Education News Roundup: Feb. 27, 2015

Utah State Board of Education August meeting

Utah State Board of Education August meeting

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Utah State Board of Education stands behind SAGE testing.

http://go.uen.org/32G (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/32J (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/33n (KSL)

 

ENR is unable to find any odds makers in Vegas willing to take bets on which — if any — of the bills modifying the way the Utah State Board of Education is selected.

http://go.uen.org/32H (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/32I (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/33j (UPC)

and http://go.uen.org/33l (KSL)

 

Logan has five finalists for superintendent, but isn’t naming names.

http://go.uen.org/32R (LHJ)

 

Standard looks at the order of selection at the Office of Rehabilitation.

http://go.uen.org/32Q (OSE)

 

The House rewrite of ESEA could be in trouble.

http://go.uen.org/2H5 (AP)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

State school board sticking with SAGE, for now Education » Some lawmakers want the testing system suspended.

 

House committee advances three competing school board election bills Legislature » A two-thirds vote in Senate also will be needed for the bill to move on.

 

Early graduation incentive bill fails in House

 

Lawmakers consider academic turnaround programs for low-performing schools

 

Statewide school technology bill passes first legislative hurdle

 

SB60: Students and teachers disagree on mandatory civics test

 

President Wayne Niederhauser Discusses Medicaid Expansion and the Budget

 

Five finalists vying for Logan City School District superintendent

 

Rehab agency’s budget woes may trickle down

 

Homeless youth population difficult to quantify, challenging to serve

 

Utah’s school trust fund tops $2 billion, ICSD receives share of interest

 

Cache County Cowboy Rendezvous coming to Mountain Crest High School

 

1 suicide, 2 attempts in span of 1 week prompts officials to discuss prevention

 

Suicide prevention training offered at town hall meeting

 

Former Utah school counselor charged with sexual battery, accessing porn

 

Construction worker’s leg partially amputated in Millville accident

 

Bomb Scare “Joke” Forces School Evacuation

 

Snow Canyon 9th grader receives Senate art scholarship

 

Cedar High student wins scholarship in Utah Senate visual arts competition

 

Inside Our Schools

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Happy Talk History

 

Did the Common-Core Math Writers Accidentally Drop a Standard?

 

Collective Panic

Court decision terrifies unions

 

Arne Duncan Spends Visit To Local Elementary School Looking At UFO Books In Library

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

House Republican Leaders Pull Education Bill

 

FCC Votes 3-2 to Protect Net Neutrality, Prevent ‘Fast Lanes’

 

LA Teachers, Union Leaders Rally Amid Stalled Talks

 

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Abuse Reporting Mandatory-Reporting Laws Complicate Teachers’ Role

 

Wyoming Legislature nears agreement on allowing state board to consider Next Generation Science Standards

 

Morals Clause in Catholic Schools Roils Bay Area Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco Defends Changes

 

Common Core’s unintended consequence?

More teachers write their own curricula

 

Move to kill Common Core standards hits roadblock

 

Farmington teacher on paid leave after giving state testing opt-out forms to students Esperanza Elementary School teacher believes students are tested too much

 

Colorado Pushes For Concealed Guns In K-12 Schools

 

Jeb Bush Defends Stance on Immigration, Education Former Florida governor touts record of promoting conservative agenda in speech to Club for Growth

 

Twitter account bullied students

Account deleted, but not before damage is done

 

School math answers only a scan away with Croatian app

 

First Lady: US Experiencing Food ‘Culture Change’

 

New Guidance to Help Protect Student Privacy in Educational Sites and Apps

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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State school board sticking with SAGE, for now Education » Some lawmakers want the testing system suspended.

 

State education managers are continuing with SAGE testing despite calls from Utah lawmakers to press pause on the computer-based student assessment.

After meeting Thursday to discuss SAGE, school board members said they want to review testing options, but did not delay the 2015 tests.

“The tests are going to be administered this spring,” board Chairman David Crandall said. “Just because a couple senators put out a press release doesn’t mean we’re changing.”

Earlier this week, Republican Sens. Howard Stephenson of Draper and Aaron Osmond of South Jordan urged the state school board to suspend SAGE testing. The lawmakers criticized software glitches, insufficient school resources and concern from parents and educators about testing at the expense of instructional time.

Stephenson and Osmond suggested the state switch to the Northwest Evaluators Association testing system, which was used by some Utah schools during a pilot program before SAGE was developed.

http://go.uen.org/32G (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/32J (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/33n (KSL)

 

 


 

 

 

House committee advances three competing school board election bills Legislature » A two-thirds vote in Senate also will be needed for the bill to move on.

