Education News Roundup: March 19

Utah Legislature, Day 45

Utah Legislature, Day 45

Today’s Top Picks:

Sorry about the length of today’s roundup, but ENR warned you ahead of time. ENR is sorry he missed the end of the legislative session, but in fairness, there are definite drawbacks to spending four days in a hotel with hockey teams from Weber State and Michigan State and none of the players can go anywhere without everyone else on the bus. ENR is happy to be alive and happy to announce USU finished fourth in the nation and Weber State 10th. His new-found friends from Michigan State will play against Grand Valley State for the national championship tonight.

Utah Supreme Court issues a ruling on the omnibus education bill from five years ago.
http://goo.gl/e7eJ4 (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/rGRFo (DN)
or a copy of the ruling
http://goo.gl/ZuXdu (Utah Supreme Court)

The Legislature did end and education fared fairly well.
http://goo.gl/aysLQ (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/DnxmW (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/uQEPZ (DN)
and http://goo.gl/4lAiW (DN)
and http://goo.gl/0FZtP (OSE)

School grading was passed.
http://goo.gl/JLBo6 (SLT)
and http://goo.gl/dSG89 (DN)
and http://goo.gl/8FNxg (KSL)

Utah Foundation meeting puts a spotlight on education.
http://goo.gl/Y3xCh (UP)

Alpine District focuses on eliminating failing grades.
http://goo.gl/mW1rY (PDH)

Do charter schools help public school performance?
http://goo.gl/bkEMz (DN)

Want to sign up for a music class from Julliard?
http://goo.gl/iO87a (SLT)
or http://goo.gl/3EBPi (Connections Academy)

AP looks at the rise of Latino America.
http://goo.gl/rgjBB (AP)

Report says student ability grouping is on the rise.
http://goo.gl/NcPWp (AP)
and http://goo.gl/tQHv0 (USAT)
or a copy of the report
http://goo.gl/Zmwt0 (Brookings Institute)

Former Jazz man Adrian Dantley is now a school crossing guard in Maryland.
http://goo.gl/pXThL (WaPo)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Utah Supreme Court: Last-minute, composite education bill was constitutional
Schools » Education leaders said bill violated principles.

Utah schools get funding boost while controversial bills die
Ed funding » Utah education leaders got most of what they sought at the 2013 Legislature.

Utah lawmakers wrap up subdued session
2013 Utah Legislature » Focus on workaday issues produces some weighty decisions but few fireworks.
Ethics issues » Questions about Swallow’s conduct create a cloud over the Capitol, put lawmakers on alert.

Hillyard says education fared well in Utah legislative session

Controversial school grading bill passes Legislature
Education » Two grading systems would be imposed on Utah schools under SB271, unless feds approve its method over the model state education leaders created.

Utah lawmakers approve creating online ‘backpacks’ of student data
Education » All of a student’s achievement data, across all their years of school, would be available in one place.

Lawmakers pass $10 million ‘STEM’ bill

All Utah high school juniors will soon likely take ACT for free
Education » Priority of school board and governor’s commission clears the Legislature.

Year-round, blended learning classroom bill fails in Utah House
Education » Lawmakers say skipped public hearing left questions unanswered.

Utah lawmakers pass teen suicide prevention programs

Cleaner-fuel vehicle bill clears House

Herbert says it’s likely he’ll use veto pen

Key things that did not happen in the 2013 legislative session

Utah Foundation Annual Meeting: Investing for Prosperity and Mobility

Salt Lake City board member blasted for calling teachers ineffective
Education » Response to Michael Clara’s complaint has centered on its wording, rather than the district’s data on west-side teachers.

Junior highs working to wipe out failing grades

Nearby charter schools boost public school performance, researcher says

Suspended futures: finding better school discipline methods
Some schools reconsider suspension as a corrective measure

Utah schools trying to help at-risk youth

Random Drug Testing Being Considered by the Davis School Board
If adopted, testing would involved athletes, cheerleaders and student government leaders at district schools.

Parents grapple with sending children to kindergarten too soon

Canyons School District shows off new Corner Canyon High School

Utah company receives national honors for Ogden High auditorium restoration

Utah teens can take Juilliard’s groundbreaking virtual music classes free
Music » Juilliard offers the first virtual music classes for public school children.

New network will give police live looks inside Weber schools

Robot swim: Students test mechanical skills under water

Cache Valley math teachers get chance to sharpen skills

It’s ‘mushy,’ it’s ‘sort of foamy,’ it’s the human brain
Brain Awareness » About 80 neuroscientists and volunteers traveled to Salt Lake Valley schools this week, educating students on how the brain works.

Maple Mountain teacher named Utah’s art teacher of the year

Olympic athletes visit elementary school to encourage active lifestyles

Midas Creek Elementary students use dance to express core concepts learned in class
Sorenson Arts Learning Program » More than 500 kids performed on themes ranging from math to world events.

Olympus High students help special-needs peers at Hartvigsen with assistive technology
EagleEyes » Electrodes track eye movement to control a computer mouse to play games and learn new skills.

Afterschool program offers free supper for at-risk kids

Mrs. Utah County enlists firefighters to help make reading fun

Granite School District hosts cook-off for fourth-graders

High court reinstates sex convictions against former teacher’s aide

Former educator waives hearing on sex abuse charges

District Pulls Shocking Video Of Middle School Girl Brawls

Student Hit By Car In Clearfield

School trust lands closes access to Dump Fire burn area

New principals announced for Lone Peak, Mountain View

Winter Sports School names new head

Community Education offers early education, after-school programs

WCSD featured by KCSG Community Window

Utah-based Smith’s donates $10 million to nonprofits

Local teachers, students benefit from nonprofit fundraising

Alpine fifth graders convince Adobe to match reading hours with money

Holladay students run for fun

2013 Student Concerto Competition winners will perform during Utah Wind Symphony’s March concert

No happy ending for Granite High site as movie studio plan unwinds
Development » The idea to use the old building for a movie studio falls through.

Three Davis County students honored

Sterling Scholars awarded $50K in scholarships

Sterling Scholar awards, 2013: Runners up

Utah Sports Hall of Fame to honor prep coaches

White Pine student wins county spelling bee

Students show off skills at regional Science Olympiad

East Midvale Elem. kids get wacky in Seuss-themed Walk-a-thon

Salem Hills debate team ranks highest in Utah County

Students represent Nebo District at state FBLA competition

Students learn the wonders of dance

Summit teaches teens to face bullying, improve self-esteem

Fitch Affirms Park City School District, UT ULTGOs at ‘AAA’; Outlook Stable

Ogden district to offer GED course

Pine View Middle School Students Are Finalists in Zion Bank Video Contest

Carbon High Dinos in the running for nation’s best mascot

Chitters the owl passes after teaching generations of Utahns
Ogden Nature Center » A favorite of schoolkids for decades, Chitters dies at 37.

Kaysville student-teacher receives marriage proposal in class

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Slippery slope
Nothing to stop slide of education

The Legislature
Ups and downs of 2013 session

Short takes on legislation

‘Inherited’ poverty

Legislative session

Winners and losers

Make decisions for the public good

End-of-session budget highlights

Who will do the science if Western land grab is successful?

Reading technology engages students and empowers teachers

Reinvent education by discovering and developing genius

School safety is about more than just guns

The coach’s wife: Another perspective of high school sports

Prison for dropouts

A miss on preschool

Right-wing rhetoric

At risk of guns

Selling kids on drilling

The Worst Victims of the Education Sequester: Special-Needs Students and Poor Kids
Thanks to Washington’s budget showdown, our neediest kids will see the deepest cuts.

How school reform became the cause célèbre of billionaires

Who’s afraid of big data?

Reading, Writing and Video Games

Why Do We Suspend Misbehaving Students?
Don’t they want to go home?

NATION

Rise of Latino Population Blurs US Racial Lines

After Decade of Criticism, Student Grouping Rises

Top Universities Will Help Train STEM Teachers

In Common Core, Teachers See Interdisciplinary Opportunities

The End of ‘No New Taxes’ in Minnesota

Districts Find Youngest Students Among Most Absent

School district discriminated against gay students, ACLU alleges
In a letter from the ACLU, the Hesperia Unified School District is accused of discriminating against gay and lesbian students, including refusing to allow girls to wear tuxedos to the prom.

Ohio teen wears ‘killer’ shirt, curses at victims’ families
Gunman shocks victims’ families by cursing at them, flipping a bird.

Steubenville rape case driven by social media

2 Girls Charged with Threatening Ohio Rape Victim

Ind. School, Expelled Girls Reach Settlement

Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith Lobbies for Music Education in Washington
‘They have the power to do something good here for every kid’

Wash. Students: Pot More Popular than Cigarettes

Malala Yousafzai achieves her ‘dream’ of going back to school in Birmingham
Just months after being shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for education rights the teenager completed her first day at Edgbaston High School for Girls.

Former NBA great Adrian Dantley works as crossing guard in Montgomery Co.

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UTAH NEWS
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Utah Supreme Court: Last-minute, composite education bill was constitutional
Schools » Education leaders said bill violated principles.

