Education News Roundup: July 29, 2015

Today’s Top Picks:

Park City High School no longer ranked near the top by U.S. News & World Report.
http://go.uen.org/4gV (PR)
and http://go.uen.org/3Df (USN&WR)

However, another grader, WalletHub, puts Utah’s public school system in the top 20.
http://go.uen.org/1Ec (WalletHub)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Canyons District alternative school called Diamond Ridge High

CVHS to revamp parking lot

Park City absent from U.S. News and World Report’s Best High School Rankings Officials blame large achievement gap, say overall quality of education remains tops in Utah

New Market Study Indicates Western Public Schools and Governments Can Save More Than $800 Million through Performance Contracting Massive Savings Possible in Water and Energy through Innovative Financing

Ex-Davis High teacher gets 2017 parole hearing in student sex case

Ben Lomond High struck with vulgar graffiti

JROTC Summer Camp Openings Aug. 3-7

The future of the GED

George Washington University joins other schools that don’t require ACT or SAT for admission

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Teacher pay one way to help avoid a potential crisis in declining interest in an education career

Educate early

USOE employees achieve despite few resources

Teens in Altice case not innocent victims

3 ESEA Issues to Pay Attention to

2015’s States with the Best and Worst School Systems

Today’s Exhausted Superkids

NATION

Future students get a glimpse at career technical center

Some Ed. Schools Striving to Put More Practice in Teacher Prep

Many districts struggle to fill bus driver slots

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UTAH NEWS
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Canyons District alternative school called Diamond Ridge High

SANDY — The Canyons Board of Education has voted to name the district’s new alternative high school Diamond Ridge High. The school will open Aug. 19.
http://go.uen.org/4gL (DN)

CVHS to revamp parking lot

Canyon View High School is undergoing a parking lot makeover officials say will alleviate traffic jams in the mornings and afternoons during the academic year.
The school has widened each of the entrance points to accommodate two-way traffic, said CVHS Principal Rich Nielsen.
http://go.uen.org/4gQ (SGS)

Park City absent from U.S. News and World Report’s Best High School Rankings
Officials blame large achievement gap, say overall quality of education remains tops in Utah

Park City High School has fallen precipitously from its perch as one of the best schools in Utah, according to the latest U.S. News and World Report’s Best High School Rankings.
But district officials say the school’s conspicuous absence from the rankings — it had been listed previously as the top school in the state, and among the best in the nation — is not a result of a dramatic decline in the quality of PCHS’s education. Rather, it’s a reflection of the list’s methodology, which puts an emphasis on the performance of disadvantaged students.
http://go.uen.org/4gV (PR)

http://go.uen.org/3Df (USN&WR)

New Market Study Indicates Western Public Schools and Governments Can Save More Than $800 Million through Performance Contracting
Massive Savings Possible in Water and Energy through Innovative Financing

Earlier today, Western Resource Advocates and McKinstry released a new market study indicating that schools and governments in Colorado River Basin states (AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, UT, WY) can save $859 million annually by using performance contracting to implement energy and water conservation measures.
At a time when western states are looking at all options to save energy, reduce carbon pollution, and conserve water, the report, Tapping the Power of the Market: Financial, Energy and Water Savings, and New Revenue Streams through Performance Contracting in the Colorado River Basin States, presents new research findings indicating performance contracting is a financially powerful tool to achieve these goals. The report shows how government and school facilities would save more than 6 million megawatts of electricity, 4 million cubic feet of natural gas, and 40,000 acre feet of water a year by implementing conservation measures using the performance contracting approach. Those energy savings could power all of Denver’s homes for a year and those water savings could supply more than 150,000 homes per year.
http://go.uen.org/4gB (Western Resource Advocates)

http://go.uen.org/4gD (UP)

A copy of the study
http://go.uen.org/4gC (Western Resource Advocates)

Ex-Davis High teacher gets 2017 parole hearing in student sex case

UTAH STATE PRISON — A former Davis High School English teacher convicted of sexually abusing three male students will get her first chance at parole in January 2017.
Utah Board of Pardons and Parole spokesman Greg Johnson said Monday that the board has set a tentative hearing date for 36-year-old Brianne Altice.
http://go.uen.org/4gN (DN)

Ben Lomond High struck with vulgar graffiti

OGDEN — The school year has yet to start, but it seems that acts of vandalism, fueled by the notorious rivalry between Ben Lomond and Ogden High Schools, have already begun.
Students of Ben Lomond High expressed their outrage on social media over a string of graffiti tags that appeared over the weekend all across the school. The Ben Lomond students suspect the vandalism was done by Ogden High School students, but that is unconfirmed.
http://go.uen.org/4gO (OSE)

