Education News Roundup: March 5, 2105

"Street Signs and Symmetry" by second grade students at Summit Academy.

“Street Signs and Symmetry” by second grade students at Summit Academy.

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

The future of the Utah State Board of Education: Partisan? Nonpartisan? Appointed?

http://go.uen.org/36f (SLT)

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

and http://go.uen.org/36s (KUER)

 

Sen. Millner’s math bill advances.

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

 

Alpine Superintendent Vern Henshaw announces his retirement.

http://go.uen.org/36z (PDH)

 

Davis considers a bond election for new schools.

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

 

Rep. Kline hopes to schedule a new vote on the ESEA rewrite the week of March 16.

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

 

Ed Week finds a Utah link for why there wasn’t a vote on that bill last week.

http://go.uen.org/371 (Ed Week)

 

ENR ponders the apparent decline and fall of his sex … at least when it comes to education.

http://go.uen.org/36n (Economist)

and http://go.uen.org/36S (WaPo)

and http://go.uen.org/36Y (CSM)

or a copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/36o (OECD)

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

House swats down partisan school board bill, Senate’s preferred option

 

Bill proposing more math for high school students moves to House

 

Herbert: Economy strong enough for education funding

 

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

 

Pilot program would allow teachers to work year-round

 

Bill to Drop Nutrition Standards in Schools Fails

 

School Split Compromise Passes House Committee

 

Bill clarifying parental rights in education gets OK from Senate

 

Senate OKs bill for school crisis reporting app

 

Utah Senate panel approves gun safety classes for students

 

Music students and teachers rally in response to STEM bill

 

Alpine School District superintendent Henshaw announces retirement

 

Davis School District looking at bond of up to $298 million

 

School District weighs options for North Elementary

 

Utah tops nation for huddling into cities

Census study » Federal land, limited water resources force people into cities.

 

New school boundaries being discussed at Cache School Board meeting

 

Prom plans secured after community gifts teen new wheelchair

 

Utah schools collect prom dresses and suits for poor and refugee students

 

Special-needs manager teaches Highland basketball players life lessons

 

Utah student recognized for video aiming to ‘Spread the Word to End the Word’

 

New endorsement

 

La Verkin man suspected of trying to force teen girl into his car

 

Muddy roads idle schools in Montezuma Creek, Monument Valley for rest of week

 

Illegal tint, frosty windows lead to car vs school bus collision

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Women and education

 

A tribute to teachers, mom

 

How a Conservative Blogger Helped Derail the House NCLB Rewrite

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

GOP Education Chairman Anticipates Vote on Education Bill

 

Common Core Supporters Run Ads in Iowa

 

The weaker sex

Boys are being outclassed by girls at both school and university, and the gap is widening

 

California Republicans take on teachers’ union in package of education bills

 

New Look at Suspension Data Pinpoints Disparities

Particular subgroups get disciplined often

 

Texas’ truancy law hit in study

Report urges student cases be decriminalized

 

Wyo. Senate shoots down guns-in-schools bill

The bill was rejected on a 25-3 vote after little debate.

 

State board upholds decision to suspend student in pastry incident

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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House swats down partisan school board bill, Senate’s preferred option

 

Utah lawmakers are honing in on a way to elect school board members.

But the House and Senate seem to have picked opposing methods.

A bill creating nonpartisan state school board elections was already on its way to the Senate Wednesday when the House doubled down by rejecting a proposal to make school board candidates go through party vetting.

SB104, sponsored by Highland Republican Sen. Alvin Jackson, was defeated in a 31-43 vote of the House. The bill won Senate approval last month but stumbled in the House amid objections to placing schools in political crosshairs.

“That is where I fear we’ll go off the rails,” Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, said. “We’ll get into party politics and issues that aren’t related to education.”

Wednesday’s vote came one day after House members approved a nonpartisan election proposal from Mapleton Republican Rep. Francis Gibson and struck down a proposed constitutional amendment to let the governor appoint state school board members.

State senators, on the other hand, gave final approval to a pair of bills that would set up partisan elections and ask voters in 2016 to approve gubernatorial appointments.

Those two bills will now be sent to the House, where nearly identical proposals have failed.

