Education News Roundup: Aug. 5, 2015

"School Supplies" by Cindy Schultz/CC/ Flickr

“School Supplies” by Cindy Schultz/CC/ Flickr

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Tribune looks a little closer at the recent tax hikes in Salt Lake and Granite districts as well as the proposed hike in Murray.

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

 

Fox 13 looks at teacher shortages in Utah.

http://go.uen.org/4jT (KSTU)

 

Potential GOP gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Johnson discusses education.

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

 

Does the Justice Department’s targeting of special education programs in Georgia have national implications?

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

 

Is a door-to-door approach the way to get more parental involvement in underperforming schools?

http://go.uen.org/4jY (WNBC)

 

Fairfax schools in Virginia look at eliminating sports and curtailing extracurriculars as a way to save money.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Utah school boards approve property tax increases to offset charter funding Funding charters » The average hike per household would be $9.

 

Some Utah school districts facing teacher shortage, officials say

 

Overstock.com boss planning run for Utah guv says Herbert has paid ‘lip service’ to conservative causes Governor’s race » Jonathan Johnson says the incumbent has paid just “lip service” to conservative causes.

 

Thingamajig inventions give hands-on STEM experience to YMCA campers

 

Cache Makers teaches 3D printing to adults, hoping to inspire future STEM educators

 

For new dual language teacher, coming to Park City is an American dream come true Noemi Bonilla grew up in Spain, but has always loved American culture

 

Young Fashion Minds Offered Innovative Class

 

Utah School Bus Company Ordered to Cease Operations

 

Former Utah math teacher gets 30 days for touching students’ buttocks

 

Back-to-School Physicals and Immunizations for Your Kids

 

New middle school in Sandy to celebrate opening

 

Backpacks for Kids’ ‘Stuff the Bus’ provides 1000 backpacks with school supplies

 

3 ways online schools are preparing students for college and beyond

 

Is handcuffing special needs kids acceptable discipline? The officer who did faces backlash

 

 


 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Utah’s constitutional score: Religious rights 1, school dress code 0

 

Willow Valley should remain middle school

 

When Parents Are the Ones Getting Schooled by the Common Core Grownups are hitting the books and taking classes just so they can help their kids with their math homework.

 

Jeb Bush’s Questionable Record on Education Did his policies as governor help or hinder minority students?

 

Jim Gilmore On Education: 6 Things The Presidential Candidate Wants You To Know

 

Back to school: Why August is the new September

 

Instructional Time Trends

 


 

 

NATION

 

U.S. probe into Georgia special ed program could have national impact

 

Department of Education Targets Parents at Underperforming Schools for Personal Visits

 

Could one of the nation’s largest school districts go without sports, activities?

 

Taking On The Staggering Decline Of Youth Sports Programs “It’s almost like a civil rights movement.”

 

State Looks to Revamp Science Education

 

New science test signals shift in how subject is taught in Illinois

 

New Mexico teacher evaluations see change

 

Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders Race Is a Dilemma for Many Democrats Primary is shaping up as a tug of war between party pragmatists and purists

 

Flurry of Bills in Congress Seek to Expand Summer Meals Programs

 

 

 

 

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Utah school boards approve property tax increases to offset charter funding Funding charters » The average hike per household would be $9.

 

Two Salt Lake County school boards signed off on property tax increases on Tuesday, citing a need to offset funds paid to the state’s independent charter schools.

Residents in Salt Lake City School District will see an annual increase of $4.67 per $100,000 of assessed property value, or roughly $9 for the average home.

The increase will net $1.5 million for the district, $900,000 of which will be diverted to charter school coffers.

“We’re at a point where we need to have additional revenue sources to pay this so it doesn’t interfere with the money that goes to our district schools and our district students,” Salt Lake City school board President Heather Bennett said.

The tax increase will also fund an expansion of the district’s Peer Assistance and Review program — a mentor program for new teachers — and training for school personnel.

Board members voted 6-1 to approve the tax increase, with Michael Clara casting the lone opposing vote.