 

Lawmakers set the stage for another fight over partisan and nonpartisan school board elections on Thursday.

After hearing six proposals for reforming the election system, members of the House Education Committee decided to send three competing bills to the floor of the House for debate.

At odds are SB104, which would allow partisan school board elections, and HB186, which would continue nonpartisan elections.

A third measure, HJR16, would have 2016 voters consider amending the Utah Constitution to allow the governor to appoint school board members.

SB104, sponsored by Highland Republican Sen. Alvin Jackson, has already been approved by the Senate. But the bill was amended on Thursday to preserve nonpartisan elections at the school district level and, as a result, would require senators to sign off again.

“What this bill is designed to do is to bring into the light what’s been occurring in the shadows,” Jackson said. “Our beloved caucus system affords parents and citizens the opportunity to properly vet those candidates who would serve on the school board.”

But Mapleton Republican Rep. Francis Gibson said Utah’s caucus system has already been circumvented by a compromise lawmakers passed last year that allows candidates to secure a place on a party’s primary ticket by gathering signatures.

Gibson said partisan school board proposals are regularly sponsored and defeated at the Legislature, but his bill, HB186, attempts to strike a compromise by requiring candidates to gather signatures from their constituents.

“This provides an alternative that would require someone to make an effort to go out and get on the ballot, regardless of your party,” he said.

http://go.uen.org/32H (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/32I (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/33j (UPC)

 

http://go.uen.org/33l (KSL)

 

 


 

 

 

Early graduation incentive bill fails in House

 

SALT LAKE CITY — House lawmakers rejected a bill Thursday that sought to increase scholarship funds for early high school graduates.

SB33 would have required schools to inform parents earlier in their students’ academic career about the pathways to early graduation and college readiness. The bill also would have doubled the maximum amount for the Centennial Scholarship to $2,000.

Floor sponsor Rep. Daniel McCay, R-Riverton, said the bill would have relied on dollars from the education fund, but because more students would graduate early and put less burden on the education system, the bill would generate savings overall.

http://go.uen.org/32O (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Lawmakers consider academic turnaround programs for low-performing schools

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah schools that get failing grades on the state’s school grading system may be required to get outside help and participate in academic turnaround initiatives.

The Senate Education Committee on Wednesday unanimously recommended SB235, which attempts to bring a greater measure of accountability despite the controversy surrounding Utah’s school grading system. It’s the only bill in the past three years sponsored by Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy.

http://go.uen.org/33h (KSL)

 

 


 

 

 

Statewide school technology bill passes first legislative hurdle

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Draper Republican Sen. Howard Stephenson wants to put a technology device into the hands of hundreds of thousands of students in Utah.

The initiative comes with a $75 million price tag in its first year alone, but it earned the approval of almost every member of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

http://go.uen.org/33h (KSL)

 

 


 

 

SB60: Students and teachers disagree on mandatory civics test

 

SALT LAKE CITY – Lawmakers unanimously passed a bill that requires students in Utah to pass a civics test to graduate high school, but students and teachers are Northridge High School in Layton aren’t so sure they want such a test.

SB60 requires public students to pass the same civics test required for those applying for U.S. citizenship. The bill passed the Senate floor and unanimously through the House Education Committee Monday, Feb. 24, for final consideration on the House floor.

Students affected by the bill showed support for requiring the test. Andrew Achter, 18, from Northridge High School, also supports the bill. “I think it’s a good idea because we ought to expect the same thing from our citizens as we do from people becoming citizens,” said Achter.

However Achter will graduate in June, before the legislation would come into effect. Achter still said, “It would be fine with me if I had to pass this test before I graduate.”

http://go.uen.org/330 (Capital West News)

 

 


 

 

President Wayne Niederhauser Discusses Medicaid Expansion and the Budget

 

Senate President Wayne Niderhauser, R-Sandy, talks with Managing Editor Bryan Schott about Medicaid expansion and setting Utah’s budget.

http://go.uen.org/32F (UP)

 

 


 

 

 

Five finalists vying for Logan City School District superintendent

 

The Logan City School District Board of Education announced Tuesday that they have narrowed down the search for a new superintendent to five finalists and will be ready to make a decision by the first or second week of March.

The Board is in the process of finding a new superintendent to replace Marshal Garrett, who announced his retirement last year.

“We’re trying to take out some of the emotion and trying to select the best superintendent possible,” said Board President Ann Geary.

She stated during the Board of Education meeting that they had initially received 19 applications, of which 14 were complete and screened by the Board individually using pre-set rubrics.