Lawmakers did nothing wrong when they rolled more than a dozen education programs, including some that had failed on the House floor, into one bill that passed on the last night of the legislative session five years ago, the Utah Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.
In a ruling that caps years of court decisions and appeals, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday against a group of nearly 40 education leaders and lawmakers who sued over the bill, SB2. That group claimed the bill was unconstitutional because it covered more than one subject, its title was unclear and it delegated duties that should have belonged to the state school board to other entities instead.
The court ruled that all those claims be dismissed, though it said the plaintiffs had standing to sue over the first two points.
“… The Bill on its face treats a single, albeit broad, subject: education,” according to the ruling. “The presence in the Bill of funding measures directed toward education programs does not render it unconstitutional.”
The ruling also says that, “a title such as the one this Bill has is arguably the fairest way of putting legislators and citizens on notice of what the Bill contains.”
The bill’s short title was “Minimum School Program Budget Amendments” but it also had a longer title that included a bullet point list.
http://goo.gl/e7eJ4 (SLT)

http://goo.gl/rGRFo (DN)

A copy of the ruling
http://goo.gl/ZuXdu (Utah Supreme Court)

Utah schools get funding boost while controversial bills die
Ed funding » Utah education leaders got most of what they sought at the 2013 Legislature.

Maybe it was the growing economy, lawmaker turnover or a focus on issues such as guns and prisons.
Regardless of the reason, this session was calmer than most for Utah schools, with few fights over funding and quick deaths for a number of controversial bills, including those on preschool, sex education and guns in the classroom.
Unlike in recent years, schools suffered no additional budget cuts. Rather, they got most of what education leaders asked for: a 2 percent boost in basic per pupil funding, from $2,842 to $2,899; nearly $50 million to fund 13,500 new students expected in Utah schools in the fall; and cash to continue programs such as dual language immersion, an elementary arts learning program and optional extended-day kindergarten.
State Superintendent Martell Menlove said he’d give the new education budget a B-plus or A-minus if he had to grade it. “We still have needs,” he said, “but the effort was great.”
http://goo.gl/aysLQ (SLT)

http://goo.gl/DnxmW (SLT)

http://goo.gl/uQEPZ (DN)

http://goo.gl/4lAiW (DN)

http://goo.gl/0FZtP (OSE)

Utah lawmakers wrap up subdued session
2013 Utah Legislature » Focus on workaday issues produces some weighty decisions but few fireworks.
Ethics issues » Questions about Swallow’s conduct create a cloud over the Capitol, put lawmakers on alert.

Coming out of years of penny pinching and belt-tightening, the 2013 session of the Utah Legislature provided an opportunity to hit the reset button.
“Obviously, we have had the ability to have a little longer-term view,” said Gov. Gary Herbert, serving his first full term as governor. “I think it’s kind of a new beginning.”
That translated into a larger increase in per-pupil funding than the state has seen in years, investment in an ambitious new science education program, a focus on relocating the Utah State Prison and freeing up the land where it sits, and how to deal with impending changes to Utah’s health care system.
But the focus on the workaday issues, however, led to fewer battles and trench warfare than in past years, leading to what some called a bland, uneventful 45 days.

Education • Lawmakers increased the nation’s last-in-the-nation per-pupil spending by 2 percent and covered 13,500 new students who are expected to enroll in public schools.
All told, Herbert said, the Legislature steered nearly $300 million in new money to education, the most it has seen since before the economy crashed.
http://goo.gl/0C2rk (SLT)

http://goo.gl/jnL8E (SLT)

http://goo.gl/mM6rC (DN)

http://goo.gl/NAxPZ (PDH)

http://goo.gl/d6uux (CVD)

http://goo.gl/5UXkI (KUTV)

http://goo.gl/vRzbv (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/s5vup (KSL)

http://goo.gl/U51Cq (KSTU)

http://goo.gl/qRF8N (KUER)

Hillyard says education fared well in Utah legislative session

LOGAN— State Senator Lyle Hillyard of Logan said there’s never enough money when it comes to education, because Utah has a large number of children. But he said this year public education came out of the legislative session better than had been hoped.
On KVNU’s Crosstalk show on March 15, Hillyard said he also feels higher education did pretty well.
http://goo.gl/D90ja (CVD)

Controversial school grading bill passes Legislature
Education » Two grading systems would be imposed on Utah schools under SB271, unless feds approve its method over the model state education leaders created.

A bill laying out a system for grading Utah schools earned final passage Thursday, despite concerns about the measure’s late timing and its meaning for schools.
SB271 passed through the Senate on a vote of 18-8 after it squeaked through the House with a vote of 38-36. The bill will now go to the governor for his signature.
The bill would mandate a specific system for assigning schools grades of A-F next school year, but it proposes a different plan than the one state education leaders have been working on since original school grading legislation was signed into law in 2011.
http://goo.gl/JLBo6 (SLT)

http://goo.gl/dSG89 (DN)

http://goo.gl/8FNxg (KSL)

Utah lawmakers approve creating online ‘backpacks’ of student data
Education » All of a student’s achievement data, across all their years of school, would be available in one place.

Parents are likely to soon be able to find all of their kids’ student achievement data online, in one place, now that the full Legislature has passed SB82.
The bill earned final passage after the House narrowly approved it Wednesday, by a vote of 38-35, after some lawmakers criticized it as an unnecessary expense. At a cost of $250,000, the bill would create a cloud-based student achievement “backpack,” allowing teachers and parents to access all of a student’s information across all their years of school in one place.
House bill sponsor Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, said it would make accessing such data easier when kids transfer schools and help parents.
“This information will be more readily available through cloud technology than it is today,” Hughes said.
Others, however, raised a number of issues. Rep. Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, wondered about the security of so much data online, prompting Hughes to respond that measures would be taken to ensure it was kept private.
http://goo.gl/zFCK3 (SLT)

http://goo.gl/9Npt3 (DN)

Lawmakers pass $10 million ‘STEM’ bill

HB139 • Shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday, the full Legislature passed a $10 million bill aimed at improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
The bill, HB139, would give that money to schools and establish a board within the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to identify best practices for schools and coordinate efforts throughout the state.
Up to $1.5 million would go toward establishing the actual center; at least $5 million would go toward STEM-related technology and teacher training to improve math instruction for students in grades 6-8; and at least $3.5 million would go toward STEM-related technology and educator training for high schools.
http://goo.gl/Dl4Hm (SLT)

All Utah high school juniors will soon likely take ACT for free
Education » Priority of school board and governor’s commission clears the Legislature.

Nearly all Utah high school juniors will soon likely take a college admissions test such as the ACT during the school day for free.
The full Legislature passed SB175 on Wednesday, meaning it will now go to the governor for his signature. The bill would put $850,000 toward helping all public schools offer college preparation and admissions tests to students.
Those tests will likely include the EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT tests for eighth, 10th and 11th graders, respectively.
http://goo.gl/Ofmbb (SLT)

http://goo.gl/Jp9kC (DN)

http://goo.gl/aNugc (KSL)

Year-round, blended learning classroom bill fails in Utah House
Education » Lawmakers say skipped public hearing left questions unanswered.

A bill to create a pilot program for schools to blend online learning into year-round schedules got slapped down in the House on Wednesday, amid concerns that it didn’t get enough public discussion and that it would mainly fund a consultant.
Rep. Daniel McCay, R-Riverton, said SB79 would help students learn and better prepare them for college and jobs. The bill would have allowed schools to apply for grants to blend online and classroom learning; extend the school year and teacher pay accordingly; use data to make decisions about instruction; and use competency-based education, in which students move to the next level by showing proficiency rather than just by putting in time.
“The question is not, ‘Is this the way of the future?’” McCay said. “Everyone knows it is. The question is, ‘How do we implement this?’ … This is the first step in that bridge.”
Other lawmakers, however, criticized the bill for bypassing the House Education Committee.
http://goo.gl/SXwdm (SLT)

Utah lawmakers pass teen suicide prevention programs

Two bills aimed at curbing teen bullying and suicide passed the full Legislature on Wednesday.
The two houses agreed Wednesday on HB134, a bill that would require schools to notify parents of bullying and/or suicide threats. They also approved HB154, a bill to implement suicide prevention programs in Utah junior highs and high schools. That bill would also fund a suicide prevention coordinator at the State Office of Education and a state suicide prevention coordinator at the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. It would cost $178,000.
http://goo.gl/UhAEO (SLT)

Cleaner-fuel vehicle bill clears House

The House passed SB275 by a vote of 58-14 Wednesday night to promote conversion to alternative fuel vehicles, mainly compressed natural gas.
“This bill gives us the opportunity to make a quantum leap to help our air quality,” said Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Logan.
SB275, which already has passed the Senate, returns there for a vote on a House amendment.
http://goo.gl/x5D6B (SLT)

Herbert says it’s likely he’ll use veto pen

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert said he will probably exercise his veto power this year, but he may take his time in doing so.
State lawmakers passed a record number of bills this session, which ended at midnight Thursday. Herbert said he and his staff will take a close look at every bill and weigh possible unintended consequences of each and then look to see if the measure is good policy. He said it’s probable he will veto some bills. He only vetoed two bills last year, one dealing with sex education.

The Republican governor praised lawmakers and their efforts to approve a balanced budget this session. He was especially pleased to see an increase in funding for education and money toward his science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiative.
Pressed on whether he would ever consider raising taxes to provide more funding for education, Herbert said experience with raising taxes, most recently in California and Illinois, has shown the tax increases become a burden on the economy.
http://goo.gl/CJazN (OSE)

Key things that did not happen in the 2013 legislative session

SALT LAKE CITY — Not all the big stories from the 2013 legislative session involving the Top of Utah involved legislation that passed.
In many ways the session was also highlighted by what didn’t happen.

