Education News Roundup July 23, 2015

WaiverLetterToday’s Top Picks:

Utah’s ESEA flexibility waiver is approved.
http://go.uen.org/4eH (Ed Week)
and http://go.uen.org/4eJ (USBE)
or a copy of the approval letter and the waiver http://go.uen.org/4eI (ED)

Washington County School District is premiering a documentary of its 100-year history.
http://go.uen.org/4ei (SGS)

Grand County School District discusses tax increases.
http://go.uen.org/4eE (Moab Times-Independent)

An aide to Sen. Alexander says an ESEA reauthorization is coming … but it may not arrive until later in the year.
http://go.uen.org/4eq (WaPo)

The House begins work on a FERPA overhaul.
http://go.uen.org/4e5 (Ed Week)
and http://go.uen.org/4e7 (The Hill)
or a copy of the bill
http://go.uen.org/4e6 (Congress.gov)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Seven States Get NCLB Waiver Renewals, Including Opt-Out Friendly Oregon

World premiere of “On Dreams of Dixie” documentary set

Grand’s school taxes to rise due to two bills passed by Utah Legislature

Contractors staying busy at Lehi schools

Utah Connections Academy offers alternative to traditional teaching

Orem principal finds new home for old textbooks

State finds no fault following complaint against ICSD

Jury will continue deliberating case of former Utah school bus driver accused of molesting two young riders
Deliberation » After prosecutors tell them video corroborates sex-abuse charges, jury members weigh the case.

New income guidelines announced for free, reduced-price school meals

Utah Has Highest Percentage of Kids Under 14

Apple Tree program aims to get shelter kids back to school with supplies they need

School prayer lawsuit in Georgia settled outside of court

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Celebrating the drought?

High schools could use swimming pools

A Texas Teaching Moment
Why shouldn’t a home-schooling mother chair the school board?

Study: Common Core and Two Testing Consortia Violate Federal Laws, Are Unlikely to Improve Academic Achievement
“Competitive federalism” doesn’t run afoul of federal law, would produce better results

Twitter’s Anti-Common-Core Picture Show: Sauron, Big Macs, and Zombies

Teachers, states, and public pension reform

Rising to the Challenge
Views on High School Graduates’ Preparedness for College and Careers

Charter School Performance in Texas

NATION

Education groups urge Congress to finish the job on No Child Left Behind

Scaled-Back FERPA Overhaul Introduced in U.S. House

California’s top education official plans new accountability system to rate schools

Today’s newest teachers face tough job odds, high turnover

Center looks to improve Idaho’s science, math efforts

Immigration to U.S. from Mexico drops sharply: study

In summer heat, athletic trainers call for safety measures

Pearson’s Fallon Seen Turning to Education Deals After FT Sale

Mexico Officials Seize Control of Education Agency That Resisted Overhaul
Teachers union had opposed mandatory evaluations before it staged protests and strikes

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UTAH NEWS
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Seven States Get NCLB Waiver Renewals, Including Opt-Out Friendly Oregon

Seven more states got the green light from the U.S Department of Education Thursday to hang onto their flexibility from the mandates of the withering No Child Left Behind Act for at least one more year. They are: Alaska, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah.
Tennessee received a four-year waiver renewal for sticking to its initial timeline on teacher evaluation. (That’s despite the fact that the Volunteer State dialed back the degree to which test scores would count in performance reviews.) And Utah got only a one-year reprieve, which is all the state asked for, because the waiver has become increasingly unpopular there. (The other option on the table was to ditch the flexibility altogether.)
http://go.uen.org/4eH (Ed Week)

http://go.uen.org/4eJ (USBE)

A copy of the approval letter and the waiver
http://go.uen.org/4eI (ED)

World premiere of “On Dreams of Dixie” documentary set

The world premiere of “On Dreams of Dixie” will be the highlight during the kick-off celebrations for the 100-year anniversary of the Washington County School District.
The film’s executive producer, Cody Plumhof, said the documentary follows Utah’s early pioneers when they first started arriving in the state during the late 1800s.
The documentary takes viewers from classes that were first held in the back of covered wagons to 1915 when an order was issued for all the area schools to come together, forming Washington County School District.
http://go.uen.org/4ei (SGS)

