Education News Roundup: April 14, 2016

 

2015 Flag Day ceremony at the Utah State Office of Education.Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Utah State Board of Education to look at an update to social studies standards.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Fn (SLT)

 

Utah Opera Company scenic artists helps Bonneville High students with a production of “Mary Poppins.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/6G4 (KSL)

 

Secretary King calls for a broadening of the curriculum.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Fy (WaPo)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6FL (AP)

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

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

and http://gousoe.uen.org/6FX (Las Vegas Review Journal)

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

TODAY’S HEADLINES

————————————————————

 

 

UTAH

 

Utah school board to consider new social studies standards this week Education » If adopted, the public would get the chance to review, comment.

 

Poppins production teams students with professionals

 

Washington County school district reviewing credit card guidelines after audit

 

State Senate candidate questions campaign donation to opponent

 

Utah Governor Herbert Signs Two Significant Education Bills

 

John Knotwell Awarded Legislator of the Year by Utah Technology Council RizePoint Chief Revenue Officer and member of the Utah House of Representatives recognized for public service.

 

Pat Phillipp to retire after 43 years at Our Lady of Lourdes

 

Agency fair set for April 27 at Highland High

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Governor, Legislature show shallow schools commitment

 

Support Common Core

 

Sandy Hook gun lawsuit misfires

It’s up to politicians, not judges or jurors, to ban assault weapons.

 

Sandy Hook parent: Hold Remington accountable This case is not about all gun makers; it’s about the AR-15.

 

CTE and Big Data: Why education needs more of both

 

Hillary Clinton Finally Gave Us a Glimpse of the Education Debate We Need

 

Case Studies of Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Not just reading and math: Education Secretary to call for return to a ‘well-rounded education’

 

Technical glitches plague computer-based standardized tests nationwide

 

Teacher Tenure Is Challenged Again in a Minnesota Lawsuit

 

Charter School Teachers Organizing Under Federal Labor Law

 

New Mexico seeks charter school standards

 

Obama’s last science fair features robots, bubbles — and a live chicken

 

Taking math in morning may lead to higher grades for teens

 

The exhausting life of a first-year teacher What it’s like to learn how to teach — while teaching

 

Microsoft kicks off back-to-school wave with new Windows 10, Office 365 Education apps, services Microsoft plans to bundle new education-focused apps into Windows 10 Anniversary update, and is readying new Office 365 and MineCraft updates aimed specifically at the academic market.

 

Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’ Makes Its Way Into NYC’s High School Curriculum

 

Religious lunch event causing tension between organizers and Middleton school officials

 

Across the country, school districts are quietly arming teachers for the next shooting

 

New Denver Public Schools board member is convicted child abuser

 

Education Industry Mergers, Acquisitions Jumped Significantly in 2015

 

German University Starts Training Plan for Refugee Teachers

 

Nigerians March for Chibok Girls on Kidnapping Anniversary

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

UTAH NEWS

————————————————————

 

Utah school board to consider new social studies standards this week Education » If adopted, the public would get the chance to review, comment.

 

A proposed update to how history and social studies are taught in Utah will get its first hearing by the state school board this week.

The board’s Standards and Assessment Committee is scheduled to discuss the new standards on Thursday, followed by consideration by the full board on Friday.

If approved, the new standards will be released to the public for 90 days of review and feedback ahead of a final vote by the state school board.

“With public comment during the summer, we think it will really allow teachers and the public to give some thoughtful comments,” said Robert Austin, a social studies specialist with the State Office of Education.

The new standards affect grades seven through 12, which include courses on world, U.S. and Utah history.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Fn (SLT)

 


 

Poppins production teams students with professionals

 

OGDEN, Utah — Staging a Broadway musical in a high school auditorium has never been easy. But one school has discovered a unique way to do it. Ogden’s Bonneville High School is teaming students up with professionals to stage “Mary Poppins.”

An elaborate fly system carries the star of “Mary Poppins” up and over the chimneys of London as Bert sings “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” The English nannie played by Bonneville High School senior Leah Merrill is ready to take off.