Lawmakers are expected to pass legislation altering school board elections this year in response to a September court ruling that effectively struck down the current election system.

Of the three bills still in play, only Gibson’s HB186 presents an option that has not been rejected by one of the Legislature’s two chambers.

http://go.uen.org/36f (SLT)

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/36s (KUER)

 

 


 

 

 

Bill proposing more math for high school students moves to House

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, wants to see fewer students taking remedial math courses in college.

The former president of Weber State University said 40 percent of students have to take a refresher course before entering college-level math, and Utah has 12,000 students enrolled in those remedial courses each year.

“After financial issues, math is probably the second-biggest reason that our students don’t stay in college and don’t complete college,” Millner said. “This is an issue we need to address, and I think we need to build a partnership between the (Utah State) Board of Regents and public education in order to be able to do this.”

Lawmakers advanced a bill Wednesday that would introduce new math requirements to help high schoolers be ready for college and a career when they graduate.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Herbert: Economy strong enough for education funding

 

  1. GEORGE – Utah’s job growth continued to accelerate its pace in the first month of 2015, a trend that Gov. Gary Herbert is arguing should be another incentive for state lawmakers to consider upping education funding.

Year-over-year job growth was 4.1 percent for January, with an estimated 53,600 new jobs having been added to the economy over the previous 12 months, according to a jobs report released Wednesday. Private sector growth was even higher, at 4.7 percent.

http://go.uen.org/36F (SGS)

 

 


 

 

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

 

SALT LAKE CITY — About 80 percent of people with learning disabilities in the U.S. have dyslexia, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

But 75 percent of Utah students with dyslexia are denied special help because they “aren’t failing enough” in class, according to Karee Atkinson, president of advocacy group Decoding Dyslexia Utah.

Atkinson said parents and teachers of children with the disability struggle to find resources to help them. Meanwhile, the students’ reading ability gets further and further behind.

“We are the parents. We have children who are struggling to read. And as they struggle to read, it’s sometimes very, very difficult for them to get help,” Atkinson said. “Everything we know says waiting is the absolute wrong approach. … There’s no reason to wait. There’s every reason to move ahead. Our teachers want this knowledge.”

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.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Pilot program would allow teachers to work year-round

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawmakers approved a bill Tuesday to create a pilot program that would allow Utah teachers to teach year-round instead of being unemployed each summer.

Schools and teachers that choose to participate in the pilot program outlined in SB285 would operate on three semesters instead of two. Students would be able to choose which two semesters they would like to attend school.

The bill also proposes to increase salaries for teachers in participating schools by 50 percent because they would be working 50 percent more of the time. But the change would save the state money on teachers’ health insurance benefits, which are paid even when the teacher isn’t working, according to bill sponsor Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/36Z (KSL)

 

 


 

 

 

Bill to Drop Nutrition Standards in Schools Fails

 

A bill that would exempt schools from federal nutrition standards failed to gain the endorsement of the Senate Education Committee Tuesday.

SB 84 – State Control of School Nutrition Standards, sponsored by Senator Aaron Osmond (Republican – South Jordan), requires the State Board of Education to make rules concerning nutrition standards for food sold by a school food authority.

http://go.uen.org/36I (UPC)

 

 


 

 

 

School Split Compromise Passes House Committee

 

Legislation that would set rules on the formation of new school districts was passed out of the House Education Committee with a favorable recommendation Monday.

HB 93 – School District Amendments, sponsored by Representative Craig Hall (Republican – West Valley City), was advanced on a 6-3 vote. Representatives Kim Coleman (Republican – West Jordan), Justin Fawson (Republican – North Ogden), and Marie Poulson (Democrat – Cottonwood Heights) voted against the measure.

Under the bill, a city or interlocal agreement participant would not be allowed to create a new school district if a feasibility study shows that the five-year projected average annual revenue of the new school district exceeds the five-year projected average annual cost by more than 5 percent.

http://go.uen.org/36J (UPC)

 

 


 

 

Bill clarifying parental rights in education gets OK from Senate

 

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill giving further clarity to parents’ right to opt their children out of testing and excuse them from school was approved by the Utah Senate on Wednesday.

