Education News Roundup: Sept. 21, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

Utah State Board of Education hears from both sides about the new middle school course flexibility rule.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKy (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aKB (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aLd (DN via KSL)
or video of the hearing
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLe (YouTube)

Legislators discuss school report cards.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKz (DN)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/aLL (DN via KSL)

Are changes coming for educator licensing?
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLl (KUER)

Learning Policy Institute takes a national look at why teachers are quitting.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKK (Ed Week)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKL (Learning Policy Institute)

Report finds U.S. spending on education is dropping relative to other nations.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLD (USN&WR)
or a copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLE (OECD)

————————————————————
TODAY’S HEADLINES
————————————————————

UTAH

Utah school board gets earful after dropping middle school arts and health requirements
Supporters laud the increased flexibility for schools and students while opponents warn of decreased access to creative and active classes.

Busywork or valuable data? Utah lawmakers weigh in on new school report card

Utah Legislature To Shake Up Teacher Licensing

Lawmakers question how Utah school districts found money ‘in the couch cushions’ for teacher salary wars
Education . Higher funded districts accused of keeping pay levels artificially low while poaching talent from neighboring schools.

Panel pitches possible fixes to Utah’s teacher shortage

Utah school nurse shortage leave nurses with heavy workloads

Juvenile justice officials offer guidelines for when school officers should act

‘Cumbersome’ grant process hinders schools from addressing unsafe bus routes

Police: Long-term approach to gang problem must combat elementary school recruitment

The Utah Education and Telehealth Network Teams with Instructure to Empower Utah Educators with Canvas Learning Management System (LMS)
Top LMS equips all Utah K-12 school districts and charter schools with tools accelerating digital teaching and learning

Students to see how classroom lessons relate to STEM careers

Jazz’s Rudy Gobert gets star reception from French-speaking elementary students

Merlin Olsen, Logan High to be honored by Pro Football Hall of Fame Thursday morning

West High opens Thursday as school officials chase bat invasion

Mountain lion spotted on Oakridge Elementary school grounds

As Logan High construction nears an end, other projects loom for Logan School District

South Ogden City contemplates future of old elementary schools lands

Polk Elementary community voices concerns with potential school rebuild

One Utah Organization is Trying to Make Homeschooling Easier

9th grade student makes 400-pound iron mascot, donates to school

Payson High alumni give teachers Hawaii trip, raising money to build school in Guatemala

Second-grader with leukemia gets an assist from RSL’s Leo the Lion

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Many positives on display at big game

A public apology for Mountain Crest slam

Not Everyone Likes Their State’s ESSA Plan. Here’s Why That Matters.

Why Are 27 Percent of District School Teachers Missing More Than 10 Days of School a Year?

Mainstream news is still not seeing national story in ESSA despite obvious story lines
Insufficient attention to the implementation of a new federal law illustrates a nagging coverage problem -and reveals a big opportunity for education reporters to tell a meaty national story.

Boys Are Not Defective
Girls in the Middle East do better than boys in school by a greater margin than almost anywhere else in the world: a case study in motivation, mixed messages, and the condition of boys everywhere.

School choice is crucial for African-American students’ success
The NAACP refuses to acknowledge the benefits that come from school choice and expects all people of color should follow their lead. I won’t.

‘Little Soldiers’ examines the Chinese education system from the inside
Journalist Lenora Chu had privileged access into the academic world, further enhanced by her son Rainey’s admission into one of Shanghai’s most prestigious kindergartens.

NATION

Teachers Are Quitting Because They’re Dissatisfied. That’s a Crisis, Scholars Say

Denver Public Schools making changes to choice process meant to benefit low-income parents
This year will be the seventh that DPS has used a unified enrollment system for all of its schools

U.S. Spends Less as Other Nations Invest More in Education
Years of disinvestment could affect the future U.S. labor force.

Regular Public School Teachers Miss More School Than Charter Teachers, Study Finds

Q&A: One-on-One with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

On work trips, DeVos flies on her plane at own expense

Survey indicates La. citizens think schools test too much

SFPS board questions ‘troubling’ science curriculum proposal

Personalized Learning a Big Challenge in High School Redesign, RAND Finds

Failing Charter Schools Have a Reincarnation Plan
Converting into private schools – and using voucher programs to thrive on the public dime.

Examining Links Between Academic Performance And Food Stamps

Do Schools’ ‘Active-Shooter’ Drills Prepare or Frighten?

Parents divided in opinion after gender neutral teacher sends note home with 5th graders

California school board will allow transgender books in elementary schools

‘My heart is in pieces’: Father makes public plea after his little boy is bullied

A kindergartner said his backpack might explode. His school called it ‘terroristic’

Possibly Elon Musk’s Biggest Idea Yet – Revolutionizing Education

The downsides to Singapore’s education system: streaming, stress and suicides
The country’s school system is geared towards high achievement in exams, but the emphasis on rote learning and memorisation, combined with pressure to succeed, affects children’s social skills, health and overall happiness

At Mexican School Hit by Quake, Heartbreak and Dwindling Hope

13-year-old credits earthquake drills with helping him escape collapsed school

 

————————————————————
UTAH NEWS
————————————————————

Utah school board gets earful after dropping middle school arts and health requirements
Supporters laud the increased flexibility for schools and students while opponents warn of decreased access to creative and active classes.

When Melanie Provost began junior high, she was overweight and terrified of the requirement to enroll in gym class.
But before long, Provost said, she discovered an aptitude for basketball and volleyball that, combined with information from also-required health and nutrition courses, led her to eventually compete in varsity high school sports and attend college on a full-ride athletic scholarship.
“All of my preconceived ideas about PE were changed in that year,” said Provost, now a gym teacher at Sand Ridge Junior High School. “I lost 50 pounds in ninth grade and changed my life forever.”
Provost was among the attendees at a special hearing of the Utah Board of Education Wednesday evening, during which speakers spent more than three hours asking the board to either uphold, delay or rescind a policy making classes on health, art, physical education and career awareness optional for middle school students.
The policy also removes minimum credit requirements for core subjects like math, English and science, leaving up to school district administrators whether, and to what extent, a student is required to enroll in and complete individual subjects.
While the move was praised by advocates of local education control, others questioned whether school districts would continue to offer a full catalog of costly art, health and gym courses if not mandated at the state level.
The policy also has generated concerns that limiting health education could exacerbate Utah’s already high youth suicide rate.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKy (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aKB (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLd (DN via KSL)

