Education News Roundup: Oct. 22, 2014

2013 Healthy STEM 5K and STEM Fair

2013 Healthy STEM 5K and STEM Fair

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:


Park Records looks at incoming State Superintendent Brad Smith. (PR)


Legislative audit finds a high recidivism rate in Utah’s juvenile justice system. (SLT)

and (SLT)

or a copy of the audit


New CDC report shows 4.4 percent of Utah’s kindergarteners (or 2,406 kids) weren’t immunized during the 2013-14 school year. That’s quite a bit above the national median of 1.8 percent, but quite a bit below some of our neighboring states, e.g., Idaho at 6.4 and Oregon at (a nation leading) 7.1 percent. (Science 2.0)

or a copy of the report (CDC)


NEA and AFT are spending more in elections across the country. (Ed Week)


Quote of the day: “Even though standardized test scores don’t measure even a fraction of what we want good schools to do, look at scores over time. Forty years ago, 9- and 13-year-olds were scoring much lower, and let’s include the fact that there may have been less diversity in that initial group than there is now. We know that special education students or low-income students or English language learners are going to score lower on tests, so their scores are all going up, on state tests across time, at least on average. All the evidence points in the direction that we have a fairer and more effective system that is probably more focused on student achievement than it once was.” — Jack Schneider, assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross. (Vox)













Questions surrounds Utah’s new top education official He defends his record at previous job


More than half of Utah’s youth offenders return to detention Recidivism » More than half of young criminals return to detention — much higher rate than neighboring states.


Preschool program expands in Utah


Sevier School District changing how area schools are scheduled


Special assembly held to promote STEM education


Utah students head to the Capitol for practical lessons in politics


Columbine victim’s example motivates West Haven school


Two Utah schools recognized for academic excellence


Enrollment flat in schools


Work of two Utah students featured in national exhibit


AFHS student invited to nationwide band


9-year-old Utah boy honored for life-saving pool rescue


Winners of ‘UDOT’s Walk More in Four’ challenge surprised with prizes


Anti-pornography group teams with schools to ‘Fight the New Drug’


Sky View Idol set for Wednesday






Smith a curious schools choice


Dropouts face high risk of personal, social problems


A la carte education


Keep Warner on state board


Vote Bagley for Cache ed board


The Building Blocks of a Good Pre-K


Classroom technology can make learning more dangerous, and that’s a good thing


A New Breed of Journalism

Education coverage is on the rise


But Are All The New Ed-Focused Outlets Really *Helping*?






Teachers’ Unions to Spend More Than Ever in State, Local Elections


A Republican Senate Means Changing the Chairmen


Nation’s Wealthy Places Pour Private Money Into Public Schools, Study Finds


US public schools are better than they’ve ever been


Blended Families Pose Challenges for States


Ebola Risk to Schools Low, Experts Say


Appeals Court Rejects Police Handcuffing of Elementary Student


School to parents: Does your son have to be Buddhist?

Across the US, especially in the rural South, parents say their kids endure school-sanctioned religious activity


New Jersey school board suspends five coaches in hazing scandal


Maine Principals’ Association exploring Sunday availability for high school postseason makeup games, meets


Noble prize winner Malala Yousafzai renews call for education for all








Questions surrounds Utah’s new top education official He defends his record at previous job


After a highly publicized search for a new state superintendent, the Utah State Board of Education has found its man. On Friday it handed the job to Brad Smith, who has served since 2011 as superintendent of the Ogden School District.

Local superintendents met the news with relief the position has been filled, but also with a dose of caution, as they acknowledged that controversy surrounded Smith during much of his tenure in Ogden.

After a period of upheaval in the state office — beginning with the abrupt resignations of former State Superintendent Martell Menlove and Deputy Superintendent Brenda Hales in August — both Park City School District Superintendent Ember Conley and North Summit School District Superintendent Jerre Holmes were pleased that public education in the state finally has a permanent leader. They hope it offers the education system some much-needed stability.

“It’s been a very hard transition time,” Conley said. ” Having a leader that is able to oversee the broad scope of the goals of the State Office of Education, it’s a very needed leadership position.”