“This is a show that … it’s such a big production,” says Merrill.

It’s a production with rooftops to soar over and park scapes to fly kites through, and it’s all designed by a professional artist.

John Cook, resident scenic artist for the Utah Opera, explains why he got involved in working with Bonneville High performing arts. “I do it because I didn’t have this opportunity as a young man. I think it’s rather fun to work with high school kids,” says Cook.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6G4 (KSL)

 


 

 

Washington County school district reviewing credit card guidelines after audit

 

Following a Utah state audit, Washington County School District in St. George is being told to patch up some problems they reportedly have with district credit cards being paid off with tax payer money.

The report came out on Tuesday and district superintendent, Larry Bergeson said these credit cards are used for everything from the purchase of school supplies to travel to hotel stays for school related events. Auditors took a sample of about 40 school district credit card transactions from May 2014 to May 2015 and of those, Bergeson said 16 of them were identified as potential problems.

“Mind you none of those were found to be fraudulent or criminal or anything along that line,” Bergeson said.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6FD (KUTV)

 

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

 


 

 

State Senate candidate questions campaign donation to opponent

 

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah House member running for state Senate is taking issue with his incumbent opponent receiving campaign contributions from a charter school management company.

Rep. Rich Cunningham, R-South Jordan, said it’s wrong for American Preparatory Schools to donate to political candidates because it receives tax dollars.

American Preparatory Schools Inc. gave Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan, $1,000 last November before the governor appointed him in December to replace Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, who resigned. It donated another $2,000 to Fillmore in January.

“We looked at all the other legislators out there. Nobody’s ever received that kind of a donation,” Cunningham said. “In our opinion, it’s kind of like the Jordan School District writing me a check and supporting me to be re-elected.”

Fillmore countered that “it’s not like that at all.”

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6G3 (Ed Week)

 


 

 

Utah Governor Herbert Signs Two Significant Education Bills

 

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has signed two education bills promising to benefit students. The bills aim to “increase funding for early childhood programs and enhance community partnerships to improve student outcomes,” and they come in the wake of the Utah state legislature having approved $454 million for 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,” Governor Herbert said in an auditorium full of students at Lincoln Elementary School. Before these bills, Utah ranked as the lowest-funded school system in the country.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6G5 ([Houston] Education News)

 


 

 

John Knotwell Awarded Legislator of the Year by Utah Technology Council RizePoint Chief Revenue Officer and member of the Utah House of Representatives recognized for public service.

 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — John Knotwell, RizePoint Chief Revenue Officer and member of the Utah House of Representatives representing District 52, was awarded Legislator of the Year by the Utah Technology Council (UTC).

Knotwell’s work on HB 277 – Personalized Teaching and Learning Amendments – provides grants to school districts and charter schools around the state of Utah to modernize their classrooms, promote interactive and personalized learning and provide teachers digital-age training.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6G2

 


 

 

Pat Phillipp to retire after 43 years at Our Lady of Lourdes

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Next month, Pat Phillipp will retire after 43 years of teaching second grade in the same classroom in which she started at Our Lady of Lourdes School.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6G1 (IC)

 


 

 

Agency fair set for April 27 at Highland High

 

SALT LAKE CITY — A free agency fair for students and adults with disabilities is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at Highland High School, 2166 S. 1700 East.

Hosted by the each of the school districts in the Salt Lake Valley, as well as the State Office of Education and the Division of Services for People with Disabilities, the event will include representatives from employment, housing, health care and education services, as well as advocacy programs.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

OPINION & COMMENTARY

————————————————————

 

Governor, Legislature show shallow schools commitment Salt Lake Tribune letter from Fred Ash

 

Our governor keeps telling us that one of his highest priorities is public education, but is he telling us the truth?

Of the $445 million new money in the Education Fund this year, he approved about a third of that to go to higher ed, about $100 million of which will go to build buildings, money that should have come out of the General Fund.