“We also had three writing prompts that were included in our brochure, and we had each of the applicants write to those three writing prompts,” Geary said. “Those were graded by three outside experts and were given a score.”

Though the identities of the five finalists is being kept secret, the board did say all five candidates are men.

http://go.uen.org/32R (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

Rehab agency’s budget woes may trickle down

 

The Utah State Office of Rehabilitation’s budget woes may have a trickle-down effect on other divisions and organizations, and some say it’s already starting to happen.

The Office of Rehabilitation’s Vocational Rehabilitation division, charged with helping people with physical or mental disabilities to find and keep meaningful employment, has been running in the red. Now facing a deficit of approximately $6.3 million, the program has been making cuts, including reducing the size of the staff. To further reduce the deficit, USOR will soon begin rationing services by implementing an Order of Selection.

“People who need the training, and need the placement, won’t get it,” said Jared Dain, vice president of EnableUtah, in Ogden.

At least not anytime soon.

An Order of Selection is like triage, categorizing people by how much help they need and putting them on a waiting list. Dain attended a training session on Feb. 20, put on by Vocational Rehabilitation to explain Order of Selection.

http://go.uen.org/32Q (OSE)

 

 


 

 

 

Homeless youth population difficult to quantify, challenging to serve

 

SALT LAKE CITY — No one can tell you, with a high degree of accuracy, the number of homeless youths in Utah.

To illustrate the point, Ashley Tolman, an author of the Department of Workforce Services’ annual Comprehensive Report on Homelessness, refers to a resolution on homeless and runaway youth recently passed by the Utah Legislature.

The first line of HJR12 says: “WHEREAS, between 900 and 5,000 youth in Utah experience homelessness each year.”

But the writer of the resolution is hardly alone in nailing down a specific number, Tolman said.

Volunteers taking part in the 2014 Point in Time Count found 89 sheltered youths and 20 unsheltered youths in the three-day window allowed for the surveys.

Point In Time Count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Volunteers literally canvas assigned areas in an attempt to find unsheltered families and individuals.

Statistics collected by schools use a different definition of homelessness than HUD’s Point in Time count, Tolman says. By their count, there are more than 12,000 homeless school children in Utah.

http://go.uen.org/33g (DN)

 

 


 

 

Utah’s school trust fund tops $2 billion, ICSD receives share of interest

 

UTAH – It took 116 years to accrue the first billion dollars in Utah’s K-12 Permanent School Fund, but fewer than five years to generate the second billion.

The Utah State Office of Education, along with State Treasurer Richard K. Ellis and School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, recognized the $2 billion milestone last week.

Interest and dividends from this $2 billion perpetual education endowment are distributed annually to individual schools. Elementary, middle, and high schools in the Iron County School District received $581,085 in School LAND Trust funds for the 2014-2015 school year, at no cost to taxpayers.

http://go.uen.org/33e (Iron County Today)

 

 


 

 

Cache County Cowboy Rendezvous coming to Mountain Crest High School

 

The Cache County Cowboy Rendezvous starts today, and Dale Major went to Tuesday’s Cache County Council meeting to invite everyone to come out and experience the event.

“We want to invite the County Council to see what we’re doing,” he said. “We can bring you some great entertainment this weekend.”

The rendezvous is Friday through Sunday at Mountain Crest High School.

http://go.uen.org/32S (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

 

1 suicide, 2 attempts in span of 1 week prompts officials to discuss prevention

 

UTAH COUNTY — One suicide and two attempts in the span of a week at Lone Peak High School in Utah County are prompting heightened focus on the issue.

FOX 13 News has confirmed that a person who jumped to their death at a FrontRunner stop Wednesday was a student at the school.

“It’s very emotional,” said Chief Joseph McRae of the Lone Peak Fire Department.

McRae’s department is not unaccustomed to responding to suicides in the community. In November of last year, they saw two suicides within two weeks in the Alpine School District. The numbers prompted the school to host a suicide prevention forum with parents and staff. Since then, their efforts have only increased. Recently, the school created a video with a message from teachers to students: “We see you.”

http://go.uen.org/33f (KSTU)

 

 


 

 

Suicide prevention training offered at town hall meeting

 

BOUNTIFUL — Youth and adults can learn more about suicide prevention during a town hall meeting Saturday at Viewmont High School, 120 W. 1000 North.

The 10 a.m. to noon meeting will feature Question, Persuade and Refer — or QPR -— suicide prevention training.