However, there is also uncertainty surrounding Smith’s appointment. Smith, who practiced law before taking over in Ogden, does not have a background as an educator. Holmes said that made him a surprising choice to lead the state’s public education. (PR)





More than half of Utah’s youth offenders return to detention Recidivism » More than half of young criminals return to detention — much higher rate than neighboring states.


Utah’s rate of recidivism — return to incarceration — for juvenile offenders is a staggering 53.1 percent, costing taxpayers millions while falling short of the goal to reshape the lives of many troubled youths.

Utah’s recidivism rate is significantly higher than those of Colorado, Idaho and Arizona, which are 28.7 percent, 30.4 percent and 33.4 percent, respectively, according to a Utah Legislative Auditor General’s review of the Department of Human Services (DHS) released Tuesday.

Juvenile Justice Services is within DHS and oversees offenders younger than 18. The audit states that youth-offender recidivism cost the state $16.8 million in 2013.

In 2013, Juvenile Justice Services managed 901 young offenders at a total cost of $91 million. (SLT) (SLT)


A copy of the audit





Preschool program expands in Utah


ST. GEORGE – Expanding its reaches to homes without Internet, UPSTART is partnering with CenturyLink to help provide families with preschool-age children the opportunity to enroll in the online-based preschool program.

The Waterford Institute, a nonprofit research institute, offers its early-childhood education curriculum UPSTART to nearly 5,000 families in Utah.

By partnering with CenturyLink, UPSTART’s overall costs can decrease by $100,000 due to the lowered cost of Internet services and hardware cost savings, which means upwards of 150 new enrollment opportunities for Utah children, said Claudia Miner, UPSTART director. (SGS)




Sevier School District changing how area schools are scheduled


The way students in high school and middle school schedule classes is going to change in Sevier School District next year.

Currently, at Richfield and North Sevier high schools, as well as at middle schools in the district, students attend seven 50-minute classes during a typical school day. However, since school started in August, South Sevier High School has been piloting a new scheduling structure, which is going to be implemented district wide in fall 2015.

Students at SSHS have been attending five 70-minute classes each day, or a 5×5 block. The classes are broken into two sections, meaning students attend certain classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and different classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. (Richfield Reaper)




Special assembly held to promote STEM education


HOLLADAY — Former NFL and BYU linebacker Bryan Kehl spoke to hundreds of students Tuesday about the importance of having an education in science, technology, engineering and math.

As part of the first STEM Utah school assembly at Olympus High School, Kehl said he wanted to raise the excitement for those disciplines because that’s where the jobs are. (DN) (KUER)





Utah students head to the Capitol for practical lessons in politics


Salt Lake City, Utah – The Capitol served as classroom for the day for hundreds of AP Government and History students.

Kolin Knowles from Sky View High School is one of an estimated 160 students who traveled to the Capitol Tuesday for practical lessons in politics.

“It’s actually seeing what actually goes down instead of just talking about it. It’s easier to relate to and understand,” said Knowles.

It’s all part of the 10th Annual Education Conference hosted by Representative Rob Bishop. (KTVX)




Columbine victim’s example motivates West Haven school


WEST HAVEN — When Rachel Joy Scott was around 13 years old, she pushed her chest of drawers away from the wall and traced her hands on the back of it. Inside of the outline she wrote, “These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott, and will someday touch millions of people’s hearts.”

Her parents didn’t know what she’d done until about five years after her death, and by then Rachel’s prediction had come true.

Rachel Scott was the first student killed in Colorado’s Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999. She had predicted that as well, writing in her journal on May 2, 1998, “This will be my last year, Lord, I have gotten what I can. Thank you.”

“After her death, her parents found out about her mission in life to start a chain reaction of kindness,” said Nicole Meibos, principal of Rocky Mountain Junior High School, in West Haven. (OSE)





Two Utah schools recognized for academic excellence


Two Utah schools were recently recognized for their academic excellence by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

On Sept. 30, Duncan named 337 schools — 287 public and 50 private — as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Lakeridge Jr. High in Orem and Lincoln Elementary in Hyrum were among those listed. (PDH)





Enrollment flat in schools


Overall student enrollment in the San Juan School District remained steady in the past year, but there are some dramatic changes in area communities. The annual enrollment count is made on October 1. The numbers were discussed at the October 14 meeting of the San Juan School Board.

