Education News Roundup: Feb. 10, 2016

The Citizen and the Constitution Junior High School Competition.

The Citizen and the Constitution Junior High School Competition/Education News Roundup

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Sen. Weiler’s school gun safety bill advances in the Senate.

http://go.uen.org/60D (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/60Q (PDH)

and http://go.uen.org/612 (KSL)

and http://go.uen.org/614 (KUER)

 

Utah State Board of Education Chair Crandall is among the guests on today’s Trib Talk discussing public education funding.

http://go.uen.org/61o (SLT)

 

ENR bids a sad farewell to Associate Superintendent Jones.

http://go.uen.org/60M (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/61i (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/60R (LHJ)

 

OECD report says U.S. isn’t helping low-performing math students get better.

http://go.uen.org/61b (Ed Week)

or a copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/61c (OECD)

 

Is there a stigma surrounding apprenticeships?

http://go.uen.org/60E (USN&WR)

and http://go.uen.org/60F (Center for American Progress)

 

China wants more patriotic education.

http://go.uen.org/61e (NYT)

and http://go.uen.org/61f ([Hong Kong] South China Morning Post

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Utah schools could teach kids how to ‘respect’ but not fear guns under proposed training Safety » Voluntary program would teach kids to alert an adult if they find a firearm.

 

Bill aims to provide training for school resource officers

 

Better Utah Launches #NoExcuses, Considers Lawsuit Over Education Funding

 

Trib Talk: Covering the cost of education

 

With more parents choosing not to vaccinate, Utah on brink of losing ‘herd immunity’

 

State education administrator announces resignation

 

School board passes policy on naming school facilities

 

BLM and SITLA Enter into Wild Horse Management Agreement

 

States Are Setting Bar Higher for ‘Proficiency’

 

Talk discusses using art therapy to help autistic children

 

USU Autism Program Spreads Internationally

 

Cyprus High students create sweethearts dance for peer with cancer

 

Arts celebrated at Utah Capitol

 

‘We’re all going to go far:’ Sterling Scholar hopefuls interview for next round

 

Old Granite High building could be replaced by Wal-Mart

 

Distraught woman with knife subdued outside locked-down Harrisville school

 

LDS missionary killed in Tuesday’s car-bus crash in Silver Spring Township

 

Utah grandmother given probation for meth pipe in granddaughter’s backpack

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Rob Nelson

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Matthew Farley

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

This video about “white privilege” that has parents furious…

 

Students not alone in having problems with story problems

 

Support HB201

 

Morality, not courts, demands adequate school funding

 

A Campaign Issue Left Behind

Candidates aren’t saying much about education, but the next president will certainly shape it

 

Education IT: Hot Tech Trends To Watch

Cloud, big data, and security are all big factors in education IT this year. At the same time, there is a cultural shift taking place not only among the student body, but within the demographics of the IT departments themselves.

 


 

 

NATION

 

OECD: U.S. Efforts Haven’t Helped Low Performers on Global Math, Reading Tests

 

Apprenticeship Efforts Still Hampered by Stereotypes Can programs aimed at bridging America’s skills gap overcome a shop-class stigma?

 

U.S. schools have more computers than ever. But what are they doing with all that (expensive) technology?

 

State education board backs Juneau’s ACT decision for juniors

 

Computer coding proposal advances in Florida House

 

Some students to protest DPS with sick-out on Count Day

 

Former Teachers Criticize Charter School School officials respond to charges and point to test scores, rapid growth

 

Student-testing firm defends itself after Tennessee computer glitches

 

Is more physical education at school linked to higher student math scores?

 

Schools get hundreds of parents’ voicemails for Broncos parade Final count of Denver school absences won’t be ready until Wednesday

 

Hero teens stop out-of-control school bus on Route 22  “He couldn’t talk at all. I knew we would have to get him off the wheel. As it was happening, I wasn’t nervous.”

 

China Says Its Students, Even Those Abroad, Need More ‘Patriotic Education’

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Utah schools could teach kids how to ‘respect’ but not fear guns under proposed training Safety » Voluntary program would teach kids to alert an adult if they find a firearm.

 

The Utah Senate gave its first vote of approval on Tuesday to a bill to create gun safety training for middle school students.

Under the bill, sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, eighth-graders at participating schools would opt-in to the program, which would encourage children to alert an adult if they come across a firearm.

“It doesn’t bring guns into the classroom, it doesn’t teach children how to fire weapons or how to use guns,” Weiler said. “It basically teaches them how to respect guns and not point them at their friends.”

