Education News Roundup: June 4, 2015

Chinese Dual-Immersion Kindergarten ClassEducation News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

KUTV looks at Utah’s first graduating class from a dual immersion school.

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

 

West Jordan students protest the school’s dress code.

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

and http://go.uen.org/3RY (KTVX)

 

Granger High food pantry helps during the summer months.

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

 

Will it soon be getting a little harder to get into the U?

http://go.uen.org/3Sg (USAT)

 

There’s lots of follow up on Nevada’s backpack funding measure.

http://go.uen.org/3Rw (WaPo)

and http://go.uen.org/3Rx (CSM)

and http://go.uen.org/3Se (WSJ)

and http://go.uen.org/3Sa (Ed Week)

 

Ed Week releases its annual Diplomas Count issue.

http://go.uen.org/3Sb (Ed Week)

 

Congratulations to North Carolina’s Corey Mitchell, America’s first Tony Award-winning high school drama teacher.

http://go.uen.org/3S6 (AP)

and http://go.uen.org/3S7 (Charlotte [NC] Observer) and http://go.uen.org/3S8 (Tony Awards)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Dual immersion students leave sixth grade fluent in two languages

 

West Jordan students protest ‘sexist’ dress code with ‘not an object’ stickers Manner in which code is enforced puts onus on female students, say demonstrators.

 

School food pantry hopes to keep students from going hungry, even during summer break

 

Sen. Lee says he will introduce legislation to protect religious organizations

 

The Recession’s Over, But Schools Aren’t Feeling the Recovery New data suggests education spending remains below pre-recession levels in most states. View charts and maps showing trends for each state.

 

Census: Utah ranks last for per-student spending

 

Utah public schools address increased enrollment amidst post-secondary enrollment dip While many post-secondary institutions are experiencing a dip in student enrollment, four-year public institutions have become a notable exception to this trend.

 

Land for future high school to be used as an ag center

 

Kids discover importance of our natural resources

 

Canyons School District meeting to discuss facility needs

 

Science Olympiad team competes at nationals

 

Ex-teacher accused of groping students pleads no contest

 

Brianne Altice rebuffs lawsuit’s claims against her and the school district Courts » It’s “rumor and hearsay” that there was a running joke about who she was “sleeping with,” Altice claims.

 

Road rage incident puts Sandy school on temporary lockdown

 

UHSAA looking for prep officials

 

Utah soldier surprises family, unexpectedly shows up for sister’s graduation

 

For South Summit High School graduates, the future is now Grads lament the people they’ll miss but welcome what’s next

 

NSHS Sterling Scholars named

 

Kids run through obstacles like firefighters

 

The ‘readiness gap’ that derails students out of high school

 

Is this the greatest high school graduation ever? Maybe

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Speedier SAGE test results are more useful

 

Boosting graduation rates

 

O Ye of Little Funds

 

Appreciating mom’s close presence over the years

 

Per pupil spending in Utah: The wrong measure of success

 

Credible studies?

 

Selling land near Bryce means paradise lost

 

Thanks to Scholar Academy

 

How scrapping the one-size-fits-all education defeats inequity

 

What Did Democratic Presidential Candidates Tell AFT Union Leaders?

 

Teachers Know Best

Making Data Work For Teachers and Students

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

The ultimate in school choice or school as a commodity?

 

Graduation Rate Hits High, But Some Groups Lag New data show that 81 percent of class of 2013 graduated in four years

 

N.J. education chief to unveil plans for review of academic standards

 

This Is What It Takes To Get A Teacher Fired Around The Country

 

What Obama’s New Military-Equipment Rules Mean for K-12 School Police Advocates say the president’s new rules mark an important, if incomplete, shift in school policing

 

Social-Emotional Learning Review Aims to Help Secondary Schools Select Programs

 

NYC Schools to Get Audible Alarms after Boy’s Escape, Death

 

Tony Awards Honor Drama Teacher with 1st Educator Award

 

Education in Kenya Suffers at Hands of Shabab Extremists

 

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Dual immersion students leave sixth grade fluent in two languages

 

Utah is not always lauded as the best place for kids to learn in the nation, there is however one spot where Utah schools are performing ahead of the nation and leading the way. The state’s first graduating class of dual immersion students is graduating from sixth grade with near fluency in the language.