Grand’s school taxes to rise due to two bills passed by Utah Legislature

Residents of Grand County and a portion of San Juan County will see an increase in the amount of property taxes collected for Utah schools this year. Unfortunately, according to Grand County School District Business Administrator Robert Farnsworth, the higher taxes won’t necessarily equate to extra money for local schools.
The Utah Legislature passed S.B. 97 this year in an effort to equalize property tax rates set by the state and collected by school districts.
“It will be a tax increase through the [state] basic levy that affects everyone,” Farnsworth said. “Everybody in the state is going to pay more.”
Because the Legislature sets the basic levy tax rate, the tax increase is not required to undergo the Truth in Taxation process, Farnsworth said.
“It happened,” he said. “There’s nothing we can do about it.”
http://go.uen.org/4eE (Moab Times-Independent)

Contractors staying busy at Lehi schools

LEHI — Alpine School District has been keeping contractors busy during summer break at many of its schools.
Perhaps nowhere has it been busier than Lehi.
It’s not often a community can boast of getting two new schools and major upgrades at two older schools, and DeAnn Kettenring has been sharing what she knows with her Lehi neighbors and friends.
http://go.uen.org/4eG (PDH)

Utah Connections Academy offers alternative to traditional teaching

Nowadays, everything is online, and education is no different. Utah Connections Academy offers students a chance to go to school without a brick and mortar building.
Most of the students live in Davis or Salt Lake counties, but more than two dozen are from Cache County. In July, Naomi Triana was one of the first Cache County students to graduate from the academy.
Interest in Utah Connections has been increasing, with enrollment at 810 students in 2015, up from 630 in 2014.
http://go.uen.org/4eg (LHJ)

Orem principal finds new home for old textbooks

PROVO — There are times when something with no value can be priceless.
Take old textbooks, for instance.
The problem is they are out of date and no longer useable in today’s classrooms. But much of the information they contain and the techniques they employ are still applicable to many.
Some from Alpine School District have found a way to get those books into welcoming hands.
Lani Sitake, the new principal of Windsor Elementary School in Orem, was excited to begin preparations for the upcoming school year.
“She actually had some folks come from the building and grounds department,” said Alpine School District spokesman David Stephenson. “They looked in all the rooms to figure out things they could fix or remodel.”
In their search they discovered hundreds of textbooks — in language arts, math, science and reading. Although in good condition, they were old, and no longer on the approved list of textbooks.
So Sitake set out to find a place for them.
“The principal followed the district policy,” Stephenson said.
If a textbook is out of date, the first step is to call Follett, a publisher, to see if it has any interest in them. That step had negative results.
“This principal didn’t just decide to throw them out,” Stephenson said. “She actually contacted the Tongan community in south Provo.”
http://go.uen.org/4ee (PDH)

State finds no fault following complaint against ICSD

The Iron County School District responded to a complaint regarding its May 19 meeting in which faculty members were given a raise.
Douglas Hall of the Iron County Alliance of Taxpayers filed a complaint in June regarding the May meeting.
Hall alleged the district did not act in good faith following that meeting in which an approval of a 4 percent increase in pay was approved for all faculty.
An agenda item for that meeting simply read “Ratify Negotiations,” which Hall insisted did not meet the requirements of the Open and Public Meeting Act.
“I believe that the instances show a lack of understanding and will on the part of the Iron County School District and board when it comes to compliance with the requirements in the OPMA,” Hall wrote in a correspondence dated June 28.
ICSD Attorney Amy Marie Allen said the district has been compliant, noting that Hall has filed prior complaints against the district regarding practices. She said the Utah State Auditor’s office found the district compliant in the prior complaint and the agenda from the May did not have any violations either.
“We are very careful in our practices to ensure that we are compliant,” Allen said.“The state auditor’s office outlined their investigation of the complaint to us and said no violations of the OPMA were found.”
http://go.uen.org/4ej (SGS)

Jury will continue deliberating case of former Utah school bus driver accused of molesting two young riders
Deliberation » After prosecutors tell them video corroborates sex-abuse charges, jury members weigh the case.

