Education News Roundup: Aug. 7, 2015

board15

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Utah State Board of Education continues to work on middle school science standards.

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

 

Iowa approves Next Generation Science Standards.

http://go.uen.org/4kM (Des Moines Register)

 

Pew Center takes a look at how teens are making friends, in real life and online.

http://go.uen.org/4kI (WaPo)

and http://go.uen.org/4kK (San Jose [CA] Mercury News) or a copy of the study http://go.uen.org/4kJ (Pew Research Center)

 

Seven more states get NCLB waivers and Connecticut’s waiver allows it to use the SAT exam for 11th grade assessment.

http://go.uen.org/4kU (Ed Week)

or the announcement http://go.uen.org/4kV (ED) or more on Connecticut http://go.uen.org/4kW (NYT) and http://go.uen.org/4kX (Hartford [CT] Courant)

 

Poll finds 37 percent of Americans don’t want schools to teach that slavery was a main cause of the Civil War.

http://go.uen.org/4kZ (WaPo)

or a copy of the poll

http://go.uen.org/4l0 (Marist College Institute for Public Opinion)

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

TODAY’S HEADLINES

————————————————————

 

 

UTAH

 

State School Board moves to ‘rewrite’ proposed science standards after public comment

 

Geek Squad teaches students the wonders of technology

 

4-H program fills summer lull for Kaysville students

 

Salt Lake City Mission seeking school supplies, volunteers for annual giveaway

 

Utah High School Journalism Boot Camp launches Aug. 12-14

 

Moody’s assigns Aa2 underlying/Aaa enhanced to Nebo School District, UT’s GOULT bonds

 

The surprising way parents are helping their children with their homework

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Utah needs more counseling to secure more Pell grants

 

Thumbs up, Thumbs down

 

School boards raising property taxes have no one to blame but themselves

 

Utah: This is What Happens When the State Superintendent is not an Educator

 

Chartering Turnaround

Leveraging Public charter School Autonomy to Address Failure

 

Advancing School Discipline Reform

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Third of all teens who meet strangers online are meeting them in person, too

 

Iowa Education Board adopts new science standards

 

Seven States Get NCLB Waiver Renewals

 

Connecticut to Require All 11th Graders to Take the SAT

 

Idaho Moves Forward with No Child Left Behind Waiver

 

Bush, Rubio spar over Common Core State Standards in GOP debate

 

Poll: Americans divided over whether slavery was the Civil War’s main cause

 

Q&A: San Francisco Expands Computer Science Classes

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

UTAH NEWS

————————————————————

 

State School Board moves to ‘rewrite’ proposed science standards after public comment

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the Utah State Board of Education agreed Thursday that a proposed set of science and engineering standards for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders needs revision.

That decision came following a 90-day public comment period where teachers, parents and other stakeholders gave feedback on the proposed standards, which would replace the current standards that are about two decades old.

Results from the public comment period show the 1,011 people who gave feedback approved just short of 75 percent of the overall content of the standards. About 29 percent of respondents said they were science teachers in sixth, seventh or eighth grades, just over 30 percent were parents, and roughly 11 percent were teachers in other subjects.

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

 

 


 

 

Geek Squad teaches students the wonders of technology

 

SALT LAKE CITY — A teenage boy gently set his group’s robot on the neon yellow tape in the middle of the room, hoping the robot would follow the sequence of commands his group programmed for it moments earlier.

Slowly but surely, the robot executed the commands as scheduled and successfully traveled across the room, while diligently following the jagged path of tape, causing the boys to smile with pride at the finish.

Kids ages 9 through 13 gathered at the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum Thursday to participate in the Geek Squad Summer Academy — a Best Buy outreach program working in conjunction with Junior Achievement of Utah.

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

 

 


 

 

4-H program fills summer lull for Kaysville students

 

KAYSVILLE — School may still be a few weeks away in Davis County, but at least one group of kids won’t be rusty when summer break ends.

Kids living at Francis Peak View Apartments and the surrounding neighborhood in Kaysville have participated in a summer program funded for the apartment complex by a grant from the Utah Department of Workforce Services Child Care Division in collaboration with the Utah State University Extension 4-H program.

The grant will continue for the next three years as instructors focus on different areas of life skills — financial literacy, nutrition and physical exercise and career readiness.

http://go.uen.org/4kS (OSE)

 


 

 

Salt Lake City Mission seeking school supplies, volunteers for annual giveaway

 

The Salt Lake City Mission hopes to provide 500 students with school supplies, haircuts and clothing for the new academic year, but organizers say they need help.

“We need as many people as possible to help make the ‘Back to School Giveaway’ a success in serving less fortunate children in our community,” the Rev. Joe Vazquez, assistant director of the mission, said in a statement.