The $300 million left for public ed will barely cover growth and status quo in teacher wages and class sizes. The truth is that public education is not at the top of his priorities. If the governor and the Legislature truly cared for public education, they would be doing all they can to improve teaching conditions in the state to attract and retain quality teachers, especially increasing teacher wages and decreasing class sizes.

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

 

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

 


 

 

Support Common Core

(St. George) Spectrum letter from Stephanie Farmer

 

What is Common Core? Common Core is a group of standards that align schools together academically so students are being taught the same things across the state and country to prepare them for college, careers and the emerging global markets. It is not federally-mandated laws telling us how we are to teach the children of Utah or any other state. They are just basic standards in which the states are trying to align curriculum so students are working on the same thing at the same time. That way, there is some sense of uniformity.

So, why are so many people upset about our future generations being more prepared? By having a common core for education, are we not ensuring that all students will be ready to face the world with the skills necessary to be successful? I believe over time that Common Core will be a great way to ensure the success of future generations.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6G6

 


 

 

Sandy Hook gun lawsuit misfires

It’s up to politicians, not judges or jurors, to ban assault weapons.

USA Today editorial

 

It seems hard-hearted to oppose the lawsuit brought by the families of the children and adults shot to death in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Anyone who hasn’t endured such a nightmare can’t imagine the survivors’ grief, and their struggle to prevent anyone else from having to go through such horror deserves respect.

But the lawsuit almost surely won’t succeed, nor should it. The suit tries to make a legal argument out of what should be settled politically, even if the politics of gun control make that agonizingly difficult. It seeks to criminalize the sale of a legal product — the military-style AR-15 assault rifle — that does what it was designed to do.

Suing gun makers and gun stores for selling a weapon used by a deranged young man to slaughter people is not unlike suing the maker and seller of a car that a demented driver slams into a crowd of people.

The Newtown lawsuit, filed in late 2014, has gotten attention lately because it might be blocked by a law Congress passed in 2005 to provide the gun industry broad immunity from legal challenges. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders voted for the bill and, in the run-up to Tuesday’s New York primary, rival Hillary Clinton has charged thatSanders coddles gun makers.

The fact is, most lawsuits similar to the Sandy Hook action failed even before the law was passed.

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

 


 

 

Sandy Hook parent: Hold Remington accountable This case is not about all gun makers; it’s about the AR-15.

USA Today op-ed by Nicole Hockley whose son, Dylan, was among those murdered at Sandy Hook

 

The families of several first-graders and adults murdered at Sandy Hook School, including my 6- year-old Dylan, are trying to hold the maker, distributor and seller of our shooter’s weapon accountable for their role in the Newtown massacre. Our goal is to prevent the next Sandy Hook from destroying innocent lives, families and communities.

Unfortunately, political rhetoric has obscured the basis of our case. We are not asking that the law providing immunity for gun companies be repealed or even modified; rather, we ask simply that it be enforced. The bill includes six scenarios in which gun companies can be held liable; creating but then ignoring an unreasonable risk of harm is one of them.

The AR-15, the military’s weapon of choice for 50 years, is a killing machine designed specifically to inflict mass carnage on a battlefield, unleashing 30 rounds in under 10 seconds. Soldiers require mental health screenings and more than 100 hours of training before using AR-15s.

Tragically, the AR-15’s brutal capabilities make it the weapon of choice for mass murderers, including our shooter. Since 2001, there have been 11 mass shootings in America using an AR-15. There are many kinds of guns but few, if any, enable as much carnage.

Instead, Remington markets these military killing machines to violence-prone young men without the training or mental health evaluation that even soldiers require.

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

 


 

 

CTE and Big Data: Why education needs more of both Fordham Institute commentary by Shaun M. Dougherty, assistant professor of educational policy and leadership at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education

 

Recently, there has been increased interest in career and technical education as a mechanism to create pathways to college and employment. This increased interest has occurred despite the fact that, aside from two studies on career academies, there is relatively little high-quality evidence about whether and how CTE provides educational and work-related benefits to students. In my new report with the Fordham Institute, Career and Technical Education in High School: Does It Improve Student Outcomes?, we capitalized on the willingness of state agencies to partner with us and share data as a way to answer these questions. Our ability to produce answers is related to the rich datasets from Arkansas that enabled us to translate this data and available computing power into actionable policy findings.

