Utah State Board August Meeting Summary

Briefly

 The Utah State Board of Education:

• Received confirmation from the director of one of the two organizations that help to create the Common Core State Standards that the Board is free to change Utah’s Core Standards to meet the state’s needs.
• Began the process of clarifying who is entitled to classroom-level assessment data.
• Pulled Utah out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

To view the full Board Summary, please click here or visit http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Summary.aspx

Utah State Board Meeting Summary
August 3, 2012 Meeting

State Board of Education Controls Utah Core Standards, CCSSO Director Confirms

The Utah State Board of Education is in control of the Utah Core Standards and may change them as needed, according to Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), one of the two organizations that drafted the Common Core State Standards upon which Utah’s English language arts and mathematics standards are based. There is no “core police” who will stop any action by Utah, Wilhoit said. The Utah State Board of Education voted to join the Common Core State Standards in August 2010, joining 45 other states in the effort. Wilhoit noted some irony in the against the Common Core State Standards in some state revolves around the mistaken notion that it is part of a federal takeover of education when CCSSO and the National Governors Association started the common core as a reaction to what was seen as a federal overreach in education based in the No Child Left Behind Act and other federal actions. Wilhoit said the Utah State Board of Education, along with all other states, are free to add to the standards to meet a state’s individual need and encouraged all states to look at those needs.

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Board Moves to Clarify Availability of Classroom-level Assessment Data

Anyone with an internet connection can access a great variety of information about student performance in Utah and at individual schools through the Public School Data Gateway, which is accessible from the Utah State Office of Education homepage. Licensed educators and administrators can go further through password encryption to get classroom level data. Utah law gives two apparently contrasting directions on how widely classroom data should be distributed. The Public Education Human Resource Management Act requires that the state Board “ensure the privacy and protection of individual evaluation data,” while the Duties of the State Board of Education requires the Board to compile “test score averages at the classroom level” and make them available for review by parents of students. Classroom-level data presents some privacy challenges because of the small number of students involved, particularly if disaggregated data (for example, the performance of an single racial group in a classroom that has only one or two members of that group). The Board asked to have a rule drawn up to clarify the requirements by making classroom-level assessment data available to parents through school principals.

For Additional Information:
Judy Park, Associate Superintendent for Student Services and Federal Programs, at (801) 538-7550.

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Board Votes to Pull Utah Out of Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

Utah was one of 27 states to join the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two state consortia formed to begin the process of creating assessments for students under the new Common Core State Standards. Utah joined the consortium to make sure the state’s needs were being considered in development of the assessments. Utah will shortly be ready to issue a request for proposal from companies interested in working with the state for English language arts and mathematics assessments based on the new Utah Core Standards. In light of this, the Board voted to end its membership in the consortium to avoid conflicts of interest.

For Additional Information:
Judy Park, Associate Superintendent for Student Services and Federal Programs, at (801) 538-7550.

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Board Takes Action on 10 Rule Amendments and Continuations

The Utah State Board of Education gave preliminary approval to the following changes. Final approval will likely come in the Board’s September 7 meeting.

Rule R277-112 Prohibiting Discrimination in the Public Schools. This rule is being amended to add updated language from the Americans with Disabilities Act and special education.

Rule R277-419 Pupil Accounting. This rule is being continued following a routine five-year review.

Rule R277-420 Aiding Financially Distressed School Districts. This rule is being continued following a routine five-year review.

Rule R277-423 Delivery of Flow Through Money. This motion is being amended to include updated terminology.

Rule R277-424 Indirect Costs for State Programs. This rule is being continued following a routine five-year review.

Rule R277-426 Definition of Private and Non-profit schools for Federal Program Services. This rules is being continued following a routine five-year review.

Rule R277-545 Construction Management of School Building Projects. This rule is being continued following a routine five-year review.

Rule R277-502 Educator Licensing and Data Retention. This rule is being amended to provide more details on program requirements.

Rule R277-509 Licensure of Student Teachers and Interns. This rule is being amended to provide necessary language on background checks and for minor terminology changes.

Rule R277-726 Statewide Public Education Online Program. This rules is being amended for clarification. This rule was actually passed on third reading.

For Additional Information:
judy[dot]park[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Judy Park), Associate Superintendent for Student Services and Federal Programs, at (801) 538-7550.
bruce[dot]williams [at] schools [dot] utah [dot] gov (Bruce Williams), Associate Superintendent for Business and Operations, at (801) 538-7514.
brenda [dot] hales [at] schools [dot] utah [dot] gov (Brenda Hales), Associate Superintendent for Instructional Services, at (801) 538-7515
martell [dot] menlove [at] schools [dot] utah [dot] gov (Martell Menlove), Deputy Superintendent, at (801) 538-7762.

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Board Asks for More Information on Including Cursive Writing in Standards

The Utah State Board of Education asked the Teaching and Learning division at the Utah State Office of Education to provide it with more information about including cursive handwriting standards in Utah Core Standards English language arts. Utah core standards are currently silent on the issue, giving school districts and charter schools leeway to determine whether to teach cursive handwriting or not.

For Additional Information
sydnee[dot]dickson[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Sydnee Dickson), Teaching and Learning Director, at (801) 538-7739.
brenda[dot]hales[at]schools[dot]utah[dot]gov(Brenda Hales), Associate Superintendent for Instructional Services, at (801) 538-7515.
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Board Honors Utah’s 2011 AP Scholars

The Utah State Board of Education honored Utah’s two State AP Scholars Elizabeth Malcolm and Roman Amici, both from Park City High School in the Park City School District. The College Board grants State AP Scholar to the one male and one female student in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia with scores of 3 or higher on the greatest number of AP Exams, and then the highest average score (at least 3.5) on all AP Exams taken. Malcolm, who took 17 AP classes, just completed her first year at Duke University. Amici, who took 19 AP classes, just finished his first year at the University of Chicago.

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Board Approves Consent Calendar
The Board approved its consent calendar.

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