Clara said it is unfair to ask taxpayers to hold the district blameless when children and their families choose to enroll in charters.

“I would like to see us take responsibility for our actions that repel people, that compel them to want to go to another school,” he said.

In Granite School District, board members voted unanimously in favor of a $860,000 tax increase that will cost $4.99 each year for the average home.

Both district’s tax increases, as well as a proposed tax hike in Murray School District, come after recent legislation changing the way charter schools are funded.

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

 

 


 

 

Some Utah school districts facing teacher shortage, officials say

 

OGDEN, Utah – With some schools already in session, and others about to start, some districts are facing a teacher shortage.

It’s a problem being felt across the state, but some districts are feeling the pinch more than others.

Teachers planning on retiring in the next few years are leaving a big hole to fill in Utah classrooms.

“Combine that with increasing number of school-aged kids in Utah, and that puts increasing pressure on districts to find teachers,” said Jack Rasmussen, Dean of College of Education for Weber State University.

Districts look to schools like Weber State to attract new teachers.

Rasmussen said enrollment numbers in education programs at Weber State are declining.

http://go.uen.org/4jT (KSTU)

 

 


 

 

Overstock.com boss planning run for Utah guv says Herbert has paid ‘lip service’ to conservative causes Governor’s race » Jonathan Johnson says the incumbent has paid just “lip service” to conservative causes.

 

Jonathan Johnson calls it the “worst-kept secret in the state” ­­— for months the president of Overstock.com has been laying the groundwork for a challenge to Gov. Gary Herbert, which likely will become an actual bid sometime in the late summer or early fall.

For now, Johnson has been out speaking to groups, building up name recognition and making contacts around the state that will help him when he becomes a candidate. And he has lined up an experienced campaign team-in-waiting, led by Dave Hansen, a veteran of the Sen. Orrin Hatch and U.S. Rep. Mia Love campaigns.

“I haven’t officially announced, but my mind hasn’t changed and I continue to work on it,” Johnson said in an interview Tuesday. “I’m waiting for the right time. I think it’ll be sooner rather than later.”

On education, Johnson is pitching broad reform that includes school choice — including potentially vouchers and educational-savings accounts — as well as more localized decision-making, to the point of giving parents and principals the authority to fire bad teachers.

He said he would like to see more collaboration between traditional public schools and charter and private schools that face the same issues, allowing them to share best practices for focusing on math, arts, and serving at-risk students.

“And I don’t like Common Core,” Johnson said of the polarizing education standards crafted by the National Governors Association and adopted by the federal government. Utah has adopted the standards for math and English.

“I don’t like a federal standard that is delivered through the NGA, which is really, I think, a left-of-center, staff-driven group, and I don’t like the other things the NGA is doing,” Johnson said.

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

 

 


 

 

Thingamajig inventions give hands-on STEM experience to YMCA campers

 

OGDEN — The bubbling green soap and baking soda oozing out of 9-year-old Eli Negrete’s lemon volcano wasn’t a typical picture of science.

Neither were fruit smoothies made from a bike-powered blender.

But the first Thingamajig Invention Convention at the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation YMCA Community Family Center was not a typical science, technology, engineering and math event.

“We want to give kids an oportunity to learn new career paths through STEM activities and really build that confidence of inventing something or doing something with their hands and thinking through an idea,” said Michelle Schmid, the center’s YMCA director.

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

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

Cache Makers teaches 3D printing to adults, hoping to inspire future STEM educators

 

A local makerspace is looking to certify more adults to lead classes on 3D printing and other technologies.

On Saturday, a group of adults gathered in Cache Makers’ makerspace to learn the basics of 3D printing with polylactic acid (PLA), a layered and biodegradable thermoplastic made from corn.

Though Cache Makers typically teaches 3D printing to children and teenagers, makerspace mentor Colby Carpenter, who taught the class to adults, emphasized that teaching 3D printing to adults is an easier task.

http://go.uen.org/4jP (LHJ)

 

 


 

 

For new dual language teacher, coming to Park City is an American dream come true Noemi Bonilla grew up in Spain, but has always loved American culture

 

Noemi Bonilla woke up on her first day in Utah and stepped outside. She had arrived in Park City the night before, when it was too dark to see her surroundings, so what she saw blew her away.

