Education News Roundup: June 15, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

school bus on rural road

Here Comes The School Bus/Big Grey Mare/CC/flickr

Rural schools get some media attention locally and nationally.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afR (BYU Universe)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/afx (Politico)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/afy (Rural School and Community Trust)

Researchers take a closer look at education value-added models.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afS (Science Daily)
or a copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/afT (Quarterly Journal of Economics) $

Brad Pitt and Michael B. Jordan will star in a movie about the Atlanta cheating scandal.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afG (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/afH (Deadline Hollywood)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Rural Utahns concerned about government

Jeff Stephens reappointed again to lead Weber School District

Utah State Board of Education Approves MIDAS Education

Utah In Nation’s Top 10 States For Child Well-Being

Canyons School District hopes to end lunch shaming

CCS Refugee Foster Care students celebrate graduation

Study indicates cyber slang is creeping into students’ schoolwork

Free lunches available for kids in south Utah County

Robots and creativity collide in K-12 educator workshop

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Stop the Lunch-Shaming

Looking back at Archbishop Niederauer’s wit and defense of the Church as expressed in letters to the editor

Listen to your teachers or lose them

New York’s school-spending insanity

A Fine Line on Private School Choice
Betsy DeVos can expand parents’ educational choice without jeopardizing private school independence.

Education Needs Big Ideas
Here’s one that would expand pre-K, improve high school and better the system overall.

What to know before using school ratings tools from real estate companies

NATION

Rural schools face ‘substantial challenges’

Researchers refine yardstick for measuring schools
A new study has developed a novel way of evaluating and improving VAMs. By taking data from Boston schools with admissions lotteries, the scholars have used the random assignment of students to schools to see how similar groups of students fare in different classroom settings.

Failing & Frustrated: 2nd Florida teacher makes case that scoring process on teacher test is flawed
Daryl Bryant has failed state exam three times

Success Academy Launches Online ‘Education Institute’ to Share Curriculum, Professional Development
New ‘Education Institute’ brings NYC charter network Success Academy approaches nationwide

‘How Far Can They Go?’ Police Search of Hundreds of Students Stokes Lawsuit and Constitutional Questions

Valedictorians’ days numbered? Schools rethink class ranking

Even for Late Learners, Starting to Read Changes the Brain Fast

Murphy admits to conspiracy in EPISD trial

Brad Pitt, Michael B. Jordan sign on to Atlanta school cheating movie

 

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UTAH NEWS
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Rural Utahns concerned about government


Political science professor Adam Brown said almost 80 percent of Utahns live in the five most urbanized counties. State officials wanted to ensure all four U.S. House districts would contain a mix of rural and urban areas, mirroring the state’s overall rural-urban balance – so none of Utah’s members of Congress would overlook rural concerns.
Those in urban and rural areas want different things when it comes to the federal public land, Brown said. He said urban residents want the land for recreation and escape, whereas rural residents want it for drilling and expanding production.
Brown said the redistricting process was meant to ensure strong representation of rural voices, which make up less than 20 percent of the state with no effort to ensure balanced representation of non-Republican voters (who form a larger minority). He said the district maps were divided so the state’s most heavily urbanized and most liberal areas had less political influence.
“I’m not really sure it’s the rural voters who are underrepresented,” Brown said.
Brown said the issues of urban areas differ from those of rural areas. He said urban issues include air quality and building freeways and roads, whereas rural areas are concerned about a decline in population and schools, which “can lead to school closures” and “very long bus rides for the remaining children.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/afR (BYU Universe)

 

Jeff Stephens reappointed again to lead Weber School District

OGDEN – Jeff Stephens will continue to work as the superintendent of the Weber School District for another two years.
Stephens was reappointed to the position by the district Board of Education at a meeting Wednesday, June 14. He has worked for the school district since 1984 and has been superintendent since 2011, according to the district website.
District spokesman Lane Findlay said in an email all district employees are receiving a 3.5 percent salary increase. This means Stephens’ salary will go from $168,480 in 2016-17 to $174,376 in 2017-18.
The contract, effective July 1, stipulates Stephens must devote time and attention to the district outside of work hours but he may also work as a consultant for other districts for short-term projects.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afC (OSE)

 

