Education News Roundup: April 11, 2016

choices

Education News Roundup

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

D-News looks at the Davis District-created Advantage Math curriculum.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CW (DN)

 

New poll finds black and Latino parents want better teachers and harder classes for their children.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CL (LAT)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6CN (HuffPo)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6Da (Ed Week)

or a copy of the poll

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CM (Dropbox)

 

Are some districts effectively keeping immigrant students from attending school?

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CT (AP)

 

Schools are increasingly coming under threat of ransomware attacks.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dj (LAT)

 

What role have schools played in the current state of civic debates?

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dk (Atlantic)

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Does Davis School District have the key to teaching your kids math?

 

Salt Lake City school board names 3 finalists for superintendent

 

How Utah is helping teens transition from high school to the workforce

Camp K helps the state prepare students with special needs for the real world

 

Dixie State, Utah Valley universities partner for international student-teaching program

 

What Are Some Financial Options for Utah Students Seeking Higher Education?

 

Utah Governor Signs Two Education Bills with Promising Programs for Students

 

Bingham High will send 5 graduates to U.S. military academies

 

After Utah LGBT advocate’s suicide, community recalls his passion, kindness

 

Evil Scientist Academy: Bring on the chemical chaos

 

Cache Valley 6th grader preps for National Geographic Bee

 

Jordan Education Foundation honors 12 teachers

 

Davis High band to march in 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

 

Local schools, news crews, community members face reality of child abuse

 

Summer food truck rally to kick off summer at Northridge High School

 

Sitting pretty: Buddy Bench aims to foster friendships

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Education investment priorities in Utah are out of balance

 

Education vision is DOA

 

Teachers carry more than their fair share of the burden of underfunded schools

 

5 things you can learn from other cultures

 

Not all days are bad for substitute teachers

 

Mass. should follow Utah’s path on bilingual education

 

Lawmakers should take steps to lead on language education

 

Why Talented Black and Hispanic Students Can Go Undiscovered

 

Math problem facing schools: How to get enough teachers?

 

Delaying algebra to high school, per Common Core, might be a miscalculation

 

Civic Education in the Age of Trump

Public schools in the United States aren’t teaching students how to engage diverse opinions.

 

Rating the teacher education rating systems: New study finds leading programs fall short

A study of four leading systems used to evaluate teacher preparation programs finds the initiatives lack evidence-based approaches and ‘thin’ on the advancement of equity in the classroom.

 

Where you live rather than what you know? The problem with education deserts

 


 

 

NATION

 

Black and Latino parents want better teachers and harder classes for their kids

 

Report: Immigrant Students Blocked from Enrolling in School

 

ESSA Negotiators Dig Into Regulatory Details

Proposed new rules cover tests, spending

 

Six New Transparency Requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act

 

John Kasich’s Education Record Heavy on State Policy

 

The Maker Movement in K-12 Education: A Guide to Emerging Research

 

Teachers Ask Justices to Rehear Union Case that Tied 4-4

 

Want to Graduate College Debt Free? Teach in a Rural Area

 

Oakland schools: to reach immigrant parents, try universal language of data

 

Criminal hackers now target hospitals, police stations and schools

 

Texas Teacher Arrested After Video Shows Her Slapping Student: Police

 

Pot-in-schools Debate Returns to Colorado

 

Partnership Explores Role of Student Mental Health in Classroom Management

 

How ‘The Wire’ is inspiring new classroom curricula

 

Holy Bible on List of ‘Challenged’ Books at Libraries

 

Author Beverly Cleary Turns 100 with Wit, Candor

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Does Davis School District have the key to teaching your kids math?

 

WEST POINT — West Point Elementary teacher Becky Jackson was about to explain the mathematical term for finding measures of center when a student in the back of the classroom raised his hand.

He had figured it out.

Earlier, the students in Jackson’s sixth-grade math class were working to find answers to a variety of real-life scenarios, such as how to evenly split a pool of money to buy movie tickets, and determining the distribution of scores the students need to get on their next test to earn donuts from their teacher.

The kids used dot plots, colored blocks, and paper and pencil to find the answers in whatever way that was most intuitive for them. But their desks were clear of textbooks, and not a single mathematical formula hung from the classroom walls.

By the end of the lesson, most students had learned the concept while scarcely knowing it. Except for Max Gosselin, whose hand stuck out above the heads of his classmates. He had made a connection.

“Isn’t it called the average?” Max asked, much to the delight of his teacher.

It was one of many small marks of success for Max’s teachers and for a new math curriculum nearing the end of its pilot period at West Point Elementary and a handful of other Davis County schools.

Advantage Math is a curriculum written by educators in the Davis School District for its elementary students. The curriculum uses no textbooks and focuses little on memorizing formulas. Instead, it encourages creative problem-solving and gives teachers added flexibility to find individual solutions for their students.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CW (DN)

 


 

 

Salt Lake City school board names 3 finalists for superintendent

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Board of Education has narrowed the field of applicants in its search for a new superintendent to three finalists. They are Rhonda Corr, Alexa Cunningham and Krish Mohip.

The finalists were chosen from a field of 33 candidates. The board conducted the initial interviews during March and plans to make a final hiring decision by May 1.