West Jordan • A jury should convict a former Canyons School District bus driver on sexual abuse charges because surveillance videos clearly corroborate claims that he touched two of his young female passengers inappropriately during trips to and from their Sandy school, prosecutors said Wednesday.
John Martin Carrell, 62, is on trial in 3rd District Court on 33 counts of first-degree felony aggravated sexual abuse of a child. Twenty-three of the counts are tied to alleged acts with the girl in the first of two set of videos. Another 10 counts are related to a second girl.
If he is convicted of the crimes, the grandfather of 22 could spend the rest of his life in prison.
The jury of three men and five women began deliberating at about 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday, and broke for the night after 7. Jury members were set to return around 8 a.m. Thursday morning to continue deliberations.
Court officials late Wednesday announced that the jury had decided to work until 7:30 p.m., and come back again Thursday morning if they have not reached a verdict.
http://go.uen.org/4eb (SLT)

http://go.uen.org/4ef (DN)

http://go.uen.org/4ek (KUTV)

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

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

http://go.uen.org/4eo (KSTU)

New income guidelines announced for free, reduced-price school meals

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah State Office of Education on Wednesday announced new income guidelines for families whose children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school.
The policy is released prior to the start of every school year with income distributions adjusted for inflation. But parents won’t see any major changes in the application process from last year, according to Kathleen Britton, child nutrition programs director at the Utah State Office of Education.
http://go.uen.org/4ed (DN)

Utah Has Highest Percentage of Kids Under 14

Our state of Utah has a higher percentage of kids — from newborns through age 13 — than any state in the country.
That’s the finding from the Factfinder website, after crunching U.S. Census Bureau numbers.
http://go.uen.org/4ep (KNRS)

Apple Tree program aims to get shelter kids back to school with supplies they need

SALT LAKE CITY – Children staying in local shelters might not have everything they need to be prepared to go back to school this fall.
The Road Home is trying to change that with an ongoing campaign.
Celeste Eggert, Director of Development at The Road Home, talks more about the Apple Tree Program.
The needs for back-to-school at The Road Home and other local shelters has never been greater with more children residing in the shelters this year than ever before. The 11th annual Road Home Apple Tree program will collect items for more than 100 children in The Road Home shelter and other shelters along the Wasatch Front.
http://go.uen.org/4em (KTVX)

School prayer lawsuit in Georgia settled outside of court

A federal lawsuit filed against a school district in Georgia for allegedly violating First Amendment rights by allowing football coaches to lead students in prayers and include Bible passages in team materials has been settled.
http://go.uen.org/4ec (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Celebrating the drought?
Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

Sen Mike Lee’s latest email to constituents, with the heading: “Keep the Feds Out of Early Education,” explains why he voted against the “Every Child Achieves Act.”
He says it is just another federal program for early-childhood education, expanding the bureaucracy that taxpayers fund and, as conservatives believe, child care can be better achieved by strengthening families while limiting government’s involvement.
There’s nothing wrong, of course, with Lee extolling that conservative philosophy to his constituents. But what got the attention of some readers was the logo at the top of the newsletter. It shows Lee next to a photo of a pristine Utah scene with grasslands in the forefront and mountains in the back.
The grasslands are being heavily watered by a large array of sprinklers covering a large expanse, in the middle of the day.
Aren’t we in a drought?
http://go.uen.org/4eD

High schools could use swimming pools
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Abraham Eastmond

I am so excited to see this new high school going up here in Millville. My kids are going to be part of that school in the next few years. As I have been watching the construction, It has been pretty clear that they aren’t doing anything to build a swimming pool into the school. I know that the costs are pretty high to put a swimming pool in, however, I was a swimmer and diver in high school and found that to be a great experience in my youth. I also appreciated the skill of being able to swim proficiently, something I think is becoming a part of the past.
http://go.uen.org/4eh

A Texas Teaching Moment
Why shouldn’t a home-schooling mother chair the school board?
Wall Street Journal editorial

Texas is America’s most interesting state, and the latest example comes courtesy of Governor Greg Abbott, who caused a ruckus last month by appointing a home-schooler to chair the Texas Board of Education.
Donna Bahorich taught her three children from her Houston home from kindergarten through eighth grade. The kids must have learned something because they went on to a private high school and one became a National Merit Scholar. Now they are all engineers: one petroleum, another chemical and the last mechanical.
But Mrs. Bahorich’s appointment has offended the education barons who claim that she lacks the credential of having taught in a bricks-and-mortar public school. Diane Ravitch, the doyenne of the education status quo, wrote on her blog that, “You can’t make this stuff up. Governor Greg Abbott selected a home-schooling mom to chair the State Board of Education in Texas.”
http://go.uen.org/4e3

Study: Common Core and Two Testing Consortia Violate Federal Laws, Are Unlikely to Improve Academic Achievement
“Competitive federalism” doesn’t run afoul of federal law, would produce better results
Pioneer Institute commentary by Jamie Gass, director of the Center for School Reform