To get a peek at how the students were doing after six years of speaking a language for half a school day, we dropped in on Calvin Smith Elementary in Taylorsville. The school was one of the first to launch the dual immersion program with Chinese as the chosen language.

The school has six full-time, Chinese-speaking, teachers that don’t allow a word of English in their classes. Many of the teachers at this school, and others, come from mainland China in a deal where they get experience living and soaking up American culture while providing an invaluable teaching service for the school. Their salaries, surprisingly, are paid for by the Chinese government.

The dual immersion program now six years in, is offering Utah kids and families a one-of-a-kind education that is proving to be more than successful than anyone has ever imagined.

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

 

 


 

 

West Jordan students protest ‘sexist’ dress code with ‘not an object’ stickers Manner in which code is enforced puts onus on female students, say demonstrators.

 

West Jordan • A group of West Jordan High School students intentionally broke the school’s dress code Wednesday to make a point about sexism.

They wore short shorts and tank tops adorned with stickers that read “not a distraction” and “not an object.”

The stickers were an attempt to push back against how the students say school officials explain and enforce the dress code in a way that objectifies women and blames female students for the thoughts and actions of their male counterparts.

“I want more students to be aware of this messed-up thing,” said Laurel Kelly, the 16-year-old sophomore who organized the demonstration.

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

School food pantry hopes to keep students from going hungry, even during summer break

 

Granger High School in West Valley is the site of one of three high school food pantries in Utah. Since the Granger pantry opened on in February, it has served about 300 people each month.

The pantry is small, but it already has proven to be a valuable safety net for some students and their families who can’t afford food.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Sen. Lee says he will introduce legislation to protect religious organizations

 

WASHINGTON — Surrounded by appreciative Christian college leaders, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, announced Wednesday that he would soon introduce legislation to protect religious organizations from discrimination by the federal government that could arise because of their conscientious support of traditional marriage.

Lee introduced similar legislation in December 2013 that did not advance. But Wednesday’s announcement was framed as a direct reaction to the issue of tax-exemption and religious belief raised before the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, the same-sex marriage case that will likely be decided this month.

During oral argument of that case, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli indicated religious schools failing to accept same-sex marriage could lose their tax-exempt status were same-sex marriage recognized as a constitutional right.

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3Sj (Wash Times)

 

 


 

 

 

The Recession’s Over, But Schools Aren’t Feeling the Recovery New data suggests education spending remains below pre-recession levels in most states. View charts and maps showing trends for each state.

 

While funding levels for many public school districts declined in recent years, some have experienced far more severe cuts than others.

The recession played out differently across states, and lawmakers also pursued different strategies to address the resulting revenue shortfalls. Updated data released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week shows how the nation’s elementary and secondary public school systems have fared, providing detailed revenue and spending data up through fiscal 2013.

Per pupil spending climbed in all but 14 states between fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Most didn’t experience significant changes, although spending did drop by nearly 8 percent in Louisiana and climbed about 6 percent in Utah.

http://go.uen.org/3Sq (Governing)

 

 


 

 

Census: Utah ranks last for per-student spending

 

SALT LAKE CITY — According to a new report, Utah public school students get the least amount of government education funding in the country.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Utah spent only $6,555 per student in 2013, less than one-third of the highest-ranked state, New York, at $19,818. The average spending was $10,700.

Utah had a 5.6 percent gain in per-pupil funding between 2012 and 2013.

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

 

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3S0 (KSTU)

 

http://go.uen.org/3Sk (Ed Week)

 

 


 

 

 

Utah public schools address increased enrollment amidst post-secondary enrollment dip While many post-secondary institutions are experiencing a dip in student enrollment, four-year public institutions have become a notable exception to this trend.

 

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, four-year, for-profit colleges saw enrollment fall by 4.9%, and two-year public colleges fell by 3.9%.

Contrarily, four-year public institutions saw an increase of .1% with a .6% increase for students 24 years old and younger.