The board anticipates conducting final interviews, in an open session April 18 – 20 and will also take part in a community forum. A schedule of events will be posted on the district’s website as soon as it is finalized.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CZ (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6D7 (KSL)

 


 

 

How Utah is helping teens transition from high school to the workforce

Camp K helps the state prepare students with special needs for the real world

 

SALT LAKE CITY – A pilot program, aimed at helping Utah teens with special needs, is being called a success. And what seems to be making it work is the partnership between the state and Camp Kostopulos.

Welcome to vocational training at Camp K. Seven students, two teachers and a lot of information. “They are learning about how to appropriately dress for an interview. How to appropriately dress for a job. They are learning about things like paychecks. The importance of interacting with their peers and co-workers in an appropriate way.” That from Nicole Fraedrich of the Utah Division of Rehabilitation Services. Fraedrich is part of the Rehabilitation Services team overseeing the instruction of this pilot program. She says the goal is straightforward – prepare special needs students to transition from high school to the work force.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Du (KTVX)

 


 

 

Dixie State, Utah Valley universities partner for international student-teaching program

 

  1. GEORGE — Dixie State University is now partnering with Utah Valley University to offer students international student-teaching experience.

Utah Valley Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeffrey Olson and Parker Fawson, dean of Utah Valley’s school of education, met March 31 with Dixie State’s Michael Lacourse, provost and vice president of academic affairs, and Brenda Sabey, dean of Dixie State’s school of education to sign memorandums of understanding and agreement for the new partnership.

Beginning immediately, the partnership will allow Dixie State education students to sign up for international student teaching and travel with Utah Valley student groups.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6D6 (SGN)

 


 

 

What Are Some Financial Options for Utah Students Seeking Higher Education?

 

Tiffani and Brent Tolman live in a 400-square foot studio apartment on the outskirts of the Utah State University campus in Logan with their 1-year-old son Jack. The couple dreams of one day saving up enough money to purchase a home of their own, a reality that hinges upon Brent finishing his mechanical engineering degree. But despite having some scholarships, paying for school is a challenge for the young family.

“When you are a poor college student, especially with a family, you’re just trying to make it to that get-a-job point,” Tiffani Tolman said.

The cost of college tuition is a pressing issue for many undergraduate students. However, things have changed for the Tolmans since a friend shared her experience working with the Utah Individual Development Account Network, an asset-building program of the Fair Credit Foundation. The IDA program provides 3:1 matching funds for individuals living in Utah and saving to purchase a home, start a business or finance school.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6DA (UPR)

 


 

 

Utah Governor Signs Two Education Bills with Promising Programs for Students

 

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has signed two education bills promising programs that will benefit students. The ceremonial copies he signed into law are Senate Bill 101, the High Quality Preschool Readiness Expansion Program, and Senate Bill 67 the Partnerships for Student Success.

The education bills are aiming to “increase funding for early childhood programs and enhance community partnerships to improve student outcomes,” Good4Utah reported. For this year, the legislature has approved around $454 million towards improving the state’s quality of education.

“By signing these bills and saying we believe in you, and we’re gonna put some money behind that belief to make sure these education programs continue, and I’m honored to have that opportunity to celebrate with you,” Herbert said in an auditorium packed with students at the Lincoln Elementary School, as reported by Good4Utah.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Ds (Parent Herald)

 


 

 

Bingham High will send 5 graduates to U.S. military academies

 

SOUTH JORDAN — Bingham High School senior Charlie Baggett had to get a personal nomination from a member of Utah’s congressional delegation as part of his college application.

But that wasn’t the hardest part.

His application also included an assortment of strength and cardiovascular drills, medical examinations, essays and interviews on leadership experience, and academic recommendations from several teachers. Once he enrolls, the real work will begin.

But a diverse set of lifelong rewards are worth the unique challenges of attending one of the five U.S. service academies, according to Baggett, who was recently admitted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

“It’s unlike anything else,” Baggett said.

Bingham High School is sending five members of its class of 2016 to U.S. service academies.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CV (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6DB (KSL)

 


 

 

After Utah LGBT advocate’s suicide, community recalls his passion, kindness

 

NORTH OGDEN — Those who knew LGBT youth advocate Lincoln Parkin describe him as a genuine, passionate, kindhearted person — someone who was unafraid to stand up for what he believed in.

After nearly a decade battling depression, Parkin died in an apparent suicide earlier this month, found dead Wednesday, April 6. He was 22 years old.

Brent Parkin said many factors contributed to his son’s death, but in the end, his life became unbalanced.

“I think he got out of balance physically, spiritually, emotionally and socially,” Brent Parkin said. “He got pretty extreme with his diet, he got to the point where he felt like God wasn’t there for him, and he isolated himself.”

Parkin, who was living in Seattle at the time of his death, was known for his advocacy. He was passionate about societal issues affecting LGBT youth, animals and the Earth. He was awarded several scholarships for his work in the community and his musical talent.

He attended Westminster College on a music scholarship and played the lead male role in the school’s performance of the musical “The Light in the Piazza” in January 2014.

