Education News Roundup: August 3, 2015

Today’s Top Picks:

Standard looks at a teacher shortage in Utah schools.
http://go.uen.org/4ih (OSE)

A former Ogden teacher is worried about Utah’s draft strategic education plan.
http://go.uen.org/4ij (OSE)

D-News looks at proposed tax hikes, including for school districts, in Salt Lake County.
http://go.uen.org/4ig (DN)
and http://go.uen.org/4iJ (KSL)

Utah Digital Learning Task Force is at work on a technology plan for state schools.
http://go.uen.org/4if (DN)
and http://go.uen.org/4iK (KSL)

Sen. Osmond discusses a proposed tax break for Utah teachers.
http://go.uen.org/4ie (SLT)

In an interesting development, it’s liberals who are concerned about school accountability and conservatives who are concerned about student privacy in the ESEA debate.
http://go.uen.org/4iT (Ed Week)

New Jersey Gov. Christie wants to punch teacher unions in the face.
http://go.uen.org/4ik (Ed Week)
and http://go.uen.org/4ip (CNN) video
and http://go.uen.org/4iq (Politico)
and http://go.uen.org/4iP (WaPo)
and http://go.uen.org/4iS (AP)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

Teacher shortage hits local schools

Teachers worried about state schools plan

Salt Lake County cities, school districts propose $10 million in property tax hikes

School technology task force seeks help from California-based firm

Deaf school cuts ties with Sound Beginnings, to ire of parents

Feds shut down Utah bus company for unsafe vehicles

Beating the odds: Trip to the White House helps two Utah students chart a future

GOP delegates select new rep. for District 58; Derrin Owens awaiting governor’s approval

Overall, Utah schools stack up, report says

HS principal pedals appeal for acts of kindness, breaks collarbone stimulating ‘hurricane of service’

Duct tape prom attire earns Utah teens $5,000 scholarship

Monday Memories: Houses of learning

Ex-FLDS children attending school for 1st time need clothing; donations, grants

Utah boy whose mailman brought him books receives worldwide generosity

Backpacks, school supplies offered to those in need

Back-to-school means back-to-spending

Quit singing the school-shopping blues

Teachers are hard-core back-to-school shoppers

Adding up back-to-school costs

Girls learn better from female teachers, but what about boys?

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Give Utah teachers a tax break to keep them on the job

‘Single Most Destructive Force’
Chris Christie identifies the main problem in U.S. public education.

Chris Christie’s violent fantasies: National teachers union deserves a “punch in the face”
Bombastic New Jersey governor really knows how to elevate the 2016 dialogue

The Citizen Preschooler
What should young children learn about being part of a democracy?

NATION

Red Flags on the Road to ESEA Rewrite

Gov. Christie: Teachers’ Unions Need a ‘Punch in the Face’ and Are ‘Destructive’

Indiana faces shortage of first-time teachers First-time teachers have decreased more than 18 percent in the past five years, leaving districts in a scramble.

State school districts use buyouts to shed bad apples Districts say buyouts are cheapest way to deal with troublesome employees.

Douglas appeals judge’s decision over who runs board of education staff

Vista Unified teachers undergo technology training

Coding Camp to Baltimore Schools: Bring Us Your Bored!

Recessions help nudge women into science jobs

International Baccalaureate Saw Rapid Growth in High-Poverty Schools

National HIV Strategy Includes Call for Effective Sex Education in Schools

Pediatric brain injury may lead to attention problems

Students Stuff Backpacks with Tech for Back-to-School More than three-quarters of teens, millennials plan to buy new electronics for back-to-school

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UTAH NEWS
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Teacher shortage hits local schools

When he was an elementary school principal, finding good teachers was pretty simple because there were so many people lined up for each job.
“I used to have anywhere from 30 to 60, or even 70 applications,” he said. “That’s not the case now.”
Meager pay, tough classroom conditions and an improving economy driving people to other occupations are cited as reasons for growing scarcity of teacher trainees.
Sederholme is now executive director of human resources for Weber School District, and said the last time he went to interview potential teachers at Weber State University the room was almost empty.
“We normally get anywhere from 30 to 40, and sometimes even more, student teachers. I think we have under 10 this next semester in the fall,” he said. “When you only have under 10 to look at in one semester, that makes you nervous.”
Sederholme’s not the only school official concerned about a teacher shortage.
http://go.uen.org/4ih (OSE)