Other key issues included:
• Reid’s efforts to help parents teach sex education, through online materials from the state Board of Education, drew a unanimous vote in committee, but the bill was soundly beaten when it came up in the House.
• A number of tax options to fund public education, run by state Democrats and ranging from raising the income tax on people making more than $250,000 to tweaking the tax code and imposing greater severance taxes on gas and oil, all failed. A GOP-inspired measure to raise taxes on alcohol to fund education also died in committee.
http://goo.gl/CMRqV (OSE)

Utah Foundation Annual Meeting: Investing for Prosperity and Mobility

On Thursday, March 28th, Utah Foundation will hold its 68th annual meeting and luncheon. This year’s event will focus on the future of education and transportation in Utah. As a young and rapidly growing state, these two spending areas would naturally seem to be high priorities for state and local funding. However, they are often seen as competitors in the state budget process, and at times, phrases such as “paving over kids” have been used to express displeasure with the outcome. Sometimes the competition for limited state funds generates deep frustration, but doesn’t need to be that way. Can we find more ways to recognize and address these two top priorities in tandem?
Utah is one of America’s fastest-growing and youngest states. These two facts require significant public-sector investment to keep up with growth on the highways and growth in our schools. But is it good enough to just keep up with growth, maintaining our current levels of traffic congestion and school performance? Are there ways we can make our infrastructure smarter and our schools better prepared for 21st century needs?
http://goo.gl/Y3xCh (UP)

Salt Lake City board member blasted for calling teachers ineffective
Education » Response to Michael Clara’s complaint has centered on its wording, rather than the district’s data on west-side teachers.

Salt Lake City School Board member Michael Clara’s federal complaint about ineffective and inexperienced teachers in west-side schools has sparked outrage — not about the issues he raises, but about his word choice.
Teacher union officials and educators who packed the board’s recent meeting demanded an apology, angered by Clara’s use of “ineffective.”
“I know we’re effective teachers,” said Becky Bissegger, a teacher at Meadowlark Elementary, on the west side of Salt Lake City, for 15 years. “A great portion [of teachers] have chosen to be in west-side schools, including me.”
But the “ineffective” label — and the data cited by Clara in his complaint to the Office of Civil Rights — was created and is used by the Salt Lake City District in school improvement plans.
http://goo.gl/fRpGS (SLT)

Junior highs working to wipe out failing grades

After years of concerted effort, junior highs in Alpine School District are showing marked academic improvement — leading to better high school graduation rates later on.
Every year for the past eight years, the junior highs in Alpine district have collectively lowered the percentage of failing grades among students. From 2006 to 2013, the percentage of F grades has dropped from 6.8 percent to 1.6 percent.
“That is a 76 percent decrease in the rate of student failure,” said Paul Olson, administrator over junior highs and middle schools for Alpine district.
Consider this: In 2006, junior high students in Alpine district earned 23,249 failing grades. Today, there are several thousand more students in junior highs than in 2006, yet the junior highs are on pace to give out fewer than 8,000 failing grades for the school year.
“That is only 8,000 out of nearly 475,000 total grades earned this year,” Olson said.
http://goo.gl/mW1rY (PDH)

Nearby charter schools boost public school performance, researcher says

SALT LAKE CITY — Public schools may see a jump in math, science and language arts test scores — if a charter school is in the same neighborhood.
Mike Martineau, with the department of economics at the University of Utah, found that public schools within 10 miles of one or more charter schools saw a boost in their test scores. Martineau presented his findings to the Utah State Charter School Board during its Thursday board meeting. The full research will be published by the U. this summer.
Schools are driven to keep enrollment numbers high because a loss in students means lost revenue, Martineau said. The competition generated by the presence of charter schools — which translates to resources being spread more thinly — plays a role in incentivizing public schools to improve their performance., he said.
http://goo.gl/bkEMz (DN)

Suspended futures: finding better school discipline methods
Some schools reconsider suspension as a corrective measure

SALT LAKE CITY — Flor Guerrero is a high school graduate, a fact likely to surprise anyone who knew her at age 14.
Guerrero was the kind of ninth-grader most likely to drop out of high school, and least likely to be missed. She did poorly in class, when she wasn’t skipping school. She talked back to her teachers when corrected. She got in fights on school grounds — all of this by her own admission.
There were reasons behind Guerrero’s bad behavior, but it seemed to her that no one wanted to hear about them at the large east-side high school she attended in Salt Lake City five years ago. As she tells it, most of the attention Guerrero got at her big, impersonal school was negative. Arguments with teachers led to meetings in the principal’s office. Stints in detention escalated to several suspensions, then expulsion. When Guerrero left school, she was a sophomore — pregnant, and with almost no credits on her transcript.
http://goo.gl/RyWPi (DN)

Utah schools trying to help at-risk youth

SALT LAKE CITY — Many at-risk students are slipping through the cracks, skipping school until they are forgotten or they end up not graduating.
That’s setting themselves up for a hard life. But many educators are working hard to change these kids’ lives by creating programs to target and help at-risk students.
It may be called something different in each district or in each school, but the purpose is the same — reaching out to students with problems with attendance, grades, social skills or bullying.
http://goo.gl/OtdJ (KSL)

Random Drug Testing Being Considered by the Davis School Board
If adopted, testing would involved athletes, cheerleaders and student government leaders at district schools.

Davis School Board members, this week, are discussing the possibility of random student drug testing — and are expected to vote on the proposal, next month.
It’s not unusual. Weber and Ogden School Districts are among a handful in Utah that already have the policy.
http://goo.gl/nwgHq (KNRS)

Parents grapple with sending children to kindergarten too soon

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s time to register for kindergarten, but many parents with kids who have summer birthdays find themselves at odds with the system and are asking if it’s too early to enroll.
For Utah schools, a kindergartner must turn 5 years old by Sept. 1 in order to register. The closer a child’s birthday is to that Sept. 1 deadline, the more parents struggle with whether to wait another school year before enrolling.
http://goo.gl/QC7PI (KSL)

Canyons School District shows off new Corner Canyon High School

DRAPER, Utah – ABC4 got an inside look at the new Corner Canyon High School in Draper. Not only is the building beautiful, but it is unlike any school in Utah.
It is a construction zone inside corner Canyon High School.
http://goo.gl/nVxOq (KTVX)

Utah company receives national honors for Ogden High auditorium restoration

PALM SPRINGS — A Utah company was honored with the “Oscar” of the construction industry for its work on the Ogden High School auditorium.
Though this award featured a polished i-beam instead of a shiny gold statuette, its prestige is just as remarkable. The team from Hughes General Contractors of North Salt Lake traveled to Palm Springs, Calif. to attend the 94th-annual Associated General Contractors Build America Awards, where they came out on top in the “Building Renovation” category.
http://goo.gl/wUe4c (KSL)

Utah teens can take Juilliard’s groundbreaking virtual music classes free
Music » Juilliard offers the first virtual music classes for public school children.

The Juilliard School in New York City will offer music education to K-12 students across the nation for the first time — and Utah high school students can take the online courses for free.
“In America today, specifically, music education has diminished significantly,” Juilliard President Joseph Polisi said Monday . “We’re using the power of technology to bring Juilliard’s expertise to users around the world.”
Called Juilliard eLearning, the conservatory’s virtual music courses are probably the first to be offered in the nation, officials said.
In Utah, the new courses were first offered to students enrolled at the virtual school Utah Connections Academy, whose parent company, Connections Education, was a partner with Juilliard in creating them.
But any Utah high school student can sign up for the Juilliard course free of charge thanks to SB65, which allows high school students to take online classes throughout the state. Utah students can sign up for up to three free online courses this fall.
http://goo.gl/iO87a (SLT)

http://goo.gl/3EBPi (Connections Academy)

New network will give police live looks inside Weber schools

OGDEN — The Weber School District plans to begin work this summer on a new surveillance network that will allow police a live look inside schools — even from their smart phones.
The system will eventually include roughly 1,000 digital cameras across 45 schools, said district spokesman Nate Taggart. They would be patched into the Ogden Police Real Time Crime Center, which could serve as a nerve center to guide officers from multiple agencies in the event of an emergency.
http://goo.gl/88NNe (DN)

http://goo.gl/R9qYb (KTVX)

http://goo.gl/6tRPf (KSTU)

Robot swim: Students test mechanical skills under water

LEHI — More than 200 elementary and junior high school students gathered Thursday for a race at the pool. But as it turns out, not a single kid got in the water.
Instead, the students unleashed a host of underwater robots to do the swimming for them.
Partnering with BYU’s School of Engineering, 10 schools from Spanish Fork to Davis County attended the SeaPerch Utah Underwater Challenge, an academic twist on the traditional swim meet and the first engineering competition of its kind in Utah. Beginning last summer, BYU engineering professor Tadd Truscott designed the obstacle course and gave students from October until Thursday to build a robot capable of removing six weighted rings from a pool of water.
http://goo.gl/j1tqj (DN)

http://goo.gl/UOgq1 (PDH)

http://goo.gl/DOdco (KSTU)

Cache Valley math teachers get chance to sharpen skills

Secondary mathematics teachers from across Cache Valley recently participated in a math seminar that they say helped them understand rational numbers and apply that knowledge in the classroom.
The seminar, funded by the Utah Office of Education, hosted math teachers from sixth to 12th grade representing both Logan City School District and Cache County School District, as well as visitors from Box Elder and Davis school districts.
The seminar, “All Things Rational,” gave teachers the chance to gain a deeper understanding of rationality.
http://goo.gl/kpGEF (LHJ)

It’s ‘mushy,’ it’s ‘sort of foamy,’ it’s the human brain
Brain Awareness » About 80 neuroscientists and volunteers traveled to Salt Lake Valley schools this week, educating students on how the brain works.