Parkin, who was gay, graduated from Weber High School in 2012. While he was there, he reestablished the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club. Weber High English teacher Julie Van Orden was the club’s adviser during Parkin’s time there and said its success today can largely be attributed to Parkin.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6D1 (OSE)

 


 

 

Evil Scientist Academy: Bring on the chemical chaos

 

The look on the students’ faces tells all – these kids love their class even during spring break from public school.

Called the Chemical Chaos Lab, the science curriculum has children arriving early to the classroom grinning in anticipation.

“We get to do fun things,” 7-year-old Maleah Pressley said.

Included in the class is extreme kid appeal. The theme at the Lehi Legacy Center was “Crazy Minion Antics and Disastrous Science Experiments Abound when the Minion Take Over the Lab.”

“It’s a fabulous program,” Abby Havea said. The program coordinator for the center, Havea said this is the second session for Chemical Chaos Lab at the center.

Science “experiments” include dry ice freeze rays, annoying sound effects, melting metal in hot water, funny voice changers, stinky fart blasters, super loud air horns and exploding “bomb” bags.

Certain to appeal to elementary-age children, the curriculum was designed by a Forbes Elementary fifth grade teacher in American Fork, Matt Shurtleff, who is director of Evil Science Academy LLC founded in 2012.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6D3 (PDH)

 


 

 

Cache Valley 6th grader preps for National Geographic Bee

 

Twelve-year-old Ankit Garg has already traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Europe and India. All of those experiences, he said, have made him more appreciative of the world and encouraged him to become an expert in world geography.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6D4 (LHJ)

 


 

 

Jordan Education Foundation honors 12 teachers

 

WEST JORDAN — The Jordan Education Foundation is recognizing 12 teachers in the Jordan School District with outstanding and special educator awards. The recognition comes with a cash prize of $1,000, made possible by foundation donors.

This year’s recipients are:

Kristie Clawson, West Jordan High; Melinda Mansouri, Jordan Academy for Technology and Careers North; Joleen Reddish, South Jordan Middle; Cathy Smith, Jordan Ridge Elementary; Marcia Newbold, Riverton Elementary; Lauren Nielsen, Fort Herriman Middle; Beng Lay Kou, Southland Elementary; Diane Edwards, Monte Vista Elementary; Marla Daniels, South Jordan Elementary; Ronald Squire, Jordan Hills Elementary; Jeff Barkdull, Kauri Sue Hamilton School; and Carollee Tautkus, Mountain Shadows Elementary.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CY (DN)

 


 

 

Davis High band to march in 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

 

KAYSVILLE — Steven Hendricks called a special meeting of the Davis High School Band, and rumor around the school was that the band director planned to retire early. Students gathered Monday morning to hear the news, and listened closely as the real reason for the meeting was revealed: The band is going to perform in the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dz (OSE)

 


 

 

Local schools, news crews, community members face reality of child abuse

 

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – Community members, elementary school students, and even the ABC 4 Utah News teams are coming together to acknowledge and address the reality of child abuse.

For a few minutes Friday morning, friends and co-workers at ABC 4 came together to stand up for those who cannot on their own.  But the news station’s newly planted patch of bright blue pinwheels is just a dot on the map, as thousands show support this April for National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dv (KTVX)

 


 

 

Summer food truck rally to kick off summer at Northridge High School

 

LAYTON – Local food of vastly different shapes and tastes will be wheeling into Northridge High School for a summer kick-off party next week.

Nine food trucks will start the Food Truck League’s weekly rally at Northridge High School, beginning Wednesday, April 13. Each week, a rotation of food trucks will rally at the school through the summer and partway into fall, weather permitting.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6D2 (OSE)

 


 

 

Sitting pretty: Buddy Bench aims to foster friendships

 

Riley Elementary fourth-grader Destiny Vazkues chats with Dena Leone on a Buddy Bench at the Salt Lake City school on Friday. The bench, which was dedicated during a ceremony Friday, was donated by kindergarten teacher Shirley Durham, who has worked with Joyce Gray, Riley’s interim principal. The idea of a Buddy Bench is to create a place where children who are feeling lonely and don’t have anyone to play with can sit to signal other students’ attention. Students can then reach out to children on the bench and invite them to play. The idea has been gaining steam across the nation.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CX (DN)

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Education investment priorities in Utah are out of balance

Deseret News editorial

 

When it comes to investing in education, the data show that Utah is firmly of two different mind-sets. Data on education employment and wages show a tale of two starkly different priorities in Utah.

As the public discourse on everything from income inequality to physical and mental health produces an increasing base of scientific data and analysis, there is a growing recognition that education plays a disproportionate role in social outcomes. Access to quality education is one of the primary predictors of social, economic and emotional well-being. It correlates positively with lower crime, higher wages, increased family stability and positive mental and physical health.

Utah — a state with the highest number of youths per household — would be expected to have a particularly high motivation to invest in education. Which is why the state’s conflicting education priorities are particularly puzzling. These conflicts are clearly displayed in the education employment and wage statistics.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CG

 


 

 

Education vision is DOA

Deseret News commentary by columnist John Florez

 

Finally, a vision for Utah’s public education. That was what Senate President Wayne Niederhauser wanted when the Legislature passed SB169 establishing the Utah Legislature’s Education Task Force in 2013. He said he wanted to have “an idea of where we’re headed. That way we can focus on bills and policy that get us to that target.” He also said the purpose of the task force was to determine “… what education in Utah should look like 10 years from now, and to hopefully steer legislative thinking in that direction.” You know, the vision thing.