Teachers worried about state schools plan

Teacher shortages are a national phenomenon, and Kim Irvine is worried that plans coming from Brad Smith, Utah’s superintendent of public instruction, will push even more teachers out of the classroom.
“It broke my heart to leave Ogden School District,” she said, adding that she was one of many experienced teachers who left when Smith was superintendent there, because of what they considered to be detrimental demands for data and testing, and heavy-handed discipline.
Teachers are now holding their breaths, Irvine said, waiting for Smith to unveil his statewide educational plan.
“He’s talking about using Ogden as an exemplar, to make these changes,” she said. “We wanted to let the public know the rest of the story. … We don’t feel it’s been a success. We feel it’s the opposite of success, and feel real harm is being done to the kids and teachers in the district.”
That’s why Irvine discussed a document that starts with the phrase, “This is the canary in the coalmine …” during a meeting of the Utah State Democratic Education Caucus in Ogden on Thursday. The document is signed by Irvine, and she said it was written with a group of teachers, parents and others from across the state, and spells out concerns about reforms Smith implemented in Ogden that could be part of his statewide plan.
“It’s terrifying us, because we know what it looks like,” said Irvine, chairwoman of the caucus.
Smith confirmed that a plan is coming and will be released by October.
“We’re in the middle of strategic planning. It’s the board’s plan — not Brad Smith’s plan,” he said. “We’re inviting people to come and give feedback.”
He also expressed his dismay that Irving would pass judgment on a plan that isn’t finished, instead of waiting to read and understand it first, and said she’s mistaken about him pushing through a copy of what was done in Ogden.
“Given the state’s diffuse educational structure, anyone who suggests that anything we did in Ogden School District can replicated on the state level doesn’t understand the nature of educational governance in the state of Utah,” he said.
http://go.uen.org/4ij (OSE)

Salt Lake County cities, school districts propose $10 million in property tax hikes

SALT LAKE CITY — Several Salt Lake County cities and school districts are proposing property tax increases, and if they’re all approved, residents collectively could be asked to pay roughly $10 million more in taxes.
At least 30 Utah cities and school districts — including eight in Salt Lake County — are considering property tax increases. The proposals come after the Utah Legislature passed SB97 during the 2015 session, which increased state revenue by $75 million by increasing Utah’s basic property tax rate.
City and school district officials say the increases are needed to keep up — or catch up — on growing revenue demands, from inflation to needs for better student and teacher services.
But Billy Hesterman, vice president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, said taxpayers need to tell their elected officials “taxes are already high enough.”
http://go.uen.org/4ig (DN)

http://go.uen.org/4iJ (KSL)

School technology task force seeks help from California-based firm

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Digital Learning Task Force, created by the Legislature to form a plan for bringing technology into Utah classrooms, will employ a California-based consulting firm to help develop the plan, state education leaders announced Friday.
The plan will include guiding principles for implementing a student technology program in each school, including infrastructure, technical support, professional learning for teachers, security and privacy, and other requirements.
http://go.uen.org/4if (DN)

http://go.uen.org/4iK (KSL)

Deaf school cuts ties with Sound Beginnings, to ire of parents

The Utah School for the Deaf and Blind (USDB) officially cut financial ties with the Sound Beginnings program at Utah State University this summer, leaving students in a lurch and many parents upset.
Sound Beginnings started as a program where USU graduate students who wanted to specialize in teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing students could receive specific training in that area. It then grew into a practicum where graduate students studying speech language pathology, deaf education and audiology could interact with the children.
For the past five years, Sound Beginnings has worked as a third-party provider of USDB for deaf and hard-of-hearing children ages 0-6. They provide early intervention and preschool programs in listening and spoken language for children who have either cochlear or digital hearing aids.
Because USDB is legislatively required to provide services for all students who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing, USDB and Sound Beginnings had a memorandum of understanding that Sound Beginnings would provide these services and USDB would pay Sound Beginnings around $500,000 a year, depending on how many students they serve. USDB would fund the teachers and clinicians who were providing direct services to the children, and Sound Beginnings would provide funding for the facility and the graduate training program and the administration.
http://go.uen.org/4iE (LHJ)