Certain states are being particularly affected by these policies. Utah, for example, is experiencing an enrollment spike with a projected enrollment increase of 50,000 students in the next 10 years.

Matthew Lopez, Director of the Office of Admissions at the University of Utah, has been anticipating this increase. A sector of the Office of Admissions, the Enrollment Management division, has taken action to accommodate the projected 1.5% increase in students.

“I am guessing we will use a combination of admitting more students, while being more selective,” says Lopez. “The campus plans to grow incrementally each year to meet our strategic goals. We intend to do this without compromising student success.”

http://go.uen.org/3Sg (USAT)

 

 


 

 

Land for future high school to be used as an ag center

 

TAYLOR — Kids learn more than reading, writing and arithmetic at school, and sometimes that means they need extra space. Weber School District is moving some student learning to a large plot of land in Taylor, at approximately 2200 S. 4300 West.

“We have some property that will eventually be a high school — that’s not something that’s going to be taking place in the near future, but we do have the property for if and when we do build,” said Nate Taggart, spokesman for the district.

For now, the land will be used as a center for Future Farmers of America activities. FFA is a national organization with clubs at schools across the country. Activities are designed to enhance the education of not only future farmers, but future biologists, chemists, veterinarians, engineers and entrepreneurs.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Kids discover importance of our natural resources

 

I stood under the shade of the pergola at Dixie State University and enjoyed an unusually cool morning breeze and a moment of silence that was soon infused with the happy sound of children’s voices and laughter. Scanning the campus commons, I watched as lines of fourth-graders, teachers and parents poured into the quad in steady streams.

Adults led the children to teaching stations scattered across campus. Students poked and prodded each other and electrified the air with their energy, all of them excited for the end of year field trip to the 20th Annual Water Fair.

Each year the Washington County Water Conservancy District invites a host of agencies and businesses to partner with them to provide Washington County School District students with meaningful, educational information on natural resources. The materials shared not only focus on the value and importance of water, but also support the state’s core curriculum standards for fourth-graders and reinforce science concepts the children learned throughout the year.

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

 

 


 

 

Canyons School District meeting to discuss facility needs

 

SANDY — A public forum is scheduled to gather community input on short- and long-term facility needs in Canyons School District.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday, June 15, at Alta High School, 11055 S. Hawk Highway.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Science Olympiad team competes at nationals

 

KAYSVILLE — The Fairfield Junior High Science Olympiad team has been state champions for 20 consecutive years.

In May the team traveled to a national competition, held at the University of Nebraska, to represent the state in science expertise.

The team is headed up by the school’s science teacher Dennis Erickson, who started the program at Fairfield Junior with a grassroots assembly of science teachers 21 years ago. The program has now grown, with 20 parent volunteers preparing two teams for the state competition.

There, the Fairfield squad came out on top, competing against 40 teams.

The varsity team then headed to nationals, where they competed against the top 60 teams out of 7,300 teams in 50 states who competed in 26 standards-based events in physics, chemistry, earth space science, biology and engineering.

Although the Fairfield team placed in 42nd place — not as well as the team’s best finish in the top 20 a few years ago — Erickson said his squad learned some life lessons along the way.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Ex-teacher accused of groping students pleads no contest

 

A former Hurricane charter school music teacher accused of groping some of his students has pleaded no contest to three counts of lewdness involving children.

Lynn R. Lundstrom, 65, agreed to spend 30 days in jail, register as a sex offender and have a psychosexual evaluation as part of a resolution reached with some of the children’s families, said Deputy County Attorney Zachary Weiland.

“Their primary concern was that he was registered as a sex offender. The did not want him to ever be able to teach again,” Weiland said.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Brianne Altice rebuffs lawsuit’s claims against her and the school district Courts » It’s “rumor and hearsay” that there was a running joke about who she was “sleeping with,” Altice claims.

 

Brianne Altice never heard an alleged running joke among Davis High students: “Who is Ms. Altice sleeping with now?”

The former Davis High English teacher countered several such claims that were leveled against her and the school district in a lawsuit.

The civil lawsuit, one of two filed against Altice in 2nd District Court, alleges that students texted her and made sexual comments to her. Eventually, she began seeing them after school and having sex with them, according to the complaint.

