Education News Roundup: July 13, 2015

"Kindergarten..." by SFA Union City/CC/flickr

“Kindergarten…” by SFA Union City/CC/flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:


UVU hosts Sci-Tech Expo. (DN)

and (PDH)


More babies in Utah ultimately leads to more kindergarteners in Utah. (SLT)

or a copy of the report (CDC)


U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack turns to the Trib to tout nutritious school lunches. (SLT)


Will the Senate pass its version of an ESEA rewrite this week? (National Journal) and (Ed Week)


American Federation of Teachers endorses Hillary Clinton for president. (Politico)

and (CSM)

and (Ed Week)

and (CNN)















Are Utah students up for the challenge of STEM academics?


Utah teacher returns with lessons learned at space academy for educators


Experts work to make school lunch healthy, appealing to kids


Utah births rising again after baby recession Babies » Women in their 30s having greater share of Utah babies.


State teachers of the year call for ‘transformation’ in education policy, practices


Crime report: Schools are becoming safer


Mother of victim says double standard exists for male victims


Chelsi’s Run assists area students for 8th year


Online school to hold information sessions


‘Old-fashioned’ charter school to emphasize textbooks over technology


The dueling perspectives in Congress on No Child Left Behind








After 14 years of No Child Left Behind, there’s still too many still lagging behind in the classroom


To vaccinate, or not?


Thumbs up, thumbs down


Don’t reverse progress toward healthier school lunches


Our kids need to learn tech


Appalling sentence in teacher sex case


Altice sentence is too long


The Teachers Union Votes Hillary

So much for liberating poor kids from failing schools.


California’s Tough Vaccination Law








Outlook: Long-Debated Education Bill on Path to Conference This week’s main event is the expected Senate passage of a No Child Left Behind rewrite.


GOP senator: Let states fix No Child Left Behind


American Federation of Teachers endorses Hillary Clinton for president


Common-Core Materials Penetrate Every State


Common Core debate could lead to special session


Over 3,700 teachers in Kansas have retired or left the state during the summer


Indiana schools see shortage of teacher applications


Why this controversial former CNN host is launching an education news site


The new trend in validating top students: Make them all valedictorians


Rough Play is Riskier than Heading in Youth Soccer: Study


Nobel winner Malala opens school for Syrian refugees


UAE executes woman for killing American teacher










Are Utah students up for the challenge of STEM academics?


OREM — When Jim Green told a class of middle-school students that girls make better pilots than boys, half the class donned proud smiles while looks of surprise and bewilderment spread throughout the rest of the group.

Down the hall, shouts of mild disgust rang out as another class discovered what vitreous gel looks like after peeling back the cornea of a cow eyeball.

Friday was a day of surprises at Utah Valley University’s third annual Sci-Tech Expo, which provides hands-on opportunities in fields of science, technology, engineering and math for low-income middle-schoolers.

But unlike many STEM events that pique students’ interest through fun-filled field trips during the school year, UVU’s Summer PREP program focuses on helping kids learn that getting into a STEM career, while rewarding, takes more than a spark of curiosity. (DN) (PDH)





Utah teacher returns with lessons learned at space academy for educators


SALT LAKE CITY —A Utah high school teacher spent a week training as an astronaut to inspire new ways of teaching science, technology and math.

FOX 13 News caught up with the Highland High School science teacher to find out what lessons she’s bringing back to the Beehive State.

“When you can go out and take real life experiences to students and say, ‘This is what really it is, not read a book, don’t read a textbook, don’t go to page 72 and tell me what that graph means, this is what it feels like,’” Bonnie Bourgeous said of her experience.

She is the only teacher from Utah in four years to win a scholarship for a trip to the Honeywell Educators Space Academy, and she’s bringing lessons learned at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center back to Utah students. (KSTU)






Experts work to make school lunch healthy, appealing to kids


Dr. Lynn Harvey with the School Nutrition Association was in studio Sunday morning to talk about school nutrition and what her organization is doing to keep kids healthy and enjoying food at school. (KSTU)





Utah births rising again after baby recession Babies » Women in their 30s having greater share of Utah babies.


As fireworks exploded in nearby Murray Park, Makenzie and Korey Marsh finally got their baby girl.

But as much as they welcomed the arrival of Bayne, born on the Fourth of July, it was not quite as early in their lives as the Herriman couple had hoped.

The Marshes, like hundreds of thousands of other couples throughout Utah and the United States, had delayed having children for financial reasons during the economic slump that began in 2008.