Feds shut down Utah bus company for unsafe vehicles

WOODS CROSS — A local bus company that transported children has been shut down by the federal government after failing to comply with a 2014 order to make its vehicles safe.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reviewed Deseret Bus Service in 2013 and found safety violations in many of the vehicles, according to a press release from the FMCSA. The FMCSA upgraded the company’s safety rating in June 2014 after it submitted a safety management plan to upgrade its vehicles.
“Between January and May 2015, Deseret was subject to 15 vehicle inspections,” Friday’s press release stated. “On seven occasions, safety inspectors found serious violations that posed a risk to public safety and required vehicles to be placed out-of-service. Safety violations included defective brakes and brake warning systems, insufficient tire-tread, broken leaf springs, and exhaust leaks.”
According to its website, Deseret Bus Service provided transportation for children attending the Legacy Preparatory Academy during the 2014-2015 school year.
http://go.uen.org/4iM (DN)

http://go.uen.org/4iN (PRNewswire)

Beating the odds: Trip to the White House helps two Utah students chart a future

SALT LAKE CITY — As last year’s president of Cottonwood High School’s chapter of Latinos in Action, Stephanie Pesantes saw the difference a little encouragement can make for young students.
Two or three times a week, Pesantes and other members of the group tutored kindergartners at Roosevelt and Lincoln elementary schools, coaching them as they went from knowing one or two letters of the alphabet to being able to read small books.
Perhaps what was most satisfying, Pesantes said, was knowing her efforts might someday have a broader impact, helping students learn how to decipher not just words on a page, but critical life decisions.
“It was cool when they would say, ‘I want to be just like you when I grow up,’ because it kind of shows that you’re a role model to them,” Pesantes said. “And that’s kind of our goal. We should tell them that we like to read. We should tell them that we like to go to school, because they’re the next generation. We should inspire them and be good role models to them.”
Last week, Pesantes and Ronald Morales, a graduate of Kearns High School, were invited to a summit hosted by first lady Michelle Obama centered on helping first-generation college students finish a post-high school education.
http://go.uen.org/4iw (DN)

http://go.uen.org/4iL (KSL)

GOP delegates select new rep. for District 58; Derrin Owens awaiting governor’s approval

CENTRAL UTAH — Republican state delegates met in Ephraim for a special caucus to select a replacement for Rep. Jon Cox, District 58, after he stepped down to accept a position with Gov. Gary Herbert, and Derrin Owens of Fountain Green secured 53 percent of the vote.
According to a statement from the Utah GOP, Owens earned roughly 29 of 55 possible votes in two rounds of balloting at Snow College in Ephraim. District 58 includes portions of Sanpete and Juab counties and the caucus was comprised of delegates from that district.
http://go.uen.org/4is (KSTU)

http://go.uen.org/4it (UP)

Overall, Utah schools stack up, report says

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns aren’t strangers to statistics that show the state’s low per-student funding amount and an education system that’s about average compared with other states.
But when other factors are added to the mix, Utah’s schools may be well above average.
Utah’s education system ranked 14th best overall in a national report published this week by WalletHub, up from last year’s ranking of 21st. The report measured school quality based on 13 metrics, such as reading and math scores, graduation rates, college preparation and school safety.
http://go.uen.org/4iH (KSL)

HS principal pedals appeal for acts of kindness, breaks collarbone stimulating ‘hurricane of service’

