Education News Roundup: Sept. 23, 2015

L-R: Murray School District Associate Supt. Scott Bushnell, State Deputy Superintendent Syd Dickson; Utah State Board of Education co-chair Jennifer Johnson; and State Associate Superintendent Angie Stallings visited Murray High School on Sept. 23.

L-R: Murray School District Associate Supt. Scott Bushnell, State Deputy Superintendent Syd Dickson; Utah State Board of Education co-chair Jennifer Johnson; and State Associate Superintendent Angie Stallings visited Murray High School on Sept. 23.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Utah State Board of Education releases its internal audit on fleet services at the Utah State Office of Education.

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

and http://go.uen.org/4GY (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/4GZ (PDH)

and http://go.uen.org/4H7 (MUR)

 

Mark Zuckerberg is investing in Utah-based MasteryConnect which offers “competency-based learning technology helps teachers improve learning outcomes.”

http://go.uen.org/4H3 (KUER)

and http://go.uen.org/4H4 (WSJ)

and http://go.uen.org/4H5 (Social Times) or http://go.uen.org/4H6 (BusinessWire)

 

Education is at the top of Politico’s Agenda today. If you’ve got some time on your hands — and really, who doesn’t have scads of extra time these days? — you might want to check out their features on:

* Secretary Duncan http://go.uen.org/4GQ

* No Child Left Behind http://go.uen.org/4GR

* What do insiders want in a rewrite of NCLB http://go.uen.org/4GS

* U.S. Department of Education http://go.uen.org/4GU

* Virtual schools http://go.uen.org/4GT

 

“It’s one thing to hold an Hour of Code and have kids code for an hour at a time — it’s quite another to have a Semester of Code with full-time teachers on the payroll.”

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

 

Should half of LA Unified District students be attending charter schools?

http://go.uen.org/4GV (LAT)

 

And, if in addition to scads of time, you’ve also got scads of money, consider buying John Lennon’s 1950s-era school records. Spoiler alert: A well-behaved, conscientious student he was not.

http://go.uen.org/4H8 (Reuters)

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

TODAY’S HEADLINES

————————————————————

 

 

UTAH

 

Audit finds waste and abuse in state Office of Education’s fleet

 

Zuckerberg and Chan Put $5M into Utah Learning Software Company

 

Hillcrest Elementary wins award for air quality efforts

 

Davis School District asks voters to approve $298 million bond to build new schools

 

Bishop named a commended student

 

Local students help raise funds for Honor Flight recipients

 

LDS teens made big gains in seminary last year, data shows

 

Utah teen opens mission call to Thailand while living in Thailand

 

Mom says school ‘racially profiled’ her white daughter who has dreadlocks after she was sent home and told to remove them

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Rights and wrongs

 

Education Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Growing Wider

 

Another Parent’s ‘Common-Core Math’ Slam Goes Viral

 


 

 

NATION

 

Arne Duncan’s Wars

With drive, ingenuity and a willingness to throw elbows, Obama’s closest friend in the Cabinet has tried to reshape American schools. Now will the backlash erase his legacy?

 

No Child Left Behind: The oral history

At the time it was an epic achievement, bringing together Bush, Kennedy, Boehner and more. Here’s how it got done, told by the people in the room.

 

A million little pieces

How America’s smallest cabinet department became a mass of unkillable pet projects. A POLITICO investigation.

 

Virtual schools are booming. Who’s paying attention?

Millions of kids, some as young as 5, now get their schooling online. Just one problem: Nobody knows how well it works.

 

$490-million plan would put half of LAUSD students in charter schools

 

Coding for kids makes sense — but it’s going to take more than just classrooms to make it work

 

Teachers fume over bonus program tied to ACT, SAT scores

 

Probing the Impact of Parent-Teacher Digital Communication

 

At Harvard, Teach for America CEO Talks Education

 

Assistant Mack Breed told John Jay principal he ordered ref hits in anger

 

‘Impertinent’ John Lennon’s school detention record goes on sale

 

 

 

————————————————————

UTAH NEWS

————————————————————

 

Audit finds waste and abuse in state Office of Education’s fleet

 

SALT LAKE CITY — An internal audit of the Utah State Office of Education’s motor pool points to a lack of policies, internal controls and training that led to abuse and waste.