In the past, roughly one in five students took three or more high school courses in a field classified under career and technical education. But some recent evidence suggests that the number of students taking a larger share of CTE courses may have receded during the expansion of high-stakes, test-based accountability. Very little of the data accumulated in recent years has been examined to explain how major shifts in policy and educational practice may have impacted the provision, quality, and impact of CTE coursework, and how participating in this coursework influenced the outcomes of students.

Doing high-quality research in education policy (and many other arenas) requires detailed and usable data. And if we’ve learned anything from the last fifteen years, it is that relying solely on test scores as indicators of impact on students misses other important outcomes and elements of the educational process.

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

 


 

 

Hillary Clinton Finally Gave Us a Glimpse of the Education Debate We Need Slate commentary by Jessica Huseman, a fellow for the Teacher Project, an education reporting initiative at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism

 

Earlier this week, Long Island’s Newsday interviewed Hillary Clinton at length on a number of topics, including education. That’s something no newspaper has managed to do throughout either party’s primary, which has largely glossed over K–12 issues. Clinton’s answers showed her knowledge of those issues is vast and impressive. But the interview was still a disappointment.

In fairness, Newsday did manage to eke out something interesting by pressing Clinton to discuss the opt-out movement. That’s a particularly important issue for Newsday’s readers, since Long Island, New York, is a hot bed—perhaps the nation’s hottest bed—for opting out of standardized tests. Half of Long Island’s students in grades 3 through 8 choose not to take the tests.

For her part, Clinton has been pushing for stronger standards in education since she was the first lady of Arkansas, and has long supported the Common Core educational standards. While she admitted in the Newsday interview that adoption of the standards—specifically as they relate to testing—has been “disastrous,” she said she probably wouldn’t recommend her granddaughter opt out of those tests, adding, “we have to do a better job of explaining why a common set of standards is really in the interests of the parents who are opting their kids out.”

That last thought—that politicians should better explain the importance of tests—left opt-out activists annoyed. Diane Ravitch, the education-reform critic who is arguably the mother of the opt-out movement, called Clinton “tone deaf” on her blog.

But on testing, Clinton may not be making anyone happy. Hours before Newsday published Clinton’s interview transcript, Shavar Jeffries, the national president of Democrats for Education Reform, wrote a pretty severe takedown of Clinton’s statements over the last several days that children should be tested less—something Clinton then repeated in her interview.

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

 


 

 

Case Studies of Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants Institute of Education Sciences analysis

 

The Study of School Turnaround (SST) examines the change process in a diverse, purposive sample of schools receiving federal School Improvement Grants (SIG) from 2010–11 to 2012–13. With the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the SIG program underwent three major shifts. First, ARRA boosted total SIG funding in fiscal year 2009 to approximately 6.5 times the original 2009 appropriation through Title I, section 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). SIG funds were distributed to states by formula based on each state’s Title I share. States then had to competitively make SIG awards to districts with eligible schools. Second, ARRA targeted funds at only the very worst schools—those that were in the bottom 5 percent of performance and had been low performing for an extended period of time. Third, schools receiving SIG were now required to implement one of four prescriptive intervention models believed to be more aggressive and comprehensive than those generally adopted under prior policies. By increasing the level of funding, better targeting these funds to the persistently lowest-achieving schools, and requiring that schools adopt specific intervention models, the revamped SIG program aimed to catalyze more aggressive efforts to turn around student performance. This report focuses on a small sample of schools receiving SIG over the first three years of the revamped SIG program, from 2010–11 to 2012–13. It presents findings from the study’s 25 core sample schools, which were the focus of data collection in spring 2011 and spring 2012, and a subsample of 12 of the 25 schools (collectively referred to as the core subsample), which were selected for data collection in spring 2013 and are the focus of more in-depth analyses looking across all three years of SIG.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————-

NATIONAL NEWS

————————————————————-

 

Not just reading and math: Education Secretary to call for return to a ‘well-rounded education’

Washington Post

 

The nation’s schools have focused so intently on improving students’ math and reading skills that, in many cases, they have squeezed out other important subjects, such as social studies, science and the arts.