BOSTON – In the wake of the U.S. House and Senate’s passage of bills that would reauthorize the federal No Child Left Behind law, a new Pioneer Institute research paper finds that national English and mathematics standards, known as Common Core, violate three federal laws that prohibit the federal government from exercising any direction, supervision or control over curricula or the program of instruction in the states.
Dr. Williamson M. Evers, author of “Federal Overreach and Common Core,” proposes a better approach.
“Competitive federalism, under which states learn from and seek to improve on each others’ standards and tests, is both legal and would produce better results than monolithic national standards and tests,” says Dr. Evers. “Monopolies are hardly the best way to produce either academic quality or value for taxpayers.”
http://go.uen.org/4e9

Twitter’s Anti-Common-Core Picture Show: Sauron, Big Macs, and Zombies
Education Week commentary by columnist Andrew Ujifusa

Is a picture about the Common Core State Standards worth a thousand words—or even 140 characters?
When you have a free moment, check out the steady flow of tweets featuring the #CommonCore hashtag. What may strike you is the images people use to try to make their point about the common core. Sometimes it’s not clear what point they’re trying to make with the pictures that include everything from fast food to a mythical multi-headed beast.
Earlier this year, the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania released a study of how social media impacted the debate over the common core. That study found, among other things, that the online debate about the standards has come to be a proxy for broader disagreements about where American education should be headed.
But whatever the quality of the common-core arguments you see on Twitter, tweets using images can often get a lot more attention than tweets without them. And if you check out #CommonCore tweets, you’ll see many of the images tweeted and retweeted over and over.
So what are the pictures people use on Twitter to highlight their feelings about the common core?
http://go.uen.org/4ex

Teachers, states, and public pension reform
Brookings Institute commentary by Patrick McGuinn, Associate Professor; Chair, Department of Political Science, Drew University

School budgets and teacher quality are intimately connected to compensation and benefits, and in recent years many states have revisited and revised the pension and health care commitments they have made to their teachers. A number of states have chronically underfunded their pension and health care obligations and the unfunded liability is putting a severe strain on state and school district budgets. The New Jersey Supreme Court recently overturned a lower court decision and ruled that Governor Chris Christie did not have to make the state’s full annual payment into the pension system for teachers and other public sector workers as called for by the pension reform legislation he signed in 2011. The ruling forces the Democrat-controlled legislature into another round of difficult negotiations over the state budget and how to address the large unfunded liability in the state’s pension system.
The political barriers to pension reform are high, but in a 2014 Brookings paper, I analyzed the political dynamics around pension reform nationwide and provided comparative case studies of reforms that were enacted in four states: Utah, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Illinois. (Earlier this year the Illinois Supreme Court declared that state’s 2013 pension reforms unconstitutional, so, like NJ, the state has re-opened deliberations on how to reform their pension system.)
The nature of any particular state’s public pension system challenges—as well as the political environment for reform—varies widely. But several lessons and recommendations emerged from the four state case studies that can guide policymakers in this work.
http://go.uen.org/4eF

Rising to the Challenge
Views on High School Graduates’ Preparedness for College and Careers
Achieve analysis

Key findings from survey of college instructors and employers who teach and hire recent high school graduates. Conducted April 2015.
http://go.uen.org/4e8

Charter School Performance in Texas
Center for Research on Education Outcomes analysis

Across the country, charter schools occupy a growing position in the public education landscape. Heated debate has accompanied their existence since the first charter school opened in Minnesota two decades ago. Similar debate has occurred in Texas with charter advocates extolling such benefits of the sector as expanding parental choice and introducing market-based competition to education. Little of that debate, however, is grounded in hard evidence about charter schools’ impact on student outcomes. This report contributes to the discussion by providing evidence for charter students’ performance in Texas for six years of schooling, beginning with the 2007-2008 school year and concluding with the 2012-2013 year.
The current study was supported by The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. With the cooperation of the Texas Education Agency (TEA), CREDO obtained the historical sets of student-level administrative records through the auspices of the Texas Schools Project (TSP) at the University of Texas at Dallas. The support of The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, TEA, and TSP staff was critical to CREDO’s understanding of the character and quality of the data we received. However, it bears mention that the entirety of interactions with TEA dealt with technical issues related to the data. CREDO has developed the findings and conclusions presented here independently.

