Education News Roundup: March 20, 2015

"Learning Time" by Temari 09/CC/flickr

“Learning Time” by Temari 09/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Utah State Board of Education won’t seek a veto of HB 360.

http://go.uen.org/3f3 (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/3f7 (DN)

and http://go.uen.org/3fh (KSL)

 

ABC4 takes a look at Sen. Osmond’s property tax bill.

http://go.uen.org/3f4 (KTVX)

 

So … what’s the deal with the ESEA reauthorization?

http://go.uen.org/3fp (NYT)

 

And where are all the substitute teachers?

http://go.uen.org/3fk (AP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

State school board backs away from veto request on bill that could leave AP, IB vulnerable

 

Utah drivers and property owners can expect to pay up for transportation and education needs

 

Pahvant students watch rocket test with NASA rep

 

Kaitlyn Frump wins scholarships

 

Reyes says education, relationships key

 

To curb child suicides, Utah offers gun locks State will distribute 40K free cable locks to cut down on the ‘‘public health epidemic.’’

 

Canyons School District bus driver may face DUI charge after crash

 

Uintah dance team left stranded after plane hits bird

 

Two boys reported missing from Provo school found

 

Utah Students Charge Men More for Cookies to Demonstrate Pay Gap In Sandy, Utah, students used a bake sale to prove a point about the pay gap.

 

Inside Our Schools

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

With hundreds of thousands of Utah children at risk, intergenerational poverty needs prompt action

 

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

 

The joke’s on you

 

Changing Utah’s education mission

 

Oddities and minutiae of the Utah Legislature

 

Diplomatic Luncheon with the Ambassador of Japan to the United States

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

Schools Wait to See What Becomes of No Child Left Behind Law

 

Which States Are Applying for NCLB Waiver Renewal?

 

Schools Nationwide Struggle with Substitute Teacher Shortage

 

Should Kids Be Allowed To Opt Out Of Standardized Tests? Many Americans Say ‘No’

 

Texas Ready to Dump High School Steroids Testing Program

 

Arabic version of Pledge of Allegiance at Pine Bush High School ignites furor What began as an effort to celebrate national Foreign Language Week at Pine Bush High School has imploded into a raging controversy that has divided the school into angry factions.

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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State school board backs away from veto request on bill that could leave AP, IB vulnerable

 

The state school board will not ask Gov. Gary Herbert to veto legislation that revises significant chunks of Utah’s education laws.

Initially worried a bill passed in the final days of the 2015 Legislature could threaten any national or federal education programs lawmakers decide they don’t like — including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs and ACT tests — education managers scheduled a special meeting and were prepared to ask the governor to dimiss the measure.

But after the draft law’s sponsor, Draper Republican Rep. LaVar Christensen, met with the board Thursday, school board members reconsidered.

“I don’t see that there’s any problem continuing those programs,” said board chairman David Crandall.

Board members met Thursday in an atypical meeting for the sole purpose of discussing HB360.

http://go.uen.org/3f3 (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/3f7 (DN)

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Utah drivers and property owners can expect to pay up for transportation and education needs

 

SALT LAKE CITY – Governor Gary Herbert admits people don’t like to have their taxes go up, but says we have to pay for the services we want to have.

He says two bills to raise money for transportation funding and education can accomplish that.

Senate Bill 97 will raise property taxes to collect an additional $75 million for education funding.

The average home owner with a value of $250,000 will see an increase of about $45 a year.

Commercial property or second home owners will go up $185.

Governor Herbert likes that it equalizes funding for districts across the state.

http://go.uen.org/3f4 (KTVX)

 

 


 

 

 

Pahvant students watch rocket test with NASA rep

 

One of the largest rocket engines in the world was tested in Utah at a location near Promontory March 11.

A group of students from Pahvant Elementary School in Richfield were able to watch it and get live commentary from a NASA representative while sitting in the comfort of their school media center.

Each year since 2011, third grade students at Pahvant have had the opportunity to interact with an employee of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

http://go.uen.org/3fs (Richfield Reaper)

 

 


 

 

 

Kaitlyn Frump wins scholarships

 

When Virgin Valley High School senior Kaitlyn Frump of Bunkerville was in ninth grade, she hung a “dream board” near her bed as a daily reminder of what she wanted — no, what she intended — to do for her future.

On the board, among other things, she listed:

  • Graduate in top 10 percent of my high school class;
  • See a national monument;
  • Get accepted to Southern Utah University (SUU), and
  • Graduate college with a masters degree in business administration (MBA).

By the end of this school year, if she continues working as she has her entire life, she will have seen three-fourths of the those dreams come to fruition.

http://go.uen.org/3ft (SGS)

 

 


 

 

 

 

Reyes says education, relationships key

 

KAYSVILLE – When he wasn’t entertaining by performing a rap, he was enlightening with the story of a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles or a sting operation in Colombia.