Utah State Board of Education Approves MIDAS Education

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE), at its June 2, 2017 meeting, approved a five-year contract for MIDAS Education to implement a statewide Professional Development Management System. MIDAS houses all data in a single, secure data model; USBE will utilize a robust permissions structure to manage educator and administrator access. PD opportunities may be delivered by the state, universities, or districts.
USBE will hold informational meetings and webinars throughout the state in August in preparation to launch the system at the start of this school year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afX (Tech & Learning)

 

Utah In Nation’s Top 10 States For Child Well-Being

Utah ranks in the top 10 nationally for child well-being, and has made improvements across almost all key measures, according to the 2017 Kids Count Data Book by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The percentage of children living in poverty remained unchanged at 13 percent from 2014 to 2015.
Utah has made gains on nearly every key indicator for children’s well-being, and the state ranks seventh nationally overall in this year’s Kids Count Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The state moved up eight spots in the report’s health category, from 27th to 19th. Terry Haven with Voices for Utah Children says kids are benefiting from policies aimed at helping them succeed.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afV (UPR)

 

Canyons School District hopes to end lunch shaming

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – The Canyons School District wants to make sure students worry more about getting an education than getting a meal.
The federal government requires all districts to pass a policy on how to deal with any unpaid school lunches.
The Canyons Board of Education approved a policy that takes the concern of lunch money away from students who want to go to class.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afE (KTVX)

 

CCS Refugee Foster Care students celebrate graduation

SALT LAKE CITY – With applause, balloons and recognition of achievements, the June 9 graduation celebration at Liberty Park could have been mistaken, at first glance, for any one of the thousands of similar festivities that occur across Utah this time of year. The students played soccer, laughed and chatted as they waited for the ceremony to begin. In the fall, they will head their different ways: to Salt Lake Community College, Mountainland Applied Technology College, Dixie State University, Utah Valley University. One has a full-ride scholarship to the University of Utah and dreams of becoming a judge.
A closer look at the 15 graduates, however, would start to reveal the distinction that binds them: Each is a refugee who came to the United States without their parents. Hailing from Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Burma and Honduras, they all are enrolled in Catholic Community Services of Utah’s Refugee Foster Care program, which provides case management services for them until they are 21.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afW (IC)

 

Study indicates cyber slang is creeping into students’ schoolwork

SALT LAKE CITY — Technology and teens go hand in hand, literally, and each message is packed with cyber slang and paired with a favorite emoji.
“It’s a challenge, they’re always on it, they always want to be on it” said Chelsea McGee, a parent of two teens.
A study conducted by Royce Kimmons at Brigham Young University shows that texting lingo isn’t staying in the message box, it’s now taking hold in the classroom.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afF (KSL)

 

Free lunches available for kids in south Utah County

This summer, if your kids are out at the Springville Splash Pad, Payson Community Pool, Spanish Fork City Center Library Park, Taylor Elementary in Payson or Santaquin’s Centennial Park at lunch time on weekdays, they’re in for a free meal.
For the second year in a row, the Utah Food Bank is offering free lunches to anyone 18 and under in south Utah County. And unlike during the school year, when parents need to provide information for their children to qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches, there’s no documentation required, said Ginette Bott, Utah Food Bank Chief Development Officer.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afY (Utah Valley 360)

 

Robots and creativity collide in K-12 educator workshop

CEDAR CITY – Southern Utah University’s artsFUSION program increases the quality and quantity of arts educational experiences for children in southern Utah. Offering training for educators throughout the year, the program’s next workshop for K-12 educators, Arts and Bots, runs Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Arts and Bots workshop teaches instructors how to build and animate cardboard robots using art supplies, motors, LED lights, moving parts, and sound, as well as learning two block-based coding platforms to animate the robots. A flexible project, these bots can be integrated with many subjects. Following the training participants can check out robotic kits from the SUU Center for STEM Teaching and Learning.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afD (SGN)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Stop the Lunch-Shaming
Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Katharine Biele

It’s a start, but not much. Lunch-shaming is definitely a thing, and not just in Utah. The State Board of Education is about to start an audit of school fees statewide, a Deseret News report said, and it will cover a lot more than lunch. This is an issue with philosophical, political and financial implications. The philosophical: What does a free, appropriate public education really entail? The political: The Trump administration proposed a 21-percent reduction to the USDA program. The financial: If parents don’t pay for lunches, uniforms and programs, who does? The New Mexico governor recently signed a Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act, CNNMoney said. And a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced the Anti-Lunch Shaming Act of 2017 to curb the worst of these practices. No matter what the audit comes up with, Utah needs to act.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afU