Video of the hearing
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLe (YouTube)

 

Busywork or valuable data? Utah lawmakers weigh in on new school report card

SALT LAKE CITY – The draft report card that will be a key part of Utah’s new school accountability program got mixed reviews from state lawmakers Wednesday, with some saying the measures will be built on faulty data and others contending it’s a vast improvement from the existing school grading system.
Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, said relying on end-of-level Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence test results as a main source of data to evaluate teachers and schools is “driving him crazy.”
Since its implementation in 2014, there have been growing numbers of students opting out of SAGE testing. Moreover, teachers are prohibited from offering incentives to encourage test participation or using test results as part of students’ course grades.
“It doesn’t count one iota for the students who take it except for the conscientious ones, and a lot of the conscientious ones, (their) parents have opted them out of taking it in the first place. So we’re holding schools accountable for a test that is flawed on its face, regardless of the amazing stuff you have done to ensure it’s the best measure possible,” Stephenson said during a meeting of the Utah Legislature’s Education Interim Committee.
“The fact that it doesn’t count for those who are taking it, why then would the Legislature make you count it for evaluating teachers and schools? This is making me crazy, if you didn’t think I was already,” he said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKz (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLL (DN via KSL)

 

Utah Legislature To Shake Up Teacher Licensing

Changes are coming to teacher licensure in Utah, but not until the state legislature and board of education are on the same page. On Wednesday, members of a licensure task force were at the Capitol discussing options with lawmakers.
There’s a general consensus that the current licensure system isn’t working very well. Right now, there are a number of different ways to become a teacher in Utah, whether that’s the traditional college path or an alternate route where teachers can begin teaching while taking classes on the side.
There’s also the more recent academic pathway, which really only requires a test and any bachelor’s degree to get started. It can be confusing for people who want to teach.
“How do they choose the right route and how do they know what the requirements are and how do we give consistent messaging when we have this incredibly complex system?” says Diana Suddreth, director of teacher and learning at the Utah Board of Education.
Suddreth is part of a licensure task force focused on simplifying this system. She says it’s a tricky balance between having a high and singular standard for earning a teaching credential and acknowledging there’s a teacher shortage in this state. School districts can’t afford to be too choosy.
So, the goal going forward is a streamlined licensure approach that sets a high bar for candidates while still remaining flexible.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLl (KUER)

 

Lawmakers question how Utah school districts found money ‘in the couch cushions’ for teacher salary wars
Education . Higher funded districts accused of keeping pay levels artificially low while poaching talent from neighboring schools.

Jordan School District spent two years negotiating and preparing its recent overhaul of teacher salaries, school board member Matthew Young said Tuesday, and in April launched the first phase of its effort to make compensation more attractive and competitive for educators.
But when Jordan’s plans became public in March, particularly its goal to pay a $40,000 starting salary, administrators in other Utah districts rushed to approach, match or exceed the entry-level offer in the southwest Salt Lake County district.
“It did catch me by surprise,” Young said. “I honestly believed that because our process had been a two-year process, that it would require a similar time frame for those districts.”
Equally surprised were some members of the Public Education Appropriations Committee, who, during a Tuesday hearing in Salt Lake City, expressed both praise and disdain for the market forces at play during the summer’s so-called “salary wars.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKR (SLT)

 

Panel pitches possible fixes to Utah’s teacher shortage

SALT LAKE CITY – After returning to Utah from Washington state and taking a job leading Provo schools, Keith Rittel noticed a problem.
His new teachers stayed in the district for only a few years, leaving once their spouses graduated from Brigham Young or Utah Valley universities.
So the superintendent borrowed an idea from Washington schools. He is sowing another crop of teachers in his own high school classrooms through his “careers in education” technical courses for aspiring educators.
“I stole this lock, stock and barrel from another state,” he told about three dozen people at a Wednesday forum on possible solutions to Utah’s teacher shortage Wednesday night. The conservative Sutherland Institute hosted the panel discussion at a library in Salt Lake City’s Avenues neighborhood.
The majority – 56 percent – of Utah public school teachers who started in 2008 left the profession by 2015, according to an analysis by the Utah Education Policy Center at the University of Utah.
The gap forced districts into “salary wars” this year, hiking teacher pay before the first day of school in order to attract and retain instructors for the state’s roughly 650,000 schoolchildren.
But the program Rittel envisions as an opportunity for its more advanced students to earn college credit hasn’t caught on in Utah just yet.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKA (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLf (DN via KSL)

 

Utah school nurse shortage leave nurses with heavy workloads

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s school nursing shortage slightly worsened over the past year, leaving school nurses with six times the recommended students under their care, according to a new state report.
Utah’s school enrollment continues to grow every year, but school nursing levels have not kept pace amid tight school budgets, leaving multiple schools relying on a single nurse and sometimes putting children at risk, parents and advocates say.
“For one nurse to be between three or four schools, that’s just ridiculous,” said DeAnn Kettenring, the health commissioner of parent-teacher group Utah PTA. “Especially when you have accidents, when you have different situations going on that require some kind of medical attention and people who are not really medically trained are doing these things.”
An annual report on school nursing from Utah’s Department of Health shows Utah had one nurse for every 4,543 students – up from last year, when Utah had one nurse for every 4,318 students.
The numbers are far above recommendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Academy of Pediatrics that there be one nurse for 750 students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKE (AP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aL2 (AP via LHJ)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLo (AP via MUR)

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKF (Utah Department of Health)

 

Juvenile justice officials offer guidelines for when school officers should act

SALT LAKE CITY- Juvenile justice officials are working to clarify when and where school resource officers are supposed to step in and enforce law.
During a Tuesday meeting of the Legislature’s Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, members of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice and the Division of Juvenile Justice Services described uncertainty among education officials on school resource officers’ roles. Since the passage of HB239 earlier this year, school officials have been seeking clarity on when their resource officers are supposed to act.
Ron Gordon, director of the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, shared concerns expressed by educators, who wondered how resource officers would work within school settings.
“There are some school-based behaviors that can no longer be referred to law enforcement officers,” Gordon said.
Changes made this year preclude resource officers from being asked to deal with students accused of class C misdemeanor or other lesser infractions, effectively drawing a line at where resource officers could be asked to step in.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKU (DN)

 