That long baby recession may finally be over.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the number of births rose nationally by 1 percent — about 53,000 babies — in 2014, the first time in six years.

Preliminary figures show Utah women also had more babies in 2014: 52,139, up from 50,913 the year before.

But Utah parents apparently shook off the financial doldrums a little earlier than the rest of the country. The state had logged other year-to-year increases from 2011 to 2012. (SLT)


A copy of the report (CDC)






State teachers of the year call for ‘transformation’ in education policy, practices


SALT LAKE CITY — Years ago, Lily Eskelsen Garcia asked her class of fifth-graders to imagine a comet was on a collision course with Earth. They were among the lucky ones headed to a space colony far away and could choose three people and three items to bring with them.

In the essays Garcia got back, some students said they would bring their best friends and movie stars, along with items such as reprogrammable video games and hair products. No surprise.

But one student challenged the premise of the exercise:

“I live with my mom and dad and my two little brothers, and I could never leave one of them behind to die,” the student wrote, “so I would give up my seat so they could all go and then I would hope that the scientists were wrong about the Earth being destroyed, then I would help them build a space laser and then I would blast the comet before it hit and then I would take the next space ship and then I would catch up with my family.”

The technical response, Garcia said, would have been: “What a terrible run-on sentence.” Instead, she found herself asking, “Where do I put the A+ in compassion?” (KSL)






Crime report: Schools are becoming safer


Crime in schools is down across the nation, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs.

“Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2014,” released this month, presents statistics on a variety of topics including victimization, teacher injury, bullying and cyber-bullying, school conditions, fights, weapons, drugs and alcohol, and perceptions of safety.

“The trend is that there are some very positive things happening,” said Verne Larsen, Safe and Drug Free Schools coordinator at the Utah state Office of Education.

Statistics included in the report show that, nationally, the number of secondary students who reported being victimized at school decreased from 10 percent in 1995 to 3 percent in 2013. (OSE)






Mother of victim says double standard exists for male victims


SALT LAKE CITY – There is a double standard when it comes to treating male victims of sex abuse.

That’s the claim from a mother of one of the boys who was sexually abused by Brianne Altice.

Thursday, she was sentenced to three-to-thirty years in prison for sexually assaulting three male students.

“We felt confident in leaving it up to the judge’s hands and we knew that he would come up with the right punishment for the crime,” said the mother who did not want her identity revealed. (KTVX)





Chelsi’s Run assists area students for 8th year


Organizers of the annual Chelsi’s Run event sought to overcome the loss of a loved one when tragedy struck in 2008 by giving back to the community — and they’ve done just that, providing $64,000 worth of scholarship money to area high school students.

Chelsi Petersen, a Dixie High School graduate, died June 6, 2008, in a car accident.

Afterward, family and friends created The Chelsi Petersen Memorial Scholarship, funded through Chelsi’s Run, a 5k walk and run event held on Petersen’s birthday each year, July 15.

This year’s run is Wednesday, and the eight scholarship winners from four area high schools for 2015 have been announced. (SGS)





Online school to hold information sessions


LAYTON — Traditional school doesn’t work for every student. Some kids need a more flexible option to work around activities that require travel or a special schedule, and others prefer to work at their own pace or without the distraction of other students. Utah Connections Academy, an accredited virtual public school, is hosting an information session for families interested in online classes. (OSE)






‘Old-fashioned’ charter school to emphasize textbooks over technology


At a time when many schools are focused on education through the use of laptops, whiteboards and other technology, a tuition-free charter school set to open next month in Greensboro will emphasize textbooks, cursive writing and courses in logic and rhetoric.

Piedmont Classical High School will open its doors Aug. 19 to ninth- and 10th-grade students within a temporary leased location at the C3 Church at 300 N.C. Highway 68 in Greensboro. Utah-based American Charter Development will build a permanent $9 million, 40,000-square-foot facility on 21 acres at the corner of Yanceyville Road and Lees Chapel Road that is expected to ready for occupancy in August 2016. ([Greensboro, NC] Triad Business Journal)





The dueling perspectives in Congress on No Child Left Behind


Congress is finally moving this week on revising No Child Left Behind, former President George W. Bush’s bipartisan education policy that was signed in 2002 with Sen. Edward Kennedy by Bush’s side. NCLB, most observers agree, turned out to be too rigid and too demanding, and proved so unworkable that most states now operate under extralegal waivers issued by the Department of Education.