HURRICANE – Two years after a bike trip that raised over $30,000 for computers in Hurricane schools, the Hurricane High School principal set out again this summer, pedaling with a message encouraging acts of service toward others – a message that actually gained momentum when Jody Rich broke his clavicle in a cycling accident along the way.
During the summer of 2013, Jody Rich and then Hurricane Middle School principal Roy Hoyt set off on a coast-to-coast bike trip, riding from California to Florida.
A bike trip made sense for the principals, who are life-long fans of biking, although Jody Rich said he is far from a professional cyclist. He has, however, commuted to work on a bike “forever,” he said, and his students can usually find his bike leaning against the wall outside his office.
They called their trip Principals Across America for Computer and Education, or PAACE.
http://go.uen.org/4iF (SGN)

Duct tape prom attire earns Utah teens $5,000 scholarship

AMERICAN FORK — The creativity of two high school students in American Fork has earned them thousands of dollars in scholarship money.
During the prom at American Fork High School in April, Bekah Mecham and Wyatt Burns stood; her dress and his tuxedo were made out of duct tape, but they made it fashionable and wore it well.
http://go.uen.org/4iu (DN)

Monday Memories: Houses of learning

With the school year right around the corner, this week’s article is all about the first educational institutions in Ogden.
Ogden City was still evolving when the first school was established in 1850 with Charilla Abbott as the first teacher. The school system continued to grow with public and private institutions accepting students. A bond issue passed in 1890 allowing for new buildings, including the showplace school, Central. Ogden High School called the “best and most attractive school in the world” was opened on October 29, 1937 after a cost of $1.2 million.
http://go.uen.org/4iD (OSE)

Ex-FLDS children attending school for 1st time need clothing; donations, grants

SOUTHERN UTAH – A local need has been recognized as children leave the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints community and are in need of school clothes to attend public school for the first time.
The Three Corners Women’s Giving Circle is a women’s organization composed of diverse local women who combine their friendship, intellects and resources to effect change for women and girls in the “three corners region” of Southern Utah, northwest Arizona and Mesquite, Nevada.
The organization is accepting grant applications from nonprofit groups that offer programs and projects for women and girls in these areas.
http://go.uen.org/4iG (SGN)

Utah boy whose mailman brought him books receives worldwide generosity

SANDY — Saturday, when Ron Lynch opened his mail truck at Mathew Flores’ home, the boy’s eyes widened and he yelled out with excitement.
Packages of all shapes and sizes filled the small rectangular truck. The brown boxes and envelopes stacked to the top of the truck contained books for the boy who loves reading so much, he used to find and read people’s discarded junk mail.
Lynch, a mail carrier, noticed this boy and pleaded for people to provide the voracious reader with more material.
http://go.uen.org/4iI (KSL)

Backpacks, school supplies offered to those in need

HARRISVILLE — Armani McFarland is one 12-year-old who is well versed at using her smile as a force for good.
Saturday, Armani and two 12-year-old friends, Grace Parry and Katie Jameson, had all the cute on they could muster as they distributed fliers to Walmart customers, asking them to donate school supplies to needy students.
http://go.uen.org/4ix (OSE)

Back-to-school means back-to-spending

By this time of summer, many parents are looking forward to sending the kids back to school … but it’s going to cost them.
The average family will spend about $630 getting their kindergarten through twelfth grade students outfitted for school this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey. Things tend to cost a little less in Utah than in some other states, but locals are still going to be paying plenty.
http://go.uen.org/4iA (OSE)

Quit singing the school-shopping blues

Teenage daughter wants the trendy, low-cut, tight-fitting shirt.
Mother of teenage daughter says no to said shirt — absolutely no.
And thus begins the battle of back-to-school shopping, a fall ritual loaded with stress for students and parents alike according to a new survey conducted for Ebates by the consumer insights firm Instant.ly.
Clothing is the most stressful school item to purchase, more than 1,500 teens and parents say in the report, followed by shoes, backpacks and laptops.
So how can parents and children survive back-to-school shopping with the least amount of fireworks? Here are a few tips:
http://go.uen.org/4iy (OSE)

Teachers are hard-core back-to-school shoppers

Parents aren’t the only people shopping for back-to-school supplies. Local teachers are stocking up on everything from pens to posters to iPads.
http://go.uen.org/4iB (OSE)

Adding up back-to-school costs

Just how much does it cost to buy school supplies for one student? It all depends on the items requested by the teacher, and how good a parent is at bargain-hunting. Here’s a sample list, for a Morgan Elementary School fifth-grader, with costs found at a local discount store:
http://go.uen.org/4iC (OSE)

Girls learn better from female teachers, but what about boys?

