Education News Roundup: Oct. 19, 2015

"Touch, Tap, slide, pinch" by Judit Klein/CC/flickr

“Touch, Tap, slide, pinch” by Judit Klein/CC/flickr https://flic.kr/p/84TvFL

 

Education News Roundup

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Professional development a solution to Utah’s teacher burnout problem, educators say.

http://go.uen.org/4T0 (DN)

 

Students suggest playground ‘buddy’ benches to help kids make friends.

http://go.uen.org/4Tn  (DN)

 

Utah treasurer resigns to take post at college savings nonprofit.

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

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

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

http://go.uen.org/4SS (CVD)

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

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

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

 

Study: Teen girls impacted more by compulsive texting than boys.

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

 

States Continue to Improve Graduation Rates, Particularly for Underserved Students.

http://go.uen.org/4Tz (USDOE)

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

 

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TODAY’S HEADLINES

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UTAH

 

Turnover and staffing lead to less experienced teachers on SLC’s west side Salt Lake County » West side’s more diverse schools have less-experienced, lower-paid educators, on average, than east-side schools.

 

Professional development a solution to Utah’s teacher burnout problem, educators say

 

Regents want to boost Utah’s scholarship program Help with tuition » Higher-ed bosses want to grow the program that rewards rigorous high school work.

 

Utah treasurer resigns to take post at college savings nonprofit

 

Teachers treated to free concealed weapons class on UEA break

 

The 15 best — and worst — states for school teachers

 

Students suggest playground ‘buddy’ benches to help kids make friends

 

Museum launches ‘gaming for education’ program for middle schoolers

 

Study: Teen girls impacted more by compulsive texting than boys

 

Five schools win at Utah marching band competition

 

St. George Book Festival extols literacy for all ages, week full of events

 

Children explore their creativity in SUU’s Arts*Lab

 

SUU’s Dept. of Art & Design holds Open Studio Sessions for high school students

 

 

OPINION & COMMENTARY

 

Provo families deserve in-depth discussion on plans to relocate Provo High

 

How the States Got Their Rates

 

Letter: Teachers aren’t paid for UEA break

 

Ignore state board and teach climate change to 6th graders

 

Letter: True professionals

 

Holidays, public schools and what it means to be “American”

 

Schools exacerbate the growing achievement gap between rich and poor, a 33-country study finds

 

 

NATION

 

Donald Trump Would Cut Department Of Education, EPA

 

Schools across US find alternatives to suspending students

 

States Continue to Improve Graduation Rates, Particularly for Underserved Students

 

Nevada Fights Against ACLU Suit over Voucher-Like Program

 

Washington School District Negotiating with Praying Coach

 

Are turnaround districts the answer for America’s worst schools?

 

Trump eyes Education Department

 

The most innovative schools in America

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Turnover and staffing lead to less experienced teachers on SLC’s west side Salt Lake County » West side’s more diverse schools have less-experienced, lower-paid educators, on average, than east-side schools.

 

Taylorsville • Between lessons on math, reading and social studies, Plymouth Elementary School teacher Tara Fredley took some time to celebrate the start of October last week by decorating pumpkins with her students.

One second-grader, pleased with the face she had drawn with markers, lifted her creation above her shoulder and asked Fredley if she could see a resemblance.

“You’re more beautiful than your pumpkin,” Fredley responded before turning to help another student with a worksheet.

Fredley has taught for 25 years, making her one of the more experienced educators at Plymouth Elementary and within the entire Granite School District.

She loves to teach, but said she also hit a point of no return after about 20 years in the classroom.

“If I weren’t so far into my career I would get out,” she said. “I can understand why [teachers] are leaving. It’s a very difficult job.”

In Salt Lake County, the average teacher has between seven and 13 years of experience, according to a Salt Lake Tribune analysis of personnel data obtained from Salt Lake City, Granite, Murray, Canyons and Jordan school districts.

The experience levels tend to be lower at schools west of State Street, where the county’s population is more economically and racially diverse.

The trend is most pronounced in Salt Lake City School District, where the average west-side teacher is 3.4 years less experienced, and paid $3,331 less, than the average east-side instructor.

