Education News Roundup: March 17, 2015

fingertipsEducation News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Herald Journal sits down with new Logan Supt. Frank Schofield.

http://go.uen.org/3dw (LHJ)

 

Standard-Examiner looks at transparency in Utah school districts.

http://go.uen.org/3dt (OSE)

 

Stateline looks at what’s happened to children since the Great Recession.

http://go.uen.org/3dG (Stateline)

or a copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/3dH (First Focus)

 

Opt out fizzles in Gov. Jindal’s Louisiana.

http://go.uen.org/3df (Times-Picayune)

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Cache Q&A: New Logan City School District superintendent discusses plans

 

Schools’ transparency report card: one F, no A’s

 

New school boundaries to be approved at Cache School Board meeting Tuesday

 

Hillcrest replaces classroom seats with yoga balls in effort to boost health, focus

 

Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association finds new chief in Utah

 

Judge rules statements Utah teacher made about sex with students can be used against her Courts » Brianne Altice is charged with 14 felonies.

 

Utah lawmakers approve $1M for online preschool expansion

 

Trib Talk: What low vaccination rates mean for Utah schools

 

Utah to Honor Top Science and Tech Innovators at Annual Gala

 

Salt Lake District seeks Teacher of the Year nominations

 

Fitch Releases Report on Canyons School District, UT

 

Students turn school project into community effort to get police dog

 

Herriman students step it up in shoe drive

 

Two schools get Utah Credit Union grants for classroom equipment

 

What is being done to help special needs students who are bullied

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Don’t buy Legislature’s spin on medical marijuana

 

Motivational Floggings

 

Business Thanks Legislators for Investing In Utah’s Future

 

An end to homework?

 

Teachers lose out to Aggie bleachers

 

You’re a mean one, Mr. Smith

 

Testing Time

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

Q&A: How The Great Recession Affected Children

 

99 percent of Louisiana students take Common Core tests Monday

 

Montana lawmakers consider repealing Common Core standards

 

States Prepare Public for Common-Core Test Results Outreach aims to temper any backlash over tests aligned with the common core

 

Pearson, PARCC Criticized for Monitoring Social Media for Test Security

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Cache Q&A: New Logan City School District superintendent discusses plans

 

Frank Schofield began his career as an educator in the Logan City School District. Now, 15 years later, he is coming back to the district as its new superintendent.

Schofield, who will begin July 1 following the retirement of current Superintendent Marshal Garrett, has experience in the classroom and as an administrator. He is most recently coming from being principal of Midvale Middle School.

The Logan City School District has faced unique challenges in recent years, including a high poverty level, low test scores and unhappy parents, who have formed a new Student-Parent Alliance to boost communication with school officials.

In an interview with The Herald Journal, Schofield discussed these issues and shared more about his background.

http://go.uen.org/3dw (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

Schools’ transparency report card: one F, no A’s

 

Overall, school districts in northern Utah are doing a decent job of keeping the public informed, but as with all government entities, there’s always room for improvement. Three districts received proficient ratings, while two rated as below proficient, based on specific criteria in this audit.

These grades are not a judgment of how well the districts are attending to the education of students — all of them are filled with teachers and administrators who care about students and work diligently to help them succeed. What these grades represent is how easy or difficult it is to access information about the workings of the district, including workings with the school board, and how clear and simple district documents are to the uninitiated.

A summary of our assessment follows, with critiques for each district.

http://go.uen.org/3dt (OSE)

 

 


 

 

New school boundaries to be approved at Cache School Board meeting Tuesday

 

Approval of new high school boundaries is on the agenda for members of the Cache County School Board on Tuesday, March 17. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at the district board room in North Logan.

http://go.uen.org/3dv (CVD)

 

 


 

 

 

Hillcrest replaces classroom seats with yoga balls in effort to boost health, focus

 

Fourth-graders at Hillcrest Elementary have taken a new approach to classroom furniture. The students still sit at their tables in groups of four or five, but their chairs have been replaced with yoga balls in an effort to boost health and focus.

According to Maddie Cloward, a fourth grade teacher, the grade wrote a grant to the Dancing with the Stars Foundation for $374 for the yoga balls. The balls were delivered about three weeks ago and have been used in the classroom ever since.

http://go.uen.org/3dy (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

 

Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association finds new chief in Utah

 

Bart Thompson’s application to be the executive director of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association didn’t come in until the day before the deadline.