Turns out they don’t have mountains like this in Spain.

“It was amazing,” said Bonilla, who joked that the mountains looked like a facade. “I was like, ‘Wow!'”

Bonilla, who arrived last week and hails from Madrid, is the new Spanish dual language immersion teacher at Parley’s Park Elementary School. And as excited as she was to catch her first glimpse of the mountains, she is even more eager to get in the classroom and immerse herself in the culture and in Park City.

“(Coming to America to teach) is one of my dreams,” she said. “Already, it’s coming true. The most important thing is I love American culture and I wanted to know more about it. And I have a passion, which is teaching, so it’s a perfect thing. I’m really happy to be here.”

http://go.uen.org/4k2 (PR)

 

 


 

 

Young Fashion Minds Offered Innovative Class

 

STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, are enrichment-course educational classes that are being offered to after-school and summer school programs. This knowledge-increasing phenomenon has gripped the world for the better, and now, some news is coming out that merges that with those whom are aspiring to become designers.

According to Refinery 29, Zaniac, which is a STEM franchise will be launching a fashion-design course on August 10 for fourth to eight graders. “The fashion-design course at Zaniac was created to demonstrate that STEM concepts and skills are essential to all future career paths — not just those traditionally associated with the antiquated concept of men in lab coats,” says Sidharth Oberoi, Zaniac’s president and chief academic officer.

Parents spend roughly $249 for the six-week fashion-design course, which finds students meeting for an hour and a half, once a week, for six weeks — and there’s a student-to-teacher ratio of five to one. “We see this course as an opportunity to empower more girls in STEM, and a necessary step toward closing the gender gap that exists in STEM fields today,” Mr. Oberoi said. With plans to open up shop in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Zaniac currently has two Utah locations: one in Salt Lake City and Park City.

http://go.uen.org/4k5 (StyleBlazer)

 

 


 

 

Utah School Bus Company Ordered to Cease Operations

 

The Federal Motor Carrier said Deseret Bus Service in Woods Cross, Utah must cease all intrastate and interstate operations for “repeatedly operating unsafe vehicles and for failing to comply with a 2014 federal consent order.”

As a result, Legacy Preparatory Academy must find a new way to get its kids to school when the new year starts on Aug. 19, and 10 different districts must find a new field trip provider, said owner Clarence Newman. He said the company, which has been in existence since 1977, can also no longer provide summer field trip service to the Church of Latter Day Saints and to local Boy Scouts troops.

http://go.uen.org/4k1 (School Transportation News)

 

 


 

 

Former Utah math teacher gets 30 days for touching students’ buttocks

 

A former math teacher from Utah who touched his young students’ buttocks as he gave them extra tuition has been jailed for just 30 days.

Rory Bowen was sentenced to a month behind bars on Monday after previously pleading guilty to three charges of sexual battery, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

The 37-year-old, from Oakley, confessed in June to touching his victims “under circumstances he knew or should’ve known would likely cause affront or alarm.”

http://go.uen.org/4k4 (NY Daily News)

 

 


 

 

Back-to-School Physicals and Immunizations for Your Kids

 

It’s almost time for kids to get back to school. There’s a huge checklist parents have to take care of before then especially when it comes to those back-to-school physicals and immunizations. Dr. Steven Harmon with South Bangerter Health Center explains some of the requirements.

Whether your child is starting school this year or going back for his or her last year, it is important to schedule doctor’s appointments for physicals and update immunizations before the first day back. The health of your child and his or her classmates and friends is largely reliant on immunizations that are given from preschool through high school.

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

 


 

 

New middle school in Sandy to celebrate opening

 

SANDY — The community is invited to a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the opening of the rebuilt Mount Jordan Middle School.