‘Cumbersome’ grant process hinders schools from addressing unsafe bus routes

SALT LAKE CITY – A grant process that educators have described as “cumbersome” means funding for school bus service along unsafe routes was largely untapped in the 2016-17 academic year.
Of $500,000 earmarked for bus service needed “due to health or safety concerns,” just $62,300 was expended in the 2017 fiscal year, according to the Office of the Legislative Fiscal Analyst.
The program was created during the 2016 legislative session and offered school districts grants of up to $75,000 to provide bus service in places where it’s dangerous for students to walk. Only Alpine, Duchesne and South Sanpete school districts received grants in 2017.
Members of the Utah Legislature’s Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday considered whether to continue the categorical program, move the funding into the “to and from school” pupil transportation fund or shift the appropriation into the weighted pupil unit, the basic building block of public education funding.
Applicants must describe the route to state funders and submit a written statement from the school district, local law enforcement and the municipality describing why the route is unsafe.
Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, said he wonders if sidewalk construction would be a better use of the funds.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKV (DN)

 

Police: Long-term approach to gang problem must combat elementary school recruitment

KEARNS – Community leaders and police said Wednesday they were doing what they could to stay on top of the gang problem after two innocent people died in a crash with a truck that detectives said was fleeing a drive-by shooting.
The crash Tuesday night near 5200 West and 5400 South left 50-year-old Tami Lynn Woodard and 55-year-old Lloyd Everett Pace dead.
Unified police investigators said it was the culmination of an escalation in violence between gangs that included multiple other drive-by shootings.
“I think it’s a shame that what has happened has brought such fear into our community,” said Kearns Township Councilwoman Kelly Bush.
Bush said a community meeting with police and the public was scheduled for Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Kearns High School auditorium to address gangs and the recent troubles.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLg (KSL)

 

The Utah Education and Telehealth Network Teams with Instructure to Empower Utah Educators with Canvas Learning Management System (LMS)
Top LMS equips all Utah K-12 school districts and charter schools with tools accelerating digital teaching and learning

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) is collaborating with Instructure, a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology company, to provide statewide access for all public K-12 districts and charter schools to Canvas, a popular and fast-growing learning management system (LMS). UETN will offer the online learning platform to every teacher, administrator, parent and student in Utah to enhance K-12 instruction. UETN will cover the cost of Canvas subscriptions for the 2017-18 school year.
Canvas provides quick access to digital resources, facilitates the delivery of personalized learning and helps teachers with administrative tasks such as centralizing assignments and resources. Used by small and large educational institutions, more educators and institutions are making the switch to tech learning solutions, with the LMS market expected to grow from $5.22 billion in 2016 to $15.72 billion by 2021.
“Granting free Canvas subscriptions to all public K-12 districts and charter schools across the state is one of many ways we work to provide equal opportunity to Utah residents,” said Laura Hunter, chief operating officer at Utah Education and Telehealth Network. “As active participants in the state’s Digital Teaching and Learning Initiative, we are always working to leverage the power of technology for learning.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLJ (PRNewswire)

 

Students to see how classroom lessons relate to STEM careers

In October, 25,000 students will have the hands-on experience in STEM careers at the upcoming STEM fest.
Kaitlin Felsted, STEM Fest Event Director talks more about the event scheduled for October 3-4 at the South Towne Expo Center. Fifth through 10th grade classes will attend Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will also be open to the public from 2-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aL9 (KTVX)

 

Jazz’s Rudy Gobert gets star reception from French-speaking elementary students

Nearly 200 children were clamoring for Rudy Gobert before he set foot in Foxboro Elementary School, chanting his name. He smiled as he ducked his towering frame in the door, causing the crowd sitting in the cafeteria to erupt.
The 7-foot-1 Jazz center was also excited that for half of his visit, he got to speak in his native tongue.
Gobert answered questions for two groups of children at the North Salt Lake elementary school on Wednesday afternoon – including one session for French immersion students who asked questions in French. Sitting back in a chair, Gobert looked comfortable conversing in his first language, fielding questions from when he started playing basketball (three years old) to his favorite movie (Space Jam).
Many nerve-wracked students only managed to ask him how tall he is, or how old he was.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKQ (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aKS (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aKY (OSE)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLi (KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLh (KSTU)

 

Merlin Olsen, Logan High to be honored by Pro Football Hall of Fame Thursday morning

LOGAN – Logan High will join an exclusive club Monday when the school is recognized as an “Official High School of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.” It is part of a program called Hometown Hall of Famer, which honors the roots of pro football legends. In this case, it will be the late Merlin Olsen who is recognized.
The event, which is open to the public, will start at 9:15 a.m. Thursday in Logan High’s main gymnasium. Merlin Olsen’s brother, Phil Olsen, said a plaque and a 40-pound brass bust of Merlin Olsen will be presented to the school. Phil Olsen said he expects about 2,000 people to be present for it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aL6 (CVD)

 

West High opens Thursday as school officials chase bat invasion

Health officials said Thursday they were tracking dozens of potential cases of bat exposure at Salt Lake City’s West High School after it closed its doors on late Wednesday so the custodial staff could sweep the building for an infestation of the flying mammals.
Classes resumed as usual on Thursday morning, after inspections by school and health officials. The number of bats appeared to peak on Tuesday, with an estimated 200 bats being rounded up by West High School’s custodial staff. They also found 50 bats on Monday and 60 on Wednesday.
“The school unfortunately sits in a migratory path for these bats, so every year, these bats come through,” said Salt Lake City School District spokesman Jason Olsen. “The numbers have been a bit larger this year, so that’s why there was some concern between us and the health department.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLO (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aKW (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aL7 (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aL8 (KTVX)

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

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLn (AP via MUR)

 

Mountain lion spotted on Oakridge Elementary school grounds

Salt Lake City – Oakridge Elementary School, near Holiday, Utah, implemented a “shelter in place” status on Thursday after a mountain lion was spotted on school grounds.
All children were reported safe and made to stay inside.
The school announced that if the scene were still active at the time school ends, parents would need to come to the office to check out their children.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLN (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLM (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLP (SLT)

 

As Logan High construction nears an end, other projects loom for Logan School District

In the wake of a new school year, Logan High School looks extremely different than it used to due to a remodel that has taken several years and is nearing completion. The only remaining construction at the school is a receiving dock and a new parking lot on the west side of the school’s property.
“It was a phased rebuild,” said Frank Schofield, Superintendent of Logan School District. “The entire school was rebuilt other than the south wing.” Logan High is one of three projects that the district has on its construction agenda.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aL5 (LHJ)