One employee used a state car while his was being repaired, and three employees admitted to using a state car for personal errands in the vicinity of their home or work. Auditor Kevin John said there were also cases of misuse of state funds, in which people checked out cars but then filed for personal reimbursement on mileage.

“We were allowing employees to take the car home so often they would have qualified for fringe benefits under the IRS tax code …,” he told the state Board of Education in a Sept. 18 meeting http://go.uen.org/4GO (OSE)

 

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/4H7 (MUR)

 

 


 

 

Zuckerberg and Chan Put $5M into Utah Learning Software Company

 

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have invested $5 million dollars into a Salt Lake City-based learning software company. MasteryConnect distributes their systems worldwide.

MasteryConnect CEO Cory Reid says the investment in competency-based learning technology helps teachers improve learning outcomes.

“Software simply makes things less difficult than they were, right? Or provides opportunity in areas where it was more difficult to create it in the past,” says Reid. “But it’s teachers who are in the classrooms every day that are impacting the students in America and we’re just helping out.”

http://go.uen.org/4H3 (KUER)

 

http://go.uen.org/4H4 (WSJ)

 

http://go.uen.org/4H5 (Social Times)

 

http://go.uen.org/4H6 (BusinessWire)

 

 


 

 

Hillcrest Elementary wins award for air quality efforts

 

Hillcrest Elementary received an award from the Cache Valley Clean Air Consortium for efforts to help improve the air quality in the valley.

The Community Action Award for Excellence in Efforts to Improve Air Quality was presented to Principal Eric Markworth during the consortium’s annual meeting on Monday. It was the first time the award was given out.

http://go.uen.org/4H0 (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

Davis School District asks voters to approve $298 million bond to build new schools

 

FARMINGTON, Utah – Davis County is experiencing massive growth and it’s trickling into schools.

Space is tight for the state’s second largest school district and administrators are banking on taxpayers to pick up the tab to give students more space.

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

 


 

 

Bishop named a commended student

 

Virgin Valley High School student Josh Bishop was recently named a commended student in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program, according to a release from VVHS.

http://go.uen.org/4H2 (SGS)

 


 

 

Local students help raise funds for Honor Flight recipients

 

Two local veterans of World War II will be taking off for Washington, D.C. on Thursday to visit memorials built to honor their service to the nation.

They will be part of Honor Flight thanks to Youth Connect, an organization made up of students from Mountain Crest, Logan and Sky View high schools who want to serve elderly people in many different ways.

Madeline McCrae, who graduated from Logan High earlier this year and now attends Brigham Young University, says the students raised all of the $2500 needed to pay for guardians who travel with the veterans.

The veterans who are the recipients are Rex Thompson and Lloyd Lewis .

http://go.uen.org/4H1 (CVD)

 


 

 

LDS teens made big gains in seminary last year, data shows

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The number of LDS teenagers who finished reading the assigned book of scripture in the church’s youth seminary program rose 33 percent last year, according to new data.

Nearly 80 percent of students in the United States and other countries on a North American school calendar finished the entire Doctrine & Covenants that was one of two new, toughened graduation standards introduced during the 2014-15 school year by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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

 


 

 

Utah teen opens mission call to Thailand while living in Thailand

 

HEBER CITY — Most missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can only dream about the place in which they will serve, but one sister received her call in the very place she’ll soon call her mission.

Utah Rep. Kraig Powell’s daughter Jessica recently graduated from high school and is currently teaching English to children at an elementary school in Thailand, according to Powell’s Facebook page. When her mission call arrived at her family’s home in Utah, she eagerly jumped on Skype to open it.

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

 


 

 

Mom says school ‘racially profiled’ her white daughter who has dreadlocks after she was sent home and told to remove them

 

A mother claims her daughter was racially profiled as a ‘white girl with dreadlocks’ after she ordered to remove them by her school.

Tonya Judd, from Pleasant Grove, Utah, was furious when she received a call from her daughter’s school to say the student’s ‘distracting’ hair breached it’s dress code policy.

Caycee Cunningham was sent home after she turned up to class with her shoulder-length dreadlocks as part of her newly found Hindu faith after studying abroad in Guatemala, reported Fox13.