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

 


 

 

Backpacks for Kids’ ‘Stuff the Bus’ provides 1000 backpacks with school supplies

 

Backpacks for Kids ‘Stuff the Bus’Backpacks for Kids, a local nonprofit organization, has been providing backpacks with school supplies to Washington County School kids in need since 2004. In their first year, they were able to fill 10 backpacks with school supplies. With the growth of the county and increasing need, the group will be delivering 1000 backpacks this year.

http://go.uen.org/4k3 (Southern Utah Independent)

 


 

 

3 ways online schools are preparing students for college and beyond

 

Since its debut in Utah 20 years ago, online education continues to advance and improve as new technologies emerge. Students and teachers now collaborate in real-time using digital whiteboards or pen tablets, participate in multi-user group study sessions via video conference and receive quick, meaningful feedback to course correct their work as needed.

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

 


 

 

Is handcuffing special needs kids acceptable discipline? The officer who did faces backlash

 

A federal lawsuit has been filed after a resource officer on different occasions shackled two children who have disabilities, using handcuffs to secure their upper arms behind their backs as a form of discipline.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Utah’s constitutional score: Religious rights 1, school dress code 0 Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist By PAUL ROLLY

 

Many Utah politicians have been vocal about losing religious rights when forced to accommodate secular customs that interfere with faith.

Much of the discussion came after U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, a stance subsequently affirmed by the nation’s highest court.

One Utah legislator attempted a bill, which cleared the House but died in the Senate, that would have vaulted religious rights ahead of all others in discrimination cases.

So here’s an example that gave the defenders of religious liberties an argument, although, in the end, cooler heads prevailed.

Amador Rivera’s 15-year-old son is entering Cottonwood High as a sophomore this month and, as an observant Jew, the youth covers his head at school out of respect for God.

He has feared bullying at school when outwardly showing his convictions, a worry that is justified, Rabbi Ilana Schwartzman, of Salt Lake City’s Congregation Kol Ami, wrote in a letter to the Granite School District in which she said she knew of such bullying in the past.

Consequently, the boy did not want to wear a kippah, or yarmulke, which would make him stand out as a Jew. Instead, he wants to wear a baseball cap, which, according to Schwartzman and Rabbi Benny Zippel of Chabad Lubavitch of Utah, is acceptable to conform to the head-covering requirements.

The cap posed no problem when he was a student at Bonneville Junior High and, earlier, at Twin Peaks Elementary.

But Cottonwood’s administration said no. Baseball caps are against the dress code, no exceptions. Rivera was told that if his son were allowed to wear one, everybody would want to do it.

That was until Tuesday.

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

 


 

 

Willow Valley should remain middle school

(Logan) Herald Journal letter from Graeme Carver

 

I think turning Willow Valley Middle School into an elementary school is a bad idea. I loved Willow Valley when I was in middle school, and I want to thank all the teachers who helped me and taught me. I am a Boy Scout of America from troop 412.

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

 

 


 

 

When Parents Are the Ones Getting Schooled by the Common Core Grownups are hitting the books and taking classes just so they can help their kids with their math homework.

Atlantic commentary by columnist ALIA WONG

 

“It feels like a dark time,” wrote the comedian Louis C.K. in a tweet last April. “I’m pissed,” he wrote in another, a few minutes later. C.K. was, indeed, very, very angry. And this time, it wasn’t his own “yucky” existence that was making him fume. Rather, it was a different kind of “massive stressball” irking him: the Common Core State Standards.

In his now-famous rant, the middle-aged father of two lamented the controversial academic benchmarks and the accompanying onslaught of rigorous testing in New York City’s public schools, where his daughters were enrolled. Specifically, C.K. was exasperated by the Common Core’s overhaul of math—a subject his kids, he noted, once loved. “Now it makes them cry,” he tweeted, posting pictures of his then-third-grade daughter’s apparently mind-boggling homework. “Thanks standardized testing and common core!”