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

 

 

 

 

Professional development a solution to Utah’s teacher burnout problem, educators say

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Five years ago, 2,417 new teachers entered Utah’s classrooms, but by last year, more than 1,000 of them had left the profession.

About 16 percent of new educators — the largest portion of Utah’s five-year teacher attrition rate of 42 percent — left the classroom before their second year of teaching, according to the Utah State Office of Education.

It’s a sobering trend considering Utah’s education system grows by almost 10,000 students every year.

But it’s a trend education leaders and lawmakers are trying to counteract. Friday’s portion of the Utah Education Association’s two-day convention focused on giving hundreds of new teachers the training and encouragement they need to succeed in teaching Utah’s children.

http://go.uen.org/4T0  (DN)

 

 

 

Regents want to boost Utah’s scholarship program Help with tuition » Higher-ed bosses want to grow the program that rewards rigorous high school work.

 

Schied credits her good financial standing to Utah’s Regents Scholarship, which rewards students who pass certain benchmarks in high school and maintain good grades in college.

Since the grant’s inception in 2008, it has provided Schied and thousands of other Utah students with a total of $27 million. Now, the Board of Regents wants to expand the program for the 2016-2017 school year. The governing board of Utah’s public colleges and universities is asking for roughly $8 million from the Legislature.

A legislative panel received a memo asking for the increase in September, but it did not discuss the program at that meeting. The Higher Education Appropriations Committee is scheduled to revisit the request again in November. It is a small piece of the total $77 million proposed higher education budget — a 9 percent increase from last year.

Regents believe the program will help more students not only enroll, but also graduate faster by helping them afford to go to school full time.

http://go.uen.org/4SV  (SLT)

 

 

 

Utah treasurer resigns to take post at college savings nonprofit

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Treasurer Richard Ellis announced his resignation Friday, saying he will take a position with the Utah Educational Savings Plan when he steps down Nov. 1.

Ellis will work as senior director of compliance and communications for the Salt Lake-based nonprofit organization, which helps students and their families set up college savings accounts.

Because Ellis is a Republican, the Utah Republican Party will be responsible for nominating three potential replacements, said Mark Thomas, state director of elections.

The party will submit those nominees to Gov. Gary Herbert, who will appoint one of them, Thomas said. The appointment will not require confirmation by the state Senate, he said.

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

 

http://go.uen.org/4ST  (SLT)

 

http://go.uen.org/4SU  (UP)

 

http://go.uen.org/4SR  (PDH)

 

http://go.uen.org/4SS  (CVD)

 

http://go.uen.org/4SP  (KUTV)

 

http://go.uen.org/4SO  (KSL)

 

http://go.uen.org/4SQ  (KSTU)

 

 

 

 

Teachers treated to free concealed weapons class on UEA break

 

SOUTH JORDAN — Staplers, rulers and grade books are classic items teachers take to school, but 20 Utah teachers could be carrying a more unexpected tool in the coming months — a gun.

During the Utah Education Association break Friday, the Utah Shooting Sports Council offered a free concealed weapons class structured specifically for teachers and others working within schools. The class involved discussion, demonstration and practice scenarios in safe gun use in school environments.

After the instruction, participants could pay a $49 fee and submit an application for a concealed carry permit to the Department of Public Safety.

Utah laws not only allow concealed weapons in public schools, but it prevents districts or administrators to prohibit concealed weapons.

http://go.uen.org/4SZ  (DN)

http://go.uen.org/4Tt  (SGS)

 

 

 

The 15 best — and worst — states for school teachers

 

Finding employment can be difficult in any career, but teaching comes with extra considerations.

In a recent study, WalletHub analyzed which states (including Washington D.C.) were the best — and worst — for teachers. It determined how great the states were for teachers based on everything from income, commute time, unemployment and the situation for working moms to school-specific things like safety, spending, school system, student-to-teacher ratio and the situation for underprivileged students.

http://go.uen.org/4Tl   (DN)

 

 

 

 

 

Students suggest playground ‘buddy’ benches to help kids make friends

 

MURRAY — For students at a pair of Utah elementary schools, being “benched” can be a good thing.

At the suggest of sixth-grader Jaxton Winrow, Grant Elementary School this week installed a “buddy bench” next to the playground.