Youth ages 13 and older are invited to attend and separate classes will be offered for teens and adults. Admission is free.

http://go.uen.org/32P (OSE)

 

http://go.uen.org/33i (DCC)

 

 


 

 

 

Former Utah school counselor charged with sexual battery, accessing porn

 

A former Iron County school counselor has been charged with 17 misdemeanors for allegedly committing sexual battery and accessing pornography while on school grounds.

Samuel Naim El-Halta, 39, of Enoch, was charged Wednesday in Cedar City’s 5th District Court with seven counts of sexual battery and 10 counts of accessing pornography while on school property.

The counts are all class A misdemeanors, which are each punishable by up to one year in jail.

El-Halta — who counseled seventh- and eighth-graders at Cedar Middle School — was arrested Feb. 13 and booked into the Iron County Correctional Facility. He is currently free on $20,000 bail, according to court records.

An initial court appearance is set for March 24.

http://go.uen.org/33k (SLT)

 

 


 

 

Construction worker’s leg partially amputated in Millville accident

 

A 39-year old Ogden man was seriously injured Thursday morning at approximately 7:30 a.m. while working on the new high school in Millville.

According to the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, the sub-contractor was working with a steel beam when the beam tilted over, pinning the victim’s leg below the knee against a concrete wall.

http://go.uen.org/32T (LHJ)

 

http://go.uen.org/32U (CVD)

 

 


 

 

 

Bomb Scare “Joke” Forces School Evacuation

 

A 12-year-old West Haven boy is in hot water, for allegedly creating a bomb scare at his school.

Police say the boy left a threatening note — in a hallway, at Quest Academy — saying there was a bomb, inside a locker.

http://go.uen.org/32Z (KNRS)

 

 


 

 

Snow Canyon 9th grader receives Senate art scholarship

 

  1. GEORGE – – Emily Schumacher, a ninth-grade student at Snow Canyon Middle School, was awarded 10th place in the Utah Senate Visual Arts Scholarship Competition at the Capitol on Feb. 17.

Schumacher also received a $500 scholarship that will be held in an account set up for her by the Utah Educational Savings Plan. She was the only Washington County student to earn a place in the top 25.

http://go.uen.org/32V (SGS)

 

 


 

 

 

Cedar High student wins scholarship in Utah Senate visual arts competition

 

CEDAR CITY – Cedar High School 11th grader Andrew Marchant joined 26 Utah high school students on the floor of the Utah Senate Feb. 17 to receive an honorable mention award and a $500 scholarship for his participation in the Utah Senate Visual Arts Scholarship Competition.

The competition, which was held in conjunction with Arts Day on the Hill, had 195 student entries from around the state with 28 pieces being chosen for scholarship awards ranging from $5,000 to $300.

http://go.uen.org/33m (Iron County Today)

 

 


 

 

Inside Our Schools

 

Arrowhead Elementary

Hurricane Valley Academy Charter

Lava Ridge Intermediate

Millcreek High

Riverside Elementary

Snow Canyon High

Enoch Elementary

North Elementary

South Elementary

Three Peaks Elementary

Cedar Middle

Canyon View Middle

http://go.uen.org/32W (SGS)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Happy Talk History

New York Times commentary by columnist Timothy Egan

 

OKLAHOMA CITY — This state has an extraordinary history. It’s where the Trail of Tears ended, and the Sooner land rush began. It suffered human caused climate change at the most extreme — the Dust Bowl — and produced the wit and wisdom of Will Rogers. In all, the Oklahoma story is a compelling part of the national narrative.

But to listen to the Republicans who are trying to stuff their view of history into the heads of Oklahoma’s brightest kids, the current version of the American story isn’t pro­American enough. They want more rah­rah, more Bible, more speeches of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and perhaps a mention of how the Constitution — which doesn’t mention God — was written by God.

Advanced placement history courses put too much emphasis on “what is bad about America,” says State Representative Dan Fisher, a Republican, a Baptist minister and an active promoter of the view that church must meddle more in the affairs of state. Fisher would be just another knucklehead wiping potato salad from his face at a Ned Flanders picnic, except that he got a legislative committee to approve an “emergency bill” to ban A.P. history courses for college credit in Oklahoma high schools.

Oklahoma — not O.K.

http://go.uen.org/32L

 

 


 

 

 

Did the Common-Core Math Writers Accidentally Drop a Standard?

Education Week commentary by columnist Liana Heitin

 

This week, I wrote a story about reported problems with the high school common-core math standards. Some of the most ardent supporters of the Common Core State Standards, including people who helped write them, have said the high school standards are weaker than those for K-8. Several experts told me that’s in part because the high school standards were rushed out the door after they were written, and weren’t as thoroughly reviewed as the earlier standards.