Even before the ink was dry on the bill, it was DOA. Legislators ignored the task force’s intent and kept passing more education bills without an idea of where they were headed. Is there no discipline or sense of public duty and accountability in the Legislature? Under the Utah Constitution, the Legislature is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of public education. So, why don’t they try to strengthen public education instead of trying to destroy it by taking funds away for private purposes as they seem prone to do. Don’t they have a fiduciary duty to uphold the Constitution? And, this is the group that demands adherence to law.

To make matters worse, now Sen. Stuart Adams is trying to round up votes to override Gov. Gary Herbert’s veto on what Rep. Brian King has labeled “vendor legislation.” In the old days, such bills were called “pork” that lawmakers passed to help a special group. What it looks like is legislators now see public education as their own piggy bank, pork to give out and then keep replenishing it with our tax dollars.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CE

 


 

 

Teachers carry more than their fair share of the burden of underfunded schools

Deseret News op-ed by Patricia Jones, CEO of the Women’s Leadership Institute

 

After just a handful of years, someone close to me is considering leaving one of the most noble of professions — teaching. Why? Her answer mirrors numerous stories I have heard from teachers while serving as a member of the Public Education Committee in the Utah Legislature. According to this incredibly gifted teacher, “school is just not enjoyable for kids anymore.”

Apparently it’s not as enjoyable nowadays for teachers either. Why? Because Utah has some of the largest class sizes in the nation, lowest teacher compensation, lowest per-pupil funding, micromanagement and seemingly constant revisions by lawmakers, redundant testing requirements in the name of accountability, and increased diversity in backgrounds and abilities of students. Many talented teachers have had enough.

Folks, we already have a severe teacher shortage. And it is only going to get worse if things don’t change.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CF

 


 

 

5 things you can learn from other cultures

KSL commentary by Utah Online Schools

 

We live in a big, beautiful, diverse world. Many are fortunate enough to travel and see different cultures. They have experienced for themselves the opportunity to learn from the people whose unique cultures are ways of life. For those who have not yet seen other cultures outside of the United States, it’s still possible to learn about them through education and by participating in events.

Whether physically visiting other countries or not, here are five things you can learn from other cultures.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dw

 


 

 

Not all days are bad for substitute teachers

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Marilyn Liddle

 

I wrote an article which was published on Sunday, April 3 about the woes facing substitute teachers. If you read that, perhaps you will read this. Surely, not all days are bad and there are many gratifying experiences in classrooms even for the temporary teacher. Young students sometimes send me home with a drawing they have made or will end the day with a hug and a “this has been the best sub day!” I’m glad that they turn to art for a gift. I’m glad that they show appreciation. Occasionally in a store I will hear, “Hi teacher!” I have to look down and they wait for me to recognize them. Since I see so many students in so many different schools, I usually can’t. Then they say, “Remember? I’m _______. You subbed in my class.” Then we have a conversation about how they are doing now in school. This is gratifying to any teacher, even a sub. Good manners and expressed appreciation brighten everyone’s day.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6D5

 


 

 

Mass. should follow Utah’s path on bilingual education

Boston Globe letter from Abraham A. Abadi, a retired Boston Public Schools teacher and a retired assistant professor of education at Lesley University

 

RE “UTAH schools set an example in dual language immersion” (Page A1, April 4): Thank goodness — or should I say, gracias al cielo — that this topic is gaining renewed interest. During 1990 and ’91, I had the great privilege of teaching at the Rafael Hernandez School in Roxbury. The school is known for its excellent bilingual program. Students were taught in both English and Spanish. The program was so successful that when the school converted to a K-8, students who had passed the Boston Latin entrance exam decided to remain at the Hernandez.

I was teaching a sixth-grade class and was continually struck by the degree of fluency in Spanish exhibited by my non-Hispanic students and, conversely, by the degree of fluency in English my Hispanic students showed. The cognitive flexibility and general productivity such programs create have been studied repeatedly.

Massachusetts needs to follow the path of Utah, especially since Utah has shown it can all be done with a minimal increase in per-student expenditure.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dt

 


 

 

Lawmakers should take steps to lead on language education

Boston Globe letter from Nicole Sherf and Phyllis Hardy, members of the Massachusetts Language Opportunity Coalition

 

THE ARTICLE “Utah schools set an example in dual language immersion” highlighted the lack of support for language education, including bilingual, dual language, and world language programs, in Massachusetts. As the article points out, both English-language learners and native English speakers benefit from these programs, and the community benefits by developing a workforce with the bilingual skills to participate in the 21st-century global economy.

Massachusetts has the opportunity to promote language education programs that foster bilingualism and biliteracy by approving the LOOK bill (an act relative to language opportunity for our kids), which would give school districts the flexibility to establish language acquisition programs based on the educational needs of their English-language learner students, and the Seal of Biliteracy bill, which would recognize high school graduates who speak, read, and write in English and another, second language.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dx

 


 

 

Why Talented Black and Hispanic Students Can Go Undiscovered

New York Times commentary by SUSAN DYNARSKI, professor of education, public policy and economics at the University of Michigan

 

Public schools are increasingly filled with black and Hispanic students, but the children identified as “gifted” in those schools are overwhelmingly white and Asian.