But Lincoln Academy principal Jake Hunt said they breached his school’s strict policy and would have to be removed immediately – which both Caycee and her mother have refused to do.

http://go.uen.org/4Hf ([London] Daily Mail)

 

http://go.uen.org/4Hg (The Root)

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

OPINION & COMMENTARY

————————————————————

 

Rights and wrongs

Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

 

At the end of Canyon School District board meetings, members are invited to make personal reports on items of concern.

At the Sept. 15 meeting, board member Robert Green took that opportunity to stand with embattled Rowan, Ky., County Clerk Kim Davis, who spent several days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Green declared that he, too, would refuse to follow the law if it interfered with his beliefs.

“Your religious convictions, in my opinion, should trump any type of oath you made because we are one nation under God,” said Green, who was elected in 2012.

He referred to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bars discrimination, including against religions — not mentioning that refusal to issue legal marriage licenses to a certain group is discrimination.

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

 

 


 

 

Education Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Growing Wider New York Times commentary by columnist Eduardo Porter

 

The wounds of segregation were still raw in the 1970s. With only rare exceptions, African­American children had nowhere near the same educational opportunities as whites.

The civil rights movement, school desegregation and the War on Poverty helped bring a measure of equity to the playing field. Today, despite some setbacks along the way, racial disparities in education have narrowed significantly. By 2012, the test­score deficit of black 9­, 13­ and 17­year­olds in reading and math had been reduced as much as 50 percent compared with what it was 30 to 40 years before.

Achievements like these breathe hope into our belief in the Land of Opportunity. They build trust in education as a leveling force powering economic mobility. “We do have a track record of reducing these inequalities,” said Jane Waldfogel, a professor of social work at Columbia University.

But the question remains: Why did we stop there?

For all the progress in improving educational outcomes among African­American children, the achievement gaps between more affluent and less privileged children is wider than ever, notes Sean Reardon of the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford. Racial disparities are still a stain on American society, but they are no longer the main divider. Today the biggest threat to the American dream is class.  http://go.uen.org/4GP

 

 


 

Another Parent’s ‘Common-Core Math’ Slam Goes Viral Education Week commentary by columnist Liana Heitin

 

It’s hard to write about the Common Core State Standards for mathematics without writing about the grief it’s caused some parents.

The standards emphasize calculation methods that many parents never learned, which some say causes frustration at homework time. Last year, an electrical engineer wrote a letter to his son’s teacher saying, “even I cannot explain the common-core mathematics approach”—and a photo of the note went viral on Facebook.

As I’ve reported, social media seems to have amplified the issue. Pushback to changing math-teaching methods is really nothing new, some experts say, but now frustrated parents have more mediums through which to connect and have their voices heard.

This week helped prove the point, with another father’s slam on supposed “common-core math” going viral. The Ohio father, Doug Hermann, even ended up on Fox News in Cleveland this morning to talk about it (though it’s worth noting his Facebook profile says he once worked for his local Fox affiliate). Buzzfeed picked up the story, too, though not without a few inaccuracies.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————-

NATIONAL NEWS

————————————————————-

 

Arne Duncan’s Wars

With drive, ingenuity and a willingness to throw elbows, Obama’s closest friend in the Cabinet has tried to reshape American schools. Now will the backlash erase his legacy?

Politico

 

Education Secretary Arne Duncan is a mild-mannered, even-tempered, introverted kind of guy, but he’s spent much of his six and a half years in Washington in combat. He’s fought with school choice activists, student debt activists, gun activists, for-profit colleges, black colleges, traditional colleges, private lenders, loan collectors, the Tea Party, the Republican Party, and the teachers unions at the heart of the Democratic Party, among other interest groups. He’s in a multi-front war to fix America’s schools, and I recently sat down to delve into some of the wonkier details with Ted Mitchell, a former college president and education venture fund CEO who is now Duncan’s undersecretary. Mitchell spent a half hour patiently explaining to me the philosophy behind the Education Department’s fights—basically, making sure that all kids get a chance to succeed; that schools are accessible, accountable, and effective; and that adults who don’t do their part face consequences—until someone knocked on his door to say our time was up.

Then he started crying.