Dylan Thurgood constantly had hands on the brain.
No, he wasn’t thinking about hands. Instead, the 10-year-old literally had his glove-covered hands all over a gray, moist and slightly squishy brain.
“It’s mushy and sort of foamy,” the blond boy from Magna said. “Maybe about five pounds?”
Next to the one he held was another brain. And then another. Three-and-a-half brains in all — along with a wet spinal cord. Judd Cahoon, a University of Utah medical student, held up a half-brain and, with a metal pointer, mapped it all out for the small crowd gathered at the table inside The Leonardo in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday.
http://goo.gl/Y5k8i (SLT)

Maple Mountain teacher named Utah’s art teacher of the year

SPANISH FORK — Being an art teacher takes a lot of preparing and many hours working with students to teach the importance of art and teaching that art comes in many forms. That is exactly what Maple Mountain High School art teacher Jethro D. Gillespie does.
“He is a quiet, well-mannered man who brings magic to his classroom,” MMHS Principal John Penrod said. “Jethro is an artist at heart who brings art to life by the way he teaches. It is an honor to work with him.”
The National Art Education Association has named Gillespie as the 2013 Utah Art Educator of the Year.
http://goo.gl/yDgaE (PDH)

Olympic athletes visit elementary school to encourage active lifestyles

HOLLADAY — Students at Crestview Elementary School welcomed some special visitors to their morning jog Tuesday — Olympians Derek Parra and Emily Cook, Paralympian Chris Waddell and professional soccer player Jacqui Little Rimando.
The athletes visited the school as part of a presentation on the importance of physical education and healthy lifestyles. The visit coincided with an award being granted to Granite School District by the organization Champions for America’s Future.
http://goo.gl/R9P32 (DN)

Midas Creek Elementary students use dance to express core concepts learned in class
Sorenson Arts Learning Program » More than 500 kids performed on themes ranging from math to world events.

Riverton • Memorizing a dance routine for a school performance is a great way for students to learn. It becomes even more edifying when the dance routine is based off of core concepts from the classroom.
Learning from the art of dance is what students from Midas Creek Elementary in Riverton accomplished during their Arts Night performance held at Herriman High School Feb. 25 and 26.
The performance was made possible by the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program and directed by Midas Creek dance instructor Angela Challis.
http://goo.gl/nD6Hk (SLT)

Olympus High students help special-needs peers at Hartvigsen with assistive technology
EagleEyes » Electrodes track eye movement to control a computer mouse to play games and learn new skills.

Students from two schools are forming a relationship that transcends words.
Through their Community of Caring class, Olympus High students are helping out their special-needs peers at Hartvigsen School to communicate in a way they’ve never been able to.
This is done through a technology called EagleEyes, which allows students with severe disabilities to use their eye movement in place of a computer mouse or cursor.
http://goo.gl/YUhkx (SLT)

Afterschool program offers free supper for at-risk kids

SALT LAKE CITY — The government recently expanded the Afterschool Meal Program to provide more meals for the most needy, and as a result, many Utah kids are now getting free supper.
The program primarily targets kids who may not get any food until breakfast the next morning. However, it’s not just for young children; teens who go somewhere after school to be safe and get homework help are eligible for meals as well.
http://goo.gl/NIAH6 (KSL)

Mrs. Utah County enlists firefighters to help make reading fun

OREM — For elementary school children reading is often associated with homework. Since they have to do it, they don’t like it.
Mrs. Utah County McKenna Brown is working to make reading fun. As part of her platform for the Mrs. Utah pageant in June, Brown is holding a read-a-thon at Geneva Elementary School in Orem. To kick off the read-a-thon, Brown enlisted the help of local firefighters and police officers to get the message to kids that reading can be fun.
http://goo.gl/8QXp9 (PDH)

Granite School District hosts cook-off for fourth-graders

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a rare combination of ingredients: fourth-graders and salads.
Donning chef hats and aprons, 20 student finalists from Granite School District elementary schools went head to head in the kitchen at the Future Chefs Challenge Friday, getting their first taste of what it’s like to prepare a meal with nutrition in mind.
Organizers hope it’s the first step for Salt Lake-area kids on the road to a healthy lifestyle — even if it doesn’t mean landing on “Iron Chef” someday.
http://goo.gl/4Gmlm (DN)

High court reinstates sex convictions against former teacher’s aide

SALT LAKE CITY — The conviction of a former teacher’s aide who was found guilty of seven different counts of sex-related charges involving students has been reinstated by the state’s high court.
Just days before Andrea Billingsley, 34, was to be sentenced for three counts of sodomy and one count of rape, first-degree felonies, and three counts of forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony, 3rd District Court Judge Robert Adkins vacated the convictions and ordered a new trial. The judge decided there were some errors at trial, including the omission of evidence about the victims’ prior sexual knowledge and experience.
In a ruling written by Associate Chief Justice Ronald Nehring, the Utah Supreme Court found that the exclusion of the victim’s history “was proper and the other claimed errors and irregularities do not require reversal because they did not prejudice Ms. Billingsley.” The court ordered that Adkins’ order granting a new trial be reversed and that her convictions be reinstated.
http://goo.gl/K6urP (DN)

http://goo.gl/wi4bE (SLT)

http://goo.gl/yS0Ei (KSL)

http://goo.gl/nRFSZ (KSTU)

Former educator waives hearing on sex abuse charges

WASATCH COUNTY, Utah – An award-winning Utah educator waived his preliminary hearing on child sex abuse charges on Thursday.
On Thursday, 66-year-old Charles Weber, the former principal of Soldier Hollow Charter School in Wasatch County, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on forcible sodomy charges for an alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old Soldier Hollow student last year.
Charging documents indicate that Weber admitted to investigators that he had been sexually abusing boys over the past 35 years.
http://goo.gl/MukPD (KSTU)

District Pulls Shocking Video Of Middle School Girl Brawls

Shocking online video of violent brawls among girls at Mount Jordan Middle School prompted Canyons School District administrators to launch an investigation and to begin an important conversation about violence and bullying posted online.
In at least three videos posted on YouTube, pairs of girls are seen punching one another and pulling hair on school grounds in Sandy, as a crowd cheers, laughs and records.
http://goo.gl/T2hRv (KUTV)

Student Hit By Car In Clearfield

A Clearfield High School student was hit by a car this morning while crossing 330 North 500 West in Clearfield.
The accident occurred at 7 a.m. when the 16-year-old victim attempted to cross at the intersection, which has no crosswalk.
The victim was transported to the hospital with injuries to her legs and head with possible broken bones.
http://goo.gl/zHsyL (KUTV)

School trust lands closes access to Dump Fire burn area

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Fearing that public activity such as four-wheeling will disturb reseeded areas in the burn scar of the Dump Fire west of Saratoga Springs, the school trust lands administration announced it is closing all access to its property through mid-November.
The closure was ordered at the request of the city in cooperation with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Land Management, which owns the bulk of the 5,500 acres charred in the fire last summer. BLM officials say they intend to enforce restrictions as well to help vegetation in the reseeded areas take hold and prevent additional erosion.
Many of the neighborhoods down slope of last summer’s fire remain vulnerable to mud and debris flows that could start by rain in the coming months.
The School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration worked in partnership with multiple agencies such as the state Division of Wildlife Resources and the BLM to have the burn scar mechanically chained and reseeded in the fall.
http://goo.gl/FzKoa (DN)

New principals announced for Lone Peak, Mountain View

Lone Peak and Mountain View high schools will have new principals next year.
Alpine School District announced on Wednesday afternoon that Rhonda Bromley, who has been district spokeswoman and assistant to the superintendent, will head up Lone Peak High this fall, replacing Principal Chip Koop.
In addition, Taran Chun will be the new principal of Mountain View High, replacing Blaine Edman. Chun is now the principal of a junior high in Granite District. He could not be reached immediately for comment.
http://goo.gl/dfm87 (PDH)

Winter Sports School names new head

PARK CITY — The Winter Sports School’s board of trustees has named Dave Kaufman as head of school.
Kaufman, who currently serves as assistant head of school, will be taking over for Rob Clayton, who recently accepted the position of executive director at the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.
The Winter Sports School recently launched an initiative to become a Utah charter.
http://goo.gl/MtHx7 (DN)

Community Education offers early education, after-school programs

From learning in an outdoor environment to engaging young minds, the Dixie State Community Education program offers two low-cost courses for children in Washington County: an early education class and an after-school program.
The KidSpace and Time for Tots programs are two of the many courses offered by the Community Education program that allow students to better retain learned information and help children transition through learning environments, said Lisa Bratton, a Community Education marketing professional.
http://goo.gl/fZW4e (SGS)

WCSD featured by KCSG Community Window

ST. GEORGE, Utah – KCSG provides an opportunity for citizens to hear Marshall Topham, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education for the Washington County School District, present some issues and challenges facing our students, teachers and parents. He also makes suggestions of ways to help support the students locally.
http://goo.gl/Yo8aX (KCSG)

Utah-based Smith’s donates $10 million to nonprofits

The Utah-based Smith’s Food & Drug Stores has released its 2012 Report to the Community highlighting donations of $10 million worth of cash and products to 2,200 nonprofits in seven western states.
The total includes $4.2 million contributed to 983 schools and nonprofit charities in Utah.
http://goo.gl/0YIFA (SLT)

http://goo.gl/AVLNh (OSE)

Local teachers, students benefit from nonprofit fundraising

PAYSON — Thanks to the hard work and efforts from their teachers and donations from local businesses and members of the community, students at Spring Lake Elementary are surrounded by technology, helping them be more successful in school.
Third-grade students in Doug Lai’s class and sixth-grade students in Erica Fordiani’s class now have Google Chromebooks, a MacBook Pro, a Crispin class set of books, an Aver Computer Pen, three burners, an iPad, Nook tablets and a set of microorganism slides have been received from Donors Choose, an online charity that allows public and charter school teachers throughout the U.S. to post classroom project requests. It gives anyone the chance to give any amount to the project they would most like to help.
http://goo.gl/SD6E7 (PDH)

