Education News Roundup: July 16, 2015

School Bus and the Utah State Board of Education_Public Education Provides Support to Utah Clean Air ProjectsEducation News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Legislature looks at possible systems for electing the Utah State Board of Education.

http://go.uen.org/4bh (SLT)

and http://go.uen.org/4bi (DN)

 

Full Senate approves Stan Lockhart for the Utah State Board of Education.

http://go.uen.org/4bj (DN)

 

Legislature looks at early childhood education in Utah.

http://go.uen.org/4bv (OSE)

or source documents

http://go.uen.org/4bw (Utah Legislature)

 

Senate is likely to vote today on its version of an ESEA rewrite. It will still have to be reconciled with the House’s version.

http://go.uen.org/4b4 (AP)

and http://go.uen.org/4bl (WSJ)

and http://go.uen.org/4bm (WaPo)

and http://go.uen.org/4bC (Ed Week)

 

White House looks to expand internet access in poor areas of the country.

http://go.uen.org/4bs (Wired)

and http://go.uen.org/4bA (Reuters)

or http://go.uen.org/4bt (White House)

 

And if you’re in need of a laugh, check out Nick Offerman’s pizza farm, part of an ad campaign for healthy school lunch legislation.

http://go.uen.org/4bp (Ad Week)

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

School-board proposal takes catch-all approach to the selection process Compromise » Plan would allow partisan and nonpartisan elections, plus gubernatorial appointments.

 

Senate approves appointing Stan Lockhart to State School Board

 

Lawmakers debate effectiveness of preschool, kindergarten

 

‘Cook, chill’ facility draws visitors from around U.S.

 

Lehi resident named to National FFA Board of Directors

 

Opening arguments begin for bus driver accused of sex abuse

 

School district faces allegations of unethical hiring

 

Local students show art skills, liven up reserve

 

 


 

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Utah Boosts Kindergarten Readiness With Literacy Games at Home

 

Even Teachers Are No Fans of Forced Union Payments An ‘agency fee’ levied on those who refuse to join a union isn’t popular in schools or with the public.

 

 


 

 

 

NATION

 

Senate to Vote on Revision to No Child Education Law

 

The White House Is Giving Free Internet to Thousands

 

SD schools to establish climate action plan Local PTA leaders take issue to state, national agenda

 

Judge tosses challenge to vendor’s contract for statewide student tests

 

Bipartisan Group Of Senators Fights To Help Keep Kids Out Of Prison

 

In Blow to Erdogan, Turkish Court Halts Closing of Schools Tied to His Rival

 

Nick Offerman Shows Off His Pizza Farm in Hilarious Ad for Healthy School Lunches Taquitos and fish sticks straight off the vine

 

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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School-board proposal takes catch-all approach to the selection process Compromise » Plan would allow partisan and nonpartisan elections, plus gubernatorial appointments.

 

Like hungry diners unable to make their selections, Utah’s lawmakers are taking a little from menu A, a little from menu B and a little from menu C.

After years of fruitless bickering over whether the elected state school board should be partisan, nonpartisan or appointed by the governor, a trio of Republican senators have prepared a compromise bill that blends all three options.

“It allows the best elements of partisan, nonpartisan and the governor appointment process to be combined into one system,” Highland Republican Sen. Alvin Jackson said Wednesday. “It gives everyone something they can support.”

Under the proposal by Jackson and Cedar City Republican Sen. Evan Vickers, the 15-member state school board would be shrunk to 13 seats, with four members chosen through a nonpartisan election, four selected through a partisan election and five appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.

The seats would be based on Utah’s four congressional districts, Jackson said, with voters in each district represented by both a partisan and nonpartisan school board member.

http://go.uen.org/4bh (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/4bi (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Senate approves appointing Stan Lockhart to State School Board

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah senators gave final approval Wednesday to appointing Stan Lockhart to fill a vacancy on the Utah State Board of Education.

Lockhart was nominated by Gov. Gary Herbert earlier this month to take the place of Mark Openshaw, who was killed last month with his wife and two of their children in a Missouri plane crash.

Lockhart’s appointment was upheld Tuesday by the Senate Education Confirmation Committee prior to final approval by the full Senate Wednesday.

http://go.uen.org/4bj (DN)

 

 


 

 

 

Lawmakers debate effectiveness of preschool, kindergarten

 

SALT LAKE CITY – National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results show Utah students score at the national average in math and reading. Yet in the 1990’s Utah scores were among the top in the nation.