In her criminal case, Altice, 35, pleaded guilty in April to three counts of forcible sexual abuse, admitting she touched the genitals of three students from January to September 2013.

Altice is scheduled to be sentenced July 9. She faces a potential one-to-15-year prison term for each of the three counts.

http://go.uen.org/3S2 (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/3S3 (KSTU)

 

http://go.uen.org/3S5 (New York Daily News)

 

http://go.uen.org/3S4 (London Daily Mail)

 

 


 

 

Road rage incident puts Sandy school on temporary lockdown

 

SANDY, Utah – A school was placed on lockdown Thursday morning after a gun was shown during a dispute between two men in the school’s parking lot.

It happened just after 10 a.m. in the parking lot of Peruvian Park Elementary at 1545 E 8425 S.

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

 

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

UHSAA looking for prep officials

 

There is always a need for good officials for all high school sports.

The Utah High School Activities Association supervisor of officials Jeff Cluff said registration for the 2015-16 school year for officials has begun online at www.ArbiterSports.com.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Utah soldier surprises family, unexpectedly shows up for sister’s graduation

 

HERRIMAN, Utah – A local teen had an emotional surprise when her big brother took a break from his military service to show up at her high school graduation rehearsal.

The sentimental surprise has been under wraps for nine months now. The soldier’s commanding officers were in on it, staff at Herriman High School were in on it, but nobody else — including the soldier’s family — had any idea what was about to happen, Wednesday morning.

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

 

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3S1 (KSTU)

 

 


 

 

 

For South Summit High School graduates, the future is now Grads lament the people they’ll miss but welcome what’s next

 

The caps flew into the air, their white and green colors blending into the clouds above and the mountains beyond.

Like that, the South Summit High School graduating class of 2015 had taken its first step into its unknown future. South Summit held its commencement ceremony May 28, meaning that for 117 graduates, high school is now in the rear-view mirror.

http://go.uen.org/3Sn (PR)

 

 


 

 

NSHS Sterling Scholars named

 

RICHFIELD– Fifteen outstanding high school seniors in central Utah have been named 2015 Sterling Scholars in a competition and awards ceremony held in the Sevier Valley Center.

North Sanpete High School led the 43rd annual competition with three winners and six runners-up.

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

 

 


 

 

Kids run through obstacles like firefighters

 

Schoolchildren at Open Classroom in Salt Lake City teamed with firefighters to carry hoses and run an obstacle course on Wednesday, as part of FireStrong Kids.

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

 

 


 

 

The ‘readiness gap’ that derails students out of high school

 

Being deemed “proficient” on a standardized state test may not mean what you think it means, according to a new study by an education reform advocacy group.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Is this the greatest high school graduation ever? Maybe

 

Ever heard of Kahuku High School in Hawaii? If not, now you’ll probably never forget it.

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

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Speedier SAGE test results are more useful Salt Lake Tribune editorial

 

If data analysis is a fact of modern life, then faster analysis is a fact of life to come. The purpose of such analysis is to create feedback loops. Information from the past feeds decision making for the future. Those loops work best when they’re kept tight. That is, the time between the data gathering and the decision making should be small so the adjustments also can be kept small.

It is in that spirit that the Utah State Office of Education is making progress by encouraging schools to make children’s individual SAGE test scores available to parents during the summer instead of waiting until fall, or even winter.

Last year’s SAGE scores were not distributed until December, more than six months after most Utah children took the test. The reason for the lag is the time it takes to collect the data and calculate state averages, and that lag will still be there. What parents will receive soon is their own child’s scores and comparison to school averages. In some cases, they also may get district averages, but they won’t get any statewide data to compare.

The state needs to speed that up. If it means dedicating more resources over the summer to get the statewide data compiled before school starts, education officials should figure out how to make that happen. (It’s not just a data dump. The analysts have to sift the results to make sure they are valid and they protect the privacy of students in small data sets — schools with few ethnic minorities, for instance. They also can’t get statewide numbers until the last school finishes, which is mid-summer for year-round schools.) http://go.uen.org/3Rt

 

 


 

 

 

Boosting graduation rates

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial

 

A state audit on student behaviors that lead to lower graduation rates contains some surprises for Utah pols and academics; however, the report should be paid attention to as it notes changes Utah can make to help produce more college graduates. There are three important issues noted in the audit:

  • Remedial classes are ineffective.
  • The more credit hours a student takes, the higher their graduation rate.
  • And students who withdraw from courses mid-semester have lower graduation rates.