The mission is seeking children’s clothing, backpacks and other school supplies, as well as volunteers to give them away on Saturday, Aug. 15.

Donations and volunteer applications can be turned in at the mission office, 1151 S. Redwood Road.

http://go.uen.org/4kP (SLT)

 

 


 

 

Utah High School Journalism Boot Camp launches Aug. 12-14

 

OGDEN–High school newspaper and broadcast staffers will have the chance this summer for college-level journalism training. The first Utah High School Journalism Boot Camp will be held Aug. 12-14 at Weber State University. Professionals and college instructors will immerse students staying at the Ogden campus for 48 hours in hard-core journalism.

http://go.uen.org/4l4 (DCC)

 


 

 

Moody’s assigns Aa2 underlying/Aaa enhanced to Nebo School District, UT’s GOULT bonds

 

New York — Moody’s Rating

Issue: General Obligation School Building and Refunding Bonds, Series 2015; Underlying Rating: Aa2; Enhanced Rating: Aaa; Sale Amount: $20,660,000; Expected Sale Date: 08/18/2015; Rating Description: General Obligation

Opinion

Moody’s Investors Service assigned a Aa2 underlying rating to Nebo School District, Utah’s General Obligation School Building and Refunding Bonds, Series 2015 in the expected amount of $20.7 million. Also, the bonds were assigned the Aaa enhanced rating of the Utah School District Bond Guaranty Program. At this time, Moody’s also affirmed the Aa2 underlying rating on $201.2 million of outstanding GOULT debt.

http://go.uen.org/4l3 (Moody’s)

 

 


 

The surprising way parents are helping their children with their homework

 

If you think calculating a tip at a restaurant is a struggle, you haven’t seen the math homework kids are bringing home these days.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

OPINION & COMMENTARY

————————————————————

 

Utah needs more counseling to secure more Pell grants Salt Lake Tribune editorial

 

It is tempting to use this explanation for Utah students’ low use of federal Pell grants to help pay for their college educations: We don’t take charity.

The real explanation more likely runs along these lines: Nobody really explained it to us.

Utah’s higher education community is wondering why Utah students are among the least likely in the nation to apply for Pell grants, which, along with student loans, drive the federal government’s efforts to get post-high school educations for as many Americans as possible.

To their credit, Utahns also have been among the lowest users of student loan debt in the nation. It’s become apparent to too many people that borrowing money for education doesn’t always bring a sufficient return in the job market. Education is never a bad idea, but borrowing tens of thousands of dollars for it can be if it buries the student in debt.

Pell grants, on the other hand, are a government handout. The amounts awarded are based on the financial situation of the applicant and the cost of tuition, and they don’t need to be paid back. One estimate says Utahns missed out on $45.5 million last year because of their underuse.

Pell grants and student loans both require applicants to go online and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are required to enter financial information, including their parents’ financial information if they’re under 24. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only a third of Utah’s high school seniors complete the form, lowest in the nation.

That low completion rate keeps Utah students from taking advantage of an opportunity, and the culprit is likely the lack of high school counselors to tell them about it. Utah also has the third highest ratio of students to counselors (726 to 1) in the country. That makes the counseling experience little more than a perfunctory meeting for most graduating seniors.

http://go.uen.org/4kE

 

 


 

 

Thumbs up, Thumbs down

(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

 

THUMBS UP: Two American Fork teens, Bekah Mecham and Wyatt Burns, won second place in the 2015 Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest. Excited to see that they plan to spend their scholarship money at Utah universities!

http://go.uen.org/4kT

 


 

 

School boards raising property taxes have no one to blame but themselves Deseret News op-ed by Royce Van Tassell, executive director of the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools

 

Over the past few months several school boards proposing property tax hikes have blamed charter schools for forcing them to raise taxes. While there is a superficial appeal to that claim, it simply isn’t true.

For as long as they’ve had authority to impose a property tax, school boards have been raising them. When they raise property taxes, school boards routinely point the finger of blame at some other — any other — entity.

http://go.uen.org/4kF

 

 


 

 

Utah: This is What Happens When the State Superintendent is not an Educator Diane Ravitch’s blog commentary by Kim Irvine, Chair: Utah Democratic Education Caucus

 

Kim Irvine, English teacher in Ogden, Utah, knows the new state superintendent quite well. Brad Smith, a lawyer with no education experience, was superintendent in Ogden, where he implemented a series of failed “reform” policies. So, it being Utah, he was elevated to state superintendent.