 

Looking back at Archbishop Niederauer’s wit and defense of the Church as expressed in letters to the editor
Intermountain Catholic commentary by Gary Topping, Archivist, Diocese of Salt Lake City

As we continue to mourn the passing last month of our beloved former bishop and Archbishop emeritus of San Francisco George H. Niederauer, who died May 2, our thoughts naturally go back to those things we most admired about him. While I appreciated his quick sense of humor, his intelligence and his wonderful homilies, I particularly loved his letters to the editor. An avid newspaper reader, he had a better than 20/20 eye for attacks, slights or misrepresentations of Catholicism and the Church, and his responses were immediate and sometimes even sarcastic. I’ve selected a few of my favorites for you here.
Responding to an opinion piece in The Salt Lake Tribune from Ms. Pat Rusk, president of the Utah Education Association, alleging that “private schools are not held by law to the same requirements as public schools, [insinuating] that private schools fail to meet those requirements,” Archbishop Niederauer says, “Catholics operate quality schools because we believe in our vision of education, not in order to compete with other schools. However, now that the subject has come up, I know of no stampede from private schools into public schools. No competition, Ms. Rusk? To borrow your phrase, ‘Come on!'”
http://gousoe.uen.org/afQ

 

Listen to your teachers or lose them
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Ann Florence

What a difference a day makes. For teachers, what a difference a few years make. In the past, applicants outnumbered teaching jobs. Today, teachers might choose between multiple offers. The value of teachers has risen as the supply slowed to a trickle.
A Tribune editorial stated that besides a raise, teachers need flexibility. Flexibility is a result of something more fundamental – respect for the intelligence and professionalism of trained educators. Administrators must stop treating teachers like indentured servants. They have to muster the courage to hire teachers who are bright enough and brave enough to challenge the status quo.
A few years ago, a GEA officer told us our district’s position was that it owned us, we were dispensable, and if we did not do what we were told, we would be replaced. One reason for our teacher shortage is that hundreds of our most innovative and beloved teachers resigned or retired early because they refused to be bullied into silence.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afB

 

New York’s school-spending insanity
New York Post editorial

Kids aren’t the only ones shafted by failed New York schools – taxpayers are, too.
Empire State public schools (not counting charters) spent a whopping $21,206 per student in the 2014-15 school year, the latest Census figures show. That’s the highest of any state – and nearly twice the $11,392 national average.
And the city’s even more extreme: It spent $21,980 per kid.
Notably, 70 percent ($14,769 per child) of New York’s $64.8 billion total went to salaries and benefits for the adults running the schools. That’s a revealing $6,903 (or 114 percent) more than the nation’s average.
Heck, Utah spent less per kid on all school costs than New York did on just staff.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afP

 

A Fine Line on Private School Choice
Betsy DeVos can expand parents’ educational choice without jeopardizing private school independence.
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Nat Malkus, a research fellow in education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute

Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos faced questions from the Senate Appropriations subcommittee regarding the Trump administration’s education budget. It was not an easy day for her, as senators from both parties took issue with some of the suggested cuts. Republican Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Miss., bluntly called it “a difficult budget request to defend.”
Perhaps the most controversial proposal in the budget was the $250 million increase in Department of Education funding to support private school choice. This is a departure from current practices: To date, private school choice programs have all been state-run, with the exception of Washington, D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarship program. By all appearances, these funds would involve the Department of Education directing a federal school choice program that would extend private options to families that are unsatisfied with their public options but unable to afford private school tuition. But, with no specifics about how the department would run the program, lawmakers focused on whether the secretary would require participating private schools to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ students or follow the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the primary federal education law governing students with disabilities.
DeVos was not particularly forthcoming, repeatedly responding to both lines of questioning by saying, “Schools that receive federal funds must follow federal law.” Attempts to get her to elaborate on what that would require were unsuccessful.
As I see it, DeVos is walking a fine line here in wanting to expand parent’s access to private school choice, properly enforce federal law and avoid undue regulation of private schools. That balance is almost tricky enough to warrant throwing in the towel on federal involvement in school choice.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afw

 

Education Needs Big Ideas
Here’s one that would expand pre-K, improve high school and better the system overall.
U.S. News & World Report op-ed by Andrew J. Rotherham, cofounder and partner at Bellwether Education Partners

