Education News Roundup: March 4, 2015

Six new State Board of Education members were sworn in during the January Board meeting.

Six new State Board of Education members were sworn in during the January Board meeting.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Legislature still debating what to do about the election/appointment of Utah State Board of Education.

http://go.uen.org/35e (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/35i (DN)

 

And perhaps they’ll form a task force to study testing; dunno if there will be a quiz at the end of it.

http://go.uen.org/35h (DN)

 

Parental rights bill advances.

http://go.uen.org/35j (DN)

 

As does a student privacy bill.

http://go.uen.org/35G (UPC)

 

Will Utah 8th graders have a gun safety class in school?

http://go.uen.org/36a (OSE)

and http://go.uen.org/360 (CVD)

and http://go.uen.org/369 (KSL)

and http://go.uen.org/367 (Colorado Springs Gazette)

 

Logan interviews superintendent finalists.

http://go.uen.org/35x (LHJ)

 

Park City junior high teachers create math videos.

http://go.uen.org/36c (PR)

 

Trib looks at school breakfast in Utah.

http://go.uen.org/35p (SLT)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

House, Senate take opposite stands on school board elections

 

Bill would create task force to evaluate student testing

 

Bill clarifying parental rights in education gets preliminary Senate approval

 

Student Privacy Bill Gets OK

 

A Watchdog Lobbyist or a Charter School Advocate? Stephenson Fails to Sway Committee with Mixed Message

 

Opt-in gun safety class for eighth graders pushed by lawmaker

 

Bill OK’d to provide resources for students with learning disabilities

 

House passes bills to help protect children from sexual abuse

 

School Counselor Training to Provide College Prep Clears Senate Committee

 

Legislative Notes Warn a Number of Proposed Bills Could Run Afoul of Federal Law

 

Logan district superintendent hopefuls state their cases before school board

 

Monticello High math whiz is teacher of year

 

Math students press play to learn more

Treasure Mountain Junior High math teachers have created dozens of instructional videos

 

Schools combat hunger by serving breakfast in class Education » Poor participation before school prompts schools to move meal into classrooms.

 

Kindergarten on the horizon

 

SheTech at UVU courting high school girls interested in STEM

 

Canyons Board of Education approves $3.8M in facilities projects

 

Hurricane schools on ‘lockout’ after girl reports attempted kidnapping

 

Massive storms swamp Monument Valley area, close schools

 

Weather related outages lead to early school dismissal, leave residents in South Sevier, Piute County in the dark

 

Orem High’s a cappella group heads to popular vocal competition

 

Palmer is named Super-Fan

 

ICSD releases kindergarten registration schedule

 

Exchange program seeks host families

 

Kansas state Senate passes bill banning teachers from including ‘harmful materials’ in curriculum

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Meanwhile

 

Don’t be frightened by vaccine myths

 

Conscience vs. The Law

 

From the Homefront: Raising a reader, how parents can instill a love of the written word in kids

 

Education Funding for Western States is Elementary

 

Public Lands: What’s this debate about, again?

 

Education musings

 

A case against Common Core

 

Honor farmer at new Millville high school

 

Teachers need to be paid more

 

Delayed vote on House ESEA bill viewed by Insiders as a significant setback

 

The Changing Geography Of Education, Income Growth And Poverty In America

 

Republican Senator Aims To Roll Back Healthy School Lunch Rules John Hoeven wants to get rid of whole-grain requirements and salt limits. Here’s why.

 

 


 

 

NATION

 

New ‘Consumer Reports’ for Common Core finds learning materials lacking

 

School Agenda Bedevils Chicago Mayor in Race

 

Education Next Cover on Moynihan Report Anniversary Raises Hackles

 

Students Throw Away Less Food With New Healthier School Lunches

 

13-year-old brings moonshine to show in science class Teacher gets in trouble

 

NYC Public Schools to Close on 2 Muslim Holidays

 

8th Circuit cuts damages for white superintendent in discrimination row

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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House, Senate take opposite stands on school board elections

 

Votes taken Tuesday by the Utah House and Senate showed markedly contrasting approaches to reforming the election process for state school board members.

In the Senate, a large majority of lawmakers approved making the state school board partisan and placing a constitutional amendment before voters to have school board members be appointed by the governor.

But a similarly large majority of representatives in the House did the opposite, killing a proposed constitutional amendment and approving a bill to create nonpartisan elections for state school board members.

The Senate has yet to vote on a nonpartisan school board proposal and HB186, the bill approved by the House on Tuesday, is described by its sponsor Rep. Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, as a compromise measure.

Under the bill, candidates would be required to gather 2,000 signatures from voters in their district to qualify for the ballot. Gibson said the signatures are meant to ensure that candidates interact with and respond to their constituents as an alternative to the vetting of the party caucus and convention system.