The audit’s dismissal of the effectiveness of remedial courses must come as a surprise to many.

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

 

 


 

 

 

O Ye of Little Funds

Salt Lake City Weekly commentary by columnist Katharine Biele

 

There is nothing more Utah than the phrase “have faith.” So why was it surprising to hear the superintendent of education call on Utahns to have faith “that we can change this very big, very complex system in a way that benefits our kids?” Don’t look for money or even resources to get this done. Superintendent Brad Smith was speaking to the choir at the conservative Utah Taxes Now conference. He’s already labeled Utah teachers whiners for seeking more money for classrooms, and now he’s on the record saying there’s no great shame in being dead last in the nation for student funding. That these statements came after his April apology and clarification about funding and teachers makes you question the chief school administrator who comes to the position with no particular credentials.

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

 

 


 

 

Appreciating mom’s close presence over the years

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner commentary by columnist MEG SANDERS

 

Twenty-one years ago I gave the middle finger to the music teacher at Fremont Elementary School. As the school narc, kids in my class couldn’t wait to tattle on me. As Mrs. Venn strode back into the room, a dozen of my fellow classmates chimed in like a nest of baby birds, chirping in unison, “Megan flipped off Mrs. So-And-So.”

Most children would experience swift justice via a trip to the principal’s office, paired with some type of dictionary copying. I had neither. Instead, the teacher; a co-worker of my mother’s, yelled and then simply shook her head, threatening to tell my mom. She never did and it was 10 years ago-ish I came clean. She of course was mortified as any mother would be. I enjoyed definite perks thanks to mom being a teacher at my school.

After 29 years, school’s out for summer officially, forever, for my mother on Friday. She’s set to join the emeritus class of “working stiff,” like many of you reading this paper over your toast and tea — an agenda to do whatever the hell you want because you’ve earned it.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Per pupil spending in Utah: The wrong measure of success Watchdog.org commentary by Josh Daniels, a policy analyst for the Libertas Institute

 

Each summer, local media outlets produce stories about the level of per pupil spending in Utah, pointing out that Utah comes in last place across the country in per-pupil funding. These stories aren’t really news since Utah has been this way for years; perhaps the statistics are meant to scare Utahns into demanding that legislators allocate more of the taxation pie to the government education bureaucracy. If only it were that simple.

Utah is subject to some unique factors that yield relatively lower levels of available funds for education as compared to other states. Most notable are the larger families with more children. Other issues include the level of federal land ownership and lower income levels per pupil from which to draw. While the public education lobby, like any government bureaucracy, is diligent in advocating for its own growth, the issues underlying school finance in Utah are not remedied by simply throwing more tax dollars at them.

Few headlines about education spending point out the state’s efficiency when you compare academic achievement per dollar spent. This blind focus on total dollars as a supposedly important metric ignores the most central issue for government schools: are the children learning?

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

 

 


 

 

Credible studies?

Deseret News letter from Lee Allen

 

James Lloyd’s letter (“Increase education spending,” June 1) makes the emphatic point that “increased education spending improves student outcomes.” While not derived from Lloyd’s “credible studies” but from the real world, consider this: Baltimore schools spend $16,578 per student and their graduation rate from high school is 53 percent. Does this lead to the conclusion based on Lloyd’s studies that if they only spent $29,000 per student they could obtain a 100 percent graduation rate?

For 35 years I have listened to the UEA and individuals like Lloyd equate performance with expenditures. Performance depends on much more than gross expenditures, a lot of it having nothing to do with schools. I suggest they forego “credible studies” and start dealing with the real world.

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

 

 


 

 

Selling land near Bryce means paradise lost Salt Lake Tribune letter from Ted L. Jensen

 

Having worked at Bryce Canyon more than 40 years ago for a few seasons, it was shocking to read, “Utah to auction scenic properties near Bryce … ” (May 30).

