Saturday, February 23, 2008

Phrases You are Searching For

I happened to looking at some of the statistics for this blog and saw some interesting things in the phrases that people were searching for when they found this blog.

Here are some of the interesting phrases:
  • utah private school waiting list
  • math investigations
  • math investigations bad
  • math investigations utah
  • math investigations 2007
  • math investigations and higher math
  • math investigsations are bad
  • math investigations for parents
  • math investigations method
  • math investigations opinion
  • math investigations protest
  • middle school math investigations
  • investigations math
  • utah vouchers
  • utah heroes
  • albion basin flowers
  • are charter schools and vouchers detrimental to public education
  • beehive background checks
  • beehive math
  • beehive terrorist attack
  • beehives math
  • bulletin for utah state heroes
  • dougall school videos
  • larry h miller salesmen
  • lists of states with laws against ticket quotas
  • making a referendum
  • memory loss with oreo cookies
  • old face
  • senator stephenson
  • rep sandstrom
  • sandstrom utah county vouchers
  • sen madsen
  • tarsal coalition
  • to run against rep. carl wimmer

Some interesting notes:

  1. There is a lot of interest in math investigations
  2. Do oreo cookies cause memory loss? Why are people searching for that?
  3. Ditto for the phrase 'old face'. Why are people searching for that?
  4. Albion Basin is a beautiful area. If you haven't visited this area, make sure you do.
  5. It's interesting to enter these phrases into Google and see what pops up.

Technology not the best idea for preschoolers

HB 200 Early Childhood Learning and Evaluation is a well-meaning idea from a great lawmaker, Rep. Brad Last. But it's not as good as it looks and is being opposed by many in the early childhood community because computer-based learning is not a replacement for developmentally appropriate learning environments that contain cooperative play, blocks, art, etc. Reading daily with an adult increases literacy skills as the child and adult converse back and forth about the story. Currently, there is limited funding for the WPU and existing educational programs. This bill creates an expensive test pilot when we have evidence-based programs already in existence that have no state funding. In addition, the Governor’s Early Childhood Commission is developing early childhood policy priorities for the state that will be announced at a Summit in April. Hopefully, this bill will stay in the Rules Committee and not be debated in the House this session.

This bill creates a pilot project, known as UPSTART, using a home-based educational technology program to develop school readiness skills of preschool children ages 4-5 not enrolled in kindergarten. One third of the funds can be used to provide families with a computer and internet access if they don’t have it. The bill asks for funding of $9.6 million, but has only been prioritezed for $5 million in ongoing and $2 million one-time from the Uniform School Fund to support the pilot. The money will be appropriated to the State Board of Education.

UPSTART is created to evaluate the effectiveness of giving preschool children access, at home, to interactive individualized instruction delivered by computers to prepare them for future school success, and to test the feasibility of scaling a home-based curriculum in reading, math and science to be delivered by computers and the internet to all preschool children in Utah.
The bill directs the State Board of Education to:
1. Contract with an education technology provider, selected through an RFP, for the delivery of a home-based educational technology program for preschool children.
2. Contract with an independent evaluator to evaluate the program.

The bill:
1. Specifies standards for the technology
2. Provides for school district participation in the pilot project
3. Requires an annual audit of the contractor’s use of funds; and
4. Requires an annual audit on UPSTART to the legislature; and repeals the pilot project on July 1, 2014.

To view the full text:

Monday, February 11, 2008

It Must be a Cold Day in You-Know-Where

I'm running some errands last Saturday, listening to KSL, which happened to have Enid Green's talk show on. Enid, who is a former congresswoman from Utah, a former chairperson of the Utah Republican Party, and a current member of the central committee for the Utah Republican Party, was discussing the Presidential race and her concerns about Mike Huckabee.

Enid said that she would not give one dime to John McCain's campaign until she knew that he would not select Mike Huckabee as running mate.

And then she said what I thought I would never hear her say. Enid Green said that if John McCain selected Mike Huckabee as his running mate, she would seriously have to consider which party she would vote for.

My jaw dropped.

District 45-an old face returns?

Mark Walker is the current legislator serving in District 45 is Salt Lake County. He was appointed in 2004 to finish the term of Morgan Philpot, who left Utah to attend law school in another state. Recently he has been seen haunting the halls of the Capitol and in deep conversation with conservative Republican legislators. Coincidentally, there is an election campaign beginning to elect Mark Walker the State Treasurer. That would leave an open seat in District 45. Perhaps Rep. Walker was just keeping the seat warm for Philpot until his return to Utah? Interesting thought.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Salt Lake City put on Terror List

Salt Lake City was put on a list of cities that are considered to be at a high risk for a terrorist attack according to a list released the Department of Homeland Security. This makes grant money for counterterrorism available to Salt Lake City, along with the other 60 cities on the list. This may help the city protect high profile structures.