On Wednesday the House narrowly passed a revision that would roll back federal control over education, including giving states more control over how they assess schools and evaluate teachers. The bill passed with a bare majority, with no Democrats supporting and losing 27 Republicans.

But the bill still is not everything conservatives would like. (DN)











After 14 years of No Child Left Behind, there’s still too many still lagging behind in the classroom Deseret News editorial


From its beginning in 2001, the federal No Child Left Behind law was filled with irony, even as its ultimate goal was laughably unrealistic.

The irony was that a conservative Republican president and a Republican congressional majority enacted it, bringing unprecedented federal control into state school systems — a decidedly non-conservative notion. The unrealistic goal was that by 2014, every single student in the United States was to be proficient in the core subjects — that is, they would perform at grade level. It should surprise no one that this didn’t happen.

But despite all this, the law forced many states, including Utah, to come face-to-face with inadequacies in their state-controlled education systems. Utah previously had taken few steps toward any real accountability for education performance, and the law’s requirements exposed the gap between how well minority and white students were performing.

Now members of Congress are involved in intense efforts to revise the law and make it more effective. They should do so by eliminating its flaws and accentuating its virtues.






To vaccinate, or not?

(St. George) Spectrum editorial


California is the third state in America to make it mandatory for children to be fully vaccinated in order to attend public schools. If parents choose not to vaccinate their children, they can only be home schooled. The only valid excuse to attend public school, without vaccination, is a medical excuse.

The Golden State’s decision, signed into law last week by Gov. Jerry Brown, followed the lead of West Virginia and Missouri, the only other states that have taken such a stance in support of vaccination. The fact that California neighbors Nevada, which neighbors Utah, is reason to pay attention.

Could California’s decision have an impact on us? It’s possible, of course, that some parents who strongly oppose California’s ruling will decide to pack up and relocate to a nearby state, thus putting their children into our schools.

While the outcry from opponents was loud in California, the response since Brown put pen to paper has been mostly quiet. So, possibly, the anti-vaccine movement was smaller than they sounded during the debate.

Still, though, Utah has a question to ask: Should we take a similar step?





Thumbs up, thumbs down

(Ogden) Standard-Examiner editorial


Thumbs up: To the HOPE squads from Top of Utah schools that have been trained to see warning signs in depressed or suicidal peers and report the signs to an adult. They are the eyes and ears at the school, helping their fellow students.






Don’t reverse progress toward healthier school lunches Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture


As parents, you trust your family pediatrician to help you make informed choices about your children’s health — not politicians or special interests. That’s why when developing the first meaningful improvements to school meals in 30 years, we turned to the people who care the most for kids, including pediatricians and other respected health, nutrition and school meal professionals.

For the past three years, kids have eaten healthier breakfasts, lunches and snacks at school thanks to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which improved the nutrition of foods and beverages served in cafeterias and sold in vending machines. Our kids are getting healthier as a result. Parents and pediatricians approve. But some politicians in Congress aren’t so happy. Now that the Act is up for reauthorization in Congress, opponents are straining to roll back the progress we’ve made, putting your children’s potential in the hands of Washington interests. This, despite the fact that our national obesity crisis costs the country $190.2 billion per year to treat.

Healthier school meals were developed based on recommendations by doctors and nutrition, health and school meal experts. They gave us the same nutrition advice they give you—kids should eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other healthy foods.

Opponents would have you believe that kids won’t eat the healthier meals, that they’re too burdensome on schools. But we’ve talked to the dedicated school meal professionals working in school cafeterias, as well as the students, and the negative rhetoric does not match reality.






Our kids need to learn tech

(Provo) Daily Herald op-ed by Matthew Jelalian, a BYU student studying journalism


As tech and the Internet become an ever-increasing part of our world, it will become even more important that we teach solid tech skills to our kids.

Here, in the self-proclaimed “Silicon Slopes,” I think we have a very unique opportunity to teach greater tech skills to the rising generation — an opportunity that I don’t believe many states or even countries have.

Forget teaching kids how to write in cursive. Let’s teach them how to code.

I believe high school graduate who isn’t capable of building a basic website has been failed by the education system.