The idea is to create a place where kids who are feeling lonely and don’t have anyone to play with can sit to signal other students’ attention. Students can then reach out to kids on the bench and invite them to play, Grant Elementary Principal Matt Nelson said.

Jaxton said he initially wanted to create a club for lonely students, but then he saw the idea for the buddy bench online.

“I don’t want everyone to be alone,” he said, “because I don’t want them to feel bored and not do anything at recess all the time and have no friends. Now, if people get kicked out of a group or club, they can sit on the bench and the other people who get kicked out of a group can sit there, too, so they can become new friends.”

http://go.uen.org/4Tn   (DN)

 

 

 

Museum launches ‘gaming for education’ program for middle schoolers

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The Natural History Museum of Utah this month is launching a digital program for middle school students that is every bit as cool as the newest iPhone app, according to museum representatives.

The program, Research Quest, is made of three virtual research expeditions where students use 3-D technology, videos and group collaboration to explain mysteries paleontologists are studying at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry near Price.

Madlyn Runburg, director of educational initiatives at the museum, said the purpose of the program is “gaming for education.” She said the museum wanted to use its unique information to teach students how to observe, problem solve, infer, analyze and synthesize.

“(Research Quest) is really not about learning about dinosaurs,” Runburg said. “It’s about using the excitement and background knowledge students have about dinosaurs to engage them in authentic, meaningful learning experiences.”

http://go.uen.org/4To   (DN)

 

 

 

Study: Teen girls impacted more by compulsive texting than boys

 

SALT LAKE CITY — Teen girls who are “compulsive texters” are more likely than their male counterparts to suffer academically because of it, according to a study released earlier this month.

A study published Oct. 5 in Psychology of Popular Media says that although teen boys and girls text in comparable rates, girls who have higher compulsive texting rates suffer academically while boys see no significant loss in academic performance, the study states.

“I guess it does (surprise me) because a lot of the times I hear that girls are smarter than guys and I see a lot of girls texting all the time,” McKinli Cox, 14, said. Cox is a freshman at Oquirrh Hills Middle School.

Most teens use text messaging as their primary means of communication, the study notes, quoting the 2012 Pew Research Center report Teens, Smartphones & Texting. Sixty-three percent of teens text daily, compared with 39 percent calling on cell phones, 35 percent engaging in face-to-face communication outside of school, and 29 percent sending messages using social networks.

http://go.uen.org/4Tp   (DN)

 

 

 

Five schools win at Utah marching band competition

 

Five schools took home honors at Rocky Mountain Invitational Marching Band Competition in Provo.

PROVO — American Fork, Lehi, Lone Peak, Pleasant Grove, and Timpanogos high schools won their divisions at the Rocky Mountain Invitational Marching Band Competition on Tuesday at BYU’s Lavell Edwards Stadium. In all, 22 Utah high school marching bands competed, including bands from Uintah in Vernal to Sky View in Cache County.

The American Fork marching band took first place in Open Class (the largest bands), followed by Davis and Sky View. American Fork swept the caption awards, winning visual performance, musical performance, percussion and color guard.

Timpview took first place overall in the 4A division, followed by Lehi. Lehi won visual performance, percussion and auxiliary performances, with Timpview taking best musical performance.

http://go.uen.org/4Tq   (DN)

 

 

 

St. George Book Festival extols literacy for all ages, week full of events

 

  1. GEORGE — The celebration of literacy with the joy of reading — as well as writing — kicks off Monday as the St. George Book Festival starts its week-long series of events highlighting the importance of reading.

This family-friendly event will have readers of all ages and genres coming out for a “howling” good time, according to a press release.

The City of St. George, Heritage Writers Guild, Utah State Poetry Society, Washington County School District Foundation’s “Spooky Town Fair” and Comics Plus “Comic Spook Day” have partnered together with the Utah Humanities Book Festival to bring the St. George community the biggest Halloween literary event in Southern Utah.

http://go.uen.org/4Tv  (SGN)

 

 

 

Children explore their creativity in SUU’s Arts*Lab

 

CEDAR CITY, Utah— Youngsters ages 3-11 can express their joyful creative sense, and discover their inner performer, when SUU’s College of Performing and Visual Arts offers its free arts classes Arts*Lab. Workshops will be offered in theatre and creative movement on Saturday, Oct. 24. Pre-school and elementary age children are invited to participate in the various classes and interactive workshops.