The Education Interim Committee discussed the drop in educational progress and suggested it was possibly linked with poor early grade reading and math proficiency at the preschool and kindergarten level.

State funded pilot programs are not giving legislators the information they need. Diana Suddreth, director of Teaching and Learning at the Utah State Office of Education, reported programs such as the Optional Extend a Day for Kindergarten (OEK) are difficult to track effectiveness. She accredited the inability to find “statistically significant findings” to not having common measurements from school to school.

Utah reports only 13 percent of 5- to 6-year old children attend a full-day of kindergarten. The national average for attendance is 77 percent. The committee’s chair, Rep. Bradley Last, R-Hurricane, accredited the low numbers to Utah’s optional kindergarten program. Last referred to OEK as an “optional program on top of an optional program.”

http://go.uen.org/4bv (OSE)

 

Source documents

http://go.uen.org/4bw (Utah Legislature)

 

 


 

 

 

‘Cook, chill’ facility draws visitors from around U.S.

 

CLEARFIELD—They were amazed by the size of the freezer, they were in awe at the automation involved in making bread sticks, they were impressed by the size and scope of the cook and chill facility.

Twenty-five school nutrition professionals from around the country came to Davis School District’s Nutrition Services Building in Clearfield on Saturday, to learn about the central facility and how it provides meals to students not only in Davis School District but in surrounding districts.

“It’s extremely efficient,” said Stan Vallis, a visitor from Kansas. “They’re all well-trained and do a remarkable job. It’s pretty cool. And you can tell they love what they do.”

Others on the tour hailed from South Dakota, California, Arizona, Mississippi and more. They were in Utah for the largest school nutrition event in the nation, the School Nutrition Association’s 69th Annual National Conference, held in Salt Lake City and expected to draw 5,500 professionals.

http://go.uen.org/4bE (DCC)

 

 


 

 

 

Lehi resident named to National FFA Board of Directors

 

Lehi resident Buddy Deimler was recently named to the National FFA Board of Directors. The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 610,240 student members who belong to one of 7,665 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

“We are excited to have Buddy serve on the board,” said Steve A. Brown, national FFA advisor and board chair. “He brings with him knowledge not only of agricultural education in the classroom, but also at the state level. We are looking forward to his future contributions on guiding the National FFA Organization and helping FFA members prepare for a lifetime of career success.”

Deimler, who is currently serving as state specialist in agricultural education and welding education for the Utah State Office of Education, has spent more than 35 years in the agricultural education profession.

http://go.uen.org/4bF (PDH)

 

 


 

 

Opening arguments begin for bus driver accused of sex abuse

 

WEST JORDAN Utah – A school bus driver accused of molesting students is now on trial.

John Carrell is facing multiple felony charges after he was accused of sexually abusing special needs students on his route.

Tuesday, Carrell appeared with his attorney for jury selection. A jury was finally seated late Tuesday and opening arguments will begin Wednesday morning.

Carrell was a bus driver for the Canyons School District but was put on leave then resigned after he was charged with twenty plus counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child.

http://go.uen.org/4bz (KTVX)

 

 


 

 

School district faces allegations of unethical hiring

 

The Nebo school district is facing criticism from employees within the organization that claim a district supervisor’s son was given preferential treatment when he was hired as a mechanic.

Clifton Jex oversees the district fleet maintenance shop and his 19-year-old son was hired at the same shop earlier this year, the anonymous group wrote in a letter to 2News.

“Mr. Jex was instrumental in getting his son hired even though the son did not meet the minimum qualifications of the job,” the letter stated. “Other qualified people applied and were not given the job and the son was hired over them. It was all kept very secret.”

2News met with Clifton Jex outside the shop he supervises and he denied any wrongdoing.

http://go.uen.org/4by (KUTV)

 

 


 

 

Local students show art skills, liven up reserve

 

Soon, a red-tailed hawk, desert tortoise and Gila monster will grace a once-empty wall outside of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve Visitor Center in order to alert the community to the facility’s cause and efforts.

Diamond Ranch Academy students began the project at the center, 10 N. 100 East, more than two months ago and hope to finish in the next few weeks, said Rod Peterson, DRA instructor and professional artist.