That’s the message that U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. plans to deliver during a speech Thursday at an arts-focused school in Las Vegas, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks.

King plans to say that No Child Left Behind — the main federal education law that was signed in 2002 and required schools to show progress in math and reading test scores — had the unintentional consequence of narrowing the curriculum for too many children.

“For so many students, a wide range of possible subjects in school, powerfully and creatively taught, can be exactly what it takes to make the difference between disengagement and a lifelong passion for learning. But today, that’s not happening enough,” King plans to say.

But now, No Child Left Behind’s successor — the Every Student Succeeds Act, passed in December — offers an opportunity for states and districts to create for themselves a more comprehensive definition for an excellent education, he plans to say.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6FX (Las Vegas Review Journal)

 


 

 

Technical glitches plague computer-based standardized tests nationwide Washington Post

 

As most states have moved to new standardized tests based on the Common Core during the past two years, many also have switched from administering those tests the old-fashioned way — with paper and No. 2 pencils — to delivering them online using computers, laptops and tablets.

The transition aims to harness the power of technology to move beyond simplistic multiple-choice questions and to measure students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

But the shift to computer-based testing has been riddled with technical glitches that have spanned many testing companies and states, including those that have adopted Common Core and those using other new academic standards.

Stressed-out students have found they sometimes can’t log on to their exams or are left to panic when their answers suddenly disappear. Frustrated teachers have had to come up with last-minute lesson plans when testing fails. School systems — and even entire states — have had to abandon testing altogether because of Internet hiccups thousands of miles away.

The balky tests also raise a broader question: Can the exams — which are supposed to offer an objective view of student achievement — produce the kind of valid, reliable results that are necessary for a fair judgment of the performance of schools, teachers and students?

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

 


 

 

Teacher Tenure Is Challenged Again in a Minnesota Lawsuit New York Times

 

Opening a new front in the assault on teacher tenure, a group of parents backed by wealthy philanthropists served notice to defendants on Wednesday in a lawsuit challenging Minnesota’s job protections for teachers, as well as the state’s rules governing which teachers are laid off as a result of budget cuts.

Similar to cases in California and New York, the plaintiffs, who are filing the lawsuit in district court in Ramsey County in St. Paul, argue that the state’s tenure and layoff laws disproportionately harm poor, minority children because, they say, the most ineffective teachers are more likely to be assigned to public schools with high concentrations of those children.

In the lawsuit, parents of children in public schools across Minnesota argue that the state’s tenure laws, which grant teachers job protections after three years on the job, deprive students of “their fundamental right to a thorough and efficient education” under the state’s Constitution. The suit also argues that state laws that protect the most veteran teachers in the event of layoffs can result in better teachers losing their jobs simply because they have fewer years in the classroom.

As in California and New York, the suit is likely to be fought fiercely by teachers’ unions and other groups that say teacher job protections do not cause educational inequity or lead to underperformers remaining in the classroom.

“Lawsuits like this stymie the real work that this lawsuit says it wants to do: growing and nurturing a great teaching force,” said Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, the country’s second­largest teachers’ union. “That happens by recruiting, mentoring, supporting and retaining teachers, not firing them.”

She added, “Stripping teachers of workplace protections will harm, not help, those students most at risk.”

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Fw (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

 


 

 

Charter School Teachers Organizing Under Federal Labor Law Bloomberg BNA

 

Although public charter schools are funded with government money and are often thought of as public entities rather than private employers, an increasing number of charter school teachers are forming unions under the National Labor Relations Act, which governs union organizing in the private sector.

In recent weeks, the American Federation of Teachers has won representation elections at charter schools in Cleveland and Chicago, the union announced. Both elections were supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.