This session includes a special dance workshop for ages 3-4 from 11-11:45 a.m. Classes for ages 5-8 are held from noon until 1:45 p.m., while classes for ages 9-11 are held 2-3:45 p.m. All classes are held at Gateway Preparatory Academy in Enoch. The sessions are free and open to youngsters in the community.

http://go.uen.org/4Tx (KCSG)

 

 

 

SUU’s Dept. of Art & Design holds Open Studio Sessions for high school students

 

CEDAR CITY, Utah— If you, your son or daughter or art students are considering majoring in visual art, then don’t miss the opportunity to experience SUU’s Department of Art and Design’s High School Open Studio Sessions. Scheduled from 4-8:30 p.m. on Thursday October 29, these free sessions provide high school students with access to a variety studio experiences and interaction with SUU Art and Design faculty and students. Perspective students are invited to bring their portfolios with them for review that evening for scholarship consideration.

According to Open Studio coordinator, Jessica Gerlach, Assistant Professor of Art, “It is so important that high school seniors know as much as they can about the university they are looking to attend and the degree program they want study. The Open Studio Night gives high school students and their parents an opportunity to experience the Art and Design programs and facilities.

http://go.uen.org/4Ty (KCSG)

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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Provo families deserve in-depth discussion on plans to relocate Provo High Deseret News op-ed by Jamie Littlefield of Provo

 

Last year, Provo voters were told that the school board wanted to rebuild Provo High School in its current location, in the heart of the city. Neighbors approved a $108 million bond that included the school rebuild. Now the board is looking at selling the school site to an outside buyer and moving Provo High from the city center to the far end of the west side, on the outskirts of development.

Without careful consideration, moving Provo High School could be harmful for the students, for downtown Provo and for residents of the west side.

Here are five major issues that need to be discussed in-depth before any decision is made:

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

 

 

 

How the States Got Their Rates

Achieve analysis

 

Even as graduation rates rise, policymakers and families wonder: Does a high school diploma mean that students are ready for what comes next? Graduates wonder: Did I take the right classes and have the experiences I need to pursue the future I envision for myself? State leaders should be reflecting too: Do our state policies set the right expectations so that all students graduate college and career ready? Do we tell parents and students what they need to know so that families can make choices about their children’s futures?

To try to understand these questions, Achieve analyzed the 93 diploma options available across all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the class of 2014. The analysis looked at how many diplomas a state offered, whether a state offered a diploma that met college- and career-ready (CCR) expectations in English language arts (ELA)/literacy and mathematics course requirements, assessment requirements associated with earning a diploma, and if or how student outcomes were reported by diploma type.

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

 

 

 

Teachers aren’t paid for UEA break

Salt Lake Tribune letter to the editor from Laura Grzymkowski

 

It’s UEA weekend again in Utah. Time to remind everyone that it is not a paid holiday for teachers. Teachers only get paid for days that they work, typically about 185 days a year. Teachers do not get paid for Labor Day Thanksgiving or Christmas breaks, New Years Day or any holiday. They do not get paid for summer break.

Most teachers choose to have their pay spread out over the entire year, but they are still only paid for contracted days. So when you see a teacher this weekend, remember that they are probably going to be doing school work at some point, even though they won’t get paid for it.

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

 

 

 

Ignore state board and teach climate change to 6th graders Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

 

No less an authority than the Utah State Board of Education thinks it has figured it out: Climate change is not something sixth-graders should be told about, but eighth-graders are ready for it.

To call that silly is letting the board off the hook. It’s deception, and we shouldn’t stand for it. Instead, Utah teachers should ignore the board. Let them come after you, teachers. It’s not a law. It’s just a policy. If they try to fire you, call a news conference. They are acting for a misguided but vocal minority in this state, and the majority will stand with you. Your bosses will have to cave.

This is really about coping with change. The irony of Utah’s needless delays over science standards is that the picture of climate change and its human contribution is only sharpening. This pathetic attempt at holding back from our students will not stand long, if it ever takes hold at all.