The numbers are startling. Black third graders are half as likely as whites to be included in programs for the gifted, and the deficit is nearly as large for Hispanics, according to work by two Vanderbilt researchers, Jason Grissom and Christopher Redding.

New evidence indicates that schools have contributed to these disparities by underestimating the potential of black and Hispanic children. But that can change: When one large school district in Florida altered how it screened children, the number of black and Hispanic children identified as gifted doubled.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CH

 


 

 

Math problem facing schools: How to get enough teachers?

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel op-ed by Alan J. Borsuk, senior fellow in law and public policy at Marquette University Law School

 

The invocation at a dinner Thursday night at Alverno College was given by a student, Edna Gonzalez, who said she hopes to teach algebra or geometry in an inner-city school.

“We’ll hire you,” called out a school administrator in the audience.

That got a laugh. But the underlying point was not funny. There’s a big need for teachers in certain subjects. Math is one of them.

Overall, I don’t think there are two words I can say in conversation with school leaders that get a bigger reaction currently than these: teacher pipeline.

In other words, where are schools going to get the teachers they will need in coming years? Enrollment is down in university and college teacher education programs across Wisconsin and across the United States. Some programs in Wisconsin have 20% to 40% fewer students than they had a half-dozen years ago.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CK

 


 

 

Delaying algebra to high school, per Common Core, might be a miscalculation

Washington Post commentary by columnist Jay Mathews

 

I once lived in Scarsdale, N.Y., one of the most education-obsessed villages on the planet. During a big parents meeting at the public middle school, I amused myself by raising my hand and asking how they were going to decide who would be accelerated into algebra in eighth grade.

It was an unkind and immature thing to do. As I expected, my question unleashed a wave of anxiety that forced administrators to abandon the night’s agenda and deal with nothing else until we went home. In Scarsdale, as well as many parts of the Washington area, few topics grab more parental attention than middle school accelerated math.

How’s that going?

In the Washington area, slowly. Districts here seem reluctant to defy parental expectations. Nor are reform advocates explaining their intentions well.

Here is how the Common Core begins its explanation of the eighth-grade math course it offers as an alternative to Algebra I: “Formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations.”

I was a good math student. I took calculus during my senior year of high school, a big goal for parents who want their children to take algebra in eighth grade. But I found the Common Core website to be inscrutable. Parents who need a clear reason for restraining math acceleration in middle school are not getting it.

Instead, they listen, fidgeting, as educational leaders such as San Francisco Schools Superintendent Richard Carranza tell them to trust the educators. “This is the Good Housekeeping seal of approval of our teachers,” he told 640 parents at a raucous discussion of Common Core math.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CQ

 


 

 

Civic Education in the Age of Trump

Public schools in the United States aren’t teaching students how to engage diverse opinions.

Atlantic commentary by JONATHAN ZIMMERMAN, professor of education history at New York University

 

Little hands. A bad tan. And blood coming from wherever.

If you’re put off by the crude tone of politics in the Age of Trump, you’re not alone. According to a recent poll by Weber Shandwick, Powell Tate, and KRC Research, 70 percent of Americans think that political incivility has reached “crisis” levels.

The poll also found that Americans avoid discussing controversial questions, out of fear they too will be perceived as uncivil. The findings speak to a flaw with civic education, especially in the main institution charged with delivering it: public schools. Put simply, schools in the United States don’t teach the country’s future citizens how to engage respectfully across their political differences. So it shouldn’t be surprising that they can’t, or that that they don’t.

Schools have sometimes been blamed for the meteoric rise of Donald Trump, whose legions of supporters allegedly lack the civic knowledge to see through his proposals to ban Muslims from entering the United States or to kill family members of terrorists in the fight against ISIS. But it’s hardly clear that Trump supporters are less knowledgeable than anyone else. In six state GOP exit polls, Trump was the most popular candidate among college-educated voters and came in second in another six polls.

Indeed, the facile dismissal of all Trump enthusiasts as bigots or ignoramuses speaks to the most urgent problem in American civic life: the inability to communicate with people who do not share the same opinion. Trump himself epitomizes that trend, routinely vilifying his opponents as “losers” or “dummies,” or worse. And yet Trump’s critics often use similar terms to tar his diverse array of devotees. This isn’t a discussion; it’s a shouting match.

Public schools aren’t merely expected to teach young people the mechanics of government: how a bill is signed into law, what the Supreme Court does, and so on. They’re also responsible for teaching the skills and habits of democratic life, especially how to engage civilly with people from a different political camp.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dk

 


 

 

Rating the teacher education rating systems: New study finds leading programs fall short

A study of four leading systems used to evaluate teacher preparation programs finds the initiatives lack evidence-based approaches and ‘thin’ on the advancement of equity in the classroom.

Science Daily

 

State and federal regulators use a variety of evaluation systems intended to improve teacher quality by “holding teacher education accountable” through assessments and ratings or rankings — of states, institutions, programs and teacher candidates themselves.

