Education News Roundup: Dec. 01, 2015

The Utah State Office of Education superintendency serves employees during the annual winter breakfast.

The Utah State Office of Education superintendency serves employees during the annual winter breakfast.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

  1. ENR admits it. Some days, there just isn’t a lot of education news. Today is one of those days.

 

There’s plenty of follow up on the release of the Every Student Succeeds Act language, however.

http://go.uen.org/5iR (WaPo)

and http://go.uen.org/5iS (WSJ)

and http://go.uen.org/5iT (Politico)

and http://go.uen.org/5j8 (Aljazeera America) or a copy of the bill http://go.uen.org/5iU (Congress)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Teen happy for 2nd chance after heart stopped in gym class

 

Utah Educational Savings Plan: Give the Gift

 

Whiskered cops whip up $6,600 for needy kids

 

Choir students help Zions Bank kick off holiday season

 

Students to present to diners in Portuguese

 

 


 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Engaging Families to Help Students Succeed The Flamboyan Foundation trains teachers to promote family engagement in ways that benefit students.

 


 

 

NATION

 

How schools would be judged under ‘Every Student Succeeds,’ the new No Child Left Behind

 

Disability Groups Condemn NEA President Over Perceived Slurs

 

Conservative group: Common Core dooms 2016 GOP governors

 

No easy options for Cuomo on coupling of tests and teacher evaluations

 

Can technology make large classes at suburban schools better?

 

Desegregation lawsuit pulls in state’s charter schools State weighs whether to include charters in integration plan

 

Pope Francis Pushes for Affordable Catholic Schools Schools that stress the Catholic faith can’t become elitist, the pontiff warns.

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Teen happy for 2nd chance after heart stopped in gym class

 

A West Jordan middle school boy has a second chance at life, thanks to the quick actions of school administrators and emergency teams.

On Monday afternoon, Skyler Nelson, 14, and his family, got to meet those who helped save his life for the first time, at a West Jordan Fire Station near Jordan Landing.

http://go.uen.org/5j5 (KUTV)

 

http://go.uen.org/5j6 (KTVX)

 


 

 

Utah Educational Savings Plan: Give the Gift

 

Salt Lake City — If you cannot decide on the right gift for your children or grandchildren, why not invest in their future?

The meaningful gift of education can be done through contributions to a 529 college savings account, like the Utah Educational Savings Plan.

http://go.uen.org/5j9 (KUTV)

 

 


 

 

Whiskered cops whip up $6,600 for needy kids

 

FARMINGTON — Davis County law enforcement officers raised $6,600 for needy children with a beard-growing contest that attracted entrants from eight police agencies.

The Layton Police Department said on its Facebook page Monday, Nov. 30, “We hate to see our beards go, but we are happy to have raised the money to help the Davis Education Foundation help kids in need.”

Participating employees from the agencies each paid $20 per month in October and November to grow their beards. The money will go toward the purchase of coats, clothing and other items.

http://go.uen.org/5j3 (OSE)

 

http://go.uen.org/5ja (KTVX)

 


 

 

Choir students help Zions Bank kick off holiday season

 

Second-grade students from the Madeleine Choir School in Salt Lake City sing holiday favorites after hanging handmade ornaments on a Christmas tree at Zions Banks’ Avenues financial center during a “Lights On” ceremony Monday. In appreciation, Zions Bank presented $200 to the school, which in turn was donated to the Road Home shelter. “This unique tradition allows us to share the spirit of the season with the children and support our schools,” Mike Van Roosendaal, manager of the financial center, said in a statement. “We love to show off the children’s ornaments and know the community will enjoy and appreciate them as much as we do.” Dozens of Utah and Idaho elementary schools will participate in Zions’ holiday celebrations this year. In addition, a number of Zions offices have invited students from special-needs classes and Title 1 schools to decorate the trees in their lobbies. The bank has been inviting students to participate in this annual event for 45 years.

http://go.uen.org/5j2 (DN)

 

 


 

 

Students to present to diners in Portuguese

 

Students in the dual language classes at Hillcrest Elementary will have a chance to show off their language skills during a fundraiser this Saturday.