If you’re worried about the grades your daughter is bringing home, her teacher might be able to help more than you previously thought.
http://go.uen.org/4iv (DN)

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Give Utah teachers a tax break to keep them on the job
Salt Lake Tribune op-ed by Sen. Aaron Osmond

In the time that I have spent in the Utah State Senate, I’ve found that there are few things more hotly debated than public education funding. More often than not, Utah’s educators leave the Capitol at the end of each legislative session feeling some disappointment. This is unfortunate.
Most Utahns know our state ranks last in per-pupil spending. Few know, however, that Utah is in the top 10 states for our percentage of state budget spent on education. In fact, this last legislative session, Utah saw its largest increase in education funding in almost a decade!
A key question for me is how much of that new money will actually make it to teachers. There are no guarantees. Studies in the allocation of education funding have shown that funds being allocated directly to teachers and instruction-related services are dropping in Utah and across the country. At the same time, the profession of teaching has become more challenging than ever. The result of low pay and difficult teaching environments is a dramatic reduction in potential recruits to the profession of teaching in Utah and around the country.
http://go.uen.org/4ie

‘Single Most Destructive Force’
Chris Christie identifies the main problem in U.S. public education.
Wall Street Journal editorial

You don’t have to be a “progressive” to conclude that once in a while America makes political progress, and not always toward the left. One sign of real progress in recent years is the growing consensus that teachers unions are the main obstacle to improvement in American public schools.
That was apparent Sunday during an interview on CNN. Host Jake Tapper played to the media stereotype of GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie by asking the New Jersey Governor a question about who “at the national level deserves a punch in the face?” Mr. Christie could have been forgiven for saying Mr. Tapper. But he had a better answer: “Oh, the national teachers union, who has already endorsed Hillary Clinton 16, 17 months before the election.”
Mr. Tapper: “Why?”
Mr. Christie: “Because they’re not for education for our children. They’re for greater membership, greater benefits, greater pay for their members. And they are the single most destructive force in public education in America. I have been saying that since 2009. I’ve got the scars to show it. But I’m never going to stop saying it, because they never change their stripes.”
Every word of that is true and important to say. The teachers unions have been punching poor children for decades, and someone has to punch back for those children.
http://go.uen.org/4il

Chris Christie’s violent fantasies: National teachers union deserves a “punch in the face”
Bombastic New Jersey governor really knows how to elevate the 2016 dialogue
Salon.com commentary by columnist SOPHIA TESFAYE

Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said during a television interview Sunday that the national teachers union deserves a “punch in the face.”
Christie made the over-the-top comment during CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper on Sunday after the host asked him about his longstanding advice on when to dole out a physical assault.
“During your first term as governor, you were fond of saying that you can treat bullies in one of two ways — quote — ‘You can either sidle up to them or you can punch them in the face.’ You said, ‘I like to punch them in the face.’ At the national level, who deserves a punch in the face?” Tapper asked.
“The national teachers union, who’s already endorsed Hillary Clinton 16, 17 months before the election,” Christie replied without hesitation.
http://go.uen.org/4ir

The Citizen Preschooler
What should young children learn about being part of a democracy?
Atlantic commentary by AMY ROTHSCHILD , a preschool teacher and writer based in Washington, D.C.