JROTC Summer Camp Openings Aug. 3-7

Air Force JROTC has only 10 openings left for summer Leadership Orientation Camp from August 3 –7.
The camp is open to any student interested in joining JROTC this school year, entering ninth-12th grades at any Washington County School District high or middle school.
http://go.uen.org/4gR (SGS)

The future of the GED

Modupe Marks was a 37-year-old Nigerian immigrant who ran her own spa and hair salon business in New York City when the recession hit in 2008. As her business tanked, she was left dangling without skills or credentials suited to the new economy.
http://go.uen.org/4gK (DN)

George Washington University joins other schools that don’t require ACT or SAT for admission

If your student doesn’t excel at high-stakes testing, like many students, getting into college might be getting easier.
http://go.uen.org/4gM (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Teacher pay one way to help avoid a potential crisis in declining interest in an education career
Deseret News editorial

Every year, the organization that administers the ACT tests to graduating high school seniors asks those students what career they plan to pursue as they enter college. And every year for the last five, the number of students who stated an interest in pursuing a career in teaching has dropped, in some years dramatically.
What this means for the future of public education may not be clear at the moment, but it is clearly not good. While research by ACT presented at a recent Education Writers Association Conference shows a decline in the number of prospective teachers, other research shows a 50 percent dropout rate of new teachers in the job for five years or less. Should those trends continue, a serious shortage of qualified teachers will strike us square in the face in short order. Right now, declining interest in an education career is a problem; in a few years, it could be a full-fledged crisis.
The findings of the ACT survey also show those students who are interested in teaching have below-average achievement on the ACT tests, especially in math and science. The data suggest we have reached a turning point in which society no longer confers the kind of prestige or reward to the profession of teaching that will lure an appropriate number of qualified people into its pipeline.
This is a macro problem, not easily or quickly addressed, but it nevertheless demands the immediate attention of administrators and policymakers.
http://go.uen.org/4gG

Educate early
(St. George) Spectrum editorial

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private philanthropy based in Baltimore, “devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes,” recently released the 2015 results of its “Kids Count Data Center” study ranking the states for child and family well-being.
The good news is Utah ranked as the ninth-best state in the nation for childhood well-being in 2015. We surpassed Virginia and Nebraska to rise from our 2014 rank of No. 11.
The study used statistics in four categories – economic well-being, education, health, and family and community – to determine the rankings.
http://go.uen.org/4gS

USOE employees achieve despite few resources
Deseret News op-ed by Debra Roberts who served 12 years as an elected member of the Utah State Board of Education, five of those years as chairwoman of the board

The steady flow of people from the Utah State Office of Education (USOE), whether by their own choice or not, has spurred me to write this op-ed. As a member of the Utah State Board of Education for 12 years and chairwoman of that board for five years, I am in a unique position to express my gratitude for the individuals who have worked and continue to work for the USOE. These people are overall hardworking, dedicated professionals who work in a demanding, unforgiving atmosphere without the resources truly needed because they care passionately about public education and individual children.
Shortly before I was elected to the board in 2002, a thorough evaluation of requirements for the USOE and the personnel available to meet those requirements was done. At that time, it was found that the office was short many employees to accomplish its mission. Since that time, the demands of federal, state and board dictates have grown exponentially. In addition, during the recession, while education funding was maintained at the local level (realizing no new students were funded), the USOE received the same deep cuts as other state entities. That funding has never been restored. I have often arrived by 7 in the morning to find the USOE parking lot already filling with employees; other times I have left long after 5 to see the parking lot still filled with vehicles. It became obvious to me that those I was fortunate to work closely with worked long hours beyond the usual 8-5, including weekends.
Added to the hard work ethic exhibited by USOE personnel has been a marked professionalism.
http://go.uen.org/4gE

Teens in Altice case not innocent victims
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Heidi Page

I am writing regarding the case and prosecuting involving Brianne Altice. Altice, a former English teacher, who plead guilty to “three counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony, involving sexual activity with three students who were 16 or 17 at the time,” according to news reports.
I am not necessarily opinionated when it comes to the prosecution of Altice. As long as she is punished in someway that is fair to her crimes I am content. The negative treatment of the teens involved, on the other hand, is extremely insufficient. Teenage boys may not be the brightest, as many people believe, but they are however, competent. These teens seem to be treated as innocent and naïve victims, which they are not.
http://go.uen.org/4gP