We had never met before, but Mitchell clearly had something personal he wanted to share, and my dull policy questions hadn’t given him much of an opening. His voice quivered as it finally spilled out: “I can’t let you leave without telling you what a privilege it has been to work with Arne.” He started to add something about fighting for students, but choked up mid-sentence. His press aide started crying, too. It sounds hokey, but I’ve never had an interview take such an abruptly emotional turn.

Education policy clearly inspires a lot of passion. It’s not just about cleverly named initiatives like Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind, or arcane regulations defining “gainful employment” and “adequate yearly progress.” It’s about kids and their futures. You can see the intensity in the comments on Duncan’s Facebook page, spewing rage over the Common Core math and reading standards or the national epidemic of standardized testing. Duncan’s loyalists are just as intense, inevitably gushing about Duncan’s constant mantra in policy meetings: What’s the right thing for kids? “Everyone says that,” said Justin Hamilton, a former communications aide to Duncan. “Arne f—ing means it!”

In a cynical town of posturing and spin, Duncan has earned a reputation for saying what he means and doing what he says. At the same time, he has faced growing dissatisfaction with what he has said and what he has done. Duncan has driven far more change than any previous education secretary, but as he heads into the home stretch of the Obama administration, much of that legacy is at risk.

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

 

 


 

 

No Child Left Behind: The oral history

At the time it was an epic achievement, bringing together Bush, Kennedy, Boehner and more. Here’s how it got done, told by the people in the room.

Politico

 

The law known as No Child Left Behind is perhaps the most controversial education law ever passed—a sweeping overhaul of Lyndon Johnson’s education act that promised a new era of accountability in schools, but which opponents today blame for infecting education with testing mania.

In the moment it passed, though, NCLB was a unique achievement: a bipartisan reform pushed by a Republican president, shepherded by Ted Kennedy, and signed in the wake of the national tragedy of 9/11.

Today, as Congress prepares to rewrite the law, which expired eight years ago, we asked the original participants to recount the achievement. What does it take to get a big bipartisan deal done? What happened to its legacy? Today, as Congress works to reauthorize it for the first time in 13 years, the law’s original creators aren’t confident—but revisiting its history could provide a blueprint for getting a rewrite done today.

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

 

 


 

 

Washington: Don’t turn your back

POLITICO’s education survey finds surprising support for a strong federal role in schools, and big worries about student debt.

Politico

 

If Congress has its way, Washington will be getting out of the education business soon—or at least that’s the message the House and Senate are sending through their new education bills, which will severely limit the federal fingerprint on thousands of public schools.

But some of the nation’s leading experts on education policy have their own warning for lawmakers: Don’t give up on Washington quite yet.

Seventy-seven percent of the policy leaders who responded to The Agenda’s Education survey said they wanted the federal government to keep playing some role in setting standards, helping determine which schools are passing or failing. And 65 percent are looking to Washington for some leadership and oversight in the emerging boom in online classwork.

Educators only trust Washington to insert itself so far in the classroom, though: By an even larger margin—82 percent—our experts said the federal government should stay out of writing school curriculum.

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

 

 


 

 

A million little pieces

How America’s smallest cabinet department became a mass of unkillable pet projects. A POLITICO investigation.

Politico

 

In 2009, the Saddleback Valley Unified School District in Mission Viejo, California, received nearly half a million dollars from the federal government under the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program, one of nine nationwide to get Javits money. The program supports research and demonstration projects for gifted and talented kids who are disadvantaged.

Sounds great, right? Congress agreed, appropriating at least $7 million to the Javits program every year from 2001 through 2010.

But there’s a small problem: There’s not much evidence the program actually works.

In its 2009 budget, the Obama administration proposed eliminating the program, explaining that it “does little to increase the availability of gifted and talented programs in schools, increase the quality of those programs, or advance the field of gifted and talented education nationally.” In 2011, Congress defunded Javits.

Like most programs, Javits has vociferous defenders: Rene Islas, the executive director for the National Association for Gifted Children, credits Javits with helping find and support low-income, high achieving students, and developing strategies for their teachers. And the program had at least one well-positioned friend: Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the top Democrat on the powerful Appropriations Committee. She wanted the funding to continue, so in 2014, Congress appropriated $5 million for it. The program lived again.