“It does take effort,” he said. “It is not easy but if you want to be on the state school board it shouldn’t be easy.”

A recent poll by UtahPolicy.com found that a majority of Utah voters, including a plurality of Republicans, favor nonpartisan elections for the state school board.

But after years of disagreement on whether the elections should be partisan or nonpartisan, several lawmakers had expressed interest in ending elections and instead having board members be appointed by the governor and subject to Senate confirmation.

http://go.uen.org/35e (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/35i (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Bill would create task force to evaluate student testing

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Last month, Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, sparked a debate about SAGE testing, saying he would back legislation to create a task force to consider eliminating the test.

On Tuesday, the Senate Education Committee unanimously passed a bill with no debate that would create that task force.

SB279 would charge the task force of lawmakers and State School Board members to evaluate whether Utah schools are “offering authentic formative assessments throughout the year to recognize mastery when it occurs,” and to make recommendations on changes needed to “hold student mastery as a constant and time as a variable.”

That is, the task force would consider whether to eliminate the year-end Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence and replace it with another means of testing that measures student performance multiple times in a school year.

http://go.uen.org/35h (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Bill clarifying parental rights in education gets preliminary Senate approval

 

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill giving further clarity to parents’ right to opt their children out of testing and excuse them from school gained further approval from lawmakers Tuesday.

SB204 would allow parents to excuse their children from “any summative, interim or formative test that is not locally developed,” as well as any federally or state-mandated test by only submitting a written request to school leaders.

The bill would also allow parents to excuse their student from school for family or medical reasons so long as they notify the school one day in advance and that the student agrees to make up the coursework missed.

SB204 gives further clarity to a bill passed last year that left unanswered questions as to the balance between a parent’s right to direct the education of their children and the operational needs of schools. Last year’s bill left educators wondering which tests were included in the opt-out policy, and it allowed students to be absent for any reason as long as they came back with a note from a parent.

http://go.uen.org/35j (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Student Privacy Bill Gets OK

 

A bill that seeks to protect student data was given unanimous approval from the House Education Committee Monday.

HB 68 – Student Privacy Act, sponsored by Representative Jake Anderegg (Republican – Lehi), now heads to the full House for its consideration.

The bill seeks to address what kind of information can be collected and stored by schools. Under the bill, student data will be divided into three categories – allowable, optional, and prohibited. Parental consent would be required in a number of cases. If passed, the new rules will not go into affect until the 2016-17 school year.

http://go.uen.org/35G (UPC)

 

 


 

 

A Watchdog Lobbyist or a Charter School Advocate? Stephenson Fails to Sway Committee with Mixed Message

 

To anyone attending the Utah Senate Education Committee hearing, a clear head and a keen understanding of the players was required to decipher what was trying to happen and the eventual outcome of the Senate Education Committee action on SB 284 – Charter School Funding Revisions.

The bill, originating with Senator Howard Stephenson (Republican – Draper), the President of the Utah Taxpayers Association, had only been birthed with a file number the day before and was still too new for an assigned floor sponsor. The bill attempts to redefine the manner and amount of funding, through tax assessments on real property, for charter schools.

In 2007, Stephenson, as Utah Taxpayers Association president, wrote about and defended a law enacted thirty years ago and is still known as the “Truth in Taxation” law. At that time, he described it as a fiscal restriction on the rise of taxes, a necessary tool for keeping property taxes in line with inflation and population growth.

Surprisingly, this week Stephenson seemed to many in the room and on the committee to be reversing that previous endorsement of what was heralded in years past as “Utah’s most taxpayer-friendly law.” The bill describes the substantial shift in philosophy required for a taxpayer watchdog to become an advocate for less transparency and reporting.

The result would then be applied to taxation earmarked for charter schools. Under SB 284, the per-pupil tax increase from between 25 percent to 50 percent is money taken from public school budgets in a specific district and diverted to the charter campus that the child attends. Stephenson describes this is a small amount of money.

http://go.uen.org/35F (UPC)

 

 


 

 

 

Opt-in gun safety class for eighth graders pushed by lawmaker

 

SALT LAKE CITY — A Davis County lawmaker’s legislation to provide opt-in gun safety instruction to public school eighth graders advanced out of committee Wednesday in a 4-0 vote.

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, is sponsor of SB276, a bill that would instruct youth who come across a gun to not touch it but notify an adult immediately.