 

South Ogden City contemplates future of old elementary schools lands

SOUTH OGDEN – South Ogden City is still deciding what to do with land that used to be the site of two Weber School District elementary schools.
District spokesman Lane Findlay said they demolished Club Heights Elementary School and MarLon Hills Elementary School the winter of 2016-2017. The old, small schools originally closed as part of the district’s 2012 bond initiative where funds were approved to build Burch Creek Elementary School, among other projects.
“We built Burch Creek and combined Club Heights and MarLon Hills,” Findlay said.
After demolition, the two plots of land were purchased by South Ogden City for a total of $762,500, said City Manager Matt Dixon.
The Club Heights lot consists of about 5 acres at 100 E. 4150 South in South Ogden and the MarLon Hills land is about 7 acres at 4400 Madison Ave. in Ogden.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKZ (OSE)

 

Polk Elementary community voices concerns with potential school rebuild

OGDEN – Community members expressed frustration with a lack of detail and opposition to larger schools at a three-hour Ogden School District forum Tuesday night.
The meeting was held to further inform the public about a $106.5 million bond initiative the district is pursuing. The money would be used to rebuild three elementary schools, add Professional Gateway Centers to every junior high school and rebuild the Ben Lomond High School gym.
Polk Elementary School – which just celebrated its 90th anniversary with a carnival Monday, Sept. 18 – is being considered for a rebuild. Horace Mann and T.O. Smith elementary schools are the other two schools that have already been selected by the Board of Education.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aL0 (OSE)

 

One Utah Organization is Trying to Make Homeschooling Easier

Director Hannah Kleeburger talks about Classical Conversations, an international homeschool community. She also explains the benefits of homeschooling your children.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLj (KSTU)

 

9th grade student makes 400-pound iron mascot, donates to school

HERRIMAN, Utah – A Herriman 9th grade student won Best of Show at the Utah State Fair with his 400-pound iron mascot, then donated it to his middle school.
Joseph Barwick, a student at Fort Herriman Middle School, spent more than 200 hours constructing the giant diamondback snake. The mascot is made of old shovels, parts from transmission shops, plows, lawnmower blades, scrap pipes even pocket watches that Joseph was able to find.
Joseph did all the welding to create the five-foot tall iron statue. It was delivered to the school and presented to Principal Rodney Shaw Tuesday morning.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLb (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLc (KSL)

 

Payson High alumni give teachers Hawaii trip, raising money to build school in Guatemala

It was a simple promise – whichever teachers opened up a wrapped box and found a blue lei inside won a trip to Hawaii.
As a dozen teachers at Payson High School unwrapped their gifts on stage at a homecoming assembly, one finished first and lifted a blue lei up as students started cheering. Then, the rest of the teachers opened their boxes to find a blue lei in every one of their boxes.
“You can tell they were all kind of confused,” said Justin Haskell, a graduate of Payson High School’s Class of 1998. “Then, I said, ‘you are all going to Hawaii.'”
The teachers were skeptical of the promise after a week of fun homecoming activities at the school. But it was real.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aL1 (PDH)

 

Second-grader with leukemia gets an assist from RSL’s Leo the Lion

Real Salt Lake’s Leo the Lion carries Kohen Church, 8, during Southland Elementary School’s annual Jog-A-Thon in Riverton on Wednesday. The second-grader is battling leukemia, and Leo came to the event to support Kohen by jogging with him and carrying him when necessary. In addition, Leo presented the boy with an RSL jersey and a “Kick Cancer” scarf.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKT (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLa (KTVX)

 

————————————————————
OPINION & COMMENTARY
————————————————————

Many positives on display at big game
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Maria Hunsaker

Wow! So much division on the Mountain Crest/Ridgeline game. I was at the game. Here’s what I saw . I saw both teams participating in “trash talk.” In any sport there is plenty of trash talk by the athletes and fans! On and off the court/field. In this game they came in a variety of ways – T-shirts, social media, posters, and the spoken word. My daughters and son have all participated in team sports at Mountain Crest and Ridgeline. To be an athlete it takes tough skin! To be a fan you have to be even tougher. Trash talk is just a way to get under people’s skin, and both teams did a great job of getting under people’s skins.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aL3

A public apology for Mountain Crest slam
(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Launa Weston

I would like to issue a public apology for my letter that was published Sunday morning. I realize that I grouped all Mountain Crest students together as being disrespectful and undeserving. That was completely wrong, completely uncalled for and insensitive, and I do sincerely apologize for making that blanket statement.
I do know that MC kids work hard and deserve the best.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aL4

 

Not Everyone Likes Their State’s ESSA Plan. Here’s Why That Matters.
Education Week analysis by columnist Daarel Burnette II

This week, I wrote about the political havoc the Every Student Succeeds Act has caused between state and local leaders over the course of the last two years. Governors in some states have refused to sign off on plans, legislatures have stripped state boards of their power at a crucial time, and at least three state chiefs abruptly resigned even as states were readying their plans for ESSA implementation.
ESSA has roiled the political landscape in states, and there are sure to be battles in the near future-next year’s election season will include nearly 20 governorships, and close to 80 percent of states’ legislatures are up for reelection.
Here are a few reasons why these raucous debates concern policy observers and advocates:
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKD

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLz (Cabinet Report)

 

Why Are 27 Percent of District School Teachers Missing More Than 10 Days of School a Year?
The 74 analysis by David Griffith, Research and Policy Associate at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute

According to the most recent data published by the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, 27 percent of public school teachers are chronically absent – meaning they miss more than 10 days of school for illness or personal reasons. (The 74’s David Cantor offers a more thorough analysis of the data surrounding absences.)
That sounds like a lot. But is there an explanation for that number that might satisfy the many critics of our public school system? For example, might it be attributable to the fact that three-quarters of teachers are female, meaning they must deal with the physical stresses associated with maternity and (in most cases) the burden of being primary caregivers?
The short answer is no.
Obviously, teaching is a challenging occupation, especially in high-poverty schools. So the point of this column isn’t that teachers are slackers, or that they should never get a day off, or that no teacher should ever be chronically absent. The point is that there’s room for improvement.