The Javits program is unusual not because it’s unproven, or because it has come under attack from skeptics. It’s unusual because anyone managed to get it defunded at all. When it comes to the Department of Education, the more typical experience is for a program to fly largely under the radar, never produce a known result, and never go away.

In its 35 years of existence, the Department of Education has turned into a huge grab-bag of earnest but minor ideas, many untested, and bewildering for the local school districts that are supposed to benefit. The vast majority of its $72 billion budget is dedicated to three big national programs: grants to state school systems, funding for special education (both determined by a formula), and Pell Grants for needy students to attend college. Beyond that, the department runs nearly 300 programs—many of them tiny, and some of which, like Independent Living Services for Older Blind Individuals, have at best only a tangential connection to education.

The total funding for these programs is negligible in the grand scheme of federal spending, but there are hidden costs that don’t appear in the department’s financials: the distraction from the agency’s mission, the wasted resources, the lack of accountability, and the unnecessary confusion for states and schools trying to figure out just what federal grants they are supposed to apply for. And all of them are managed by a department of just 4,400, by the far the smallest Cabinet agency in the federal government.

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

 


 

 

Virtual schools are booming. Who’s paying attention?

Millions of kids, some as young as 5, now get their schooling online. Just one problem: Nobody knows how well it works.

Politico

 

My nephew’s senior year in high school is already different from mine in any number of ways—the iPhones, the Facebook account, an online encyclopedia of college essay ideas. But perhaps most astonishing is what I realized only after I talked to him about his daily routine: just how little time he’s physically in a school.

This semester, he’s taking two of his classes virtually, and even for the rest, so much of his coursework is done on the Web that he rarely needs to go into the building. By the time he graduates next year, he’ll have logged nearly a full semester’s worth of credits from completely virtual classes.

Everyone in his school does this at least once: thanks to a 2011 law, students in Florida, where he lives, are actually required to take a cyber course as a prerequisite to graduate. He knocked that off pretty quickly during his junior year, found that he liked the do-it-yourself approach to learning, and started to stack his schedule with them: U.S. history, AP environmental science, pre-calculus and two levels of Spanish. For his final semester next year, he’s planning to take at least two more online: perhaps U.S. government and math.

My nephew loves the freedom, which lets him work a part-time job at a local restaurant. His cyber classes are run by a public institution called the Florida Virtual School, the country’s oldest and largest statewide web-based high school; they let him do his coursework anytime he feels like it, with teachers on call from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. And there’s one other appeal, a timeless lure for a 17-year-old: “They’re easy credits,” he said.

It turns out that Ryan has a lot of company. Colleges might get all the attention for going online, in part because big brand names like MIT and Harvard now offer virtual courses for free around the world, but online schooling at the K-12 level has exploded over the past 20 years. As many as 5 million out of the country’s 54 million K-through-12 grade students have taken at least one online class. And more than 300,000 kids, some as young as five years old, were full-time online students during the 2013-14 school year—with little in the way of in-person instruction, no homeroom, no cafeteria food, no running around the track for gym class.

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

 

 


 

 

$490-million plan would put half of LAUSD students in charter schools Los Angeles Times

 

Critics of Los Angeles public schools have outlined an ambitious $490-million plan to place half of the city’s students into charter schools over the next eight years, a controversial gambit that backers hope will serve as a catalyst for the rest of the nation.

According to a 44-page memo obtained by The Times, the locally based Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and other charter advocates want to create 260 new charter schools, enrolling at least 130,000 students.

Organizers of the effort have declined to publicly release details of the plan. But the memo lays out a strategy for moving forward, including how to raise money, recruit and train teachers, provide outreach to parents and navigate the political battle that will probably ensue.

The document cites numerous foundations and individuals who could be tapped for funding. In addition to the Broad Foundation, the list includes the Gates, Bloomberg, Annenberg and Hewlett foundations. Among the billionaires cited as potential donors are Stewart and Lynda Resnick, major producers of mandarin oranges, pistachios and pomegranates; Irvine Co. head Donald Bren; entertainment mogul David Geffen; and Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk.

L.A. Unified already has more charters than any school system in the country, representing about 16% of total enrollment. Charters are independently run, publicly financed schools that are exempt from some rules that govern traditional campuses; most are nonunion.