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

 


 

 

New Mexico seeks charter school standards Associated Press via Santa Fe New Mexican

 

SANTA FE — New Mexico’s public education secretary is urging state lawmakers to establish standards for closing charter schools that do not measure up to academic standards and financial controls.

Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera on Wednesday told members of the state Legislative Finance Committee it was important to hold charter schools accountable by developing new standards. She also says it’s important to acknowledge excellence in charter-school education and share recipes for success.

New Mexico’s state auditor recently has reported financial control problems and missing files on background checks and teacher licenses at state-sponsored charter schools overseen by the Public Education Department.

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

 


 

 

Obama’s last science fair features robots, bubbles — and a live chicken USA Today

 

WASHINGTON — The state floor of the White House looked more like a middle school Wednesday, overrun with young scientists and their poster-board presentations, a live chicken and what President Obama said was “an alarming number of robots.”

Obama hosted a science fair at the White House on Wednesday, an annual occurrence he called one of the most fun events of his presidency — but with important policy implications. Obama touted the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and also addressed what he said were “structural biases that exist in science.”

“A lot of them are unconscious. But the fact is, is that we’ve got to get more of our young women and minorities into science and technology, engineering and math, and computer science,” he said, noting an increasing number of girls at the White House science fair. “We’re not going to succeed if we’ve got half the team on the bench, especially when it’s the smarter half of the team.”

Obama toured science projects for nearly an hour, questioning scientists aged 9 to 18 on their projects and their aspirations.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Fp (San Jose [CA] Mercury News)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Fr (NYT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Fq (NBC)

 

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Fs (White House)

 


 

 

Taking math in morning may lead to higher grades for teens Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 

Many middle and high school students have an aversion to first period classes but a new study suggests the earlier time slot may yield an academic benefit in math.

The new study in The Review of Economics and Statistics suggests students are more productive in the morning than in the afternoon, especially in math. University of Chicago researcher Nolan G. Pope looked at whether the scheduling of math and English courses affects grades and test scores for adolescents.

His study, “How the Time of Day Affects Productivity: Evidence from School Schedules,” examined the GPAs and standardized test scores of nearly 2 million students enrolled in grades 6 through 11 in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The students attended schools that began around 8 a.m. and ended at 3:10 p.m.

Among his findings: Students fared better in math classes held in the morning than the afternoon.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://gousoe.uen.org/6Fu (The Review of Economics and Statistics)

 


 

 

The exhausting life of a first-year teacher What it’s like to learn how to teach — while teaching Hechinger Report

 

WASHINGTON — By October of his first year teaching, the reality of Amit Reddy’s new job was clear: He would not be getting much sleep, and any he did get would be interrupted by bad dreams and anxiety about his classroom.

“The whole night you’re thinking about the game,” Reddy said. “I’ve not had a good sleep since I started this job.”

Reddy is an eighth-grade science teacher at Alice Deal Middle School, which serves more than 1,300 students in grades six through eight in a stately building in the northwestern D.C. neighborhood of Tenleytown. Thirty-one percent of the students are black and 45 percent are white. Almost 20 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

At 37, Reddy has an undergraduate degree in engineering and master’s degrees in literary nonfiction and public policy. He’s worked in advertising and studied in Australia and America. In 2014, he published a book about his 2006 journey around his home country of India on a motorcycle.

But none of those experiences truly prepared Reddy for the “exhaustion” of teaching, a job that keeps him busy for 16 to 17 hours “on a good day.”

Last summer, Reddy joined the nonprofit The New Teacher Project’s (TNTP) Teaching Fellows program, an alternative, faster route to the classroom after an eight-week summer program. All fellows then receive year-long coaching during their first year and complete online classes to earn their teaching license. They have the option to earn a master’s degree in education.

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

 


 

 

Microsoft kicks off back-to-school wave with new Windows 10, Office 365 Education apps, services Microsoft plans to bundle new education-focused apps into Windows 10 Anniversary update, and is readying new Office 365 and MineCraft updates aimed specifically at the academic market.