There were 3,021 students enrolled in the district on October 1. This is eight students more than one year earlier, when the count was 3,013 students.

The school district operates a dozen schools throughout the county. (San Juan Record)




Work of two Utah students featured in national exhibit


SALT LAKE CITY — Having her artwork viewed in exhibits in Utah, New York and Rhode Island isn’t something Savannah Peterson could have anticipated.

“It’s really just shocking to know that so many people will be seeing something that I made myself,” said Peterson, a senior at Juab High School.

Her artwork is now touring the country along with another Utahn’s work and that of 128 other winners as part of the Art.Write.Now.Tour.

The tour makes a stop Wednesday at the Salt Lake Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, and remain on display there until Nov. 19. The exhibit is free. (DN)





AFHS student invited to nationwide band


An American Fork High School senior has new plans for the December holiday season this year.

Jacob Baldwin is heading to San Antonio to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. The group is 125 strong, chosen from more than 4,000 who auditioned for the honor. According to John Miller, the AFHS director of bands, Baldwin is the only student chosen from Utah this year. He plays the alto saxophone. (PDH)




9-year-old Utah boy honored for life-saving pool rescue


Nine-year old Max Moffat was recognized Tuesday by Unified Fire Authority officials for his quick action in rescuing his 5-year old brother Miles from a potential near drowning incident earlier this summer. On July 18 at the Fox Point at Old Farm Apartment Complex in Salt Lake County, Max, who is “not a super swimmer” according to his mother, was able to locate and bring the younger boy to the surface after he slipped underwater at a swimming party. Following this close call, details emerged indicating that this was not the first time Max had acted promptly to impact those around him. Only weeks earlier, Max helped a toddler who had inverted in a flotation device at the pool. In recognition of Fire Prevention Month, following the presentation Max was transported to his school, Ascent Academy of Utah, in a UFA Fire Engine where a fire safety class was taught to his classmates by members of UFA. (SLT) (DN) (KSL)





Winners of ‘UDOT’s Walk More in Four’ challenge surprised with prizes


SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Some students at Nibley Park School in Salt Lake City received surprise gifts from the Utah Department of Transportation.

The gifts are all part of the UDOT Snap Program’s “Walk More in Four” statewide challenge which encourages  kids K-8 to walk or bike to school the month of September. Tuesday five of those winners were presented with their prize in class by UDOT and the Good 4 Utah team. (KTVX)





Anti-pornography group teams with schools to ‘Fight the New Drug’


TAYLORSVILLE — How do you reach young kids when it comes to talking about sensitive topics like pornography and the harmful effects of watching it? Crusaders at a Utah-based nonprofit group believe they have the answer.

Fight the New Drug was co-founded by Clay Olsen with the goal of educating teenagers about the harmful effects a pornography addiction can have on their lives and on society as a whole. (KSL) (KSTU)




Sky View Idol set for Wednesday


Sky View High School is hosting Sky View Idol at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the school’s auditorium. The school’s top 12 singers/performers will compete against each other and winners will be determined by the audience texting in their vote. Tickets cost $5 and the event is open to the public. (LHJ)









Smith a curious schools choice

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial


Brad Smith, the still relatively new superintendent of the Ogden School District, will soon be Utah’s head of public schools. By an 8-7 margin, the Utah State Board of Education gave him the job. It’s a curious choice. Smith will be taking over a job that requires a leader who listens to diverse viewpoints and will have to show deference to others with influence on how the state runs its public education system.

In Ogden, he did not have to demonstrate those characteristics. With a very supportive Ogden school board, Smith was able to utilize a my-way-or-the-highway approach to governance. He’s had some success; test scores have improved so far. On the other hand, he’s very unpopular among many educators, who regard him as condescend­ing and dismissive.

