Education News Roundup: Jan. 2, 2015

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:Alternative Fuels Symposium

 

Highways-to-schools funding shift comes under scrutiny on the Hill.

http://go.uen.org/2Nj (SLT)

Standard looks at Davis’ new diploma.

http://go.uen.org/2Nz (OSE)

Logan School District looks for ways to boost ACT scores.

http://go.uen.org/2NE (LHJ)

President Obama’s budget includes a $3.6 billion increase for the U.S. Department of Education.

http://go.uen.org/2No (WSJ)

and http://go.uen.org/2Np (WaPo)

and http://go.uen.org/2Nq (Ed Week)

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Lawmakers question governor’s highways-to-schools funding shift

 

Clean Air Bill to Replace Dirty School Buses Advances

 

Bill could end expensive court battles for public records

 

Van Tassell make education top priority

 

New diploma lowers credits to graduate

 

Logan City School District looks for ways to raise ACT scores

 

Jordan School Board votes to put 2 schools on traditional calendar

 

Ex-employee alleges waste at troubled state agency

 

Utah School and Institutional Trust seeks director to lead new investment office

 

Top-achieving Weber High senior headed to Washington

 

Balanced technology use, screen time encouraged for children

 

Charter students celebrate their choice in education with Utah lawmakers

 

Lee, Messer introduce bill to give parents more control over K-12 education decisions

 

Saratoga Springs Sage Hills Elementary suspects use Kindle tablets for archery practice

 

LEGO robots battle to the finish

 

Farnsworth Elementary students read books to see bulls

 

Local teens get a taste of Sundance

 

In football they trust: Polynesians’ pipeline to the American dream

 

National School Counseling Week recognizes counselors

 

CenturyLink, Utah Jazz Join with STEM Utah to Honor Students for Innovation Awards CenturyLink to Donate $10,000 to STEM Education

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Utah leaders waste time bashing the feds Anti-federal bromides don’t help.

 

Businesses can become schools by linking workplace learning with classwork learning

 

Don’t overstate the threat of abuse in Utah schools

 

Recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases

 

Schools have potholes, too

 

Education investments

 

Modesty vs. objectification

 

Virtual Schools Bring Real Concerns About Quality

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

Obama’s Proposed Budget Seeks More for Education President’s Pitch Includes Funding for Free Community College, Expanding Preschool

 

U.S. Teacher-Prep Rules Face Heavy Criticism in Public Comments

 

Vaccine Critics Turn Defensive Over Measles

 

Should GED lead to a diploma? District considers changing policy to help outcomes

 

Do U.S. Teachers Really Teach More Hours?

 

With New Mobile Apps, States Engage Citizens Via Smartphone

 

Wyoming House approves bill allowing guns in schools

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Lawmakers question governor’s highways-to-schools funding shift

 

Lawmakers wondered aloud Friday how Gov. Gary Herbert can pull off an apparent magic budget trick.

Herbert wants to take $94.2 million a year in sales-tax revenue that now goes to transportation and give it instead to education — all the while saying the transfer won’t delay any ongoing highway projects.

Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, co-chairman of a legislative budget committee, pushed highway officials in a hearing Friday about whether the switch can really be done without impacting needed roadwork.

He was told that work going on now would be fine, but the transfer would slow future projects unless the funds were replaced by another source — such as raising the gasoline tax, a topic under discussion in the Legislature.

http://go.uen.org/2Nj (SLT)

 

 


 

 

 

Clean Air Bill to Replace Dirty School Buses Advances

 

A bill proposed by Representative Steve Handy (Republican – Layton) that would provide funding to replace “dirty diesel” school buses with environmentally friendly buses was unanimously passed out of the House Transportation Committee with a favorable recommendation Thursday afternoon.

Under HB 49 – Clean Fuel School Buses and Infrastructure, which was substituted to include additional fuel options, the State Board of Education would be allowed to award grants to school districts to replace aging, fuel-inefficient school buses that were manufactured prior to 2002. The new buses would be equipped with alternative or “clean” diesel fuel.

http://go.uen.org/2NI (Utah Political Capitol)

 

 


 

 

 

Bill could end expensive court battles for public records

 

Costly court appeals are a reality for many people seeking access to government records in Utah, but that might soon change.