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 that is missed.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Senate OKs bill for school crisis reporting app

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate gave its final approval to a bill that would facilitate a smartphone application to better connect students with resources to deal with violence, harassment and suicide.

SB175, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, passed its third Senate reading in a 22-3 vote Wednesday. The bill would remove sunset provisions for the School Safety Commission pilot program, appropriating $150,000 from the education fund to make the program ongoing.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Utah Senate panel approves gun safety classes for students

 

SALT LAKE CITY — A proposal that would offer basic gun safety education to Utah middle schoolers passed its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday.

A state Senate committee approved the measure, which would provide voluntary firearm safety lessons for eighth graders. The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, will next go to the full Senate for a vote.

Weiler said the proposal would not allow actual firearms to be brought into a school building. Instead, the curriculum instructs students not to touch guns and to tell an adult if they come across one.

His measure would give the state attorney general control of the firearms safety curriculum.

http://go.uen.org/36A (PDH)

 

http://go.uen.org/36B (LHJ)

 

http://go.uen.org/36L (KUTV)

 

 


 

 

Music students and teachers rally in response to STEM bill

 

The West Lake Wind Symphony performs at a Utah Music Educators Association rally in response to HB203 at the state Capitol in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, March 4, 2015. The bill would significantly increase salary incentives for math, science and special education teachers. The arts supporters say music is just as vital in education and they would like to see the state’s STEM initiative changed to STEAM to include the arts.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Alpine School District superintendent Henshaw announces retirement

 

AMERICAN FORK — Vernon M. Henshaw has announced his retirement as superintendent of Alpine School District, effective July 31.

Henshaw, 60, has led the district for the past 15 years.

http://go.uen.org/36z (PDH)

 

 


 

 

Davis School District looking at bond of up to $298 million

 

FARMINGTON – Davis School District has unveiled its preliminary wish list of construction, remodeling and repair items for the next five years. It includes a potential bond issue this year for voters on November’s ballot.

The total potential projects would need funding of $298 million, though the board will ultimately decide the amount, and whether or not to authorize a bond this year. The potential project amount is more than the 2009 bond approved by Davis County voters for $250 million. School officials said at a recent school board meeting that with inflation, the cost of building and remodeling schools has gone up.

If the bond is authorized as a resolution by the Davis School District Board and approved by voters in November, ground would be broken for a new high school in Farmington in the spring of 2016, and on a new junior high at a location yet to be determined, beginning in 2017.

A new high school – the 10th for the district — is slated to cost $80 million, taking two years to build and a new junior high – the 17th for the district – would cost $40 million.

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

 

 


 

 

 

School District weighs options for North Elementary

 

CEDAR CITY – The Iron County School Board discussed the future of North Elementary School during its meeting Tuesday.

ICSD Superintendent Shannon Dulaney presented three options for discussion to the board, including a simple facelift of the existing building, a renovation or a complete new building .

http://go.uen.org/36E (SGS)

 

 


 

 

Utah tops nation for huddling into cities

Census study » Federal land, limited water resources force people into cities.

 

Utah has plenty of wide-open spaces across its deserts and mountains. But more than any other state, its residents huddle into cities.

A study released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau says 88.4 percent of Utahns live in cities and towns, instead of unincorporated areas, the top in the nation.

Ranking behind it are Illinois, 86.9 percent; California, 83.1 percent; Kansas, 82.7; and Minnesota, 82.2. Vermont had the lowest rate at 24.6 percent.

The percentage of people living in cities in 2013 by region was highest in the West at 76.4 percent.

“The higher percentage of people living in cities in the West can partly be explained by the limited access to water outside of western cities and federally held land surrounding many of these cities, which limits growth outside incorporated areas,” said Darryl Cohen, the report’s author.