Utah’s Attorney General Sean Reyes kept the attention of an auditorium full of high school students as he shared not only rhythm and stories, but advice.

“Let’s get some of the mechanics out of the way first,” he said, after a quick rendition of a few rap songs he’d written. “Education is the most important thing that you can do in your life at this time.”

That education is more important during high school than romantic relationships, he said.

http://go.uen.org/3fw (DCC)

 

 


 

 

To curb child suicides, Utah offers gun locks State will distribute 40K free cable locks to cut down on the ‘‘public health epidemic.’’

 

Taylorsville • As experts looked into news cameras and urged the public to secure its guns, Jeff Carr stood in the back of the room, remembering the scenes of suicides to which he’s had to respond.

With more than 30 years as a police officer, Carr can recall half a dozen such cases seared into his memory. Now that he’s the Utah Department of Public Safety’s deputy commissioner, he wants to support any avenue to prevent them — including a new awareness campaign to encourage gun owners to lock up their firearms.

“Anything we can do to prevent even one suicide, we want to do that,” Carr said Thursday, during the kickoff of the Project Child Safe campaign.

The initiative will distribute safety pamphlets to parents during school seminars, as well as 40,000 free cable locks through law enforcement agencies, emergency rooms and firearm-safety classes. The locks run a cable through the mechanism of an empty gun so that it can’t be loaded. They were purchased from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, thanks to funding from a Utah bill passed last year.

Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, sponsored HB134, which also calls for schools to notify parents of bullying or suicide threats.

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

Canyons School District bus driver may face DUI charge after crash

 

Draper police say there were no injuries in the crash of a nearly empty Canyons School District bus Thursday morning, but there was plenty of damage — and an arrest.

Police Sgt. Chad Carpenter said the accident occurred at 7:13 a.m. when the bus, carrying only its driver, an aide and a 13-year-old student, went off Mike Weir Drive as it entered a roundabout connecting to Sage Hollow Drive.

“The school bus damaged a tree in the park strip, ran over a Draper City street sign, damaged a tree in the park strip at 1747 E. Sage Hollow Drive, and came to rest in the front yard of that address,” Carpenter said.

The 63-year-old school bus driver, a substitute working for the district since August 2014, acknowledged having taken an undisclosed prescription medication about five hours before the accident, police said.

The driver was arrested, cited and will be screened for a possible class A misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.

Meanwhile, he also has lost his job, having been terminated shortly after the accident, school district spokesman Jeff Haney said Thursday afternoon.

http://go.uen.org/3f9 (SLT)

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3ff (KTVX)

 

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3fj (MUR)

 

 


 

 

 

Uintah dance team left stranded after plane hits bird

 

The trip of a lifetime has been cut short for a high school dance team from Vernal.

Twenty five students and 21 chaperones from the Uintah High School State Championship Dance and Drill team were supposed to be in New York City Thursday morning, for an educational sightseeing trip, but their airplane was grounded after hitting a bird.

They drove to Salt Lake City from Vernal on Wednesday to catch their red-eye flight to the Big Apple, but when their plane arrived at the gate, there was a bird-size imprint directly on the nose cone. As a result, JetBlue grounded the flight for repair and the girls were stranded overnight.

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

 

 


 

 

Two boys reported missing from Provo school found

 

PROVO — Two students from Provo Peaks Elementary School were reported missing for a few hours, but were found at about 5:15 p.m. Thursday.

http://go.uen.org/3fb (PDH)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah Students Charge Men More for Cookies to Demonstrate Pay Gap In Sandy, Utah, students used a bake sale to prove a point about the pay gap.

 

This might be the one time pay inequality worked out well for the women.

A group of Utah high school students hosted a bake sale earlier this week selling cookies to men for $1, while the same cookies were sold to women for 77 cents.

“Because in America, for every dollar a man makes, a woman only makes 77 cents,” Kari Schott, a member of the Young Democrats Club at Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah, told Good4Utah.com. “So we’re raising awareness for this. So boys will pay a dollar and girls only pay 77 cents.”

http://go.uen.org/3fx (USN&WR)

 

 


 

 

Inside Our Schools

 

Enoch Elementary

North Elementary

Parowan Elementary

South Elementary

Three Peaks Elementary

Canyon View Middle

Cedar Middle

Arrowhead Elementary

Riverside Elementary

George Washington Academy

Lava Ridge Intermediate

Hurricane Valley Academy Charter

http://go.uen.org/3fd (SGS)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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With hundreds of thousands of Utah children at risk, intergenerational poverty needs prompt action Deseret News editorial

 

There was some good news and some not-so-good news from this year’s session of the Utah Legislature when it comes to the campaign against the problem of intergenerational poverty. The good news is that the issue is slated for intensive interim study. What is disappointing, though, is that nothing that would immediately help the thousands of families caught in a cycle of impoverishment was passed into law or written into policy.

Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, who is among several key lawmakers working in this area, chose to take a bill off the table that would have extended tax breaks to more than 13,000 Utah families who meet a statutory definition of poverty spanning a single generation. He said more study could lead to better focus on remedies and pave the way for a plan of attack to enjoy priority status in next year’s session.

http://go.uen.org/3f6

 

 


 

 

 

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

(Provo) Daily Herald editorial

 

THUMBS UP: The Provo School District and the Provo Police Department acted quickly Thursday afternoon alerting parents and community members that two elementary school boys were missing. Thankfully, the boys were found safe at a friend’s house. We are happy the communication system worked exactly as it should.

THUMBS UP: More than 1,800 bowls made by local school children will be available for purchase Friday evening as an annual fundraiser sponsored by Provo’s Food & Care Coalition. Get your bowl and complementary soup 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday at the Food & Care Coalition, 299 E. 900 South, Provo.

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

 

 


 

 

The joke’s on you

Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist Paul Rolly

 

Freshman Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has posted on his website that he will stage a town hall meeting at the Monticello Academy in West Valley City.

The 7 p.m. event will be held on the first of next month — yes, April Fools’ Day.

http://go.uen.org/3f5

 

 


 

 

 

Changing Utah’s education mission

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by LYNN STODDARD, a retired educator

 

If you read Jim Strickland’s guest commentary, “We Need a Learner-Centered Approach in Utah Education,” (Standard Examiner 3-16-15) you may have been surprised and disappointed that the main goal and mission is so narrow and limited. The mission of Utah Education, as outlined in a document called,” Promises to Keep” is this:

“Ensuring literacy and numeracy for all Utah children.” We could ask the State Board why we don’t have a mission for education in Utah that is more comprehensive like the one Strickland mentioned in his article:

Ensuring the whole development and potential of each Utah student.

http://go.uen.org/3f8

 

 

 


 

 

Oddities and minutiae of the Utah Legislature

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner op-ed by E. KENT WINWARD, an Ogden attorney

 

Five hundred and twenty eight is the number of bills passed by the Utah Legislature in its last 45-day session. Fifty of those were resolutions, which don’t ever really become law, so should be subtracted from the total of new laws. You could also probably leave out the 17 budget and appropriation bills. So even if you don’t include the resolutions and budget bills and if you remember your mathematics and haven’t been confused by your third grader’s common core math assignments, this works out to be a little over 10 new laws per day (10.24 to be slightly more exact).

If you don’t remember your math, no fear, SB196, the Math Competency Initiative, was passed, along with HB30, the Math Teacher Training Program Amendments. Not to mention House Resolution 5, in which your elected representatives get to tell the Board of Education that each high school senior probably ought to attend four years of math classes or test out.

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

 

 


 

 

Diplomatic Luncheon with the Ambassador of Japan to the United States Utah Pulse commentary by Economic Development Corporation of Utah State Office of Education

 

World Trade Center Utah, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, is delighted to welcome His Excellency, Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador of Japan to the United States who will be joining us for a luncheon at the World Trade Center Building on March 31.

We would like to invite the Utah business community and education leaders to join us. The Ambassador will give a short presentation on the current economic, cultural, political and educational situation in his home country.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Schools Wait to See What Becomes of No Child Left Behind Law New York Times

 

CLEVELAND — Ginn Academy, the first and only public high school in Ohio just for boys, was conceived to help at­risk students make it through school — experimenting with small classes, a tough discipline code and life coaches around the clock.

Its graduation rate was close to 88 percent last year, compared with 64 percent for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District as a whole. And it has enjoyed some other victories. There is the junior whose test scores are weak but who regularly volunteers at a food bank. And the senior proudly set to graduate this spring who used to attend school so irregularly that he had to be collected at home each morning by a staff member.

But under No Child Left Behind, the signature education initiative of the George W. Bush administration, the academy, which opened in 2007, was consistently labeled low performing because it did not make the required “adequate yearly progress” in raising test scores.

Nicholas A. Petty, the principal, said, “I wouldn’t say stop making us be judged by the tests at all, but get a better system that really monitors students on more of an individual basis.”

As Congress debates a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind law, Mr. Petty may well see that happen.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Which States Are Applying for NCLB Waiver Renewal?

Education Week

 

The political sheen may have been worn off of No Child Left Behind waivers for a while now, but nearly every state that has a waiver is planning to file a renewal request, according to an Edweek survey of state education agencies and their websites.*

However, in a couple of states—Louisiana and Texas—waiver renewal response wasn’t really a straight yes or no, more of an “it’s complicated.”