Senators voted 18-7 in favor of the bill, which would require an additional Senate vote before advancing to the House.

The bill would set aside $75,000 from the state’s General Fund to create the gun safety program, which would be optional for both schools and students.

http://go.uen.org/60D (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/60Q (PDH)

 

http://go.uen.org/612 (KSL)

 

http://go.uen.org/614 (KUER)

 


 

 

Bill aims to provide training for school resource officers

 

A new bill aims to have Utah’s school resource officers receive specialized training on how adults can influence the youth they are around.

The bill specifically addresses the school-to-prison pipeline, which refers to the events that drive students from the classrooms and into the juvenile and criminal justice system.

In 2013, almost 1.1 million delinquency cases that involved juveniles charged with criminal law violations were reported in U.S. courts, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

http://go.uen.org/60U (SGS)

 


 

 

Better Utah Launches #NoExcuses, Considers Lawsuit Over Education Funding

 

The Alliance for a Better Utah announced the launch of #NoExcuses, a campaign aimed at increasing funding for K-12 public school education.

While other groups are seeking legislative remedies, the Alliance for a Better Utah has initiated the work necessary to file a lawsuit against the State of Utah in order to force the Utah legislature to increase funding for our K-12 public schools.

“Utah’s elected officials have deliberately and consciously adopted policy decisions that have eroded funding of our public schools over the past 20 years,” stated Josh Kanter, founder of the Alliance for a Better Utah. “Enough is enough. No more excuses. It’s time to adequately fund our public schools.”

http://go.uen.org/61m (UP)

 


 

 

Trib Talk: Covering the cost of education

 

What’s the best way to pay for Utah’s underfunded schools: a lawsuit, a tax hike, a new formula for school trust land funds or something else?

On Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., state Board of Education Chairman Dave Crandall, Jesselie Anderson of Education First and Josh Kanter of Alliance for a Better Utah join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to talk about the alternatives.

http://go.uen.org/61o (SLT)

 


 

 

With more parents choosing not to vaccinate, Utah on brink of losing ‘herd immunity’

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Noah Chesler was excited to go back to school.

Not many 9-year-olds are. But Noah had been gone for nearly two years — after a bone marrow transplant left his immune system too weak to fight the onslaught of infections lurking around every classroom.

Then, right before his scheduled return, someone in his school district caught measles.

That was the 2011 Salt Lake County measles outbreak, which started when a family with unvaccinated children traveled abroad and returned with measles that sickened seven people, including three who got the disease from school.

If you ask Noah’s mom, Cristie Chesler, immunizing your children is more than a personal choice — it’s a social obligation.

http://go.uen.org/60K (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/61k (CVD)

 

http://go.uen.org/60Z (KSL)

 


 

 

State education administrator announces resignation

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Less than a year after he took the position, Scott Jones has resigned as associate superintendent for business and operations at the Utah State Office of Education.

The Utah State Board of Education announced Jones’ resignation Tuesday, noting that he has accepted a position with the National Nuclear Security Administration and will continue his career in the Army Reserve.

http://go.uen.org/60M (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/61i (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/60R (LHJ)

 


 

 

School board passes policy on naming school facilities

 

After several months of discussion and listening to public input, the Washington County School Board put the updates to Policy 5111 up for a vote.

On Tuesday, the school board approved the changes made to the policy, which deals with how the naming and renaming of schools and school facilities will be handled.

An initial draft of the policy gave Superintendent Larry Bergeson the authority to name school-related facilities. According to the preliminary policy draft, this would have included rooms, halls, libraries, fields, portions of schools or grounds.

However, members of the community wanted to keep the decision-making process in the hands of the school board. According to the online policy, the school board will have the final say in approving the naming of schools.

http://go.uen.org/60T (SGS)

 

http://go.uen.org/60W (SGN)

 


 

 

BLM and SITLA Enter into Wild Horse Management Agreement

 

The Bureau of Land Management and Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) announced on Feb. 3, they entered into an Agreement to effectively manage wild horses located on SITLA lands within areas across the State of Utah.

SITLA is an independent state agency that manages and develops the State’s trust-land assets for the benefit of Utah’s public education system and other state institutions. There are about 3.4 million acres of SITLA-managed land interspersed within and among the 22.9 million acres of public lands throughout Utah, with more than 555,000 acres of SITLA lands impacted by wild horses. The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros (WH&B) Act prohibits SITLA from unilaterally removing wild horses from its trust lands. Only the BLM can remove wild horses and then only after it has consulted with and involved state wildlife agencies and other affected interests, and has entered into agreements as necessary when managing wild horses and burros. SITLA, in accordance with the 1971 WH&B Act, originally filed suit in federal district court against BLM on February 3, 2015, for failure to remove wild horses from school section lands held in trust by the State of Utah.

http://go.uen.org/61B (Emery County Progress)

 


 

 

States Are Setting Bar Higher for ‘Proficiency’

 

States are raising their expectations for student “proficiency” on tests of math and English/language arts, and making their tests tougher to pass.