“This is especially true in Utah, where 88.4 percent of the population lives in an incorporated place,” Cohen said.

http://go.uen.org/36g (SLT)

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/36h (Census)

 

 


 

 

 

New school boundaries being discussed at Cache School Board meeting

 

Significant changes will be happening before long in the Cache County School District as a major building program approved by voters in last year’s bond election is underway. Two new high schools will be built. One is currently being built in Millville and scheduled to open in August of 2016 and the other high school will open in North Logan one year later.

http://go.uen.org/36C (CVD)

 

 


 

 

 

Prom plans secured after community gifts teen new wheelchair

 

KEARNS — Each night Tyson Howick would lock his motorized chair to a railing outside his Kearns home with a chain. Last Friday morning he awoke to find the chain broken and his wheelchair gone. He’s been looking for it ever since.

The 16-year-old loves to dance, and in his old chair he was well-supported, making it fairly easy.

http://go.uen.org/36O (KSL)

 

 


 

 

Utah schools collect prom dresses and suits for poor and refugee students

 

It’s a rite of passage for some students – the most exciting night of the year. But prom expenses can prevent teens from low-income families from attending.

That’s why students at two Salt Lake County high schools are collecting dresses and suits to be rented out for free.

The Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way donated dozens of dresses last year to Cottonwood High School in Murray and Kearns High School. Since then, student body officers, students, friends and neighbors have donated both new and used attire, as well as jewelry and accessories.

http://go.uen.org/36K (KUTV)

 

 


 

 

 

Special-needs manager teaches Highland basketball players life lessons

 

SALT LAKE CITY — On a winter’s night, a crowded gym full of cheering fans and high school basketball players is the place to be. But one man works quietly behind the scenes filling water bottles and making sure the buses arrive on time. Players and coaches say Mike Magelby is their glue.

“He’s an institution at Highland,” said Jim Boyce, head coach at Highland High School. “He’s been here a lot longer than I have, and he’ll probably be there a lot longer than I’m there, and he kind of runs things.”

Mike is a graduate of Highland. In 16 years as manager, he hasn’t missed a varsity game, often walking across town to attend JV and freshman games as well. He’s helped Highland win three state championships, coaches said. He’s punctual, dependable and extraordinary.

http://go.uen.org/36P (KSL)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah student recognized for video aiming to ‘Spread the Word to End the Word’

 

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — Wednesday is national “Spread the Word to End the Word” day. The word is the “R” word or “retarded.” To many it is very offensive and hurtful, and in American Fork a special group of students have taken it upon themselves to help put an end to it.

“I never would have thought at some point one of my videos would have such an impact on such a great cause and cool message,” said American Fork High School senior Taylor Reece.

Reece is part of the high school’s video production class. As part of an assignment, he teamed up with members of the life skills class to make a public service announcement video discouraging people from using the “R” word.

http://go.uen.org/36Q (KSTU)

 

 


 

 

New endorsement

 

SUU paves the way for art education students, giving them the ability to have a K-6 endorsement on top of the seven through 12 art license.

Most universities in the state of Utah are unable to license students in elementary education for art education.

Deborah Snider, an assistant professor of art education, said she was displeased that art teachers were only being licensed for secondary education and decided to find a way to make it a K-6 capable endorsement.

Denise Turvis, a professor of dance, showed Snider and other teachers the way when she took on the college of education to make dance a K-6 certification. It only took Snider a month to get the art education K-6 program passed after following Turvis’ steps.

The K-6 certifications required six additional credits for each art education student, which means a student would then take 136 credits for the major.

http://go.uen.org/370 (SUU News)

 

 


 

 

La Verkin man suspected of trying to force teen girl into his car

 

HURRICANE, Washington County — Police have arrested a La Verkin man suspected of attempting to force a high school girl into his vehicle Wednesday morning.

The Hurricane High student reported to school administrators about 8 a.m. that a man approached her near the school and pulled out a gun and tried to get her into his vehicle. Instead, the girl ran to the school, Hurricane police said.

Six schools in Hurricane were placed in lockdown, with no students allowed outside, following the incident.

Police located and questioned Earl B. Chappell, 39, of La Verkin, eventually arresting him for investigation of aggravated kidnapping and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/36G (SGN)

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/36M (KUTV)

 

http://go.uen.org/36N (KTVX)

 

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/36R (KCSG)

 

 


 

 

 

Muddy roads idle schools in Montezuma Creek, Monument Valley for rest of week

 

MONUMENT VALLEY, San Juan County — Nelson Yellowman woke up to blue skies Wednesday, which raised his hopes that schools could soon resume across the San Juan School District.