Appalling sentence in teacher sex case

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Robert Argenbright


Appalling! Judge Kay, why not just cut off Brianne Altice’s hand or pluck out an eye? Even Sharia law would not torture her for up to thirty years. Yes, what she did was wrong. But your decision is the worst possible for all concerned. Do you really think it will help the “victims” get over their traumatic experience? There are two likely outcomes. Either they will mature emotionally and accept that they were willing participants, but remain unpunished while Ms. Altice rots in prison. That would be a heavy burden. Or, alternatively, this will confirm their belief that they can do no wrong, should always be the center of the universe, and will not have to suffer any consequences no matter what they do. Either way, Judge Kay, you’ve done them no favor. All you’ve done is strike a blow for patriarchy, while dismissing compassion. Tell you what, Your “Honor,” next time let’s have a good old-fashioned stoning!





Altice sentence is too long

Salt Lake Tribune letter from Michael J. Hughes


Brianne Altice gets how long?

I agree that Brianne did everything wrong and that she violated all her teaching codes, and that she should be punished. But 30 years? I think that given one year of hard time and then monitored to stay away from teens, she would only talk to people in rest homes.

Instead us taxpayers are paying the bill again — about $50,000 a year for a prisoner.

She didn’t kill anyone, rob a bank or defraud anyone. She just made a big mistake.





The Teachers Union Votes Hillary

So much for liberating poor kids from failing schools.

Wall Street Journal editorial


While the media chase the Bernie Sanders rallies, keep your eye on the political crowds that matter. On Saturday the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) endorsed Hillary Clinton—16 months before Election Day.

This counts in the fight for the Democratic Party nomination because the 1.6 million member union boasts it can make a million phone calls and knock on 500,000 doors. Bernie’s Birkenstock irregulars can’t match that political power and money.

The endorsement is even more notable as another sign of Hillary’s left political turn. Democrats in New York and elsewhere have been debating education reform, but by embracing the AFT Mrs. Clinton is choosing the union status quo that opposes school choice and teacher accountability.






California’s Tough Vaccination Law

New York Times editorial


California sets a smart example for the nation by passing tough new laws that will require the vast majority of children in day care or kindergarten to be vaccinated against a slew of infectious diseases next year. The state will no longer grant exemptions based on a parent’s religious convictions or “personal belief” that vaccines might be harmful. It will only allow exemptions for children with medical conditions that make vaccination unsafe. This public health policy ought to be adopted by all states.

While all states require schoolchildren to be vaccinated, nearly all allow exemptions for families with religious objections (only Mississippi and West Virginia limit exemptions to medical necessity), and 20 currently allow exemptions based on a parent’s personal beliefs. Those beliefs are often based on irrational fears that vaccines might cause autism, a link based on fraudulent science that has long been discredited.












Outlook: Long-Debated Education Bill on Path to Conference This week’s main event is the expected Senate passage of a No Child Left Behind rewrite.

National Journal


In an environment that has been tense and marked by bullying on everything from defense spending to trade policy to the fate of the Export-Import Bank, the Senate’s debate over a carefully negotiated bipartisan education bill has gone remarkably smoothly. The chamber has held dozens of votes on amendments, some of which were controversial and voted down, and accepted dozens more without conflict. Everyone seems to be breathing a sigh of relief.

The Senate is expected to finish its work on the education bill this week, marking a major milestone for educators and advocates who have been looking for a rewrite of No Child Left Behind for eight years. The House passed its more-conservative version of the legislation last week, with an eye toward a conference committee with the Senate. Democrats oppose the House version, but they also know that it can’t move any further to the right in conference if President Obama is expected to sign it.

But before they get there, the Senate needs to finish its own bill. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander is having the time of his life as the Republican manager of the floor debate. This is exactly what he has been waiting to do for four years since he stepped down as the No. 3 Senate Republican to focus on hard-core legislating. (Ed Week)






GOP senator: Let states fix No Child Left Behind (Washington, DC) The Hill


Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Saturday said giving states power over their education systems could fix the No Child Left Behind bill.

“Not only is there consensus about the need to fix No Child Left Behind, but there’s also remarkable consensus about how to fix it,” Alexander said in the GOP’s weekly address.

“That consensus is this: Continue the law’s important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement,” he said.

Alexander argued No Child Left Behind’s complicated set of educational standards is causing “anxiety and confusion” in school systems nationwide.

He blamed his fellow lawmakers for repeatedly failing in attempts at reforming the legislation.





American Federation of Teachers endorses Hillary Clinton for president Politico


The American Federation of Teachers is endorsing Hillary Clinton.

The endorsement was expected from the 1.6 million-member union, which represents workers including teachers, nurses and college and university employees.

AFT President Randi Weingarten and Clinton have been longtime friends, dating back to Clinton’s time as a New York senator, when Weingarten was head of the state’s United Federation of Teachers. Weingarten is also on the board of Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting Clinton’s White House campaign.