Perhaps you think I’m missing something. (For example, perhaps you’re wondering whether teachers, because they are more likely to be primary caregivers, are more likely to miss work when one of their own children or a parent is sick.) So let me save time by conceding the point: It’s true that I can’t account for everything.
But here’s the thing: The teacher chronic absenteeism rate varies dramatically depending on which district or state you’re looking at. For example, the teacher chronic absenteeism rate is 16 percent in Utah and 75 percent in Hawaii. And the more you think about it, the tougher it is to see how interstate differences in long-term illness or teachers’ responsibilities as parents (or really, anything related to teachers’ demographic characteristics) could explain a difference of that magnitude. Furthermore, the variation in teacher chronic absenteeism is not well explained by student demographics. Nationally, teachers in schools with high concentrations of low-income and minority kids are only marginally more likely to be chronically absent.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLK

 

Mainstream news is still not seeing national story in ESSA despite obvious story lines
Insufficient attention to the implementation of a new federal law illustrates a nagging coverage problem -and reveals a big opportunity for education reporters to tell a meaty national story.
Phi Delta Kappan commentary by columnist Alexander Russo

There’s a problem in education journalism right now. It’s not entirely new, and it’s not exactly a crisis. But it’s persistent enough that it needs to be addressed:
Mainstream news outlets are producing way too much coverage of low-hanging education stories that generate outrage (and page views) but don’t provide perspective or depth.
These stories often pump up the drama and immediacy to the point of near-inaccuracy, repeating advocates’ speculative talking points on results of preliminary events without giving readers the broader context or making it sufficiently clear that a process has just begun.
This is a challenge on the education beat and in journalism writ large. The appeal of these kinds of stories is understandable, but their prevalence is, I believe, eroding readers’ trust in what’s being reported and distracting from more important stories.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLx

 

Boys Are Not Defective
Girls in the Middle East do better than boys in school by a greater margin than almost anywhere else in the world: a case study in motivation, mixed messages, and the condition of boys everywhere.
Atlantic commentary by AMANDA RIPLEY, author of The Smartest Kids in the World-and How They Got That Way

Jordan has never had a female minister of education, women make up less than a fifth of its workforce, and women hold just 4 percent of board seats at public companies there. But, in school, Jordanian girls are crushing their male peers. The nation’s girls outperform its boys in just about every subject and at every age level. At the University of Jordan, the country’s largest university, women outnumber men by a ratio of two to one-and earn higher grades in math, engineering, computer-information systems, and a range of other subjects.
In fact, across the Arab world, women now earn more science degrees on a percentage basis than women in the United States. In Saudi Arabia alone, women earn half of all science degrees. And yet, most of those women are unlikely to put their degrees to paid use for very long.
This is baffling on the most obvious levels. In the West, researchers have long believed that future prospects incentivize students to invest in school. The conventional wisdom is that girls do better in school as women acquire more legal and political rights in society. But many Middle Eastern women do not go on to have long professional careers after graduating; they spend much of their lives working at home as wives and mothers. Fewer than one in every five workers is female in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.
This spring, I went to the Middle East to try to understand why girls are doing so much better in school, despite living in quintessentially patriarchal societies. Or, put another way, why boys are doing so badly.
It’s part of a pattern that is creeping across the globe: Wherever girls have access to school, they seem to eventually do better than boys.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLA

School choice is crucial for African-American students’ success
The NAACP refuses to acknowledge the benefits that come from school choice and expects all people of color should follow their lead. I won’t.
USA Today op-ed by T. Willard Fair, president of the Urban League of Greater Miami

Once upon a time it may have been unheard of for the head of an urban league dedicated to the improvement of lives for African-American children to partner with a Republican to work on school reform. As part of one of his education reform efforts, Florida governor Jeb Bush convinced me to help him go around that state in an attempt to get school choice legislation passed. I leapt at the opportunity because I was desperately concerned about the lack of quality educational options for children in Liberty City, a neighborhood of the city of Miami where a branch of the urban league is headquartered.
But that one achievement 30 plus years ago created a path that has changed lives for the children not only for Liberty City but children across the state. That is why I am compelled to speak up with deep concern and opposition to the statements of late by the NAACP, whose leadership has begun to ignore the reality of communities like mine, and indeed the conditions of African American students all over the country.
Here’s what I need to say to them, to the people of this nation, to people of color – I am involved in the school choice movement because the future of my life and your life depends upon it.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLq

 

‘Little Soldiers’ examines the Chinese education system from the inside
Journalist Lenora Chu had privileged access into the academic world, further enhanced by her son Rainey’s admission into one of Shanghai’s most prestigious kindergartens.
Christian Science Monitor book review by Terry Hong

Born in Philadelphia, reared in a Houston suburb, Stanford- and Columbia-educated, journalist Lenora Chu has a resume that – at first glance – looks very American. But her “connection to China came by birthright”: she’s “a direct descendant of the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty.” Chu’s parents’ families fled China’s Cultural Revolution, with her mother and father separately arriving in the United States as “youngsters.” Both earned Ivy League PhDs and raised their two daughters “under the invisible hand of ancestral expectation” that assumed academic achievement.
A half-century since the most learned Chinese citizens suffered (and died) during Mao’s anti-intellectual purges, the irony is that contemporary China – at least in its urban centers – now sits at the pinnacle of academic achievement. In 2010, “Shanghai teenagers scored tops in the world in math, reading, and science,” according to PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), a global student assessment test; US students were firmly “middle of the pack.”
Four months before the stellar results hit international newsfeeds, Chu had moved to Shanghai from Los Angeles with her husband, NPR’s Shanghai correspondent Rob Schmitz, and their toddler son Rainey. “What I was reading in the newspapers didn’t exactly sync with my experiences,” Chu noted.
Her “journalistic curiosity” – developed as a reporter in New York, Minnesota, and California – “kicked in.” The result is her debut, Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve. Her status as “a special kind of foreigner” – one who speaks Mandarin, albeit with a Texas drawl, who’s “returned to the bosom of the motherland” – gave Chu privileged access, further enhanced by Rainey’s admission into one of Shanghai’s most prestigious kindergartens – “the school, as far as posh Chinese urbanites were concerned.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLB

 

————————————————————-
NATIONAL NEWS
————————————————————-

Teachers Are Quitting Because They’re Dissatisfied. That’s a Crisis, Scholars Say
Education Week