Students will give presentations in Portuguese to diners at Gaucho Grill, a Brazilian steak house in Logan. These presentations will be on animals and their habitats.

http://go.uen.org/5j4 (LHJ)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Engaging Families to Help Students Succeed The Flamboyan Foundation trains teachers to promote family engagement in ways that benefit students.

U.S. News & World Report op-ed by David Osborne, director of the project on Reinventing America’s Schools at the Progressive Policy Institute

 

Everyone in public education knows that what happens at home is more important than what happens at school. Hence, many successful schools work to engage parents (or their substitutes) in their children’s education. Indeed, many of the nation’s best charter schools have long sent teachers to visit their students’ homes and asked parents to sign contracts that commit them to supporting the education of their children.

Lately some of the nation’s more innovative school districts have begun to emulate this practice. In Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C., family engagement has become an important element of district strategy.

In Washington, the effort is led by a nonprofit organization, the Flamboyan Foundation. Kristin Ehrgood, its founder and president, is an alumnus of Teach for America who went on to run the organization in New Jersey, then served on the Teach for America board in D.C. In 2006 she and her husband created the Flamboyan Foundation, and in 2008 they brought it to D.C. to invest in public education.

http://go.uen.org/5iY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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How schools would be judged under ‘Every Student Succeeds,’ the new No Child Left Behind Washington Post

 

Federal lawmakers on Monday released the final text of a compromise bill to rewrite No Child Left Behind, including closely watched language outlining how the nation’s K-12 schools would be judged — and how struggling schools would be improved — if the legislation passes.

The bill, dubbed the Every Student Succeeds Act, would largely shift authority from the federal government to states and districts, giving local officials far more power to define what it means for a school to be successful and to decide how and when to intervene in schools that persistently fail to live up to expectations.

It attempts to thread the needle between conservatives who want to shrink the federal government’s footprint in education and civil rights advocates who worry that some states, left to their own devices, will obfuscate or ignore the poor performance of schools serving low-income and minority students.

Specifically, under the Every Student Succeeds Act:

http://go.uen.org/5iR

 

http://go.uen.org/5iS (WSJ)

 

http://go.uen.org/5iT (Politico)

 

http://go.uen.org/5j8 (Aljazeera America)

 

A copy of the bill

http://go.uen.org/5iU (Congress)

 

 


 

 

Disability Groups Condemn NEA President Over Perceived Slurs Education Week

 

Parents and disability advocates have taken to Twitter and to Change.org to demand an apology and resignation from the president of the National Education Association over a portion of her remarks—which she later cast as a verbal stumble—at a gala where she received an award as a “progressive champion.”

In her Oct. 27 speech, Lily Eskelsen García offered the audience at the  Campaign for America’s Future awards gala a long list of teachers’ activities: “We serve kids a hot meal. We put Band-Aids on boo-boos. We diversify our curriculum instruction to meet the personal individual needs of all of our students—the blind, the hearing-impaired, the physically challenged, the gifted and talented, the chronically ‘tarded’ and the medically annoying.” Her list continued and ended with cheers and applause from the audience.

http://go.uen.org/5iV

 

 


 

 

Conservative group: Common Core dooms 2016 GOP governors (Washington, DC) The Hill

 

Republican governors struggling in the GOP presidential contest are weighed down by their failure to fully rebuke Common Core education standards, according to the conservative think tank American Principles Project (APP).

Common Core, the set of education standards that were adopted by 46 states five years ago but have since become toxic with the conservative base, has not been at the center of the Republican primary debate, which has so far been dominated by national security and immigration.

However, APP and its education director Emmett McGroarty argue that the issue still animates grassroots conservatives, and that it has been a factor in several candidates – former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker – not getting a hearing from the base.

“As candidates drop down the polls and out of the presidential race, support for the Common Core national education standards has often become intertwined with their decline,” McGroarty wrote in background information provided exclusively to The Hill.

“Due to the Common Core’s deeper roots in an increasingly unpopular top-down ideology, a candidate’s acceptance or rejection of the Core now serves as a leading indicator for determining whether he or she will ultimately have a chance at the nomination,” he said.

http://go.uen.org/5iX

 


 

 

No easy options for Cuomo on coupling of tests and teacher evaluations Politico

 

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reported plan to retreat from a politically fraught linkage of test scores and teacher evaluations could turn out to be pretty complicated, too.