The bill directs the Attorney General’s Office, in collaboration with the State Board of Education, to select a provider that would supply materials and curriculum for the pilot program. They would then report on the program to the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee. The program would require a one-time $75,000 appropriation from the state’s general fund, and is designed to sunset on July 1, 2018.

http://go.uen.org/36a (OSE)

 

http://go.uen.org/360 (CVD)

 

http://go.uen.org/369 (KSL)

 

http://go.uen.org/367 (Colorado Springs Gazette)

 

 


 

 

Bill OK’d to provide resources for students with learning disabilities

 

The House Education Committee on Wednesday passed a bill that would appropriate $750,000 to create a three-year pilot program to provide training for teachers and resources to enhance interventions for students in kindergarten through fifth grade at risk for reading difficulties, including dyslexia.

SB117 would allow up to five school districts or charter schools to receive $30,000 per school to invest in training and materials. Schools would apply for the grant through the Utah State Office of Education, which would award the funds.

http://go.uen.org/366 (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

House passes bills to help protect children from sexual abuse

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah House of Representatives has moved a pair of bills forward in an effort to better protect children from sexual abuse.

House Bill 277, sponsored by Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, would eliminate the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases.

HB345, sponsored by Rep. Daniel McCay, R-Riverton, would ban anyone convicted of a felony involving child abuse from receiving or renewing a license to teach children in school.

Both bills passed unanimously Monday and will now go to the Senate for consideration.

http://go.uen.org/35v (PDH)

 

 


 

 

 

School Counselor Training to Provide College Prep Clears Senate Committee

 

Legislation that will provide more professional development opportunities for school counselors cleared another hurdle Monday in its quest to become law.

HB 198 – Strengthening College and Career Readiness, sponsored by Representative Patrice Arent (Democrat – Millcreek), received unanimous approval from the Senate Education Committee, and now heads to the full Senate for debate.

The bill would create an online program to help train counselors to provide college and career counseling.

http://go.uen.org/35H (UPC)

 

 


 

 

Legislative Notes Warn a Number of Proposed Bills Could Run Afoul of Federal Law

 

Welcome to the Legislature, freshman Rep. Norman Thurston. Two of your bills are likely illegal.

And Sen. Mark Madsen’s medical marijuana bill has legal problems as well, could run afoul of federal law.

So too, Sen. Aaron Osmond and his 1stSubSB84.

Even though Osmond has not moved to substitute his original SB84 formally, the Legislature’s attorneys say the substitute is likely illegal because it would give the State Board of Education the authority to define school lunches, and the federally-funded school lunch program is set by federal agencies, and the state can’t take control of them.

The four above bills – HB247, HB297, SB259, and 1stSubSB84 – all have attached what is known as “legislative notes.”

These are legal opinions of the Legislature’s staff attorneys, warning what federal laws, state and federal court rulings, could be violated if the bills as written become state statute.

http://go.uen.org/35f (UP)

 

 


 

 

 

Logan district superintendent hopefuls state their cases before school board

 

The Logan City School District is only days away from having a new superintendent after the Board of Education conducted its final interviews Tuesday.

The day was filled with two rounds of interviews. The first was a closed session with selected stakeholders made up of teachers, parents, administration and community members asking the candidates questions with the Board of Education observing. The second round was an open session, where the candidates answered questions presented to them by the Board of Education and shared their plans for the first and third year if they were hired.

Originally, there were five final candidates. However, Board President Ann Geary announced at the beginning of the open session that there would be only four. One of the candidates, whose name was not released, removed his candidacy when he discovered that being superintendent would result in a 33 percent pay cut from his current job.

The four remaining candidates were Mike Monson, principal of Mount Logan Middle School; Daryl Guymon, the teaching, learning and assessment services director in the district; Mark Taylor, director of human resources at the Lincoln County School District No. 2 in Afton, Wyoming; and Frank Schofield, the principal of Midlvale Middle School in Midvale.

http://go.uen.org/35x (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

 

Monticello High math whiz is teacher of year

 

Gordon Reeve, a math teacher at Monticello High School, is the 2015 Teacher of the Year for the San Juan School District.

Reeve was presented the honor at a February 23 banquet sponsored by the San Juan School District Education Foundation.

http://go.uen.org/361 (San Juan Record)

 

 


 

 

 

Math students press play to learn more

Treasure Mountain Junior High math teachers have created dozens of instructional videos

 

With students receiving no math textbooks since Common Core became the standard in Utah in 2010, math teachers at Treasure Mountain Junior High saw a need for students to have a resource that would help them learn difficult concepts.

So they turned to technology. The school’s math department created dozens of online instructional videos over the summer, giving students a tool to supplement classroom instruction.

“When kids would either miss school or need a little bit of extra help, we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if they just had a quick how-to video to watch?'” said Andrea Payne, who teaches ninth-grade math. “They could just go to this site, watch a five- or 10-minute video and remember how to do something.”