That is a concern. What message is the state school board sending by hiring Smith?





Dropouts face high risk of personal, social problems Deseret News editorial


New research by the University of Utah underscores the importance of policies in the public education system aimed at helping at-risk students avoid dropping out before they get a high school diploma. Research by the College of Law found that failure to graduate is a precursor to larger personal and social problems, including a higher rate of criminal activity.

Specifically, the university found one out of every three inmates at the Utah State Prison is a high school dropout, and those who fail to graduate are 3.5 times more likely than graduates to end up incarcerated for committing a crime. The statistics should grab and hold the attention of everyone involved in setting public education policy.

It may be easy to write off the numbers as evidence that a certain number of students fall into the incorrigible category and are destined to fail in school and end up in an environment that fosters criminality. But the research clearly shows a correlation between school disciplinary policies and dropout rates and that students of ethnic and racial minority status, and for whom English is a second language, tend to be more likely to face disciplinary actions.





A la carte education

Commentary by Charter Solutions President Lincoln Fillmore


How customizable should public education be?  In some states, you can go to the public school you’re assigned to, and that’s it.  In others, you can choose a charter or another neighborhood school.  Utah really is a leader in allowing students to tailor their education. We have very open ruels regarding enrollment, even allowing students to choose between schools within districts, across districts, or charter schools.  The state has about 30 accredited online education options, including those in charters and districts.  The Statewide Online Education Program allows students to attend one school most of the time, but then take classes at other schools at a distance.

Now comes a proposal that would greatly expand the a la carte nature of public education, allowing students to order off the vast menu of public education options.  Rep. Brian Greene’s bill would create a pilot program to provide a small number (1,000) of students an Education Savings Account that they could use to pick and choose which classes they want to take from which source to fully customize the educational options to their goals, pace, and interests.





Keep Warner on state board

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Julie Benson


I am writing to support Terryl Warner for State School Board. While I appreciate that technology is important in our classrooms, we have other problems to solve that won’t be fixed by technology. Terryl has been willing to listen to her constituents.





Vote Bagley for Cache ed board

(Logan Herald Journal letter from Gordon and Irene Allred


We add our names to those supporting the election of Randall Bagley to the Cache School Board representing North Logan, River Heights and Providence.




The Building Blocks of a Good Pre-K

New York Times op-ed by SHAEL POLAKOW-SURANSKY, president of Bank Street College, and NANCY NAGER, Bank Street College professor of education and child development


WITH the introduction of universal pre-K in New York City, we have created a new entry point into our public school system. This raises a key question: What do we want our children’s first experiences in school to be? What does a good education look like for 4-year-olds?

This summer, Bank Street College of Education led training for 4,000 of New York’s pre-K teachers, including both veterans and hundreds of people who started teaching pre-K for the first time last month. Worried teachers talked about how the pressure to achieve good outcomes on the third-grade state exams has been trickling down to early childhood classrooms in the form of work sheets, skill drills and other developmentally inappropriate methods.

The problem is real, and it is not unique to New York City




Classroom technology can make learning more dangerous, and that’s a good thing Hechinger Report commentary by Greg Toppo, author of the forthcoming book The Game Believes in You: How Digital Play Can Make Our Kids Smarter


Steve Jobs once called the personal computer “a bicycle for our minds,” a tool that helps us go farther with the same amount of energy. But for many teachers, it has been a bumpy ride. Educators have long held new technology at arm’s length, and probably for good reason: For more than a century, they have looked on as reformers pushed a series of mostly ill-fated technical innovations, each touted as the Next Big Thing. The latest movement to add more technology into classrooms is repeating the same mistakes, focusing on how tech can help teachers by churning out more data about students, saving time and raising test scores.

Here’s a crazy idea: What if we focused less on selling technology to teachers by convincing them it makes learning more efficient, and more on how computers, like a bicycle, might make learning a little more dangerous?

I’ve been working for the past few years on a book about games and learning, and I’ve begun to see that part of their appeal for teachers is how games persuade kids to take risks.