A new measure being drafted at the State Capitol would give all appeals for public records the ability to have their case heard by the State Records Committee. Utah Attorney Jeff Hunt is working with Sen. Curtis Bramble (R-Provo) to write and present the bill during the current legislative session.

“It just doesn’t seem right that the very government body that denied you access is the one that’s going to be hearing your appeal,” Hunt said.

http://go.uen.org/2NJ (KUTV)

 

 


 

 

 

Van Tassell make education top priority

 

SALT LAKE CITY – Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal, has been a member of the Utah Legislature since November 2006. Van Tassell represents District 26, which includes Daggett, Duchesne, Summit, Uintah, and Wasatch counties.

Senator Van Tassell has a passion for the Utah Legislature, he said, his own trip to see the legislature as an elementary school student. “That kind of sparked me and I thought about it as something that would be good to do at some time,” He said. “It ended up the opportunity came along [and] it’s been a good experience.”

Education was one of Van Tassell’s main platforms during his campaign and he intends to make it a priority. “There is no greater investment the state can make than in the preparation of those kids who will be our future workforce and our future leaders.”

http://go.uen.org/2NS (Capital West News)

 

 


 

 

New diploma lowers credits to graduate

 

FARMINGTON — One hundred and seventeen students in Davis School District were staring down the road to a future with no high school diploma, but they have received the new district diploma, which allows select students to graduate with fewer credit hours.

The standard high school diploma requires 27 credits, but the state minimum standard and the new district diploma require only 24.

The students were screened out by each school’s case management team made up of school counselors and administrators, who identified students who were at risk of not graduating due to lack of credits.

Referring to the new district diploma, Superintendent Bryan Bowles said, “This gives our kids a lifeline to those who wouldn’t have succeeded, which will make a huge difference to them in their lifetime. Years ago, they could have taken the GED, but today, the GED is just not a viable option.”

http://go.uen.org/2Nz (OSE)

 

 


 

 

 

Logan City School District looks for ways to raise ACT scores

 

The Logan City School District is looking for ways to help its students earn better scores on the ACT.

Shane Ogden, principal at Logan High School, presented information to the Board of Education on Tuesday, explaining not only the current average score but also a plan to help students succeed on the college entrance exam.

According to Ogden, the average composite score for all Logan High juniors taking the ACT was 20.9. That broke down to an average score of 20.2 for English, 20.3 for math, 21.5 for reading and 21.3 for science. While this is good, Ogden said it needs to be better.

“It’s still not where we want to have. At 20.9 being our composite score, that’s not where we want it to be,” Ogden said. “We want to see every kid in the mid-20s. That’s our goal, and we want to supply the resources for our students to succeed.”

http://go.uen.org/2NE (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

Jordan School Board votes to put 2 schools on traditional calendar

 

WEST JORDAN — The Jordan Board of Education has voted to transition Butterfield Canyon and Herriman Elementary Schools from a year-round to a traditional calendar for the 2015-16 school year.

The decision came after about 80 percent of parents responding to a survey at both schools supported the move, even though it may be temporary.

http://go.uen.org/2Nv (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Ex-employee alleges waste at troubled state agency

 

OGDEN — Russell Peterson was disappointed when he read that the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation will be implementing an “order of selection” to ration services in the Vocational Rehabilitation program — disappointed, but not surprised.

“I read the official explanation of why they’re out of money, and I just chuckled to myself,” he said. “I thought, that’s not why they’re out of money — they’re out of money because they won’t safeguard the money that they did have, and they won’t look at problems brought to their attention.”

Peterson worked in Vocational Rehabilitation’s Ogden office from November 2013 to July 2014, and said he documented several examples of wasted funding. Calling attention to those errors, he believes, is why he lost the job.

http://go.uen.org/2Ny (OSE)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah School and Institutional Trust seeks director to lead new investment office

 

Utah School and Institutional Trust Fund, Salt Lake City, hired EFL Associates to assist in its search for a director/chief investment officer, said Richard Ellis, state treasurer.