Compared to the educational gains that charter students might have had in a traditional public school (TPS), the analysis shows that in a year’s time, on average, charter school students in Texas show less progress in both reading and mathematics. The impact is statistically significant: thinking of a 180-day school year as “one year of learning”, an average Texas charter student would have completed 14 fewer days of learning in reading and 29 fewer days of learning in math. Despite the overall findings, there are positive notes found in the analysis. In both subjects, the trends over the six years of the study are positive; by the final period of the study, there were no differences in reading and the learning gap in math was decreased. Moreover, students in poverty and English Language Learners in Texas post superior yearly gains compared to their counterparts in TPS. Hispanic students in poverty also post positive results: their progress over a year’s time is on pace with equivalent TPS students.
http://go.uen.org/4e4 (Stanford)

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Education groups urge Congress to finish the job on No Child Left Behind
Washington Post

Ten national education groups on Wednesday urged Congress to move quickly to finalize revisions to No Child Left Behind, the nation’s main federal education law.
“Parents, students and educators have lived with No Child Left Behind for 14 years – more than a child’s entire K-12 experience. What better way to begin the new school year than with the passage of a new law,” the groups — including teachers unions and associations representing principals, superintendents and parents — wrote in a letter to GOP and Democratic leaders.
The House and Senate have each approved their own versions of the rewrite and now must come together in a conference committee to hammer out a compromise that can pass both chambers and win President Obama’s signature.
They have plenty of differences to overcome, including on the knotty issues of Title I spending and school accountability. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the education committee who played a key role in crafting and shepherding the Senate’s bipartisan bill, has said he will work with Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), chairman of the House education committee, to create a schedule for the conference.
An aide to Alexander said the senator is expecting that the conference will be successful, but not necessarily quick — he hopes to be able to send a bill to the president sometime this year.
http://go.uen.org/4eq

Scaled-Back FERPA Overhaul Introduced in U.S. House
Education Week

Long-awaited bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday would significantly reshape the country’s most prominent student-data-privacy law, but stop short of the radical makeover that lawmakers had proposed earlier this spring.
The “Student Privacy Protection Act” aims to expand the scope of student information that is protected by law, place new obligations on both educational institutions and third parties who handle that information, and ban the use of such information for direct advertising to students. It would also allow for fines of up to $1.5 million on educational institutions that violate the law.
The bill, if enacted, would represent a meaningful update to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. As currently written, FERPA, as the 41-year old law is commonly known, is widely viewed as inadequate for addressing the privacy challenges presented by the flood of digital devices, software, and apps into U.S. schools over the past decade.
http://go.uen.org/4e5

http://go.uen.org/4e7 (The Hill)

A copy of the bill
http://go.uen.org/4e6 (Congress.gov)

California’s top education official plans new accountability system to rate schools
Los Angeles Daily News

California’s top education official Wednesday promoted plans to create a new accountability system to rate schools as well as a less divisive method for negotiating contracts with labor unions.
In an interview with this news organization, State Superintendent Tom Torlakson said he will announce Friday the creation of a committee to formulate a new accountability system for evaluating and rating schools.
The committee’s recommendations will need to be approved by Torlakson and presented to lawmakers next year.
“We’ll have a solid recommendation to them as to what a new, multidimensional system for school success should be,” Torlakson said.
The committee will be co-chaired by union leaders, California Teachers Association President Eric Heins and Association of California School Administrators Director Wes Smith. Business and community leaders will also be a part of the group, Torlakson said.
http://go.uen.org/4ea

Today’s newest teachers face tough job odds, high turnover
NewsHour

Is it a good time to become a teacher? Salaries haven’t kept up with inflation, tenure is under attack and standardized test scores are being used to fire teachers. And that’s if you get a job. Special correspondent for education John Merrow reports on the struggles for today’s newly trained educators to find work and stay in the classroom.
http://go.uen.org/4ey

Center looks to improve Idaho’s science, math efforts
Associated Press via Education Week