Yes, the cynical, self-loathing comedian was stumped by the Common Core. And if the flurry of responses commiserating with C.K. is any indication, so are thousands, if not millions, of other child-rearing adults across the United States. As The Washington Post noted last year, parents are finding themselves “flustered” by their inability to comprehend their kids’ homework. The Common Core standards stress “the application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills” in math and reading and, although they technically don’t prescribe curriculum, they have incentivized schools to adopt new materials and instructional tactics designed to be more in synch with the new standards. That’s why “old-fashioned” arithmetic methods such as the carry-and-borrow technique are being phased out. That’s also why, in large part, the country has seen an outbreak of desperate Facebook pleas, indignant op-eds, talk-show commentary, and mass testing boycotts from parents seeking nothing short of a Common Core apocalypse.

But amid all that handwringing, another curious and perhaps amusing phenomenon has emerged: Parents are going back to school (or somehow continuing their education) just to try and make sense of it all. School districts across the country are hosting parents’ nights to get them acquainted with the new academic strategies. Nevada’s Clark County School District, for example, has offered twice-monthly, taxpayer-funded seminars devoted to helping parents understand Common Core math. On top of Khan Academy’s resources, parents also have at their disposal a plethora of how-to videos and tip sheets, practice exercises and “road maps.” There’s Common Core Math For Parents For Dummies (with accompanying online videos) or the more general Common Core Standards For Parents For Dummies (sans videos). Or, to change it up, there’s Parents’ Guide to Common Core Arithmetic: How to Help Your Child. For those who really want to master it? At least one institution—Suffolk County Community College—offers a $108-a-person Common Core math course for parents that runs a few weeks long.

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

 

 


 

 

Jeb Bush’s Questionable Record on Education Did his policies as governor help or hinder minority students?

Atlantic commentary by EMILY DERUY, an education reporter for National Journal’s “Next America” project

 

Jeb Bush wants you to think he opened the doors to higher education for students of color. Hillary Clinton wants you to think he shut them in their faces.

When Bush took the stage last Friday at the annual National Urban League meeting, he said, “We found that with fewer obstacles imposed by government, more people had the opportunity to achieve earned success … We expanded our community-college system and made it more affordable for low-income families. Florida in those years helped thousands more first-generation college students make it all the way to graduation.”

He extolled his history of raising the Advanced Placement exam results and performance by students of color. The former Florida governor didn’t address Clinton’s comments directly, but the implication was clear: Bush has made it easier to go to college.

Rhetoric and politicking aside, what actually happened—particularly when it comes to students of color—while Bush was in office?

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

 

 


 

 

Jim Gilmore On Education: 6 Things The Presidential Candidate Wants You To Know Forbes commentary by columnist Maureen Sullivan

 

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore became the 17th candidate for the Republican presidential nomination with his on-line announcement last week. He made no mention of education issues during his launch, but he has come out against Common Core curriculum standards. Here are some of his views on education:

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

 

 


 

 

Back to school: Why August is the new September CNN commentary by columnist Daphne Sashin

 

First came the summer camp promotion from the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, crashing like a brick into my inbox June 17.

“Six more weeks of summer,” the subject line taunted. “Make ’em fun!”

Didn’t the fine people at the YMCA know that the summer solstice had not yet arrived? And still, here they were, telling me and my 4-year-old that we had only six more weeks of summer?!

But, going by the school calendar, they were right. My son starts pre-kindergarten today at our neighborhood school. That’s right — August 5. It’s the same for children in cities and towns across the country, including in Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis and Monterey, California. Lots of schools join them the following week and all throughout August.

We’re not smashing any records here. In Hawaii and parts of Indiana and Arizona, kids have been in class since late July.

Having grown up in New England, where I was still writing letters home from summer camp in late August, I was perplexed and awash in nostalgia-fueled angst. What happened to school starting after Labor Day?

It turns out a lot of parents have the same question, and there are answers.

But first, a short history of school calendars:

http://go.uen.org/4k0

 


 

 

Instructional Time Trends

Education Commission of the States analysis

 

For more than 30 years, Education Commission of the States has tracked instructional time and frequently receives requests for information about policies and trends. In this Education Trends report, Education Commission of the States addresses some of the more frequent questions, including the impact of instructional time on achievement, variation in school start dates, and trends in school day and year length.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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U.S. probe into Georgia special ed program could have national impact Washington Post

 

The Justice Department has accused Georgia of segregating thousands of students with behavior-related disabilities, shunting them into a program that denies them access not only to their non-disabled peers but also to extracurricular activities and other basic amenities of the modern school, including gymnasiums, libraries and appropriately certified teachers.