The decision to leave a job he loved in Utah was difficult. On Monday, it became rewarding.

Thompson, an assistant executive director for the Utah High School Athletic Association, was hired by the NIAA’s Board of Control to be the association’s fourth executive director.

http://go.uen.org/3dJ (Las Vegas Review Journal)

 

 


 

 

Judge rules statements Utah teacher made about sex with students can be used against her Courts » Brianne Altice is charged with 14 felonies.

 

A judge on Monday refused to toss evidence against the former Davis High School teacher accused of having sex with three students.

Brianne Altice appeared in state court in Farmington so her attorney could argue that statements she made to police were made under duress and should be inadmissible.

The attorney, Ed Brass, has argued Altice, 35, was intimidated by the eight to 10 male officers who came to her home in October 2013 to interview her about the allegations. Brass argued that the officers would not let her care for her children, call an attorney or use the restroom for nearly four hours as they questioned her.

But a court docket shows 2nd District Judge Thomas Kay denied Brass’ motion and will let the statements stand.

http://go.uen.org/3dj (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/3ds (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/3du (OSE)

 

http://go.uen.org/3dz (KUTV)

 

http://go.uen.org/3dA (KSL)

 

http://go.uen.org/3dC (KSTU)

 

 


 

 

Utah lawmakers approve $1M for online preschool expansion

 

More than 6,000 Utah children could be using free, at-home preschool prep software next year after Utah lawmakers set aside $1 million last week to expand the program.

Lawmakers invested last year in a five-year run for the computer-based Upstart education program. The most recent cash infusion opens the program up for an additional 1,000 students, starting with the 2015-2016 school year.

Upstart, developed by the Waterford Institute, provides at-home lessons in reading, math and science. It is offered free to Utah families due to a combination of state and federal funding.

http://go.uen.org/3di (SLT)

 

 


 

 

Trib Talk: What low vaccination rates mean for Utah schools

 

More Utah parents are opting out of getting their school-aged children immunized, according to data compiled by The Salt Lake Tribune.

On Tuesday at 12:15 p.m., Utah County Health Department director Joseph Miner and Tribune reporter Matt Canham join Jennifer Napier-Pearce to talk about the trend and the implications for Utah schools.

http://go.uen.org/3dh (SLT)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah to Honor Top Science and Tech Innovators at Annual Gala

 

The Beehive State has recently stolen the national spotlight as an impressive innovation hub, and it’s time once again to recognize the stars.

Governor Gary R. Herbert, along with the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative and Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), announced today the 2014 winners of the Governor’s Medals for Science and Technology.

The Governor’s Medals for Science and Technology are awarded to residents and companies who have provided distinguished service or made significant contributions to Utah’s advanced scientific and technological knowledge, education and industry.

STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—is quickly becoming a familiar acronym associated with staying on the cutting edge of economic growth. Utah is no stranger to STEM education and innovation.

Medals are awarded in fields of academia, education and industry— plus one special recognition this year. This year’s recipients are:

Education:

  • Dr. Christine Fogarty Celestino, Juan Diego Catholic High School. Dr. Celestino developed the Juan Diego Academy of Sciences and created a summer internship program for high school students.
  • Dr. Helen Hu, professor of computer science at Westminster College. Dr. Hu developed a new computer science course that is currently offered at 50 high schools in Utah.

http://go.uen.org/3dK (UP)

 

 


 

 

Salt Lake District seeks Teacher of the Year nominations

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Parents, students, staff or faculty members are invited to nominate teachers for the 2016 District Teacher of the Year award.

All Salt Lake City School District teachers who have achieved career status are eligible for consideration. The nomination form is available for download at: http://www.slcschools.org/documents/2016-TOY-Nomination-Form.pdf.

http://go.uen.org/3dq (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Fitch Releases Report on Canyons School District, UT

 

SAN FRANCISCO–Fitch Ratings has published a report on Canyons School District, UT.

http://go.uen.org/3dM (BusinessWire)

 

 


 

 

Students turn school project into community effort to get police dog

 

SALEM — Eleven-year-old Camden Mead joined his fellow Boy Scout troop members on a tour of the Salem Police Station. There, he learned the station got their police dog through an Eagle Scout project.