The group painted in the heat early Wednesday afternoon as motorists driving down 100 East stopped, pulled to the curb and asked them what exactly they were doing.

http://go.uen.org/4bx (SGS)

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Utah Boosts Kindergarten Readiness With Literacy Games at Home Huffington Post commentary by Tom Vander Ark, Getting Smart CEO

 

Children in Utah were coming to kindergarten unprepared to learn, but many parents were unwilling to send very young children to school. Transportation was another issue in rural parts of the state.

To address the Kindergarten readiness issue, the legislature created UPSTART, a five year pilot program to test the potential of literacy software used at home.

The Utah State Office of Education issued an RFP process. Salt Lake City based Waterford Institute was selected to administer UPSTART. The nonprofit has over 30 years of experience in interactive literacy instruction.

Preschool-age children in the program receive an individualized reading, math, and science curriculum with an emphasis on reading. Computers and internet were provided if needed.

http://go.uen.org/4bD

 

 


 

 

Even Teachers Are No Fans of Forced Union Payments An ‘agency fee’ levied on those who refuse to join a union isn’t popular in schools or with the public.

Wall Street Journal op-ed by PAUL E. PETERSON, professor of government at Harvard University, And  MARTIN R. WEST, associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

 

‘Th’ Supreme Coort follows th’ election returns.” So said Mr. Dooley, the bartender created by cartoonist Finley Peter Dunne at the start of the 20th century. Those who follow the court today often say that nothing much has changed. Yet if the justices consider public opinion next term, it will be a straightforward decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case challenging the California “union shop” law that levies an agency fee on all teachers who refuse to join a union.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, defends the law on the grounds that “unions have a right to collect a fair share from the people [they] represent” regardless of whether the people want to pay, so that the AFT can “ensure that we’re able to speak for all workers.” But teacher Rebecca Friedrichs, the plaintiff, contends that collective bargaining is political speech. Thus the union shop denies her constitutional right of free speech by using her money to speak for purposes with which she disagrees.

http://go.uen.org/4bk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Senate to Vote on Revision to No Child Education Law Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON — The nation’s main education law, long overdue for an overhaul, is headed for a major revision in the Senate.

Lawmakers plan to vote Thursday on a bipartisan bill to rewrite the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act, a day after voting 86-12 to limit additional debate on further changes to the bill and move forward to a vote on final passage. Senators have been considering the bill since last week.

Sponsored by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the legislation would narrow No Child Left Behind’s federal involvement in public schools by giving states and school districts more control over assessing the performance of schools, teachers and students.

It would keep the law’s requirement for annual math and reading tests but prohibit the federal government from requiring or encouraging specific sets of academic standards, such as Common Core. Drafted by the states with the support of the Obama administration, the Common Core standards have become a rallying point for those who want a smaller federal role in education.

Any bill that emerges from the Senate would have to be reconciled with a more conservative bill that passed the House last week. No Democrats supported the House bill, and 27 Republicans voted against it.

http://go.uen.org/4b4

 

http://go.uen.org/4bl (WSJ)

 

http://go.uen.org/4bm (WaPo)

 

http://go.uen.org/4bC (Ed Week)

 

 


 

 

 

The White House Is Giving Free Internet to Thousands Wired

 

SCHOOLS TODAY ARE more focused than ever on using the power of the Internet to educate our children. That’s why they spend millions of dollars on technology to help connect them in the classroom. But too often, once the school bell rings, those same children have no access to the Internet at home. In fact, according to a report by the Council of Economic Advisers released today, about half of low-income kids in the US have no Web access at home.

This phenomenon has often been referred to as the “homework gap.” Now, thanks to a partnership between Google, The White House, and other tech industry leaders, that gap may start to close. Later today, President Obama will announce a new pilot program called ConnectHome, through which Google and other Internet service providers will give free or low-cost Internet access to some 275,000 homes in 27 cities across the country. The program is a complement to the ConnectEd program, which aims to connect 99 percent of K-12 schools across the country to high speed Internet. The White House has also enlisted help from Best Buy, GitHub, Khan Academy, and others to provide digital literacy programs to these communities.

http://go.uen.org/4bs

 

http://go.uen.org/4bA (Reuters)

 

http://go.uen.org/4bt (White House)

 

 


 

 

SD schools to establish climate action plan Local PTA leaders take issue to state, national agenda San Diego Union-Tribune

 

Driven in part by the environmental activism of its PTA, the San Diego Unified School District will establish a climate action plan that reflects the goals of the city of San Diego’s initiative.