But the proposed expansion would mean more than doubling the number of charter schools in Los Angeles, a feat that even backers say might prove demanding.

The push is already generating resistance from the school district as well as from powerful L.A. Unified employee unions.

Critics say charter schools create greater inequities because they frequently draw more-motivated and higher-achieving students and leave traditional schools worse off.

The situation, they say, leaves district schools with less money to serve a larger percentage of students with behavior problems and disabilities and those who need to learn English. And in some areas with active charter programs, traditional schools don’t have enough students.

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

 

 


 

 

Coding for kids makes sense — but it’s going to take more than just classrooms to make it work Washington Post

 

Coding has become so popular recently that it’s no wonder that cities are racing to introduce new coding initiatives as a way of establishing themselves as innovation leaders.

New York City, for example, is leading the way with a new 10-year, $81 million program called “Computer Science For All” that will make access to a computer science education available in all of the city’s public schools, from elementary school to high school. Not to be outdone, both Chicago and San Francisco are considering similar initiatives for students.

And it’s not just cities that are preparing for the future by embracing coding — it’s becoming a key part in how nations establish themselves as innovation leaders globally. Australia just announced that coding would be taught in all Australian public schools starting from Year 5. And last September, the UK announced that it would make principles of computer science a part of the school curriculum starting at age 5.

However, there’s a big difference between simply announcing a new program for public schools and actually getting results. For example, consider the New York City program. It establishes a long 10-year window for making computer science education available for kids. That’s short enough time for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to accept popular acclaim as a technology and innovation visionary, but long enough to ensure that he’ll never have to answer to critics about the program’s ultimate success or failure.

There are a number of challenges that schools must face before they adopt coding and programming as a key educational initiative. One key factor in making the program a success, for example, is ensuring that there are enough teachers for all of those schools. New York City schools must have all the teaching talent and expertise in-house within ten years — at least 5,000 teachers overall — a feat made all the more difficult by the fact that there’s no state teacher certification in computer science.

It’s one thing to hold an Hour of Code and have kids code for an hour at a time — it’s quite another to have a Semester of Code with full-time teachers on the payroll.

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

 


 

 

Teachers fume over bonus program tied to ACT, SAT scores Orlando (FL) Sentinel

 

Florida teachers have about a week left to apply for a $10,000 bonus program that has exasperated many because eligibility hinges on their ACT or SAT scores, even if those college-admissions exams were taken decades ago.

“It’s absurd to think that anything I did when I was 17 years old should be affecting my pay right now,” said James Brendlinger, a 23-year veteran who teaches at Lake Howell High School in Seminole County.

But Brendlinger qualifies because he did well on the SAT in 1989, so the theater teacher applied ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline.

He could not pass up the chance for such a windfall, he said, but like many teachers, he found the bonus program’s requirements baffling. Others called it insulting and nonsensical, saying teachers should be in line for a bonus if they’ve proved themselves in the classroom, not because they did well their college-entrance exams.

Florida’s Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program was funded by the Florida Legislature this spring. The one-year, $44 million program aims to give up to 4,402 teachers $10,000 bonuses each, though the rewards will be cut if more teachers qualify.

The Orange County school district said 280 teachers, or about 2 percent of its 13,800 instructors, have applied so far, while in Lake County 27 teachers out of about 2,900 have, and in Osceola County 41 teachers out of 3,600 have.

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

 

 


 

 

Probing the Impact of Parent-Teacher Digital Communication Education Week

 

Technology is not only changing the way students learn—it is reshaping the way parents and teachers interact.

Educators and researchers have long been intrigued by the potential of digital platforms and tools to strengthen communication between teachers and families. But in recent years, the proliferation of smartphones and various forms of apps, text-messaging, email, and social media has vastly improved the speed and scope of that communication, a digital transformation that carries implications for educators and parents alike.

Academic researchers have taken notice, and are beginning to probe what kinds of tech-based communication between educators and families bring the biggest academic payoff for students.

Many of the tech tools that connect teachers with parents are offered by commercial providers and used by teachers at their own initiative. But some school systems, like the San Francisco Unified School District, are integrating these platforms with their student-information systems, making them functional at the classroom, school, and district levels.