A new Boston College study of four leading systems used to evaluate teacher preparation programs has found the systems lack evidence-based policies in their core designs, which questions the validity of methods used to assess tens of thousands of prospective teachers and thousands of college and university programs that prepare them to teach.

“We found that although these accountability policies demand that teacher education programs make decisions based on evidence, the policies themselves are not evidence-based,” said Boston College Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools Marilyn Cochran-Smith, the study’s lead author, who will present the findings at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Washington, D.C.

“We concluded there is good reason to question their validity as policy instruments that will improve teacher education quality and teacher quality,” said Cochran-Smith, whose study, Holding Teacher Preparation Accountable: A Review of Claims and Evidence, was published by the National Education Policy Center.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dp

 


 

 

Where you live rather than what you know? The problem with education deserts

Brookings Institute commentary by Brian A. Sponsler and Nicholas Hillman

 

To increase educational attainment levels, the process of preparing and applying for college needs to improve. Students need to know when to apply for financial aid, how to choose a college that matches their academic and social preferences, and develop awareness about what happens after college in terms of repaying debt and finding a job. There are many unknowns along the way, which is why so much attention today focuses on improving students’ “college knowledge” to help them navigate this process. But even if we fixed the process of college opportunity and all students became perfectly informed consumers, inequality would persist because of education deserts.

Increasingly, research suggests that where students live impacts their likelihood of attending college. Today’s college students are increasingly place-bound, working full-time, and are balancing a number of other responsibilities while taking classes. Their choices are determined by what is nearby, regardless of how much college knowledge they may have about alternative options. For them, it is not very helpful to know that a college hundreds of miles away would be a better academic fit or provide a better financial deal than the one down the road. A more intentional focus on the influence of place on student choices is driving our early understanding of what we term “education deserts,” places in all 50 states where potential students confront limited college opportunity.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dq

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Black and Latino parents want better teachers and harder classes for their kids

Los Angeles Times

 

Headlines and talk shows across the country often feature parents worried about their children’s stressful workload or pulling their kids out of new standardized tests.

But an umbrella organization of civil rights groups contends that there is a huge population of people whose voices are missing when talking about the needs of schools. In a nationally representative survey of black and Latino parents in the U.S., the Leadership Conference Education Fund found that these parents care about having good teachers, more money for their schools and a more challenging curriculum for their students.

The poll was conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research and commissioned by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ Education Fund, the nonprofit arm of a group of civil rights organizations including the National Council of La Raza, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and national teachers unions. It surveyed 400 black parents and 400 Latino parents, with a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points for each.

Half of the black and Latino parents surveyed believe that good teachers are the most important asset needed to make a school great. Only 2% percent in each group cited less reliance on standardized testing as the most important component of great schools.

And most of the black parents and 45% of Latino parents surveyed believe children in their communities receive a worse education than white students.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CL

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CN (HuffPo)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Da (Ed Week)

 

A copy of the poll

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CM (Dropbox)

 


 

 

Report: Immigrant Students Blocked from Enrolling in School

Associated Press

 

SAN FRANCISCO — Immigrant children living in the U.S. without legal status have been blocked from registering for school and accessing the educational services they need, according to a report on school districts in four states by Georgetown University Law Center researchers.

Such students have faced long enrollment delays and have been turned away from classrooms as the result of some districts’ arbitrary interpretations of residency rules and state laws, the researchers said.

All children – including those living in the U.S. illegally- must attend school through at least the 8th grade or until they turn 16 under compulsory education laws in all 50 states. Many states allow students to enroll beyond that age, according to the Education Commission of the States.

But some districts’ elaborate paperwork requirements effectively have kept immigrant youth out of school, while lack of translation and interpretation services have left their families uninformed about the process, the report found.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CT

 


 

 

ESSA Negotiators Dig Into Regulatory Details

Proposed new rules cover tests, spending

Education Week

 

Much of the federal education policy community got behind the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced the much-maligned No Child Left Behind Act.

But that doesn’t mean it will be easy to get a diverse group of educators, advocates, and experts—as well as the U.S. Department of Education—to agree when it comes to regulations on testing and a funding issue known as “supplement-not-supplant.”

A panel charged with writing regulations on those pieces of the law has met for six days over two separate sessions and had not yet reached agreement on proposed new regulations.

The issues under discussion are deep in the policy weeds, but many of them—including how testing for students in special education and English-learners should work under ESSA—could have major implications for implementation of the law for years to come.

The panel is likely to schedule a third session to see if members can hash out an agreement. If they don’t, the Education Department will write the rules on its own.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dg

 


 

 

Six New Transparency Requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act

Education Week

 

If you haven’t read through all 1,000-plus pages of the brand new Every Student Succeeds Act, you may have missed a key theme: The new law includes a host of new transparency requirements that will give the feds, states, districts, educators, advocates and (yes) education reporters a much clearer picture of how different populations of kids are doing and what kind of access they have to resources, including money.

So what exactly will districts and states need to report on under ESSA that they didn’t have to report on under No Child Left Behind, the previous version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act?