Washington — States and districts must find ways to keep teachers in the profession-or they’re staring down the barrel of a growing teacher shortage, researchers and policymakers said at a panel discussion here on Tuesday.
The panel was hosted by the Learning Policy Institute, a California-based think tank led by Stanford University education professor Linda Darling-Hammond, which released a new analysis, Teacher Turnover: Why It Matters and What We Can Do About It. About 8 percent of teachers leave the teaching profession each year, and another 8 percent move to a different school, making the overall turnover rate about 16 percent. (LPI was using nationally representative survey data from the 2012 Schools and Staffing Survey and the 2013 Teacher Follow-up Survey.)
Teacher turnover hurts student achievement, is expensive for schools and districts, and leads to teacher shortages, Darling-Hammond said.
And both teachers who leave the profession and teachers who change schools are most commonly leaving because they are dissatisfied, according to the analysis.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKK

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKL (Learning Policy Institute)

 

Denver Public Schools making changes to choice process meant to benefit low-income parents
This year will be the seventh that DPS has used a unified enrollment system for all of its schools
Chalkbeat via Denver Post

Denver Public Schools is making changes to its nationally recognized school choice system, in part to make it easier for low-income parents to navigate and to assuage fears of undocumented families wary of providing personal information given the national political climate.
The district plans to roll out a new, mobile-friendly school information website, as well as eliminate a requirement that families show “proof papers” to participate in the choice process.
This year will be the seventh that DPS has used a unified enrollment system for all of its schools, including district-run, innovation and charter schools. Families fill out a form listing their top five school choices. The district especially encourages families with kids moving into so-called transition grades – kindergarten, 6th and 9th grades – to fill out a form.
If they don’t, students will be assigned to their boundary school or to a school in their enrollment zone, which is essentially a bigger boundary that includes several schools.
District leaders believe that if families are informed about their choices and can enroll their students in the schools that are the best fit, those students will be more successful.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKM

 

U.S. Spends Less as Other Nations Invest More in Education
Years of disinvestment could affect the future U.S. labor force.
Hechinger Report via U.S. News & World Report

The world’s developed nations are placing a big bet on education investments, wagering that highly educated populaces will be needed to fill tomorrow’s jobs, drive healthy economies and generate enough tax receipts to support government services.
Bucking that trend is the United States.
U.S. spending on elementary and high school education declined 3 percent from 2010 to 2014 even as its economy prospered and its student population grew slightly by 1 percent, boiling down to a 4 percent decrease in spending per student. That’s according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s annual report of education indicators, released last week.
Over this same 2010 to 2014 period, education spending, on average, rose 5 percent per student across the 35 countries in the OECD. In some countries it rose at a much higher rate. For example, between 2008 and 2014, education spending rose 76 percent in Turkey, 36 percent in Israel, 32 percent in the United Kingdom and 27 percent in Portugal. For some countries, it’s been a difficult financial sacrifice as their economies stalled after the 2008 financial crisis. To boost education budgets, other areas were slashed. Meanwhile, U.S. local, state and federal governments chose to cut funding for the schoolhouse.
“Overall (U.S.) education spending has been cut quite severely in the last few years,” said Andreas Schleicher, who heads the OECD directorate that issued the report. “That clearly puts constraints on the environment you have for learning.”
How lower spending constrains learning is subtle. Schleicher has pointed out for years that there isn’t a clear relationship between money spent and student outcomes. Some countries that spend far less than the United States on education consistently outshine this country on international tests.
And even with the decline in spending, the United States still spends more per student than most countries. The United States spent $11,319 per elementary school student in 2014, compared with the OECD average of $8,733, and $12,995 educating each high school student, compared with an average of $10,106 per student across the OECD.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLD

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLE (OECD)

 

Regular Public School Teachers Miss More School Than Charter Teachers, Study Finds
Education Week

Teachers in traditional public schools are much more likely than teachers in charter schools to miss more than 10 days of work, according to a new report from a right-leaning think tank.
About 28 percent of teachers in traditional public schools are “chronically absent,” defined in the report as taking more than 10 days of personal or sick leave. In charter schools, just 10 percent of teachers take that much leave, the analysis found.
The differences are starker in some states than others: In Hawaii, for instance, about 79 percent of traditional public school teachers are chronically absent. In charter schools there, it’s 23 percent.
The Washington-based Thomas B. Fordham Institute found that the gaps between charter and district teachers were largest in the states where the districts have to collectively bargain-or negotiate conditions of employment, including time off-but charters do not have to do so.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKG

http://gousoe.uen.org/aKI (Politico)

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKH (Fordham)

 

Q&A: One-on-One with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
Education Week

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has faced some big challenges in her more-than six months in office-setbacks in Congress on her school choice proposals, difficulty staffing her department, protestors greeting her at every turn, not to mention the political stickiness of serving a controversial president.
She’s also come into the agency at a consequential time, with every state filing a plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, the first update to the main federal K-12 law in over a decade. And she may well be at the department when Congress next considers an update to special education laws.
We talked about all of that and much more in a wide-ranging interview Friday, the final day of the secretary’s “Rethink School” tour, which kicked off last Tuesday and covered six states.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLw

 

On work trips, DeVos flies on her plane at own expense
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Education Secretary Betsy DeVos flies on her personal plane at her own expense when she visits schools around the country, according to her office, as other Cabinet secretaries’ flying habits at taxpayers’ cost have drawn scrutiny.
Education Department Press Secretary Liz Hill said in a statement to The Associated Press that DeVos travels “on personally-owned aircraft” at zero cost to taxpayers. Speaking with the AP on Thursday, Hill would not disclose details about the model or any other characteristics of the aircraft.
“The secretary neither seeks, nor accepts, any reimbursement for her flights, nor for any additional official travel-related expenses, such as lodging and per diem, even though she is entitled to such reimbursement under government travel regulations,” Hill said. “Secretary DeVos accepted her position to serve the public and is fully committed to being a faithful steward of taxpayer dollars.”
The issue of Cabinet secretaries’ travel came under scrutiny on Wednesday when Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price faced an outcry over chartering five private flights last week for official business when other cheaper travel options were available. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said Democrats would seek a “full accounting” of Price’s travel from his department’s inspector general.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLr

Survey indicates La. citizens think schools test too much
Lafayette (LA) Daily Advertiser