The videos, which range from about five to 20 minutes, have been a hit with many students who have used them for supplemental help. But the math department found an unconventional way to utilize the videos even further.

http://go.uen.org/36c (PR)

 

 


 

 

Schools combat hunger by serving breakfast in class Education » Poor participation before school prompts schools to move meal into classrooms.

 

Midvale • Shortly after 8:50 a.m. on Tuesday, students started trickling into Michele Brees’ fifth-grade classroom at Copperview Elementary.

They hung up their wet coats and lined up to grab a cereal bar, string cheese and juice out of a blue cooler placed by the door.

Copperview student Kallie Leyba, who had tied balloon animals into her hair as part of a school-wide celebration of Dr. Seuss, said the breakfast was good. But she preferred the whole wheat pancakes the school serves at least once every two weeks.

“It gives me more energy to work,” she said.

Most schools serve breakfast before classes begin. But Copperview is part of a growing trend to shift morning meals into the school day to boost participation and help children focus more on their studies and less on their growling stomachs.

The school made the switch last fall with the help of grant money from the State Office of Education. Now, teachers and school administrators say, students are more engaged and better-fed in the morning hours.

http://go.uen.org/35p (SLT)

 

 


 

 

 

Kindergarten on the horizon

 

Lucas Mangelson counts the number of cars his family owns. He chatters about his family, how he is learning karate and demonstrates how to put together jigsaw puzzles. He can tell you his full name, is working on spelling his first name and is learning his mother’s phone number.

Lucas is one of the many children in Southern Utah who have or will turn 5 years old before Sept. 1 and will enter the world of kindergarten.

http://go.uen.org/17g (SGS)

 

 


 

 

 

SheTech at UVU courting high school girls interested in STEM

 

March 4 is the last day high school-aged girls in Utah Valley can sign up to participate in the SheTech Explorer Day held at UVU.

Held March 13, the free event and excused school absence is designed to introduce girls in grades 9-12 to programs in science, technology, engineering and math. It will feature multiple companies from around the country and state, including Ancestry, US Synthetics, Disney, eBay and Thanksgiving Point.

http://go.uen.org/35u (PDH)

 

 


 

 

Canyons Board of Education approves $3.8M in facilities projects

 

SANDY — The Canyons Board of Education approved $3.8 million in small-capital facilities projects funded in the budget for the fiscal year 2015-16.

A full capital facilities list will be put in front of the board later this spring as part of the budget.

http://go.uen.org/35q (DN)

 

 


 

 

Hurricane schools on ‘lockout’ after girl reports attempted kidnapping

 

A female student’s report of an attempted abduction at gunpoint had police institute a “lockout” at schools in the southwestern Utah community of Hurricane Wednesday morning.

Hurricane police Sgt. Brandon Buell said a male suspect had brandished a firearm and tried to force her into his vehicle about 8 a.m. outside Hurricane High School. Instead, the girl ran into the school a reported the incident to the vice principal, who called police.

Buell said police were hunting for the suspect, described as being in his late 30s to early 40s, 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-10, about 180-to-220 pounds and with a brown beard. The alleged would-be abductor also wore a black beanie-style cap, plaid jacket and dark-colored jeans.

Buell said the suspect was believed to be driving a white four-door passenger car.

As a precaution, students in all six Hurricane-area schools were kept inside locked buildings while police conducted their manhunt.

http://go.uen.org/35o (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/35A (SGS)

 

http://go.uen.org/35D (SGN)

 

http://go.uen.org/35I (KUTV)

 

http://go.uen.org/35J (KTVX)

 

http://go.uen.org/35K (KSL)

 

http://go.uen.org/35M (KSTU)

 

 


 

 

 

Massive storms swamp Monument Valley area, close schools

 

A series of winter storms have hit San Juan County in the past week, resulting in significant problems on roads in the southern portion of the county, particularly around the Monument Valley area.

While the initial storm caused local residents to hunker down and wait out the storm, the subsequent moisture has brought some misery and suffering.

http://go.uen.org/362 (San Juan Record)

 

 


 

 

 

Weather related outages lead to early school dismissal, leave residents in South Sevier, Piute County in the dark

 

MONROE — Nearing the conclusion of what has become one of the warmest, driest winters on record in Utah, Mother Nature decided early Monday to dump more than 6 inches of snow on south central Utah.

While the abundance of the white stuff is a welcome sight, the whirlwind of winter weather wreaked havoc on power systems in southern Sevier and Piute counties.