A job posting could become available in the next month with a potential hiring decision by fiscal-year end on June 30.

http://go.uen.org/2NY (Pensions & Investments)

 

 


 

 

Top-achieving Weber High senior headed to Washington

 

PLEASANT VIEW — Wesley Johnson knows all about hard work. The Weber High School senior is the mayor of his youth council, president of the debate club and president of the Ogden Symphony Ballet Youth Guild. In addition to that, he has top grades and fences 15 to 20 hours per week.

Now that hard work is starting to pay off. Johnson received an offer to attend Princeton next fall and to be on the fencing team.

He also was just selected as a delegate for the U.S. Senate Youth Program March 7-14 in Washington. Two representatives are selected from each state. In addition to the weeklong tour, students also receive a $5,000 cash scholarship to the school of their choice.

http://go.uen.org/2NA (OSE)

 

 

 


 

 

Balanced technology use, screen time encouraged for children

 

  1. GEORGE – The use of technology like TVs, computers, tablets and smart phones is a regular occurrence for many individuals, including children.

Technology can be beneficial in learning, but excessive exposure to screens may be linked to attention disorders in young children.

While some public schools like Crimson View Elementary in St. George are using technology to develop an entire learning curriculum, the use of screens should be done in moderation and not at all for children under the age of 2, according to a recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Marty Nygaard, a pediatrician at Red Rock Pediatrics in St. George, said he recommends the parents of his patients to limit screen time for young children with no more than an hour to two per day of any kind of screen time. For children under the age of 2, he recommends they follow the AAP’s strict recommendation of zero screen exposure.

http://go.uen.org/2NF (SGS)

 

 


 

 

Charter students celebrate their choice in education with Utah lawmakers

 

SALT LAKE CITY — “If you want a good job, get a good education.”

Those words echoed through the Capitol rotunda on Friday as more than 400 charter school students shouted along with Gov. Gary Herbert. The crowd was gathered for Charter Day at the Capitol, in concert with National School Choice Week, to celebrate the choice that students and parents have to find a school that best meets their education needs.

Herbert recently declared this week as School Choice Week in Utah to coincide with the national commemoration.

http://go.uen.org/2Nm (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Lee, Messer introduce bill to give parents more control over K-12 education decisions

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Mike Lee and Congressman Luke Messer of Indiana introduced legislation Thursday to make a quality K-12 education more accessible and affordable to low-income parents and students. The Enhancing Educational Opportunities for All Act significantly empowers parents by giving them greater control over choosing a school that’s best for their child, as well as more flexibility in planning and saving for education-related expenses.

http://go.uen.org/2NH (SGN)

 

http://go.uen.org/2NP (KCSG)

 

 


 

 

Saratoga Springs Sage Hills Elementary suspects use Kindle tablets for archery practice

 

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Police were able to identify two juveniles who are suspected of burglarizing and vandalizing Sage Hills Elementary School multiple times in Saratoga Springs.

The two boys, 14 and 15 years old, were arrested and booked on suspicion of burglary, vandalism and other charges connected to the case that remains under police investigation.

“Those of the school district appreciate the work of the Saratoga Springs Police Department who really worked on this case tirelessly and brought it to a quick resolution,” said John Patten, Alpine School District spokesman.

The first school break-in was on the night of Jan.5-6, the second on the night of Jan. 25-26 and the last on the following night of Jan. 26-27.

http://go.uen.org/2NC (PDH)

 

http://go.uen.org/2NK (KUTV)

 

http://go.uen.org/2NL (KSL)

 

http://go.uen.org/2NN (KSTU)

 

http://go.uen.org/2NR (MUR)

 

 


 

 

LEGO robots battle to the finish

 

Bradin Rohde and Caleb Wallengren, from Lehi, joined student groups from across the state to put their LEGO robots to the test in the fifth annual Utah FIRST LEGO League state championship at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.

http://go.uen.org/2Nw (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/2NO (KSTU)

 

 

 


 

 

Farnsworth Elementary students read books to see bulls

 

WEST VALLEY CITY — When sixth graders learned a reading contest could win them tickets to the rodeo, they had an unusal but welcome plea for their teacher.