A new survey shows hundreds of Louisiana citizens think there is too much of a focus on standardized testing in the state’s schools.
The survey garnered 837 responses in August, said the Louisiana Association of Educators, which administered the poll.
According to the LAE, 65 percent of respondents said the state “places too much emphasis on student testing.” In addition, 55 percent said student test performance should not play a major role in determining a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKJ

http://gousoe.uen.org/aLG (Baton Rouge Advocate)

 

SFPS board questions ‘troubling’ science curriculum proposal
Santa Fe New Mexican

New Mexico’s dramatic overhaul of science education standards, which is drawing criticism from across the state and around the nation, is “troubling,” Superintendent Veronica García told Santa Fe school board members Tuesday.
Reading from a prepared statement, García said the state Public Education Department has “omitted key concepts, most notably, climate change and evolution.”
“I believe we are doing our students a disservice by omitting these topics,” she said, “and essentially denying them an opportunity to explore these issues in an unbiased manner.”
Garcia said the school district will convene a science education task force to discuss implications of the proposed standards and present that group’s recommendations to the school board for discussion.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLs

 

Personalized Learning a Big Challenge in High School Redesign, RAND Finds
Education Week

Personalized learning is hard.
For the ed-tech community, that, again, is the takeaway from new research by the RAND Corporation.
This time, the findings come from an early-stage evaluation of “Opportunity By Design” high schools, which are funded and supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
The schools share 10 common “design principles,” including a heavy emphasis on personalization (defined as tailoring student experiences to meet individuals’ needs and interests) and mastery-based learning (defined as expecting students to demonstrate deep understanding of rigorous standards before advancing.)
The schools faced numerous hurdles in turning those ideals into classroom realities, said Laura S. Hamilton, an associate director of RAND Education and one of the study’s authors.
“There are a lot of challenges to doing this work well,” Hamilton said, including “a lot that’s not currently under the control of schools.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLt

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLu (RAND)

 

Failing Charter Schools Have a Reincarnation Plan
Converting into private schools – and using voucher programs to thrive on the public dime.
ProPublica

This past June, Florida’s top education agency delivered a failing grade to the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy in suburban Jacksonville for the second year in a row. It designated the charter school for kindergarten through fifth grade as the worst public school in Clay County, and one of the lowest performing in the state.
Two-thirds of the academy’s students failed the state exams last year, and only a third of them were making any academic progress at all. The school had had four principals in three years, and teacher turnover was high, too.
“My fourth grader was learning stuff that my second grader was learning – it shouldn’t be that way,” said Tanya Bullard, who moved her three daughters from the arts academy this past summer to a traditional public school. “The school has completely failed me and my children.”
The district terminated the academy’s charter contract. Surprisingly, Orange Park didn’t shut down – and even found a way to stay on the public dime. It reopened last month as a private school charging $5,000 a year, below the $5,886 maximum that low-income students receive to attend the school of their choice under a state voucher program. Academy officials expect all of its students to pay tuition with the publicly backed coupons.
Reverend Alesia Ford-Burse, an African Methodist Episcopal pastor who founded the academy, told ProPublica that the school deserves a second chance, because families love its dance and art lessons, which they otherwise couldn’t afford. “Kids are saying, ‘F or not, we’re staying,'” she said.
While it’s widely known that private schools convert to charter status to take advantage of public dollars, more schools are now heading in the opposite direction. As voucher programs across the country proliferate, shuttered charter schools, like the Orange Park Performing Arts Academy, have begun to privatize in order to stay open with state assistance.
A ProPublica nationwide review found that at least 16 failing or struggling charter schools in five states – Florida, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Georgia – have gone private with the help of publicly funded voucher programs, including 13 since 2010. Four of them specialize in the arts, including Orange Park, and five serve students with special needs.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLI

 

Examining Links Between Academic Performance And Food Stamps
NPR Morning Edition

South Carolina researchers have drawn a connection between low-income students’ poor performance on math tests and the time of month when their families run low on food stamps.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLk (audio)

 

Do Schools’ ‘Active-Shooter’ Drills Prepare or Frighten?
Education Week

On “safety days,” elementary students in Akron, Ohio, learn a new vocabulary word: barricade.
School-based police officers tell students as young as kindergartners how to stack chairs and desks against the classroom door to make it harder for “bad guys” to get in. “Make the classroom more like a fort,” an officer says in a video of the exercise.
If a teacher asks you to climb out a window, listen to them, the officers instruct. And, in the unlikely event a “bad guy” gets into the classroom, scream and run around to distract him, officers tell students.
For some parents, the idea of such instruction is chilling. Others, though, say it’s a sad, but necessary sign of the times.
Children around the country are increasingly receiving similar training as schools adopt more-elaborate safety drills in response to concerns about school shootings. That leaves schools with a profound challenge: how to prepare young students for the worst, without provoking anxiety or fear.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLv

 

Parents divided in opinion after gender neutral teacher sends note home with 5th graders
Tallahassee (FL) Democrat

A new fifth grade teacher at Canopy Oaks Elementary is asking students to use gender-neutral pronouns in the classroom.
Math and science teacher Chloe Bressack sent the request home in a letter to parents headlined “About Mx. Bressack.”
“… my pronouns are ‘they, them, their’ instead of ‘he, his, she, hers.’ I know it takes some practice for it to feel natural,” the letter reads, “but students catch on pretty quickly.”
The letter also asks that students use “Mx.,” (pronounced ‘Mix’) when addressing the teacher rather than Mr. or Ms.
The note alarmed some parents.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLp

 

California school board will allow transgender books in elementary schools
Fox

Should children in kindergarten be taught about transgender people?
That’s the question at the center of a controversy that erupted in June after a transgender student at Rocklin Academy Gateway, a charter school in northern California, brought the children’s book “I Am Jazz” to school to share with classmates. The book chronicles the life of a real-life transgender girl named Jazz Jennings.
In a Monday night vote after an impassioned, emotional debate, the Rocklin school board decided to keep its current literature policies in place, which allow similar types of books to be read to children during story time. However, the board passed a provision stating that teachers “will endeavor to notify parents in advance of controversial topics being discussed when they are part of the school’s curriculum or a teacher’s lesson plan so that parents can also share their views at home.”
The policy adopted further states, if advance notice is not possible, teachers will “endeavor to notify parents via email or verbally after the fact.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLH

 

‘My heart is in pieces’: Father makes public plea after his little boy is bullied
Washington Post