Reasonable people can disagree about former President Barack Obama’s Race to the Top initiative – his multibillion education competition among states – but it was a big idea. So, too, were President Bill Clinton’s push for school standards and accountability, President George H.W. Bush’s push for national standards and President George W. Bush’s effort to make standards really mean something for low-income and minority youth.
President Donald Trump’s big idea was to be school choice – in some ways a natural outgrowth of the ups and downs of the efforts of his predecessors. But don’t hold your breath. The president’s team is neither laying the groundwork nor figuring out the policy for an ambitious choice push and, in any event, Washington will be consumed with the Russian investigation for the foreseeable future. Currently, Trump’s choice plan is at best a talking point. The administration is handling the issue so poorly, it’s shattering even more alliances among Republicans than Democrats right now – despite how choice exposes the political fragility of the Democratic coalition.
But as we look toward 2020, it’s not too early to think about the kind of big ideas our education system needs. (Rather than get sidetracked in the tiresome debate about whether or not we have an education crisis, just bear in mind that fewer than 10 percent of low-income and minority students receive a college degree by the time they’re 24, while overall outcomes are middling at best. Seems like something to which even people casually concerned about inequality should pay attention.) The incentives against big education ideas are formidable: Republicans fetishize state and local control, and Democrats tiptoe around the teachers unions because of their outsized role in the nominating process.
Yet Americans want real solutions rather than more politics. In that spirit, here’s one idea: A federal state partnership to expand early education, give high school students more options and improve the efficiency of our education system overall.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afO

 

What to know before using school ratings tools from real estate companies
Washington Post commentary by Jack Schneider, assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross, Mass.

I like where I live, in New England’s most densely populated city. My wife likes it, too, as does our daughter, who attends the public school across the street. Each morning, when we walk her to school, we feel lucky to live where we do, and happy about the education she’s getting. And when we interact with other families at the school – families that represent the many colors, creeds, and conditions of America – we worry a little less that the nation is coming apart at the seams.
But we wouldn’t have moved here if we had given any consideration to the school rating tools available from real estate companies like Zillow and Trulia. We wouldn’t have even looked at what their websites deem an “average” school, earning only a 6 on a 10-point scale. Instead, we’d be scrambling to make our mortgage payment in one of the region’s leafy suburbs.
Just because we ignored the ratings doesn’t mean we ignored the basic question of school quality. Before we put our bid in, I visited the school and took a tour; I talked with the principal and assistant principal. I took in as much information as I could and, equally important, I dismissed a lot that wasn’t particularly informative. It took a lot of time. It also helped that I’m a professor of education, and my wife is a teacher.
Knowing that not everyone has the time or expertise to do their own school quality reconnaissance, real estate companies have worked to meet market demand by leveraging data.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afJ

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Rural schools face ‘substantial challenges’
Politico

SPOTLIGHT ON RURAL EDUCATION: November’s election focused attention on the diminished economic opportunities available to many rural voters who helped elect President Donald Trump. Now, as policymakers look to revive many of America’s small towns in the wake of the election, the nonprofit Rural School and Community Trust has a message: Don’t forget the schools. The group is out with a new report today called “Why Rural Matters” that sounds the alarm on the “substantial challenges” rural schools face with “high rates of poverty, diversity and students with special needs.”
– Those include a lack of high-quality preschool programs and hurdles recruiting and retaining teachers, with the challenges most acute in the Southeast, Southwest and Appalachia. “While some rural schools thrive, far too many rural students face nothing less than a national emergency. Many rural schools and districts face vastly inequitable funding and simply cannot provide the opportunities that many suburban and urban schools do,” says Robert Mahaffey, executive director of the trust.
– Rural schools are not an anomaly, either. More than a quarter of schools are rural. And, the researchers say that nearly 8.9 million students attend a rural school. That’s more than attend the public school districts in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and the next largest 75 districts combined.
– Still, the administration has done very little to specifically address the needs of rural schools, Alan Richard, an education writer who serves as a voluntary board chair for the trust, tells Morning Education. Richard say the trust is watching closely to see what Congress does with the Trump administration’s proposed budget, which calls for a 13 percent decrease in education programs – programs he says are critical to helping rural schools. He says the administration’s “laser-like focus” on school choice issues to encourage vouchers and charter schools does little to help these communities, which often have far fewer charter schools or private schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afx

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/afy (Rural School and Community Trust)

 