Here’s a list, courtesy of congressional staff:

http://gousoe.uen.org/6De

 


 

 

John Kasich’s Education Record Heavy on State Policy

Education Week

 

With the field of Republican presidential candidates narrowed from a high of 17 last year to three this month, only one remains who has both an extensive K-12 track record and a record that reflects many state policy prescriptions popular among GOP leaders in recent years: Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Over the course of his two terms as governor, Kasich has instituted a school accountability system based on A-F grades, signed into law a bill requiring students to demonstrate they are literate by the end of the 3rd grade (with some exceptions), and approved the creation of new tuition-voucher programs. Aggressive support for vouchers was also a highlight of Kasich’s record in Congress, where he served from 1983 to 2000.

He also signed a bill late last year to overhaul charter school accountability in the state, but only after a significant outcry about poor academic results at many charters, as well as financial mismanagement and corruption in the charter sector.

But in the Republican field, when it comes to K-12, Kasich—who’s been mathematically eliminated from obtaining the number of delegates necessary to win the nomination on the first ballot at the GOP convention in July—has also been defined in large part by what he doesn’t support.

In contrast to his remaining rivals, real estate developer Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Kasich has not attacked the Common Core State Standards as an insidious intrusion by the federal government into public schools. Kasich has defended the standards, albeit sometimes in vague and indirect ways, and Ohio has kept the common core on the books despite significant political pushback in the state.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Db

 

 


 

 

The Maker Movement in K-12 Education: A Guide to Emerging Research

Education Week

 

Few trends in K-12 ed tech are as hot—or as under-researched—as “Maker” education.

The term generally refers to using a wide variety of hands-on activities (such as building, computer programming, and sewing) to support academic learning and the development of a mindset that values playfulness and experimentation, growth and iteration, and collaboration and community.

Typically, “Making” involves attempting to solve a particular problem, creating a physical or digital artifact, and sharing that product with a larger audience. Often, such work is guided by the notion that process is more important than results.

The Maker Movement has its roots outside of school, in institutions such as science museums and in the informal activities that everyday people have taken part in for generations. It began exploding about a decade ago, thanks in large part to the enthusiastic audience of Make magazine and the popularity of public events such as Maker Faires (the most well-known of which was hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in 2014.) The rise of cheap digital tools, including microcontroller platforms such as Arduino and rapid-prototyping tools such as 3-D printers, has in recent years lent the movement a decidedly techie flavor.

Efforts to bring Making and “Maker spaces” into K-12 schools are still “nascent,” said Erica Halverson, an associate professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a leading researcher into Maker education.

But that’s changing fast.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dr

 


 

 

Teachers Ask Justices to Rehear Union Case that Tied 4-4

Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for a group of California teachers have filed a long-shot request for the Supreme Court to hold new arguments in a major labor union case that ended last week in a 4-4 tie.

The teachers said in their petition Friday that the court should rehear arguments once a new justice is confirmed.

The tie vote was a victory for unions in a case they once seemed all but certain to lose before Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February. The deadlock left in place a four-decade-old practice that allows public-sector unions to collect fees from members and non-members alike to cover collective bargaining costs.

The teachers claim the fees infringe their free speech rights.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CI

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6D8 (Reuters)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dc (Ed Week)

 


 

 

Want to Graduate College Debt Free? Teach in a Rural Area

Associated Press

 

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The teacher shortage in poor, rural districts in South Carolina is so bad, the state is considering offering would-be instructors a way to graduate from college debt free.

The catch? They have to spend eight years in the state’s neediest districts, where turnover is the worst and the closest Wal-Mart can be up to 45 minutes away. There’s another, perhaps even bigger, hurdle with Gov. Nikki Haley’s proposal: The state doesn’t have enough teachers interested in its current $5 million loan-forgiveness program.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CJ

 


 

 

Oakland schools: to reach immigrant parents, try universal language of data

(Walnut Creek, CA) East Bay Times

 

OAKLAND — Nine mothers from Burma flipped open manila file folders in Oakland’s Garfield Elementary School and looked at information that was as foreign as it was compelling — a chart comparing their child’s progress in reading to that of their unidentified classmates and grade-level standards.

The data appeared in the universal language of bar graphs, and the mothers, who are Karen-speaking refugees with little formal education, each saw how far her child has come and how much learning remained before the end of the school year.

It is the kind of real-time comparative data that most teachers don’t reveal to families, and it is the core of an approach called Academic Parent-Teacher Teams, which is taught by the San Francisco-based research group WestEd. In addition to Garfield Elementary, the program is operating at schools in the Sacramento, Stockton and San Juan unified districts and about 300 others nationwide. The idea is to share ongoing math and reading scores in a way that emphasizes progress, doesn’t embarrass families and creates a parent-school relationship based on how a child is doing in class.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CP

 


 

 

Criminal hackers now target hospitals, police stations and schools

Los Angeles Times

 

Three weeks ago, a debilitating digital virus spread quickly in computer networks at three Southern California hospitals owned by Prime Healthcare Services, encrypting medical and other data so it was impossible to access.

Using a pop-up window, unidentified hackers demanded about $17,000 in the hard-to-trace cybercurrency called bitcoin for the digital key to unlock the data.