ZDNet

 

Microsoft is previewing today, April 14, what’s coming on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Office 365 and Minecraft fronts for educators and students as its way of kicking off its back-to-school 2016/2017 wave.

A number of the already disclosed features in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update — a k a “Redstone 1,” due out around July this year — including Windows Ink, Cortana enhancements and core updates to make PCs boot and resume faster — will all have benefits in the classroom, Microsoft officials said.

The company also is adding a new “Set Up School PCs” app to help teachers set of a “Shared Cart of Devices” for classrooms which make use of shared devices. For schools with dedicated IT support, the updated Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer tool will aid with setting up shared devices in bulk. And a new “Take a Test” app will create a browser-based, locked-down environment for quickly taking standardized tests. The “Set Up School PCs” and “Take a Test” apps will be preloaded with the Windows 10 Education Edition.

There’s no dedicated Windows Store for Education, but school administrators will receive an education-focused experience, with education apps on their landing page when they log in. Educators also can make use of the Windows Store for Business.

“Free and paid apps acquired through the Windows Store for Business can be assigned to students, included in a school’s private store, distributed via management such as MDM (mobile device management), or if enabled by the developer, may be downloaded for offline provisioning. Custom LOB (line of business) apps from developers can be uploaded to the schools private store for distribution through the same methods,” said a spokesperson when I asked for particulars.

There’s also a new, free add-on for Office 365 Education that is available in pilot called “Microsoft Classroom.” This add-in, which includes both service and software components, is deployable by school administrators and can be integrated with Windows 10. The Classroom service has both teacher and student views, and is focused on streamlining and digitizing the school class-workflow process.

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

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/6FV (TechCrunch)

 


 

 

Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’ Makes Its Way Into NYC’s High School Curriculum NPR Morning Edition

 

“How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean, by providence impoverished, in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?”

Lin Manuel Miranda’s answer to that question — the musical Hamilton — has taken over Broadway. And for the next year, it will take over 20,000 New York City high school classrooms. The program plans to implement a Hamilton-based curriculum created by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Students read and study some of the same documents Miranda used when he wrote the play.

Students from high poverty schools also get tickets to the show. This week, Miranda welcomed the first batch of 1,300 cheering students to the Richard Rodgers Theater in Manhattan.

Representatives from each school got a chance to perform their own short projects on stage. Their pieces tackled Miranda’s opening question: How did Alexander Hamilton ascend from a Caribbean immigrant to the nation’s first treasury secretary? Other pieces covered Hamilton’s rival, Aaron Burr, and some of the contradictions in the Declaration of Independence.

The education program will travel with the show when it goes on tour, landing in classrooms in Chicago this September.

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

 


 

 

Religious lunch event causing tension between organizers and Middleton school officials

(Madison) Wisconsin State Journal

 

A regular free lunch event that includes Christian religious teachings has created controversy at Middleton High School.

The noontime meetings, known as “Jesus Lunches” by some students, have been organized by a handful of parents since fall 2014. While it started small, with parents inviting their own children and their friends to sit outside for free food and spiritual talks, it has expanded to a much larger event, putting the organizers and district administrators in conflict over its legality, according to an email district officials sent to parents Tuesday.

Superintendent Donald Johnson and high school Principal Stephen Plank wrote that they have voiced concerns to the organizers and asked for an end to the lunches, which take place across from the school at Fireman’s Park.

The school district leases the park during school hours, the email said, so policies that apply to the school campus extend to the park during that time. Those include rules about food safety and food preparation, food allergy procedures and visitor policies.

“We believe that religious or political events do not have a place in our school or on our campus, except when sponsored by a student group in accordance with our rules, which require prior approval,” the email said. “In addition, many students have conveyed to us their concern about a group offering free food to incentivize participation in a religious event on campus.”