Researchers refine yardstick for measuring schools
A new study has developed a novel way of evaluating and improving VAMs. By taking data from Boston schools with admissions lotteries, the scholars have used the random assignment of students to schools to see how similar groups of students fare in different classroom settings.
Science Daily

In recent years, 14 states in the U.S. have begun assessing teachers and schools using Value-Added Models, or VAMs. The idea is simple enough: A VAM looks at year-to-year changes in standardized test scores among students, and rates those students’ teachers and schools accordingly. When students are found to improve or regress, teachers and schools get the credit or the blame.
Perhaps not surprisingly, however, VAMs have generated extensive debate. Proponents say they bring accountability and useful metrics to education evaluation. Opponents say standardized tests are likely to be a misleading guide to educator quality. Although VAMs often adjust for some differences in student characteristics, educators have argued that these adjustments are inadequate. For example, a teacher with many students trying to overcome learning disabilities may be helping students improve more than a VAM will indicate.
A new study by an MIT-based team of economists has developed a novel way of evaluating and improving VAMs. By taking data from Boston schools with admissions lotteries, the scholars have used the random assignment of students to schools to see how similar groups of students fare in different classroom settings.
“Value-added models have high stakes,” says Josh Angrist, the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT and co-author of a new paper detailing the study. “It’s important that VAMs provide a reliable guide to school quality.”
The researchers have found that existing VAMs tend to underestimate the amount of test score improvement that actually occurs at some schools. On the other hand, the scholars say, conventional VAMs do provide a ballpark figure for improvement that should not be discounted.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afS

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/afT (Quarterly Journal of Economics) $

 

Failing & Frustrated: 2nd Florida teacher makes case that scoring process on teacher test is flawed
Daryl Bryant has failed state exam three times
(Tampa Bay, FL) WFTS

Daryl Bryant never thought teaching would land him in front of a judge.
“I wrote an essay that should be scored higher than it received,” he said after an administrative hearing in Orlando.
Bryant is one of two Florida teachers fighting the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) over how it scores teacher tests.
Bryant is a Central Florida teacher who’s been teaching P.E. at a Cocoa charter school for 3 years. He failed the essay portion of the state’s teacher certification exam three times.
“I would like to be shown how it [essay] fails to pass based on what is stipulated in the grading process,” he said.
In court documents, Bryant alleges that the FTCE essay grading process is “invalid and has errors.”
During an administrative hearing on Wednesday, Bryant who has a bachelor’s in physical education and information technology, defended his writing by describing the use of tutors and his history as a writer and editor for the boys and girls club monthly newsletter.
But the state and testing contractor, Pearson had their own defense. An attorney for the FDOE described a thorough scoring process that’s fair, detailed and consistent. At one point, the FDOE’s attorney, Bonnie Wilmot went so far as to say, “the process makes error almost impossible.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/afL

 

Success Academy Launches Online ‘Education Institute’ to Share Curriculum, Professional Development
New ‘Education Institute’ brings NYC charter network Success Academy approaches nationwide
(New York) The 74

New York City — Success Academy founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz said she had two goals when she launched New York City’s largest charter school network a decade ago: Open high-performing schools while working to improve American education more broadly.
Plans to expand Success Academy outside of New York City aren’t currently part of the equation, she said, but a new online platform aims to grow the network’s footprint beyond America’s largest school district.
Dubbed the “Success Academy Education Institute,” which Moskowitz and other Success Academy leaders unveiled Wednesday from their headquarters in Lower Manhattan, the free portal offers access to the curriculum and teacher development strategies that are employed at Success Academy’s 41 schools across the city.
“There are far too many kids across the country who are trapped in schools where they don’t learn to read and write and do mathematics and science at the most basic level, so we feel incredible pressure to be part of the solution,” said Moskowitz, an outspoken former Democratic New York City councilwoman who last year withdrew herself from consideration as an education secretary candidate under President Trump. “The Ed Institute is our vehicle for sharing all that we have developed to support this model with educators around the country and, frankly, around the world.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/afz

 

‘How Far Can They Go?’ Police Search of Hundreds of Students Stokes Lawsuit and Constitutional Questions
New York Times