Within that story, there’s an interesting tidbit—in fact, it’s arguably what journalists might call a buried lead.

Richard Askey, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who was a member of the common-core feedback group, told me that somewhere within the many drafts of the document, the writers lost a geometry standard.

Here’s the full quote from my conversation with Askey:

“There was one thing that dropped out and was in the draft. Bill McCallum says it dropped out between one draft and the next and he doesn’t know how. When you have a similar object and look at the area and you double the size, area goes up by a factor of 4, and volume goes up by a factor of 8. Area scales by squares and volume by cubes. It’s mentioned in Appendix A but isn’t in the standards. And it was there in one of the drafts.”

The standard is, as Askey pointed out, in the appendix, which is not technically part of the standards.

http://go.uen.org/337

 

 


 

 

 

Collective Panic

Court decision terrifies unions

Education Next analysis by Joshua Dunn, associate professor of political science at the University of Colorado–Colorado Springs, and Martha Derthick, professor emerita of government at the University of Virginia

 

Teachers unions have had a rough few years. Charter schools, which are rarely unionized, have grown in popularity; several states, including Alabama, North Carolina, Michigan, and Kansas, have passed laws forbidding school districts from collecting union dues through payroll deductions; other states, such as Wisconsin, have limited the unions’ bargaining rights to wages only; and tenure protections have been attacked through pathbreaking litigation in California (see “Script Doctors,” legal beat, Fall 2014). Membership in the National Education Association (NEA) has fallen by 9 percent since 2011, with the union losing nearly 200,000 active members. In what could be the most ominous development of all, the Supreme Court indicated this past summer that the freedom to collect fees from nonmembers, a prerequisite for union strength and to some union advocates even their survival, could be at risk.

In Harris v. Quinn, the Court addressed the power of public-sector unions to force home-health-care workers in Illinois who refused to join a union to pay agency fees. Under state law, these employees still had to pay the Service Employees International Union their “fair share” for the privilege of being represented. The union argued that these nonunion workers otherwise would be “free riders” who would benefit from the higher wages negotiated by the unions without having paid for the cost of bargaining.

The eight workers who challenged the Illinois statute argued that compelling them to pay agency fees violates their First Amendment free-speech rights. By a narrow majority, 5–4, the Court agreed. The Court’s ruling was explicitly confined to workers who are not “full-fledged public employees.” The plaintiffs, according to Justice Alito’s majority opinion, were not “full-fledged” because they were supervised by private individuals, in this case the patients receiving care, and merely received compensation from the state.

Public-employee unions avoided a catastrophic blow because the ruling was limited to this narrow class. Crucially, the Court declined the plaintiffs’ request to overturn a 1977 ruling in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education that allowed teachers unions to collect agency fees from nonmembers for costs related to “collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment purposes” but forbid them to use such funds for political or ideological purposes. But lurking in Alito’s opinion was language that teachers unions must find alarming. Abood, he said, should not apply to partial government employees because of its “questionable foundations.”

http://go.uen.org/33b

 

 


 

 

Arne Duncan Spends Visit To Local Elementary School Looking At UFO Books In Library Satire from The Onion

 

WASHINGTON—Saying the cabinet official could be heard periodically muttering exclamations of surprise and amazement, sources at Harriet Tubman Elementary School told reporters that Education Secretary Arne Duncan spent the entirety of his visit Thursday sitting Indian-style on the floor of the library, completely engrossed in books about UFOs. “Hey, Mrs. Keck! Did you know that more than 6,000 people see a UFO every year?” an awestruck Duncan reportedly asked librarian Joanne Keck after finishing a book titled Mysteries Of The Cosmos: Extraterrestrials And Flying Saucers. “Do you have any books about alien abductions or Area 51? I heard they have a real alien skeleton there!” At press time, Duncan was drawing a flying saucer with Magic Markers and could be heard making the high-pitched sound of a tractor beam.

http://go.uen.org/32M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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House Republican Leaders Pull Education Bill Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders have scrapped a vote on legislation to update the No Child Left Behind education law in the face of conservative opposition.

Senior GOP officials say it’s unclear when a vote will happen.

The bill would keep the annual testing requirements on schools but give much more control to states and districts about how to spend federal money and set policy.

Leaders have struggled to round up enough rank-and-file conservatives to support it.

Opponents include conservative groups including Heritage Action for America and Club for Growth.