3 ESEA Issues to Pay Attention to
Whiteboard Advisors commentary by David DeSchryver, co-director and senior vice president

What are the big stories for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as it heads towards conference? Today, Education Writers Association hosted a packed webinar—with Education Week’s federal reporter Lauren Smith Camera, Capitol Hill veteran Bethany Little, and myself—to answer that very question.
There are many important storylines, of course. It is, after all, the largest federal K-12 investment vehicle and we’re nearly a decade behind in reauthorizing the bill. Here are a few that stand out for me:
http://go.uen.org/4gF

2015’s States with the Best and Worst School Systems
Commentary by WalletHub

2014-Back-to-School-States-with-the-Best-and-Worst-School-Systems-BadgesUnless one is destined for the ranks of wildly successful college dropouts like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, education remains the traditional route to professional and financial success for many Americans. Consider the median incomes for workers aged 25 and older in 2014. Those with a bachelor’s degree earned 65 percent more than those with only a high school diploma, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data reveal that income potential grows — and chances of unemployment shrink — as one’s educational attainment improves.
And with school resuming session, many parents will be seeking the best school districts to secure their children’s academic success. When comparing their options, however, parents should recognize that the amount of available public funding is by no means a determinant of a school system’s quality, as our findings demonstrate, though money is certainly helpful.
http://go.uen.org/1Ec

Today’s Exhausted Superkids
New York Times commentary by columnist Frank Bruni

There are several passages in the new book “Overloaded and Underprepared” that fill me with sadness for American high school students, the most driven of whom are forever in search of a competitive edge. Some use stimulants like Adderall. Some cheat.
But the part of the book that somehow got to me most was about sleep.
It’s a prerequisite for healthy growth. It’s a linchpin of sanity. Before adulthood, a baseline amount is fundamental and nonnegotiable, or should be.
But many teenagers today are so hyped up and stressed out that they’re getting only a fraction of the rest they need. The book mentions a high school in Silicon Valley that brought in outside sleep experts, created a kind of sleep curriculum and trained students as “sleep ambassadors,” all to promote shuteye.
http://go.uen.org/4gH

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Future students get a glimpse at career technical center
Salem (OR) Statesman Journal

One hundred seventy juniors and seniors are set to take residential construction and commercial manufacturing classes this fall at the Career and Technical Education Center.
Many of them got to see the facility for the first time Tuesday when the center held an open house with self-guided tours and the opportunity to ask questions of CTEC staff.
The center, located on Portland Road NE, was created in partnership between the Salem-Keizer School District and Mountain West Career Technical Institute. It is housed in a 150,000 square foot facility formerly occupied by Neilsen Manufacturing.
It will open its doors for the first time this fall to a group of students from high schools across the district who are interested in technical and industry careers that don’t necessarily require a four-year college degree.
The curriculum at CTEC will align with industry requirements and teachers at the center will have real-life experience in those industries.
http://go.uen.org/4gI

Some Ed. Schools Striving to Put More Practice in Teacher Prep
Education Week

What are teacher-preparation programs doing to improve the all-important “clinical” or hands-on practice portion of teacher preparation?
A helpful resource out from Urban Teacher Residency United, a nonprofit consultant to so-called year-long residency programs for prospective teachers, outlines promising practices from among 22 programs that have lengthened the student-teaching experience for aspiring teachers. The programs range from traditional university-based undergraduate programs, to programs that work primarily with charter schools, to graduate programs run in cooperation with districts and nonprofits.
While it might seem easy simply to double the typically 12-week student-teaching period, the report intimates that it’s often a lot more difficult than that.
http://go.uen.org/4gT

A copy of the report
http://go.uen.org/4gU (Urban Teacher Residency United)

Many districts struggle to fill bus driver slots
Houston (TX) Chronicle

Children may sing about how wheels on the bus go round and round, but those vehicles won’t go anywhere if there is nobody to drive them.
Many area school districts are experiencing a shortage of bus drivers, forcing transportation officials to find temporary solutions to ensure students continue to have rides to and from school. Meanwhile, districts struggle to hire and train additional drivers.
During a rainy weekday morning in May, Dean Lewis, Clear Creek Independent School District’s transportation director, had to drive one of his department’s buses to ensure students on the route he took would arrive at their campuses in time for the morning bell. The rain had caused flooding that prevented some drivers from getting to work, exacerbating a driver shortage the district had since the start of the school year.
During the previous school year, Clear Creek ISD had 184 bus drivers who transported 18,000 students each day. The district needed 13 more drivers to be at an optimal staff level, Lewis said.
http://go.uen.org/4gJ

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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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