Yet even as proponents of those tools praise their ability to break down walls between schools and families, some say there are risks that the information exchange will overwhelm teachers and parents, and discourage them from engaging at all.

Others say that unequal levels of web connectivity at home prevent poor families from being able to engage with teachers in the same way that more affluent parents can. Advocates for closing that digital divide say that educators need to use a variety of communications to ensure they reach parents from all economic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds.

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

 

 


 

 

At Harvard, Teach for America CEO Talks Education Harvard Crimson

 

Elisa Villanueva Beard—who was named co-chief executive officer of Teach for America in 2013 and assumed sole CEO responsibilities this month—argued for the need for diversity and commitment among educators to a crowd of Harvard affiliates in Ticknor Lounge Tuesday night.

“We need folks from all backgrounds that have lots of passion … people that share the background of our kids, people that don’t,” Beard said. “Talent just matters. It’s so central to getting anything done.”

Villanueva Beard, who said she grew up in a relatively low-income area where most adults had not attended college, highlighted her own challenges and obstacles often faced by undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds when she entered higher education.

“I was so underprepared for college,” she said. “It was traumatizing.”

Beard’s visit to the University comes in a period of heated controversy in the field of education. Opponents of Teach for America have voiced concerns that the two-year commitment for TFA teachers risks undermining the quality of education received by students in low-income communities, and the Student Labor Action Movement, an on-campus student activist group, protested for Harvard to sever its connection to TFA last year.

In response to the recent criticism, Beard said that realistically, most young college graduates now do not envision holding one form of employment indefinitely.

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

 


 

 

Assistant Mack Breed told John Jay principal he ordered ref hits in anger ESPN

 

SAN ANTONIO — An assistant coach at John Jay High School in San Antonio told his school principal that he ordered his players to hit a referee in a Sept. 4 game out of anger that the official used racist language, according to evidence obtained by Outside the Lines.

In a signed statement detailing his interactions with the head coach after the game, John Jay High School principal Robert Harris says the team’s secondary coach, Mack Breed, admitted he “directed the students to make the referee pay for his racial comments and calls.”

On Wednesday, 15-year-old John Jay sophomore Victor Rojas and 17-year-old senior Michael Moreno each will attend disciplinary hearings.

On Sept. 4, Rojas and Moreno blindsided official Robert Watts late in the fourth quarter of a game in Marble Falls, Texas, on a deliberate tackle from behind — captured on video — that has now been seen on YouTube by more than 11 million people.

According to a sideline source and the accounts provided to Outside the Lines of four John Jay players, Watts used the N-word twice during the game, once before and once after the infamous hits, and also used language offensive to Hispanics.

Watts has declined to comment, but his attorney, Alan Goldberger, said Watts denies he used racist remarks of any kind.

Wednesday’s hearings will not be open to the public, but the statement from Harris provides a window into some of the evidence the hearing officer will consider when handing down a punishment to Rojas and Moreno.

http://go.uen.org/4H9

 


 

 

‘Impertinent’ John Lennon’s school detention record goes on sale Reuters

 

LONDON – Records from John Lennon’s school days suggest there may be more than a grain of autobiographical truth in “Getting Better”, the Beatles song that includes the line “I used to get mad at my school, the teachers that taught me weren’t cool”.

Auction house Sotheby’s said on Wednesday it would be offering a lined sheet, torn from a 1950s school notebook, listing the 15-year-old Lennon’s detentions for such transgressions as “impertinence” and “not wearing school cap”.

Sotheby’s said the sheet, listing 29 detentions imposed on Lennon between September 1955 and July 1956 at Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool, was rescued from a bonfire of old school records by an eagle-eyed member of staff in the 1970s.

“The frequent entries on this sheet from six different teachers reveal that John Lennon’s rebellious nature and irreverence were well established traits of his character even at the age of 15,” Sotheby’s said in a news release.

http://go.uen.org/4H8

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

 

USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

October 1:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://go.uen.org/1pn

 

 

October 8-9:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

October 20:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2015&Com=APPEXE

 

 

October 21:

Education Interim Committee meeting

8:30 a.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2015&Com=INTEDU

 

 

October 29:

Charter School Funding Task Force

1 p.m.,  445 State Capitol

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

Related posts:

Comments are closed.