“They said, can we please do our reading?” laughed teacher Carri Cooper. “They begged me to read in class.”

Farnsworth Elementary is near the West Valley Maverick Center, where this weekend’s Professional Bull Rider’s Rodeo will pair some of the nation’s best bull riders with the baddest bulls.

Farnsworth Elementary also takes part in KSL’s Read Today program, so students got a little incentive—the class that read the most minutes would receive tickets for themselves and their families.

http://go.uen.org/2NM (KSL)

 

 


 

 

Local teens get a taste of Sundance

 

OGDEN — Area high school students got a taste of the Sundance experience Thursday, at two screenings of “How to Dance in Ohio,” a documentary chronicling high school students on the autism spectrum preparing for spring formal.

http://go.uen.org/2NB (OSE)

 

 


 

 

 

In football they trust: Polynesians’ pipeline to the American dream CNNMoney

 

NEW YORK – There are only about 300,000 Samoans and Tongans in America but their impact in one of the most American sports of all time is huge.

“As Polynesian kids, we were much bigger than the other kids in high school so it was natural for us to excel and do well in football, said Tongan Tony Vainuku.

Vainuku is the director of the documentary, “In Football We Trust,” which debuted at the Sundance Film festival this past week.

The film chronicles the lives of four young NFL hopefuls in the Salt Lake City area, which boasts one of the largest Polynesian communities outside of Samoa and Tonga.

http://go.uen.org/2O0

 

 


 

 

National School Counseling Week recognizes counselors

 

  1. GEORGE — National School Counseling Week, sponsored by the American School Counselor Association, is being celebrated Monday through Friday this week, focusing public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do.

http://go.uen.org/2NG (SGN)

 

 


 

 

 

CenturyLink, Utah Jazz Join with STEM Utah to Honor Students for Innovation Awards CenturyLink to Donate $10,000 to STEM Education

 

SALT LAKE CITY– The Utah Jazz and CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) today announced an affiliation with STEM Utah to recognize outstanding K-12 students in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Two students each month from February through April will be selected for STEM Innovation, known as STEMi Awards. Honored students will receive four tickets to a Jazz home game, a personalized jersey and in-game recognition at EnergySolutions Arena.

The first winner — Lynae Herndon, an eighth-grade student at Beehive Science and Technology Academy in Sandy, Utah — will be honored at the Feb. 4 Jazz home game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

http://go.uen.org/2NZ (NBA.com)

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Utah leaders waste time bashing the feds Anti-federal bromides don’t help.

Salt Lake Tribune editorial

 

Wednesday, Gov. Gary Herbert included in his annual State of the State address some typically defiant verbiage about how the state of Utah knows better than those far-away, pointy-headed federal bureaucrats how our lands, our schools and our health care system should be run.

Herbert likewise thumped the tub in opposition to the federal Affordable Care Act and any federal influence over Utah schools. That’s good local politics, but a sad failure to recognize, and explain to others, that the whole of the nation has a vital interest in acting, through its federal government, to ensure that health care and public education systems in every corner of America are doing their jobs.

http://go.uen.org/2Nk

 

 


 

 

 

Businesses can become schools by linking workplace learning with classwork learning Deseret News commentary by columnist John Florez

 

“Why can’t we learn the fun stuff first?” elementary students asked a teacher friend of mine. She said we make students go through a whole bunch of bookwork and paper exercises in lots of subjects — including science, math and languages — before they get to the “fun stuff,” meaning the practical applications.

Our Utah business leaders tell us our students are not prepared for the jobs they need them to fill. And while they keep proposing taxpayers pay more taxes for schools, maybe business ought to put their money and resources in our schools, rather than continue to spend money on studies recommending what taxpayers, educators and government should do.