Alpine fifth graders convince Adobe to match reading hours with money

ALPINE — Students at Westfield Elementary in Alpine got some experience in boardroom negotiation and, in the process, scored for their school some much-needed technology.
A group of fifth graders saw a need for school computers and came up with a creative way to get them.
“We know that technology starts to take over the world,” said Isaac Gubler, a fifth grade student at Westfield. “We also know that kids are starting to play video games and watching TV.”
Isaac and his fellow students hatched a plan to combine those two phenomenon. They marched into the offices of software company Adobe with hand-drawn pie charts and a pitch: You match the hours we read with dollars for computers.
http://goo.gl/zDOII (KSL)

Holladay students run for fun

HOLLADAY, Utah – There is no arguing America’s kids just are not moving enough! Childhood obesity is on the rise and at the same time, new evidence showing a connection between physical activity and academic success. One Holladay elementary school is running to make sure they are fit for the future.
It may just look like a simple a lap around this field, but for the kids at Crestview Elementary School their Jolly Jog is the favorite part of the day.
http://goo.gl/rqWne (KTVX)

2013 Student Concerto Competition winners will perform during Utah Wind Symphony’s March concert

Three outstanding Utah music students – winners of the 2013 Student Concerto Competition – will perform during the Utah Wind Symphony’s March 28 concert.
The student winners are:
• Ayden Olsen, clarinet, of Farmington Junior High School;
• Brandon Chamberlain, trumpet, Jordan High School;
• Carson Tueller, flute, Weber State University.
http://goo.gl/JiLZL (SLT)

No happy ending for Granite High site as movie studio plan unwinds
Development » The idea to use the old building for a movie studio falls through.

South Salt Lake • Saving the century-old Granite High School started out as a dream for the city and developers — but that’s all it ever became.
The building at 3305 S. 500 East will not be turned into a motion picture and television production facility as originally promoted in a news conference in October. In fact, the property most likely will go on the open market to the highest bidder soon.
Parties involved say it all came down to a lack of money.
http://goo.gl/aEsTC (SLT)

Three Davis County students honored

Three Davis County high school students are among 16 Utah teens honored Tuesday for top Utah ACT scores on exams taken during 2012.
The local students honored at a Salt Lake City ceremony were Natalie Adair and Chris Carey, both of Woods Cross High School, and Madeline Knowlton of Davis High School, Kaysville.
http://goo.gl/eD6q9 (OSE)

Sterling Scholars awarded $50K in scholarships

SALT LAKE CITY — Thirteen high school students from throughout the Wasatch Front have been awarded nearly $50,000 in scholarships from KSL and the Deseret News.
One winner was named in thirteen different academic areas, including English, dance and computer technology. Awards were based on academics, leadership and citizenship.
http://goo.gl/8Ftky (KSL)

http://goo.gl/CL5i6 (MUR)

http://goo.gl/pbQK2 (DN)

Sterling Scholar awards, 2013: Runners up

http://goo.gl/CH0bH (DN)

Utah Sports Hall of Fame to honor prep coaches

The Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation will honor seven former high school coaches and two contributors during the annual spring honors and awards banquet Tuesday at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy during a 6:15 p.m. reception and 7 p.m. dinner.
Distinguished Coaches include Brad Bevan of South Jordan; Ferril Heaton of Alton; Jon Hoover, formerly of Pleasant Grove; Linda Mayne of Salt Lake City; Phillip Robison of Fillmore; Philip Russell of South Ogden; and Jim Yerkovich of Salt Lake City. Distinguished Service Awards will go to Ward Armstrong of Ogden and Paul C. Smith of Kaysville. In addition, six Utah high school graduates, currently attending colleges in the state, will receive $2,000 Ream’s Scholarships.
http://goo.gl/HALBD (SLT)

White Pine student wins county spelling bee

After correctly spelling the word “inheritance,” Cassidy Smith from White Pine Middle School won the 2013 Cache County School District Spelling Bee after outspelling 30 other contestants.
The bee took place Wednesday night at North Park Elementary in North Logan and included students from elementary and middle schools in the district and two charter schools.
http://goo.gl/Cal3r (LHJ)

Students show off skills at regional Science Olympiad

Students compete in different academic competitions at the 2013 Regional Science Olympiad at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Saturday.
Students compete in different academic competitions at the 2013 Regional Science Olympiad at Westminster College in Salt Lake City on Saturday.
http://goo.gl/MGqCT (DN)

East Midvale Elem. kids get wacky in Seuss-themed Walk-a-thon

Dr Seuss’s birthday is celebrated in March, and this Cat in the Hat (a.k.a. Sally Sansom from East Midvale Elementary) got her kids actively involved in celebrating the event with a Seuss-themed Wacky Walk-a-thon.
http://goo.gl/HxQM4 (KSTU)

Salem Hills debate team ranks highest in Utah County

Nineteen schools from throughout the state went to Highland High for the 4A state debate competition this month. Salem finished 10th, ranking higher than any other school from Utah County, including Westlake, Timpview and Provo.
http://goo.gl/Zq6N2 (PDH)

Students represent Nebo District at state FBLA competition

Students from Nebo School District came home with awards this month after the annual Utah State Future Business Leaders of America Conference and Competition.
Of the 28 students from Salem Hills, Maple Mountain and Springville high schools in attendance, two students were appointed Utah FBLA state officers. James Carrington of Salem Hills was elected to serve as central region vice president, and Springville High’s Hannah Cook was elected state historian.
http://goo.gl/t2gKt (PDH)

Students learn the wonders of dance

CEDAR CITY — As students filed into the South Elementary School gymnasium, dancer Tyler Orcutt, with the Utah-based Repertory Dance Theatre, warmed up the audience by leading the children in different hand motions before the company performed a demonstration for the school.
The RDT dancers, who performed a concert at the Heritage Center Thursday evening, brought their creative flair to South and East elementary schools as well as Canyon View High School on Friday, as they demonstrated the basics of dance.
http://goo.gl/DnJgD (SGS)

Summit teaches teens to face bullying, improve self-esteem

BOUNTIFUL — It was magic with a message on the deceptive dangers of drugs, alcohol, bullying, suicide and pornography.
“Real magic is freedom,” Ogden-area magician Brad Barton told the 300 youths gathered Saturday in the Viewmont High School auditorium in Bountiful.
The presentation by Barton was part of the daylong 13th annual Davis Youth Summit.
http://goo.gl/H5C0w (OSE)

Fitch Affirms Park City School District, UT ULTGOs at ‘AAA’; Outlook Stable

SAN FRANCISCO — Fitch Ratings has affirmed the ‘AAA’ rating on the following Park City School District, UT (the district) obligations:
–$11 million unlimited tax general obligation bonds (ULTGOs).
The Rating Outlook is Stable.
http://goo.gl/myRLI (Business Wire via Market Watch)

Ogden district to offer GED course

OGDEN — Classes will begin soon for a GED course which is an alternative high school diploma, for students seeking to complete their GED. The district will offer $300 to the first 50 students who are able to complete the course by June 30 this year.
http://goo.gl/yqyhD (OSE)

Pine View Middle School Students Are Finalists in Zion Bank Video Contest

ST. GEORGE, Utah – Pine View Middle School students are in the running to win a $1,000 cash prize in Zions Bank’s “Financialize a Film” video contest, which promotes making good financial choices.
http://goo.gl/Hl7hS (KCSG)

Carbon High Dinos in the running for nation’s best mascot

PRICE — Students at a Utah high school may soon be able to call their mascot the very best in the country.
USA Today’s High School Sports’ Most Unique Mascot contest has been running for three weeks and received 31 million online votes thus far. The Carbon High School Dinos swept the state competition to advance to the regional round.
http://goo.gl/3Pck6 (KSL)

Chitters the owl passes after teaching generations of Utahns
Ogden Nature Center » A favorite of schoolkids for decades, Chitters dies at 37.

Chitters may have spent almost all of his 37 years of life in captivity, but the great-horned owl still managed to teach generations of Utahns the importance of wildlife.
Chitters, named for the sounds great-horned owls make, died last week in the arms of those who knew and loved him at the Ogden Nature Center. It is thought he passed away from natural causes linked to his age (great-horned owls typically live five to 20 years in the wild), but he may have come down with a disease at the end that hastened his death.
http://goo.gl/L8KHw (SLT)

http://goo.gl/9EkMo (OSE)

Kaysville student-teacher receives marriage proposal in class

KAYSVILLE — It was a normal eighth-grade health class at Centennial Junior High a few weeks ago as student-teacher Heather Sabin presented a lesson about self-esteem.
Normal soon changed as Sabin’s boyfriend, Heath Bryant, who had flown in from Washington, casually walked in and kneeled down in front of her with a ring.
http://goo.gl/AsBa2 (OSE)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Slippery slope
Nothing to stop slide of education
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

Gov. Gary Herbert and legislative leaders were effusive over funding granted by the Legislature for public education in the legislative session just ended. It’s the biggest infusion of new money for schools in years, they said, and they are right. But don’t be fooled by the enthusiasm.
The Legislature did little more than maintain the status quo for public education. Or, it might be more accurate to say it rebounded backward to pre-recession funding. There were no new budget cuts like those experienced for several years, but most of the additional money allocated for public education will merely fund the 13,500 new students expected to arrive next school year and a meager 2 percent boost in the basic per-pupil rate.
Even with the additional 2 percent, Utah’s $2,899 expenditure per student will remain at the bottom among all states, far below the next lowest on the ladder.
http://goo.gl/ulOny

The Legislature
Ups and downs of 2013 session
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