The school board passed a resolution that calls on California’s second-largest district to reach 100 percent renewable energy for the operation of its some 200 schools by 2035.

http://go.uen.org/4bn

 

 


 

 

 

Judge tosses challenge to vendor’s contract for statewide student tests Santa Fe New Mexican

 

Student tests that drew opposition across New Mexico this spring will continue to be administered at public schools in the state after a Santa Fe judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit that could have derailed the standardized exams.

The nonprofit American Institutes for Research had accused the state Purchasing Division and the Public Education Department of violating state law in awarding a contract for the PARCC tests to the private publishing company Pearson Education. In its lawsuit, the organization argues that the bidding process was rigged in favor of Pearson by tailoring the request for proposals to a testing program that Pearson already had been running in Indiana.

But First District Judge Sarah Singleton dismissed the complaint, ruling that the American Institutes for Research did not bid against Pearson, and therefore lacked standing to sue over the testing contract. State law mandates that plaintiffs in such cases qualify as a bidder.

http://go.uen.org/4bo

 

http://go.uen.org/4bB (Ed Week)

 

 


 

 

 

Bipartisan Group Of Senators Fights To Help Keep Kids Out Of Prison Huffington Post

 

WASHINGTON — Four senators from both ends of the political spectrum will introduce a bill Wednesday that is aimed at keeping at-risk young people out of the prison system.

Two Democratic senators, Bob Casey (Penn.) and Gary Peters (Mich.), will be joined by two conservative Republicans, Sens. David Vitter (La.) and James Inhofe (Okla.), in sponsoring a bill that would provide local governments with grants to help them address juvenile delinquency.

The Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education Act — or Youth PROMISE Act — would specifically fund efforts to collect better data on the effectiveness of juvenile intervention programs, such as after-school programs and mentoring. A 2008 study in Pennsylvania suggested communities could save money by focusing on intervention programs for at-risk youths.

The bill would also establish PROMISE Coordinating Councils made up of parents, young people, educators, law enforcement officers and other community leaders. Using federal grant money, these diverse councils would help devise and implement community-based intervention programs for at-risk youth.

http://go.uen.org/4bq

 

A copy of the bill

http://go.uen.org/4br (Congress.gov)

 

 


 

 

 

In Blow to Erdogan, Turkish Court Halts Closing of Schools Tied to His Rival New York Times

 

ISTANBUL — In a blow to the government, Turkey’s highest court has overturned a law that would have closed thousands of preparatory schools linked to an influential Muslim cleric and rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Constitutional Court ruled on Monday that the legislation to shut the schools, passed in 2014 while Mr. Erdogan was prime minister and his governing Justice and Development Party had a majority in Parliament, violated the freedom of education enshrined in the Turkish Constitution, according to local news reports. Although the court’s decision was handed down on Monday, it was not expected to be published until Wednesday.

The schools, attended by students seeking to pass national high school and university entrance exams, are run by Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who lives in self­imposed exile in Pennsylvania. He presides over a network of millions of followers worldwide, some of whom hold high­ranking positions in law enforcement, the judiciary and business in Turkey.

http://go.uen.org/4bu

 

 


 

 

Nick Offerman Shows Off His Pizza Farm in Hilarious Ad for Healthy School Lunches Taquitos and fish sticks straight off the vine Ad Week

 

It’s easy to give kids healthy, farm-fresh snacks like pizza, taquitos and fish sticks. Just grab them straight from the vine at Nick Offerman’s pizza farm.

The actor gives you a tour of the agricultural marvel in this amusing video from Funny or Die. Those sloppy joes, in particular, look earthy and crunchy—literally so.

The whole thing, of course, is a parody. It’s aimed at getting the public to pressure Congress to reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which set strong nutrition standards for schools and after decades of meals loaded with sugar, fat and salt.

http://go.uen.org/4bp

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

August 6-7:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

August 13:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

August 18:

Senate Education Confirmation Committee meeting

2 p.m., 450 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2015&com=APPEXE

 

 

August 19:

Education Interim Committee meeting

8:30 a.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2015&com=INTEDU

 

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