One morning this past April, scores of preschoolers and kindergarteners dragged their grownups into the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The children had created an exhibit demonstrating their perceptions of the nation’s capital and what it means to belong to the city. In one gallery, there was a replica of the D.C. Metro routes, made from neon-colored plastic pipes. In another were cardboard, foam, and popsicle-stick models of the children’s dream playgrounds.
Over the course of the morning, a signboard asking “what does it mean to be a citizen?” bloomed with more and more bright sticky notes containing answers to that question. Some contributions came from parents and teachers. “To participate in decision-making for the country,” read one. “To be free, to explore, to grow through learning,” offered another, signed with a heart and the name “Ms. Rachelle.” Other contributions came from children: “to be a homin” (i.e., “human”), for example. “To help another bear in my classroom,” signed Lucas, a member of the participating “Cinnamon Bears” class.
But the goal of the activity wasn’t just to have cute kids make art and share happy thoughts.
“We are not doing this work to be nice,” said Ben Mardell, an education researcher who collaborates with Harvard’s Project Zero, which brings together scholars to study how people learn. The program that brought the kids to the museum, “Children Are Citizens,” is meant to be practical: “We actually think we have something to learn from children.”
Mardell and his collaborators at Project Zero believe that children as young as 3 have ideas about how to make a city more fair, safe, and livable.
http://go.uen.org/4iY

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Red Flags on the Road to ESEA Rewrite
Education Week

“The pundits told us it would never happen—that Republicans and Democrats will never agree on a way to replace No Child Left Behind.”
So said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., just hours before the U.S. Senate did just that—passing its own version of an Elementary and Secondary Education Act rewrite with overwhelming bipartisan support July 16.
But sending a final bill to President Barack Obama’s desk—at least one that he’s willing to sign—will be an entirely different challenge.
Across the Capitol, the House of Representatives narrowly passed its own, Republican-backed version of an NCLB reauthorization a week earlier, without the support of a single Democrat.
The dueling bills, which contain some stark policy differences, now move to a conference process, in which the authors of both measures and other lawmakers from both chambers and parties will try to cobble together a proposal that appeals to everyone.
To do so, they’ll have to overcome some serious divergences in revising the law, whose current version is the No Child Left Behind Act.
Chief among them: how to beef up accountability in a way that assures Democrats and civil rights groups that the result will include stronger federal guardrails for the most disadvantaged students, while at the same time ensuring the small federal footprint that Republicans are adamant about.
http://go.uen.org/4iT

Gov. Christie: Teachers’ Unions Need a ‘Punch in the Face’ and Are ‘Destructive’
Education Week

Seeking an upper hand in a crowded GOP presidential election field, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is calling for an uppercut to his old political foe.
In an Aug. 2 interview with Christie, CNN’s Jake Tapper referred to the governor’s previous remarks that he liked to deal with bullies with a “punch in the face” rather than by accomodating them. Tapper asked which group at the national level deserved to be socked in the kisser. Without hesitation, Christie responded, “Oh, the national teachers’ union.” Watch his remarks below in the video courtesy of CNN:
Christie went on to say that the unions are the “most descructive force” in public education today because they prioritize growing membership and increasing pay and benefits for their members over educating children.
“I’ve been saying that since 2009. I’ve got the scars to show it,” he told Tapper.
Christie didn’t single out either the AFT or the NEA by name, but he did refer derisively to the AFT’s decision to endorse Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, an endorsement that my coworker Stephen Sawchuk wrote about last month.
http://go.uen.org/4ik

http://go.uen.org/4ip (CNN) video

http://go.uen.org/4iq (Politico)

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

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

Indiana faces shortage of first-time teachers
First-time teachers have decreased more than 18 percent in the past five years, leaving districts in a scramble.
Indianapolis (IN) Star

The crop of first-year teachers across Indiana decreased by almost a fifth in the past five years, leaving school districts hard-pressed to find educators as a new school year begins.
School officials said it’s been increasingly difficult to fill open positions with newly minted teachers — particularly for special education, math and science.
In some cases, schools will have to start the year with substitute teachers to temporarily fill vacancies until they find a suitable candidate. In many other instances, experts say, schools have to be less choosy when hiring teachers — and that can affect the quality of instruction.
Schools, even those located in affluent areas, struggled to increase teacher salaries and people considering going into education took note, said Dennis Costerison, executive director of the Indiana Association of School Business Officials, which lobbies on behalf of public schools.
http://go.uen.org/4io

State school districts use buyouts to shed bad apples
Districts say buyouts are cheapest way to deal with troublesome employees.
Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