The outages in the South Sevier area also forced schools to dismiss students early and caused many area businesses to shut their doors for the day.

http://go.uen.org/365 (Richfield Reaper)

 

 


 

 

Orem High’s a cappella group heads to popular vocal competition

 

OREM — Orem High School’s fledgling a cappella group, “Critical Mass,” will compete in the regional International Championship of High School a cappella competition in San Antonio, Texas. This group will be the first Utah high school a cappella team to reach that level.

http://go.uen.org/35L (KSL)

 

 


 

 

 

Palmer is named Super-Fan

 

Blanding businessman Tom Palmer was named a Super Fan by the Utah High School Activities Association. Palmer and his wife Karie were honored at halftime of a game at the 2A State Basketball Tournament.

http://go.uen.org/363 (San Juan Record)

 

 


 

 

ICSD releases kindergarten registration schedule

 

CEDAR CITY – Officials from the Iron County School District released the kindergarten registration and immunization schedule for the 2015-16 school year.

http://go.uen.org/35B (SGS)

 

 


 

 

 

Exchange program seeks host families

 

Forte Exchange, an international exchange student program, is looking for families to host foreign students who will be attending Park City High School, South Summit High School and North Summit High School next school year. Ginger Smith, community representative for Forte Exchange, said in an email that the exchange students who need a home include: a girl from Thailand, a boy from Spain, a boy from Sweden, a girl from Taiwan and two girls from Germany. The students will be staying for the school year and have their own spending money. For more information, contact Smith at 603-397-2494 or visit Forte Exchange’s website at forteexhange.org.

http://go.uen.org/368 (PR)

 

 


 

 

 

Kansas state Senate passes bill banning teachers from including ‘harmful materials’ in curriculum

 

The Kansas state Senate passed a bill allowing teachers to be charged with a class B misdemeanor for including “harmful materials” in their curriculum, reports Courthouse News Service.

http://go.uen.org/36d (DN)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Meanwhile

Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

 

A Salt Lake City parking officer may have been a little lax in February since the enforcer appears to have been in desperation mode to write a flurry of tickets ­— to meet a quota? — on the month’s last business day.

At Whittier Elementary School, 1600 S. 300 East, parents were doing what they do every school day at 8 a.m. — dropping off their kids in time to make the 8:15 tardy bell by driving in front, where there is a bus zone, and stopping for a few seconds to let out their young scholars.

There were no buses. There is a no-parking sign, but no one was parked.

Nonetheless, on this particular day, Barney Fife was ready for the kill.

http://go.uen.org/35g

 

 


 

 

 

Don’t be frightened by vaccine myths

(Provo) Daily Herald commentary by David Kennard, executive editor

 

Vaccinations save lives. They do not cause autism. They do not spread viruses.

Why this has become an issue among so many here in Utah is beyond me.

I understand the issue of treading on personal freedoms. I understand there are families that feel it is wrong to compel school children to be immunized.

Parents — not “the government” — should be responsible for their own children. But the key word here is responsible.

http://go.uen.org/35w

 

 


 

 

 

Conscience vs. The Law

Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Katharine Biele

 

The big debate these days is over majority rule vs. minority rights, and it’s not an easy discussion. It comes up in just about everything, gay marriage vs. religious rights being the big one. Former Salt Lake City Police Officer Eric Moutsos spoke out recently about his religious right to refuse to ride his motorcycle in the 2014 Utah Pride parade. Yeah, yeah, it wasn’t like a gay guy was being assaulted, his rationale went. On another front, some parents are trying to buck the education system and opt their kids out of testing. Some don’t like the time testing takes; others fear data collection on their children. Whatever the reasons, the battle is between conscience and the rule of law. There are ways to exercise your conscience, but flouting the law isn’t one of them.

http://go.uen.org/36b

 

 


 

From the Homefront: Raising a reader, how parents can instill a love of the written word in kids Deseret News commentary by columnist Tiffany Gee Lewis

 

March is National Reading Month, and Monday, March 2, was the National Education Association’s Read Across America event. But in order for parents to raise leisure readers, those who read beyond the hours required by school, three things need to be in place, said Daniel T. Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and author of the book “Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers Can Do.”

http://go.uen.org/35r

 

 


 

 

 

Education Funding for Western States is Elementary Breitbart commentary by Rep. DAVID LIFFERTH

 

How do you fund the education of your children with nearly 70 percent of your revenue-generating lands and resources tied behind your back?

In 2014, Utah again found itself at the bottom of the list of per-pupil education funding among the states. This is amazing, considering that Utah dedicates the largest portion of its budget to education of any of the states, 40.8 percent.

This dichotomy should actually come as no surprise because the vehicle generally used to fund public education is the property tax, but the nearly 70 percent federally controlled lands in Utah are non-taxable. This leaves the state with far fewer funding options and a public education system that is supported by 100 percent of the state income tax.