A New Breed of Journalism

Education coverage is on the rise

Education Next commentary by Michael J. Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute


The conventional wisdom is that the news business is in a death spiral, taking with it serious reporting about all manner of public policy issues. But all hope is not lost, for there’s been a recent, and in my view, surprising revival of education reporting, a resurrection driven by a new breed of journalism (see Figure 1).

Some of these new outlets produce so much education content—much of it quite wonky—that they should now be considered part of the trade press. That’s certainly the case for both Politico Pro and Chalkbeat. Politico Pro, which launched its education coverage in the summer of 2013, pumps out loads of ministories, and at least a handful of meaty ones, almost every day, plus its “Morning Education” newsletter, which lands in the in-boxes of the powerful and influential. Chalkbeat, the result of a merger between New York City’s GothamSchools and EdNews Colorado (with outlets in Indiana and Tennessee, too), is a grant-funded entity committed to doing regular, in-depth reporting in a given location—a geographically based Education Week, if you will. The Hechinger Report and StateImpact are cousins of these news outlets. Hechinger places national, long-form stories in prominent publications across the country; StateImpact taps into the infrastructure of National Public Radio affiliates in Florida, Indiana, and Ohio to go deep in their home states (on education and other issues).

Then there are the more ideological outlets: Huffington Post on the left and the Daily Caller on the right.





But Are All The New Ed-Focused Outlets Really *Helping*?

Scholastic commentary by columnist Alexander Russo


Fordham’s Mike (“Kojak”) Petrilli has a new piece online this morning (Online education coverage is on the rise) over at Education Next (which I sometimes write for), taking a look at the “new breed” of education journalism out there over the past year or so.

What’s new, or missing, or wrong in the Petrilli piece?

Clearly someone with access to Politico Pro, Petrilli notes that in addition to Morning Education the outlet “pumps out loads of ministories, and at least a handful of meaty ones, almost every day.”

Anyone else seen these pieces, and if they’re so influential why aren’t they getting passed around?









Teachers’ Unions to Spend More Than Ever in State, Local Elections Education Week


Deep-pocketed teachers’ unions, hoping to affect education policy at the state and local levels, are expecting to pour more money into those campaigns in the 2014 midterm elections than ever before.

With the express mission of unseating Republican governors and flipping control of conservative state legislatures—legacies of the GOP tide in 2010—the two national unions, in particular, are taking a page out of the playbook of some newer and smaller education advocacy groups: Focus on down-ballot candidates and work up to the top ticket.

Spending on state races isn’t new for the teachers’ unions, which are still putting millions of dollars into federal races, particularly the slew of U.S. Senate contests expected to decide control of that chamber.

But the National Education Association, which plans to spend about $40 million during this election cycle, is aiming to direct a record-setting 70 percent of that amount—or $28 million—to state and local races. The American Federation of Teachers, which is expected to spend about $20 million, has the same strategy, though it hasn’t made public exactly what proportion is being directed to state vs. federal races.





A Republican Senate Means Changing the Chairmen Associated Press


WASHINGTON — If Republicans win the Senate, the Pentagon should brace for constant grilling from Sen. John McCain, who has found fault with nearly every aspect of President Barack Obama’s national security policies.

McCain would be on tap to serve as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee if the GOP wrests majority control from the Democrats in next month’s midterm elections. The senator who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential election has never suffered fools – or equivocating witnesses – gladly, and he would be certain to use his new perch for tough questioning about Iraq, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and military spending.

A Republican majority would usher in major changes in committee leadership, with political opposites replacing the current Democratic chairmen and setting a markedly different agenda from the past eight years of Democratic control. The size of a Republican majority would determine committee ratios and budgets; more seats in the Senate translate into a greater advantage on the panels.

HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR AND PENSIONS: Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander has said he wants to cut the Department of Education budget and return money to the states while rolling back federal assessments of schools. Alexander also would work to undo parts of the health care law if he replaces retiring Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa.




Nation’s Wealthy Places Pour Private Money Into Public Schools, Study Finds New York Times


From bake sales to gala auctions, private groups are raising an increasing amount of money for public schools in wealthier communities, highlighting concerns about inequality.