That’s the conclusion of two new studies released late last month. They found that states have been adopting more difficult academic standards—in many cases, the common core—and then choosing or designing assessments that are more challenging as well. States are setting cut scores on those tests that produce much lower rates of proficiency than did their previous tests.

One study was published Jan. 27 in the journal Education Next. The other was released Jan. 28 by Achieve and the Collaborative for Student Success, two groups that push for higher standards. Both reports mirror the trend reported by Education Week last fall, when it published its national database of states’ 2014-15 test scores alongside their previous year’s test scores. That database shows big drops in proficiency rates in many states as they adopted tests aligned to new academic standards.

The Education Next study found that since 2011, 45 states have raised the performance levels for proficiency. Thirty-six of the 45 did so within just the last two years.

Three states—Massachusetts, New York, and Utah—earned praise for having NAEP-like expectations in both subjects. New York’s expectations are even higher than NAEP’s: Proficiency rates on its 4th grade reading and 8th grade math tests are 3 percentage points to 10 percentage points lower than those rates on the NAEP, Achieve reports.

http://go.uen.org/61u (Ed Week)

 

Copies of the studies

http://go.uen.org/61v (Education Next)

 

http://go.uen.org/61w (Achieve)

 


 

 

Talk discusses using art therapy to help autistic children

 

An autistic child was afraid of letters, but loved drawing faces on everything.

So Patrick Allred used art as a solution to help him learn.

“He’d draw faces on each of the letters and it became less scary,” said Allred, a registered behavior technician who works with the Utah Autism Academy. “With these letters, he was able to learn the alphabet because they were nice to him, they weren’t scary.”

Art, and how it could be used to help children with autism, was the topic of an art talk Tuesday evening at the Woodbury Art Museum, where three professionals who utilize art therapy talked about how children who have difficulties vocalizing needs can learn to use art to communicate.

http://go.uen.org/60P (PDH)

 


 

 

USU Autism Program Spreads Internationally

 

The Autism Support Services: Education, Research and Training or ASSERT program at Utah State University works with pre-school kids with autism to help them learn to talk, take care of themselves and get ready for kindergarten.

It was founded in 2003 and is now spreading internationally. In November, educators from Russia came to the university to learn how to replicate the program in their own city.

http://go.uen.org/61t (UPR)

 


 

 

Cyprus High students create sweethearts dance for peer with cancer

 

MAGNA — After a high school dancer facing childhood cancer learned she couldn’t attend her school’s sweethearts dance, her peers created one for her.

Alexis Gould was diagnosed with neuroblastoma last fall and has since undergone five rounds of chemotherapy. Later this week, she will face an eight-hour or more surgery performed by two doctors.

Due to Thursday’s surgery, the Gould family assumed the Cyprus High School sweethearts dance was going to be yet another she would miss.

She had planned to go to homecoming with her friends, but instead, she ended up in the emergency room and was diagnosed homecoming weekend in September, according to her mother, Emily Gould.

When her fellow drill team dancers and community members got word of this, they organized a special dance just for Alexis Gould.

http://go.uen.org/610 (KSL)

 


 

 

Arts celebrated at Utah Capitol

 

SALT LAKE CITY- Utah lawmakers and residents alike gathered together at the State Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 9, to celebrate the arts.

The Utah Department of Heritage and Arts partnered with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums to host Utah Art Day. Tables of artwork created by students from across the state were on display. Performers in the Capotp; rotunda helped promote the importance of the arts, especially for kids.

http://go.uen.org/60X (BYU Universe)

 

http://go.uen.org/61n (KSL)

 


 

 

‘We’re all going to go far:’ Sterling Scholar hopefuls interview for next round

 

WEST JORDAN — Callie-Jo Stanford’s passion for business started out as a happy accident when she was invited to a get-together with members of DECA, a student marketing association.

“It was actually an ice cream social,” she said with a laugh. “I went for the food.”

Beginning in that first gathering, Stanford was hooked on the student organization and the promise of a career in business.

“They were really nice kids and were really persuasive,” she said.