The department’s years-long inquiry into Georgia’s programs, and the pressure it is now putting on state officials to revamp the way they educate students with disabilities, have brought hope to advocates in the state who have tried unsuccessfully for years to make change.

But the department’s legal tack in the Georgia case is a sign that it is expanding an important civil rights approach into the education arena, a move that is likely to have implications nationwide, experts say.

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

 


 

 

Department of Education Targets Parents at Underperforming Schools for Personal Visits (New York) WNBC

 

Outreach workers from the New York City Department of Education are getting trained to go to the homes of families at the city’s 94 lowest-performing schools, where so many parents have checked out of their children’s education, according to officials, that PTAs have been disbanded and parent-teacher conferences deserted.

Mayor de Blasio’s administration has started a program where outreach volunteers with the Department of Education are personally approaching parents at their homes to encourage more involvement in school. Studies show even poor students with involved parents score higher and graduate more often, according to education officials.

On Tuesday, dozens of parents were trained on the new door-knocking plan — they’re trying to recruit other parents in the underperforming schools to form PTAs and get involved. With the city’s goal to reach 40,000 parents before school starts, one parent-volunteer named Louis has perfected what he called the friendly knock.

“Hopefully, that’ll bring them to the door,” he said.

One parent, Celine Morales, said she was initially shocked to find a worker from the education department at her door: “I was like, ‘Uh, oh. Is she getting left back?”

But the visits aren’t about the children — they’re about the parents.

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

 


 

 

Could one of the nation’s largest school districts go without sports, activities?

Washington Post

 

A task force looking to cut as much as $100 million from the budget of one of the nation’s largest school systems has suggested that major savings could come from getting rid of all school sports, limiting extracurricular activities and increasing class sizes.

School administrators in Virginia’s Fairfax County, which educates about 187,000 students, say they are again facing tough choices about what to keep and what to sacrifice as funding fails to keep pace with surging enrollment. Officials are projecting a shortfall of $50 million to $100 million next year, meaning significant programming changes would need to be implemented, schools officials said.

School district officials calculated the shortfall assuming a salary increase for teachers, a growth in enrollment and a nearly $20 million drop in state funding, though some numbers will not be determined for months. The school system also is required to put an additional $46 million into teacher retirement and health benefits next year. If the county holds firm on its commitment to give the school system a 3 percent revenue bump, the maximum shortfall is estimated at $80 million.

The 36-member citizen task force was charged with finding $100 million in savings. On Monday night, the district released an early draft of potential cuts, but they are far from official, and it is early in the budget process. Some of the task force’s ideas are sure to be controversial, such as saving nearly $11 million by eliminating high school sports and more than $12 million by axing activities such as yearbook and student newspapers, curtailing music and drama programs, and reducing middle school after-school activities.

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

 

 


 

 

Taking On The Staggering Decline Of Youth Sports Programs “It’s almost like a civil rights movement.”

Huffington Post

 

For many of today’s star athletes, involvement in sports at a young age provided refuge from problems at home, or opened doors to a college education that would not otherwise have been possible.

But a group of athletes warned last week that many kids in America may not have the same opportunity as schools continue to suspend sports programs at an alarming rate.

“It’s almost like a civil rights movement,” Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall told The Huffington Post, following the Dick’s Sporting Goods Sports Matter panel at NASDAQ MarketSite in New York City last Tuesday. “Millions of kids are going to be stripped away of their only opportunity of having a healthy, effective life.”

ESPN analyst and former NFL coach Jay Gruden, USWNT midfielder Carli Lloyd, No. 1 NBA draft pick Karl Anthony Towns, actor Michael B. Jordan, author and writer Buzz Bissinger and Up2Us Sports founder Paul Caccamo also urged the importance of school sports programs at the event.