Louisiana, where Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican presidential candidate is locked in a stand-off on common core testing with the Obama administration, is still mulling its options, a spokesman for the Education Department said. (The Pelican State better hurry and make up its mind. Renewal requests are due March 31.) When it comes to standards, Louisiana may go the Oklahoma route of ditching Common Core, switching back to its old standards, and then having its institutions of higher education sign off.

And Texas, which had been warned that its teacher evaluation system didn’t pass federal muster, is sticking to its guns and filing a renewal request without including changes the feds asked for, according to a department of education official.

It sounds like edu-folks in the Lone Star State are fine with that. “It’s fair to say the feedback has generally been appreciative of the stance TEA has taken to assure the teacher evaluation process continues to be under local control,” said the official, who also noted that Texas’ waiver hasn’t been put on high-risk status. More background on the back-and-forth between Texas and the Education Department here.

Meanwhile, nearly every state that’s figured out its timeline is planning to file a renewal for three years, the maximum for most states. (A select few can apply for a four-year renewal.)

Two exceptions: Georgia and Utah, both of which are going for a one-year renewal. That could make the process easier for those states, and will also allow them to carefully consider whether they want their waivers in place beyond the Obama administration.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Schools Nationwide Struggle with Substitute Teacher Shortage Associated Press

 

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Carrie Swing wasn’t alarmed when her fifth-grade daughter, Ivy, spent a day in a first-grade classroom at her San Francisco school, filling out worksheets and helping younger students read because no substitute could be found for her absent teacher.

But when it happened the next four days too, Swing became so concerned that she considered quitting her public relations job to homeschool her daughter.

“The situation was really awful,” Swing said. “The kids had a sense of, `Nobody’s in charge here,’ and I think that was really hard on them.”

Although Ivy’s school represents an extreme example, districts throughout the country have reported struggles finding substitute teachers. School officials say the shortage worsened as the unemployment rate improved, and job seekers who might have settled for a part-time job such as substitute teaching are now insisting on full-time positions with better pay and benefits.

Geoffrey Smith founded the Substitute Teaching Institute at Utah State, which in 2008 spun off into an online training program for substitutes. He said he’s unaware of any national statistics about unfilled substitute teaching posts, although an unscientific survey conducted by his organization last year found 48 percent of districts responding reported severe or somewhat severe shortage of substitute teachers.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Should Kids Be Allowed To Opt Out Of Standardized Tests? Many Americans Say ‘No’

Huffington Post

 

Even though most Americans think that kids are given too many standardized tests in school these days, that doesn’t necessarily mean they think kids should have the ability to opt out of these assessments, according to new HuffPost/YouGov poll.

This month, as schools around the country are giving statewide Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests, or PARCC assessments, a contingency of families who refuse to participate in standardized testing have been thrust into the spotlight. Earlier this month in New Mexico, thousands of students opted not to participate in PARCC tests, which are associated with the Common Core State Standards — a set of education benchmarks that have been adopted in most states. Similarly, in New Jersey, school districts have reported high numbers of opt-outs.

Many states’ policies on whether students are actually allowed to refuse standardized tests are murky. In many states that technically forbid students from opting out, some kids still refuse to take the tests, and the unclear policies lack enforcement. There are only a few states that explicitly allow students to abstain from taking statewide tests.

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

 

 


 

 

Texas Ready to Dump High School Steroids Testing Program Associated Press

 

AUSTIN, Texas — When Texas officials launched a massive public high school steroids testing program over fears of rampant doping from the football fields to the tennis courts, they promised a model program for the rest of the country to follow.

But almost no one did. And after spending $10 million testing more than 63,000 students to catch just a handful of cheaters, Texas lawmakers appear likely to defund the program this summer. If they do, New Jersey and Illinois will have the only statewide high school steroids testing programs left.

Even those who pushed for the Texas program in 2007 now call it a colossal misfire, either a waste of money or too poorly designed to catch the drug users some insist are slipping through the cracks.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Arabic version of Pledge of Allegiance at Pine Bush High School ignites furor What began as an effort to celebrate national Foreign Language Week at Pine Bush High School has imploded into a raging controversy that has divided the school into angry factions.

Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record

 

PINE BUSH – An effort to celebrate national Foreign Language Week by reading the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic Wednesday has polarized Pine Bush High School into angry factions.

The morning’s regularly scheduled announcements included the Arabic reading of the pledge. According to students, the announcement was greeted by catcalls and angry denunciations in classrooms throughout the school by students who felt the reading was inappropriate.

The reading became the subject of angry talk throughout the school and a cascade of tweets both from students who criticized the reading and those who supported it.

The controversy has “divided the school in half,” according to school Superintendent Joan Carbone. She described the reading as “something that was supposed to be good but turned out not to be.”

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

April 9:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

April 9-10:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

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