Within a short time, Stanford rose through the ranks and was elected state president of DECA. On Tuesday, the Herriman High School senior went head to head with other business prodigies, putting her passion for her chosen field on display and competing in the prestigious Deseret News/KSL Sterling Scholar Awards Program.

http://go.uen.org/60L (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/611 (KSL)

 


 

 

Old Granite High building could be replaced by Wal-Mart

 

South Salt Lake, Utah — The South Salt Lake City Council will vote on Wednesday for a platt amendment that will lay the foundation for a possible development that would put a Wal-Mart Store at the site of the old Granite High building at 3300 South and 500 East.

http://go.uen.org/60Y (KUTV)

 


 

 

Distraught woman with knife subdued outside locked-down Harrisville school

 

HARRISVILLE — Police ordered a precautionary lockdown at a charter school Tuesday morning after a woman with a knife outside the building threatened to harm herself, Police Chief Maxwell Jackson said.

GreenWood Charter School, 840 N. U.S. 89, was locked for about 20 minutes at 10 a.m. while police responded to the report of the woman, who was in front of the school by the roadside, Jackson said.

One Harrisville officer distracted the woman, in her mid-20s, while the other tackled her to the sidewalk from behind and handcuffed her, Jackson said. She had a kitchen knife, similar to a steak knife, which flew out of her hand when she was tackled, he said.

Ordering a lockdown was an automatic response to the situation, the chief said.

http://go.uen.org/60O (OSE)

 


 

 

LDS missionary killed in Tuesday’s car-bus crash in Silver Spring Township

 

A Utah woman killed Tuesday afternoon in a Silver Spring Township crash involving a school bus and a car was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pennsylvania, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, KSL.com and other media reports.

Sadie Wells, 20, of Kaysville was killed when a bus carrying 32 Cumberland Valley School District students hit the car she was riding in as the front passenger, according to Pennsylvania State Police in Carlisle. The crash took place at the intersection of West Trindle and Locust Point road on the border between Silver Spring and Monroe townships.

The Wells family distributed a statement and photos to media in Utah Wednesday.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our daughter and sister, Sadie Danielle Wells. We will miss her smile and vibrant, fun-loving personality. Our concern is for her mission companion and the other sister missionaries involved in the accident, and we pray for them and their families.

http://go.uen.org/61G (Carlisle [PA] Sentinel)

 

http://go.uen.org/61Q (Harrisburg [PA] Patriot-News)

 

http://go.uen.org/61H (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/61I (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/61O (OSE)

 

http://go.uen.org/61M (BYU Universe)

 

http://go.uen.org/61J (KUTV)

 

http://go.uen.org/61N (KTVX)

 

http://go.uen.org/61K (KSL)

 

http://go.uen.org/61L (KSTU)

 


 

 

Utah grandmother given probation for meth pipe in granddaughter’s backpack

 

A Utah grandmother was given three years probation, after pleading guilty to child endangerment, as well as other drug charges. The charges stem from an incident where the woman had been smoking meth from the pipe before helping her granddaughter with reading homework and accidentally dropping the pipe in the backpack. The pipe was discovered in the girl’s bag by a teacher, who promptly called police.

In addition to probation the woman was ordered to pay a $600 fine and enter a drug rehabilitation program.

http://go.uen.org/615 (KNRS)

 

http://go.uen.org/617 (MUR)

 


 

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Rob Nelson

 

Rob Nelson is a seventh to nineth grade science teacher at Mountainville Academy in Alpine. He was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week.

http://go.uen.org/61p (PDH)

 


 

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Matthew Farley

 

Matthew Farley is 15 years old and is a nineth grader at Mountainville Academy in Alpine. He was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Student of the Week.

http://go.uen.org/61q (PDH)

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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This video about “white privilege” that has parents furious…

KNRS commentary by Rod Arquette

 

Students attending Glen Allen high School in Henrico, Virginia got more than a lesson in racial relations, or whatever was being taught at this assembly, when a highly controversial video was shown to them. And it has their parents just about ready to light the torches and grab the pitchforks. Take a look for yourself and see what you think…

So yea…this is TOTALLY the message that Martin Luther King was trying to convey in his famous “I have a dream” speech. Give special treatment to certain races because others supposedly have it better off and therefore don’t deserve it. Thing is back then people understood that equal rights meant just that…equal rights under the law. No favoritism, no racial quotas, no recruiting preferences and all that other nonsense. They just wanted to be judged on their qualifications and their character, not simply on what race they happened to be born in to.