The Utah Legislature this year had a decidedly reasonable tone. And that is welcome after years of tea party paranoia. Still, though, the session had many disappointments, reflecting a lack of willingness among legislators to properly fund education and too much eagerness to talk up states’ rights at the expense of the needs of their own constituents.
Public-ed funding (thumb down) » While public education received the largest funding increase in years, money for schools remains inadequate. No new revenue sources for education were found. A 2 percent boost in the basic per-pupil allocation will do nothing to raise Utah above the cellar compared to other states, will not shrink class sizes or bring teacher salaries up to a competitive level. Most of the increase will go for Social Security and retirement costs and a meager 1 percent pay boost for teachers. An additional $50 million will pay the cost of educating an additional 13,500 students expected to arrive in the coming school year. It’s primarily a status-quo budget. No money was earmarked to replace significant shortfalls in federal funds at Title I schools.
Early-childhood education (thumb down) » An innovative approach to paying for a preschool program for at-risk Utah children was defeated. Though conservative legislators like to tout their commitment to innovation in education, they turned thumbs down on this well-researched partnership with private business to create a program to help low-income, minority children start elementary school with some of the academic advantages that white, middle-class kids have had for many years. Money was found to give permanent funding to an existing optional all-day kindergarten program for a small number of at-risk kids but none for expanding it.
Bright education spots (thumb up) » An elementary school arts program will continue and all high school juniors and seniors will be able to take the ACT for free, a benefit for those who can’t now afford the fee to take the college admissions test. Some money was found to encourage anti-bullying and suicide-prevention programs. A board will be established to focus funding and effort on expanding science, technology, engineering and math instruction to more children.
http://goo.gl/7652U

Short takes on legislation
Salt Lake Tribune editorial

Inherent ignorance » The basic idea behind SB169, sponsored by Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, is good one. It would create an education task force to identify primary goals for public education, a time frame and a plan for accomplishing them. Considering all the diverse pieces of legislation having something to do with education in the current legislative session, an overall vision is definitely needed. The problem with the idea — and it’s a big problem — is that the task force would be comprised of majority and minority leadership from both the House and Senate, chairpersons of the House and Senate education committees and higher education appropriations committees. Missing would be anyone from the education community, the very people who are trained and experienced in education and who know first-hand the needs of Utah schools and their students. Once again, it means micromanaging education by legislators who are driven more by ideology, and too often arrogance, than knowledge.
It’s a tax increase » Republican legislators perennially refuse to raise taxes to increase funding for public education, even though polls show many Utahns would agree to pay higher taxes specifically for schools. But SB81 is a way to raise taxes without putting any legislator’s anti-tax credentials in jeopardy. The bill would take money from school districts where voters have already approved property tax increases for their schools and give it to others with smaller tax bases. And it would allow districts to raise property taxes to make up the loss. It’s a sneaky tax increase on small groups of Utahns when what’s needed is straightforward income tax reform to require large families to pay their fair share.
http://goo.gl/QTVh3

‘Inherited’ poverty
Deseret News editorial

When it comes to fighting chronic homelessness, Utah is developing an impressive track record. The Utah homes for the homeless initiative and the Road Home shelter have managed to combine an impressive array of local agencies and resources to make a serious dent in the problem and become a model for the nation.
Now, the state needs to do the same when it comes to solving the vexing problem of intergenerational poverty, a legacy that for too many people is handed down like a genetic marker.
State lawmakers took the first step down that road last year by passing a bill requiring the Utah Department of Workforce Services to track data on intergenerational poverty in order to get a scope of the problem. Now, lawmakers in 2013 have passed SB53, a bill sponsored by Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, which sets up a commission to study causes and identify solutions. In keeping with the cooperative model that attacked homelessness, this bill will involve the heads of five state departments — workforce services, health and human services, the superintendent of public instruction, the state juvenile court administrator and a nonvoting chairman.
http://goo.gl/6EeFU

Legislative session
(St. George) Spectrum editorial

Last Thursday, after 45 grueling days, Utah’s 2013 legislative session came to a close.
While a number of high profile bills saw significant debate and circulation on the hill this year, in the end, it was a legislative session that can best be summed up with a few lines of prose from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
“A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

While we are encouraged that the legislature did in fact find ways to increase education spending in Utah this year, the reality is that if we are ever to rise up from our last place status in the nation when it comes to per-pupil spending, finding ways to increase revenue for education is a discussion that is going to need to be had at some point.
http://goo.gl/6xd1Z

Winners and losers
Deseret News editorial

Winner: Let’s hear it for competition. A study by Mike Martineau of the University of Utah found that public schools in Utah that are located within 10 miles of one of more charter schools saw a boost in their test scores during a period between 2005 and 2011. Although students are free to attend the charter school of their choice, a nearby charter school increases the competitive pressures on a public school to retain students. School districts with 5 percent of their students in charter schools saw a 1.2 percent increase in math proficiency compared with districts with no charter schools. The gain in science proficiency was 2 percent for districts with at least 6 percent in charters, and that gain was measured within two years of the charter school opening. If a little competition is good, imagine what a lot of competition would do.
http://goo.gl/R59Tb

Make decisions for the public good
Deseret News commentary by columnist John Florez

It’s where lawmakers put our money that says much about their priorities and principles.
Utah lawmakers voted down a bill that would provide preschool for poor kids at a cost to the state of $1 million, with $10 million coming from private investors. While on the other hand, they intend to spend an estimated $600 million to relocate the state prison for private development at its present location, without asking two very important questions: what’s the cost, and who pays?
It speaks volumes about legislative priorities and fiscal responsibilities when it appears lawmakers would rather put our tax money at the back end by building prisons than at the front end helping kids get an education.
http://goo.gl/rKG8o

End-of-session budget highlights
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by Rep. Brad Dee

I worried earlier in the session that creating a balanced budget, something our legislature has done year after year, might prove impossible this year. Revenue numbers were all over the map heading into the session, and midway through the session the federal sequester went into effect adding additional chaos to the budget situation.
Our fiscal staff worked long hours to revise revenue estimates to meet each budget change and situation. Legislators weighed the pros and cons of all the budget requests for the smaller amount of revenue we had to work with.
In the end, we were able to assess all the moving parts and balance the budget in time for the session to end at its regularly scheduled time.
One of the things I heard from my constituents consistently throughout the session was a request for more funding and emphasis on public education. During the recession, many areas of the state budget were cut, but we were able to hold public education harmless with no cuts.
http://goo.gl/RmxAF

Who will do the science if Western land grab is successful?
Deseret News op-ed by Steven L. Peck, associate professor of biology at Brigham Young University

I’m a Utahn though and through, but I’m worried about my home state: Hustlers here keep trying to steal property that belongs not just to me, but to all Americans.
This extreme version of the “Sagebrush rebellion” and its attempt to loosen federal control in land management, is a persistent — and to my mind wrongheaded — crusade for those who want the state to take over public lands managed by the federal government in order to allow easier exploitation of these lands for their private purposes, although they always phrase this attempt as “taking back” public land.
Utah’s Republican Gov. Gary Herbert and the Utah Legislature are championing these misdirected efforts, and the governor has affirmed publicly his support for what has been called a Western land grab.

Let’s be frank: Utah wants our public lands not to manage them but to exploit them, to sell them to the highest bidder so they can be developed and mined and stripped of resources at any cost to future uses.
Gov. Herbert says that the new money coming to the state from taking over federal lands are necessary for education, and in particular, science and math. Currently, Utah ranks dead last in educational spending per student, suggesting that education is really a very low priority in Utah.
http://goo.gl/XCt0J

Reading technology engages students and empowers teachers
Deseret News op-ed by Merlynn Newbold, a former legislator who sponsored HB513 in 2012

Nothing is more important in the life of a child than to learn to read. This crucial step during a child’s formative years can lead to a lifetime of learning and achievement. Without it, children are more likely to be involved in crime and poverty, and may never reach their full personal potential. As the great novelist Victor Hugo wrote, “To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”
The Utah Legislature recognized last year the powerful gift reading gives to every child and acted upon this recognition by passing the Early Intervention Program, HB513. This bill created an investment in reading software for one third of Utah’s 90,000 kindergarten and first graders. To ensure the best implementation of the reading software, a competitive process was used to find schools that were the most capable and eager to take advantage of the early intervention reading program, and commit to its success. To further enhance a competitive process, these schools were able to choose software from six different companies that were selected through a rigorous Request for Proposal (RFP) process at the State Board of Education in order to find the best match.
The reason reading software is so effective at turning around the lives of struggling and at-risk students is because of the individualized, patient, and powerful instruction it provides to students in recommended “dosages”.
http://goo.gl/ZvIvh

Reinvent education by discovering and developing genius
(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by Lynn Stoddard, retired educator

What would happen if teachers were invited to find and develop the genius in each student? Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius.
But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
Could it possibly be true that every person is a genius? The old Stanford Binet IQ test has led several generations to believe that only a few people have superior intelligence. Because of this, a great many people have lived their whole lives believing that, if not stupid, they are, in many ways, inferior. This is a catastrophe and huge loss for our country.
Now we know it’s impossible to measure human intelligence numerically. The Binet test measured no more than eight of over one hundred and forty mental functions that humans possess in trillions of different combinations.
http://goo.gl/c3fg8

School safety is about more than just guns
KSL commentary by Guy Bliesner, school safety and security administrator for the Bonneville School District in Idaho Falls, Idaho

Although violence and shootings at school are a concern, the high profile of recent incidents means they will be addressed, but school safety should be about more than just violence and guns.
The preoccupation with violent injuries and deaths at school distracts from the danger of injuries caused by other school activities.
http://goo.gl/c8ExF

The coach’s wife: Another perspective of high school sports
KSL commentary by Arianne Brown, a graduate from Southern Utah University