In Coronado, Calif., a wealthy enclave off the coast of San Diego, for example, local education groups, which support about 3,200 students in five schools, raised more than $1,500 per student in 2010. These private funds helped pay for arts and music classes at all grade levels, sports medicine courses at the high school and a digital media academy at the middle school, where students are learning animation and designing buildings with 3-D printers.

By contrast, the combined fund-raising of groups affiliated with schools in the San Diego Unified School District — where the median household income is about two-thirds that of Coronado — amounted to $19.57 per student.

That pattern was repeated across the country, according to a new study that found nonprofits organized by parents and community leaders more than tripled in number and more than quadrupled the dollars they generated between 1995 and 2010. Communities with higher median incomes were more likely to have these fund-raising groups in the first place and, perhaps not surprisingly, more likely to raise more money per student than those in less affluent neighborhoods.


A copy of the study (Social Science Research Network)





US public schools are better than they’ve ever been Vox


Polls about education in the US quickly find a paradox: most people like their neighborhood schools, but they think education as a whole in the US is going downhill. Everyone thinks their neighborhood school is the exception, not the rule.

Jack Schneider, an assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross, makes another argument. He says there’s never been a better time to be a student in American public schools, which educate a broader swathe of the population more successfully than ever before. We talked about his argument and about the dominance of the crisis narrative in education. Our conversation has been edited slightly for clarity and length.




Blended Families Pose Challenges for States Stateline


The Great Recession walloped almost every segment of American society. Millions lost their jobs, homes and businesses. Families lost trillions in household wealth. But a new study by a U.S. Census demographer finds that one group was hit hardest by the big downturn: “multiple-partner fertility” families, or families in which a woman has conceived children by more than one man.

The number of families with multiple-partner fertility, or MPF, is growing across all class and education levels. But they are more likely to be poor, uneducated and minority. They are people who have started life with significant disadvantages—and they tend to stay disadvantaged.

The complexity of their lives poses interesting challenges for state policy. A few state legislators are just starting to grapple with how to best help these families, from tweaking child support requirements to encouraging fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives.


A copy of the study (Census Bureau)




Ebola Risk to Schools Low, Experts Say

Education Week


Even as worries about Ebola have prompted school closings and other K-12 precautions in recent weeks, medical experts are advising school officials to take a measured approach in response to the handful of U.S. cases of the virus.

Districts in Solon, Ohio, and Belton, Texas, closed several schools after learning that students or staff members were either on the same flight or had flown on the same plane as one of two Dallas nurses who became sick with the virus this month after treating the United States’ first Ebola patient. The nurse had not yet shown symptoms or been diagnosed with the virus.

And the Akron, Ohio, district closed one elementary school after learning that a student’s parent may have had contact with the nurse while she was in the area.

But infectious-disease experts and public-health officials say those closings, and steps taken elsewhere by education officials to approve emergency-closure protocols for schools far from any Ebola cases, go beyond what is necessary.





CDC: Mississippi Leads US In Vaccination Coverage Among Kindergarten Children Science 2.0


State and local vaccination requirements for school entry seek to protect schoolchildren from vaccine-preventable diseases.  But not all parents agree medicine is a good thing and the newest CDC results show what states are leading and what states are lagging in protection for kids.

Each year, to assess state and national vaccination coverage and exemption levels as children enter kindergarten, CDC analyzes school vaccination data collected by federally funded state, local, and territorial immunization programs. Their new report analyzed vaccination coverage in 49 states and the District of Columbia (DC) and vaccination exemption rates in 46 states and DC for children enrolled in kindergarten during the 2013–14 school year.


A copy of the report (CDC)




Appeals Court Rejects Police Handcuffing of Elementary Student Education Week


A federal appeals court has upheld most of a jury verdict against two police officers and the city of Sonora, Calif., in the handcuffing and transport of an 11-year-old student who was unresponsive to a school official at recess.

An en banc panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled 7-4 that the two officers did not have qualified immunity over handcuffing the student identified as C.B., who had failed to take his medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder on what the student later called a “rough day.”