As it stands, classes are canceled in the Monument Valley, Bluff and Montezuma Creek communities as the area continues to recover from an intense snowstorm the last week of February followed by smaller rain and snow storms that left dirt roads impassable due to heavy mud and standing water. Next week is spring break, which means students won’t return to school until March 16.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Illegal tint, frosty windows lead to car vs school bus collision

 

  1. GEORGE – A Washington County School District bus was involved in a collision Wednesday morning near Pine View Middle School in St. George when a teenage driver with obstructed windows broadsided the bus in an intersection.

The St. George Communications Center received initial reports of the accident at 7:43 a.m., St. George Police Officer Tyrell Bangerter said.

The collision occurred just down the street from Pine View Middle School at the intersection of 2200 East and 40 North. The bus, which serves Pine View Middle School, had been traveling northbound on 2200 East when a passenger car traveling eastbound on 40 North, driven by a 16-year-old boy, proceeded through a stop sign and failed to yield to the bus, broadsiding it in the intersection, Bangerter said.

“The (teenage) driver had illegally tinted windows,” Bangerter said.

In addition to his windows being too darkly tinted, the teen had failed to clean frost off the car’s windows before driving.

http://go.uen.org/36H (SGN)

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Women and education

(St. George) Spectrum editorial

 

In 2013, the Center for American Progress conducted a 50-state analysis of how women are faring in America. The study took into account everything from health care to the number of 4-year-olds enrolled in Pre-K and the number of women in management jobs.

Of the 50 states, Utah came in 49th.

Last year, a publication aimed at Wall Street executives, 24/7 Wall Street, named Utah the worst state in the nation for women. The story cites the low number of women serving in the state legislature (16.3 percent, sixth lowest in the nation) and our gender-wage gap of 70 cents per dollar (fourth worst in the nation). Other statistics include the fact that just 31 percent of management positions are held by women, the second lowest rate in the nation.

The New York Post listed Utah as one of five places in the world where women should not spend their travel dollars, and Wallet Hub ranked Utah 49th out of 50 on its list of the best and worst states for women’s equality.

Two of the most striking facts in the numbers published by Wallet Hub are that Utah ranks dead last both in the college-graduation-rate and executive-positions gaps.

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

 

 


 

 

A tribute to teachers, mom

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner letter from Evan Rosencrantz

 

I am a 14-year-old boy scout from Troop 547 in Layton. I am sending this message to express my feelings about our teachers.

Every teacher I talk to has always loved their job except for one thing: pay. If athletic people get paid thousands of dollars to throw a ball through a hoop or kick it into a goal, then our teachers should be millionaires. They teach the kids of our future everything they know, and they are one of the least paid jobs.

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

 

 


 

 

 

How a Conservative Blogger Helped Derail the House NCLB Rewrite

Education Week commentary by columnist Alyson Klein

 

Efforts to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act hit the skids in the House of Representatives last week, and a couple of “grassroots” education bloggers may have had a hand in stalling—or maybe even outright stopping—the legislation.

So how did that happen? After all, the bill had the support of GOP leadership, Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the education committee, and some very conservative folks in Congress. Plus, the House had passed a nearly identical version, just two years ago, with only GOP support. And bonus: The bill was so conservative that tons of House Democrats hated it and the Obama administration even threatened to veto it.

So passing it shoulda been a slam dunk, right? Well, it wasn’t.

Conservative dissatisfaction over leaders’ handling of funding for the Department of Homeland Security seemed to have played a role. But another part of the reason, according an interview that Kline gave to the Associated Press?

This blog post, written by Christel Swasey, a former high school English teacher from Utah, which quickly went viral, according to the Daily Caller. It seems to have ended up in the inboxes, facebook pages, and twitter feeds of parents, teachers, and education activists, who then called lawmakers, alarmed.

Swasey called the bill a “betrayal” and wrote: “I’ve never been so shocked and angry over a proposed Congressional bill that I burst into tears. Not until tonight.”