It helps to know just how much we’re already asking of sixth-graders. Under the new science standards, teachers will be expected to instruct them on such things as using “computational thinking to analyze data and determine the scale and properties of the solar system.” They also will “construct an argument supported by evidence that changes to an ecosystem affect the stability of populations.”

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

 

 

 

My view: Provo families deserve in-depth discussion on plans to relocate Provo High Deseret News commentary from Jamie Littlefield

 

Last year, Provo voters were told that the school board wanted to rebuild Provo High School in its current location, in the heart of the city. Neighbors approved a $108 million bond that included the school rebuild. Now the board is looking at selling the school site to an outside buyer and moving Provo High from the city center to the far end of the west side, on the outskirts of development.

Without careful consideration, moving Provo High School could be harmful for the students, for downtown Provo and for residents of the west side.

Here are five major issues that need to be discussed in-depth before any decision is made:

  1. By moving Provo High from the heart of the city, we lose our opportunity to have a downtown high school. Probably forever. Once the district sells its city center property, it is unlikely that they would ever be able to afford the expense of creating a new school in this rapidly appreciating central location.

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

 

 

 

 

True professionals

Deseret News letter to the editor from Caleb Lee

 

I am writing in this format for the first time to express my sincere gratitude for the teachers and educators of Utah. I spent a night last week attending Draper Park Middle School’s parent-teacher conference. I was entirely impressed. The teachers I met with were as professional and organized as any executive I have ever been in a room with. They exhibited an expertise and skill level in their craft that is rare in today’s homogenized and prostrate professional world. In fact, I would consider them more professional than nearly anybody working in what are considered professional occupations.

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

 

 

 

 

Holidays, public schools and what it means to be “American”

The Spectrum commentary from Charles Haynes

 

Battles this month over holidays in public schools – from Halloween in Connecticut to Christmas in Indiana – are about far more than witches, ghosts, Santa Claus or Jesus.

What’s really at stake for people on all sides are emotional questions such as “whose schools are these?” and “what kind of nation are we – will we become?”

As the United States grows increasingly diverse, our perennial holiday fights turn public schools into a microcosm of the public square, places where we debate and define what it means to be “American” across differences that are often deep and abiding.

Consider the angry backlash earlier this month when school officials in Milford, Connecticut, banned the traditional Halloween parade and other activities in Milford’s elementary schools.

With growing numbers of families opting out for religious or cultural reasons, the district decided the time had come to axe the holiday. “School-day activities must be inclusive,” explained administrators in a letter sent home to parents.

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

 

 

 

Why I shouldn’t give up on gifted education Washington Post column from Jay Mathews

 

We have no idea how many gifted children are in the United States. We don’t know whether special handling of brilliant youths helps them. Spending a lot of tax dollars on such kids is not popular.

I learned this reading the best book on gifted education I have ever encountered, “Failing Our Brightest Kids: The Global Challenge of Educating High-Ability Students,” by Chester E. Finn Jr. and Brandon L. Wright.           You would think, from the authors’ refreshingly honest description of how little we know about giftedness, that they would recommend we move on to programs with better data and more support, such as ensuring that every fourth-grader can read.

But Finn, a leading U.S. authority on schools for more than 30 years, and Wright, an up-and-coming education-policy expert, refuse to give up on the gifted. They identify promising developments in other countries and suggest improvements appealing even to people like me, who think most gifted classes in the United States are a waste of time.

What saves the book is its focus on bright low-income children. Too many of them lack the access to the top schools, enriched home life and challenging colleges where the most-effective gifted education occurs. Like me, the authors are impressed by Caroline Hoxby and Christopher Avery’s finding that just 34 percent of high-achieving students in the bottom quarter of family income attend any of the 238 most-selective colleges.

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

 

 

 

Schools exacerbate the growing achievement gap between rich and poor, a 33-country study finds Hechinger Report column from Jill Barshay

 

Central to the American dream is the notion that any kid, even one from the poorest of backgrounds, can study hard, do well in school and make it in our society. But many of us fear that the schoolhouse is no longer a path to the middle class. That fear grows with the rising number of U.S. schoolchildren in poverty, and the growing achievement gap in school between them and their wealthier peers.