“They were saying that the police dogs are really, really helpful,” Camden said. “That they help a lot of people.”

He also learned that the Payson Police Department didn’t have a dog.

http://go.uen.org/3dr (DN)

 

http://go.uen.org/3dB (KSL)

 

 


 

 

Herriman students step it up in shoe drive

 

HERRIMAN — In just two weeks, students at Herriman Elementary School collected more than 2,700 pairs of shoes for the people of Laye, Burkina Faso — far surpassing their original goal of 1,000 pairs.

http://go.uen.org/3dp (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Two schools get Utah Credit Union grants for classroom equipment

 

Two schools in the Logan City School District have been awarded grants from the 100% for Kids Utah Credit Union Education Fund totaling $5,000.

Barbara Child, a teacher at Wilson Elementary, received a grant of $2,500 for abacuses to use for the school’s math program, while a group of science teachers at Mount Logan Middle School were awarded a $2,500 grant to purchase microscopes.

http://go.uen.org/3dx (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

What is being done to help special needs students who are bullied

 

Special-needs students are often at high-risk for being bullied, much like Andrews was at the basketball game. A 2011 study published in Pediatrics found that children with special health care needs are bullied more often than those without disabilities.

http://go.uen.org/3do (DN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Don’t buy Legislature’s spin on medical marijuana

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by columnist DON PORTER

 

Buzzkill.

That’s the best word I can think of to describe this year’s session of the Utah Legislature — and not only because lawmakers killed the bill that would have allowed use of medical marijuana in Utah.

Likewise, all that back-slapping on the subject of increased education funding rings hollow. Sure, $500 million-plus in increased spending is a hunk of money. But guess what? It still doesn’t bring us back to where the state’s education funding was before the Great Recession landed with a thud in 2008. So, not that impressive.

http://go.uen.org/3dL

 

 


 

 

Motivational Floggings

Salt Lake Tribune editorial cartoon by Pat Bagley

 

http://go.uen.org/3dl

 

 


 

 

Business Thanks Legislators for Investing In Utah’s Future Utah Policy commentary by Salt Lake Chamber

 

Today Utah’s business leaders expressed sincere appreciation for the work of the State Legislature.

These forward-thinking policymakers demonstrated strong leadership by tackling a myriad of difficult issues, including education, transportation and water. This year’s decisions will ensure that Utah remains competitive in the nation’s economy by strategically investing in a talented workforce and in excellent infrastructure.

“We could not be more pleased with the work of the 2015 Legislature,” said Terry Buckner, Chair of the Board of Governors of Salt Lake Chamber. “Some of the most difficult decisions in decades were tackled this session. The Legislature showed that leadership is navigating change and creating a better tomorrow.”

During the past year the business community, education stakeholders and the Legislature unified behind a long-term plan for education funding known as, “Prosperity Through Education.”

“The business community is deeply encouraged by the Legislature’s historic investment in education,” said Alan Hall, Chair of Prosperity 2020. “This year’s investment shows a strong commitment to Utah’s students and our future.”

http://go.uen.org/3dd

 

 


 

 

 

An end to homework?

KNRS commentary by columnist Rod Arquette

 

So the never ending march towards mediocrity seems to continue. Recently the principle of a Manhattan public elementary school announced an end to after school assignments, essentially putting an end to homework for all students at the school. They’ve cited evidence that homework has a minimal benefit to students in the long run, and that the benefit of having that time to spend on things like extra activities, playing with friends, or being with family would be far more beneficial than sitting at a table frustrated trying to understand the papers in front of them.

Understandably parents are fairly livid over the decisions, with many of them threatening to transfer their kids to a different school if the decision isn’t reversed, but the principle seems to not be backing down. They insist that parents just deal with it and be thankful for the extra time they have with their kids.

So is this something worth considering? Or will this just further the decline of the American student as a competitor on the world stage?

http://go.uen.org/3dD

 

 


 

 

Teachers lose out to Aggie bleachers

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Erin Barrow

 

A heinous crime was recently committed against every child in Utah. The Utah Legislature denied further funding to schools and in the same session backs Aggie sports with $1.5 million in taxpayer dollars.

Utah’s lawmakers have decided that sports takes precedent over education in the form of “Utah Wellness Program.” This title is a flat out lie to hide where the money is going. Taxes will now go to an 18-year-old college student to throw a ball around while doing damage to his body, which may result in him never playing the sport again.