“Clinton is a tested leader who shares our values, is supported by our members and is prepared for a tough fight on behalf of students, families and communities,” Weingarten said after Saturday’s decision by the union’s executive council to endorse Clinton for president.

The union met with Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley in early June. (CSM) (Ed Week) (CNN)






Common-Core Materials Penetrate Every State Education Week


As states continue to draw lines in the sand about whether or not they have adopted the Common Core State Standards, there’s some evidence the new benchmarks have crept into classrooms in all states—mainly through instructional materials.

Four states—Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia—have firmly refused to adopt the standards since they were unveiled five years ago, and yet there are examples in each place of schools and districts using common-core-aligned curricula.

In fact, some curriculum providers say as many as 1 in 12 users of their common-core-aligned materials hail from states that either never adopted or have repealed adoption of the standards.

Educators’ reasons for using common-core-aligned materials vary: Some say such materials are simply the most well-vetted and widely available at this point, and that they line up nicely with their own states’ standards. (Ed Week)





Common Core debate could lead to special session Sioux Falls (SD) Argus Leader


South Dakota lawmakers are pushing for a special session because a K-12 funding task force won’t talk about the Common Core.

Certified letters will go out today to all legislators, beginning the voting process necessary to call a special session, said Rep. Elizabeth May, R-Kyle.

Lawmakers have 15 days to respond. The Legislature needs a two-thirds approval to call a special session.

“It’s not something we can kick down the road any longer,” May said. “We’re going to give it a shot.”

May and others pushing for a special session are also concerned about other K-12 funding options, including using existing tax dollars to improve teacher wages, said Sen. Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City.

But lawmakers haven’t been able to voice those concerns unless they were appointed to the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students, Jensen said. He feels it’s important for everyone to be at the table during the discussion, and a special session would give the entire Legislatures that opportunity.

“Getting back to Common Core, it was brought in without any input from the state Legislature,” Jensen said. “And now we’re trying to play catch-up.”

But Common Core isn’t part of the conversation, said Deb Soholt, state senator and task force co-chair.






Over 3,700 teachers in Kansas have retired or left the state during the summer (Kansas City) KSHB


TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas is seeing a surge this summer of teachers leaving for jobs in other states, while many more are deciding to retire early or get out of education altogether.

The exodus comes amid a backdrop of cuts in classroom spending, uncertain school financing and eroding job protections.

The Kansas State Board of Education will hear Tuesday a presentation on “exit trend data” for this past school year. Preliminary numbers are already raising alarm.






Indiana schools see shortage of teacher applications Indianapolis Star


GREENSBURG, Ind. – School districts across Indiana are having trouble finding people to fill open teaching positions as the number of first-time teacher licenses issued by the state has dropped by 63 percent in recent years.

The Indiana Department of Education reports the state issued 16,578 licenses to first-time teachers, including teachers with licenses in multiple subject areas, in the 2009-2010 school year. That number dropped to 6,174 for the 2013-14 school year, the most recent for which data were available, the Greensburg Daily News reported.

The dwindling pool of educators is raising alarm in some school districts as they struggle to fill open positions, especially in math, science and foreign languages.






Why this controversial former CNN host is launching an education news site Fortune


Campbell Brown’s views on teacher tenure and public education have made her a lightning rod for criticism. Now, the former CNN personality is launching a new ed news site, The Seventy Four.

Since leaving CNN in 2010, Campbell Brown has inserted herself into the contentious debate around public education, tenure and what goes on in the nation’s classrooms. She founded a nonprofit, Partnership for Educational Justice, to help a group of parents bring a lawsuit challenging tenure and disciplinary-adjudication rules in New York State, and the Parents’ Transparency Project, a school watchdog group.

As an advocate for education-reform issues, Brown has become a lightening rod for criticism. Union leaders and some educators have accused the 47-year old of trying to privatize public education and to deny teachers’ due process rights. Brown has responded that she is not a union-buster, saying that charter schools are a way of giving families a choice and that her goal is to create better educational opportunities for public school children.

Brown’s own two children attend private school, but she says her interest in public education was sparked by a number of factors. Among them: research she did into the way cases of alleged sexual misconduct by teachers are handled and the experience of a close friend whose child was assigned to a failing public school. “The inequality was jarring,” says Brown.