Funny thing is the majority of these problems are directly attributable to the federal government. Standardized testing, failing schools, and especially the school to prison pipeline are all things that have resulted in the federal government turning the traditional black family in to something so seldom seen today. And yet we’re not allowed to mention it at all.

http://go.uen.org/616

 


 

 

Students not alone in having problems with story problems

(Logan) Herald Journal commentary by columnist Chad Hawkes

 

Other than “inside recess,” there are few words in the English language that illicit more moans and groans among my 5th graders than the words “story problem.” It doesn’t matter how you dress them up, present them, recreate them, disguise them or hide them, they are still story problems.

The anatomy of the despised story problem has not changed much over the years. The information, how to set it up and how it applies to everyday life is still frustrating for students, parents and, yes, even teachers. Story problems have been around for centuries and I imagine were just as perplexing to those who studied them years ago as to those who curse their existence today.

I’ve unearthed a few story problems from the past (secret archives) to illustrate how they would appear through the eyes of a 10 year old. Try your luck with these!

http://go.uen.org/60S

 


 

 

Support HB201

Deseret News letter from Suzanne Kirk

 

I am writing in support of HB201 sponsored by Rep. Marie Poulson. HB201 would eliminate SAGE test results from teacher evaluations. As a computer lab aide, I have watched students take SAGE tests. Some take the tests seriously and do their best and others are just “happy clickers” who rush through without a care about the end result. Students are so overtested throughout the year that by the time the end-of-year SAGE test rolls around, it becomes just one more set of tests to click their way through.

http://go.uen.org/60N

 


 

 

Morality, not courts, demands adequate school funding Salt Lake Tribune letter from Don Thomas

 

The Alliance for a Better Utah is threatening to sue the state if adequate funding is not provided for public education. It cites South Carolina as a state sued for this purpose (Abbeville v. South Carolina). I was working in South Carolina when I assisted a low-wealth district to sue the state for adequate funding.

That was more than 20 years ago. Although the Supreme Court ruled in the schools’ favor, the Legislature has refused to provide the adequate funding required by the court’s decision. The problem is that the court has no enforcement ability other than to hold the Legislature in contempt. This does nothing to force it to provide adequate funding.

http://go.uen.org/61l

 


 

 

A Campaign Issue Left Behind

Candidates aren’t saying much about education, but the next president will certainly shape it U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Andrew J. Rotherham, founder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners

 

With the primary season upon us everyone in the education world is talking about the presidential candidates. But the presidential candidates are not really talking about education.

This shouldn’t surprise. It happens almost every cycle but is nonetheless treated as novel or curious even though education rarely matters to presidential campaigns. Yes, voters, especially Democratic voters, tell pollsters education is a priority but that’s not the same thing as voting based on a candidate’s education positions. I haven’t seen it polled in recent years (see, I told you education doesn’t matter a great deal in presidential elections) but when pollsters used to ask voters if they’d base their vote solely or largely on education less than ten percent said they would. That makes education different than issues like guns, abortion or even taxes – where a single issue can drive votes. Presidential candidates understand this and respond accordingly.

Today voters say education matters to them – but they say that about a lot of issues. For instance a NBC poll released last month is pretty typical. Pollsters asked voters what issues mattered most to them. Education was right there in the second tier after jobs and the economy, terrorism and health care – but only nine percent of voters said it mattered most. That’s compared to 23 percent for terrorism and 27 percent for the economy.

To the extent candidates use the education issue in campaigns it is usually in the service of a broader point. When Bill Clinton talked about charter schools and accountability in 1992 he was sending a signal that he was a “New” Democrat and not beholden to the Democratic Party’s interest group orthodoxy. George W. Bush’s 2000 “compassionate conservatism” highlighted education elements but wasn’t really about schools. He was trying to reassure women that he wasn’t Tom DeLay or Newt Gingrich out to slash popular programs or dismantle the Department of Education.

http://go.uen.org/61g

 


 

 

Education IT: Hot Tech Trends To Watch

Cloud, big data, and security are all big factors in education IT this year. At the same time, there is a cultural shift taking place not only among the student body, but within the demographics of the IT departments themselves.

Information Week commentary by columnist Esther Schindler

 

Education is all about looking into the future — at least in preparing young people to create a new and better world. Whether the educational system enlightens grade school kids or university students, the knowledge imparted needs to encompass technology — both its use and the resources it provides. As a result, educational IT departments have challenges that don’t precisely match those in typical enterprise computing departments.

One notable difference between corporate IT and educational IT in the public school systems is that technology budgets for education are constrained by factors outside the typical decision-making processes of “the business.” As with government IT, the public school bills are paid by taxpayers who’d prefer the money stayed in their own pockets. Public schools have to “make do” all over, but the rapid pace of technological change underscores how quickly educational institutions can fall behind in process, as well as in geeky tools.