Democrats also dislike the bill, and the White House has threated to veto it.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to publicly discuss private negotiations.

http://go.uen.org/2H5

 

 


 

 

 

FCC Votes 3-2 to Protect Net Neutrality, Prevent ‘Fast Lanes’

Education Week

 

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along partisan lines on Thursday to preserve “net neutrality,” or the free flow of content over the Internet, by prohibiting the establishment of “fast lanes” and taking steps to regulate broadband providers as utilities.

“Today, history is being made by a majority of this commission as we vote for a fast, fair, and open Internet,” said Chairman Tom Wheeler, who, before the meeting started, posed for a picture joining hands in a celebratory pose with his fellow Democrats—Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel—on the five-member commission.

The FCC’s action is seen by some as a positive one for K-12 schools, which critics maintained might have been relegated to the “slow lane” if the agency had not acted to protect open access. School and library officials feared that big-money content providers could conceivably have paid more for access to a “fast lane” to Web users, while content providers serving schools would have suffered.

Republican FCC members Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly, however, gave lengthy and impassioned speeches opposing the move, saying it would result in higher costs for consumers and an overeach of federal authority.

http://go.uen.org/338

 

 


 

 

LA Teachers, Union Leaders Rally Amid Stalled Talks Associated Press

 

LOS ANGELES — Dressed in red and raising signs into the air, thousands of teachers filled a downtown Los Angeles park on Thursday in demand of higher wages and smaller class sizes amid stalled contract negotiations.

“Everybody in this country is watching this struggle,” said Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers. “It’s a fight about the nature of public education. What is public education going to look like?”

The rally was the largest action yet amid an escalating standoff between union and Los Angeles Unified district leaders: United Teachers Los Angeles is demanding an 8.5 percent salary increase, a demand interim Superintendent Ramon Cortines contends the district cannot meet without significant layoffs.

http://go.uen.org/334

 

http://go.uen.org/335 (LAT)

 

 


 

 

 

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Abuse Reporting Mandatory-Reporting Laws Complicate Teachers’ Role Education Week

 

The U.S. Supreme Court next week takes up a case involving an important but uneasy duty of teachers: reporting suspected abuse or neglect of their students to the appropriate authorities.

The criminal appeal of an Ohio man asks whether teachers’ obligation as “mandatory reporters” of suspected child abuse—something required of them, along with various other professionals, in all 50 states—makes them adjuncts of law enforcement when it comes to prosecuting such cases.

The case of Ohio v. Clark (No.13-1352) also examines whether a child’s statements to a teacher about abuse trigger the Sixth Amendment right of the accused “to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” That typically means such witnesses must testify in open court, where the defendant’s lawyers may cross-examine them.

http://go.uen.org/336

 

 


 

 

 

Wyoming Legislature nears agreement on allowing state board to consider Next Generation Science Standards Associated Press via Casper (WY) Star Tribune

 

CHEYENNE — The Legislature has agreed on a bill that allows the state Board of Education to consider the Next Generation Science Standards in crafting new state K-12 science standards.

The Next Generation Science Standards are opposed by some in Wyoming over how the standards handle human contributions to global climate change. Fossil fuels extraction is a top industry in the state’s economy.

Last year, the Legislature prohibited the state Board of Education from considering the Next Generation Science Standards.

The bill that the House and Senate agreed on this week included some drama when the Senate version required the board to enact standards “unique” to Wyoming.

http://go.uen.org/339

 

 


 

 

Morals Clause in Catholic Schools Roils Bay Area Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco Defends Changes New York Times

 

SAN FRANCISCO — It is the issue that is stirring San Francisco: The archbishop has specified that teachers at four Bay Area Catholic high schools cannot publicly challenge the church’s teachings that homosexual acts are “contrary to natural law,” that contraception is “intrinsically evil” and that embryonic stem cell research is “a crime.” He also wants to designate teachers as part of the “ministry,” which could, under a 2012 Supreme Court ruling, strip them of protection under federal anti­discrimination laws.

In this city that helped give birth to the gay rights movement, the backlash has been fierce. A top concern is that gay teachers could be fired.

“Our community is in pain; our teachers are scared,” said Jessica Hyman, a senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, one of the four schools in the archbishop’s jurisdiction. She spoke at a candlelight protest that drew more than 300 people outside St. Mary’s Cathedral here last week.

The archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone, made the changes this month and has been under fire ever since. Technically, what he has done is to change the handbook that covers the 318 faculty members in the schools in his jurisdiction, which are in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo Counties and which educate 3,600 students. The new language about not challenging church teachings takes effect Sept. 1.

http://go.uen.org/32K

 

 


 

 

 

Common Core’s unintended consequence?