Five Minnesota school districts have paid more than $2 million in salary, benefits and other payments to rid themselves of ineffective employees over the past two years, a Star Tribune analysis shows.
The payouts are emblematic of a system in which the potential for costly litigation often forces districts to seek alternatives to dealing with employees whose behavior is unsatisfactory but does not rise to the level of abrupt ­firing for incompetence or significant misconduct.
Minneapolis Public Schools paid settlements to 55 such employees, for a total payout of more than $1.1 million over two years. In one instance, a social worker was paid to leave after nearly 10 years of allegations that he had skipped ­parent meetings, put a child in an inappropriate hold and offended administrators with sexually explicit language.
District officials declined to comment, but officials in other school systems say the settlements are a necessary part of managing and improving the district amid the restrictions of union contracts and federal law.
http://go.uen.org/4im

Douglas appeals judge’s decision over who runs board of education staff
(Phoenix) Arizona Republic

A power dispute between Arizona schools chief Diane Douglas and the Arizona State Board of Education will continue in court.
Douglas, the superintendent of Public Instruction, has appealed a Maricopa County Superior Court ruling that the schools chief does not have the power to hire and fire Arizona State Board of Education staff.
“The court got it wrong,” said Douglas’ attorney Steven Tully, after requesting a special action by the Arizona Court of Appeals Friday afternoon. “The superintendent has the right to hire and fire staff.”
Mary O’Grady, attorney for the board, called Douglas’ move “disappointing, but not surprising.”
“It would be nice to have this chapter closed,” she said.
“Oh no,” said education board President Greg Miller, when told about the appeal.
“No, the court did not get it wrong. It substantiated the view of the board that the board sets policy, hires staff and the superintendent carries out the policy set by the board.”
http://go.uen.org/4iW

Vista Unified teachers undergo technology training
San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune

VISTA — The Vista Unified School District has bought more than 22,000 notebook computers over the past few years — more than the number of students enrolled in the district — and is now working to get teachers comfortable with the devices.
About 250 Vista educators have been undergoing iPad and Chromebook training this summer, learning everything from how to turn on the notebooks to software programs meant to engage students in the classroom.
“Some teachers are new and a little hesitant in the classroom to use technology,” said DeWayne Cossey, Vista Unified’s director of information technology. “Once they get in and feel it, and how it operates, I think they are embracing it more so.”
The technology push is being led by Superintendent Devin Vodicka, who joined the district in 2012 and made digital learning one of his chief goals. Since then, Vista Unified has spent more than $6.2 million for 6,992 iPads and 15,594 Chromebooks — enough for each of the district’s 22,128 students, with a slight surplus of a few hundred for teachers and others, according to Cossey. An additional $612,000 is planned for technology spending over the next three years. When Vodicka arrived, the district had only 1,500 iPads.
The devices are being primarily confined to the classroom where students use them to read, take tests and complete assignments. Only a fraction can be checked out and taken home.
http://go.uen.org/4in

Coding Camp to Baltimore Schools: Bring Us Your Bored!
NPR

On the second floor of Morgan State University’s engineering building, Jacob Walker, 12, is putting the finishing touches on a ruler he’s just created.
Not yet an actual ruler. One he’s designing on the computer. He just needs to add his initials — then it’s time to produce it on a 3-D printer.
Jacob starts seventh grade in the fall and has big dreams. Building this ruler is all part of the plan.
“When I was a child,” he says, “I loved to play with Legos, and it inspired me to be an engineer when I get older.”
Jacob is one of some 50 boys in this free, four-week camp at Morgan State. It’s called the Minority Male Makers Program — paid for by Verizon.
Students learn to code, design apps, create products — even build a business plan. After they design their rulers, they start pitching ideas: a candy-selling business, a website for kids having trouble studying, an app to find your lost keys.
http://go.uen.org/4iO

Recessions help nudge women into science jobs
Reuters

LOS ANGELES | Encouraging more women to pursue careers in science, technology, education and math – the so-called STEM fields – is a worthy goal, given the potential payoff for our economy and for women who get jobs in these higher-paying fields.
One surprising way to make it happen: Suffer through a recession.
New research has found that increased unemployment leads both genders to move toward fields associated with better earnings and job prospects, and that women are more likely to shift their majors in that direction than men.
The switch to more math-intensive majors suggests that there is a large pool of students who are capable of succeeding in these fields even if they might choose other areas of study in better economic times, according to a paper published by Institute for the Study of Labor, a German research center.
This behavior contradicts the tiresome argument that women are less capable of success in STEM fields.
http://go.uen.org/4iQ