The company says it defeated the cyberattack without paying a ransom. But it acknowledged some patients were temporarily prevented from receiving radiology treatments, and other operations were disrupted briefly while computer systems were down.

The attempted extortion by criminal hackers was the latest case of what the FBI says is a fast-growing threat to vulnerable individuals, companies and low-profile critical infrastructure, from hospitals to schools to local police.

The security breaches — which temporarily disable digital networks but usually don’t steal the data — not only have endangered public safety, but revealed a worrying new weakness as public and private institutions struggle to adapt to the digital era.

So-called ransomware attacks have surged so sharply that the FBI says hacking victims in the United States have paid more than $209 million in ransom payments in the first three months of this year, compared with $25 million in all of 2015. The FBI has not reported any arrests.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dj

 


 

 

Texas Teacher Arrested After Video Shows Her Slapping Student: Police

NBC

 

A Texas high school teacher was arrested Friday after video emerged online of her repeatedly slapping a student in the back of the head.

The nine-second video posted on Twitter appears to show Mary Hastings, a teacher at Ozen High School in Beaumont, striking a student five times while yelling at him about a disruption, calling him an “idiot ass.” It was not clear exactly what preceded the action.

Mary A. Hastings, a 63-year-old teacher at Ozen High School, was arrested for assault after video surfaced of her hititng a student in her math class. Courtesy Jefferson County

Hastings then appears to mock the student’s crying following the repeated hits.

She was arrested on one charge of assault and released on bail, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dl

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dy (Fox)

 


 

 

Pot-in-schools Debate Returns to Colorado

Associated Press

 

DENVER — A new Colorado law allowing medical marijuana use at public schools is getting a second look. That’s because no school districts are allowing it, even though the law says they can.

A bill up for its first vote in a state House committee Monday would make Colorado the second state to require schools to allow nurses or caregivers to administer medical pot.

Supporters of the bill say that school districts are dragging their feet on allowing school nurses to give cannabis-based oils or allow students to wear cannabis patches. The law does not allow the use of smoked marijuana on a school campus.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CS

 


 

 

Partnership Explores Role of Student Mental Health in Classroom Management

Education Week

 

Washington — A teacher often can be the first adult to notice something is off when a student experiences depression, mania or other mental health issues. Yet just a little more than half of states require teachers to learn about student mental health and classroom management, and many teachers feel unprepared to support students facing mental health struggles in class, find researchers presenting here at the American Educational Research Association meeting Friday.

James LaBillois, the executive director for instruction at Norwell Public Schools in suburban Boston, said he and his teachers started to get concerned a few years ago, when the rate of students being hospitalized for psychiatric problems jumped from two to three students out of 2,700 each year to more than 40. “We were in crisis mode; as soon as one [student] was coming in, two more were going out,” LaBillois said at a symposium at AERA.

In a survey of 194 of the districts K-12 teachers, percent reported that dealing with student mental health issues was critical to their ability to teach effectively, but only 46 percent said they felt prepared to do that.  Because of confusion and stigma associated with mental health problems, “to the extent we were able to start a conversation in our community about the needs of our kids, the better we felt we would be able to support them,” he said.

The district partnered with researchers at Boston University to study how teachers could respond more effectively to students’ mental and emotional needs and to pilot a new response-to-intervention system for mental health in the schools.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CO

 


 

 

How ‘The Wire’ is inspiring new classroom curricula

NewsHour

 

Columbia University this week held a conference on how lessons from ‘The Wire’ — the critically acclaimed TV series on Baltimore’s inner-workings of gangs, media and government — cut across academic disciplines. The show has become a popular talking point in many classrooms across the country.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Dh

 


 

 

Holy Bible on List of ‘Challenged’ Books at Libraries

Associated Press

 

NEW YORK — On the latest list of books most objected to at public schools and libraries, one title has been targeted nationwide, at times for the sex and violence it contains, but mostly for the legal issues it raises.

The Bible.

“You have people who feel that if a school library buys a copy of the Bible, it’s a violation of church and state,” says James LaRue, who directs the Office for Intellectual Freedom for the American Library Association, which released its annual 10 top snapshot of “challenged” books on Monday, part of the association’s “State of Libraries Report” for 2016.

“And sometimes there’s a retaliatory action, where a religious group has objected to a book and a parent might respond by objecting to the Bible.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/6CR

 


 

 

Author Beverly Cleary Turns 100 with Wit, Candor

Associated Press

 

SAN FRANCISCO — As she turns 100, the feisty and witty author Beverly Cleary remembers the Oregon childhood that inspired the likes of characters Ramona and Beezus Quimby and Henry Huggins in the children’s books that sold millions and enthralled generations of youngsters.

“I was a well-behaved little girl, not that I wanted to be,” she said. “At the age of Ramona, in those days, children played outside. We played hopscotch and jump rope and I loved them and always had scraped knees.”

Ramona, perhaps her best-known character, made her debut in “Henry Huggins” with only a brief mention. But that changed soon.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6D9

 

 

 

 

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CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

April 14:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

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

http://go.uen.org/62M

 

Utah State Board of Education study session and committee meetings

3:30 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

April 15:

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

 

 

April 22:

USBE Superintendent Selection Committee meeting

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

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

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