School bullies threw rocks at their young child, while calling him a monster, a freak and telling him he was ugly – all because he has a condition that causes him to look and sound different.
Seven-year-old Jackson Bezzant’s self-esteem dropped so much that he wanted to wear a mask to school to cover his face and he talked about killing himself. His parents, Dan and Kelley Bezzant, a divorced couple who live in Ammon, Idaho, didn’t know what to do to stop the bullying.
What his father ultimately did wound up attracting widespread attention. Even more important, they think it helped.
Jackson looks different from other children because he has Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic condition that affects bone and tissue development in the face. People with Treacher Collins, like Jackson, have very small jaws and chins, unusually formed ears, and eyes that slant downward.
Jackson also suffers from a 74 percent hearing loss. When he speaks, says his father, Dan, 42, he sounds like he’s underwater. Others have trouble understanding him. He was born without cheekbones and underwent facial reconstruction when he was 13 months old, his mother Kelley, 43, said.
His family was shocked by the bullying. Jackson, like any other child, enjoys playing soccer, football and throwing around a Frisbee.
“I didn’t think it was possible for kids this young to have these perceptions of other people,” his sister Madisen Bezzant, 18, said of the bullying.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKO

A kindergartner said his backpack might explode. His school called it ‘terroristic’
Sacramento (CA) Bee

MODESTO, CALIFORNIA — Parents are upset that their 5-year-old son’s “pretend play” resulted in him being suspended from school, and said they want the disciplinary action removed from his permanent record.
Jackson Riley attends the Great Valley Academy public charter school in Modesto and was suspended for a day last month for making terrorist threats, TV station Fox 40 reports.
The boy refused to remove his backpack, telling a teacher there was a bomb in it that would explode if he took it off, his mother, Michelle Riley, told Fox 40. Though it was “all in the world of pretend play,” she said, his not wanting to take off the backpack meant Jackson didn’t want to hurt anyone. “Where was the threat?”
Jackson’s dad, Ian Riley, said the school initially sent a letter saying the child was suspended for his intent to “threaten, intimidate or harass others.”
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKN

 

Possibly Elon Musk’s Biggest Idea Yet – Revolutionizing Education
Forbes

An estimated 250 million children around the world cannot read, write, or demonstrate basic arithmetic skills. UNESCO estimates that the world will need 1.6 million more teachers globally, a number set to double by 2030. Enter Elon Musk.
Musk is famous for being the face of such organizations as Tesla and SpaceX. He is also the co-chairman of the AI research company OpenAI and the CEO of neurotechnology company Neuralink, among other companies that he is involved with. More recently, he provided $15 million to the Global Learning XPRIZE. The goal is to develop methods to teach the 250 million children who do not have access to primary or secondary education the means to teach themselves to read, write, and do math within 15 months.
Today, XPRIZE announced the five finalists advancing in the Global Learning XPRIZE and awarded each finalist a $1M milestone prize. XPRIZE awarded each finalist for the open source, cutting-edge learning software they have developed for the competition. The five finalist teams will begin field testing their education technology solutions this November in Tanzania.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLC

The downsides to Singapore’s education system: streaming, stress and suicides
The country’s school system is geared towards high achievement in exams, but the emphasis on rote learning and memorisation, combined with pressure to succeed, affects children’s social skills, health and overall happiness
(Hong Kong) South China Morning Post

Singapore’s education system is reputed for producing children who top the world rankings in standardised tests. The city state took first place in the last Pisa (global education rankings.
Run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Pisa tests, conducted every three years, are intended as a measure of problem-solving and cognition. Yet Singapore’s superiority in the rankings may be coming at an equally high price.
Children in the Lion City experience high stress levels from primary school as a result of competitive pressure from schools and parents. It’s arguable whether the perfect scores produce adults who are critical thinkers or merely rote learners, and concerns have been expressed about a lack of development in behavioural and social skills.
In 2015, there were a reported 27 suicides among 10- to 19-year-olds in Singapore, double that of the previous year and the highest for more than a decade, according to the Samaritans of Singapore. In May 2016, an 11-year-old boy jumped to his death from the 17th floor of a flat block, fearful of sharing his exam results with his parents. It was the first time the child had failed a subject.
The problems inherent in Singapore’s education system will be familiar to Hongkongers. Both cities have large class sizes, are highly competitive, and focus on rote learning and test results, with a culture of extracurricular private tutorials.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLF

At Mexican School Hit by Quake, Heartbreak and Dwindling Hope
New York Times

MEXICO CITY – Gustavo López recognized the boy’s clothes first.
His tiny frame, pulled from the wreckage, lay over the jagged pieces of what remained of the school. It was his 7-year-old son.
He sat in shock for hours, quietly trying to maintain strength for his 9-year-old daughter, who had escaped the school unharmed. He wondered how to tell her that her younger brother, also named Gustavo, was dead – one of at least 30 children who perished at the Enrique Rebsámen school after it collapsed in the earthquake that devastated Mexico on Tuesday, killing more than 200 people.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aKC

 

13-year-old credits earthquake drills with helping him escape collapsed school
ABC

A student of a Mexico City school that collapsed after a powerful earthquake hit the capital Tuesday told a local reporter that he escaped because of an earthquake drill held earlier in the day.
Search-and-rescue teams continue to frantically search for victims trapped under the rubble of the Enrique Rebsamen primary and secondary schools more than 24 hours after the earthquake struck. So far, the bodies of 21 children and four adults have been discovered at the site, said Mexico’s Education Minister Aurelio Nuno. Eleven people have been rescued and three are still missing.
Rodrigo Heredia, 13, told a reporter for Televisa in Spanish that the escaped the building because school protocol took him and others down a set of safe stairs and out to a meeting point.
The first exit was blocked and the group had to find an alternative way out, Heredia said. In order to get to the safety of the street, they were forced to scale a collapsed wall.
The drill had been practiced earlier in the day, Heredia said. Earthquake drills were held all over the city Tuesday to commemorate the anniversary of the Michoacán earthquake in 1985, which killed thousands and caused catastrophic damage in Mexico City.
http://gousoe.uen.org/aLy

 

————————————————————
CALENDAR
————————————————————

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

October 12:

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

October 13:

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

October 17:

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

October 18:

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

November 1:

Education Interim Committee meeting
10 a.m., Utah Valley University, Orem
https://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=INTEDU

November 9:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
https://www.utahscsb.org/2017

Related posts:

Comments are closed.