The budget scenario is different for private schools and in higher education, but in all cases IT is challenged to keep up with student demand to use the latest and greatest technologies.

http://go.uen.org/61h

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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OECD: U.S. Efforts Haven’t Helped Low Performers on Global Math, Reading Tests Education Week

 

After more than a decade of heavy investment in closing achievement gaps and bringing all students to proficiency in reading and mathematics, the United States has fewer low-performing students on the Program for International Student Assessment—but only in science.

In math and reading, by contrast, there were no changes at all in the share of low-performing students on the PISA between 2003 and 2012 , according to a new analysis by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. America was flat during that period, remaining a little worse than the international average in the share of students who performed below minimum proficiency in all three subjects.

Among U.S. 15-year-olds, 26 percent were low-performing in math, 17 percent in reading, and 18 percent in science. More than 1 in 10—some 95,000 students—scored low on all three subjects.

“These are big numbers,” said Andreas Schleicher, OECD’s director for education and skills in a briefing with reporters. “You translate that into the future, these are people who will be underemployed, unemployed. … This is a very significant liability for our society.”

Nine other countries did significantly reduce the number of students who were low-perfroming during the same time frame, including the Russian Federation, Brazil, and Mexico.

http://go.uen.org/61b

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/61c (OECD)

 


 

 

Apprenticeship Efforts Still Hampered by Stereotypes Can programs aimed at bridging America’s skills gap overcome a shop-class stigma?

U.S. News & World Report

 

The U.S. is trying to have an apprenticeship moment, but old habits die hard.

For the past three years now, President Barack Obama has used his State of the Union address to tout the potential benefits of apprenticeship programs, especially when it comes to filling the roughly 5 million job openings in the U.S. and putting a dent in the skills gap.

He’s called for a doubling in the number of apprenticeships over the next five years, and has made repeated attempts to increase federal funding for apprenticeship programs in his budget proposals.

And while there have been some signs of progress – the number of apprenticeships inched up from 360,000 to 450,000 over the last year and a half, according to the Department of Labor – still less than one-half of 1 percent of the nation’s workforce was engaged in an apprenticeship program in 2015.

Turns out, there’s a fairly good reason for that.

“There’s still this myth out there that this is shop class,” former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky said Tuesday during a panel discussion on apprenticeships at the left-leaning Center for American Progress in Washington. “Back in the day, shop class was where you sent the kids who really couldn’t make it. Those kids then came out of high school and went to work as mechanics or as carpenters or in a factory someplace. And all those factories were thought to be dark, dirty places with grease all over everybody and sparks flying through the air.”

“In the minds of many people, manufacturing was something you settled for when you really couldn’t do anything else as a career,” Beshear said.

http://go.uen.org/60E

 

http://go.uen.org/60F (Center for American Progress)

 


 

 

U.S. schools have more computers than ever. But what are they doing with all that (expensive) technology?

Hechinger Report

 

A show-stopping school of innovation today can quickly devolve into tomorrow’s has-been.

Keeping track of who’s doing what in the diverse field of blended learning, which mixes online and in-person education, isn’t easy. There are few sure things in life, but the lightning-fast rate of change in education technology is a given.

The Blended Learning Universe and its new website, blendedlearning.org, offer a solution for schools and those who want to track local trends. It has assembled a database of more than 300 profiles (and counting) from 175 schools districts in 38 states.

“We want to capture the changes people make over time – it’s a process,” said Julia Freeland Fisher, director of education at the Clayton Christensen Institute, the San Francisco-based nonprofit think tank that advocates for blended learning, and that launched the Blended Learning Universe project.

“The goal here is not everyone needs to reinvent the wheel,” she said, referring to the need for schools to learn from each other.

And the new website isn’t a one-sided conversation. Educators may connect online with each other in a format reminiscent of LinkedIn or Facebook. The online networking function for the Blended Learning Universe is novel. The website includes features to allow schools to update their information as they continue to change. This website builds upon previous work at the institute, which has long been known for its work in producing profiles of innovative schools.

http://go.uen.org/61d

 


 

 

State education board backs Juneau’s ACT decision for juniors Billings (MT) Gazette

 

The Montana Board of Public Education approved a plan for high school juniors to take the ACT in place of Smarter Balanced exams to fulfill national testing mandates this spring, but not without debate.