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

 


 

 

Across the country, school districts are quietly arming teachers for the next shooting Washington Post

 

Teachers, it is said, have some of the hardest jobs in the world. The hours are long, and the rewards often intangible. In addition to designing and executing lesson plans, grading homework and coordinating extracurricular activities, teachers are expected to be surrogate parents, offering children personal comfort and protection over the course of a long school day.

In recent years, teachers have also had to contend with a devastating reality: the increasing threat of school shootings.

While gun violence in the U.S. has significantly declined since the 1990s, mass public shootings are on the rise, and schools are now viewed as vulnerable targets. One of the deadliest in history claimed 28 lives, including 20 children, after Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.

Last October, a gunman fatally shot nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore.

These incidents, and every school shooting in between, have sent mourning parents and distraught education officials on a search for effective preventative measures.

One that has long been bandied about, and now being tested in schools countrywide, is allowing teachers to bring guns to school.

http://gousoe.uen.org/6G0

 


 

 

New Denver Public Schools board member is convicted child abuser

(Denver) KDVR

 

DENVER — The Denver Public School’s newly appointed board member is a convicted child abuser and on Wednesday night, she explained that conviction.

The conviction came to light after the FOX31 Problem Solvers conducted a background check on MiDian Z. Holmes, 35, who was appointed Tuesday night during a special session.

She replaces former school board member Landri Taylor, who resigned last month, citing family reasons. Holmes was one of 20 candidates, according to a school district news release.

In 2006, Holmes had a 2006 conviction for child abuse along with other citations and criminal complaints.

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

 


 

 

Education Industry Mergers, Acquisitions Jumped Significantly in 2015 Education Week

 

The number and value of mergers and acquisitions in the education industry rose sharply over the most recent year, fueled by deals in professional training and by consolidation in some areas of K-12, a new analysis has found.

There were 418 mergers and acquisitions in the education industry in 2015, up from 329 in 2014, according to research by the investment bank Berkery Noyes.

The value of the deals over that time period, meanwhile, jumped by 52 percent, to about $18 billion, said Berkery Noyes. The investment group provides advice and financial consulting to middle market companies in the technology and information space.

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

 


 

 

German University Starts Training Plan for Refugee Teachers Associated Press

 

POTSDAM, Germany — A German university has launched a program aimed at enabling teachers who fled Syria and other countries to return to the classroom, potentially helping them serve as bridge-builders between German schools and last year’s many new arrivals.

The project at the University of Potsdam, just outside Berlin, started this week as Germany increasingly focuses on integrating what will likely be hundreds of thousands of people into society and the work force.

On Thursday, the first, all-Syrian group of refugees grappled with the intricacies of German time-telling and days of the week at the modern university campus on the city’s outskirts.

The 11-month course to familiarize them with the language and Germany’s education system starts with several months of intensive German courses. From September onward, they will take part in regular teacher training and learn about teaching in Germany, ending with practice at a school.

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

 


 

 

Nigerians March for Chibok Girls on Kidnapping Anniversary Associated Press

 

LAGOS, Nigeria — Angry over lack of progress to resolve one of the highest-profile mass kidnappings in the world, Nigerians marched in their country’s major cities on Thursday to demand the safe return of girls who were abducted by Boko Haram extremists two years ago from a school in Chibok.

Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was expected in the northeastern town of Chibok for the anniversary of the kidnappings, said Yakubu Nkeki, leader of a support group of parents of the kidnapped girls. He said the community is angry that their only school remains in ruins. Boko Haram firebombed buildings as they took off with girls.

Some 20,000 children in the town and its surroundings have no school to attend, Nkeki said Thursday as parents gathered at the ruins of the school to pray for the safe return of their daughters.

“Boko Haram has achieved its aim. They say they don’t want us to have Western education and our children don’t,” Nkeki said.

Two years ago, the Islamic extremists seized 276 girls who had gathered for science exams at the Government Girls Secondary School in the northeast town of Chibok. Some managed to escape, jumping off pickup trucks as the Islamic extremists drove them toward the Sambisa Forest. A total of 219 remain missing.

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

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

 

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.aspx

 

Related posts:

Comments are closed.