Of course, Swasey’s post wasn’t the only opposition.

http://go.uen.org/371

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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GOP Education Chairman Anticipates Vote on Education Bill

Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON — The Republican chairman of the House education committee said Wednesday he was blindsided by conservative opposition to his rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law and will take the next week to try to clear up misconceptions.

GOP House leaders late last week abruptly canceled a scheduled vote on the bill when it became uncertain whether it would pass given conservative concern about the federal role in education. House Democrats widely opposed the bill, but a similar one had passed in 2013 with much less consternation by rank and file Republicans.

The bill by Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, would keep annual testing requirements in schools, but it gives states and districts more freedom in the way they spend federal money and set rules to identify and fix failing schools. It prohibits the federal education secretary from demanding changes to state standards or imposing conditions on states in exchange for a waiver around federal law – a provision that shows opposition to the Obama administration’s encouragement of the Common Core education standards that spell out what reading and math skills students should master at each grade.

It also eliminates many federal programs, creates a single local grant program and allows public money to follow low-income children to different public schools.

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

 

 


 

 

Common Core Supporters Run Ads in Iowa

Wall Street Journal

 

The Common Core empire is striking back.

In an effort to counter a conservative backlash against the national academic standards, a pro-Common Core nonprofit group is running the first ads supporting the standards in Iowa, which hosts the lead-off presidential nominating contest.

The radio and print ads, to be followed by a television spot next week, are paid for by the Collaborative for Student Success.

“This ad is the first of what we expect will be a longer, more sustained effort to get the facts out on Common Core and hold accountable presidential candidates that employ misleading and inaccurate rhetoric to describe Common Core,” said Ed Patru, a spokesman for the Collaborative for Student Success.

Louisiana Gov.  Bobby Jindal, a former supporter of the standards, has compared them to “central planning” in Russia. In an email to supporters, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said the standards contain “anti-American propaganda, revisionist history that ignores the faith of our Founders and data-tracking of students from kindergarten on.”

Common Core supporters dismiss such rhetoric, arguing that the standards were voluntarily created and adopted by a bi-partisan group of officials from 46 states. They spell out what students in each grade level should know in math and English.

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

 

 


 

 

 

The weaker sex

Boys are being outclassed by girls at both school and university, and the gap is widening

The Economist

 

“IT’S all to do with their brains and bodies and chemicals,” says Sir Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College, a posh English boarding school. “There’s a mentality that it’s not cool for them to perform, that it’s not cool to be smart,” suggests Ivan Yip, principal of the Bronx Leadership Academy in New York. One school charges £25,000 ($38,000) a year and has a scuba-diving club; the other serves subsidised lunches to most of its pupils, a quarter of whom have special needs. Yet both are grappling with the same problem: teenage boys are being left behind by girls.

It is a problem that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago. Until the 1960s boys spent longer and went further in school than girls, and were more likely to graduate from university. Now, across the rich world and in a growing number of poor countries, the balance has tilted the other way. Policymakers who once fretted about girls’ lack of confidence in science now spend their time dangling copies of “Harry Potter” before surly boys. Sweden has commissioned research into its “boy crisis”. Australia has devised a reading programme called “Boys, Blokes, Books & Bytes”. In just a couple of generations, one gender gap has closed, only for another to open up.

The reversal is laid out in a report published on March 5th by the OECD, a Paris-based rich-country think-tank. Boys’ dominance just about endures in maths: at age 15 they are, on average, the equivalent of three months’ schooling ahead of girls. In science the results are fairly even. But in reading, where girls have been ahead for some time, a gulf has appeared. In all 64 countries and economies in the study, girls outperform boys. The average gap is equivalent to an extra year of schooling.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/36S (WaPo)

 

http://go.uen.org/36Y (CSM)

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/36o (OECD)

 

 


 

 

 

California Republicans take on teachers’ union in package of education bills

Reuters

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California Republican lawmakers on Wednesday announced a package of bills to dramatically change the way public school teachers are hired, fired and evaluated, embracing controversial education reforms in the most populous U.S. state.

The bills, which put the Assembly’s Republican minority on a collision course with the state’s powerful teachers union, are the first in a series of policy initiatives planned under the caucus’ new leader, Assembly member Kristin Olsen of Modesto.