As a consequence, the public education funding formula offers no real consistency, as incomes fluctuate much more significantly and frequently than property values. Fortunately for Utah’s schoolchildren, it’s a state that has consistently ranked as one of the best managed in the nation and which produces an economy that generally outperforms its peers.

http://go.uen.org/364

 

 


 

 

Public Lands: What’s this debate about, again?

Senate Site commentary

 

Is all of the land in Utah Utah’s land? The question seems silly but the truth is only a part of the land in Utah is actually Utah’s land. Roughly 67% of Utah’s land is managed by the federal government. In 2012, the Utah State Legislature approved the “Transfer of Public Lands Act”. This bill mandated the transfer of lands under federal control to the state of Utah.

Supporters of the transfer raise three main arguments. First, Utah’s public lands contain valuable natural resources that go unutilized. The transfer of public lands could open these lands to economic development and, as a result, boost our economy. In addition, more economic growth means more tax revenue that can be spent on things like Education.

http://go.uen.org/35N

 

 


 

 

Education musings

(St. George) Spectrum op-ed by David W. Smith of St. George

 

Having taught public education in three states, as well as serving in the private sector as a general manager and helping organize many community programs, I feel I have a somewhat objective viewpoint as it comes to education.

As with so many government-issued mandates, the idea of “common core” has not been received well with the general public. While the concept means well, the methodology found within some of the problems really makes one scratch their head.

Here is my take: First of all, historically (and I’m talking 1800s to the mid 1900s), education was driven by the communities. School boards established what was important for students in those areas to learn and achieve. This made sense as so few people moved from state to state and rural areas would have had a different mindset as it came to education than kids growing up in bigger cities.

Today, things are much different. People are more transient in both job and location. It is not rare to have many students come to a new school from different areas and lifestyles, often mid-year.

http://go.uen.org/35C

 

 


 

 

A case against Common Core

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Loy Ann Hunt

 

Obamacare was first to mandate to the individual. Now education. Our governor and state school board have invited and allowed more federal government with Obama’s Common-Core standards; eliminating the parental rights we have left. Teachers and local leaders are losing control.

Utah’s educational leaders, either willing villains or ignorant pawns, are ignoring blatant warning signs: More time spent testing, less learning; behavioral questions, indoctrinating and prying into children’s homes (this year elementary students will spend more time testing than law students taking bar exam); database permanently storing child’s behavioral data and dismal test scores affecting confidence and self-esteem; teachers and parents unable to see actual test questions even after results (months later) to improve instruction; test results are not formative but summative, used to monitor not educate.

http://go.uen.org/35y

 

 


 

 

 

Honor farmer at new Millville high school

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Frank J. Smith

 

In the very near future Millville city will be having a public hearing concerning the master plan. The draft master plan for the city is available for people to see on the Millville city website at www.millvillecity.org.

When I was looking at the master plan online, one thing that came across my mind was that there was still about one acre of the original land farmed by Oscar Monson left adjacent to the new high school. Sadly, when I went to the Recorder’s Office the other day, I found out the LDS Church had purchased the property in September for the seminary.

This piece of property was not included in the school plan. Initially I was told that someone in the family was going to build a house there. Then I saw on a later plan that this property was being proposed as the site for the LDS seminary. It appears for some reason the LDS Church can not buy land from the school district anymore so now the church had to buy the property privately. Previously all the other land that was purchased for the LDS seminaries at Logan, Sky View, and Mountain Crest high schools was sold to the LDS Church by the school district.

http://go.uen.org/35z

 

 


 

 

Teachers need to be paid more

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Hunter Willott

 

School teachers are underpaid and they do a great job. They should get paid more for what they do. They are being disrespected by students and it is extremely hard to teach. They have to deal with all the disrespectful students for nine months with short breaks for grading papers getting report cards done.

I really appreciate my teachers work at North Layton Junior High. My teacher, Mrs. Fager, she does her work on time and grades fair and equally.

http://go.uen.org/35s

 

 


 

 

Delayed vote on House ESEA bill viewed by Insiders as a significant setback Whiteboard Advisors commentary

 

Last week, we released a snapshot of recent data from our February Eduation Insider on the timing of ESEA reauthorization. That survey closed on Februrary 25, and Insiders were very optimistic: 51.5% thought that Congress would pass a bill in 2015 and 57.7% believed a bill could be signed into law before Obama leaves office.

Just two days after our survey closed, on February 27, the House delayed a vote on a bill to reauthorize ESEA. Given the high expectations Insiders had expressed just two days prior, we wanted to follow-up to see how the delayed vote affected the outlook for reauthorization. The results of our March 2 follow-up survey are captured in the infographic below.

http://go.uen.org/35d

 

 


 

 

 

The Changing Geography Of Education, Income Growth And Poverty In America Forbes commentary by columnist Joel Kotkin

 

In this column, we often rate metropolitan areas for their performance over one year, five or at most 10. But measuring economic and social progress often requires a longer lens, spanning decades.