Cuomo has been “quietly pushing” to reduce or even eliminate the weight of students’ performance on state exams in teacher evaluations through changes in regulation rather than legislation, the New York Times reported last week. But altering the rules, shaped by a prescriptive Cuomo-backed law passed last session, might require legislative action and not just cooperation from the State Education Department and state Board of Regents.

The move to decouple the two would be a dramatic shift for the governor, who has touted strengthening teacher evaluations (and ensuring school districts’ participation by linking policy changes to state aid) as a chief accomplishment of his governorship.

http://go.uen.org/5iW

 


 

 

Can technology make large classes at suburban schools better?

Chicago Daily Herald

 

The average suburban classroom is awash in technology.

Chromebooks, iPads and smartphones, Google Docs, class websites, video lectures — things invented today will be in some classrooms next month. It’s a new reality.

But the average suburban classroom varies greatly in size, from nine to 35.5 students, according to state report card data released this fall for the 2014-15 school year.

As more districts put computing devices in the hands of every student, education experts say there has yet to be much study on the effects of technology in large or small classes. So it’s easy to presume all the new computing power can only help.

“I think with the advent and explosion of technology, that’s been the general assumption,” said Dan Montgomery, president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers. “Like, ‘Oh, great. Everyone has a tablet, must be easier to teach now.’ What we’re finding, and there’s actually no good research on this, is that’s not necessarily true.”

While some might think the introduction of technology could allow easier management of large classes, teachers and educational experts aren’t so sure. Technology, they say, can help increase student engagement and ownership of work, but it also can hinder concentration and focus.

http://go.uen.org/5j1

 

 


 

Desegregation lawsuit pulls in state’s charter schools State weighs whether to include charters in integration plan Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

 

The cafeteria at Noble Academy charter school in Brooklyn Park is adorned with Laotian-style ornamentation, a nod to its mostly Hmong student body. Employees at St. Paul’s Higher Ground Academy can converse in the first languages of its predominantly East African population. Nearly all the students at Friendship Academy of the Arts in Minneapolis are black.

To compete for students, Minnesota’s charter schools mold themselves with distinct identities that often appeal to individual racial or ethnic groups. That approach has helped create schools so racially homogeneous that more than three-quarters of elementary students at Twin Cities charters attend schools with 80 percent or higher white or nonwhite enrollment.

It’s a higher rate of racial concentration than traditional public elementary schools, which in Minneapolis and St. Paul have reached levels of segregation not seen since the 1980s. And many charter schools have served homogeneous student bodies from the start.

Charter school supporters make no apologies for the lack of diversity in their classrooms.

“Choice is like a civil right,” said Bill Wilson, executive director of Higher Ground Academy. “Choice is democracy.”

Yet in a lawsuit filed against the state this month, attorneys blame charters for heightening segregation in Minneapolis and St. Paul schools. The lack of diversity in charters also has caught the attention of the Minnesota Department of Education, which is considering whether charters should be subject to state integration rules for the first time.

http://go.uen.org/5iZ

 


 

 

Pope Francis Pushes for Affordable Catholic Schools Schools that stress the Catholic faith can’t become elitist, the pontiff warns.

U.S. News & World Report

 

Amid a potential comeback by Catholic schools in the U.S., Pope Francis is urging thousands of Catholic educators to make a church-based education more affordable for poor students.

“We can’t let our schools become elitist,” Brother Robert Bimonte says the pope told a group of more than 2,000 that descended on the Vatican from around the globe earlier this month. The educators were there to celebrate the 50th anniversary of what’s considered the church’s declaration of the importance of Christian education.

“They can’t just be schools for those who can afford them,” Bimonte, president of the National Catholic Educational Association, says the pope stressed during an hourlong, off-the-cuff speech. “And very consistent with everything Pope Francis has said in the past, he reminded us of our need to reach out to the poor and those at the margins.”

The call comes at an important moment for Catholic schools in the U.S. After decades of steep enrollment declines and lackluster student performance, the parochial schools may be on the verge of a revival.

http://go.uen.org/5j7

 

 

 

 

 

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USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

December 3:

Utah State Board of Education study session and committee meetings

2:45 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

December 4:

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

 

 

December 7:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

December 10:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

January 6:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2016&com=APPPED

 

 

January 25:

Utah Legislature

First day of the 2016 general session

http://le.utah.gov/

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