Board members criticized Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau at the board’s January meeting for not informing them of the change. She announced the change at the same time results from glitch-plagued Smarter Balanced results were released. The board still backed up the move for this school year at its meeting Thursday.

http://go.uen.org/60G

 


 

 

Computer coding proposal advances in Florida House Tampa Bay (FL) Times

 

Plans to require public high schools to provide computer-coding courses and let students count them toward foreign language credits continue to easily advance through the Florida Legislature.

The Senate version — led by former Yahoo executive and current state Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate — is ready for consideration on the chamber’s floor, and the House version passed its second of three committees on Tuesday.

The bill by Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, was amended by the House education budget committee to include a $79,000-paid position at the Department of Education to “fund the bill.”

http://go.uen.org/60H

 


 

 

Some students to protest DPS with sick-out on Count Day Detroit Free Press

 

Some Detroit Public Schools parents are planning to keep their children home today, which is Count Day, to protest and highlight problems in the school district.

Nicknamed a “student sick-out” on social media, the event was organized by parents at various schools who met together over the weekend, said LaMethia Champion, the mother of two children at Cass Tech High School.

It’s unclear how many students plan to participate. One Detroit church is hosting an alternative school for the day.

Count Day is one of two days in a school year that attendance helps determine the amount of state aid a district will receive.

http://go.uen.org/61a

 


 

 

Former Teachers Criticize Charter School School officials respond to charges and point to test scores, rapid growth Payson (AZ) Roundup

 

The proposed opening of an American Leadership Academy charter school in Payson has spurred a furious debate in the community.

On one side, parents frustrated with the Payson Unified School District say they would welcome the K-8 charter school, with a network of campuses with some 6,000 students statewide, higher than average test scores on most of its campuses, uniforms, new buildings and the relative freedom from state regulation charter schools enjoy.

On the other side, many advocates for the Payson Unified School District fear the loss of hundreds of students will cause a financial crisis for the district, draining off the resources needed to provide a full array of programs.

But another group has weighed in on the debate. Former ALA teachers and parents have spoken at public forums and in phone calls and letters sent to the Roundup. Those critics have countered many of the assertions ALA officials have made in community meetings in Payson.

The former teachers talk of an intimidating workplace, nepotism, a lack of transparency and seemingly arbitrary firings. More than half a dozen former ALA teachers have offered their opinions, but only Ellie Hardt, Lindley Henson, April Wiltbank and Whitney Lemieux have agreed to go on the record to tell their stories. All also had children attending an ALA campus. They paint a very different picture of ALA than the one that has emerged from public meetings staged by the charter school operators or during the Roundup’s recent tour of two ALA campuses in Queen Creek in the Valley.

After extensive interviews with ALA critics, the Roundup contacted ALA officials for a response. This prompted a delay in the series the Roundup has launched on the charter school and its potential impact on the community.

The Roundup met with ALA founder Glenn Way, his CEO Brent McArthur, ALA lawyer Brian Holmes and ALA Director Bill Guttery in the Roundup offices to provide them with a chance to respond to the allegations.

The interrelationship between the founders and administrators of the ALA charter school and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remains one of the most delicate, controversial and important issues at the heart of the claims made by the critics.

The ALA charter school receives public funds and cannot offer religious instruction. ALA officials insisted they do not consider religion in hiring, firing or recruitment of students. State and federal employment laws bar discrimination based on religion and the school does not ask any information about religion when hiring staff or enrolling students.

Nonetheless, the former teachers who have talked to the Roundup all insisted that ALA’s marketing and expansion plans do take into account the presence of concentrations of LDS members.

In a meeting at the Roundup offices, Way, Holmes, McArthur and Guttery all vehemently denied targeting LDS members in their marketing, picking communities for new schools based on the presence of a core of LDS families, recruiting and retaining mostly LDS students and hiring or firing any staff members based on religion.

Way said his career was always in construction until he was elected to the Utah State Legislature. After that, he went into building charter schools. He now also serves as the chairman of the ALA board.

http://go.uen.org/61P

 


 

 

Student-testing firm defends itself after Tennessee computer glitches Chattanooga (TN) Times Free Press

 

NASHVILLE — A student-testing company’s president defended his firm Tuesday after Tennessee’s education commissioner said she no longer had confidence in its ability to administer a new academic assessment test online.

On Monday, state Education Commissioner Candice McQueen ordered that students take the test, known as TNReady, using pencil and paper instead of online. This came after the test’s rollout proved disastrous, with students across the state unable to take it because of a computer networking failure, which state officials described as not being able to access the Internet.

McQueen said she still believes in the test itself and said online testing is the future.

Henry H. Scherich, president of North Carolina-based Measurement Inc., which developed TNReady, issued a statement Tuesday saying he was disappointed with the state for its decision to suspend online testing.