Hopefully they will use the money to teach the students about what Bryce Canyon was like before it’s finally gone.

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

 

 


 

 

Thanks to Scholar Academy

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Jessie Walthers

 

On behalf of the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation I would like to heartily thank the third grade class at Scholar Academy in Tooele. These students recently came out to help pull invasive weeds and plant trees in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Over the year, the kids themselves raised $534.86 to put toward the much needed repairs and reconstruction of the boardwalk at the Silver Lake Visitor Center. Their teacher, Daisy Demarco, shared that the students held a bake sale and wrote letters to local businesses asking for their help. What an inspiring contribution of service and support from these young stewards!

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

 

 


 

 

 

How scrapping the one-size-fits-all education defeats inequity Hechinger Report commentary by NICHOLAS C. DONOHUE, president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation

 

For centuries, we have believed that there is only one way for students to learn – go to school, sit at a desk, do what the teacher says and take tests.

We’ve operated schools as if they were industrial factories, with teaching and learning practices that mimic assembly-line and batch-processing manufacturing.

But we can no longer rely on the methods of the past.

Today, we need more students achieving at high levels to ensure a more equitable and prosperous future for our communities. Schools need student-centered strategies, rather than a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to education.

In student-centered environments, learning is personalized, competency-based, takes place anytime, anywhere, and students take ownership over their learning.

At the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, we commissioned a series of studies to evaluate the effects of a variety of student-centered practices in secondary schools.

The results of these studies were largely positive, demonstrating meaningful outcomes on student achievement and engagement.

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

 

 


 

 

What Did Democratic Presidential Candidates Tell AFT Union Leaders?

Education Week commentary by columnist Alyson Klein

 

We’re not even halfway through 2015, but the American Federation of Teachers, a 1.6 million-member union, is wasting no time in researching the 2016 presidential candidates.

The union’s top leadership sat down earlier this week and chatted with three folks vying for the Democratic nomination: Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State; Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor, and Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who considers himself an independent socialist.

AFT endorsed Clinton back in the 2008 primary season (even as the National Education Association stayed neutral). And pretty much the entire edu-political world would eat their hats if AFT didn’t champion her again. For one thing, she’s the obvious frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Plus, Randi Weingarten, the president of AFT, has had a long working relationship with both Clintons.

Still, the union appears to be doing its due diligence. AFT officials didn’t release a line-by-line transcript or video of the interviews, sad to say, but they did provide reporters with some excerpts of the candidates’ opening remarks. While these don’t provide in-the-weeds policy details, they do give voters a sense of how the candidates may frame education issues during the debate.

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

 

 


 

 

Teachers Know Best

Making Data Work For Teachers and Students Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation analysis

 

Teachers believe that knowing their students well is fundamental to effective instruction. Data that matter to teachers are much more than just annual test scores. Data that matter include rich information about students’ academic, social, behavioral, and cultural experiences that can help strengthen the connection between teachers and students and shape how learning takes place.

This study of more than 4,600 teachers focuses on the digital tools available to help teachers collect and use data to tailor and improve instruction for individual students. It recommends how product developers could improve those tools based on the views of teachers themselves. As with previous Teachers Know Best reports, our goal was simple: to bring the voice of educators into identifying areas of unmet need, so that focused product development could more effectively support teaching and learning.

Today, virtually all teachers (93 percent) regularly use some form of digital tool to guide instruction. But more than two-thirds of teachers (67 percent), across a vast range of schools nationwide, say they are not fully satisfied with the effectiveness of the data or the tools for working with data that they have access to on a regular basis.

This study explores four questions:

  • What do teachers believe about data-driven instruction and the tools that support it?
  • How do teachers use data to tailor instruction?
  • What are the key challenges teachers identify with the tools that support data-driven instruction?
  • What do teachers need to make data work to drive instruction in the classroom?

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

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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The ultimate in school choice or school as a commodity?

Washington Post

 

Starting next school year, any parent in Nevada can pull a child from the state’s public schools and take tax dollars with them, giving families the option to use public money to pay for private or parochial school or even for home schooling.