A recent study examined how much of the achievement gap in math between rich and poor 15-year-old students can be attributed to what material the kids are learning in school, and it found, across 33 countries, that schools are teaching rich kids vastly different math content than poor kids. The researchers calculated that this educational content difference accounts for a third of the achievement gap, on average. (The remainder of the achievement gap is explained by socio-economic factors at home, such as family income and parental education.) http://go.uen.org/4TG

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Donald Trump Would Cut Department Of Education, EPA Huffington Post

 

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested Sunday that he would eliminate several federal agencies if he were elected president.

Asked on “Fox News Sunday” how he would cut spending, Trump named the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency as potential targets.

“No, I’m not cutting services, but I’m cutting spending. But I may cut Department of Education. I believe Common Core is a very bad thing. I believe that we should be — you know, educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York. I think that it should be local education,” Trump said.

“So the Department of Education is one,” he continued.

http://go.uen.org/4T1

http://go.uen.org/4T2

(Fox News Sunday)

 

 

 

Schools across US find alternatives to suspending students

 

DALLAS (AP) — The recent arrest of a 14-year-old Muslim boy whose teacher mistook his homemade clock for a possible bomb led to widespread ridicule of school officials and accusations that Islamophobia may have played a part.

It earned Ahmed Mohamed an invitation to the White House, where the Irving teen will attend an astronomy night Monday. But it also got him a three-day suspension, which he says the district insisted he serve even after it was clear it was just a clock.

Ahmed’s suspension — his parents have since withdrawn him from the school — reflects the rigid disciplinary policies that many U.S. schools adopted in the 1990s. But many districts, including some of the nation’s largest, have been softening their approach, foregoing automatic suspensions, expulsions and calls to the police for one-on-one counseling and less severe forms of punishment.

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

 

 

 

States Continue to Improve Graduation Rates, Particularly for Underserved Students

 

New preliminary data released today by the U.S. Department of Education shows that states continue to increase high school graduation rates and narrow the gap for traditionally underserved students, including low-income students, minority students, students with disabilities and English learners.

The report is an important first look at preliminary graduation rates reported by states for the 2013-14 school year. The National Center for Education Statistics is expected to release final graduation rate data – including the nation’s newest graduation rate – in coming months. The nation has posted record graduation rates for the last two years, with the highest rate ever of 81 percent announced in March and improvement across all student subgroups.

http://go.uen.org/4Tz (USDOE)

 

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

 

 

 

Nevada Fights Against ACLU Suit over Voucher-Like Program

 

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada is fighting back against a lawsuit that could dismantle the state’s sweeping new school choice program, saying the program is neutral on religion even if parents can apply public funds to parochial schools.

The Nevada Attorney General’s Office filed a motion Monday asking a judge to dismiss a suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union that challenges Education Savings Accounts. The program, which is considered the broadest school choice program in the country because it’s not limited by factors such as family income, allows parents to claim most of their child’s per-pupil state education funding and use it toward private school tuition or other qualified education expenses.

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

 

 

 

Washington School District Negotiating with Praying Coach

 

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — A Washington school district says it is negotiating with the football coach who continues to pray following games after district officials asked him to keep religion off the field.

Bremerton High assistant coach Joe Kennedy knelt as his players left the field Friday night and prayed. The Kitsap Sun reports players from the other team and others joined him.

The school district said in a statement issued Monday that Kennedy’s employment status is unchanged. School officials are reviewing the events of Friday night and are talking to the coach’s lawyers.

“The district continues to hope that the district and Mr. Kennedy can arrive at common understandings that will ensure that the rights of all community members are honored and the law is respected,” district spokeswoman Patty Glaser said in a statement.

Bremerton Superintendent Aaron Leavell has said Kennedy’s long-standing practice of praying on the 50-yard line runs counter to the constitutional mandate for separation of church and state. He said in a statement before Friday’s game that staff must refrain from religious expression while on duty.

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

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

 

 

 

Are turnaround districts the answer for America’s worst schools?

 

This is some of the hardest work in education.

That was the gist of education reform wunderkind Chris Barbic’s July open letter announcing that he was stepping down as superintendent of Tennessee’s Achievement School District, the state-run district charged with turning around the state’s worst schools. In that letter, Barbic said that he had discovered it was “much harder” to fix existing schools than to start up new ones, as he did running YES Prep, a highly successful charter school network.