SALT LAKE CITY — High school athletics are filled with fun, excitement and wonderful memories. As a former varsity and Division 1 collegiate athlete, I look back on this time in my life with fondness.
I loved winning tournaments and making it to region and state championships. I lived for huge state meets and invitationals when I was able to compete against the best of the best.
Most importantly, I am grateful for the lessons I learned while being on a team: how to work with others toward a common goal, how to get along with others and forge new friendships, and how to listen to and respect your coach.
I am going to draw attention to the last one: how to listen to and respect your coach.
http://goo.gl/EtZbe

Prison for dropouts
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Adeline Jouflas

Good job, Utah legislators! Yea, Gov. Gary Herbert!
It’s comforting to know we won’t be wasting money educating our children, and that we still occupy that special place among states in per-student spending (last!).
Instead, we will build a beautiful new prison, so when our uneducated children break the law with guns they easily purchase and carry tucked out of sight in their underwear, we will have a nice place to send them.
http://goo.gl/vTd8j

A miss on preschool
Salt Lake Tribune letter rom Deborah Bayle, President, United Way of Salt Lake

On March 5, Utah lawmakers struck down SB71, Sen. Aaron Osmond’s early-education bill to invest in preschool programs to help close the achievement gap for at-risk students.
United Way of Salt Lake has been dedicated to this project, and we are truly disheartened by the outcome. We thank Osmond for his commitment and passion and his colleagues who voted for the bill.
http://goo.gl/fGdS0

Right-wing rhetoric
Salt Lake Tribune letter from David Thomas

It is almost impossible to compare private and public schools, as Wade Miller does in “Evils of socialism” (Forum, March 8). Private schools spend much more per pupil than do Utah’s last-in-the-country public schools.
Parents who take the time to get their children into a private school are obviously involved in their children’s education. Sadly, in many cases in public schools, that is not the case.
Private schools have admission standards; public schools must take all students.
Despite the inequality in funding and student selection, public schools do a fantastic job in educating and motivating all who want to do well and in trying to help those who have a hard time.
http://goo.gl/0u1Sa

At risk of guns
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Matthew Chilcote

I was disappointed by the failure of the Utah Senate to pass SB71, which would have sought $10 million from private investors to strengthen and expand high quality preschool programs for at-risk children (“Utah lawmakers kill preschool bill for at-risk children,” Tribune March 6).
Upon studying the course of this legislative session, I can find only one logical reason why it didn’t pass — it failed to mention guns. If bill sponsor Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, wanted the bill to pass he should have simply included a provision that early childhood educators must conceal carry a firearm in the classroom.
Perhaps they could have even incorporated gun education into the curriculum. Because if there’s one thing at-risk children need to learn about early, it’s guns.
http://goo.gl/2VZ4j

Selling kids on drilling
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Colby Poulson

I’m furious that a statewide Earth Day poster contest is sponsored by the Salt Lake petroleum section of Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Utah state government’s Division of Oil, Gas and Mining.
At my son’s elementary school, students were provided instructions, which included: “Show where we would be without … oil, gas, and mined minerals. For instance: Coal, oil and natural gas provide most of the energy we use for heat, light, and electricity. We use mined materials and petroleum products every day in gasoline, cars, computers, skateboards, home-building materials, and tools.” Posters will be judged on their “demonstration of how products from mining and oil and gas extraction are essential to our daily lives.”
Why is the state backing an “Earth Day” contest that celebrates fossil fuels, while completely ignoring the adverse effects that their use and extraction can too often have on our air quality, water quality, public lands and the other organisms we share the world with?
http://goo.gl/QcbWm

The Worst Victims of the Education Sequester: Special-Needs Students and Poor Kids
Thanks to Washington’s budget showdown, our neediest kids will see the deepest cuts.
Atlantic commentary by Laura McKenna, a former political science professor

The sequester’s guillotine has little regard for good or bad programs as it unselectively slices spending across the country, but perhaps nowhere does its indiscriminate blade fall more harshly than within education. The students who will lose out will be the ones we should be most careful to protect: children from poor families and special needs kids.
Federal funding for education will be slashed by 5.1 percent, until Congress can agree on a new budget. Though the federal government only makes up about 10 percent of the total education spending, this share is significant in every town budget. Schools need Washington’s money to provide basic services for its students, as states and localities have faced their own budget crises in recent years.
To understand the severe unfairness of these cuts, let’s start with a brief primer on federal education funding.
http://goo.gl/H2SWV

How school reform became the cause célèbre of billionaires
Washington Post commentary by Jack Schneider, an assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross

Educational reform was once the unromantic province of government bureaucrats and community organizers. Today it is the cause célèbre of billionaire philanthropists.
On the one hand, this is a major triumph for school improvement efforts. Deep-pocketed donors have brought unprecedented resources to the table and, with those resources, extraordinary public attention.
On the other hand, the rise of the billionaire reformer has made school improvement an outsider’s game. Making a case for “disruptive” change, philanthropies with names like Broad, Dell, Gates, Fisher, and Walton—working either directly, or through an infrastructure of nonprofit organizations and political action committees—have won unprecedented influence in the world of education. And in so doing, they have stigmatized state and district leadership, shown a surprising indifference to educational research, and framed school improvement as a process best pursued through common sense.
How did we get here?
http://goo.gl/uLHoR

Who’s afraid of big data?
Hechinger Report commentary by Aaron Pallas, Professor of Sociology and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University

Nestled in a dusty corner of my office sits a safe, which requires both a key and a combination to open. Inside the safe sits an external hard drive containing my only copy of encrypted confidential data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a federally funded research study that collected longitudinal data on the health behaviors of adolescents, their friendship networks and siblings, their schools, school transcripts, academic performance, school and community context, and, in later waves, some biological data derived from the analysis of blood, saliva and urine samples. I don’t use these biomarkers in my own research, so I don’t have those data—but I do have some of the survey and transcript data.
If I wish to analyze the data on my desktop computer, I must first remove the computer from my college’s network, unplugging the Ethernet cable and disabling any WiFi connectivity. The statistical software must reside solely on my desktop computer; it cannot reside on a network server. Furthermore, I have to configure the software to store any temporary files on the external hard drive, not the desktop computer’s hard drive. And if the computer is inactive for three minutes, the screensaver is activated, and I must enter a password to log in.
Even though these data files do not include the names of study participants, the design of the Add Health study increases the risk of deductive disclosure, which is when an individual’s identity and information can be identified through the use of information in the study itself, or when those data are combined with other publicly available information.
http://goo.gl/qcpZl

Reading, Writing and Video Games
New York Times op-ed by PAMELA PAUL, features editor and children’s books editor at The New York Times Book Review

WHEN I was a child, I liked to play video games. On my brother’s Atari, I played Night Driver. On his Apple II, I played Microwave, Aztec and Taipan! When I got to go to the arcade, I played Asteroids and Space Invaders.
Here’s what I learned: At a certain level on Microwave, the music from the bar scene in Star Wars comes on. If I am at the front line when aliens descend to Earth, we’ll all be in trouble. Also, dealing opium in the South China Sea is more lucrative than trading in commodities.
In short, I didn’t learn much of anything. My parents didn’t expect me to. I just had fun.
Today, educational technology boosters believe computer games (the classroom euphemism for video games) should be part of classroom lessons at increasingly early ages. The optimistic theory is that students wearied by the old pencil-and-paper routine will become newly enchanted with phonemic awareness when letters dressed as farm animals dance on a screen.
http://goo.gl/XWbts

Why Do We Suspend Misbehaving Students?
Don’t they want to go home?
Slate commentary by columnist Brian Palmer

Several schools have suspended children for joking about guns in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. A 7-year-old in Maryland was suspended for chewing a breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun, while others have received the same punishment for pointing their fingers like guns or using toy guns that blow bubbles. Suspension seems like a counterintuitive disciplinary tool, since many children would prefer to stay home from school, anyway. Why is suspension such a common punishment?
Because it’s familiar, cheap, and convenient. It’s also demonstrably ineffective. Its deterrent value is low: A 2011 study showed that Texas students who were suspended or expelled at least once during middle school and high school averaged four such disciplinary actions during their academic careers. Fourteen percent of them were suspended 11 times or more. Suspensions don’t even seem to benefit the school as a whole. In recent years, while Baltimore city schools have dramatically reduced suspensions, the dropout rate has been cut nearly in half.
Still, surveys consistently show that parents support suspension, because it keeps those students perceived as bad apples away from their peers.
http://goo.gl/vmqyX

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Rise of Latino Population Blurs US Racial Lines
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Welcome to the new off-white America.
A historic decline in the number of U.S. whites and the fast growth of Latinos are blurring traditional black-white color lines, testing the limits of civil rights laws and reshaping political alliances as “whiteness” begins to lose its numerical dominance.