“We started with education because it’s so key to our long-term economic success,” Olsen said in an interview.

The package would enshrine into law several reforms called for by plaintiffs in a lawsuit, Vergara v California, that last year led a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to declare unconstitutional several laws meant to protect teachers’ jobs.

The California Teachers Association slammed the package, saying it was a response to a court case that is still under appeal.

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

 

 


 

 

 

New Look at Suspension Data Pinpoints Disparities

Particular subgroups get disciplined often

Education Week

 

A detailed exploration of state- and local-level data on suspensions—broken down by elementary and secondary levels and into student subpopulations—shows both the progress some districts have made in reducing suspensions and pinpoints dramatic disparities where more work needs to be done, according to an advocacy group.

The study, released Feb. 23 by the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California, Los Angeles, allows users to compare states and districts with one another and eliminates the masking effect that can come from averaging the relatively low rates of suspension in elementary schools and the higher rates in secondary schools.

“It is critically important to note that suspension rates, and the size of the racial gap, vary dramatically from one district to the next,” the report says.

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

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/36X (UCLA)

 

 


 

 

Texas’ truancy law hit in study

Report urges student cases be decriminalized

Houston Chronicle

 

Roughly 115,000 Texas students were prosecuted on truancy charges in 2013, more than twice the number of truancy cases in all other states combined, according to a report to be released Thursday by Texas Appleseed, a social and economic justice advocacy group.

Eighty percent of the children sent to criminal court on truancy charges were economically disadvantaged, defined by their eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch.

Texas is one of two states in the country to criminally charge students in adult criminal court for repeatedly skipping school. Students may be charged beginning at age 12 and fined up to $500, and although records are required to be kept confidential, they could still show up on a background check or be subject to disclosure on job, school or military applications.

“These children are least able to afford steep fines typically levied in response to truancy charges,” said Deborah Fowler, executive director of Texas Appleseed. “Failure to pay fines, which can run as high as $500, can result in an arrest warrant and even incarceration.”

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

 

A copy of the report

http://go.uen.org/36q (Texas Appleseed)

 

 


 

 

 

Wyo. Senate shoots down guns-in-schools bill

The bill was rejected on a 25-3 vote after little debate.

(Cheyenne)  Wyoming Tribune Eagle

 

CHEYENNE – Wyoming schools will stay gun-free zones for at least another year.

The state Senate soundly voted down a bill Wednesday that would have let colleges and school districts decide whether they want concealed-carry permit holder to bring guns onto their campuses.

It also would have allowed permit holders to bring firearms to any government meeting, including hearings at the Capitol, if the governing body first gave the OK.

But the bill was rejected on a 25-3 vote.

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

 

 


 

 

 

State board upholds decision to suspend student in pastry incident

Baltimore (MD) Sun

 

The state Board of Education has upheld the county school board’s decision to suspend a student who chewed a pastry into the shape of a gun.

The state board found then-7-year-old Josh Welch had a history of behavioral problems in the school system. He was suspended for two days in March 2013 after the pastry incident at Park Elementary School in Brooklyn Park.

“Look, I made a gun,” the boy allegedly said, according to the document.

His parents appealed the suspension to the superintendent and then to the Anne Arundel County Board of Education. After both parties upheld the suspension, the boy’s parents went to the state Board of Education.

In a decision issued Feb. 24, the state backed the county board’s decision.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/36U (WaPo)

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

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USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

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

 

Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee meeting

4 p.m., 415 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SNAE0305.ag.htm

 

House Education Committee meeting

4:10 p.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HEDU0305.ag.htm

 

House Health and Human Services Committee meeting

4:10 p.m., 20 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HHHS0305.ag.htm

 

 

March 6:

Senate Retirement and Independent Entities Committee meeting

7:30 a.m., 215 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SRIE0306.ag.htm

 

House Retirement and Independent Entities Committee meeting

7:45 a.m., 215 Senate Building

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HRIE0306.ag.htm

 

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

 

House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/HNAE0306.ag.htm

 

Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee meeting

8:23 a.m., 415 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/agenda/SGOP0306.ag.htm

 

 

March 12:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

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