In the meantime, our children will go without proper school supplies while teachers scrape by to build the future of Utah.

http://go.uen.org/3dm

 

 


 

 

 

You’re a mean one, Mr. Smith

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Kay Quealy

 

How painfully obvious educators’ dilemmas are when our newly selected state superintendent, Brad Smith, dismisses a heartfelt rally educators held at the Capitol so nastily. What a Grinch!

http://go.uen.org/3dn

 

 


 

 

Testing Time

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development analysis

 

The amount of time students spend preparing for and taking standardized tests has garnered both surging interest and growing pushback from parents, educators, and policymakers. We’ve compiled the latest data from the most recent assessment surveys and studies for a better understanding of how many tests students take, who requires the tests, and what purposes the tests serve.

http://go.uen.org/3de

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Q&A: How The Great Recession Affected Children Stateline

 

Five years after the Great Recession ended, many Americans are still reeling from its effects. Perhaps no group was harmed more by the downturn than children.

Roughly 2 million more children live in poverty today than at the start of the recession, according to a new study by First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy group, and PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The study analyzes four areas affecting children’s well-being: health, hunger, housing, and abuse and neglect. In most ways, children are worse off than they were in 2007, the beginning of the economic contraction. As of 2013, for example, 14.7 million children were living in poverty, compared to 12.8 million at the start of the recession.

http://go.uen.org/3dG

 

A copy of the study

http://go.uen.org/3dH (First Focus)

 

 


 

 

99 percent of Louisiana students take Common Core tests Monday New Orleans Times-Picayune

 

About 99 percent of Louisiana’s eligible public school students took Common Core-aligned tests Monday (March 16), Education Superintendent John White said. He called the participation rate an “unqualified success” and said, “Today’s assessment gives preliminary indications that concerns about widespread non-participation did not bear out.”

Those concerns circulated for weeks, and were aired at a state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting this month. The board put off voting on a measure to ensure that school performance scores don’t suffer because of students boycotting the test, after White urged waiting for more participation data.

Students are not penalized for skipping the tests, but they are recorded as scoring 0 for their schools and school systems, which affects school performance scores. These scores determine whether schools and systems continue to operate without state intervention or closure.

http://go.uen.org/3df

 

 


 

 

 

Montana lawmakers consider repealing Common Core standards Associated Press via Billings (MT) Gazette

 

HELENA — Teachers, school officials and lawmakers are debating whether to repeal national education standards that Montana enacted in 2013.

Republican Rep. Debra Lamm presented House Bill 377 on Monday in the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee. The proposal would remove the Common Core initiative and strip the Montana Department of Public Education of the ability to set future accreditation standards.

The move would likely undermine a supreme court ruling against transferring any supervisory duties away from the board.

http://go.uen.org/3dg

 

 


 

 

 

States Prepare Public for Common-Core Test Results Outreach aims to temper any backlash over tests aligned with the common core Education Week

 

Even as states begin administering new tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards, they are ramping up efforts to eliminate or minimize public backlash when the scores—widely expected to be markedly lower than results from previous assessments—are released later this year.

From old-fashioned fliers designed to reach parents via students’ backpacks to webinars intended for administrators and teachers, states including Illinois and New Jersey are using a diverse set of resources and partnering with various groups to prepare school communities and the general public for what’s coming.

Their goal: to spread their message that the new tests are a much more accurate and complete reflection of what students know and can do than past exams, and will in turn better inform classroom instruction.

http://go.uen.org/3dE

 

 


 

 

 

Pearson, PARCC Criticized for Monitoring Social Media for Test Security Education Week

 

A report of an effort to monitor students’ social media use to prevent the sharing of test information—initially flagged by a school superintendent in New Jersey—has generated a blast of criticism toward the PARCC assessment, and at Pearson, the contractor hired to administer it.

The controversy emerged late last week, when Elizabeth C. Jewett, the superintendent of the Watchung Hills Regional Learning Community in New Jersey, wrote a letter to other district leaders voicing surprise about how information about a possible testing breach had been relayed to her.

http://go.uen.org/3dF

 

http://go.uen.org/3dI (Fox)

 

 

 

 

 

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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 12:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

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

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

 

 

March 19:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

Noon, 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

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