More teachers write their own curricula

Hechinger Report

 

Last year Melody Arabo had the hardest year of her 13-year teaching career. The program she and her colleagues had been given to teach third-grade math at Keith Elementary just outside of Detroit was supposed to match the new Common Core standards that students will be tested on this coming spring. But the workbooks still covered some of the old standards, and the daily lessons all but ignored some of the new standards, such as how to measure to the nearest half-inch.

“I had to supplement a lot,” said Arabo, who is Michigan’s 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year. “It was a lot of searching and finding and printing and trying. My team worked together because we were all struggling. One of us would take a unit, the other one would take another unit and we would share our stuff together.”

According to many teachers, experts and advocates of the Common Core, traditional curriculum sources haven’t been meeting the demands of the new set of math and English standards that have been rolled out in more than 40 states in the past few years. More and more teachers are scrapping off-the-shelf lessons and searching for replacements on the Internet or writing new curriculum materials themselves.

The Center on Education Policy (CEP), a nonpartisan research group, reports that in roughly two-thirds of districts in Common Core states, teachers have developed or are developing their own curricular materials in math (66 percent) and English Language Arts (65 percent). In more than 80 percent of districts, the CEP found that at least one source for curriculum materials was local — from teachers, the district itself or other districts in the state.

http://go.uen.org/33a

 

 


 

 

Move to kill Common Core standards hits roadblock Associated Press via (Phoenix) Arizona Republic

 

PHOENIX — Despite the popularity of such moves with conservative Republicans, efforts to stop the state’s new Common Core standards and expand school choice have hit roadblocks in the Legislature this week.

The Senate derailed by a wide margin a plan to end the state’s Common Core standards and allow districts to adopt their own standards. The 10-19 loss for Senate Bill 1458 by Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, is the second year in a row that the Senate turned away efforts to ditch the standards.

http://go.uen.org/32N

 

 


 

 

 

Farmington teacher on paid leave after giving state testing opt-out forms to students Esperanza Elementary School teacher believes students are tested too much Farmington (NM) Daily Times

 

FARMINGTON — A Farmington elementary teacher was placed on administrative leave Thursday after giving her students paperwork for opting out of state testing during class.

Sharon Yocum, an Esperanza Elementary School fifth-grade teacher, was informed by a member of the Farmington Municipal School District administration Thursday morning that she would be placed on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation for alleged unprofessional conduct.

Yocum said she was trying to inform parents and students of their options regarding the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, exam which New Mexico public schools starts administering on Monday.

Linda Schilz, Farmington schools assistant superintendent of human resources, said the district was unable to comment on Yocum’s leave since it is a personnel issue.

http://go.uen.org/33c

 

 


 

 

Colorado Pushes For Concealed Guns In K-12 Schools NPR Morning Edition

 

Patrick Neville was a 15-year-old sophomore at Columbine High School in 1999. He was on his way to a fast food lunch when the shooting started.

Two students, armed with guns and pipe bombs, had stormed the Colorado school, on their way to killing one teacher and 12 students — some were Neville’s friends.

Neville, now a Colorado State Representative, says that many of Columbine’s teachers and faculty acted heroically that day.

But, he says, “I truly believe that had some of them had the legal authority to be armed, more of my friends might be with me today.”

That’s part of the reason that Neville, a Republican, has proposed legislation in Colorado that would give anyone with a concealed weapons permit — “any law-abiding citizen,” Neville says — the right to carry firearms in public schools.

http://go.uen.org/32Y

 

 


 

 

 

Jeb Bush Defends Stance on Immigration, Education Former Florida governor touts record of promoting conservative agenda in speech to Club for Growth Wall Street Journal

 

PALM BEACH, Fla.— Jeb Bush offered an aggressive defense Thursday night of his positions on immigration and education, suggesting that he is willing to lock horns with his conservative critics as he lays out a rationale for his presidential campaign.

In remarks to a small group of wealthy conservatives here Thursday night, Mr. Bush, a former Florida governor, rejected efforts to label him a centrist, saying his two terms as Florida governor provided ample evidence of his success in promoting a conservative agenda.

But he stuck by his support for two stances at odds with those of the Republican base. He backed a set of education standards known as Common Core and touted the economic benefits of increased immigration, restating his belief that immigrants in the country illegally should eventually be granted some form of legal status.

The timing of his remarks on the eve of a highly anticipated appearance before conservative activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington suggests Mr. Bush is willing to court confrontation with some of his party’s most committed activists.