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

 

 


 

 

State Looks to Revamp Science Education

Twin Falls (ID) Times-News

 

TWIN FALLS • The Idaho Department of Education wants to revamp science standards to emphasize problem solving and hands-on work.

If approved, changes could take effect during the 2016-17 school year.

Idaho’s public schools started using Common Core Standards — which emphasize critical thinking — in 2013. Those cover English/language arts and math, but not science.

“We would like to match that level of rigor with the science standards,” said Debbie Critchfield of Oakley, a member of the Idaho Board of Education.

A state committee — which started meeting in March — is working on revisions, the Idaho Department of Education announced last week. It’s part of a regular review process that happens every six years.

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

 

 


 

 

New science test signals shift in how subject is taught in Illinois Chicago Tribune

 

Illinois students in 5th, 8th and 10th grades are expected to take a new online science exam this coming school year, signaling a dramatic shift in how students as young as 5 are taught in topics from energy and engineering to bio-geology and humans’ impact on Earth.

The exams, which are still being developed, are based on new Next Generation Science Standards that have drawn praise from many educators but sparked a backlash in several states over guidelines for evolution and global climate change, both topics students are expected to study.

Local science educators say they haven’t heard of such objections in Illinois, which adopted the new standards in early 2014 as part of a multi-state effort to advance science instruction and learning for kindergarten through 12th grade.

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

 

 


 

 

New Mexico teacher evaluations see change Albuquerque (NM) Journal

 

SANTA FE – New Mexico’s Public Education Department will no longer require school districts to use test scores and other data to evaluate roughly 1,000 teachers who teach subjects that don’t use standardized testing – removing one of the most controversial components of the evaluation system.

Also, that data will no longer be used in evaluating first-year teachers even if they are in tested subjects.

Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera said Monday the changes to the evaluation system will make it more fair for new teachers, since the evaluations will be based more heavily on classroom observation and teacher attendance, and will no longer be tied to student performance measures from a previous year.

For veteran teachers in subjects and grade levels without standardized tests – music teachers would be one example – school districts will have the option of using primarily classroom observation and attendance to evaluate them.

School districts would be allowed to choose whether to keep using the backup measures, such as improvement of some student test scores, or scrap them altogether. But if they do continue to use those measures, they can make up no more than 25 percent of a teacher’s evaluation, rather than the 50 percent now.

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

 

 


 

 

Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders Race Is a Dilemma for Many Democrats Primary is shaping up as a tug of war between party pragmatists and purists Wall Street Journal

 

COLUMBIA, S.C.—They appear at events for Hillary Clinton and at rallies for Sen. Bernie Sanders, too: Democrats drawn to Mr. Sanders’s unvarnished liberalism and Mrs. Clinton’s experience and a sense she can win.

These conflicted voters say he better reflects their values, while she is better positioned to take the White House. Their hearts are with him. Their heads are with her.

In July, the American Federation of Teachers became the first union to endorse Mrs. Clinton, with union President Randi Weingarten calling her “a tested leader who shares our values.”

But on the union’s Facebook page, several teachers reacted angrily. One person wrote: “We have a great candidate by the name of BERNIE SANDERS who stands by labor and the movement and you endorse a corporate Democrat!”

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

 

 


 

 

Flurry of Bills in Congress Seek to Expand Summer Meals Programs Education Week

 

The upcoming deadline to reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 has triggered a surge of bills in Congress to give more children access to more meals during the summer.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the current version of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, in the same way that No Child Left Behind is the current name given to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Of the nearly 22 million children who receive free and reduced-price lunches during the school year, about 3.6 million, or 16 percent, participate in the federal summer nutrition programs, according to a report released last month, by the Washington-based Food Research & Action Center.

The numbers have been rising in recent years, partly because states and communities have started to reinvest in summer school and summer-enrichment programs since the recession ended. But it’s not reaching nearly enough children, said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., a sponsor of the Summer Meals Act of 2015.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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/Interim/2015/html/00003537.htm

 

 

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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