Teacher Association and other organizations to create the guide for parents and caregivers.
http://go.uen.org/4cP

http://go.uen.org/4cQ (ED)

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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

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

August 13:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://go.uen.org/1pn

August 18:
Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
2 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2015&com=APPEXE

August 19:
Education Interim Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 30 House Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2015&com=INTEDU

August 27:
Charter School Funding Task Force meeting
1 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2015&com=TSKCSF

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