Worth County High School was buzzing with late­year activities on April 14. Seniors had recently taken their group photo for the yearbook and were days away from voting for their prom king and queen.
But on that Friday, beginning around 8 a.m., dozens of police appeared on campus and announced that the school was on lockdown, which lasted until about noon. In that time, police officers searched all, or nearly all, of the approximately 900 students at the school, in Sylvester, Ga., in the southwest part of the state.
On June 1, with the help of the Southern Center for Human Rights and Horsley Begnaud, L.L.C., a law firm, nine of the students sued the sheriff and his deputies, alleging that they lacked the jurisdiction to carry out the body searches, which the lawsuit called “unreasonable, aggressive, and invasive.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/afI

 

Valedictorians’ days numbered? Schools rethink class ranking
Associated Press

LANCASTER, N.Y.- At many American high schools, the graduation-day tradition of crowning a valedictorian is becoming a thing of the past.
The ranking of students from No. 1 on down, based on grade-point averages, has been fading steadily for about the past decade. In its place are honors that recognize everyone who scores at a certain threshold – using Latin honors, for example. This year, one school in Tennessee had 48 valedictorians.
About half of schools no longer report class rank, according to the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Administrators worry about the college prospects of students separated by large differences in class rank despite small differences in their GPAs, and view rankings as obsolete in an era of high expectations for every student, association spokesman Bob Farrace said. There are also concerns about intense, potentially unhealthy competition and students letting worries about rank drive their course selections.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afK

 

Even for Late Learners, Starting to Read Changes the Brain Fast
Education Week

Learning to read makes deep changes in the brain quickly, even for those who come to reading late, according to a new study in the journal Science Advances.
Falk Huettig of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics led an international team of researchers, who tracked brain activity and changes in previously illiterate Indian adults in the first six months they learned to read. The study participants were learning Devanagari, a written language of India and Nepal that is more alphabetically complex than English.
They found that as people became literate, they developed faster and stronger connections between the occipital lobe-the area associated with vision-and deep parts of the brain stem and thalamus, which are associated with how the brain differentiates important information within a crowded field of vision. Outside of reading, these areas are associated with, for example, recognizing a familiar face in a crowd.
The more closely these areas of the brain synchronized their activity, the faster new readers learned to decode strings of letters as words.
Though the study focused on adults learning to read, Huettig said the results would apply to children as well. “The changes might be bigger in children-and perhaps also faster-but this has not been tested yet,” Huettig said. “What is quite amazing is that even adult brains who tend to show less plasticity [the ability to form new connections] than the brains of children can change so substantially even in evolutionarily old sub-cortical parts.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/afM

A copy of the study
http://gousoe.uen.org/afN (Science Advances)

 

Murphy admits to conspiracy in EPISD trial
El Paso (TX) Times

Former El Paso Associate Superintendent Damon Murphy on Tuesday admitted to orchestrating a scheme to fraudulently boost test scores by denying students an education.
Murphy pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to defraud the United States for his role in the El Paso Independent School District cheating scheme. But his testimony Tuesday, in the trial of five former colleagues, was the first time he had publicly described his role in detail.
Murphy testified that he conspired with former Superintendent Lorenzo García and the five defendants in the criminal case to fraudulently manipulate student populations “under the disguise of legality.”
“I knew we were in the wrong and if the (Texas Education Agency) knew that we were doing mass movement (of students), they would do an audit and find wrongdoing,” Murphy said. “There wasn’t a week that we had a meeting that if the TEA was in the room they wouldn’t have freaked out.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/afu

http://gousoe.uen.org/aft (El Paso Herald-Post)

http://gousoe.uen.org/afv (AP)

 

Brad Pitt, Michael B. Jordan sign on to Atlanta school cheating movie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Michael B. Jordan will star in a movie about the test cheating scandal that resulted in criminal convictions for 11 former Atlanta educators and Brad Pitt will be one of the producers, Deadline Hollywood reports.
The movie will focus on Parks Middle School, one of dozens of Atlanta schools where educators cheated on the state tests Georgia students take each year in an effort to meet ever-increasing performance targets set by then-Superintendent Beverly Hall.
http://gousoe.uen.org/afG

http://gousoe.uen.org/afH (Deadline Hollywood)

 

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

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

June 20:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2017&Com=APPPED

June 21:

Education Interim Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=INTEDU

Government Operations Interim Committee meeting
8:30 a.m., 450 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00002648.htm

Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee meeting
1:15 p.m., 30 House Building
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00002679.htm

Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee
1:15 p.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/Interim/2017/html/00002691.htm

July 13:

Utah State Board of Education committee meetings
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

July 14:

Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

July 25:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
2 p.m., 445 State Capitol
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPEXE

August 11:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

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