Kim Smith here describes the havoc and disruption he imposed on Ogden. Watch out, Utah parents and teachers! Know what to expect and push back hard. As hard as you can.

http://go.uen.org/4kN

 


 

 

Chartering Turnaround

Leveraging Public charter School Autonomy to Address Failure National Alliance for Public Charter School analysis

 

Since 2007, low-performing schools have received more than $5.8 billion in funds through the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program.1 Supplementary district and state funds, federal Title I funds, and Race to the Top funds have also been used to turn around the country’s lowest-performing schools. Despite some cases of success, our school improvement dollars and programs, as a whole, are not resulting in the substantial improvements that were intended and—more importantly—that are so greatly needed.

With the revision and significant expansion of the federal SIG program and the introduction of the Race to the Top program in 2010, the public charter school model was prioritized as a discrete option for school turnaround. Currently, there are three main avenues through which public charter school autonomy can be leveraged to drive school turnaround efforts:

  1. Traditional public school restart (TPS restart): Converting a low-performing traditional public school to public charter school status via the SIG restart model or via another accountability mechanism that requires a turnaround strategy;
  2. Closure and replacement: Starting one or more new charters schools in locations with high concentrations of recently closed low-performing schools; and
  3. Charter school restart (charter restart): Transferring management of an underperforming public charter school to new management and new board governance.

This paper examines how the autonomies related to staffing, curriculum, and general operations provided by state charter laws can be used to catalyze school turnaround efforts. Specifically, it explores the TPS restart model through brief case studies of three charter management organizations (CMOs)—Green Dot, LEAD, and Mastery http://go.uen.org/4kH

 


 

 

Advancing School Discipline Reform

National Association of State Boards of Education analysis

 

New data from the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) estimates that over 3 million students are suspended or expelled every year, with minorities and special needs students often facing harsher discipline than their peers for the same offenses. Such exclusionary discipline practices aim to create orderly, safe classrooms, but there is little evidence they actually work.

In “Advancing School Discipline Reform,” American Institutes for Research analysts Greta Colombi and David Osher explore the latest research on punitive school discipline and zero-tolerance policies, their effects on student achievement and engagement, and a range of more effective disciplinary strategies that should supplant them.

“Punitive discipline has increasingly been used as a quick fix to what often is a chronic, long-term problem,” Colombi and Osher write, an approach that has created more problems. They explain that zero-tolerance policies often do not improve school climate: Suspended students are more likely to struggle academically, drop out of school, commit violent crimes, and enter the juvenile justice system.

State policymakers can advance school discipline reform and improve school climate, say Colombi and Osher. State boards of education can work with state agencies to develop policies and support practices that strengthen the data collection, analysis, and stakeholder collaboration needed for such reform.

http://go.uen.org/4kG

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————-

NATIONAL NEWS

————————————————————-

 

Third of all teens who meet strangers online are meeting them in person, too Washington Post

 

The majority of teenagers don’t consider meeting strangers online a taboo, with six in 10 saying they have met at least one new friend on the Web. Teens are also texting and communicating through online games and social networks more frequently than they are spending time together in person. And of those who meet people online, one-third also followed up with an in-person meeting.

These findings are part of a new in-depth study from the Pew Research Center aimed at understanding how online interactions are shaping the social lives and identities of American teens. Broadly speaking, the research found that the line between the virtual and real worlds has almost completely blurred — and that kids say they have deep and meaningful relationships  with people online and in person.

“The digital world has taken its place alongside school and friends’ houses and extracurriculars as a place where teens go to make and strengthen friendships,” said Amanda Lenhart, author of the report “Teens, Technology & Friendships” and an associate director of research at Pew. “Like it or not, this is where our teens talk, plot, laugh and fight with some of the most important people in their lives.”

The current generation of digital natives, who hit adolescence just as the iPhone and Facebook took off in popularity, are charting new territory. And while the implications of online social activity among teens is not yet clear, some parents and child development experts warn that the intensity of online interactions is presenting new pressures for youth and their parents.

Researchers note how teens worry about missing out on conversations on social media, focus with increasing intensity on their online appearance, and react to the amplifying effect of social media. One cruel remark, teens who took the Pew survey said, can feel devastating in front of a big audiences and anxiety abounds over pressure to maintain gleaming reputations.

http://go.uen.org/4kI

 

http://go.uen.org/4kK (San Jose [CA] Mercury News)

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/4kJ (Pew Research Center)

 

 


 

 

Iowa Education Board adopts new science standards Des Moines (IA) Register

 

The Iowa Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday morning on two education reform measures that they say will improve the state’s public schools.

  • The board adopted new science and engineering standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, which sets learning expectations in classrooms for grades K-12.

The standards have prompted some controversy over the inclusion of evolution and climate change. But proponents say the vote is a step forward in improving science lessons by raising expectations.

There will be less focus on rote memorization, and more emphasis on the scientific process, such as analyzing data, developing a model and constructing a logical argument.