“I’m not backing down from something that is a core belief,” he declared to rousing applause here at the Club for Growth’s annual retreat. “Are we all just supposed to cower because, at the moment, people are upset about something? No way, no how.”

http://go.uen.org/33d

 

 


 

 

Twitter account bullied students

Account deleted, but not before damage is done Durango (CO) Herald

 

An anonymous Twitter account that spread gossip about Durango High School, and in many cases singled out students for attacks, was shut down Thursday evening, but not before it had been active for three weeks and brought cyberbullying to a highly public audience.

The account, DHS Gossip, or @DHS_gossip, tweeted derogatory statements about students’ sexual orientation, promiscuity and physical appearance.

It was unclear Thursday night if the account was shut down by its creator after media exposure or because of a complaint Durango School District 9-R made with Twitter earlier in the afternoon.

“We did file a report. This may have something to do with that,” District 9-R Spokeswoman Julie Popp said late Thursday evening.

The account debuted Feb. 3 with its first tweet, saying a student, who was identified by first name, “is ugly.” It went down hill from there, with tweets mentioning cocaine and sexual activity. The account information said, “Got some gossip or a confession? Tell us about it anonymously.”

A similar account, DHS Confessions, or @DHSconfessions8, was most recently active in November. The accounts provided a link to Google Docs to allow students to submit their own tweets anonymously.

Earlier on Thursday, Popp said in an email that the district was “deeply bothered to learn that this is occurring.” She said it was the first time the district had heard about the @dhs_gossip account.

http://go.uen.org/32X

 

 


 

 

 

School math answers only a scan away with Croatian app Reuters

 

ZAGREB – Damir Sabol, Croatian computer expert and entrepreneur, was helping his son with his maths homework when he had an idea.

“I found it a bit tedious, all those additions and multiplications, so I reckoned, ‘We already have intelligent software, why not make it deal with maths?'” Sabol said.

The result was PhotoMath, a free app that scans and solves equations, providing a step-by-step explanation. It has been downloaded more than 11 million times since its introduction in October, and it was just updated on Thursday to take it to high school level. An Android version is due in days.

The app is based on the same technology as an earlier app called PhotoPay that was introduced in 2012 by Sabol’s company, which is also called Photo Pay. That app facilitates mobile banking, by scanning household bills and paying them instantly.

http://go.uen.org/333

 

 


 

 

 

First Lady: US Experiencing Food ‘Culture Change’

Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama said Thursday that the U.S. has undergone a “culture change” in the five years since she started raising awareness about childhood obesity. But as she celebrated achievements on multiple fronts, the first lady also warned that the progress that’s been made is “incredibly fragile.”

That’s because special interests “whose first priority is not our kids’ health” are “waiting for us to get complacent or bored and move on to the next trendy issue,” Mrs. Obama said at an annual health summit. She cited the fight over a recent child nutrition law as an example.

“Even today, some folks are still arguing that we just can’t afford to serve our kids healthy food, that it’s too expensive,” she said in a reference to Obama administration requirements that more fresh produce and whole grains be served in schools.

Many schools have adopted the standards but others contend they aren’t working and have lobbied Congress to weaken them. Schools must follow government nutrition rules if they accept federal reimbursements for free and reduced-price meals for low-income students.

http://go.uen.org/O1

 

 


 

 

New Guidance to Help Protect Student Privacy in Educational Sites and Apps U.S. Department of Education

 

When signing up for a new technology, digital service, or app, there’s a simple little check box near the end that most of us don’t give much thought. But for schools and districts, agreeing to a terms of service agreement could have big implications for student privacy.

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Education released model terms of service guidance to help schools identify which online educational services and apps have strong privacy and data security policies to protect our students.

Some terms of service agreements are a tough read, even for lawyers, so the hope is that our new guidance will help school officials decide what’s right for their school and students.

http://go.uen.org/331

 

A copy of the guidance

http://go.uen.org/332 (ED)

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

February 27:

House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HNAE0227.ag.htm

 

Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee meeting

8 a.m., 250 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SREV0227.ag.htm

 

Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee meeting

8:30 a.m., 215 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SEDW0227.ag.htm

 

House Retirement and Independent Entities Committee meeting

12:30 p.m., 215 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HRIE0227.ag.htm

 

 

March 2

Senate Education Committee meeting

8 a.m., 210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2015&Com=SSTEDU

 

House Education Committee meeting

4 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2015&Com=HSTEDU

 

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

6 p.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?Year=2015&Com=APPEXE

 

 

March 5-6:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

March 12:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

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