Barbic’s resignation comes as legislators in states across the country — including Pennsylvania and Georgia — consider creating similar special districts for their worst schools. So-called turnaround districts are already up and running in three states: Louisiana, Michigan and Tennessee. They share many strategies: converting some schools into charters; replacing teachers and administrators; giving staff more freedom when it comes to things like curriculum, hiring and budgeting; and, in some cases, pumping in more money.

But, more than a decade after the first such district was founded in Louisiana, the results have been mixed. Turning around high schools — where the stakes are arguably highest as students prepare to head out into the real world — has proven to be particularly frustrating for reformers.

http://go.uen.org/4TF (THR)

 

 

 

Trump eyes Education Department

 

ED DEPARTMENT IN TRUMP’S SIGHTS: Donald Trump might want to eliminate the Education Department. Chris Wallace challenged the leading GOP candidate on “Fox News Sunday,” on whether he would “blow a hole in the deficit.” Trump first said he would cut waste and abuse. When Wallace asked if he would cut departments, Trump said he’d consider the Education Department. “I believe Common Core is a very bad thing. I believe that we should be … educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York. I think that it should be local education.” Trump did not mention that whether to use Common Core standards is up to states. “If you look at a Jeb Bush and some of these others, they want them to be educated by — by Washington, D.C. bureaucrats,” Trump said. Regarding the department, Trump told the South Carolina Tea Party Convention in January that, “You could cut that way, way, way down.”

Story Continued Below

— Trump may have more to say soon. He plans to unveil “little policy segments” that will address his budget-cutting plans in three weeks: http://fxn.ws/1LYniAZ.

http://go.uen.org/4TH (PO)

 

 

 

The most innovative schools in America

 

From an “off-the-grid” school that relies on solar panels to classrooms in a public library, there are countless schools reimagining education.

Startup Noodle has released its first ever Innovative Schools report, which identifies 41 public, private and charter K-12 schools that rise above the rest. Launched by Princeton Review Founder John Katzman, Noodle provides educational resources to parents and teachers, and it spent the last year examining 140,000 schools to come up with this list.

Noodle Editor in Chief Suzanne Podhurst said the schools have achieved impressive results beyond just test scores. She hopes the report will help parents find schools that are best suited for their kids’ individual needs.

“Our takeaway is that there really shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to schools,” she said.

Here are six schools doing things differently …

http://go.uen.org/4TI (CNNMoney)

 

 

 

The Evidence That White Children Benefit From Integrated Schools

 

Recently a neighborhood in Brooklyn made national headlines for a fight over public schools. Lots of affluent, mainly white families have been moving into new condos in the waterfront area called DUMBO, and the local elementary school is getting overcrowded.

The city wants to redraw the zones in a way that would send kids from this predominantly white school to a nearby school where enrollment is over 90 percent black and Hispanic and which draws many of its students from a public housing project. Some parents on both sides of the line balked.

“Liberal hypocrisy,” was the headline in the conservative National Review.

The tacit assumption was that sending children to a majority-minority school would entail a sacrifice, one that pits their own children against their (presumably) progressive ideals.

But there’s plenty of evidence that suggests the opposite: White students might actually benefit from a more diverse environment.

http://go.uen.org/4TJ (UPR)

 

 

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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

 

 

October 20:

Legislative Management Committee meeting

1 p.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00004361.htm

 

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting

2 p.m., 445 State Capitol

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

 

 

October 21:

Education Interim Committee meeting

7 a.m., 30 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00004392.htm

 

Health and Human Services Interim Committee meeting

8 a.m., 445 State Capitol

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00004449.htm

 

Economic Development and Workforce Services Interim Committee meeting

1:15 p.m., 20 House Building

http://le.utah.gov/Interim/2015/html/00004403.htm

 

 

October 29:

Charter School Funding Task Force

1 p.m.,  445 State Capitol

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

 

 

November 5:

Utah State Board of Education study session and committee meetings

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

November 6:

Utah State Board of Education meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

 

 

November 12:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting

250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City

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

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