And for the first time, engineering will be required — and no longer relegated to occasional lessons or elective courses.

http://go.uen.org/4kM

 

 


 

 

Seven States Get NCLB Waiver Renewals

Education Week

 

And now there are 31. The U.S. Department of Education just approved seven additional renewals of state flexibility from the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act. The states are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin.

Alabama, Connecticut, Mississippi, and Wisconsin each got three-year renewals through the 2017-18 school year, meaning they won’t have to make another ask during President Barack Obama’s tenure (if waivers even last that long.)

Mississippi’s approval comes fresh off the state’s decision to select a vendor—Pearson—to design the state’s common core-linked assessment, after the Magnolia state ditched the Patnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. Wisconsin, meanwhile, is still searching for a test after getting rid of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, or SBAC.

Arizona, Arkansas, and New Hampshire each got one-year waivers. Arizona’s one-year waiver stems in part from recent civil rights concerns with English Language Learners.

And New Hampshire’s renewal period is shortened because the state has some work to do on teacher and principal evaluations. It also must provide evidence, by October 2015,  that its high school assessment is of high quality.

http://go.uen.org/4kU

 

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

 

 


 

 

Connecticut to Require All 11th Graders to Take the SAT New York Times

 

Connecticut announced on Thursday that all 11th graders in the state’s public schools would soon be required to take the SAT college admissions tests, replacing an existing statewide exam amid widespread concern that the nation’s students are tested too much.

With approval from the United States Department of Education, Connecticut said it would make the SAT a requirement, administered without cost to students, beginning in the 2015­16 school year.

“We had reached the conclusion that there was, in fact, too much testing in 11th grade,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in an interview. “We thought it was just a tremendous amount of pressure concentrated in a single year.”

The federal government requires that states assess students in both reading and math once during high school. Because so many Connecticut public school students take the SAT anyway, replacing the existing high school test, given in 11th grade, with the SAT would leave young people with one exam fewer on their roster.

http://go.uen.org/4kW

 

http://go.uen.org/4kX (Hartford [CT] Courant)

 

 


 

Idaho Moves Forward with No Child Left Behind Waiver Twin Falls (ID) Times-News

 

TWIN FALLS • Idaho is one step closer to getting renewal of its No Child Left Behind waiver.

The state board of education approved revisions to a 241-page document Friday. Now, it will go back to the U.S. Department of Education.

Since 2012, Idaho has been given flexibility to avoid some unpopular federal requirements and use its own system to hold schools accountable for student performance.

http://go.uen.org/4kL

 

 


 

 

Bush, Rubio spar over Common Core State Standards in GOP debate Washington Post

 

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Halfway through Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate, Fox News moderator Bret Baier asked Jeb Bush to defend his support of the Common Core State Standards, national academic standards that have become deeply unpopular among some conservatives — and many of the candidates onstage.

The audience at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland booed when it heard Baier say “Common Core” as part of the question.

http://go.uen.org/4kY

 

http://go.uen.org/4l1 (Ed Week)

 

 


 

 

Poll: Americans divided over whether slavery was the Civil War’s main cause Washington Post

 

The Confederate battle flag flies outside the South Carolina Capitol the day before it was taken down in July. (Richard Ellis/EPA)

There is a consensus among historians that the root cause of the Civil War was slavery. But a lot of Americans don’t believe that’s true, and don’t believe that’s what children should learn in school, according to the results of a new poll.

Just over half of Americans say that slavery was the main cause of the Civil War, but 41 percent disagree, according to a McClatchy-Marist poll published Thursday.

Americans break in a similar way over what children should learn in school, with 55 percent saying they should be taught that slavery was the main reason for the war, and 37 percent disagreeing.

http://go.uen.org/4kZ

 

A copy of the poll

http://go.uen.org/4l0 (Marist College Institute for Public Opinion)

 

 


 

 

Q&A: San Francisco Expands Computer Science Classes Education Week

 

The San Francisco school district announced last month that it will phase in computer science instruction for all students at all grade levels.

It’s an ambitious plan. Chicago is the only other major urban district attempting to integrate computer science instruction in similarly broad scope—and San Francisco’s plan goes even further by bringing the topic to students as young as prekindergarten.

Funding for the computer science expansion will come from the district, industry partnerships, and a deal with the Salesforce.com Foundation that brought the school system $5 million to increase resources for science, technology, engineering, and math.

Education Week spoke last month with James Ryan, the district’s executive director for STEM, about the new initiative.

http://go.uen.org/4l2

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

 

USOE Calendar

http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

August 6:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

3 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

August 7:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

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

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

 

 

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/Interim/2015/html/00003537.htm

 

Government Operations Interim Committee meeting

8:30 a.m., 20 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00003552.htm

 

 

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

 

Related posts:

Comments are closed.