So, this might just be a great time for business people to provide students experiences at learning the “fun stuff” in the workplace and then taking it back to the classroom where it all comes together. It’s not the same to have someone come and give a presentation to students about what takes place on a job. What helps students is to actually be there and experience the workplace.

http://go.uen.org/2Nl

 

 


 

 

 

Don’t overstate the threat of abuse in Utah schools Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Jean Hill and Heidi Alder

 

It would be difficult to find anyone in Utah who is not concerned about the safety of students in our public schools. Fortunately, schools in Utah are among the safest places for children. Not that nothing bad ever happens, but, overall, our schools are safe learning environments.

Which is one reason we are concerned about the impressions that may have been left by former State School Board member Dan Griffiths’ Jan. 17 op-ed on educator misconduct and discipline. Our combined 16 years of experience investigating and prosecuting educator misconduct cases direct us to different conclusions about educator discipline on the state level.

As attorneys who served as investigators and prosecutors, we each worked closely with and on behalf of the Utah Professional Advisory Commission (UPPAC). Like most professional ethics boards, UPPAC is a body of peers tasked with receiving and reviewing allegations of misconduct, ranging from testing protocol violations and mismanagement of school funds to sexual offenses with students.

http://go.uen.org/2NX

 

 


 

 

Recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases

(Provo) Daily Herald op-ed by Dr. Joseph Miner, Director of the Utah County Health Department

 

In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of emphasis placed on the Measles outbreak and how it could have been avoided by vaccination.

While the threat of Measles is very concerning, there are other vaccine-preventable diseases to be aware of such as bacterial Meningitis.

Bacterial Meningitis is an infection that can attack the brain and spinal cord and can cause permanent disabilities and frequently death within several hours of onset. Early symptoms of Meningitis can be misinterpreted as the flu.

Bacterial Meningitis is a vaccine-preventable disease that is spread easily between groups of people for an extended amount of time. Once the infection starts it can cause death within a few hours.

We recently saw the scare in October at the West Jordan Elementary school, which thankfully was a non-contagious case.

Anyone can get bacterial Meningitis but it is most common in infants under one year old, children with certain medical conditions and teens and young adults aged 16-21.

http://go.uen.org/2ND

 

 


 

 

Schools have potholes, too

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Judy Mahoskey

 

Alarmingly, “A new study says 82 percent of Utah cities and 95 percent of counties report their transportation funding is insufficient, causing half of their roads to deteriorate into their current poor or fair condition. The Utah Foundation also said that fixing such poor roads is three to five times more expensive than regular maintenance of good roads, akin to how regular brushing of teeth can prevent a high cost root canal.”

Now, delete the word “transportation” and replace it with education, and eliminate “roads” in favor of the word “classrooms.”

The thing is, the road crisis — though very real and deserving of our attention — is one we are facing in the future. The education-funding crisis is one we’ve been living through for a decade or more.

http://go.uen.org/2Nt

 

 


 

 

Education investments

Deseret News letter from Donald Thomas

 

Paul Smith has it right when he states in his letter: “Merely upping the financial ante is likely to have little or no effect on educational quality” (“Flawed education tax,” Jan. 28). Appropriate target expenditures, however, can have a very powerful effect on academic results.

Nations and school districts that educate their children at very high levels spend substantial funds for extensive educational opportunities for children ages 3 to 4, concentrating on language development and cognitive stimulation. And if we really want to provide an equal opportunity for every child to succeed in school, we should spend money to educate disadvantaged children in classes of 10 to 12. Both investments are cost-effective and result in $7 to $10 in economic activity and reduced social costs.

http://go.uen.org/2Nx

 

 


 

 

Modesty vs. objectification

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Craig Glover

 

The concern of the moral police is the objectifying of women. But, by banning bare shoulders and upper backs, they have turned those two parts of the female anatomy into forbidden prurient zones and, in effect, objectified women even more.

http://go.uen.org/2Nu

 

 


 

 

 

Virtual Schools Bring Real Concerns About Quality NPR commentary by columnist ANYA KAMENETZ

 

At the end of Angela Kohtala’s leadership skills course, her high school students have to plan and carry out a community service project. Maybe it’s fixing up their school courtyard, or tutoring younger students in an afterschool program.