“It is beyond dispute that handcuffing a small, calm child who is surrounded by numerous adults, who complies with all of the officers’ instructions, and who is, by an officer’s own account, unlikely to flee, was completely unnecessary and excessively intrusive,” U.S. Circuit Judge Richard A. Paez wrote for the majority.

However, a different 7-4 lineup of the court ruled that the officers who responded to a call from school officials were entitled to immunity over a claim that their seizure of C.B. on the playground violated the boy’s Fourth Amendment rights. (San Francisco Chronicle)


A copy of the ruling (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)




School to parents: Does your son have to be Buddhist?

Across the US, especially in the rural South, parents say their kids endure school-sanctioned religious activity Aljazeera America


NEGREET, La. — Shortly after the start of the last school year, Sharon Lane said it became a fight to get her son out of the house.

“Every day, driving the same route … he would get upset and tell me, ‘Pull over, I’m going to throw up,’” Lane recalled. “What the kicker was is when he told me that he’d rather die than go to school.”

As their once well-adjusted son grew increasingly despondent, the Lanes were mystified. Then his stepsister Anna Lane, who was in the same science class, mentioned their tests.

Those tests routinely featured the question, “Isn’t it amazing what the _____ has made!!!” Fill in the word “Lord” and get extra credit.

She said she saw the science teacher stand over C.C. (“America Tonight” agreed not to us his real name) and berate him for not knowing what to put in the blank.

“She called him stupid,” Anna said, “because he believed another religion and he didn’t know all about Christianity.”

Every year, the ACLU receives dozens of reports from across the country of public schools possibly violating the separation of church and state. And more often than not, according to the ACLU, it’s the activity of evangelical Christians that treads constitutional lines.




New Jersey school board suspends five coaches in hazing scandal Reuters


SAYREVILLE N.J. – New Jersey school officials voted on Tuesday to suspend five high school coaches in a locker-room hazing scandal that has led to criminal sex abuse charges against teen football players.

Head coach George Najjar and four coaching assistants at Sayreville War Memorial High School were officially suspended by the Sayreville Board of Education during a raucous meeting in which dozens of parents, students and alumni voiced their strong support for the coaching staff.

“We love Coach Najjar!” a woman shouted during the meeting, her comment drawing applause from the audience.

Brandon Hoyte, who graduated from Sayreville and went on to become captain the football team at the University of Notre Dame, was among those who praised Najjar. (AP)





Maine Principals’ Association exploring Sunday availability for high school postseason makeup games, meets Bangor (ME) Daily News


The Maine Principals’ Association is exploring the possibility of using Sunday as a makeup date for postseason games and meets.

“We’re certainly not at the point where we’re going to make a proposal, but we’re discussing it,” said Dick Durost, executive director of the Maine Principals’ Association, the governing body of the state’s high school sports.

Durost attended a meeting of administrators from Section 1 states, which included the six New England states, New York and New Jersey, and found Maine is the only state that “totally prohibits any kind of Sunday play.”

“The other states have some form of it,” he said.

However, he said there wasn’t one specific ideology shared by the others.




Noble prize winner Malala Yousafzai renews call for education for all Reuters


PHILADELPHIA – Malala Yousafzai, the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, renewed her call for world peace and universal education on Tuesday at a ceremony in which she was awarded the Liberty Medal.

“No girl, no child, anywhere, anywhere in this world should be deprived of education,” said Yousafzai, who is 17.

The Liberty Medal honors people who “strive to secure the blessings of liberty,” according to the website of the National Constitution Center, which presents the award each year in Philadelphia.

The medal comes with a $100,000 cash prize, which Yousafzai said she would donate to education and humanitarian relief efforts in her native Pakistan.













USOE Calendar



UEN News



October 29:

Education Task Force

1 p.m., 210 Senate Building



November 7:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City



November 13:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City



November 18:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

1 p.m., 210 Senate Building



November 19:

Education Interim Committee meeting

2:30 p.m., 30 House Building


Related posts:

Comments are closed.