The new law, which the state’s Republican-controlled legislature passed with help from the education foundation created by former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R), is a breakthrough for conservatives, who call it the ultimate in school choice. And they are working to spread it nationwide: Lawmakers in Georgia, Iowa and Rhode Island considered similar legislation this year.

Democrats, teachers unions, public school superintendents and administrators are alarmed, saying that the Nevada law to provide private school vouchers is the first step toward dismantling the nation’s public schools.

Although other states increasingly have allowed tax dollars to be used for private school tuition, most limit the programs to students with disabilities or from low-income families. A few states, such as Indiana, have expanded the option to the middle class.

Nevada’s law is singular because all of the state’s 450,000 K-12 public school children — regardless of income — are eligible to take the money to whatever school they choose.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/3Rx (CSM)

 

http://go.uen.org/3Se (WSJ)

 

http://go.uen.org/3Sa (Ed Week)

 

 


 

 

 

Graduation Rate Hits High, But Some Groups Lag New data show that 81 percent of class of 2013 graduated in four years Education Week

 

The on-time graduation rates in the nation’s public high schools have hit historic highs. The U.S. Department of Education reports that 81 percent of the class of 2013 graduated within four years, as tabulated by the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR). The ACGR, which states use to fulfill accountability requirements under the No Child Left Behind law, has climbed 2 percentage points since 2011, when the Education Department first started requiring states to calculate and report graduation rates using this method. Other methods for calculating graduation rates have shown similar upward trends.

Despite recent progress, students still face very different odds of on-time graduation depending upon where they live.

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

 

 


 

 

N.J. education chief to unveil plans for review of academic standards (Bergen County, NJ) Record

 

TRENTON – The state’s top education official said Wednesday that he will unveil plans next month for a sweeping review of academic standards to answer Governor Christie’s call for an overhaul.

The governor said in a speech last week that the Common Core set of standards “simply isn’t working” and was a case of federal overreach. But Education Commissioner David Hespe, in comments at the state Board of Education meeting, didn’t share the same critical tone.

Instead, he said New Jersey has continuously reviewed standards used by schools that define what students should know in each grade. Now is a good time, he said, to see how schools have adapted to the Common Core and what can be improved or updated.

“We’re five years into the process and at this time we have a good vantage point to make certain we are where we want to be,” said Hespe.

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

 

 


 

 

 

This Is What It Takes To Get A Teacher Fired Around The Country Huffington Post

 

States around the country can’t agree on what job protections teachers should be granted. Some states allow teachers to obtain tenure — a tool that typically grants educators due-process rights — or other similar job protections after only two years on the job, while others force teachers to work up to five years first. Similarly, while some states hold that teachers without tenure should be the first to go in cases of layoffs, others prohibit tenure from being a factor.

In several states, the issue of teacher tenure is currently playing out in courts.

In Vergara v. California last summer, a group of nine students backed by Silicon Valley millionaire David Welch and his nonprofit, Students Matter, successfully argued that the state’s teacher tenure rules violated their civil rights. A judge found that these rules — which allow educators to obtain job protections after two years and hold that layoffs should be based on seniority — unconstitutional, unnecessarily keeping bad teachers in classrooms, especially in low-income areas. California Gov. Jerry Brown appealed the judge’s ruling in late August.

Similarly, in New York, a lawsuit targeting the state’s teacher tenure rules is progressing this summer. Plaintiffs backed by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown and her organization, Partnerships for Educational Justice, are arguing that it is too difficult to fire ineffective teachers.

In North Carolina, on the other hand, an appeals court ruled Tuesday that the legislature’s previous attempt to phase out teacher tenure by 2018 was unconstitutional.

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

 

 


 

 

What Obama’s New Military-Equipment Rules Mean for K-12 School Police Advocates say the president’s new rules mark an important, if incomplete, shift in school policing Rolling Stone

 

Last week, President Obama issued an executive order to regulate the use of military equipment within local police departments, as part of an ongoing effort to address police violence in communities of color. Images of officers rolling through the streets of Ferguson – and, more recently, Baltimore – in armored tanks pushed the issue of police militarization into the national spotlight. But it’s not just police departments that have been outfitted with military weapons. Through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, created in 1997, K-12 school districts across the country have received equipment like mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles, grenade launchers, assault rifles and an outfitted SWAT team. One district in Utah alone received a dozen AR-15s, the weapon notoriously used in the Sandy Hook school shooting.