Nowhere is this clearer than in education, which many claim is the key to higher-wage economic growth. Yet there are two sets of numbers that need to be distinguished: those states with the highest percentage of educated workers and the states that have increased their numbers most rapidly.

On one side, the share of the population that is educated, states’ relative standings remain fairly similar to the way they were in 1970. Colorado, California, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia are all still above the national average for the percentage of the population over 25 with a bachelor’s degree, which has risen from 10.7% in 1970 to 29.6% in 2013. Massachusetts leads the nation with a remarkable 40.3% of its adult population having graduated from a four-year college. Overall, the “brainiest states” remain well ahead of their competitors in percentage terms.

But in terms of growth in the raw numbers of educated people, most of these states have lagged. Indeed their high concentrations of college graduates may reflect their slow population growth, or the lack of opportunities for people without a bachelor’s degree.

The states whose populations of college grads have grown the most are almost all in the South and the Sun Belt, led by Nevada with a 1,292% increase from 1970 to 2012 in the number of residents with four years of college or more, followed by Arizona (861%), Florida (743%) and Georgia (699%).

Although they mostly still lag the best educated states, their large additions of educated workers appears to be transforming these former backwaters into centers of advanced industry and commerce.

http://go.uen.org/35X

 

 


 

 

Republican Senator Aims To Roll Back Healthy School Lunch Rules John Hoeven wants to get rid of whole-grain requirements and salt limits. Here’s why.

Mother Jones commentary by columnist Allie Gross

 

Our nation’s school cafeterias are on track to serve more whole grains and less salt—but not if one Republican senator has anything to say about it.

On Monday, Rep. John Hoeven (R-ND) announced plans to introduce a bill that would roll back 2014 legislation requiring school cafeterias to ensure that 100 percent of their grains are whole-grain rich (meaning that at least 51 percent of a given food’s grains are whole, rather than refined). In addition, the bill seeks to remove stricter sodium limits that were set to take effect in 2017.

The bill, said Hoeven, would allow schools to “serve meals that are not only well-balanced but also appealing to students.”

Rep. Hoeven has accepted tens of thousands of lobbying dollars from the food industry.

Hoeven’s comment on student “appeal” has been at the center of debate since 2010, when President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Aimed at curbing the nation’s child obesity rate, it placed limits on the amounts of sugar, fat and salt being served on campuses and also ushered in mandates like the whole-grain requirement.

But opponents of the act argue that the requirements leave students with unappetizing choices that result in tons of waste.

http://go.uen.org/35l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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New ‘Consumer Reports’ for Common Core finds learning materials lacking Washington Post

 

A new organization calling itself the “Consumer Reports” of K-12 textbooks has issued its first analysis of classroom materials in the age of the Common Core State Standards, and it found most of the materials lacking.

EdReports.org, a non-profit organization, looked at 20 sets of K-8 math materials in widespread use around the country and found just one series — Eureka Math for grades K-8 — met its criteria for being properly aligned with the Common Core for all grade levels. The organization first released its findings Wednesday morning.

The speedy adoption of the Common Core in 43 states and D.C. has created great demand for new curricular materials to help educators teach to the new standards. Several recent analyses have found that while many academic publishers slap a “Common Core aligned” label on their books and teaching materials, few actually follow the new standards.

http://go.uen.org/35P

 

http://go.uen.org/35U (Ed Week)

 

 


 

 

School Agenda Bedevils Chicago Mayor in Race New York Times

 

CHICAGO — The sky­blue paint has begun to peel on the three­story building that was once Anthony Overton Elementary. Window air­conditioners are speckled with rust. Doors where children used to rush in and out are sealed with plywood.

The empty shell of this school on Chicago’s largely black South Side stands as a reminder of one of Rahm Emanuel’s defining acts as mayor: overseeing the closing of nearly 50 public schools deemed underperforming, underutilized or both. It was the largest closing of schools in memory, with many of them in black or Latino neighborhoods.

For the mayor, this was one step toward bringing better education to students trapped in failing schools amid a fiscal crisis. Overton, after all, was nothing to brag about. Its test scores put it in the lowest tier of the nation’s third­largest school district, and it had been placed on probation by school officials for three years. The population in Chicago had shrunk over time, some students had chosen alternatives like charter schools, and Overton was only half full.

But for families who saw Overton as an institution that gave the neighborhood stability, the decision was a blow. “It hurts,” said Earvin Wade, 55, who lives across the street. “You used to have a lot of kids there, families around. It was at the heart of our neighborhood. Now it’s nothing but an eyesore.”