Afterwards, they create a PowerPoint with pictures of the project. This isn’t just a nice way to develop presentation skills — it’s mandatory to prove that they really weeded that garden or sat with those kids in the first place.

You see, Kohtala’s students are spread across the state of Florida, while she herself lives in Maine.

Kohtala teaches in the fastest-growing sector of K-12 education: the online public school. She is at Florida Virtual School, one of the biggest in the business.

The organization, which is technically a Florida school district, enrolls over 200,000 students across Florida and the world. The vast majority are part time, taking an average of just one course. But another 200,000 K-12 students are studying online full-time, most at the high school level, in at least 33 states.

Most of these states have passed laws in the last decade encouraging, or even requiring, online school choices.

One big reason is cost.

http://go.uen.org/2NQ

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Obama’s Proposed Budget Seeks More for Education President’s Pitch Includes Funding for Free Community College, Expanding Preschool Wall Street Journal

 

President Barack Obama ’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal calls for $70.7 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education, a $3.6 billion increase from the current level, with backing for signature proposals such as making community college free, simplifying the financial aid process and expanding preschool.

The boost for education came as part of the president’s proposal of nearly $4 trillion in spending for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, which was unveiled Monday.

The Obama administration laid out some additional details behind a proposed $1.37 billion grant program that would give eligible students two years of free community college. Under the plan, first announced in January, the federal government would provide funding to states that waive community-college tuition and fees for eligible students, increase their own investment and improve the schools.

Mr. Obama also called for $750 million for preschool development grants—a bump of $500 million—while highlighting an extra $1.5 billion in funding for Head Start, the federal program to improve support for young children.

Title I funding, a substantial lever for low-income schools, saw a $1 billion increase.

Absent from the budget plan is a line item for Mr. Obama’s proposed college-rating system, which would judge schools based on graduation and retention rates, as well as student-loan repayment and accessibility to low-income students. The administration spelled out the ambitious program in December and is accepting comments on the proposal until mid-February. The ratings are expected to be developed and funded through the department’s regular administrative budget.

Charter schools, which receive public funding but are privately run, also received some attention in Mr. Obama’s proposal. With $375 million, funding is intended to expand well-performing models—an idea favored by lawmakers from both parties.

http://go.uen.org/2No

 

http://go.uen.org/2Np (WaPo)

 

http://go.uen.org/2Nq (Ed Week)

 

 


 

 

 

U.S. Teacher-Prep Rules Face Heavy Criticism in Public Comments Education Week

 

A controversial federal proposal to improve monitoring of teacher-preparation programs had drawn more than 2,300 public comments by the end of January, with the overwhelmingly critical feedback reflecting coordinated opposition from higher education officials and assorted policy groups.

“It’s not just teacher prep that’s concerned about this. It’s the teaching profession. And it’s higher education,” said Deborah Koolbeck, the director of government relations for the Washington-based American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. “Is teacher prep the test run for the ratings of higher education overall?”

The proposed rules, issued under the Higher Education Act, were released by the U.S. Department of Education in November, some two years after negotiations with representatives from various types of colleges broke down over the regulations’ shape and scope. Among other provisions, the rules would require states to use measures such as surveys of school districts, teacher-employment data, and student-achievement results to classify each preparation program in one of four categories.

http://go.uen.org/2NU

 

 


 

 

Vaccine Critics Turn Defensive Over Measles New York Times

 

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Their children have been sent home from school. Their families are barred from birthday parties and neighborhood play dates. Online, people call them negligent and criminal. And as officials in 14 states grapple to contain a spreading measles outbreak that began near here at Disneyland, the parents at the heart of America’s anti­vaccine movement are being blamed for incubating an otherwise preventable public­health crisis.

Measles anxiety rippled thousands of miles beyond its center on Friday as officials scrambled to try to contain a wider spread of the highly contagious disease — which America declared vanquished 15 years ago, before a statistically significant number of parents started refusing to vaccinate their children.

In recent days, new measles cases popped up in Nebraska and Minnesota, New York and Marin County in California. Officials around the country reported rising numbers of patients who were seeking shots, as well as some pediatricians who were accepting nonvaccinated families but were debating changing their policies. The White House urged parents to listen to the science that supports inoculations.