International Baccalaureate Saw Rapid Growth in High-Poverty Schools
Education Week

The number of high-poverty U.S. schools participating in an international advanced-diploma program has been rising rapidly, but participation still lags among poor students at those schools.
Sixty percent of public schools in the United States offering International Baccalaureate diplomas in the 2012-13 school year received federal Title I money to support education for students in povery, according to a new study by the IB group based on federal and internal data. That’s a 46 percent increase since the 2009-10 school year. Moreover, 46 percent of IB-participating schools were considered “schoolwide” Title I programs serving 40 percent or more low-income students.
However, school programs don’t neccessarily equal student access: The study authors found only a third of students in Title I schools who actually took the challenging high school exams to qualify for the IB diploma were from low-income families.
http://go.uen.org/4iU

National HIV Strategy Includes Call for Effective Sex Education in Schools
Education Week

The White House’s updated strategy to address HIV/AIDS includes a goal of reducing the number of new diagnoses by at least 25 percent by 2020 in part through effective education programs in schools and communities.
One in five new HIV diagnoses in 2013 were among 13- to 24-year-olds, and rates of infection continue to increase among young gay and bisexual men, says a report on the strategy released this week.
The report, which drew praise from advocates for comprehensive sex education, calls for accessible information and education resources about transmission and prevention for people of all sexual orientations and ages, including school-aged youth.
http://go.uen.org/4iV

Pediatric brain injury may lead to attention problems
Reuters

Kids with traumatic brain injury (TBI) have more lapses in attention and longer reaction times than children who suffer trauma to other parts of the body, researchers report.
Attention problems have been seen in adults after TBI. This study, however, is the first to show not just lapses of attention in children with TBI but also that these lapses are related to intelligence and attention problems, said lead author Marsh Konigs of VU University Amsterdam in The Netherlands.
His team compared 113 kids, ages six to 13, who had suffered a traumatic brain injury, and 53 kids who suffered a non-head injury.
An average of one and a half years after the injury, parents and teachers rated attention problems and internalizing problems like anxiety higher for kids with TBI. Parents also rated externalizing problems, like aggression, higher for the kids with TBI.
Average reaction time was slower for kids in the TBI group than for those in the other trauma group, the researchers found.
http://go.uen.org/4iR

Students Stuff Backpacks with Tech for Back-to-School
More than three-quarters of teens, millennials plan to buy new electronics for back-to-school
eMarketer

Back-to-school shopping is in full swing. Based on recent research, technology is joining pencils and notebooks on shoppers’ to-buy lists this year. Among US teen (13 to 17) and millennial (18 to 24) Twitter users polled by Twitter in April 2015, 76% intended to purchase new tech items such as headphones, laptops and more for back-to-school this year.
Many students will avoid relying on their parents’ wallets for tech, too. Two-thirds of teens and nearly six in 10 millennials said they would use their own money to purchase back-to-school electronics. Among both groups, those dollars were most likely to go to headphones and wearables, though teens were far more likely to purchase each. Laptops and smartphones trailed further behind, with millennials slightly more likely than younger students to pull out the cash for such electronics.
However, that doesn’t meant young shoppers won’t spare their parents of guilt trips. More than eight in 10 teens and over two-thirds of millennials said they would like to receive consumer electronics for school before September. The most-desired items ranked slightly different here, as respondents from both groups wanted laptops most, followed by wearables, headphones and tablets.
http://go.uen.org/4iX

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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:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
3 p.m., 250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/board/Meetings/Agenda.aspx

August 7:
Utah State Board of Education meeting
8 a.m., 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:
Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
2 p.m., 445 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

August 27:
Charter School Funding Task Force meeting
1 p.m., 210 Senate Building
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2015&com=TSKCSF

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