BOISE, Idaho— Business and governmental officials say Idaho must unify statewide efforts in order to fatten the pipeline of students choosing science, technology, engineering and math careers.
Board members with Idaho’s STEM Action Center met for the first time Wednesday to begin drafting recommendations on how to improve the growing shortfall of Idaho’s technological workforce.
The center is housed in the office of Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, who appointed the nine-member board. The board still needs to approve hiring an executive director and program manager for the center.
Idaho lawmakers approved setting aside nearly $650,000 earlier this year to create the center. The push came after two Republican state lawmakers, Sen. Bob Nonini of Coeur d’Alene and Rep. Reed DeMordaunt of Eagle formed a STEM caucus in the Legislature, which quickly attracted more than two dozen lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Idaho’s center is based off a similar one in Utah. In 2013, Utah lawmakers greenlighted $10 million to help STEM education programs thrive. The center’s budget has expanded to $30 million over the past two years to help train math and science teachers and provide grants to students attending STEM competitions.
http://go.uen.org/4ev

Immigration to U.S. from Mexico drops sharply: study
Reuters

SAN ANTONIO | Even as immigration remains a hot topic in the U.S. presidential campaign, the number of people emigrating from Mexico to the United States, legally and illegally, has dropped sharply in recent years, research published Wednesday shows.
Demographers at the University of Texas San Antonio and the University of New Hampshire say the number of immigrants coming from Mexico peaked in 2003, and has fallen by more than half since then.
Rogelio Saenz, dean of the College of Public Policy at UTSA and the study’s lead author, said reasons include fewer construction jobs due to the 2007-2009 recession and a Mexico’s growing economy and a falling birth rate.
A total of 819,000 people migrated from Mexico to the United States from 2008 to 2012, compared with 1.9 million from 2003 to 2007, for a drop of 57 percent, according to U.S. Census figures, which do not differentiate between legal and illegal immigration.
http://go.uen.org/4et

A copy of the study
http://go.uen.org/4eu (University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy)

In summer heat, athletic trainers call for safety measures
Reuters

A thousand-dollar expenditure for an automated external defibrillator (AED) could mean the difference between life and death for some young athletes, a cost that one Little Rock, Arkansas high school knows too well.
A heart abnormality caused 16-year-old Antony Hobbs to collapse during his Parkview High basketball game in 2008. Hobbs was unaware of his condition, likely present since birth. Though an ambulance responded, he died about an hour after an otherwise ordinary game tip-off.
The outcome differed starkly two years later when another Parkview player, Chris Winston, collapsed on court with the same condition. A new state law, named for Hobbs, had required that AEDs be placed in schools, and AED use led to Winston’s survival.
While Arkansas’ policy followed tragedy, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine are asking schools to proactively take measures to protect kids before summer training for fall sports.
http://go.uen.org/4er

http://go.uen.org/4es (NATA)

Pearson’s Fallon Seen Turning to Education Deals After FT Sale
Bloomberg

Pearson Plc’s sale of the Financial Times newspaper to Japanese publisher Nikkei Inc. clears the way for the U.K. company to pursue acquisitions in educational publishing.
While Pearson gets almost all its profit from education, the company has struggled the past two years with job cuts and a reorganization to boost investment in digital services and emerging markets. It’s spending another 30 million pounds ($47 million) this year in part to expand online products, because textbook sales have dropped and university enrollments have slowed.
Chief Executive Officer John Fallon, who rose through the ranks of the education business before winning the top job at the company in 2013, has touted Pearson’s transformation into “a global learning services company.”
“Pearson’s direction of travel has been clear,” said Jonathan Helliwell, a media analyst at Panmure Gordon & Co. in London. “This deal gives them the flexibility to do some education mergers and acquisitions and help toward restructuring costs.”
Besides textbooks, Pearson’s products include online materials to help teachers plan their lessons, online educational games and reference materials, standardized tests, vocational qualifications as well as college and career readiness training.
http://go.uen.org/4eA

Mexico Officials Seize Control of Education Agency That Resisted Overhaul
Teachers union had opposed mandatory evaluations before it staged protests and strikes
Wall Street Journal

MEXICO CITY—Authorities seized control of an education agency that was a bastion of resistance to President Enrique Peña Nieto’s education sector overhaul, firing its 4,000 employees and deploying federal police to secure the agency’s offices.
Tuesday’s move by the federal government and state authorities to retake control of Oaxaca’s Public Education Institute is a blow to a powerful, radical teachers union incensed by the education sector changes. The escalation comes at a delicate time for the Peña Nieto administration, which suffered a huge credibility blow after the escape of Mexico’s top drug gang boss from a maximum security prison earlier this month.
The measure “seeks to restore the state’s control in education,” particularly in Oaxaca state, one of Mexico’s poorest, Mr. Peña Nieto said Tuesday.
http://go.uen.org/4eB

http://go.uen.org/4eC (Financial Times)

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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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