Now, Brown is returning to her role as journalist by launching The Seventy Four, an education-news website whose name refers to the 74 million school-age children in the U.S. She says the site, which goes live today, will be non-partisan, though its operating premise will be that the education system needs fixing. With an emphasis on analysis, opinion and magazine-style reporting, The Seventy Four will cover a range of issues, including how the presidential candidates talk about education.

Brown sat down with Fortune to talk about her new venture. Questions and answers were edited for clarity and brevity.





The new trend in validating top students: Make them all valedictorians Washington Post


The top student in a high school’s graduating class used to earn the honor of being the valedictorian, and traditionally that one student delivered a commencement speech that helped send his or her classmates out into the adult world.

But at Arlington’s Washington-Lee High School this year, there were 117 valedictorians out of a class of 457. At Long Beach Polytechnic in California, there were 30. And at some schools — including North Hills High outside of Pittsburgh and high schools in Miami — there were none.

The nation’s high schools are changing the way they recognize top students, struggling to balance praise for them while also quelling unhealthy competition among classmates as the college application process grows more cutthroat.

The result? Some say schools have deflated the meaning of a well-earned and time-honored accolade while also vexing college admissions officers, who don’t know if a student finished first or 100th in the class. Others say getting rid of valedictorians entirely allows students to focus on their achievements without worrying about where they fall in the pecking order.






Rough Play is Riskier than Heading in Youth Soccer: Study Associated Press


CHICAGO — Heading takes the heat in youth soccer, but limiting rough play might be a better way to prevent concussions and other injuries, a nine-year study of U.S. high school games suggests.

More than 1 in 4 concussions studied occurred when players used their heads to hit the ball. But more than half of these heading-related concussions were caused by collisions with another player rather than with the ball. These collisions included head-to-head, elbow-to-head and shoulder-to-head contact, said Dawn Comstock, a University of Colorado public health researcher who led the study.

There have been recent calls to ban or limit heading in youth soccer, particular among players younger than 14, because of concerns about long-term effects of concussions and repeated brain trauma. Women’s soccer stars including 1999 World Cup star Brandi Chastain are among supporters of a ban in kids’ soccer.

But says Comstock: “If the rules of soccer were simply enforced better, we would actually be more successful in reducing concussion rates.”


A copy of the study (JAMA Pediatrics)





Nobel winner Malala opens school for Syrian refugees Reuters


BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON | Malala Yousafzai, the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, celebrated her 18th birthday in Lebanon on Sunday by opening a school for Syrian refugee girls and called on world leaders to invest in “books not bullets”.

Malala became a symbol of defiance after she was shot on a school bus in Pakistan 2012 by the Taliban for advocating girls’ rights to education. She continued campaigning and won the Nobel in 2014.

“I decided to be in Lebanon because I believe that the voices of the Syrian refugees need to be heard and they have been ignored for so long,” Malala told Reuters in a schoolroom decorated with drawings of butterflies.

The Malala Fund, a non-profit organisation that supports local education projects, provided most of the funding for the school, set up by Lebanon’s Kayany Foundation in the Bekaa Valley, close to the Syrian border. (AP)






UAE executes woman for killing American teacher BBC


The United Arab Emirates has executed a woman convicted of stabbing to death an American teacher in December 2014.

Alaa Badr Abdullah al-Hashemi, a 30-year-old Emirati, was found guilty last month of the murder of Ibolya Ryan.

The 47-year-old’s body was discovered in the toilets of a shopping centre in Abu Dhabi. Her 11-year-old twin sons had been waiting outside for her.

Hashemi was also convicted of planting a bomb outside the flat of an American-Egyptian doctor.

The bomb was discovered and dismantled before it exploded.

The attorney general for state security prosecution told the official Wam news agency that Hashemi was executed on Monday morning after approval was given by the UAE’s president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The report did not disclose how Hashemi was killed, but it came only two weeks after the Federal Supreme Court delivered a guilty verdict that was not eligible for appeal.

Police said the mother of six had become radicalised over the internet and had been looking for a foreigner to kill at random.

Hashemi told prosecutors that she had been angered by the detention of her husband by the security services and had wanted to spread fear among Western expatriates, according to the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, The National. (Reuters)










USOE Calendar



UEN News



July 14:

Charter School Funding Task Force

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol


Senate Education Confirmation Committee meeting

1:30 p.m., 450 State Capitol


Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol



July 15:

Education Interim Committee meeting

8:30 a.m., 30 House Building


Government Operations Interim Committee meeting

9:12 a.m., 20 House Building



August 6-7:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City



August 13:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City


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