The president’s new rules restrict how law enforcement agencies can acquire certain equipment. However, the rules specify that departments “solely serving schools ranging from kindergarten through grade 12” are now excluded – they can no longer receive military-grade equipment through the 1033 program. Advocates say this change marks an important, if incomplete, shift in school policing.

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

 

 


 

 

 

Social-Emotional Learning Review Aims to Help Secondary Schools Select Programs Education Week

 

For schools, the decision to focus on the social and emotional learning of their students is just the first step.

The real work kicks in when leaders try to navigate a confusing and still-developing field to select an evidence-based program that will translate the findings of researchers into actual results in the classroom. And that task is especially difficult in secondary schools, where many teachers are subject-oriented and uncomfortable with adopting new approaches and where students are often more cynical and less engaged than their younger peers, principals say.

Hoping to help secondary schools in selecting a program, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning released its “2015 CASEL Guide: Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs—Middle and High School Edition” Wednesday.

The organization previously released a similar guide for elementary school programs. CASEL compares the guides to Consumer Reports because it uses fixed criteria to evaluate and categorize programs. In the secondary guide, programs are categorized as SELect, complementary, or promising.

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

 

A copy of the guide

http://go.uen.org/3Rz (CASEL)

 

 


 

 

 

NYC Schools to Get Audible Alarms after Boy’s Escape, Death Associated Press

 

NEW YORK — Officials are installing 21,000 audible door alarms at New York City schools to prevent another tragedy like the disappearance and death of an autistic student in 2013.

Department of Education officials said Thursday the alarms will be in place by the end of 2015.

The move comes less than two years after 14-year-old Avonte Oquendo (ah-VAHN’-tay oh-KEN’-doh) walked away from his Queens school and was found dead in a river months later.

The City Council passed a bill called Avonte’s Law last year. It requires the Department of Education to survey all schools and evaluate the need for safety measures including audible alarms.

http://go.uen.org/3S9

 

 


 

 

Tony Awards Honor Drama Teacher with 1st Educator Award Associated Press

 

NEW YORK — The first special Tony Award to honor educators has been given to a veteran North Carolina high school arts teacher who wants to create magic but doesn’t believe in making stars.

Corey Mitchell, from the Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, has won the inaugural Excellence in Theatre Education Award presented by the Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University.

“No one takes a star bow at my school,” Mitchell said by phone this week. “I don’t believe in stars. I believe that the work itself is paramount, and that’s what should take center stage and not your own ego.”

Mitchell encourages students to participate in productions any way they want, as performers, of course, but also far from the stage as lighting technicians, costume designers or sound engineers.

http://go.uen.org/3S6

 

http://go.uen.org/3S7 (Charlotte [NC] Observer)

 

http://go.uen.org/3S8 (Tony Awards)

 

 


 

 

 

Education in Kenya Suffers at Hands of Shabab Extremists New York Times

 

MANDERA, Kenya — In a small classroom at Mandera Academy, a private school, posters with numbers, Swahili and English letters, and geometric shapes hung on the walls as dozens of students crammed together on small wooden desks.

Bilan Abdi, 9, stood up and spoke about her teacher, Violet Muranga, who was shot dead last year as she was dragged out of a bus with other victims while traveling to visit her family.

“We learned a lot from her,” Bilan said softly. “Songs like ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’ ”

Kenya has suffered mightily at the hands of the Shabab, a Somali Islamist extremist group whose deadly attacks have left a painful void in this region’s schools.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————————————

CALENDAR

————————————————————

 

USOE Calendar

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

 

 

UEN News

http://www.uen.org

 

 

June 8:

Administrative Rules Review Committee meeting

9 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00002681.htm

 

 

June 16:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

June 17:

Education Interim Committee meeting

9 a.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00002661.htm

 

 

June 18-19:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

July 9:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

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