The numbers already demonstrate that being white is fading as a test of American-ness:
-More U.S. babies are now born to minorities than whites, a milestone reached last year.
-More than 45 percent of students in kindergarten through 12th grade are minorities. The Census Bureau projects that in five years the number of nonwhite children will surpass 50 percent.
http://goo.gl/rgjBB

After Decade of Criticism, Student Grouping Rises
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Teachers say they are grouping students of similar abilities with each other inside classrooms and schools are clustering pupils with like interests together – a practice once frowned upon – according to a review of federal education surveys.
The Brookings Institution report released Monday shows a dramatic increase in both ability grouping and student tracking among fourth- and eighth-grade students. Those practices were once criticized as racist and faced strong opposition from groups as varied as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to the National Governors Association.
“Despite decades of vehement criticism and mountains of documents urging schools to abandon their use, tracking and ability grouping persist – and for the past decade or so, have thrived,” said Tom Loveless, a senior fellow at the centrist Brookings Institute’s Brown Center on Education Policy, who wrote the report.
http://goo.gl/NcPWp

http://goo.gl/tQHv0 (USAT)

A copy of the report
http://goo.gl/Zmwt0 (Brookings Institute)

Top Universities Will Help Train STEM Teachers
Scientific American

A group of Tier 1 research universities — the Stanfords, Harvards and MITs of the world – will join the White House-led effort to train 100,000 new math and science teachers by the year 2022. A $22.5 million gift from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), announced by the White House Monday morning, will make it possible to expand a successful teacher-training program called UTeach to 10 top research schools over the next five years. “Historically, Tier 1 universities have not been focused on turning out teachers through their science and math departments,” said Tom Luce, the founding CEO and chairman of the National Math and Science Initiative, the group that is leading the expansion effort, in an interview following Monday morning’s announcement. They are focused on turning out PhD students, and they will continue to do so, he said, but the gift will help emphasize that educating new teachers is a mission that all universities “need to embrace if we’re going to reach our goal.”
The mission of training 100,000 new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers originates from a 2010 report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, “Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) For America’s Future.” President Barack Obama first mentioned the goal in his 2011 State of the Union Address, saying, “over the next 10 years, with so many baby boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science and technology and engineering and math.”
http://goo.gl/icnmK

In Common Core, Teachers See Interdisciplinary Opportunities
Education Week

Educators around the country are exploring innovative ways to teach the new common-core literacy standards, and some are calling attention to an approach they say is working well: interdisciplinary thematic units.
Whether they’ve had these types of units in their repertoires for years or are just now jumping into such cross-curricular work, educators say the new standards support this type of teaching in several ways.
http://goo.gl/x85C5

The End of ‘No New Taxes’ in Minnesota
Stateline

ST. PAUL, Minn. – For more than a decade, one mantra dominated the state capitol here: No new taxes. It was the guiding principle of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the unofficial campaign slogan of the Republicans who swept into power in 2010, taking total control of the legislature for the first time in decades.
That era is over.
The 2012 elections ushered in a significantly altered political environment here, one that provided Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, elected in 2010, with friendly majorities in both chambers. For the first time since the 1980s, Democrats (known locally as DFLers, for Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) hold all three levers of power in the capitol.
Now the debate in this legislative session isn’t over whether to raise taxes, but by how much. More than that though, the DFLers in power see an opportunity. They talk of “reinvestment” and undoing what they see as the damage done by a decade of stagnant budgets and an outright refusal to raise taxes.
http://goo.gl/pf2Ml

Districts Find Youngest Students Among Most Absent
Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Teacher Hoa Mai is on the phone with a father whose daughter recently missed her 21st day of school six months into the academic year.
“The standards are so high now and she’s missing instructional time,” the attendance specialist urges while working her way through a list of chronically absent students.
She’s begun with some of the most notorious truants: 4-year-olds.
Educators say a district’s youngest students are often among those with the worst attendance, in many cases because public preschool is not mandatory and parents regard it as little more than babysitting.
http://goo.gl/wdALM

School district discriminated against gay students, ACLU alleges
In a letter from the ACLU, the Hesperia Unified School District is accused of discriminating against gay and lesbian students, including refusing to allow girls to wear tuxedos to the prom.
Los Angeles Times

A San Bernardino County school district allegedly discriminated against gay and lesbian students, including its apparent refusal to allow girls to wear tuxedos to the upcoming prom.
In a letter Monday from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the Hesperia Unified School District was notified that it faces legal action. The ACLU typically warns government agencies of impending litigation to give them time to make changes.
The letter makes specific allegations against the faculty and administration of Sultana High School. It recounts “persistent censorship” of activities and announcements by the Gay-Straight Alliance club.
http://goo.gl/KwwSE

Ohio teen wears ‘killer’ shirt, curses at victims’ families
Gunman shocks victims’ families by cursing at them, flipping a bird.
USA Today

CHARDON, Ohio — Wearing a T-shirt with “killer” scrawled across it, smirking and gesturing obscenely, a teen who killed three students and wounded three more was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without parole.
T.J. Lane, 18, had pleaded guilty last month on the anniversary of the Feb. 27, 2012, attack at Chardon High School, about 25 miles east of Cleveland.
As relatives of those killed addressed the court, Lane stared with a smirk on his face.
http://goo.gl/9Rxqw

Steubenville rape case driven by social media
USA Today

Even before the rape trial of two Steubenville, Ohio, teens, they had been convicted on social media. Text messages, photos and videos from a drunken party incriminated them.
Other teens at the party shared videos and comments about the victim on Facebook and Twitter, as well as via graphic text messages. Those postings spread beyond the high school students’ circle, with individuals and groups, such as the hackitivist collective Anonymous, publicizing the night’s events on the Internet.
“You were your own accuser, through the social media that you chose to publish your criminal conduct on,” the victim’s mother said Sunday to Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, after they were judged “delinquent” — the juvenile version of being convicted.
The courtroom has become a digital domain, with text messages and social media posts increasingly used as evidence. The growing use of smartphones and the rise of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook have helped prosecutors and defense lawyers make their cases.
“It’s the wave of the future,” says Harvard Law School professor and criminal defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz. “It’s going to change the way evidence is gathered in cases. It’s already happening.”
http://goo.gl/xD5tH

2 Girls Charged with Threatening Ohio Rape Victim
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Prosecutors in eastern Ohio have filed formal charges against two girls accused of posting online threats against a 16-year-old rape victim.
The two teenage girls are being held without bond in the Jefferson County detention center in Steubenville, as is customary for juveniles.
The girls were charged Tuesday with intimidation of a victim, telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing.
http://goo.gl/rxg9K

Ind. School, Expelled Girls Reach Settlement
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Three Indiana girls who discussed which classmates they would like to kill in Facebook posts adorned with smiley faces and LOLs have reached a settlement with the school district that expelled them for violating an anti-bullying policy.
American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana attorney Gavin Rose, who sued Griffith Public Schools on the girls’ behalf, said Tuesday he could not discuss the details of the settlement because it was confidential.
Rose declined to say whether there was a cash settlement, but he did say the girls, who were expelled during eight grade, returned to Griffith Public Schools for their freshman year of high school last fall.
http://goo.gl/F3SEY

Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith Lobbies for Music Education in Washington
‘They have the power to do something good here for every kid’
Rolling Stone

Long before Condoleezza Rice, Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee or John Kerry took up politics, they picked up a musical instrument. As a senator, Trent Lott formed a barbershop quartet, and the late senator Robert Byrd played a mean fiddle. Yet while music education planted these seeds, its funding seldom survives the very politicians it inspired. This week, during a visit to Washington, D.C., Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith will lobby members of Congress to spare the blade on music funding in public schools.
On Tuesday, Smith will join jazz guitarist Bernie Williams on behalf of the National Association of Music Merchants to demand a stronger national presence for music instruction in the classroom. Their visit comes one week after Senate Democrats and House Republicans released opposing budgets, and at a time when the National Education Association union expects the sequester to slice more than $4 billion in spending from the Department of Education and Head Start.
http://goo.gl/QjvAr

Wash. Students: Pot More Popular than Cigarettes
Associated Press

SEATTLE — Washington high school students who participated in a statewide survey say they are twice as likely to smoke marijuana as cigarettes, and the state’s top health official said Thursday she’s worried that a new marijuana law may make prevention efforts more difficult.
High school smoking has decreased significantly across the state, with cigarette smoking down in grades 6, 8, 10 and 12, but the number of high school students who believe using marijuana is risky is also at a low point, health officials said after releasing the 2012 survey results.
More than half of 10th graders said it is easy to get marijuana and about 19 percent said they smoked marijuana within 30 days of the survey. About 27 percent of 12th graders said they smoked pot.
http://goo.gl/2T8nl

Malala Yousafzai achieves her ‘dream’ of going back to school in Birmingham
Just months after being shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for education rights the teenager completed her first day at Edgbaston High School for Girls.
Birmingham (UK) Mail

Malala Yousafzai attends her first day of school just weeks after being released from hospital
It was the day her parents and family thought they would never see.
Brave teenager Malala Yousafzai achieving her ‘‘dream’’ of going back to school, in her new home city of Birmingham.
The 15-year-old completed her first day at Edgbaston High School for Girls, just months after being shot by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan after campaigning for education rights for females.
http://goo.gl/WPXpi

Former NBA great Adrian Dantley works as crossing guard in Montgomery Co.
(Washington, DC) WTOP

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Former NBA star and Olympian Adrian Dantley is spending his time off the court, out of the gym and in the middle of the street as a crossing guard for Montgomery County Public Schools.
Dantley, who grew up in the area and played for DeMatha High School and Notre Dame before going pro, says he realizes it’s an unexpected choice.
“All I do is work out and lift weights all the time. I was in the weight room and a couple guys were talking saying, ‘Man, I tell you what’s a good job? A couple of my friends’ wives they’re crossing guards.’ So I heard them and I said, ‘That’s something I want to do,'” Dantley says.
He works an hour a day at Eastern Middle School and New Hampshire Estates Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md.
Dantley spent most of his career with the Utah Jazz and the Detroit Pistons before working as a coach for the Denver Nuggets. He led the U.S. team in scoring in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
http://goo.gl/pXThL

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CALENDAR
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USOE Calendar
http://tinyurl.com/5x9oh9

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

March 20:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
2:30 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspxpr

March 28:
Utah Foundation’s 1013 Annual Meeting
11:30 a.m., 500 South Main, Salt Lake City
http://www.utahfoundation.org/reports/?page_id=665

April 11:
Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://goo.gl/Mu36l

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