He said the problems Monday were due to computer server issues that prevented some students from logging into the company’s online system. The state made the decision to scrap the online testing even though the server overload problem has been corrected, he said.

The company administered more than 2 million tests last year and provides testing for state education departments in Michigan, Utah and Connecticut, Scherich said.

http://go.uen.org/61s

 


 

 

Is more physical education at school linked to higher student math scores?

Washington Post

 

The amount of time students spend doing physical activity in school appears to be linked to higher standardized math scores in D.C. schools, according to a new American University study that examined the success of the city’s Healthy Schools Act and found that schools offering more physical activity had significantly better math success.

The law, passed in 2010, requires D.C. public and public charter schools to adhere to requirements for what food must be served and how much physical activity should be built into each school week. The schools received funding as part of the legislation and were required to report how they implemented the program.

“This finding demonstrates that students’ academic performance improves when there’s a balance between time spent on physical education and time spent on learning,” said Stacey Snelling, dean of American University’s School of Education.

http://go.uen.org/618

 


 

 

Schools get hundreds of parents’ voicemails for Broncos parade Final count of Denver school absences won’t be ready until Wednesday Denver Post

 

School leaders went through hundreds of voicemails Tuesday from parents who took their kids to the Broncos parade instead of class.

Denver Public School officials said the final tally of missing students won’t be in until Wednesday morning, but 10 schools the district reached out to said there were hundreds of students who skipped school Tuesday, and several more who were picked up by parents later in the morning.

Jeffco schools reported 21,902 students, or a quarter of the district’s enrollment, missed one class period or more Tuesday. That was 6,701 more than were gone Wednesday last week, and 5,481 more than were gone Monday.

Douglas County Schools had 2,000 more absences called in Tuesday than they did on Monday.

Along Tuesday’s parade route downtown, Sarah Dempsey stood on the coroner of Colfax Avenue and Broadway with her three children as they vied for a view of the passing Broncos. She said there was no hesitation to pull them from school for the celebration.

“We just love — like literally love — our Broncos,” Dempsey said. “We’ve got to see them.”

http://go.uen.org/61j

 


 

 

Hero teens stop out-of-control school bus on Route 22  “He couldn’t talk at all. I knew we would have to get him off the wheel. As it was happening, I wasn’t nervous.”

Bridgewater (NJ) Courrier-News

 

Two quick-thinking students at Somerset Vo-Tech averted a potential tragedy Wednesday morning on one of the busiest highways in Central Jersey..

At approximately 7:35 while driving the students from North Plainfield to the school in Bridgewater, the bus driver suffered an apparent medical emergency and became unresponsive. The students started shouting that he had missed the turnoff to the school from Route 22 West.

The bus, with 27 students on board, continued to travel west on Route 22, swerving until it finally slowed at a red light at Country Club Road, two miles past the campus.

That’s when Gavin Costello, 15, and Angelo Medina, 18, went into action. The North Plainfield residents who attend the school full time approached the bus driver and quickly decided to take away his keys and open the door to let the students out.

http://go.uen.org/619

 


 

 

China Says Its Students, Even Those Abroad, Need More ‘Patriotic Education’

New York Times

 

BEIJING — Chinese students, already immersed in classes and textbooks that promote nationalist loyalty to the Communist Party as a bedrock value, must be made even more patriotic and devoted to the party, even when they are studying in universities abroad, according to a new directive sent to education officials.

The directive, issued by the Communist Party organization of the Ministry of Education, calls for “patriotic education” to suffuse each stage and aspect of schooling, through textbooks, student assessments, museum visits and the Internet, which is the chief source of information for many young Chinese.

http://go.uen.org/61e

 

http://go.uen.org/61f ([Hong Kong] South China Morning Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

 

USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

February 10:

Infrastructure and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2016/html/00001301.htm

 

Senate Education Committee meeting

3 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/sedu0210.ag.htm

 

House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee meeting

3:40 p.m., 20 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/hedw0210.ag.htm

 

House Government Operations Committee meeting

3:40 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/hgoc0210.ag.htm

 

House Political Subdivisions Committee meeting

3:40 p.m., 450 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2016/agenda/hpol0210.ag.htm

 

 

February 11:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2016/html/00001409.htm

 

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

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

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

 

Utah State Board of Education legislative meeting

Noon, 210 Senate Building

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

 

House Education Committee meeting

3:40 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2016&Com=HSTEDU

 

 

March 17:

Utah State Board of Education study session and committee meetings

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

March 18:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

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