As Mr. Emanuel faces an unexpected runoff election for mayor, questions are percolating through the race about his brusque style, his handling of gang violence and whether he has favored wealthy downtown interests over ordinary neighborhoods. But in the end, it may be the education agenda that he proudly, defiantly and swiftly carried out that threatens his political future.

http://go.uen.org/35k

 

 


 

 

 

Education Next Cover on Moynihan Report Anniversary Raises Hackles Education Week

 

The conservative-leaning journal Education Next has created a stir with the cover of its spring issue, which features an African-American family with a mother holding a baby and a fading image of the father.

The issue is largely devoted to the 50th anniversary of the “Moynihan Report,” the 1965 work by then-assistant U.S. labor secretary Daniel Patrick Moynihan officially titled “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.” Among other findings, the report identified a rising proportion of black children being raised in households headed by unmarried mothers.

The Education Next cover is a take on the painting “American Gothic,” but with a young black family (with the fading father), and the title “Today’s American Family?”

http://go.uen.org/35V

 

http://go.uen.org/35W (Fordham Institute)

 

 


 

 

Students Throw Away Less Food With New Healthier School Lunches University of Connecticut

 

After the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s healthier school meal standards went into effect, students ate more fruit and threw away less of their entrees and vegetables than before the changes, according to a study published today in Childhood Obesity.

The study was led by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. It is among the first studies to reliably measure student consumption of entrees, fruits, vegetables, and milk during lunch before and after the healthier standards took effect.

Contrary to concerns about increased food waste following the initial implementation of the updated standards, this study shows that students are throwing away less food now than they were before the standards were in place.

http://go.uen.org/35m

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/35n (Childhood Obesity)

 

 


 

 

 

13-year-old brings moonshine to show in science class Teacher gets in trouble Dayton (OH) Daily News

 

DEGRAFF — Two incidents in the past six months have authorities on the alert for local illegal moonshine activity.

A 13-year-old Logan County student was suspended last week for bringing a bottle of moonshine to his science class in January, according to Logan County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Riverside Local Schools Superintendent Scott Mann was also forced to reprimand the teacher, Jennifer Thompson, because she failed to report the incident.

Thompson told deputies that she knew the boy created a still and was starting to produce alcohol.

In January, the student brought the alcohol to class, and Thompson immediately dumped it down the drain. However, she failed to tell anyone about the incident.

http://go.uen.org/35T

 

 


 

 

NYC Public Schools to Close on 2 Muslim Holidays Associated Press

 

NEW YORK — The nation’s largest public school system will observe the two most important Muslim holidays starting next fall, a policy change hailed Wednesday by Islamic leaders in New York City.

Under the new policy, the city’s 1.1 million-pupil public school system will close on Sept. 24 for Eid al-Adha, which is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. The holiday of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, will be observed during summer school in 2016.

http://go.uen.org/35S

 

http://go.uen.org/35Y (NYT)

 

http://go.uen.org/35Z (WSJ)

 

 


 

 

8th Circuit cuts damages for white superintendent in discrimination row Reuters

 

A U.S. appeals court has ruled that a jury award granted to a former Arkansas school superintendent who claimed he was fired because he is white was too large since it exceeded the salary he would have received if he kept his job.

In a 2-1 decision issued Tuesday, a panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the $340,000 award of economic damages to Ray Nassar should be cut to $245,000, since that was how much he lost when he was fired by the Hughes School District with more than a year left on his contract.

http://go.uen.org/35Q

 

A copy of the ruling

http://go.uen.org/35R (8th Circuit Court of Appeals)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

March 3:

Senate Education Committee meeting

4 p.m.,  210 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SEDU0303.ag.htm

 

House Revenue & Taxation Committee meeting

4:10  p.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HREV0303.ag.htm

 

 

March 4:

House Education Committee meeting

8 a.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HEDU0304.ag.htm

 

House Health & Human Services Committee meeting

8 a.m., 20 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HHHS0304.ag.htm

 

Senate Judiciary Committee meeting

8 a.m., 250 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SJLC0304.ag.htm

 

Senate Revenue & Taxation Committee meeting

4 p.m., 250 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SREV0304.ag.htm

 

Senate Economic Development & Workforce Services Committee meeting

4 p.m., 215 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SEDW0304.ag.htm

 

Senate Government Operations & Political Subdivisions Committee meeting

4:12 p.m., 415 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SGOP0304.ag.htm

 

 

March 5:

Senate Education Committee meeting

8 a.m., 215 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SEDU0305.ag.htm

 

House Revenue & Taxation Committee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HREV0305.ag.htm

 

Utah State Board of Education meeting

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

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

 

 

March 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

 

 

March 12:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

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