In Arizona, health officials warned that 1,000 people could have been exposed to measles and urged anyone displaying symptoms to avoid this weekend’s Super Bowl events in the Phoenix area. In a small planned community where one family became ill after visiting Disneyland, store windows were lined with measles alerts, and a sign on the Pinal County office building warned: “Stop! Measles is in our county!” and asked people with symptoms to wear masks before entering.

But here in California, anti­vaccine parents whose children have endured bouts of whooping cough and chickenpox largely defended their choice to raise their children on natural foods, essential oils and no vaccinations.

http://go.uen.org/2Nn

 

http://go.uen.org/2Ns (Politico)

 

 


 

 

Should GED lead to a diploma? District considers changing policy to help outcomes Washington Post

 

The graduates wore royal blue and white robes. The principal talked about “closing one chapter and beginning another.” Students got awards. Parents cried.

Thursday night’s ceremony was like those at most high schools, with one exception: The piece of paper inside the gold-embossed folders school leaders handed to students at the end.

“The principal signs it and we stamp it with a seal so it looks very official, but it’s really not a diploma,” said Juan Carlos Martinez, principal of the night school at the Next Step Public Charter School in Columbia Heights.

Because the students were graduating from a GED program, the District granted them a high school equivalency certificate. In the future, though, these GED graduates could earn a traditional high school diploma under a proposal the Office of the State Superintendent of Education is developing.

http://go.uen.org/2Nr

 

 

 


 

 

Do U.S. Teachers Really Teach More Hours?

Education Week

 

It’s a statistic that has echoed for years in global policy discussions about education: U.S. teachers are in front of their classes 50 percent to 73 percent more than their peers in other countries, including nations—like Finland and Japan—whose students outperform Americans on international tests.

That striking statistic has become common wisdom as part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s regular Education at a Glance reports, but a new study suggests it’s significantly overblown.

http://go.uen.org/2NV

 

 


 

 

 

With New Mobile Apps, States Engage Citizens Via Smartphone Stateline

 

Are you tonight’s designated driver looking for a sober place to hang out while your buddies drink? The state of California has a mobile application you can download that pinpoints welcoming places and money-saving deals while you wait to take everyone home.

Are you out in rural Montana, far from high-speed Internet, and need to pay your state income taxes before the deadline? The state has an app that lets you pay using 3G or 4G cellphone data networks.

Or perhaps you are an Arkansas high school student trying to calculate whether you can afford college. In that case, the state has a mobile app that lets you apply for the state’s 21 scholarships, loans and grants in its financial aid program for higher education. It also lets you know when you receive one.

States typically lag behind the private sector, the federal government and many cities in adopting new technology. But as many Americans abandon snail mail and even desktops in favor of smartphones and tablets, many states are redoubling their efforts to make government more accessible and responsive to citizens on-the-go.

http://go.uen.org/2NW

 

 


 

 

Wyoming House approves bill allowing guns in schools Reuters

 

Legislation that would allow people with concealed-gun permits to carry firearms into public schools and government meetings won easy approval from the Wyoming House of Representatives on Monday after a debate over rising gun violence in U.S. schools.

The bill, supported by leaders of the Republican-led House, would repeal “gun-free zones” carved out around elementary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities.

Passed on a 42-17 vote, the measure also would grant concealed-carry permit holders the right to take their guns into meetings of the state Legislature and local government meetings.

The bill must clear the Republican-controlled state Senate before it can be submitted to Governor Matt Mead, also a Republican, for his signature or veto. Mead has in recent years sought to welcome firearms-related companies to Wyoming by promoting it as a gun-friendly state.

http://go.uen.org/2NT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

February 2:

Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00000653.htm

 

 

House Education Committee meeting

2 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HEDU0202.ag.htm

 

 

February 3:

Senate Education Committee meeting

4 p.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SEDU0203.ag.htm

 

 

February 5:

State Board of Education meeting

6 p.m. 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

 

 

February 6:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

8 a.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

 

 

February 12:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

http://go.uen.org/1pn

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